I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you gel your hair.
I hate the way ride your bike, I hate it when you stare.
I hate your big dumb knitted scarf, and the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme.
I hate it, I hate the way you eat your ramen, I hate how you say goodbye.
I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you pretend you’re okay, and how your heart stands so tall.
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little
bit, not even at all.
[ SPOILERMETER: I pretty much talk about every key scene associated with the dude— bar one that I can think of— so skip this post for now if you want a full-on untainted viewing of the show, then come back and see if I make any sense. ]
And I thought I was immune to second male lead syndrome *repetitive head desk*
Apologies for the cheesy adaption of the poem (which, for those of you who don’t know, I ripped straight from the glorious 90s Hollywood teen flick Ten Things I Hate About You starring the beautiful, late Heath Ledger, and the super sassy Julia Stiles). Couldn’t help myself.
Anyways. A few months ago, I wouldn’t even have recognised Kim Woo Bin even if he was staring at me straight in the face. But then, a cousin asked me to stalk him on her behalf when the Running Man cast came down to Melbourne to do their filming and I came across this pic –>
In a nutshell, I failed my stalking (seriously could not be more miserable about it if I tried), but I decided that ANYONE who has hair that glides this perfectly in the air as they are in motion deserves my whole-hearted affection and attention. The only other person I can think of to have such a hairy effect on me before this is Van Ness Wu from way back in the Meteor Garden days. Yep. Luscious hair warriors are my meat (and I’m a friggn’ vegetarian).
So yes basically this picture is the reason I picked up The Heirs (in the words of Andy Warhol, I am deeply superficial…) and I’m really, really glad I did because it’s been a while since I’ve fallen head over heels as passionately as I did here. Kim Woo Bin as Choi Young Do rivals the best of the best in the Second Leads Who Deserved More Love Than The Main Dude category (to be clear though, I did like Kim Tan a lot, despite a few gripes I had with his slightly overly “watchfulness” with Eun Sang). I’m talking about the Han Tae Suhks, the Yoon Ji Hoos, and the Moon Jae Shins. You know, the ones who:—
❈ Are bad boys turned good (mainly only towards you).
❈ Understand you before anyone else does (sometimes even yourself).
❈ Is there to support you when your boyfriend is being a turd.
❈ Is (usually) better looking than your boyfriend.
❈ Actually cares and wants to know why you are upset.
❈ Knows when to give you space.
❈ Is always there to save your ass in critical situations.
❈ Will silently protect you behind your back and not have you realise.
❈ Is super tall and strong, and can physically beat up your boyfriend if need be.
Looks good in a wet t-shirt and/or topless.
❈ Would do anything in the world for you. This includes shattering his heart into a thousand million shards as he safeguards you on your journey to go live happily ever after with another man.
Ultimately, these guys make me realise that the love we have for our men isn’t defined by whether they are the first, second, third, fourth, or sixty-seventh lead, but it all comes down to their character— who they are, what they go through, and who they become. We want someone to show growth and maturity, we don’t want them to sook and sulk when someone doesn’t love them back, we want them to put up a good fight, and never wallow in self-pity. We don’t want them to cry more than the girl herself. Maybe they could shake hands with the guy who’s going to look after the one they love for the rest of their lives too. Sure you didn’t get the girl, but there’s no need to make her feel guilty about it, right?
If you still don’t know what I’m rambling on about, please read on. Allow me to live up to the title of this post and regurgitate a whole bunch of words about the second male lead of The Heirs. It’s probably more of a Ten Scenes I Loved situation, but hey, here goes.
To Choi Young Do:
Ten Things I Hate About You.
#10 The way you make me laugh.
When it happened: Halfway through episode 15.
What Happened: Eun Sang is being harassed by a couple of girls in gym glass and Young Do comes over to make sure she’s okay, which she is. She expresses her gratitude anyway, and says something about him being The Black Knight to which his frickin’ response is: “If I’m the Black Knight, then does that make Kim Tan the Prince Charming on the white horse? How can that be when my skin is so much whiter than his?“
My immediate reaction:
Subsequent thoughts: I seriously couldn’t stop laughing. More than anything though, my heart was swelling seeing him become such a warm, endearing, and good-natured person— who knew the dude was that hilarious under that cocky eyebrowed face? Actually, I remember LOLing hard too when he took over Eun Sang from assembling her tent at school camp and he said something like, “Are you trying to build your own tomb?” What a natural comedian. (Btw, there is a Prince Charming vacancy on my side of the town, sweetness. Feel free to apply.)
