The Fangirls Day 8 – 30 Day Asian Drama Challenge

FotorCreated8.jpgEeek!  The dreaded Second Lead Syndrome is the topic of today’s challenge question.  Who did The Fangirls choose and does it match with your unrequited 2nd lead love?

DAY 8 – Worst case of Second Lead Syndrome you’ve experienced.

CLKYTTA: I have to say Ji Soo‘s character in Sassy Go Go/Cheer Up.  I liked the first lead, he was great, but Ji Soo stole the show for me.  I wanted him to get the girl and find happiness.  I loved that they gave him some closure, but it could have easily ended with him getting the girl.  Honorable Mention- Jeju Island Gatsby/Warm and Cozy, I wanted our lovable mayor to get the girl.  He was the whole package and didn’t have half the hang ups, plus there is just something about Kim Sung Oh’s eyes…..


Jennie: Oh gosh, I have SLS in every show. The first thing that comes to mind is Lee Soo Hyuk in Valid Love, then second Lee Soo Hyuk in King Of High School (hard to beat with Seo In Guk as the lead) and I’m also having SLS with Lee Soo Hyuk in Lucky Romance. I think I’ve been a bit hung up on him lately…. Other than that, Surplus Princess was also killer. I tend to get SLS whenever Song Jae Rim is on screen as well. I was so happy to watch him as the hunky lead in Thumping Spike. I need more of that.


Drama Geek: I actually don’t get SLS that often, but I had it SO bad for Choi Siwon in She Was Pretty. Don’t get me wrong. I love me some Park Seo Joon. Seriously, he is one of my favorites. But when you have a second lead like Shin Hyuk who steals every scene it’s hard not to want him to get the girl. Especially when he loves his Jackson the way he did. If you combine that with the writer making Sung Joon the most endemic character I’ve seen, you have a huge case of SLS. Honorable mention to Song Jae Rim in Surplus Princess. Apple Butt and the mermaid deserved to live happily ever after.


KdramaJen:  Oh, Chilbong, you will forever be the SLS that could not be cured.  I was so convinced it was not SLS, but just a first lead who had not been identified yet.  Reply 1994 gave me the worst case of SLS ever.  An honorable mention, however, goes to School 2015 and the second lead who really deserved the girl.


Kmuse: Before everyone commented on this post I would say that I don’t have 2nd Lead Syndrome very often.  But since I was the last to comment, I am now crying over the Chilbong, Apple Butt, Ji Soo ships that will never sail.  But I will pick another just to add diversity.  I know that these two were not a romantic pairing, but Yoon and Baek Dong Soo from Warrior Baek Dong Soo where a couple that were meant to be.  Especially when the other option was a horrible actress that couldn’t create chemistry if she tried.  So my vote is the bromance that should have trumped romance.


I hope that tomorrow’s question is a bit less of a downer.  Now I am full of regret on what should have been.  Check back tomorrow for another exciting installment of our 30 Day Asian Drama Challenge.

See you tomorrow,

The Fangirls

0 thoughts on “The Fangirls Day 8 – 30 Day Asian Drama Challenge

  1. How did I forget School 2015? That was probably my biggest SLS of all. Those two were meant to be together. Even the director knew it. If they could have just convinced the writer. :(

  2. Reply 1994 wasn’t second lead syndrome. The producers or someone higher flat out ruined that one by having the audience vote on who to be the hubby, late in the show, unplanned. Chilbongie WAS going to get the girl. It’s obvious thru-out the show and the writers admitted it. THAT’s a drama where the second lead got the girl, voted on by the Korean audience.
    And if it had been planned right would have been fine.
    Ji Hoo – first & worst of MY 2nd lead angst

  3. My first ever Korean drama presented me with my worst experience of SLS, never to be equalled – Bae Soo-bin (as Jun-se) in Brilliant Legacy/ Shining Inheritance. My heart broke for him. Made worse by the fact that our local station broadcast Dong Yi right after that, where he once again didn’t get the girl – once again played by Han Hyo-joo.

