Where Have All the Good Bad Guys Gone?


Has anyone noticed that the drama villains have been a bit…..sub-par lately? Come join Drama Geek and myself as we chat about what has been going wrong. We also touch on what we look for in a villain and which actors we would love to see take a walk on the evil side. In other words, all things villain!

What makes a good bad guy?

KMUSE: For me, I need one of two things to happen to make me love the antagonist (aka… big bad).

  • They have to be so detestable that I am actively wanting them to get hit by the white truck of doom and then have so said truck back up over them again for good measure.  I consider evil drama parents and political bad guys part of this catagory.  I wouldn’t say they are serial killer evil, but they suck the soul out of everything they touch with their black hole judging and their sense of entitlement
  • They need to be scary as all get out.  This catagory has your evil serial killers.  There is nothing better than a bad guy that makes you have some minor nightmares.

Drama Geek: My needs are a little less defined, but I’ll try to sum it up into two main things.

  • I’m the opposite of KMUSE. I actually love to love bad guys. My favorite character from Thor isn’t the hammer wielding Asgardian, but his not so good brother Loki. The thing is you have to make the bad guy real with feelings and actual motives that make sense and something I can relate to. No, I don’t necessarily want to be BFF’s with bad guys, but it helps when they don’t feel like they’ve just been created to thwart the good guys.
  • When they can make me keep the light on when I go to sleep. It almost seems the opposite of what I just said because a lot of truly scary bad guys don’t have a lot of apparent depth and we don’t always get their motive. But here is where the different aspects to a drama can come into play. Hitchcock made a entire generation scared of crows. Acting and directing can add that extra layer that a non-layered character might lack.

Favorite drama bad guys

I don’t think we need to share every drama bad guy that we loved and why.  If you watch dramas it is pretty obvious.  But we will share a slide show of some of our favorites.  If we left yours off our list then feel free to share in the comments.



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Where did all the evil go?

We took a look at our favorites, but now we need to discuss all the duds that have come out in the past several months.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

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KMUSE: Oh my word this serial killer was such a disappointment.  He made no sense and I was finally at the point where I just wished he would go away.  I didn’t even care enough to want to see him caught and pay for his crime.

Drama Geek: Why is dramaland obsessed with pretty bad boys? I mean, sometimes you luck out and get Lee Joon who is pretty and good at being creepy as hell, but that doesn’t happen often. Recently dramas have been giving the bad guys a flimsy story line and trying to make up for it by casting a pretty boy. I can’t remember this guy’s name, I have no idea why he started kidnapping girls, and by the end I just wanted him to lock himself in his torture chamber never to be seen again.


KMUSE: This is a case where I thought that the bad guy was well written, but the actual actor was very “meh”.  He is one of those stock bad guy actors that when you see him come on screen you just assume he is smarmy evil.

Drama Geek: I have a hard time saying anything bad about Circle because I loved it so freaking much. I do agree that his acting was a little weak sauce.


.;a1a.pngKMUSE: I loved the character development of the bad guy.  I loved the actor that played the younger version of our serial killer.  When it came to the older actor though I felt it was a total snoozefest.  The actor only had one level of intensity and all the nuances of a scary serial killer were lost in the translation.  This is an opportunity lost to create a truly memorable bad guy.

Drama Geek: It also didn’t help that they played creepy music the very first time we met him so there wasn’t even any mystery left.

Uncontrollably Fond


KMUSE: The bad guys were totally overshadowed by the cancer storyline.  In my opinion, they were barely even necessary and it really annoyed me when there was little to no comeuppence in the end.

Suspicious Partner


KMUSE: They are trying so hard to make the bad guy both scary and sympathetic.  It worked in this writer’s drama I Remember You.  It is not working here.

Drama Geek: Okay, I do have to admit that he bored me in the middle, but the last few episodes redeemed his story arc for me. I feel like if you binge watch this drama he will be creepy and the twists at the end do his character justice. Plus, the actor really did a fantastic job toward the end. (I kind of hope he ends up being a dorky bff in his next drama.)

KMUSE: This drama actually ended while we were in the middle of writing this review.  I do agree his character got a great twist in the end, but that still left a lot of boring middle to get through.

Legend of the Blue Sea


KMUSE: Oooh.  I almost forgot them.  The mother/son evil team was so ridiculous.  Total letdowns as antagonists.

Drama Geek: They truly were abysmal. And this drama had the Reply dad as a bad guy who was also not that great.