#9 The way you man up and apologise.
When it happened: The final episode.
What Happened: Young Do is at a school, but it’s not Jeguk High, it’s looking a little less extravagant… wait, is that Moon Joon Young? The guy who was bullied so badly by Young Do that he was forced to escape the prestigious school? It sure is. And he’s looking a little shocked (or scared?) at the rich heir’s sudden appearance. But Young Do is not here to harm, he is here to apologise. He acknowledges his, er, less than amicable actions towards Joon Young in the past (in front of Joon Young‘s new friends mind you) but Joon Young gives it to him, saying that he will never forgive Young Do for what he did.
My immediate reaction:
Subsequent thoughts: Firstly, I’m all kinds of serious with the above meme.
Secondly, I was actually a bit irked initially with Joon Young for not accepting Young Do‘s apology. I didn’t rate the fact that he said that Young Do should feel guilty for life, but…… then I thought about it, and well, I think (A) it will serve as a reminder to Young Do to never be such a friggin’ jerk again, and (B) perhaps more importantly, in some indirect way, it was the “punishment” Young Do came to look for. It was Joon Young‘s “payback” that they both needed for emotional closure. Either way, I’m glad this scene happened. I also propose a spin-off series for Young Do (after he has my babies of course).
#8 The way you hug when you miss someone.
When it happened: Episode 17.
What Happened: Following some badass action from Kim Tan‘s father (seriously where did the evilness come from?), Eun Sang vanishes into thin air… or should we say, the country air. Eun Sang is hiding in a seaside town, but Young Do adopts a rather, ah, creative method to search for his first love, and whadduya know, she appears in front of him. He hugs the fudge out of her, and breathes out the following words: “Thank you. Thank you for being safe. Thank you for appearing. Thank you, so much.”
My immediate reaction:
Subsequent thoughts: I have no words. Me just wants hug. Big man hug.
#7 The way you never had any intention to reveal anybody’s secrets.
When it happened: End of episode 13 / start of episode 14.
What Happened: Young Do has taken over the school’s radio station, and apparently has some hush-hush information to disclose. Kim Tan and Eun Sang realise that this might not be the most ideal thing for them so they both head for the broadcasting room in hopes of flicking off that mic before the dirty laundry is aired (see what I did there). Eun Sang gets there first, which is exactly what Young Do wants. Kim Tan eventually arrives too but Young Do locks him out and pretends to make a move on Eun Sang— “When I said that I would torment everyone else now from now on but you, Kim Tan is one of them. I’m included too.”
Kim Tan breaks in (the guy is extra strong when he is angry) and they get their fight on.
My immediate reaction:
Subsequent thoughts: I know I said they get their fight on, but it was really more like The Kim Tan Attack Show. Young Do was distressingly volunteering to stand there and take the beating, as if he was thirsting for physical pain to numb the suffering in his heart. It’s like aaarrrrgh X a hundred million. I would like to get this off my chest though— Kim Tan shi, understand I do love you, but Young Do shi has never disrespected Eun Sang as a woman, so I honestly feel like you had nothing to worry about here. I think the raising of the chair with the intent of using it as a weapon was uncalled for. After all, I believe you are the King of Forced Kisses towards our darling angelface Eun Sang, are you not? Thanks. I’m glad you heard me out.
#6 The way you simply want the people you love to hear you.
When it happened: Episode 13.
What Happened: Young Do books out the cafe that Eun Sang works at (I want to say it’s called Mango Six..?) in an attempt to “buy a date” if you will, but she proceeds to do every unnecessary chore you can think of to avoid having any sort of interaction with the (secretly gentle) giant. He mischievously gets her attention by pouring his frappe all over the floor (I think it was a frappucino. Fine, I’m just drooling for one *slurp* *slurp*~Extra cream, please? :D). Eun Sang reluctantly sits down and asks, fuming, “What do you want from me?” Good question, missy. So what does Young Do say? “For you to answer my calls. For you to reply when I talk to you. For you to say hi when our eyes meet.” Well.
