International Dramas: Unpopular K-Drama Opinions

Screenshot of Lee Minho in ‘Boys Over Flowers’. Copyright goes to Group 8, KBS, and Netflix.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I’ve talked a lot about my favorite K-Dramas and my very honest opinions of them, and over time I’ve found that I have a lot of unpopular K-Drama opinions. And I feel as though as time passes, my opinions seem to fall more and more on the unpopular end of the spectrum. Until I started looking up other people’s opinions on these, I don’t think that I quite understood how different some of my opinions on some of these plot points and characters are. I find that a lot of strong opinions come up when it comes to K-Dramas that especially focus on romance, like the ones that I mostly watch. With everything else you’re also adding the fact that there’s usually a love triangle involved and a very charming second lead. But some of these opinions have nothing to do with that; so I’m just going to go into my unpopular opinions from some of my favorite K-Dramas. There will be MASSIVE SPOILERS ahead for quite a few K-Dramas, so be aware of that! Here we go!

Jandi is just as bad of a partner as Junpyo:

I don’t think that it’s an unpopular opinion in ‘Boys Over Flowers’ that Junpyo, in general, is a pretty terrible boyfriend. He has a massive amount of red flags and extremely toxic behaviors including rage issues that he doesn’t really seem to address at any point throughout the drama. Jandi is our heroine of the story, and she definitely has spunk and strength to her that’s admirable. But that in no way makes her a good girlfriend either. While Junpyo might as well be waving a giant red flag with a full marching band playing behind him; Jandi is an extremely bad girlfriend and demonstrates this several times throughout the series. Junpyo at least is committed to Jandi, though I absolutely completely judge him for not taking no for an answer several times throughout the building of their relationship. But even when Jandi is dating her initial crush, Jihoo, she’s constantly thinking about dating Junpyo instead. And when she decides she wants Junpyo instead, she’s suddenly interested in Jihoo again. She kind of pulls each of them along without being willing to let either one go. And she’s quick to pretend she doesn’t know Junpyo in public or decide that she hates him for the day. Both of them are completely awful at relationships and never seem to get all that much better throughout the series. This kind of goes into another popular opinion from the show that I disagree with; which is that Jandi should have ended up with Jihoo. Jihoo deserves so much better than Jandi! I disagree with that opinion purely because I want Jihoo to find someone who never views him as second best.

I like Yiseo with Saeroyi:

When I first watched ‘Itaewon Class’, the romantic ending to the show was considered very controversial. And the more I see this brought up, the more controversial this decision becomes. Throughout the drama Saeroyi is head over heels in love with Sooah, who develops feelings for him as well. But Yiseo is in it for Saeroyi from day one. She gambled with her entire future in order to help him with his business. And despite the fact that she doesn’t trust easily; she puts all of her trust in him. She even puts herself in danger for him on occasion. A lot of people thought that the relationship between the two felt more like a brother/sister dynamic. And I at least agree that there is a point in time where their relationship does feel a little like that. Especially when it’s unrequited. But by the end of the show I feel that their relationship has really progressed beyond that to a relationship where they both trust and take care of each other equally. And Sooah has a selfishness for her feelings towards Saeroyi while Yiseo doesn’t. Their relationship is pure on both sides and built off of years of trust. I think it’s a perfect beginning for the two of them after everything they’ve been through together and I personally find it so adorable!

Yujin Shouldn’t Have Been Forgiven:

This pains me a little to say when talking about ‘Imitation’ because this character is played by Jeong Yunho. Who is my bias in my ult group ATEEZ. I can’t even put into words how much I love that man, how amazing of an actor he is, and how excited I was to see him in a K-Drama! But Yujin (who I do absolutely love and would have chosen over Ryok in a heartbeat), was forgiven far too easily by Hyunji for what he did to her. Yujin calling her, not because he wanted to actually call her but because he wanted her to give him updates on Maha, is a huge breach of trust. And Yujin basically says a very brief sorry and then the two of them are suddenly completely back to normal. Yujin should have done a lot more to get her trust back after essentially using her in this situation. A simple apology shouldn’t have done it. And either way, I wish that Hyunji would have figured out that her crush on Yujin probably wasn’t the most healthy. Just like Yujin found out that his crush on Maha wasn’t healthy. Hyunji got angry at Maha a few times purely because she had a crush on Yujin and viewed Yujin more like a celebrity than a person. I think those two needed a lot more work before they got together in the end; especially Yujin. I also wanted more Yujin time and giving him more of a redemption would have given Yunho more to work with!

