71

[Drama Chat] Signs of a baddie

Sometimes dramas aren’t too subtle about the Big Bad. Drama villains can often be found peeking through blinds, wearing black brimmed hats, rooting around in greenhouses, and other such suspicious behaviors.
 

What are some of your favorite (or un-favorite) villain tropes? Do these archetypes make the role more fun or just flat?

 
Let the chatting begin!
 
RELATED POSTS

Tags:

71

Required fields are marked *

This one's easy.....Just look for the happiest, cheerful, overly kind and selfless character and he/she is 95-100% psychopathic villain with closet full of skeletons....figuratively or literally....cough*Mouse*cough

11
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

If he's a vetinarian, then your chances triple themselves.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Un-favorite villan trope
1. Chaebol with daddy issues
2. Middle aged corrupt politicians who are horrible parent
3. bullies
4. Helicopter parents

Favorite:
1. Josean vampire (you all know who I mean)
2. chaebol serial killler with kettle ball

9
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Josean vampire. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

THIS. I am such a fan. Of the character and the actor.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Favorites villains:
- Time in time travel themed dramas
- Fate in sad ending romance dramas
- Villains who can't make me hate him/her

Unfavorite villains:
- Psychopath (writer easy way out, humans are interesting because their motivation in doing things)
- Villains who use masks, caps, hoodies, and weird camera angles to hide their identities like the viewers are fool, not recognizing them.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wait, you mean I should actually recognize every guy in all black with a black baseball cap as a villain the second I see them suspiciously get on an elevator alone with a woman at night?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

My favorite villains are the ones who are complicated and have legitimate reasons for their choices other than just wanting to be "bad". I'll also take a smart, effective villain over a indiscriminately nasty one any day. However, my all-time favorite "villains" and characters in general, are those who are legitimately torn between conflicting desires, loyalties or goals, and therefore often find themselves cutting moral corners in an attempt to deal with a world where none of the choices are obvious or easy. Some of my favorite shows that do this include Six Flying Dragons, Queen Seondeok, The Devil (Lucifer), The Untamed, Pied Piper (flawed in other ways but has an amazing antagonist), Jumong, and both Forest of Secrets 1 & 2.

8
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

And kdrama do these complicated, conflicted characters really well. It's one of my favourite aspects of my favourite kdramas.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mine too!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

My favourite villain is one who I can't hate and still can't love. I'm not talking about a pretty face. But a villain that makes me wish he was innocent. That's the kind of villain I love watching.

I hate villains that glare their eyes for their next baddie move. For God's sake, stop it!

10
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol like what's his name played by Jun-Ho in Chief Kim. He was so good as a bad guy... and then..

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

If he or she is rich and middle aged or elderly, chances are they are probably evil, regardless of genre its a Kdrama staple at this point.

The best friend who is trusted implicitly (usually by the male lead) almost always turns out to be a bad guy.

Every Makjang Mother-in-law

Chaebol teenagers and young adults. (need we say more)

The weird guy (usually from a small town) who blends in a little too well with everyone

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

If he or she is rich and middle aged or elderlyโ€ฆ
Political: exchanging ginseng, hohoho laughing, pouring one another tea, meeting in bar back room / gisaeng house, general evil glare
Romance: excessive love of son /daughter, political career, setting up blind dates
Thriller: helping the hero, being a nice guy on tv, donating to charities/orphanages, having a perfect family portrait in house, having a silent secretary

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hahaha, "having a silent secretary" - you totally nailed it there. :D It really is a must, and not only in thriller department.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Un-favorite villains

-Bullies
-Obsessed sky castle moms (+Crazy ahjuma obsessed with the value of her building)
-Corrupt public servants/politicians (especially the king's father in law that has all the freaking power of the kingdom)
-Hot psychopath that murdered people because he didn't have anything better to do.
-Every single character Baek Hyun Jin plays
-Hello Monster's villain (how could he do that to Min? Our poor baby T.T)

Favorite villains
-Funny gangsters
-(Hilarious) corrupt dudes turned good: Jun Ho in Chief Kim, Honey Lee in The Fiery Priest, Honey Lee in One the Woman
-The ones that don't pretend to be something their not (unlike the main lead) and aren't actually that bad (they only wanted love). Aka. Villains more likable than the leads: Min Jung in The Devil Judge (I still can't get over her speech to the high school girls)

