The B-Guy is known by many names, second lead, the other guy, the nice guy, or loser who doesn’t get the girl. I have always just considered him the B-Guy. Not a bad choice, he’s just not an A. As Kdrama’s love their love triangles, there are a lot of B-Guys out there. Depending on how much work the writer puts into the character, we can feel just as much, if not more for our B-Guy over who we are supposed to be rooting for, the hero. As much as it breaks my heart to watch these characters, don’t we prefer a story with actual stakes to it? If we don’t care about these characters what the heck are we doing investing all these hours in there?
Of course I am setting aside the bad guy B-Guys, someone you are naturally supposed to root against. Usually these men are the villains or psudo-villians like last week’s Shim Jae Ha from Who Are You. I think Villainous Guys With Designs On the Heroine are a different type of character and should not be mentioned here.
For our B-Guy I’m referring to the guy on the side who, if only the heroine would give him a fighting chance, could be a viable option for her future.
The B-Guy is usually not hard to spot. Look around. Is there a guy who is always in the heroines vicinity who is unfailingly nice, supportive, and looks at her with a deep longing in his eyes? Is he almost as cute if not cuter than the hero? Bingo! There’s your B-Guy. By contrast our hero is usually abrasive, mean, and/or insulting to our heroine.
Why would our wily heroines choose such a man over the smarter choice, the B-Guy? Usually, it’s not because they are stupid or because they are masochists (unless maybe you’re Oh Hani from Playful Kiss). This can be explained a couple of ways. Good girls like bad boys. At least in drama. They can’t help but be drawn to the slightly damaged man with lots of layers. And heroes, they usually have lots of oooey gooey layers and, as well all know, ooey gooey layers is just downright sexy. How can our regular guy B-Guy compete with that? (I am keeping in mind that there are exceptions to every rule)
So that’s one strike against our B-Guy, but you know one of the biggest reasons the B-Guy doesn’t get the girl? It’s a biggie. Most B-Guys don’t speak up! The let opportunity pass them time and again to declare themselves or just to even let the heroine know he’s interested. Instead he just mopes around.
Which just irritates me.
If you are not going to do anything about your feelings, I’m not going to feel bad for you when you finally come to your senses and it’s too late, the heroine fell for the jerk about 6 episodes ago (I’m looking at you Shin Woo). These guys are either afraid of ruining the relationship they already have with the heroine or they don’t want to upset her, or plan to do it at a “later date”. In comparison, our actual hero, once he gets over himself and decides to go after the heroine, has no such qualms. If you need an example look at JynPyo from Boys Over Flowers. When he decides he likes JanDi, he fought everything in his way, his friend, his mother, society, even JanDi itself. Although it fights with my inner feminist, I think it’s downright sexy.
There are the few B-Guys out there who do give it their all. They put themselves and their feelings right in the heroines face and actually fight for her. And while I don’t necessarily wish the heroine would choose them, at least I think they are more deserving of her. If you’re going to lose, you might as well lose fighting, right?
So sorry about that B-Guy. Let this be a lesson to you. If you want to get the girl speak up, insult the heroine, and if possible, manufacture a couple of layers. And if you’ve done all this and still don’t get the girl? Well then, huh. All I can say is that must be some hero!