Dramaland defines Second Lead Syndrome (SLS) as rooting for the second guy to get the girl. Most of us have experienced SLS, or are at least familiar with the term. I realized that SLS only applies to male characters, second female leads (SFLs) usually get the short end of the straw. We get the hateful ex-girlfriend, the jealous new girl, the obsessed one... Rarely do we get a likable or even relatable second female lead. For this reason, I bring you a list of SFLs worthy of our love and support.
Warning: Spoilers for Love in the Moonlight, The Love Knot: His Excellency's First Love, Bromance, and She Was Pretty ahead.
Love in The Moonlight: Jo Ha Yeon
Ha Yeon is one of the reasons I thought of writing this article. As the daughter of the Minister of Culture and Education, she's refined, intelligent, and ahead of her times. She falls in love with our male lead before she realizes he's the crown prince, and is later chosen as his crown princess.
Why I loved her: Ha Yeon loves the prince deeply, but she does not let her love define who she is. She proposes to the prince an arranged political marriage, not because she's greedy but because she knows how to play her cards, she never pushed her love onto the ML and always kept her dignity. In the end, she renounces her position as crown princess and went on her way to live her life. I completed the drama with the feeling that wherever she went, she found the happiness she deserved.
The Love Knot: His Excellency’s First Love: Tushan Qian Hua
Qian Hua is a one of a kind second female lead. She's a smart businesswoman, cold and collected on the outside, but kind-hearted and compassionate in the inside. She gives an aura of always being in control, but she loves and suffers deeply.
Why I rooted for her: Qian Hua has been devoted to the ML for hundreds of years, seeing him lose his true love over and over. Her determination to be his friend and not let her love become poisonous made me want her to find happiness. She deserved better and those writers better come up with her happy ending if there's ever a season 2.
Bromance: Du Zi Han
Although Du Zi Han is technically a supporting character, not an SFL, she falls in love with one of our main leads... The female lead to be exact. See, our FL is disguised as a man, and Zi Han falls in love at first sight with her after she (the FL) saved her.
Why I adored her: Zi Han finds herself competing for the love of our FL with no other than her own brother (ML). Her determination to seduce the FL has no equal. From sexy clothes to trying to spend time together, Zi Han's attempts at wooing her knight (or dame) in shining armor kept me laughing hard, while at the same time wishing that her sweet little heart was not to be broken.
She Was Pretty: Min Ha Ri
I know that many people will think: "What is she doing in this list?" but, bear with me for a second.
Ha Ri is our FL's best friend and roommate. She's beautiful, successful, and popular. She's the polar opposite of our female lead which makes them complement their sisterly relationship. IMO.
Why I understood her and wished her well: Ha Ri saw herself in a very difficult situation, she fell in love with her best friend's first love. Her only sin was to continue the lie the FL started. Yes, she lied to both our leads but the FL put her in that position in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I never wished for her to end up with the ML, but I understood the predicament she was in. What made me see everything from her side, and even relate a bit to her, was her guilt. She felt so guilty she developed a stomach ulcer, she had been planning to come clean with everyone, but she kept stalling. I truly wished for her to find happiness and not lose the beautiful relationship she had with the FL.
Guys, this was my first article! I hope you guys enjoyed it. Feel free to comment with any other second female leads that deserve our love.