4
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nope nope nope Jun Ho was NOT the villain in Chief Kim! We had 3 distinct and obvious villain, but not him! He was just a tired proscutor who decided to be his own master to gain power and realized very quickly that he would need to be much more evil than he anticipated and he backed off immediately! Or at least that is how I see him :D

4
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

๐Ÿ˜‚ I know. Same happened with Honey Lee in TFP, but at some point they were the "bad guys" trying to mess with the leads good effort.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

What I liked about Junho's character in Chief Kim is that he is in many ways a bad guy - he's clearly looking out for number one, he has no scruples about hurting others on his way to the top, and he switches sides not due to a miraculous change of heart but because he realizes that's the only way he'll get out unscathed. Most shows tend to go for easy saints and sinners, while Chief Kim suggests that people often end up doing good things not because of some inherent virtue but because they don't want to be screwed over by people even more corrupt than they are.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Um... Of course interpretations vary, but he did switch sides because of a change of heart. From the very beginning he was wary of the baddies because he suspected that they would easily hurt and kill others. He wasn't a killer. He was just a proscutor angry that he had to end cases based on corrupt bosses' orders not on truth. So he decided to go for money and power. I actually love how they show that even a seasoned proscutor was caught off gaurd when he saw the length and depth some people would go for money. Every time they badly heart someone he exploded. He switched sides when he caught them trying to kill Chief Kim. He couldn't take it any more.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Re HELLO MONSTER. If you havenโ€™t seen it already. On my Fan Wall I have my favorite cast party pic with both Mins together.

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

OMG I just saw it! Thank you so much! that picture is adorable. Totally loved it.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought you would like it.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Kwak Siyang convincing us all that he was a cute supportive younger brother just to hurl his cute cat against a wall in Chicago Typewriter was the most memorable baddie reveal ever

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Song Yoon-Ah's character in The K2. Second drama I ever watched, she fascinated me. Ultimately, the only character worth watching. When I think of a baddie, she always comes to my mind first.

5
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, she (and of course JCW) was actually the reason I watched K2 to the end. Too bad the screenwriters didn't have more courage.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes!

Tbh, I was shipping her with Chang Work's character. For me they were awesome together.

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I would have had no problem at all if Anna had fallen off the roof and never reappeared....

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

LOL Same

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh yes, they made me understand what Beanies meant when they talk about chemistry between characters :-p Nothing between Anna and Jae-ha made any sense.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'll be the slight voice of dissent, I always found her fascination with JCW character a little bit off putting. It felt like a rather one-sided attraction (to me). I could sense JCW attraction to Anna, but I agree she was a... difficult character to act and it wasn't done super well.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Villains - especially those who are at first apparently nice - wear round glasses.

(If they are men - women just wear round glasses anyway)

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

My first sign of a baddie is actually the actor/actress playing the character. And the one I'd first recognize is Jung Woong-in and Shin Sung-rok.

Other signs include
- Chaebol/Abusive teenagers( I freaking hate this one)
- Toxic Workplace.
- Family Feuds.
- The ones who know the full story. If you have too much information, you're on my radar.

The villains that interest me are the ones whose battle with the good guys is actually balanced and not a one sided winnings till the good guys then hit a single devastating nail to their coffin; also, the ones who get revealed towards the end of a drama.
The ones I like are nuanced villains whom you know are only on the wrong side of history, and they still have some morals left somewhere. The ones who cause a ruckus with a purpose instead of just for causing sake (Queen Seondeok's Mishil and Devils Judge Kim Min-jungcomes to mind).

5
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mishil is hands down the best Asian drama villain ever. Always smart, always brutally honest, and often right even when you'd really prefer that she wasn't.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

And she readily accepts challenge - you have to be worthy of course; and acknowledges each time when you win. Other villains would be out to crush you outrightly but not Mishil. Having her as a villain is like going into mentorship under your greatest enemy. You'll learn, you'll become better groomed, and you'll hate that both of you are on polar opposite sides.
And she's a fair player, not generally fair machinations but I give her that.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol I totally get the actor being a big tip off...

Jang Hyun Sung (Signal, Tell Me What you Saw, others...)
Um Ki Joon (Defendent, Ghost)
Kim Yong Gun (Marriage Contract, among others)
Son Byung Ho (Good Detective, recently)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Un-favourite villain trope would be the Petty Tyrant - the office boss who kicks his employees shins, abusive teachers, bully it-girl/guy, etc.

