77

[Dramaland Catnip] The bad boys of dramaland


Kill Me, Heal Me

[Turns out that bad boys are a very popular section of dramaland, but everybody loves their bad boys in different ways. Today we have the bad boy who transforms into a swoony hero for love of the heroine, the bad boy who never gets the heroine as the second lead, and the really bad boy who might cheat, manipulate, or even kill. Take your pick! –javabeans]

 
By @zgs1994

There are so many dramas out there and I never know which one would tickle my fancy, but one trope that never fails to be my drama catnip is The Evolution of a Jerky Hero to Swoony Main Character.

There is just something so incredibly satisfying about watching a hero with a holier-than-thou attitude be stumped off his high horse and be disarmed by the heroine. My prime—and latest and perhaps most biased—example of this is Han-gyul from The Liar and His Lover, who was a major Jerk with a capital J in the beginning. Watching him fall was probably one of the most satisfying drama watching experiences of my life.


Goong

In Kill Me, Heal Me, there was Shin Se-gi, one of the seven personalities of the hero. The way he just became a total manchild for Ri-jin always made my day, and his change from jerky to sympathetic was so satisfying. In Secret Garden, Joo-won was the epitome of the hated-crazy-bitch-on-wheels jerk who went and fell for the wrong woman, and his dogged courtship of Ra-im and fall from jerky status was especially satisfying, given how gradual and relatable it was. He had to fall from grace from high society in order to get the girl, and even though there were so many bumps along the way, he just never gave up.

Then, of course there is Goong. I loved how Chae-kyung’s bubbly, optimistic, and lovable nature finally made our gruff, jealous, and stupid Shin fall in love with her. The extension messed with the storyline later, but the first half was absolute love! Even now, I still rewatch that episode where the almighty Shin spent a day in commoner Chae-kyung’s shoes and actually liked it!

I realize that this trope is a dramaland fave—here’s hoping it remains that way—but for some reason there are only a few shows that manage to hit this catnip sweet spot for me. Maybe it’s because I especially like when the hero has redeemable qualities in the mix, like Han-gyul’s willingness to fix his mistakes, Kim Joo-won’s reluctant fall from his lofty circle and Shin letting go of his crown.


Secret Garden

 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 
By an anonymous Beanie who would prefer to remain nameless

When I read about this topic, I knew right away what I was going to write about. My brain didn’t even need processing time, because I know what exactly I keep coming back to—over and over again. As an employed person with a secret ninja life of a K-drama addict, I read through every recap, review, and rating possible before binge-watching a drama, but sometimes the drama gods set up some traps and I end up getting attracted like a moth to fire! I don’t care about anything else—the story, the logic, the script, the dialogue, anything—and I just stick to it till the very end. It is only after watching the whole thing that I realize I had set up myself for heartbreak since the start because second leads don’t get the girl (it is a rule), but I have just fallen in love with him. But I don’t fall for just any type of second lead—I fall for the really bad ones!!

K-dramas have plenty of nice-guy second leads: the almost-perfect good guys who never get the girl but are always there when she needs a shoulder to cry on. But then there is another class of second leads—the bad kind of good. These are the sexy, smart, and ultra-confident bad boys who own their badness and are unapologetic about it. They have “Mr. Wrong” written all over them and yet time and again I fall for them and end up rooting for them more that main lead.


Heirs

In the rational part of my brain, I know these characters would be a nightmare in real life, but I can’t help falling for these flawed characters. Is it their backstory that makes them so appealing? Or their hidden pain? Or just their looks? I don’t know, but time and again I find myself drawn to these characters more than the protagonists. I continue to watch dramas that I find utterly uninteresting and would otherwise drop, just to see these characters develop. I know I cannot be the only one who find these gray characters more interesting than the leading pairs.

Let me demonstrate with a few key examples:

Heirs, Choi Young-do. I’ll come clean: I hated Heirs. It was the story of Kim Tan and Eun-sang, a manchild and wailing Cinderella. But I stuck around for Choi Young-do, the ultimate bad boy. He is a bully. He is sarcastic. He practically lives to make other people’s lives hell. Students leave schools and Tan leaves the country to be away from him! How much more badass can you be? He is confident, smart and forlorn in ways that makes my heart go all out to him. His one-sided love was just so full of hopeless longing and dedication that I just wanted to run and hug him. Despite his initial bullying, once he realized he loved Eun Sang, he went all-out and unlike Tan, he did it unconditionally. I loved the little things that he did for Eun Sang that showed the depth of his love way more than the childish gestures that Tan pulled. He is a bad boy who is too good. *Sobs*


Scholar Who Walks the Night

Scholar Who Walks the Night, Gwi. The drama itself was plotless; the whole story was about finding a lost book that held the secret of killing Gwi, an ancient vampire so evil that he will massacre in order to keep his power over the royal house. Technically, Gwi had zero redeeming qualities, but whenever I saw his unrequited, unspoken love for Hye-ryung, I couldn’t help but sigh. No disrespect to Lee Jun-ki, who is a god to me, but let me say that Gwi stole the show. With his mysterious past, sexy dark clothes and that baritone voice, I stood no chance.

