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[Dramaland Catnip] When the hero eats his words or is forced to grovel


1% of Anything

By @lezah

There’s just something about the way a drama character has to eat his/her own words that strangely appeals to me. You know, when they insist that they’ll never like someone, but find themselves slowly cracking and eventually falling hard? Maybe I’m just sadistic, but I like to watch them realize that sometimes, life doesn’t quite work out the way they want it to in dramaland, and like it or not, they have to deal with their new onslaught of emotions. I like to watch how they work through their new and unsettling feelings and learn to accept them.

Man to Man was not a drama that I watched for its espionage plotline—I stayed on because I was so emotionally invested in the idea of an emotionless ghost agent who used love as a tactic and eventually found himself falling victim to that same tactic. And Do-ha herself tried not to fall by imposing a one-meter rule to keep him at a distance. I love this rule, by the way, because there’s bound to be a lot of awkward skinship and watching either party get uncomfortable with how close the other person is.


Man to Man

Watching Seol-woo slowly realize his feelings and trying to figure out what to do with them while facing the dangerous reality of a secret agent having feelings was very gratifying for me. But what I found the most satisfying was that there wasn’t a long, drawn-out process of Do-ha trying to push him away and refusing to like him after realizing his original feelings had been fake. She played him back at his own game, and chose to believe that he had been sincere at moments. It was warm and comforting, and I loved the moments when Seol-woo realized he wasn’t alone anymore.

It was only after rewatching some episodes of You From Another Star that I realized Do Min-joon had the exact same one-meter rule (not that it worked, anyway) and I laughed at how awkward he was with skinship, but melted at how he eventually slid closer to her. At the start, I’m sure he must have written her off as an “annoying neighbor I would never fall for.” Watching the detached alien who chose not to dabble in human emotions slowly learn to love again was so emotionally satisfying for me.

Healer doesn’t exactly have the “I’m never falling for you” declaration, but it’s similar in the sense that it involves Jung-hoo slowly realizing his feelings for Young-shin. As an antisocial hermit, Jung-hoo had minimal contact with people and communicated mostly with Ajumma. His dream was to move to an island without anyone else, and he definitely didn’t see romance in his future. So aside from being hilarious to watch him join the workforce as his disguise Bong-soo, it was adorable and gratifying seeing him navigating the real human world. And I loved how the reclusive Jung-hoo let her into his world and learned to love.


Healer

In Suspicious Partner, hero Ji-wook tells Bong-hee not to like him, and in an inner monologue, we understand that he was afraid of beginning something new after his previous relationship left him broken. He resolved not to let himself fall again, and pushed Bong-hee’s feelings away despite feeling something too. Breaking through that emotional barrier and realizing that his feelings for her trumped that fear was a big step for Ji-wook, and I loved that.

And now that he has finally admitted to his feelings just as she declared that she was over him, I enjoy watching him scramble to be especially adorable just to get her to like him back again. And similarly to Man to Man, I appreciated how Bong-hee didn’t waste too much time pushing him away before grudgingly letting down her guard.

Ultimately, what I like is the fact that these characters grew. They started off with some sort of emotional barrier and overcame it to admit their feelings for the other party. We all have some sort of barriers within us, be it from failed relationships, or personal insecurities, or whatever other reason. It is admitting to these barriers and learning to break free as a drama trope that warms my heart. Besides that, I am also a hopeless romantic—watching the hero/heroine slowly take down the barriers surrounding the other person, and the latter allowing them to do so, makes me emotionally invested and satisfied.


Suspicious Partner

 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

By @zgs1994

Do you ever get that tingly, electrifying, heart-wrenching feeling in your fingers or chest when you’re watching a particular scene? Well, I do, especially when I’m watching a favorite drama catnip of mine. This one is all about watching the hero grovel for the heroine’s forgiveness, either in a funny, cutesy, or heart-wrenching way. It’s even better when she catches him at the wrong moment with the jealous ex and assumes the worst. I do not know whyyyy but it makes me so emotional! And when the hero has to chase her down, explain the situation and walk through that angst—augh, that will be the only kind of angst I ever actually like!

