Ohhh boy. Heh heh heh. KDramas know how to make one mean villain. A villain that makes you go from a calm and sweet girl to a violent viewer shouting death threats at the screen. A villain that can turn your happy life into an agonizing existence of wondering if your hero will make it out alive. But how does one choose a favorite out of all these great villains? That is the question.
As a writer, with a fascination with psychology as I craft my own characters, I love analyzing a good villain. While I think a lot of KDramas do a great job in exploring the psychological aspect of a villain’s mind, there are a few that stand out to me particularly.
Kim Bong-gu / John Mayer ~ King 2 Hearts
Oh. My. Gosh. Talk about positively CREEPY and horrifying. I would have to say he was the most creepy and horrifying villain I’ve seen, as well as the one that struck my heart with fear for my characters whenever he showed up. John Mayer is the epitome of everything that Jae Ha and his brother are fighting against. And the way he manages to have almost the whole world under his thumb, and to sneak in and take over in the most undercover of ways, pulling off a mysterious assassination and completely ruining Princess Jae Shin’s mind by psychological trauma…. He is crazy beyond crazy, and yet has the skill and intelligence to put action to his craziness… Plus he has his own lair, his creepy cronies, and his own horrifying theme music (which I will never be able to hear the same way again)… Terrifying, but he is one good villain. Like a villain out of a fairy tale, but somehow much more “real”, like, there could be such a person. I would definitely put him down as the most memorable and gripping villain.
NOTE: Here I lost myself and went kind of overboard with a character analysis. Just because I wrote more about Tae Moo and Se Na doesn’t mean I think they’re better villains…. I guess John Mayer is the best for completely insanity and insane brilliance, and the other two for their psychology and character growth or regress.
Yong Tae-Moo and Hong Se-Na ~ Rooftop Prince
These two were also, in my opinion, very well-written and well-played. The whole time you feel like leaping through the screen and punching them out…. especially when Se Na is always bullying Park Ha. She’s so annoying that even when she smiles, my sister and I will be screaming at the screen: “I hate her! UGH! Her smile is so annoying! Ugh her laugh is so annoying! Oh give me a break, now she’s crying! Ugh I hate her lisp!” The odd thing is, Se Na really is very pretty and cute…. but she is just so horrible that everything she does ends up being disgusting. Same with Tae Moo… he’s not a bad looking fellow, and sometimes, towards the beginning, he actually seems kind of nice.
The thing I find interesting about these characters is the journeys that make them who they are. I know some people say Se Na had no reason to hate Park Ha, and true, Park Ha didn’t deserve that treatment at all whatsoever… but it’s interesting to see that way Se Na was treated as a child and how she grew to be. She was always getting yelled at, getting accused, getting spanked… I think she was starved for love, but didn’t choose the right way to receive love. Then as she grew up, she lied through her teeth so that she could get some kind of recognition, and when Tae Moo showed interest in her, she created more and more lies so that she wouldn’t lose his love. And she will do anything… even the most hurtful things to her “mom” and sister… to hold on to that love. In the end, she really is very pitiable (though still entirely hateful). I was glad in the end when she chose to save Park Ha through the liver transplant and turn herself in… it was nice to see that she still had that bit of humanity still inside her.
Tae Moo is an interesting character too. That first meeting with him at the beginning… he doesn’t seem so bad. He’s chilling with his cousin, having a good time. Seems a bit jealous and greedy, but not villainously so. But when he accidentally knocks Tae Yong unconscious into the water, he is too concerned about covering for himself and gaining recognition and position in the company and basically leaves his cousin to die and lies about it to the whole family. Like Se Na, as people come closer to knowing his secret, his lies grow more and more until he becomes positively violent. However, unlike Se Na, who has her redemptive turn at the end, Tae Moo spirals further and further down, to the level of a kidnapper and attempted murderer, with no sign of regret for his actions. “A murderer… and a liar."
And the oddest thing about these two villains is that, however much you hate them, you still kind of wish they’d end up together. At least Tae Moo really does seem to love Se Na. *shrugs* Maybe years later they repented and got out of jail and found each other again.
I’m only on episode 13 but Se Na makes me rage. She has absolutely NO REASON to be as much of a bitch as she is. At least Tae Moo’s issues started with him knocking his cousin off a boat and thinking he killed him. He has issues BECAUSE OF REASONS. Se Na is just a selfish bitch who has super issues.
I’ve spent the last 13 episodes yelling “WHOOOOOOOOOOOOORE!” at my computer.
I don’t know how much more of this I can take. How is this 20 episodes? Just get on with it already!