I was more attracted when I saw his feelings subtly changed whenever Hye-ryung was around. At the end of this series, I was actually convinced that Gwi died from inside the moment he killed Hye-ryung. My heart went out to the lonely villain as he took Hye-ryung’s lifeless body back to his lair. I was convinced that he didn’t even put up a good fight in the end because by then he simply wanted to end it all! I may be right or wrong—but who cares when you are in love.

Goblin, king Wang Yeo. Wang Yeo was a ruthless king who was manipulated by a palace eunuch to kill his loyal warrior Kim Shin, and also his wife. However, one can’t help but feel sorry for this young king who had to endure another life as a Grim Reaper because he failed to recognize the love of his wife and loyalty of his general, all because he was blinded by jealousy and fell victim to manipulation. That is why when he was finally redeemed, it was such a pleasure.


The Lonely Shining Goblin

 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 
By @majie

The Good Wife, Episode 8, 2 a.m.: the moment I realized I had a serious and somewhat disturbing problem. I had fallen in love again with a Very Bad Boy (VBB).

Forget egotistical chaebols, grumpy CEOs, and misunderstood gangsters. VBBs are the darkest and most damaged of all drama characters. Redemption is rare; their story arcs typically end with jail, death, amnesia, frustrating ambiguity, or a combination thereof, You’d never bring a VBB home to meet the parents; he’d be likely to swindle your dad, sleep with your sister, and kill your first love.

So, why on earth are they my catnip?

When a well-written VBB meets an incredible actor, magic happens. Suddenly, plot loopholes are irrelevant. Lazy writing? Bad directing? No problem. I’ll happily sit through them, waiting for my latest VBB to appear. I want more—more bad behavior, more murders, more clever outwitting, more manipulation.

Welcome to my world of VBBs!


The Good Wife

The Psychopath

I was just a casual viewer of the recent drama Voice until serial killer Mo Tae-gu appeared, and the show immediately jumped from a maybe-see to a must-watch. Sexy cheekbones, literal blood baths, and crazy in spades: face-warping hallucinations, hair collections, and shrink-wrapped closet corpses. I was deep in twisted love.

The villain from The Girl Who Sees Smells is another fabulous example of a crack-level psychopath. I didn’t find him sexy per se (although his shirtless workouts were a treat) but his mind was fascinating. His story was equally compelling, including face-blindness, a basement lair, and forced journaling. I only had a mild crush on the drama itself; the psychopath kept me hooked.

I fell hard for the super duo of serial killers in I Remember You. Lee Joon-young was the epitome of the kind psychopath (if such a thing exists!) while Min was the emotionally stunted mentee whose abandonment issues broke my heart. I still remember Lee Joon-young’s confusion when he doesn’t get the expected thankful response from Ji-an for his birthday gift. After all, who wouldn’t want a map of their missing father’s grave location from the murderer himself?


Voice

The Volatile Anti-Hero

These mercurial VBBs are a common cause of drama whiplash. Their flashes of kindness and romance are often overcome by their penchant for violence and cruelty. I fall hard for these VBBs, oftentimes due to a single intense scene. I shouldn’t find these moments sexy (violence is bad, people!) but get drawn in every time.

My two top contenders in this category are simple: Doctor’s Son from Heartless City and Wang So from Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. Both hooked me early with gorgeously choreographed and deadly brutal scenes. I fell for Doctor’s Son when he coolly battled a gangster crew armed with just a radio and suit jacket. And I was rapidly losing my patience with Moon Lovers until Wang So’s epic temple swordfight with the tongueless assassins Both of these dramas were flawed but it didn’t matter. I stayed for my VBB.

And this brings me back to The Good Wife. The husband, Lee Tae-joon, is a jerk. He’s a serial philanderer, a bribe-taker, and a master manipulator. Even though I appreciated his intense chemistry with his estranged wife, I didn’t find him appealing. But it all changed when he realized that his wife was in danger, and flipped instantly from a cool negotiator to a violent (yet disturbingly calm) protector. The moment he stabbed Guk-hyun in the hand with a fork was the moment I fell into the Tae-joon trap. When I asked my friend later, “Is it bad that I found that scene so sexy?” and saw her incredulous look, I knew my addiction to VBBs had shown up again.


Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

The Morally Questionable Lover

My heartbreakers! These VBBs make very bad choices, find love during the execution of some sort of scheme, and try desperately to make it all right again. They epically self-destruct, but not before they experience heart-wrenching romance with completely the wrong woman. Oh, the pain! Oh, the angst! I crave a happy ending for these VBBs, even though they don’t deserve it.

Soo from That Winter, the Wind Blows is a perfect example. In Soo’s universe, it’s fine to impersonate a dead friend in order to attempt to bilk money from that same friend’s blind heiress sister. And when you start falling in love with that sister? Fauxcest alert! Soo’s desperation took root in my heart and I followed him every step on his very painful journey.

Mysterious Maru from Nice Guy also instantly comes to mind. Good guy turned convict and gigolo, he hatches a convoluted revenge scheme which, of course, doesn’t turn out the way he anticipates. Maru’s twisted relationship with his first love and his even more twisted relationship with his first love’s stepdaughter pulled me in—I was addicted. My friends still tease me about my wailing phone calls (“I just want him to be happy!”) as the drama entered its final episodes.


Nice Guy

As an honorable mention, my first VBB was Kang-jae from Lovers. Not as “bad” as those listed above, Kang-jae was a gang boss who struggled to balance his pregnant lover, intense attraction to a minister’s daughter, and internal threats to his gangster family. The pivotal scene when he almost… almost kisses the minister’s daughter ranks high on my list of favorite drama moments. Lovers is so flawed, but I still rewatch it regularly just for Kang-jae.

I don’t feel any guilt for my irrational love of VBBs. These gorgeous, compelling, and dangerous men make my drama viewing complete. They truly are my catnip and I’m can’t wait for the next one to show up on my screen (Yeonsangun from Seven Day Queen, looking at you!).


Seven Day Queen

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags:

77

Required fields are marked *

The Good Wife made me realize how superficial I was, swooning over Lee Tae-joon, not because I liked the character, but because it was Yoo Ji-tae. And Lee Kang-to from Gaksital is still one of my favorite anti-heroes. Could write pages about him. And I agree with the 2 in Heartless City. Well, I just love anti-heroes. ahhh...I gotta run though. Just wanted to chime in before I forgot.

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

OHKAYY... boys and girls and beanies, this is show time. Lol.
This is -my glorious weak on my knee sketching my bedcover at 3am- type of CATNIP!! haha

Good boy goes heaven, bad boy? Goes everywhere!!

8
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Kang Maru, Youngdo Heirs, GuJunPyo Bff are questionable badass jerk ever!

Can I add Yoo Ah In from The Veteran??
He owned this!!! Omg I fall for morphin addict bipolar OCD anger management issue 3rd generation sexy chaebol.. 😂

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

YOU SHOULD! add YAI in veteran! but it's not drama. but it's okay

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Haha i see ur struggle there trying to find YAI place :)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Absolutely one of my catnip!!! Really loving those bad guys which gives me butterflies all over my whole senses. Why oh why? That's a huge problem. Lol.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have always used "VBB" solely to address my dogs, but thanks to @majie now I can comfortably employ the term in Dramaverse.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

niceeeeeee... i LOVE the psychopaths. 👍😋😍

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Me too. This isn't my catnip but I do love my well-written psychopaths 🐈💓

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Bad boys are my weakness irl and in dramaland. Shin Se Gi is the main reason I kept watching Kill Me Heal Me despite how annoying some of the other characters were, lookin' at you Hwang Jung Eum. Heartless City has one of the best bad boys I've ever seen...dang I was hooked on Jung Kyung Ho forreals, so sexy! However, the bad boys I like have to also have that heart of gold underneath...I can't say I've ever liked any psychopaths unless perhaps Cheese in the Trap's Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin's character) counts as one of these bad boys as I was strangely always drawn to him. Speaking of bad boys in CITT, I was also really drawn to Baek InHo (Seo Kang Joon's character) so yeah I think that explains why Cheese in the Trap is one of my all time favorite dramas. For the record, I thought the ending wasn't all that bad...I mean the guy was a manipulative psychopath, he needed to work on himself lol but that's all I'll say about that.