My favorite example of this is in the original and remake of 1% of Anything, when hero Jae-in has to chase after Da-da after she catches him with the jealous and vindictive ex when he was supposed to be with her. I love the hurt that flashes across her eyes and the way his rigid, meanie demeanor cracks when he understands that she misunderstands! And everything that follows—the angst, the groveling, the making up—is my all-time favorite thing.


The Liar and His Lover

Another great example is from The Liar and His Lover, when So-rim finds out that Han-gyul wrote her song for another woman—a prettier, older, and more successful ex-girlfriend at that. She completely cuts him off and he has no clue how to make it right. I love the angsty parts of those episodes! It’s what truly hooked me on that drama. I loved how Han-gyul was constantly looking for newer, more innovative ways to grovel—bringing her ice cream, shooting her puppy looks, trying to offer her his music—but she never gave in. I love how he was so dense and didn’t even understand what she was really, really upset about until she just told him to his face. The way he pulled her aside and told her all his feelings during their stage debut just crushed me in all sorts of electrifying tingles.

And how could I forget Full House. It was so satisfying how Young-jae was a total prick to her at first, but had the too-late dim-witted realization that he actually loves Ji-eun, then had to grovel after her. (Satisfying, though equally frustrating!) She should have made him grovel even moaaaar… but I totally loved it anyway.


You From Another Star

In You From Another Star, I loved seeing Do Min-joon chase after a blustering Song-yi after she finds out he’s an actual alien. And I absolutely adored that Suzy cameo where Song-yi has to backpedal to remind him that yes, she was still there, and yes, she was still waiting for him to grovel some more, and yes, she would forgive him… eventually.

Goong is another favorite when it comes to this trope. Shin may have been aggressive and frustratingly silent about his feelings for Chae-kyung, but no one ever made my heart hurt more than when Chae-kyung saw his camaraderie with his ex Hyo-rin and felt totally alone. And I have never felt more satisfied then when those two hash it out during those weird last episodes. See, all you had to do was kiss and communicate!

And lastly, who could beat out Ga-ryung and Gil-dong in Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People when it comes to groveling. It may have been just half an episode, but I was so invested in how Ga-ryung totally set up her own fake engagement date to lure him into admitting his own feelings. I loved watching Gil-dong bluster around, finding faults in completely plausible candidates! And I loved how he lashed out at puppy Ga-ryung later but then had to grovel and make up with a hot sageuk-style kiss.

So I guess this is my catnip. I wish to see more angsty groveling sessions in contemporary K-dramas. Do you hear me, drama gods?


Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People

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While this isn't one of my catnips, I do love a good drama that has a male lead groveling. My favorite of this is Boys Over Flowers. GJP - grovel some more.

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Hahaha aww yeah, that was One of my favourite scenes in rebel :)

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One with a more serious tone, was in CITT, each time Jung had to face Seol, you saw him look scared at how much he'd hurt or upset her, then he'd grow a little more, Park hae young did great with those character moments.
Thoroughly enjoyed those scenes.

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It's Park Hae Jin

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Pffft. Haha your right! Why would I write park hae young? Random. thanks for pointing it out.

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This is my favourite catnip!! I just love a hero being knocked off his high horse by someone he never expected! My absolute favourite is Master's Sun where Joong Won denies vehemently that he was falling for Taeyang only to succumb to love and wait impatiently for her to be with him at the end!😁

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Definitely Master's Sun and the remake of 1% of Anything have been my favorites 😊😍

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Also, two of my favorites!

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Ooo @zgs1994 we have a similar catnip! And interestingly enough I haven't watched any of the shows you mentioned except YWCFTS and TLAHL. Maybe I'll try the other shows in this post!

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Hiiii! I'm so glad I got to share this wit you @lezah ! :D

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Now Im thinking Tunnel has some serious catnip.
Park Kwang Ho 88 is man grovelling! Not to Yeon Sook, nope. But to Jae Yi. Haha. It doesn't have to be always romantic ship right?

