K-Drama Trend: Return of the Nice Guy
Have you noticed the recent trend of nice guys in male lead roles in K-Dramas? Sure, plenty of bad boys get reformed and transformed because of the girl they love and end up becoming a nice guy. That’s pretty unrealistic in real life though. Recently, there has been an increasing number of nice guys who are nice from beginning to end, true nice guys. They are different from the stereotypical bad boys, but they are not pushovers either. Let’s take a look at some recent K-Drama nice guys and let us know whether you prefer bad boys or nice guys.
Im Siwan‘s character in “Misaeng” was heartrendingly kind and resilient. He was the ultimate underdog we were all rooting for. I don’t think viewers would have rooted for him if he hadn’t had a heart of gold. He was a dutiful son and a hard worker. Didn’t your heart break every time he faced a hardship? Although he faced many struggles before and after becoming an intern at One International, he never blamed anyone else. While Jang Geu Rae is far from a bad boy, he is capable of punching someone. Since he’s such an affable guy, he ends up becoming friends with that guy too. Jang Geu Rae hwaiting!
Choi Woo Shik‘s Ho Gu is another adorable nice guy. For most of his life, he was too much of a nice guy. He never had a proper girlfriend because many girls took advantage of his sweet nature, so he ended up getting friend-zoned. However, he has the courage to pursue his high school crush Do Hee (UEE) when he meets her at his high school reunion. Later, he finds out that she is pregnant through a chance encounter on a subway. His nice guy quality shines as he sticks by her side through thick and thin. He’s there for her during the delivery and stays despite not even being the father of her baby. He’s truly genuine and caring. Despite being a very nice guy, he’s not unable to stand up for himself. Why can’t there be more Ho Gus in this world?
Lee Joon portrays Han In Sang who is a high school student coming from an elite family. Despite his upper crust upbringing, Han In Sang is not snobby and pretty relatable. What a refreshing change from all the stereotypical rich bad boys. Who can forget Lee Min Ho in “Boys Over Flowers?” He really cares for Seo Bom (Go Ah Sung) and doesn’t run away from taking responsibility after finding out that she is pregnant with his child. He has the courage to defend her and her family in front of his controlling and neurotic parents. The battle continues as the couple deal with his parent’s manipulations. He’s a more realistic nice guy. He’s not overly nice, but rather a really good guy.
Ji Hyun Woo is idealistic and sweet as Park No Ah. He’s a naive, but well meaning teacher who wants to make a difference with his students. The students are a bit jaded to believe that he can help them, yet the teacher doesn’t give up. Always showing concern for everyone, this guy has an amazing heart. His job doesn’t end when school hours are over, he continues to look out for students during his off hours as well. Even though his student Jo Bang Wool (Kim Hee Sun) grabs him in a chokehold, he is quick to defend her. Later, we saw how much he genuinely cares for his students when he grieves and blames himself for a student’s death. Although he has been overly optimistic to the point that he seems a bit weak, we foresee his character becoming stronger as the drama progresses. We need loving teachers like Park No Ah.
So different from his other personalities, Ji Sung‘s Cha Do Hyun in “Kill Me, Heal Me” was sweet, gentle, and responsible. He was an empathetic kid who felt someone else’s pain so keenly, his personality split in order to cope. As an adult, given the need to keep his disorder a secret, he dealt with his Disassociate Identity Disorder as gracefully as possible, cleaning up after and taking full responsibility for the chaos that his personalities created when they showed up. When confronted with the danger of hurting the people he loves, Cha Do Hyun steeled up and faced his past. While his tougher, rougher personality Shin Se Gi taunted him for being a coward, Cha Do Hyun proved that he was made up of stronger stuff than one would think of a nice guy. Cuz hey, just because you’re nice and soft-spoken doesn’t mean you’re cotton candy.
Those were five of the most recent nice guys in K-Dramaland. Who do you think is the nicest guy? Vote in the poll below and share your comments!