Anyway in my mind I know I should like the good church oppas but in my heart I go for those bad boys who need to be fixed by my love lol </3

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, Yoo Jung!
In spite of Baek In Ho being a bad boy, I was always on Yoo Jung team. I found his manipulating tendencies fascinating. I also didn't mind the ending of CITT that much and it's in my top 10 dramas.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was literally gonna comment on the same thing, I also had a soft spot for Baek In Ho cause he was just so adorable with wearing his heart on his sleeve. Team Jung ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That header Picture!!! But Shin Se Gi was only a bad boy on first glance, inside he was just a kid

10
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

After watching that lucky circle game scene who can call him a bad boy!! he's my favourite bad boy who din't creep me even for a moment.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I admit, in the beginning he did seem a bit unnecessarily violent and uncontrollable. I was cautious. but from ep 5 I really started sympathizing with him. He will always be a separate individual for me - not just alter ego, not just a character played by an actor, but a person.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm sorry, but Kim Woo Bin's photo is distracting me from reading!
Not that I mind really...

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for picking me! I was a little worried about confessing my catnip but so glad to see others joining me in my obsession -- sexy psychopaths will always be my drama-crack (and I really am a totally normal person with very normal relationships!).

9
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm glad you gathered the courage to "confess"-- your post was so entertaining! It really cracked me up!

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh my gosh, it's like you read my heart and mind <3. Drama psychopaths are also my drama-crack and I'm willing to sit through boring dramas just to watch a well written psychopathic character (a la Gapdong) and sometimes root for the psychopaths when the good guys aren't very smart (Girl Who Sees Smells). I promise I'm also normal irl though!

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, I'm glad you posted this too.. : )

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yay!!!Bad boys are also my catnip. Sometimes they are the sole reason I watch a series. The epitome of the bad boy for me is Choi young do for me. He was the sole reason I watched heirs. Despite the horrible things he did, I could not help rooting for him. Honorable mention to Wang so, the most redeeming feature in a train wreck of a series but addicting because of the conflict ridden hero. I am currently loving Yeonsangun of seven day queen. I am not sure which aspect of the bad boy draws me in more, the character itself or the actor playing the character. I'll say it is a combination of both. One cannot exist without the other. The more grey the character is, the more i like. No one needs a perfect guy, it is boring. Cheers the bad boys of kdramaland.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I wish I find my catnip soon too!

I do agree in parts here, specifically Kim Woo Bin as Young Do, Lee Soo Hyuk as Gwi and Shin Se Gi!!

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Eeesh... I forgot to add Jung Kyung Ho!! His Paksa Adil was brilliant!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Gosh.....Wang So is my ultimate bad boy. That screenshot of bloodied Lee Jun Ki is so hawttt. I must admit I like the earlier version of Wang So when he was hostile and vulnerable. Guys in drama that exude power simply is very sexy.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

While watching Scarlet heart all I could visualise was me running away whenever I would see Wang So, I know blood-shedding in those periods was not uncommon but seeing him so emotionless while killing...

bad boys are my catnip but it has a limit, I like Goong, The King 2 Hearts, Shin Se Gi, bad boys who aren't that bad, they rather come out as childish who's whining over a lost doll

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm with you guys on the bad boy front. Even the irredeemable ones. The only one that, for me, turned from love to hate was Yoo Ah In in Six Flying Dragons. I loved his determined, bad boy side, and tolerated so much up until the point where he murdered his little brother. That jumped over the line for me, and it was pure hate from there on out. Amazing the horrible things we're willing to tolerate from our delicious bad boys!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Kang Ma-ru from Nice Guy and Soo from That Winter, The Wind Blows ..... I remember being more than a little interested in these two guys for weeks.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

VBBs and their fight scenes *swoooooooooning for DAYYYYYS**
"Heartless City" was the first drama that I ever watched with Jung Kyung Ho and it remains one of my favourite works of his (the other being, "Falling for Innocence", which, he was also another VBB, but more like a jerk lol)... And then, and then, and then you give me Lee Jun Ki as Wang So--- and now I'm dead... with heart eyes <3 It's no wonder why I never saw anything deeper or went emotionally anywhere deeper with Wang Wook while watching "Scarlet Heart: Ryeo", but then again, it's probably because Wook wasn't badass enough (the only scenes I remember of him being violent/fighting was 1. Episode 13, when him and Wang So were putting on a show and sparring in the courtyward in their armour, and 2. When Wook killed someone (was it an assassin) on Princess Yeonhwa's behalf because he 'didn't want her hands to be dirty [with blood]') and it was also because Wook was more of a slime-ball than he was a VBB LOL

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Dramaland Catnip: Likeable Bad Guys

Most of the time I like a hero to be heroic and a villain to be nasty. Royal born, Lee Jung, in Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People? Hated him. Kang Do-Young in Liar Game? Hated him too. Mi-Sil in The Great Queen Seondeok? Hated her. (Grudgingly admired her, but wouldn't want to invite her over for punch and cookies ever.

I'm not real big on last minute redemptions. As a matter of fact, it really bugs me when an evil, mass murdering-type character “sees the light” in the final 20 minutes of the movie/series,does one good deed, and goes to “heaven.”

(Classic example: Darth Vadar. That scene at the end of the first Star Wars movie where he's [dead and] sitting with Obi Wan and they're smiling and kumbaya-ing with each other. It is upsetting.)

One of my catnips is when a bad guy turns good and allies with the heroes. I enjoy the dramatic tension that ensues. Like did (s)he really change, or is it an act? When Ma Jin-Suk in 38 Task Force, who was such a reprehensible guy in the beginning, joined Yang Jung-Do and Baek Sung-Il tax collecting vigilantes, I was never sure if he was going to betray the group. It surprised that I wound up liking that character. Wasn't he the guy who made that poor woman cram food in her mouth? I was so disgusted with him at that point. But then, later, when he helped the tax team, I liked him. (Even Yang Jung-Do was introduced as a bad guy who turned good. [Or did he?] Wondering if he really was trustworthy kept me worrying all through that FANTASTIC drama.)

Who would have thought I would have had sympathy for a serial killer? But I did. In Arang and the Magistrate, Joo-Wal, the foster son of evil noble man Choi, and obedient minion of Hong-Ryun, the vile being who took over women's bodies, was (on paper) not a sympathetic figure. Sure, he had a tough life. And sure (spoiler) Hong-Ryun made sure he “forgot” each time he murdered for her. But I was so impressed that Yeon Woo-Jin could play his role so well, that I liked him. And was happy for his not-as-tragic-as-it-might-have-been ending.

Or Mori in Rebel, the thief who stole the people. He was bad, but we suspected he wasn't “that” bad for much of the drama. He didn't kill Gil Dong. The babies he was ordered to kill wound up alive in the secret cave, among other actions. And he was so kind to Song Ga-Ryung.

But my favorite (and in a class by himself, because he never turned from his vile villainy and yet I still “liked” him) was Gil Tae-Mi, in 6 Flying Dragons. It was kind of a revelation to me that when I watched 6 Flying Dragons, I discovered that I was rooting for Gil Tae-Mi to live. Much of the credit for this goes to Park Hyuk-Kwon and his over the top portrayal of the flamboyant super swordsman. But I suspect that in the hands of a lesser actor, I wouldn't have “liked” Gil Tae-Mi nearly as much as I did. He could come over to my place for cookies any day—as long as he promised he...

2
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

wouldn't slice my head off.

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes! Girl Tae Mi was horrible but I still loved his character. I think there was a writing misstep when they had him kill the people at the restaurant. It took his character over a line I don't think it would have crossed and sullied it for me. Still cried so much when he died, though.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol That autocorrect, though!

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Best autocorrect evah! 😂 But I had to read it three times to finally catch it. I loved him, too 😘

1

Yay, we have the same catnip! Hurrah for VBBs who turn out to be the best of allies. Maybe I have to watch 38 Task Force...

Oh, now I know why Gaksitalripped my heart out. [SPOILER ]I really hoped Shunji would redeem himself and save his bromance with Kang To, so it was painful to see him descend into villainy and despair. I don't think I ever cried so much at a VBB's ending, because I had hope until the very end. (If I cry at the ending, the drama goes to my top 10 list. Gaksital is number 3.)

(Actually, this whole thread is a spoiler extravangaza lol. It should say 'Enter at your own peril' at the top)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Heirs, Choi Young-do. I’ll come clean: I hated Heirs." +1
I started Heirs because of the hype and tbh Lee Min Ho (City Hunter was so good). Then Heirs turned out to be such a mess, but I watched till the end for Kim Woo Bin (aka handsome dinosaur ;) ).

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

In any kdrama, I have always been attracted to the bad boys of the story. They are usually a very interesting character and have that type of personality I like to watch. That being said, Shin Se Gi, Kang Maru, Lee Joon Young, and Wang Yeo were all some of my favorite characters. Whether it is mysterious, revenge-filled lead or a tragic, love-struck King, they will always have my heart's attention.
P.S. VBB is a great nickname.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

well well. I saw Kang Ma Ru's pic. i immediately drawn to it. lol. the ultimate bad guys is a hit and miss for me. It depend on the execution and the actor playing it. At times the writers tend to glorify the bad boy image and paint it as kind cool which i usually don't like. Gave me a bad boy and make them face the consequence what of they did and bring on the angst, i will drawn to it