Habaek is the worst K-Drama love interest:

I know a lot of people give this crown to Junpyo, but I firmly believe that Habaek from ‘Bride of Habaek’ is the worst K-Drama boyfriend I’ve ever seen. Firstly, we’ve been talking more and more about how the boss/employee dynamic can be really unbalanced even though it is really popular in K-Dramas. I think a god/servant dynamic is even worse. Not only because that’s an absolutely insane dynamic itself, but also because Habaek takes full advantage of it. Including forcing Soah to do his bidding and then becoming extremely possessive of her once they start dating. Which culminates in a scene where he treats her like a housewife in front of the much better second lead (who refers to her as his goddess in comparison to Habaek referring to her as his servant) and barks orders at her the entire time. Habaek also constantly complains about her and, in one scene, lists off all of her perceived flaws to the second lead in the hopes that he’ll decide that she isn’t worth it anymore. He’s the epitome of a toxic boyfriend with an unhealthy power dynamic thrown into the mix. I have no idea why she didn’t end up with the second lead.

Rini and Kyeongjun Shouldn’t Get Back Together:

‘Lovestruck in the City’ is one of my favorite K-Dramas and such a touching story about reconnecting with the one that got away. At least, that’s the story of the main couple. This is a secondary couple that we are introduced to at the beginning as a very stable and loving couple that is currently in a functional long term relationship. Or at least, we think it’s functional. As we see more of the relationship we learn that Kyeongjun has been dancing around issues with Rini for a while now. And every time he tries to bring them up in an effort to communicate with her; she has a major freak out and they end up fighting. But on the other hand, he’s been lying about her to his family members because he’s ashamed of her job and this is one thing he hasn’t even been trying to communicate with her. After all of these issues come to a head at the very end of the drama, the two break up. This caused a lot of backlash as most people were, understandably, uncomfortable with the romance show ending with the long term couple having broken up. Most people asking for a second season were asking for one in the hopes that these two would get back together. But I personally don’t think that these two worked as a couple. Rini is self sufficient but she also refuses to let her boyfriend care for her in any way and dismisses his concerns immediately. And he lies about her because he’s ashamed of her. They feel too fundamentally different for them to work and their goals are wildly different. I think it was nice to show a relatable ending to a relationship amongst all the beautiful beginnings.

Goo Hae Ryung and Yi Rim are perfect together:

After ‘Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung’ blew up, a huge chunk of people thought that Yi Rim was too childish for our heroine and that she should have ended up with Officer Min instead. I completely disagree with that! Yi Rim was such an adorable pure soul and he was the lighthearted foil to the constant drama and seriousness that Goo Hae Ryung had to deal with. Not only that, he absolutely refused to play games with her even when he was told to do so. With all of the lying, backstabbing, and manipulation that Goo Hae Ryung had to deal with within the palace; it was nice to have someone who was so communicative and honest for her to be able to fall back on. The two of them are so adorable together for so many reasons and I never saw Officer Min as a potential love interest for her. He was her mentor; I never sensed anything more romantic there. I think the romance in this one was absolutely perfect!

I know I’ve talked a little about most of these opinions before, but I don’t think I quite noticed how unpopular some of these were. And most of these are about couples that I actually like together or think shouldn’t have gotten together. Which is such a huge part of K-Dramas as a whole in general! I’m constantly looking for new ones to watch, so hopefully I’ll get obsessed with yet another one soon and develop even more unpopular opinions. But I think, for now, this is a pretty good compilation of my most unpopular K-Drama opinions.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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