My immediate reaction:
Subsequent thoughts: Seriously, could that have been more perfect? It was something about the simplicity of his words, the vulnerability behind them and the freaking genuineness that makes this scene stick in my mind. I remember one time a guy confessed his love to me in real life, and he went into WAY too much detail (I think he used every flattering adjective in the book possible) and it got to the point where I ceased listening to what he was saying and all meaning was lost. Less is most definitely more, and Young Do proves it here in this scene.
#5 The way you actually notice and care when people are upset.
When it happened: First half of episode 16.
What Happened: Kim Tan has to go to some big important meeting after making Eun Sang cry (what a jerk? Maybe the girl just has shallow eyes?) and Young Do sees. He asks her why she is crying but she pretends not to hear. They later eat at the noodle shop together and after trying to cheer her up in his own (good) dorky ways, he questions again why she was crying earlier. She dodges the subject again. He says he’s going to let her off the hook this time, but asks her to memorise his phone number just in case she ever needs him (in light of the turmoil Kim Tan‘s Dad is putting her through at the moment)— “Call me if you need something. Of course it’s better if you call me for nothing at all.”
My immediate reaction:
Subsequent thoughts: I feel like I am speaking for many when I say this is every woman’s fantasy. To have a guy who understands her, to read her feelings and emotions, to sense when she is upset, and then making the gestures to cheer her up— all without her whispering a single word. A guy who actually wants a phone conversation just because. Honest to freaking goodness, I’d die for that. And you know you would too.
#4 The way you protect others from repeating the same mistakes you did.
When it happened: Episode 18.
What Happened: Kim Tan‘s mum (the real, biological one) is running away from the jail she has been calling home for the last 18 or what not years. She wants to see Tan before she goes, but there isn’t much time as the crazy father’s bodyguards are hot on her (expensive designer) heels. She runs into Young Do, and explains the circumstances. In the past, our Young Do probably would’ve sneered and walked away (or even done something to escalate the situation for the worse), but the Young Do we know now isn’t going to do that. He frantically sprints off to look for Kim Tan to make sure Tan gets to see his mother “one last time” and not live with the same regret that has tormented Young Do to this day.
My immediate reaction: …
Subsequent thoughts: Why am I on the edge of my seat (or bed in actual fact), even though I damn well know you’re going to make it? Because we’re going full parallel and full circle! I loved the integration of the flashback scene (and also Young Do‘s khaki jacket flowing behind him as he’s dashing around campus— looks completely touchable :D) It’s equal parts remission and redemption for the past, for himself, for Tan, for us. Everything feels right again . And it’s beautiful.
#3 The way you get mad at the situation and not the person.
When this happened: Episode 12.
What Happened: Eun Sang confronts Young Do on the streets of Seoul after he finds out that she is indeed the daughter of a mute housemaid. All he wants is to eat noodles with her but she keeps thinking otherwise. He finally snaps and says this:
“What is it that you think I want to do? I don’t even know how to deal with the scars in my own heart, what do you think I can do with yours? I was just sad you weren’t here. I’m happy now that you’re back. Your secret, it’s heavy, that’s all there is to it. Did I ever say I was going to do anything to you?”
Upset (but still exhibiting some bona fide Asian swag), he decides to leave, saying that they should just catch up next time.
My immediate reaction:
Subsequent thoughts: I’m in serous trouble. I think my heart just skipped a beat. No wait, it’s fully beginning to flutter towards this dude… gaaaaahhhh… ottoke, OTTOKE? He’s actually not that arrogant, a bit of a softie inside in fact… no000oooooooo.
This was probably the moment I began to take Young Do‘s feelings for Eun Sang seriously. It’s like he almost didn’t realise the capacity of his love for her (nor did we really), and it’s finally boiling over uncontrollably— Cha Eun Sang, you extremely, extremely lucky girl.
#2 The way you freaking eat home cooked meals.
When it happened: Not too far into episode 18.
