by Kaye, March 13, 2016
130

He should be the guy that makes you say "I don't". 

You know the type. There's 95% chance of him being a chaebol. He's always a few marks ahead of you in class, mostly so he can have the pleasure of tugging your hair, crumpling your test paper, and firing off a witty criticism of your intelligence and your entire family lineage. He tells you that he doesn't want to see you with another man, and is caught making out with Miss Universe right outside your front door. 

Everything about him should be associated with a new yearbook superlative: "Least Likely To Be Good Husband Material." 

And yet, by the last episode and the limits of your frayed patience, the heroine has said yes. Yes, yes, yes, with every meek nod to his latest demand, trailing along in the wake of his neatly timed, drama-appropriate wrist grab - or, if she is the firecracker fierce diva we all have been rooting for, at least pitches a fit before melting into his embrace.

After all, he's the perfect package, right? It has to be fate.

What's happily ever after without a guarantee of ill-timed arguments, jealous breakdowns and aloof flirting with other women?


8. Ji Seong Jun (She Was Pretty)

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So you narrowly made it to the very back of the line, Ji Seong Jun. Better thank your lucky stars for the facts that a) I haven't finished She Was Pretty yet and b) I have a soft spot for Park Seo Joon thanks to Witch's Romance

Don't go letting out that breath just yet. See, I might not know too much about you, but the little I know is pretty, well, unpleasant. Let's take the fact that you cannot recognize your own childhood sweetheart and friend for one, and the way you are treating her - in all her cheery, hard-working glory - for the moment while you do not know who she is.

Just look at that face. Is that the face of a man who is about to get down on one knee and offer you flowers and a ring? (Well, he does. I know that much.) At least for the first half of She Was Pretty, Ji Seong Jun, you are a jerk. A handsome jerk, but a jerk nonetheless. I am glad for your sake that you do mend your ways.


7. Joo Joong Won (Master's Sun)

Full disclaimer: I love the CEO (So Ji Sub). (And yes, he shall always be the CEO to me.) Not necessarily for his looks, or that questionable hairstyle, I'm in it for the quips, the dry humor and the occasional ingratiating backslide when he realizes he's up against someone who can give him more of his most coveted possession besides his body: money.

And yet, jokes about shrimp chips and creepy Candy aside, let's be honest, the guy's a real creep at first. Cutting someone's flower because he won't sell his land? Check. Consistently drawing in the heroine and shoving her back when he's gotten what he wants? Check. 

I mean, I should probably cut him a little more slack because he is majorly traumatized and I could shake everyone around him for not doing a better job of convincing him to seek help, for goodness' sake, but as much as I adore this drama and always will, I have a feeling that if I wasn't as tenacious as Tae Gong Shil (Gong Hyo Jin) - and blithely, cutely oblivious - I'd be in tears more than a few times after facing that razor-sharp tongue. And, you know, being told to get lost all the time.


6. Bo Jin Yan (Love Me If You Dare)

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Ah, Professor Bo (Huo Wallace).

So dapper.

So mysterious.

So...aggravating. Please keep your mouth shut, stop criticizing the local law enforcement and just hold that brooding pose. Ah, yes. Much better.

Don't get me wrong. Thanks to a childhood diet of Sherlock Holmes and other suitably prickly detectives, I don't mind the stray curmudgeon or two. And there's no denying - at least from what I've seen further into the series - that once he lightens up and the relationship gets established, he's pretty darn romantic. But for now, I'm just wondering how we get from there to here, and if it's worth forward-fasting all the demanding phone calls, leaving the heroine stranded in a power outage, and criticizing her cooking skills.

At least in Jian Yao (Ma Sandra), he has a formidable Watson who may eventually acquiesce, but not without her own share of snark, eye rolling and snatched away dishes.


5. Kang Seon Woo (Oh My Ghostess)

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He is charismatic. He can cook.

And there ends my list of good qualities for Kang Seon Woo (Jo Jung Suk). Now, I feel for him. He was raised by a single mom who wasn't there for him. He's looked out very tenderly for his sister - at least, he knows how to treat one woman right. And...well, he can cook.

