When watching Pasta,(no major spoilers here) my 2nd favorite relationship outside the main couples epicenter of cuteness, was the blossoming friendship of Gong Hyo-Jin and Choi Jae-Hwan’s characters. They were lowest on the literal and metaphorical food chain (basically kitchen grunts), and often helped each other out when in dire straits.
I then realized that outside of a OTP (and let’s face it, sometimes in spite of) it’s these types of relationships that are my favorite part of any show. Not to deviate from K-Dramas but Mad Men has perhaps the greatest male-female platonic relationship of all-time, but watching I realize how rare that is in any storytelling medium. So that was the basis for this top 5, but I’m making it a little bit more interpretive. Basically any sort kind of special connection between two characters that is not easily definable (mom daughter for example), a one true pairing, or a 2nd leads thang is fair game. Hopefully that works…
Good to know! and without further ado, here is number 5!
5.Young-Sun and No Sang Jun (Personal Taste)(Slight Spoilers)
So here’s a case where I kinda lost interest in the OTP (I kn-Ho blasphemy) about 2/3 through, so it was really the side characters that kept me going. BFF Yung-Sun (Jo Eun-Ji, whose character I loved so much so she’ll probably pop up on future top 5..) and faking GFF Sang Jun (Jung Sung-Hwa) were a great tandem, as their ongoing commentary were the best thing about the show outside of Lee Min-Ho soulful brooding sequences…
Cause sometimes your friends/coworkers are idiots, and even if your no angel yourself (I’m talking to you, faux gay, slightly sexist Sang-Jun!) you need someone else to share how crazy and inept everyone is being, if only to retain a semblance of sanity yourself. Plus don’t forget the added bonus of fashion tips exchange!
4. Yun Seung and Bae Shik – City Hunter (Spoilers)
You didn’t think I was going to allude to the Lee Min-Ho and not have the visual splendor to back it up.
Not enough? Oh well moving on. Now City Hunter was a treasure trove of wonderful and interesting characters and relationships, I mean you could write a psych thesis on Bad Daddy and Lee Min-Ho* alone. But I seriously lurve these two, from their shared history, to their unique dynamic, to the laughs. Just love em’! When either Bae Shik was in peril, or Lee Min-Ho wasn’t eating Shik-ies well prepared dinner, I would flip a lid (probably much like the lid collection Bae Shik would buy on the home shopping channel).
Bae Shik could have been a basic,boring character, whose shared life experiences in the triangle could have led him to becoming an exposition machine instead the nurturing presence he is to Lee Min-Ho. Just the scene where the two are acting like a bickering mother and son by itself could have made this list, but all together those guys make a pretty amazing odd couple.
* I know, I’m totally not using his character’s name, but its Lee Min-Ho! Only one name will ever do him justice [insert inappropriate joke here].
3. Dokko Jin and Ding-Dong (Greatest/Best Love)
Finally I don’t have to look up names! If these two don’t put a smile on your face, then you have no soul (just kidding! but as punishment you must eat jajangmyun whilst on a roller coaster.) They are the cutest! I love how instantly connected they were, even when Dokko was being a butthole (the Korean word pun alludes me). Though considering they were probably at similar maturity levels I could see how they can relate. Another instance of them forming bonds that are not traditional, with a more big bro, little bro sensibilities than that of father and son.
2. Uneo Rie and…. Everyone? (inanimate objects included) – Gaksital
Now I totally had/have a girl crush on this character, as she hence forth put all female roles to shame. Uneo Rie (Han Chae-Ah) has such depth what with her mysterious past, shady dealings, and morally ambiguous actions throughout the series. But even with a great character, yah just can’t fake chemistry which she produced in spades.
Be it Kang-To/Gaksital (Joo Won), Shunji (Park Ki-Woong), or Hawt Bodyguard (capitalized as it should be his actual name, but in real life goes by the much too formulaic Ahn Hyung-Joon). Even your standard rotary phones didn’t stand a chance.
Speaking of not standing a chance, how could poor Mok Dan even hope to keep up, both as an actress and a character, I mean really, Rie donned a habit y’all, ain’t
nobody got time for that no Mok-Dan that can keep up with that!
As for her
play things, man candy, male counterparts well me thinks I will let the lovely visuals handle this one:
Now I could never have a favorite pairing amongst them as it’s just too hard to choose
ehem, but making three relationships simultaneously pop like that is no easy feat (just ask my Saturday nights! *see’s self out*). So here’s some quiet, non threatening golf clap’s to you Rie, because any louder form of appreciation, and you may very well have my head for it.
1. Jae Shin and Yong Ha (Sungkunkwan Scandal)(Slight Spoilers)
Come on, any SKKS fan had to know this was coming right? Does it sort of break my 2nd lead coupling stipulation? Perhaps, but much like Song Joong-Ki’s Yong Ha, this is quite “adaptable”. How freaking great were those two? Geewillikers they knew how to break my heart with their own respective unrequited loves, but their connection was so much more than that. Yong Ha and Jae Shin’s (Yoo Ah-In) fully realized sense of their long history together was shown more through their actions towards each other, rather than expositionary dialogue. This is in no small part due to Joong-Ki and Ah-In, who really encapsulated their characters and brought them to life in a way I’m not sure other many other actors could. SKKS is one of those rare occasions where every permutation of groupings between the four leads worked like gangbusters, be it romantic or otherwise. Which is why this couple (cause come on’ we all want them to be) is a perfect distillation of that F4 group as a whole. Smarts, feelings, cunning, bravery, add some birth secrets and those are how you describe your four leads! These two have all that plus colorful hanboks, ninja moves, the bromance to end all bromances, and love hiccups. Gosh I needed a spin-off, like yesterday.
Honorable Mention: The Old Folks in I Hear Your Voice (Spoilers)
The eldest participants of prime time dramas hardly ever get a chance at some lovin’. Hopefully it’s a little better for the Adjusshi-Ahjumma+ crowd with the family, multigenerational dramas, but even then, do the elderly (or middle aged) have hearts made of stone? Hopefully I will explore this more in-depth another day, but for now I wanna name check two of the “wiser” members of the IHYV cast. Hye-Sung (Lee Bo Young‘s) Mom (played by Kim Hae-Sook) was one of the best maternal figures I have ever seen in dramaland, while Lawyer Shin Sang (Yun Ju-Sang) was an actual three dimensional authority figure, who became more interesting as we went along. Though their screen time together was few and far between, they certainly made it count. The flirtatious rapore they had was fantastic, and though it wasn’t in the cards for them (they would be ace of hearts since your surely wondering), much like Phil Collins they will always be in my heart.