Favourite would be those who started on the right path but veered off course (Stranger, I Can Hear Your Voice) or those who are just unabashedly villainous but not in a psychopathic way.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Interesting, I tend to consider those characters who veer off course like Stranger and ICHYV as antiheroes or antagonists, not as villains.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have never been to Korea but if I do, I will have two rules: never cross the road, and have nothing to do with animals, because then I might have to visit a vet who might be
- a volunteer by night who is a crazed murderous chaebol by day
- a centuries-old goblin with a murderous plan to steal my fox bead
- a murderous zombie who tortures animals
- possessed by a murderous spirit with a plan to become super-powerful.
I guess it's the way they teach them in veterinary college.

14
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Never cross the road" ๐Ÿคฃ

Is the ToD a villain, or merely a device? Does ToD have agency? @Sincerely, ToD, what say you?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol yes. I agree.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Funny... I have a tentative essay planned about kdrama villians.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

my favourite villain trope is obviously the insistence upon casting inexplicably hot people to play them for no particular reason other than 'what if bad guy also sexy?'

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hot kdrama serial killers always give me mixed feelings ๐Ÿ˜‚

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Especially if it results in random shower scenes involving Namgoong Min and his workout routine.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah, in Uncanny Counter the leader of the school bullies was good-looking while the followers weren't. Guess who got the redemption arc.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

on a more serious note, though, I love it when a villain, rather than being evil for the sake of it, has a valid point/ideology driving their actions. It's why Killmonger in Black Panther is such a strong villain- he did awful things, but his stance was pretty sympathetic and understandable for a lot of reasons.

I also love when a villain exists very clearly in contrast to our hero, particularly when they have a lot in common, and that their biggest distinction that has led to their respective roles are the choices that they made in response to their similar circumstances.

Then again, sometimes I don't need the deep stuff. Sometimes all I'm craving is a charismatic, beautiful asshole who likes to commit murder and chew on scenery.

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I guess like a lot of people, my favourite villains are the one who do things but not for them. It's just their ways are different from the heroes. I like too late redeemption arc like in Pinocchio, He Is Psychometric, Forest of Secrets 1 and 2.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

He Is Psychometric killed me. I wanted him to be good. so bad.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

This character was way more interesting than the main lead for me. The actor was great and I like the relationship with the second female lead. His story was really sad.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I like villains that are the product of their environment/upbringing. The most memorable villain for me is Nam Goong-minโ€™s character in Remember-Sonโ€™s War. He was one the most detestable and evil characters Iโ€™ve ever seen in Kdramas, but at the end my heart broke for him.

Another type of villains that I love is non-human real life villains such as time, circumstances, baggage and priorities as in 2521.

5
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I remember NGM in that and yes. He was bad and broken. That always gets me.

1
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Right? To me, that was his most memorable role to date.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

First time I saw him. An unforgettable bad guy.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@jorobertson, yeah. Come to think of it, it was my first time seeing him for me too.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I haven't watched this drama, but I have looked up videos of Nam Goong-min smashing cars and being evil. He really did a good job there.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

He was so scary. Really, he should get a Baeksang from that show. Best Supporting Actor.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The villains I hate the most are the ones with obsessive love disorder. Whether they be parents or a spurned love interest, they can't take no for an answer and are determined to have their own way regardless of how anyone else feels. I saw this most recently in Sunbae, Don't Put On that Lipstick. No one even hinted that someone who is obsessed with an unrequited love to the point they would attempt suicide, might need psychiatric help. Their solution was to force the guy to marry her.

At least in Dinner Mate, it was clearly stated that the obsessive ex-lover was mentally ill. That was a refreshing rarity. Unacknowledged mental patients have been such a staple of kdrama fare that I do wonder if it would exist without them, or become entirely insipid. What would be left to elevate our blood pressure and make us want to throw things?

The discomfort of the trop is increased by the niggling feeling that I see some of this same obsessiveness lurking in myself, though I recognize it and reject it. I've seen it in my mom and my grandfather. My grandfather used to call us grandkids on the phone and demand that we tell him we love him. We hated it so much, my cousin once threw the receiver on the floor. My mom tells me he did the same thing to his own kids when they were little. He would say, "Even if it's a lie, just tell me!" It makes me wonder if it's a particularly Korean trait. That makes the trope even more upsetting to me than if I could take it entirely as a piece of fiction.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The single most detestable trope for a villain has to be animal cruelty. I simply cannot stand it. Petty egoism or vicarious living off of one's children is also so tiresome.

