It’s Not a Kdrama Until: Somebody Cheats

Posted by Stephanie on August 23, 2012


Cheaters Never Prosper, unless it’s Kdrama.

Hrm. Pet peeve of mine. Cheaters. Cheater McCheaterson. Liar, liar, pants on fire. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for my hero and heroine to get together, but if they do so while the other is involved with someone else? Well that’s when my d-bag radar kicks in. I can’t help it. Its ingrained.

Now I’m not talking the love triangle, the will they-won’t they, before anyone actually becomes a couple. Before becoming coming a couple is totally different. Like as much as I didn’t care for the storyline in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop where the heroine dated both guys, I can’t count that because she was open and upfront about it. She was trying each guy on like a shoe, seeing which would fit.FBND2

I also rule out love triangle where the tempted person in the committed couple never actually goes far enough to cheat. They stay where they are, for better or worse, because of the relationship.

This knocks out shows like Coffee House. Eun Young was adamant that she would not leave her fiancé until Jin Soo busted up the wedding, allowing her an out. She broke off the engagement, waited 6 months, and then got together with the hero. No skeevies happening there. For the same reason this also kicks out Stars Falling From the Sky. Once Kang Ha gets blackmailed into an engagement, he will not allow himself to make a move towards Pal Gang. In both these cases, though they are clearly with the wrong person, they remain stand up characters.SFFTS

What brought this rant on? Well over the weekend I watched A Gentleman’s Dignity, where one of the F44 is a continual Cheater McCheater. First scene we meet him in? He’s removing his wedding band to hit on a bunch of mourners at a funeral. Then for review this week I’ve got City Hall where the hero is engaged but this doesn’t stop him or the heroine from sneaking around and having a relationship.


Which got me thinking about all the other show’s this has happened in. I opened my trusty spread sheet and pulled out some figures:

Shows Watched: 35 (I feel like I’m still such a newbie but that’s a pretty substantial number, right?)
Cases of cheating done by a member of the main couple: 12
Cases of cheating by any side characters (this is just current, not wrongs done by the character in the past) 8
Total: 20

Which is over half of the show’s I’ve seen! That is a whole lotta cheating going on. Has anybody else noticed this? As I’m still (relatively) new on the Kdrama scene, it may just be the shows I’ve chosen, but I’m thinking the spreadsheet speaks for itself. Kdrama has been run amuck with cheaters.

Lets mainly focus on our main couple, because really, that’s the whole point of Kdrama, right?

Now looking at the data (ooh I feel so official) I see that the main cause of cheating is due to the fact that the hero/heroine is being forced into a marriage by a chaebol parent. The whole: Well, because I don’t care about that other person, of course I’m going to sneak around with the person I’m actually supposed to be with excuse.

Hrm. Stephanie gets cranky. Yes, I want my characters to ultimately be together, yes, I’m just as angry at Big Bad Kdrama Mama for not being able to look past the heroine’s social inferiority and the hero’s love for said heroine and demanding they separate. (As, also looking at the spread sheet, I see that in all but one case, it was the hero has been browbeaten into an engagement.) I get these things, but personally, it still irritates me. As we see in Lie To Me, Stars Falling From The Sky, you can end up with the one you are supposed to end up with while still being a stand up guy (or girl).HTMAPN

I just have a harder time rooting for a couple who sneak around and date (or more) when one of them is entangled. This may just be me, but either way the data is fascinating. (Said in a smarty-pants tone.)

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