Day 17: Your Favourite Male Third Wheel

21 Feb

If you have ever read any of our posts in the past, you may have noticed that we have a ridiculous soft spot for male love rivals.

They call it Second lead syndrome- we call it a problem.

We’ve got a love hate relationship with male love rivals in dramas. On one hand a good love rival has the influence to elevate a drama and make it amazing. Not only does the leading man have to bring his ‘A’ game and really deliver the goods, he also has to show why he’s worth his OTP.  Also, a good love rival brings angst, doubt and real options for the leading lady. Who doesn’t love watching a complicated love story where we’re really shown why the OTP deserve each other?

On the other hand, rooting for the love rival never ends well. We’re on the losing side and there is only one way the drama will end. Yep, our love rival heartbroken as the OTP get their HEA and he ends up with the pathetic consolation prize in the form of the female love rival or worse some random girl that suddenly appears in the last episode. Why is there always a random girl!? Who else hates watching a good love rival bravely smile through his pain while the OTP shove their love for each other in his face by inviting him to their wedding? UGH, we hate that.  

It’s engrained in our culture to root for the loser- the underdog that tries his best right to the very end. They are that constant that is there for the leading lady when the leading man is off acting like an idiot. They are that shoulder to cry on, the one that will do your milk round when you’re sick (Shining Inheritance) or generally be that perfect guy that you desperately wish the leading lady would pick. A good love rival can have a lot of impact on the viewer, their heartbreak and longing is sometimes more compelling than the OTP. Sometimes this is great for a drama, however a good love rival has literally made us hate a drama by the end of it’s run because we sit wondering why the hell the leading lady would pick her OTP when clearly the love rival is much better suited for her. It’s frustrating, annoying and just makes us want to throw our screens out the window.


How can a leading lady resist those ernest eyes?

As you can tell we feel passionately about our male love rivals. We doubt we’ll change our ways anytime soon. We guess that makes us gluttons for punishment but who said being a drama addict was easy?

Here is a quick rundown of a few of our favourite male love rivals that have stolen our hearts one way or another:

Our technical pick has to go to Thank You’s Choi Suk Hyun:

We’ve blogged about this love rival before because he has to be the most solid, perfect love rival we have ever seen in a drama. He technically was everything that the leading lady would ever want. Not only was he the love of her life but also the father of her child. They shared intense chemistry and he loved her! They could have easily lived happily ever after if they wanted to.

Our favourite love rivals who had no chance but still made us switch sides include:

Jeremy from You’re Beautiful – We loved Jeremy way more than Shin Woo, who was just annoyingly boring with his elaborate attempts at revealing his love for Min Nam. Jeremy was just that fun, sweet love rival that made us smile. He cared about Min Nam so much in that innocent, protective way. We loved that scene where he’s heartbroken and he sings that song on the radio. He managed to evoke so much sincerity in that scene and it was one of the more sombre scenes from him that really stood out for us in the drama.

Nakatsu from Hana Kimi – He loved her despite thinking she was a guy! Once again, he was a complete darling that stole the show. We would have loved it if she liked him just a little bit. It couldn’t have been just us that felt that the OTP shared zero chemistry together in that drama?

The love rivals that were robbed:

Han Dong Jie from Easy Fortune Happy Life – This was our first Roy Qiu drama and the one that cemented our love for him. He was that perfect, gangster with a heart of gold. He cooked, took care of her and made us swoon whenever he appeared on screen. Hehehe. This was a drama where we literally wanted to throttle the leading lady for picking her OTP who was a complete idiot that needed a good punch in the face. Why would anyone pick Blue Lan over Roy Qiu??

Meng Cheng En from P.S MAN – There was a bloody poll to change the leading man!!! He shared so much chemistry with the leading lady, he was that perfect love rival that avoided being boring by doing crazy things like hijacking moving cars to take her to the hospital, catching her from a real high balcony or giving her more blood than you are legally allowed to give just to save her life. But still she picked a guy that was too afraid to admit his feelings for her after 20 episodes!

Oh, love rivals, at least we love you.


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