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Joowon from Secret Garden was a horrible human being. He was the reason why I could never warm up to the drama

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Here is my catnip! and my favourite bad boy too! Shin Se Gi made my heart melt every time he was on scene, I almost wanted him to jump off Cha Do Hyun's head (?) and live his own life kicking asses here and there and making other girls hearts pop. That being said, I also loved Min Hyuk in Secret love, always played by Ji Sung. Even there he was a total j*rk with a soft heart. I think Ji Sung is great when playing these roles, because he has so many facial expressions :)

"Shin Se Gi?!?! " "BINGOOO"

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

GWI is ultimate bad boy catnip ♥ I watched the hot mess that was Scholar until the end bec of him.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Isn't Geol oh from SKKS fallen into this category too?
Maybe I'm currently falling for YAI, I wish him in every catnip hahahahaaaaaaa...

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I like the anti-heros quite a bit but the bad boy thing is very dependent on the story & character. I thought the actor who played Gwi was good looking and had charisma, but I totally couldn't overlook the fact he was a serial killer and Young Do in Heirs....that bullying is tough to watch though I always appreciated the apology to the kid he bullied (even though it wasn't accepted).

Back to the anti-heroes; this just works for me and the more the guy doesn't want to be a good guy but just seems stuck going that way, the more I like it. With regard to Moon Lovers, the mentioned action scene with the monks is probably the best I've seen in a Korean drama (again of what I've seen). I've dissed the PD non-stop, but that whole fight scene was amazing. I don't know what it is about Lee Joon Gi that he can get away with being so pretty but pull off bad ass at the same time.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

'...the more the guy doesn't want to be a good guy but just seems stuck going that way, the more I like it.'
I really like this distinction which does make it more fun to watch.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

My catnip is guyliner. All bad guys should be required to wear it.

11
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This whole trope, and especially the last article on VBB, speaks to me on a spiritual level. I am just happy that when I am done with life and ready to sell my soul for these guys who are nothing but trouble, I will surely not be alone for you beanies will be with me!

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

LOL, this post is gold. So many kinds of bad boys! My favourite is the VBB who has the possibility of redeeming himself. When he succeeds I'm happy. If he fails I'm in despair (thank you sageuks for taking most of my tears). Recent happy examples: Seo Yul (Chief Kim) and Mori (Rebel). The current Yeonsangun is going to break my little heart, even though I know historically he was a tyrant through and through.

I'm surprised Bidam wasn't mentioned here. I didn't like him but half of Korea fell for the catnip, as did Queen Seon Duk.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

maybe Bidam is not bad enough. He's being framed in the end

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

For me VBB are fascinating n can keep me watching if all else fails. I find myself sympathizing if d character is well written but also wishing 4 dem to pay 4 their actions eg Shunji from Gaskital n Attorney General from Punch. In fact i love almost all types of VBB : antiheroes n d psychopaths. Funny thing though i don't like d just jerky heroes for no reason but will continue to watch if d drama itself is interesting.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

"I hated Heirs" We can start a club girl. Yeah Yong Do was the coolest bully ever. He's into Eun sang but keeps making her life miserable and he's so sure he'll get her that way it's painful to watch.

And Yeonsangun from Seven Day Queen... WOW this drama got me hooked by ep 2. I love this character, he's mean but he's not a plain one dimensional bad guy. He's the onion in that story. And we can see the layers in each ep.

1
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeongsangun is my new favourite!!! He is so badass that everybody fears his hard look!! I loved his scenes with ChaeKyung though!! He is a marshmallow with her!!!

1
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

me two. more than with YWJ lol

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

lol PMY-YWJ shipper did this

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

You have to really appreciate the woman who is able to turn a man, who is able to make a whole country pretty much tremble in fear before him, turn into this tsundere. Their scenes and every scene that he's in are my favourites.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have never been able to understand this obsession with Choi Young-do that people seem to have.
I love Gwi and how they didn't even try to redeem all the bad things he did. Shin Se-gi was more misunderstood than bad in my opinion so I didn't feel the least bit scared of him.
Also, what about Yoo Jung from Cheese in the Trap? Does he count as a bad boy if his badness was directed only to those who deserved it?

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wang Yeo was the most pitiful character one can find in dramaland.. His reign may have been bad because of that cruel minister?... But his life as a from reaper was so pitiful that I don't even want to believe he was the king!! I loved him so much that I wanted to go and give him a comforting hug whenever he was hurting!!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Gah, I loved Kang Jae in Lovers... but he didn't seem like a VBB, more like just a BB.