Villains in the future


KMUSE: I really wish they would take a step back from trying to make the bad guys relateable and just work on making me hate them.  The point of the bad guy is to give our hero/heroine someone to fight against.  Which means when we have a lackluster villain we end up with a lackluster plot alltogether.

Drama Geek: I have to sort of agree, but not agree here. Why can’t I have both? I don’t necessarily have to relate to the character and don’t feel they need to be redeemed, but what’s wrong with finding them slightly sexy and contemplate going to the dark side for them?

Actors we would love to see play a villain?

KMUSE:  OOOH!  I have several actors that I would love to see in an evil bad guy role.

  • Seo In Guk – When do I not want to see Seo In Guk on my tv screen?  My bias towards him aside, he definetaly has the talent to make a very believable serial killer.
  • Yoon Hyun Min – This is another actor that I really see having the range to jump into a bad guy role.  He did a bad guy in Falling for Innocence, but I would love to see him step it up a level and play a truly evil character.
  • Jang Hyuk – You can’t tell me that Jang Hyuk’s crazy eyes and laugh are not perfect for an evil genious 

Drama Geek:

  • Yeo Jin Goo – For a moment I thought they were going to make Jin Goo’s character in Circle a bad guy and I was dying with anticipation to see how well he’d be able to take on that role. For some reason I picture him being a lot like Yeon Jeong Hoon who could probably convince me to become a vampire if he wanted to. Jin Goo has a long career ahead of him so I hope he takes on a bad guy role sometime soon.
  • Yook Sung Jae  – This choice is also inspired by an appearance in a drama. In Goblin when a god inhabited his body I got chills. He was SO good and I just wanted lots and lots more of that.
  • Female Actress – Calling all drama writers. Women can be bad too. Recently there have been a few. I’ve heard the second lead actress in K2 totally stole the show. Lee Honey rocked her ambitious gisaeng in Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People. I’d love to see the actresses gracing our drama screen take on the challenge of being the Big Bad. I’m not talking about the clingy ex-girlfriend you want to slap or the privileged daughter of so and so that is horrible to our female lead. No, I don’t want the third wheel of a love triangle or a horrible mother-in-law. I want a bone chilling creepy bad woman. 


And this concludes our look at the past bad guys, the current crop of bad guys, and where we hope the bad guy trope goes.  What are your thoughts?  Let us know if we hit any of your favorites or you disagree with the current crop of evil influences.

Til next time,

Kmuse & Drama Geek

11 thoughts on “Where Have All the Good Bad Guys Gone?

  1. Gaaah, saw that neck mole of Lee Joon and I am mush!
    On top of my head before the pics, Shin Sung Rok was the ideal bad guy. You hate him but he was fascinating. So fascinating that when he was cast as the 2nd lead guy in Trot Lovers, there are moments when his would hv that look and I half expect him to just go and slit the throat of EunJi, haha.
    Oh, the risk of having SIG play a villain, geez, I don’t know, am thinking he should hv been the serial killer in I Remember You coz PBG is just too pretty and dainty,he can’t hv done those things, so in the end we empathized. Where are you Seo In Guk?
    Most of the bad guys nowadays in Kdramas wear designer suits.

  2. There definitely needs to be some decent female villains that aren’t the jealous other woman or the chaebol mother-in-law!

    I did enjoy Junho’s performance in Chief Kim as the greedy director. He surprised me in that one. He wasn’t the ultimate bad guy, but his character might have been more interesting than the true villain because he wasn’t a straight stereotype.

  3. Finding a good bad guy is indeed hard to find. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and Legend of the Blue Sea are definitely strong offenders when it comes to laaaame baddies lol.

  4. I just finally finished Oh, My Ghostess! and Im Joo Hwan as Officer Choi was creepy as all get out – but I felt really badly for him at the end. I’m hoping they don’t make that actor another bad guy in Bride of the River God because that would truly break my heart. He plays mildness and complete break into rage both so well.

  5. Kim Bum ROCKED as the bad guy in Mrs. Cop II – the ONLY reason to watch that mess, in fact! It’s sad to me that he did such a great job for such a terribly written drama!
    Lee Jun – wow.
    I just saw Man to Man – and boy, our vampire prosecutor Yeon Jung Hun totally got my attention thru-out – he plays villains very very well. I feel like I’m watching a tiger stalking me – scary as all get out but OMG so beautiful!

    I also really want to see Yeo Jin Goo as a bad guy. It will be interesting.
    And the last one, how about a pair of male and female villain?
    I think that will be as interesting as a female crazy serial killer villain.

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