He puts her down many times abt woman can't investigate / can't carry heavy stuff, tell Sung Jae "his type" of woman was the "worst" , look at Yeon Sook how delicate & womanly . And yet, that worst type of woman Jae Yi, is his darn daughter!! HAHA !
Can be this case falls into grovel catnip?

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you forgot tomorrow with you
the hero fell so hard that he did all the cringy thing he once despides so much

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This is not really my catnip but I find it satisfying if the guy eats his words. Lol.

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This has to be one of my favorite catnips based on the dramas that have been listed! The fact that the hero has to eat their own words and grovel is (in a way) really satisfying to watch. It's that "I'm never going to fall in love with them!" feeling that I actually really enjoy watching! Mainly because, in the end, you know that there's going to be a really cute proposal and it's going to be cringy cute and there's going to be a happily ever after 😍

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I guess I'm sadistic too because this is one of my favorite catnips. One of the things that made Flower Boy Ramen Shop so funny was Cha Chi Soo's strong denial that he was attracted to Eunbi but we all knew better

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Oh YES this is definitely my catnip! It's even better when he has to bust his butt off trying to make things right, or if the heroine has all but given up on him and he has to do the chasing instead. This can go hand in hand with the tsundere trope too.

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Not really a catnip for me but it's enjoyable to see either male or female or both leads groveling for their love. The most recent for me is Jiwook in Suspicious Partners.

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I also like this catnip a lot, for it is always fun to watch the hero doing what he said he wouldn't do and even more. In my country there is like a proverb that translated mean: don't say you won't drink from this water, (because I will see you and give you a glass, LOL).
It is about modesty, but of course, Dramaland is full with arrogant guys pretending they know themselves very well, ha ha
Now, I didn't watch man to man, because I didn't like the plot and the pairing, but I am glad you likedid it, lezah, because of your catnip.

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Hee hee I really like this catnip :-P
I LOVE to see heroes grovelling because these are the guys who act like class A jerks at the beginning so its satisfying to see them bluster around lol.

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yes definitely
one of my favourite catnip ....it is not only in dramaland but also in reality 😁

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I love this catnip! There are way too many dramas that has this kind of heroes. My favorite would be Gong Gi Tae from Marriage not Dating.

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Gong gi tae is my ultimate fave. It was so funny seeing him realise that he had fallen for her just as hard as she did for him

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Okay, so let's add Jealousy Incarnate and Secret Garden.

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Oh! Yayy another one of my catnips!

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I love male leads groveling. Especially when they've been less than stellar to the other (typically female, but sometimes fellow bromance) lead.

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@lezah must have copied my mind. And then used just the scenes I adore myself💞

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Yay! I am not alone in this catnip!! The shows I mentioned like YWCFTS and Healer are some of my absolute, absolute favourite shows. I must have rewatched them at least 5 times over!

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Nice catnip. Even more than that, thanks for the jolt of morning Ji Chang Wook. I can now enter my day in a transcendent state 😁

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Jealousy Incarnate! Hwa-shin was such a jerk to Na-ri during her 3-year crush, belittling her and calling her easy. Then all his jack-ass words and actions come back to haunt him once he falls in love with her, but she's now interested in his awesome, swoon-worthy bff Jung-won. He might not have groveled per se to get back into her good graces, but he did do a ton of cringe-worthy, embarrassing things to try to win her over-- that "drunken" visit to her room at the agency comes to mind, when he complies with (almost) all of her humiliating requests, lol.

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Here's that scene!
https://youtu.be/3xKmeZzB1W4

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Hahaha! King 2 Hearts is an excellent example of this!!

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TOTALLY a catnip!!!
But I also like the prequel to the groveling - when the hero has foot in mouth moments, being super cruel to the heroine... and you just think to yourself "ooooooh you are SOOOOO paying for this 2 episodes down the road, and I'm going to enjoy EVERY. SECOND. of it!! I'm going to relish in it, because you deseeeerrrveee iiiiitttt!!!! MUAHHAHAA"

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Another "catnip" I love, but didn't realize it until it's been pointed out here. :)

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New Tales of Gisaeng is also a great one for this. He has to grovel so bad after messing up that big. Plus it's a Sung Hoon drama.

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Nice!

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