But agency, cleverness and some righteousness sits very well with me. It doesn't hurt if that villain happens to be super hot while at it, like the Joseon vampire @sspat mentioned. My all-time favorite villain is Gong Zi of Bloody Romance. I go gaga for him.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The villian who will always stay with me and made me swing from raw hate to heartbreak was the character played by Jung Woong-in in Empress Ki. He was only in a supporting role, as Yeom Byung soo, and when he articulates his motivations, he becomes understandable, but not forgivable. His character shows how evil always feels sorry for itself and victimised to the extent that it makes us feel sorry for their hard fate.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for choosing a Shin Sung Rok villain as the cover image ๐Ÿฅฒ.

With that said, Lee Jae Kyung is a very important character in MLFAS, without him and his obsession with tranqualizer + USB, there would have been no drama at all. He basicly pushed the plot forward just by being evil and power hungry, masked by his good-ish persona in front of others.

My favourite villain character is Lee Hyuk from The Last Empress. Nutured to be bad by his bad parents. I do wonder how the character could have been with better upbringing but that would lead to no drama...because in TLE the royal family and their evil-side was the drama ๐Ÿคฃ.

By the way, SSR's character description in Doctor Lawyer screams villain. May he have lots of screen time in that drama ๐Ÿ˜†.

4
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I didn't stay for the entire MLE, but he was a bad egg in the beginning, for sure, and then got pitiable. Did he ever come good and repent of his wrong doings?

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

He did ๐Ÿฅฒ

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I might go back and watch.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh yeah! I kept thinking of which villain had me scratching my head coz I was rooting for him and yes - it was SSR in TLE. He was absolutely detestable in the 1st quarter - half of the show but by the latter, I absolutely loved him!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I used to know a villain was a villain if their hair was styled up. That was a dead giveaway. Nowadays that might be less common, but I'm still wary.

Other giveaways are the perpetual all black with the black cap or they happen to be a vet or volunteer at an animal shelter.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved all the villains in "Through the Darkness" recently. It was hard to watch, but I felt like they did such a good job of plumbing the depths of different kinds of criminals.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

My favorite villain anywhere ever (not just in K-dramas) is SSR in You From Another Star - because he was the only villain I saw since my childhood that I was literally scared of. And I think it's the hardest thing, to really scare grownup people watching TV just with your snakey face and mean stare. So SSR is forever my no. 1.
My no. 2 in K-dramas would be the Joseon vampire - because I also love the Loki-kind villains (those we somehow find cute even though they don't necessarily have a tragic backstory).
And no. 3 is the evil lawyer from Hyena. A really slick one (and I'm still mesmerized by his choice of interior designers).

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I find this the worst villain: the chaebol who stalks, manipulates, abuses his position to force himself upon a young woman who is not at all interested in her; then in a toxic fashion, wears her down to like him.

I find the best villain is a character you do not expect to be dark, sociopath or psychopath. My favorite was Jo Yeo Jeong as a smiling terror in Ms. Perfect

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

not interested in *him*

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This drama seems to be long forgotten, but there are 2 villains from Angry Mom that have stuck with me all these years later. I loved Ahn Dong Chil as a villain. He was an awful human being, but he was a complex character who [in his mind] had reasons for doing the things he did and I found myself hoping against hope that he would somehow turn into a somewhat decent person. He was a very *dark* gray character that sometimes did the right thing, but you spend most of the drama thinking that he did something unforgivable and he just can't get a full redemption arc, and I appreciated the show for that. But I loved this character so much for being such a complex villain.

On the flip side, this show also had Do Jeong Woo. While he had some complexity to him, he was just plain evil. But he was evil in a very REAL way where he 100% exists in this world and it makes my skin crawl. I hated him with every fiber of my being and I would get riled up thinking about all the men in this world that are just like him and UGH. I hated him. But he served his purpose as a proper villain, and he made Dong Chil slightly less awful. Slightly.

I also really loved Min Seok Hoon from Mask, but his character kind of lost his awesomeness as a villain by episode 6. But I think I loved him so much because of how the actor was playing him more than anything else.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *