Who's that girl?
Whenever you see a gorgeous, well-dressed and confident female in a drama you should know IMMEDIATELY that she is not to be trusted. After all, looks can be deceiving and rightly so- in the Dramaland. She ought to be rich, talented, smart, and clever... in order to be ready to steal the hero away from the heroine! Otherwise, she was his long-lost lover and has come back to get him. Either way, if you're the heroine and are comparatively nice, please note that this girl will do whatever it takes to get him back.
Often, romantic comedies or melodramas are incomplete without the bad girls. They help in completing the love square and their characteristics pretty much remain the same in every drama. These can be:
- She is rich and famous - mostly having come from New York (America).
- She was nice once but circumstances forced her to become bad.
- She was in love with the hero then and claims to still be.
- She dumped him for "reasons" but now has come to get him back.
- She dresses quite well.
- Is rude and condescending to the heroine.
- Could be rude to everyone in general.
- Mostly, she is prettier than the main lead.
- Is observant and usually learns about a threatening secret of the heroine.
- Can do the most outrageous things for keeping the hero away from the heroine.
- Even if she is rejected constantly, she shamelessly hangs on to the hero.
- Sometimes there is a promise she made with the hero which binds them together.
- She will very be aware of the love of hero and heroine for each other but acts oblivious.
- It is difficult to talk her down.
- It is difficult to break her obsession of achieving the hero's affections.
- Thinks more about her goal of stealing the hero away from the heroine than anything else.
- Tells the hero she loves him but acts contrary.
- If necessary, uses manipulation to keep him by her side.
- Gets dumped by the hero in the end or lets him go.
- Ends up with the second lead at times instead.
These are the common qualities we observe in these bad girls (with a few variations). The saddest part of such characters is how under-used and stereotypical they are.
I always find the concept of bad girl silly. It makes me wonder if every good-looking, rich girl has to be presented as truly evil. They are presented as one-dimensional, shallow people incapable of caring about others. The character development in such characters is a long shot. While they add to the fun part, they can be extremely annoying to stand because of the way they act. Sometimes they can be rejected repeatedly by the hero and still hang on shamelessly. It's sad to see such females as they seem to lack self-respect. Also, they don't change until the very end or not even then!
So - what's the purpose of such characters in the story? Do we really need them?
The answer can be yes to both. We can do better without them because then our hero and heroine can just get together happily and easily. But again- if there is nobody trying to force them apart our story could just end in an episode or two and that would be boring. So... YES! We need bad girls. Who else would be there to provide us with frustration or even comedic relief (at times)?
I rather like bad girls because they show us how outgoing females can be. But I am not at all approving of their ever-vicious side. The cliched bad girl can be tiring to watch and as I mentioned- stereotypical. I am all up for giving a chance for these bad girls to grow up and redeem themselves. In that way, there could be serious competition between the good girl and the bad girl. In my opinion, these girls have more of a chance to develop and provide entertainment than ordinary already-perfect heroines. Flaws are what makes such characters believable. While the good girls do have flaws, they also come off as pushovers which is a huge turn-off and the ones to bully them are mostly the bad girls.
Does anyone remember Kim In Hee from Personal Taste and her annoying obsession with the hero? She first steals her best friend's first boyfriend and then goes after the second one. She hardly grows and remains despicable till the end. The great thing is that the hero doesn't fall for her looks or manipulations.
Want to know what happens when you actually let the bad girl develop? We get reminded that she is also a human being and that nobody is perfect. We start relating more to the 'bad' side and also get to see the good in her. Once such character is Go Hye Mi from Dream High. It was hard to believe that she could be the protagonist of 'Dream High'. She felt more like an anti-heroine at times and one great thing about her was her confidence. Her shortcoming was her selfishness and inability to care about others. However, she grows to care about other people. I loved how she never seemed like a pushover and was in fact like an opposite of other Kdrama heroines. And guess what?
*spoiler* She actually got the guy! *spoiler*
Another one of my favorite bad girls is Saeki Hikari from the Jdrama Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta. She did awful things at the beginning of the show and it was impossible to believe that she could ever grow out of it. However, by the end, she truly matures and becomes almost a different person. She became somebody you could empathize with. Now, she was a high school girl in love with her teacher (who was already engaged) so you can't expect her to get together with him. But I expected her to understand that she was young, and to instead just move on with her life...and that's exactly what happens!
So the conclusion is that writers should dare to break from the bad girl cliche as well. They should be given a chance to grow, redeem themselves and if possible- get the guy. They shouldn't be under-used and limited as a plot device to separate the main couple. Just like how we give a chance to the bad boy to improve and get the girl, this chance should be given to the bad girls also. That could provide with some variation in dramas and make it hard to predict the ending!
Do you agree with my views? Have you seen dramas where the bad girl gets the guy? Who's your favorite bad girl? Post what you think in the comments below!