So I’ve been reading a lot about this so-called Second Lead Syndrome from some blogs I follow like my drama tea and it’s been amusing me. I seldom go for the second lead because if I don’t like the OTP that the drama is trying to sell me, then I drop it. But that’s just me. But then again, I thought about it and realized there were indeed instances that I could not help but root for the second lead.
This site gives a very clear explanation of what Second Lead Syndrome is:
Second Lead Syndrome (SLS) is known as the overwhelming support and admiration given to the second male lead of a drama or an anime to win the lead female and succeed in whatever endeavor undertaken…
So here are what caused that syndrome in my case:
1. Han Tae Suk (AUTUMN IN MY HEART)
One name: Won Bin.
I watched this drama for him. I rooted for him.
Of course he did not get the girl.
And Won Bin really needs to go back to work, either in a drama or film. Surely, he’s not too busy dating Lee Na-young all the time? And fo’ sho he’s no longer second lead material now.
2. Tachibana Rintaro (LAST CINDERELLA)
God. How can she choose that wishy-washy younger guy who looked like he hasn’t washed his hair in months?! Oh this drama really vexed me till the end. And till the end, I was hoping that common sense would prevail on Sakura but the writer and I were not on the same page. Unfortunately.
How can someone reject Fujiki Naohito? Lol yeah, he’s been rejected many times in dramas and there are some things in this world I can never understand.
To this day, when I hear LAST CINDERELLA, I want to toss a glass slipper. Three months of my life I can never get back.
3. Seo Hyun-Woo (IRIS 2)
Yoon Doo-joon’s earnest portrayal as the reliable comrade and loyal friend, the back-up guy just in case you know something happens to the lead since this is an action drama, had me rooting for him. I wasn’t exactly hoping that he’d get the girl, it was pretty obvious from the get-go that he won’t (I mean, who can win against Jang Hyuk?), but I wouldn’t have minded either if he did. I didn’t even know the dude is part of a Korean idol group; I don’t want to go there but if for anything, this B2ST has decent actors ei.
4. 8th Prince (BU BU JING XIN)
I wasn’t on the Ru Xi x 4th Prince boat. For some reason, I found the 8th Prince more appealing so much so that this drama led me to GHETTO JUSTICE and my Kevin Cheng phase. Yeah, how could I root for the very much married prince who had a suffering and lovely wife, and want him to be together with his sister-in-law?! I plead Second Lead Syndrome. Guilty as charged.
Given the definition for Second Lead Syndrome, it may entail that you want the character to end up with the lead (with some hate to the other lead pairing). But that is not the case below:
5. Lee Whi-kyung (MAN FROM THE STARS)
Park Hae-jin plays Whi-kyung with so much vulnerability and earnestness I oftentimes want to pat his head or give him a hug even if I am not exactly rooting for him to end up with Cheon Song-yi. I just hope that he will get his own happy ending, whatever that is given the circumstances (a charismatic and good-looking alien for a rival and an evil older brother). But no, I don’t want him to end up with the second female lead; he deserves someone who’s not scheming nor resentful. Bok-ja, Song-yi’s reluctant but steadfast friend, maybe?
I just realized that the characters I have listed are all males. Surely, the syndrome applies to females too? Which makes me wonder, have I rooted for second female leads before? Kaoruko and Erena of the ongoing SHITSUREN CHOCOLATIER come to mind. Anyone between them, as long as it’s not Saeko. And in this instance, yes, I’m really cursing the female lead. Sota deserves so much more.
6. Rikudo (SHITSUREN CHOCOLATIER)
Yes, why not????
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