[Dramaland Catnip] Strong platonic friendships
by Guest Beanie
Sassy Go Go
Just the day before the deadline, I learned about the dramaland catnip topic and it excited me right away. I thought of giving it a try but all my favorite drama tropes which I adore were already posted. So after serious thinking, the one that suddenly came to my mind (or rather heart) was platonic relationships, where characters of opposite genders show strong friendship without romantic feelings underneath.
The first drama where I noted this relationship was in Tree With Deep Roots, between the King Sejong and So-yi. Their relationship deeply moved my heart and the reason is because of the realization that the king’s affection towards So-yi was nothing but pure love. She played an important role in his life as the person who understood the pain he felt after accidentally being responsible for the death of her family and friends. So-yi’s understanding towards him become his strength and helped him overcome the guilt that upset him. They are two people who loved and cared for each other totally.
Tree With Deep Roots
In contrast, there are childhood friendships that are super sweet like the ones that the heroines have in Sassy Go Go and Heirs. In Sassy Go Go, Yeon-doo and Dong-jae’s friendship is so cute and meaningful. Dong-jae’s care towards Yeon-doo was adorable as he always cheered and supported her. Their friendship went really deep, including a traumatic incident in their childhood when he hurt Yeon-doo accidentally and resulted in creating a phobia for him.
Theirs was a lovable friendship that I really enjoyed, which made me think of how wonderful it would be to have a Dong-jae in our lives who would offer us not only his friendship and care but also strawberry milk to instantly lift our spirits whenever we’re down.
And in Heirs, the friendship between Eun-sang and Chan-young was like the cherry on top of the cake. It was especially funny to see how both their lovers were petty about it, and his girlfriend Bo-na’s jealousy over the friendship was a big source of amusement. Bo-na even went so far as to care for Eun-sang just because she thought it would keep her boyfriend from worrying or thinking about Eun-sang, which was pretty cute.
There are also relationships where the characters are not childhood friends and have a lighter connection but still care for each other in a genuine way. We saw that with Ji-hyun and the Scheduler in 49 Days, and Eun-tak and the grim reaper in Goblin, who all bonded over their sincere concern for each other. Yong-ha in Sungkyungkwan Scandal can also fall under this category, as he became a true friend to Yoon-hee without romantic feelings coming into the relationship.
What makes me love these platonic relationships is that they aren’t second leads who break our heart (I seriously feel pain for every second lead). The relationships often feel very warm and cozy with zero percent romantic interest, providing feel-good relationships as the characters genuinely love and care for each other without any expectations.
Recently the example that I enjoyed the most, which I could relate to myself, was manager Cha Do-ha’s love towards actor Woon-gwang in Man to Man. What better to relate to than the love of a fangirl towards her Oppa? They were close and loyal in a true platonic sense, and made me feel butterflies thinking how blessed I would be to be able to feel such love coming from my Oppa.
Man to Man
- [Dramaland Catnip] When the hero eats his words or is forced to grovel
- [Dramaland Catnip] Stories featuring ordinary people
- [Dramaland Catnip] Friends turned enemies… turned friends again
- [Dramaland Catnip] Childhood loves and backstories
- [Dramaland Catnip] Bromances and girlfriends
- [Dramaland Catnip] Sibling love and fauxcest
- [Dramaland Catnip] Beta males and the alpha ladies who love them
- [Dramaland Catnip] The bad boys of dramaland
- [Dramaland Catnip] Prickly marshmallows and tsundere heroes
- [Dramaland Catnip] Reverse harems
- [Dramaland Catnip] Noona romances
- [Dramaland Catnip] Secret identities and alter egos
- [Dramaland Catnip] Disastrous first meetings
- [Dramaland Catnip] Cohabitation shenanigans
- [Dramaland Catnip] Enemies turned lovers
- [Dramaland Catnip] Crossdressing and gender-bending romances
- [Dramaland Catnip] Opponents turned allies
- [Dramaland Catnip] Marriage before dating
- [Dramaland Catnip] Swooning for dramatic height differences
- [Dramaland Catnip] Ragtag bands of misfits
- [Dramaland Catnip] Finding satisfaction in sad love stories
- [Dramaland Catnip] The magic of bad drama magic
- [Dramaland Catnip] The stinging embarrassment of thinking someone likes you… when they don’t
- [Dramaland Catnip] When the hero falls first
- [Dramaland Catnip] The angst and thrills of dramaland’s reunited lovers
- What’s your dramaland catnip? Tell us your stories!
Tags: Theme of the Month