@Majie--I think you might like the VBB in Que Sera Sera.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'll have to try Que Sera Sera again - dropped it the first time around years back (it was just a bit too much for me but don't exactly remember why).

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've probably spent the last half hour thinking about who my favourite Bad Boy is and I drew blank. There are way too many Bad Boys in Dramaland to pick just one. Also I'm trying to figure out if any of my favourite Bad Boys had a happy end. I don't think so... at least none in the dramas that I've recently watched.

And I don't see that changing any time soon. Especially not with Yeonsangun from Seven Day Queen. WHY? OH WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SUCH AN INTERESTING CHARACTER?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

How could there is no Kim Nam Gil right there I can't believe it, even his drama itself has 'BAD GUY' title.
Ko Soo was my first love in Empire of Gold, Park Ki Woong was my fave bad boy back then in Monster, and I also loved LeeYoungOh's father in Beautiful Mind, he's a bad ahjussi too.
I can't think of anyone else right now, had sugar depletion lol.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

While I can kind of understand the first and second one, to be honest the third one is honestly unhealthy and I would like to point out why. I would like to first point out that Maru does not fall under the VBB category because 1) he was originally wronged by the people he became a criminal for and was seeking vengeance to get justice for himself and 2) Comes around and becomes a better person towards the end 3) Does most everything he does including scamming women to provide for his sister who has an illness. So I'm not including him in this post, because he simply doesn't belong in my opinion. As for the others, phew, listen girl. You are literally romaticizing murderers. I mean let's just put it out there plain and simple. While I can objectively see that the actors who play the villains are attractive, as characters, you're feeling attraction to certain actions they're doing (Like with Tae Joon and the fork stabbing). Now, okay if you had said they're hot but evil, and nothing changes the fact that they're horrible people, or if you had said I like VBBs because they're great villains that make for good conflict or great plot, I could also understand. But no, you're feeling sexual/romantic attraction for characters who are attractive and are actively terrible people doing terrible things that destroy lives. I don't have any issues with the morally questionable lovers, as there are often ethical reasons behind seemingly unlawful or immoral actions. However, the psychopaths part was rather disturbing, as several characters you mentioned were active villains. It's also a little disturbing how many people in the comments are citing said same sexual attraction to men who are abusers, murderers, and criminals both legally and morally. I know you commenting below saying you're in totally normal relationships in real life. I truly hope this is just a drama quirk, and not something that reflects on how you actually are attracted to men in real life. I would also like to point out that just because the actors are attractive doesn't mean what they do as villains as is sexy. I hope that people will be able to separate these two things. I know my opinion will probably be unpopular but what you watch and enjoy is a reflection of who you are to a certain extent. I just wanted OP to know why people might look at her strangely when she says things like that's sexy as someone stabs someone else.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I wish I could like this comment more than once.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

"I hope that people will be able to separate these two things. I know my opinion will probably be unpopular but what you watch and enjoy is a reflection of who you are to a certain extent."

I agree with you and I'm just going to assume that most of us -
if not all - are able to separate the two. I don't think that your opinion is unpopular actually. What I do think is that your comment could be interpreted in a wrong way. You're just concerned and not trying to berate fans for their likes and/or dislikes.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh trust me, I get it the difference! This is one of the reasons I had difficulty confessing my catnip. You'd be so disappointed in you met me in real-life. No worries here about my mental health & relationship choices.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yoo Ji Tae as Tae Joon is the only bad boy/anti-hero that I really fell for. I don't even remember much of Yoon Kyun Sang tbh.

Aside from YJT being so hot, he played his character so well ♥ And I loved the fact that me as a viewer was so confused: is Tae Joon inherently bad? Or is he just a cunning and ambitious man so focused on his goals he'll do anything to get it? Juxtapose his lying and cheating with his very obvious care and love for his family. Very memorable character indeed

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The Psychopath? Mo Tae-gu is the one! Or, probably I have a weird taste when it comes to a villain. But he's different. Can't believe that I praised high a Psychopath character lol

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Shin Se-gi from KMHM, okay, he was the bad boy, but the type that swoops in to save his lady & make our hearts stop.

Joo won from Secret Garden, oh he was proud alright, but I never saw him hesitate to follow his love, he was just so straight forward. The moment he realized he was in love with Ra im, he went all out, in his own extravagant style of course.

Shin from Goong, what can I say? A stupid jerk?? Because that's what I felt about him all the time, he was either screaming, being melancholic, or mostly unsure about his own feelings. I mostly watched because of Chae kyung, honestly Eun hye kept the drama alive.

Choi Young-do from Heirs, oh he was good alright, I mean he played a good bad boy, I felt sorry for his twisted personality because of horrid dad, also because he fell in love with the girl a little too late, by that time she had eyes for nobody, though I would've been conflicted over whom to choose between LMH & KWB lol.

King Wang Yeo from Goblin, pathetic & sorry fellow, the backstory was so sad, I'm glad they all got a happy ending.

Wang So from Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, I was on his side, was it because of his looks ? (that mane!) or LJK's acting?? probably both. And I felt sorry for him in the end, oof! He was so lonely in that palace...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

OMG Gwi....boy did I love him. He was the best part of Scholar Who Walks The Night. I wanted to slap him, and hug him at the same time. That poor lonely, misunderstood, terrible baby. This is my catnip for sure. Give me a complex, good villain and I'll watch every episode. I love me a good baby boy. I am even strangely drawn to the killer in Suspicious Partner. He's great! I need help.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Am sooo happy am not the only one , with a questionable heart ....lol ... If you do find said help please do share ...

Ps: I just started watching scholar because of gwi ... And the actor who looks like a god isn't helping my obsession .... :(

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

ohhhhh...who does not love the bad guy? Underdogs are always my sweet spot. Se-gi and Wang So are my favourites.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love Shin Segi the most, he has this hard outer shell but soft cottony inside, protecting the girl all the way.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I havent watched most of the dramas listed but Kang Maru, still haunts me these days. I've re-watched a number of times, and I still end up saying "Kang Maru needs to be happy!"

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

100 and one percent ME... Don't be shy , you're not the only one ...

I too am a sucker for the bad boys ... The very bad boys ... And yes even the psychopath ... I think it started from eric northman in true blood ....

And now even with it being the same actor and NOT making sense ... Evil twin in duel has me under his spell ... Good twin is just meh ... Or is it clone ???

And don't even start with SDQ ... Yoeng has my heart in his hands he is free to do what even he wants ... I see everyone singing his dead and how evil he was/is and am just here like "but I love him T^T"

But granted for me its not only the very bad boys , but ALSO the very bad girls ....

I believe I don't have to defend a character to be able to love the him/she...

I believe its the charisma of the actor plus the acting ....

I don't just want a bad character , but an evil one who makes me go protect protect at all cost ... Even though I want to hit them on the head ....

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow, I'm just so happy to know that I'm not the only one with a twisted taste in catnip. Give me all the yoo ji tae and yoo Jung in the world cause I'm loving me some very bad boys..

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The best bad boy so far has been Yoo Ah In as Lee Bang Won in Six Flying Dragons...I actually questioned my morality while watching the show. The character was written and acted so well that even the bad things felt justifiable for the greater good. I also really like Yoo JI Tae in The Good Wife. I had never seen him in anything but damn he owned that character. Yoo Jung (PHJ) in Cheese in the trap was also a (misunderstood) very good bad guy. IRL he would have needed to a see a psychiatrist though.

Bad boys in drama land (not in real life) are always fun to watch especially when played by a charismatic actor. Extra points when they go crazy on people who try to harm the people they love or disrupt their plans.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

yes to yoo ah in! gaaah i couldn't agree more; just wanted to add uhm ki-joon in the list, gee i am always amazed on how good he is being the bad guy

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought I was the only one who goes 'Is it so wrong that I find that scene hot?' I mean... VBB are just... I don't know... I love them more than the lead most of the times! Particularly the psychopaths! I do like the Volatile Anti-Heroes and the Questionable Lovers but... there's something about psychopaths that makes me want to follow them.

I mean I have watched literally over a hundred dramas (I know cause I list them down when I finish watching them) but the ones that I enjoy so much and had me coming back are dramas with psychopaths and awesome antagonists (and well, fantasy and a little romance too).

My favorite is Park Hae-jin's character in Bad Guys: Lee Jung-moon. That was one awesome drama! Then there's Kwon Jae-hee in The Girl Who See Scents and of course you can't leave out the double psychopath killers Min and Joon Young in I remember you. Those were the awesome ones!

And because of those characters that I find the antagonist in Tunnel sort of lacking. But then I still finished it because it's an amazing drama too!! :D

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I like your list and agree with most- if not all of your assessments. Especially with the Scholar. I started The Scholar who walks at night because I was having Lee Jun-ki withdrawals after Scarlet heart ended. But I seriously fell for Gwi and his unspoken love for Hye-ryung. I seriously believed his wanted to die at the end of the show because she was dead. When I think back on the hours I spent on that show- two things come to mind- that awful wig LJK wore during fight scenes, and Gwi grieving Hye-ryung's death and calling her father a monster.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *