Oh dearest Whitecarrot, what did you do?
If ever there was a person stricken with Second Lead Syndrome, it is I. This is not an ailment that comes and goes, visiting once in a blue moon, but rather a very serious condition that has plagued me my entire life – ladies and gentlemen, I (re-)introduce to you the Pinkblossom Malady.
Thanks to my lovely partner in crime, I have been swept back in time (ooh, that rhymes!) through turbulent times, trials, and tribulations (alliteration!) wherein I fell in love with the man who loved not me, and whose heart was broken as irrevocably as mine. “Who are these people?” you may ask. “Whatever do you mean? Is there ever a time the OTP was not the cutest couple that could be?”
Okay, I need to stop writing in verse; it’s getting dizzy. Onto an examination we go of the cruel men who have broken my heart over the years. The list is endless – seriously, I have spent the last two hours looking up names and dramas and filmographies, and my list keeps getting longer and looonger. So rather than a comprehensive list of every heartbreaker ever, I present to you the most memorable cases of the Pinkblossom Malady.
Autumn Fairy Tale
The drama and character that gave birth to my one true love. I may dally here and there with the cuties that litter Dramaland, but I have never ceded my #1 spot to anyone other than Won Bin. “How much will it take?” is still one of the most quoted lines eeeever.
All About Eve, Four Sisters, Glass Slippers, Oohlala Spouses
Han Jae-suk holds a huge soft spot in my heart – the poor guy never gets the girl! In All About Eve, he was ruthlessly abandoned by Kim So-yeon (and even Chae Rim chose Jang Dong-gun over her first love). He and Chae Rim finally both loved each other – emphasis: at the same time – in Four Sisters, but some stupid reason or another (parents, I think?) prevented them from getting together. Correction: It’s been so long that I looked up Four Sisters to confirm the ending, and Naver is telling me they got together at the veeerry end. So I guess he actually won the girl in this one, but all I remember is hurting for him.
Kim Hyun-joo preferred being So Ji-sub’s widow than getting together with him in Glass Slippers. And Kim Jung-eun chose her philandering husband over her perfect first love in Oohlala Spouses. Can the guy just get a break already?
Summer Scent, Baby-faced Beauty
Another actor who only recently has been finally getting some cred. Poor Ryu Jin played second fiddle for a good stretch of his career, most notably in Summer Scent and Baby-faced Beauty. (Though he was the second lead in other dramas as well, he had his own partner, unlike the aforementioned ones where he lost out to the lead.) He and Han Go-eun were beautiful together in Capital Scandal, but his tragic demise pretty much did away with the happy virus.
The Hourglass (aka Sandglass)
Star in My Heart
Now this man won his lady even in his debut – in real life, too! – but I can never forget his character in Star in My Heart. Yes, I loved the OTP (Ahn Jae-wook and Choi Jin-shil), but I just didn’t quite get why Cha In-pyo never had a chance with Choi Jin-shil. The story just… kinda stopped.
I know Lee Seo-jin and Ha Ji-won were the OTP of Damo, one of my all-time favs, but there was the leeettle wavering Ha Ji-won felt towards Kim Min-joon (though it was because of blood ties, not romance). Nonetheless, my heart just broke for Lee Seo-jin when he (1) let Ha Ji-won go on the mission, which was tantamount to saying goodbye; (2) believed she fell in love with Kim Min-joon; (3) still poured out his soul to revive her; and (4) THE ENDING. Gah, I can’t say more, I’m starting to cry already just thinking of the ending. *races off to re-watch*
Now that I think about it, Lee Seo-jin has had a tragic ending in so many of his dramas despite being the lead!
The Great Inheritance, Dong-yi
Can You Hear My Heart?
I Need Romance (Season 1)
Will it Snow for Christmas, The Princess’s Man, Answer Me 1997
Flower Boy Next Door
The Great Lawyers of Korea
Feast of the Gods
This one doesn’t get an actor’s name. Because Joo Sang-wook, the leading man, was thrown over for Lee Sang-woo! Sooo, does that still make Lee Sang-woo the second lead? Or does that role now to go Joo Sang-wook? As mentioned before, this crazy show finally vindicated my love for the poor dudes who are left heartbroken every time.
So there you have it, a very small sample of the instigators of the Pinkblossom Malady. I’m itching to add more names, but perhaps we’ll save it for another day. Whitecarrot, perhaps we need to make this a regular thing! 😉 Now one more picture of my man… because I can.