  4. 1. Tae Gwang (yook Sung Jae) – School 2015 hence, the OST “I want a reset, I want a reset!”
    How can you sleep at night, writernim? This I will never get over, biggest mind, um, boggling thing ever
    2. Jung Hwan (Ryu Jun yeol) – Reply 1988 – WTH were you thinking, Dok Sun? just coz Taek is a “special kid”. But under normal circumstances, I won’t be able to accept that.
    3. Oh Jin Rok (Kim Ji Hoon) – Flower Boy next Door – I just really prefer him, ‘have a thing for the underdog, secret crush and cute milk carton drawings.

  5. I’ve avoided the SLS shipwreck of Reply 1994 by just not watching it. I think you need to include the “regretful” category of SLS and that would be – Lee Soo Hyuk in almost everything. He’s a good actor, great looking, can do action – but I just don’t think he could make it as a full on lead actor. He deserves a great second lead love interest instead. Something like the quarreling second leads in Discovery of Romance.

    And, to my secret shame (which might get me banned by Amber K.) I actually loved Song Jong Ho as Yoon Tae Woong – the older brother with a crush on Shi Won. Yes, I do think he was using her as a substitute for his lost love but – I just loved him. He was just so kind. Maybe it was the glasses. I also had a terrible case of SLS for the glasses wearing dude from Ouran High School Host Club.

  6. Not Second Lead Syndrome, but FIRST Lead Syndrome — I wasn’t into Reply 1994 but Reply 1988 suckered me in with the family dynamics. And I’m not one to ‘ship’ any couple fervently, but when Junghwan did his epic confession and then said, just kidding! I wanted to punch the writer in the face. I didn’t care that she ended up with Bogummy, I was just mad because I felt like the writer/production did that for ratings and it felt unauthentic, unlike the rest of the series. Urg! Still mad.

  7. My first and biggest SLS was Robin Hood in Sungkyunkwan Scandal. It was also one of the first dramas I watched. He was so awesome and moody up in that tree, or going over the rooftops. He should have gotten the girl rather than that wussy scholar.

  8. Boys Over Flowers was my first. So, I had the worst case SLS with JiHoo. I had a difficult time moving on with him. I still remember the Macau trip with him, like I was there.

    Joon-Hee (Hoya) with Answer Me 1997 was another memorable one. The character is so real and very much relatable, that it’s hard not to see him happy. I knew he will never get the guy, but the hope was there til the end.

    As others have mentioned, Jung Hwan with Answer Me 1988 was also bad. I think it’s because I did not know from the beginning who was the main lead. And I fall hard with Jung Hwan at the beginning.

  9. Worst case ever, and my first – Ji Hoo in BOF. Haven’t liked the lead actress in anything since. No really bad case since then but Siwon had me torn in She Was Pretty.

  10. Cheese in a Trap…Seo Kang‑joon… the only reason I kept watching this odd drama.

    Also couldn’t take my eyes off of Sung Hoon (boxer) in Oh My Venus and considering So Ji-sub’s awesome pre scene well… quite a feat.

    Jennie, agree with you about Lee Soo Hyuk in King of High School…amazing that they put he and Seo in Guk in the same drama, but it really worked…like having 2 great male leads in one drama.

  11. I don’t normally have SLS. That being said, what I really hate is that most second leads don’t get a “happy ending” for themselves. They are just left to stew in their heartbreak forever. The worst case of this is all the ‘Reply” series. 1997-Oppa just to be alone forever. 1994- Ditto Chilbongie.
    1988-Ditto Jung Hwan. If the writers had just given these great guys a love interest of their own at the end, it would have been so much more satisfying. I don’t mind that the SL doesn’t end up with the heroine, but can’t they at least have a chance of happiness with someone? That’s one of the reasons I really liked “Master’s Sun” -the second leads got a happy ending too.

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