I have to say that my heart is swayed by the adorable moments where he leaves encouraging comments on Bong Sun's (Park Bo Young) little cooking blog, and that one time he maybe felt bad for shouting at her and making her leave in tears. Maybe we'll leave it at "he gets better, but at first, I didn't like him at all". I still wouldn't take him home to the parents until he was past that initial stormy phase, though. Just saying.


4. Eun Oh (Arang and the Magistrate)

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When even the drama summary has to use the words "cynical" and "not so friendly" for its main man, you know you're in for the appropriate roller coaster of insults, jeers and temporary abandonment in the face of danger.

And the Magistrate gives us all of it, in spades. 

Lee Joon Gi, it is a good thing you are so handsome and charming in real life. If it wasn't for trusted friends telling me up and down that this series has everything - and yes, Shin Min Ah and her adorable dimples - I might have tossed it out the minute you opened your mouth.

I wouldn't stop at the phrase "not so friendly". I'd toss in "as huggable as a cactus", "ridiculous mommy issues," and "just plain rude" for a little variation. And yet, every time you yield and give us a glimpse of actual emotion behind the sandpaper veneer, I can't help but root for you. What does that say about me? I am not entirely sure. I'll get back to you.


3. Xia You Qian (When I See You Again)

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Oh, these are childhood friends with convenient face amnesia. This time around, we have the girl pining after the guy, even as she waits anxiously for him to sweep back into her life and never let her go. And lo and behold, he sweeps into her life minus the dorky glasses and the thick eyebrows...and she doesn't remember him. But that's not a problem, because he's totally cute and successful and he can win her over with his bucketloads of charm, right?

...Right?

Apparently, romance is overrated. Instead, the new method of courtship is insulting an obviously desperate, very much in debt former friend by announcing to the entire gathered village that for a tidy sum of money, she'll do anything, and you do mean anything, while having dreamy flashbacks of her ponytailed high school self jogging through your memory.

So much for love at second sight.

Since it's Liu Jasper we're talking about, I'm bearing out and seeing just how far this "I love you so I'll look out for you, but I'll bad mouth you at the same time just to balance things out" train is going to veer off the track of reasonable romantic expectations.

Oh, who am I kidding? Maybe I am the weird one for ever expecting a guy in a drama to communicate his feelings appropriately, with his mouth. And no, I don't mean kisses. Kisses don't seem to get you anywhere, as hot as they can be.


2. Choi Soo Hyun (Madame Antoine)

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Confession: this is currently on my dropped list.

I might pick it back up when I don't feel the need to punch Sung Joon in his handsome, smirking face. After all, he doesn't deserve that pain for being an excellent actor. And trust me, any guy who gets me from 0 to "gosh, you are a JERK" within the first five minutes of a drama is an excellent actor, bizarre storyline and complete flaunting of psychological ethics aside.

Out of all the guys on this list, he's the one I have serious doubts about ever improving in his unhappy, unfailing nastiness to our leading lady. He's going to need a really really good alibi, and by that, I mean a sad back story that even remotely excuses playing with people's hearts and breaking them with a careless smile and a proffered questionnaire.

(This is one series where you have my full permission to spoil things for me ahead of time and confirm whether or not he improves.)


1. Irie Naoki (Itazura Na Kiss - Love in Tokyo)

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Congratulations, Irie-kun (Furukawa Yuki). You are officially deemed the king of running hot and cold. Two seasons, three levels of education, and one marriage all couldn't properly unbend your rigid, ever perplexing and often hurtful personality. Well, perhaps I'm not being entirely fair. You did manage to kiss your wife, a lot. And seemingly enjoy it. Perhaps. I couldn't entirely tell. 

Seriously, though, I cannot understand the appeal of this guy. (From that "if I can't have you, no one will!" proposal to tolerating another woman clutching at him during his honeymoon, the guy is either an improperly programmed robot or just heartless and proud of it.) 

Who wants to spend the rest of their life, for better or worse, with the living embodiment of disdain? As a bonus, you'd get an additional free - and non-refundable - gift in the form of his gaslighting you every time you tear up and ask him what you mean to him.

"Whatever do you mean?" He asks seriously, before kissing you senseless and abruptly shoving you away. "You shouldn't doubt what you mean to me."

Sigh.


Have you noticed the trope of unapologetic a-hole gets the girl in the dramas you watch? Are there any guys that fit the bill for you?

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