What Happened: Eun Sang‘s omma makes Young Do a home cooked meal, he graciously eats it, tears welling up in his reddening eyes. Eun Sang‘s mum then asks him if he is a good friend of Eun Sang‘s, to which Young Do replies, “No, darn it, I freaking like your daughter.” (<– I may have paraphrased that quote a little).
My immediate reaction:
Subsequent thoughts: Okay, so not quite as epic as So Ji Sub‘s ramen scene in MiSa, but Kim Woo Bin‘s first-time-eating-a-home-cooked-meal-in-a-long-long-time moment here tugs at your bloody heartstrings just the same. Then, as if the whole lacking-in-maternal-love thing isn’t enough, the writers decide to remind us that our lonely second male lead ain’t gonna be gettin’ the girl of his dreams either with the “I like Eun Sang” line. I think by this stage my heart was roughly in about 2632982 pieces, yet I still probably wasn’t nearly in as much anguish as our baby Young Do. They have glue to mend this sort of sh*t, right?
#1 The way you set the person you love free.
When it happened: Episode 18 (Again. I get the feeling 18 is the worst episode ever.)
What Happened: Young Do and Eun Sang are at the noodle shop (again) and Young Do declares he’s made the decision to “dump” Eun Sang, requesting that they never see or talk to each other again (let’s face it, this is probably the most efficient way to properly “get over” someone as quickly as possible). Eun Sang pleads to stay friends, but he says there is no way he can do that: “You’ve always been a woman to me, even now, you’re still a woman to me. And from now on, you will be my first love.”
My immediate reaction:
Subsequent thoughts: While I was moved by the dozens by the home cooked meal scene, watching all the years of loneliness melt down in that one moment within Young Do, this scene at my number one spot personally skitzed me out the most. From the moment I heard him utter those words— “From now on, you will be my first love“— that was it it. Deal sealed. Kleenex heaven. Without a doubt, there is something very tender and precious about a first love. From strangers to friends to lovers to strangers again… it’s something a lot of us can relate to. I think the fact that I recently had to get over my first love for the second time made me feel that much closer to Young Do here (sorry this blog has gotten so personal in this post… please don’t disown me… ><…) That spot where we all thought we probably could never get out of. That spot where it hurt to breathe. It sucks like hell when you can’t be with the person you love, but know that tough times don’t last forever, but tough people do ♥ So don’t worry, I am all okay, just like I know Young Do will be. In the end (and I’m sure I’ve said this before), I believe that everything does happen for a reason. When you finally meet the one you are meant to be with for the rest of your life, it will make sense why it didn’t work out with anyone else beforehand. You will be pinching yourself at just how wonderful life is.
Until then, I’ll continue to love you.
Forever and always.
And there you have it.
But omo, I can’t even believe what I’m about to say……
Choi Young Do, I think you are my favourite second male lead ever. (Hanazawa Rui, you’ll be my back-up though, right? )
❈ Please note, the memes used in this post were generated by me. ’twas a rather fun project :D
❈ Picture credits: To be honest, I don’t know which images came from which site, and I certainly didn’t use every photo I had, but here are the pages I visited when compiling the visuals for this post—
saramyun.tumblr.com,blog.naver.com/prologue/PrologueList.nhn?blogId=hyesung1278, alwaysanytime.tistory.com, comerit.tistory.com, blog.naver.com/prologue/PrologueList.nhn?blogId=tr444, ytn.co.kr, joonni.com, m.enewsworld.interest.me, crazy9drama.wordpress.com, therevolutioner.blogspot.com, noonasoverforks.wordpress.com, rarapop.wordpress.com, yongshinifc.blogspot.com, mieranadhirah.blogspot.com, dr-myri-blog.blogspot.com, sunrise030177.blogspot.com, twicsy.com, vingle.net, evacuatewithstyle.org, mslee1107wanderingthoughts.blogspot.com, koreandramareviews.com, en.korea.com, ocdramadee.wordpress.com, ohsnapitszee.blogspot.com, pinterest.com/dramabooksandco, pinterest.com/chawchawsusan, pinterest.com/berubo97, pinterest.com/lastone92, pinterest.com/warjack, pinterest.com/carouselove, seoulbeats, soulsrebel.wordpress.com, sangsokjadeul.wordpress.com