Second Lead Syndrome – It’s Not Only In K-Drama!

second lead syndrome.png

Guess who just finished their finals? (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Technically, my written finals end on Monday, but I have 2 paper submission and 1 lab report today- and another one next week. It’s so relieving to submit them all and I enjoyed the rest of the day swimming.

But anyway, we are not here to discuss about my finals- let’s save that for my wrap up. Today is the third part of my hallyu series, where I discuss about second lead syndrome 💕 I initially want to talk about either classic k-drama series or favorite ost,* but I decided to go with this topic as I can tie it with books and western media too. So this post also serve as my discussion for the month of June.

*note: I plan to move on to k-pop in my next post, but if you want me to write about classic k-drama or ost, let me know! 

So second lead syndrome is usually present in k-drama, where the second lead guy is usually more eye catching than the main lead, and you can’t help but root for him more. What I mean by eye-catching is not by look only, but also by mannerism and storyline.

Despite being famous k-dramas, this syndrome is also present in western media- or just media in general. How many times did you wish that the mc will choose another love interest? Or at least for the second lead to have something good happen to them- because admit it, they usually lost everything?? It’s very rare for the mc to end up with the second lead, they tend to end up with the first lead- despite the first lead being totally horrible and the second lead is super sweet 😢

So today I will share with you guys some dramas, shows, books, and movies that give me second lead syndrome. Let me know in the comment below if you ever experience this syndrome, and your favorite second lead! 😁

Previous post on my hallyu series:

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Seo Do-Yoon from W

Image result for seo do yoon w

He is my first second lead favorite, despite me never realizing it. He’s not involved in a love triangle per-se, there is no love triangle in this drama. But he’s such a loyal friend to Kang Chul and I always wonder whether he cross to the real world or not in the end.

In Gook-Do from Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon

Image result for in gook do strong woman do bong soon

Yes, Gook Do can be annoying and rough at times, but behind all that, he’s really sweet! I’m so torn between Gook-Do and Min-Hyuk, on one side he already have his own life but then at the end… I actually cried after he confessed. He’s so precious.

Grim Reaper from Goblin

Image result for grim reaper goblin

I can’t be the only one who’s watching this drama and find myself more invested in Grim Reaper/Sunny love story, right?

Han Woo-Tak from While You Were Sleeping

Image result for han woo tak while you were sleeping

aka the CUTEST CINNAMON ROLL OF EVER!!!! (◕‿◕✿) I swear, he’s so precious and pure. He’s so cute with his subtle ways of trying to visit Hong-Joo all the time, but as the same time, he’s totally supportive of Hong-Joo/Jae-Chan relationship. I still haven’t finish this drama yet but from the poster I think it’s safe to say that Woo-Tak won’t end up with Hong-Joo *sobs*

Ji Young-Hoon from Are You Human Too?

Image result for lee joon hyuk are you human too

And finally, the second lead that inspired this idea! Are You Human Too? is a newly released k-drama, it’s only on its 4th episode now. I was lured by the promise of sci-fi and my sister watching it in front of me, but when I watched it, for some reason I was drawn to Young-Hoon! He’s so laid back and witty, but also smart and can be serious when needed to. I also don’t think he’s involved in a love triangle in this movie as the pairing is pretty clear. Let’s just hope he will survive until the end of the drama!

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Isaac Lahey (or basically other guys) from Teen Wolf

Image result for isaac lahey

Okay, Scott McCall is a wonderful person. He truly is. But his character is always overshadowed by other lead guy! First it was Stiles. Then it was Isaac Lahey. And then it’s Liam! Like um I’m sorry I like you but I like other characters more. Specifically Isaac. I mean, Scalisson is endgame, but for some reason, I really root for Isaac. He’s been through a lot.

Loki from Thor

Image result for loki

I mean… come on. This is like the biggest second-lead syndrome EVER in hollywood.

Kenji Kishimoto from Shatter Me

Image result for kenji kishimoto

Okay, technically he is the third lead as the first two is taken by Adam and Warner. But I hate them both so I’ll lump them together and consider Kenji as my second lead. He’s just such a ray of sunshine, able to lighten up the situation. But he’s also a good leader, and an even more amazing friend to Juliette.

On to you: Have you ever experience second lead syndrome? Who’s your favorite?


30 thoughts on “Second Lead Syndrome – It’s Not Only In K-Drama!

  1. AAAAH a very important post- second leads deserve alll the appreciation imo. I’m not familiar with any you mentioned here apart from the kdrama ones so I’ll just jump to them instead!
    Haein’s smile STILL haunts me- his character was the purest ever and deserved ALL the love. I even loved him more than I loved Jong-Suk in WYWS, and my heart just broke for him. GAH. And I totally agree about the Lee Tae Hwan character in W, I was so bummed that we didn’t see more of him and he’s partly the reason why I’m so, so, so stoked about Why Secretary Kim! (you should start watching it ASAP btw! I’d love to know what you think!) I found Gook-Do a little too annoying in Strong Woman but that’s mostly because I shipped the main leads together so hard, lol. AND YES- I loved the Grim Reaper- Sunny couple so much! <33 I haven't yet started Are You Human Too? but I do so want to and Ji Young-Hoon may just have helped bump the drama even higher in my list of priorities now xD
    Loved this post, Tasya! And OF COURSE you should do a one on classic K-dramas and favourite OSTs! I'll be looking forward to them! ❤


    1. Hey, I just ended up binging all the Are You Human episodes till now and I just wanted to let you know that I’m so, so glad I ended up starting this one because it’s SO SO GOOD I LOVE IT and I totally agree about Young Hoon. He’d better have something great in store for him down the lane!


      1. Thank you Ruzaika! I swear Hae-in smile still haunts me too, it’s just SO PURE 💗 Why Secretary Kim is high on my list, it seems like my kind of drama! Also, glad you agree with my choices and I hope Young Hoon has something important coming- but please don’t die!! 😰


  2. omg this happens almost all the time and i get kinda frustrated/sad because i know the mc would probably never end up with the second lead ancjkdks


  3. OMG SO MUCH YES FOR GUK DOO! I love him and it completely broke my heart when he was so excited to declare his love 😦 I so ship her with Min Min but… but… I wish we had seen the guy find love with someone else so that we feel less bad for him.


  4. My first favourite second lead is Kim Woo Bin…..but like you I never realized it in the beginning. You’re right about Goblin. I was really anxious about Sunny/Grim Reaper…loved their past too….And the friend like Kang Chul for you, for me it’s Love in the Moonlight Byong-yeona


  5. LOVE THIS POST Tasya! ❤️ I actually normally love the leads, lol, I guess I like arrogant guys… though in RL its the opposite. BUT I SOOOOOOOOOOO agree about many of your picks… I wanted more about Seo Do-Yoon in W too, he was just filling in space as the best friend… And why isn’t Ji Soo the lead in Strong Woman?! Hahaha I love him so much. And I totally loved the Grim Reaper and Sunny more! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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