Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Villains of Kdrama: Dare I Say... Boring?

It’s no secret that the vast majority of TV/Movie lovers love a good villain. They drive the story, fuel the angst, and drive us positively bats*** crazy wondering what they’re going to do next - what deviltry will they induce, how many lives will they ruin, how many good people will die – all the while waiting to see what inevitable end they will come to. The hero will get them in the end, right? We’ll cheer and clap, and grin because we knew it would happen eventually. The End. Next drama. Ohh, a new baddie.


Does anyone else ever get tired of the same kind of bad dude, every other drama? The kind that’s completely without scruples, who murders without a thought, doesn’t give a care to his own goons, and will gleefully murder small children if it’s a means to his own success. In real life, I would happily see them behind bars and or just plain dead. But in dramas, they kind of bore me. Why? Because these types of characters exist for basically two reasons: to create a backdrop of black and white, and to make the viewers sick with emotional angst.

Now, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a good comic book style villain every now and then. And when a good sicko is created by some genius writer, I enjoy the thrill of seeing them put down a notch (or a 100 notches). But there’s something else I enjoy watching –something that’s almost more terrifying to see on screen – and that’s a villain that looks like real human being. A thug that feels real, a boss who cares about his lackeys, a villain with a 3-dimensional character, and maybe even some feelings to go along with it.

Do they need a full redemption story? Not necessarily, because that’s almost as boring as a bad guy getting his just deserts. But a villain that’s recognizable, or even – dare I say it – relatable? Now there’s a story that’s interesting to watch. Sadly, they’re a whole lot lacking in the Kdrama landscape.

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  1. Great article Rosie! The villains are always more interesting when there are multiple layers to uncover from them. Like you said, the most scariest villains are the ones you can maybe relate to. Because that is the point where a person comes to the realization that they too can be one step away from being "evil" in the worlds eyes.

    1. Thanks :) And Yup. That's the scary moment. But it's also so much more interesting to watch!


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  3. True that, but talking about good villains, I loved the murderous sociopath in "I remember you". What did you think of him?