Number 9: Day 8

Worst Case of Second Lead Syndrome You’ve Experienced

Aptly enough, this is a dual winner category. Also, I went with a broader definition of SLS. In neither of these cases did I want them to “get the guy” or “get the girl”, but in both I strongly felt they were way better than the lead.

 Winner Number One 

최시원 Choi Si Won
The photo above relates to the Drama for which Mr Choi wins this accolade, She Was Pretty. Append the word “mehdiocre” to the title and you’d have a perfect summary of the Drama, though Go Joon Hee was VERY pretty. Choi Si Won’s second lead stole the show. Probably best known as part of Super Junior (one of Ariel Lin’s two favourite members thereof) his was almost the only role worth watching, as he rose above the  many weaknesses of the tired, unimaginative script to deliver a stellar comic performance. K Dramas tend to disdain real comedy, thinking something’s only funny if there are rivers of tears, so true clownish comedy is rare. As the reason I stuck with the Drama to its end, Choi Si Won earned his place on my Drama Challenge list, by showing he has a  gift for comedy. Some may have thought that last line was a segue.If so, I’d hate to disappoint:

 Winner Number Two

채정안 Chae Jeong An

Sometimes, a Google image search turns up a result for which the only response can be, “the level of perfection is too high”. The photo above is a great example. Ms. Chae shrugging her shoulders in bemusement at being stuck, quite literally, on second floor in her career.I first saw her in Coffee Prince , but it was the next role of hers I saw that cemented her in my mind as a super second. The Drama  총리와 나 (Once Was A Romcom) distinguished itself by taking a surprisingly strong, vibrant OTP, full of genuine romantic chemistry and comedy, and sucking the life out of both the characters and their arc. Which is why I only ever use the more accurate English translation of its Korean name. Ms Chae’s character though, went in the exact opposite direction. As Seo Hye Joo, she morphed from a clichéd clingy second, nursing unrequited love and bitterness toward the female lead,  into a strong, independent and self-assured character, master of her own destiny, and slave to no zombie spouse.

The next Drama in which CJA showed her super second skills was one featuring Joo Won and Kim Tae Hee as leads, but I’ll be writing more about that one in a later post. For now, suffice it to say that though she’s ten years younger than I am, I  happily use the hashtag conferred on her by a longtime fanboy. She definitely is #AwesomeNoona  — sheer magic!


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