by kkdrama, April 3, 2020

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It's been so long since I've had time to write because of school. Glad to be back!!

FL: female lead                                    ML: male lead

SFL: second female lead                                    SML: second male lead

In my opinion, there are two types of hated characters: the ones that deserve a punch in the face and getting kicked out of the drama for everyone to have their happily ever after, and the ones that watchers misunderstood, leading to hating on them (PS: I'm not talking about those that had a tough life or trauma, and everyone should pity them even though they are being a b*tch and making my blood boil, these characters below had reasons for acting the way did, but they didn't go beyond limits or did unforgivable things or messed another person's life for stupid reasons like Soo Ji from Tempted, Jia Yu from Just You, and many other annoying female characters... ) 

I've always wondered why while these 3 female leads on the list are disliked a lot, I find them right and watchers who complain about them in the comments or reviews didn't try to see things from that character's point of view or didn't try to understand their behaviour. I decided to write about these characters because I think it's a bit unfair for them (I'm talking about them as if they are real but being so concerned about a drama character and caring about their feelings more than anything is the guilty pleasure of being an Asian-drama fan ¯\(°_o)/¯ ).

Doctor Stranger

Song Jae Hee

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Many watchers ship the ML with the SFL saying that she deserves him and that she didn't mistreat him, unlike the FL who manipulated him using his feelings for her!!

First, the SFL in this drama was so annoying, in just one ep she forgot about her fiancé, and suddenly she's in love with the ML, I mean the love triangle in this drama was forced into the plot in an illogical way so I couldn't understand the reasons why some watchers ship the ML with the SFL. For me, love is not an overnight thing meaning you can't say you love someone, and the next day you're in love with someone else. Her fiancé was right she didn't love the ML, for her he was like a newly released bag, she's only attracted to him because it's in our nature that we feel attracted to new things which mess up with our feelings or maybe it's because he helped her in some difficult situations but what proves that the first hypothesis is the right one it's that at the end of the drama she realized herself that she'd always been in love with her fiancé and they got back together. Also, the SFL was not even close to being as good as Jae Hee, sure she was brave too, but she made many dumb decisions, and in my opinion, she was every bit of selfish too.

Second, for those who said Jae Hee was evil and manipulative, I highly disagree! Thinking about it  there was only one reason as to why she lied to her lover, and that was to protect him, and when her mission is done, she will settle down with him, that was her dream. She is such a smart, brave and strong FL who took the responsibility to protect her man and put her life on the line for him even though they may not end up together which proves how much she loved the ML and cared about his safety. 

Third, Jae Hee was also a victim.  From living a simple happy life to spending years in-concentration camp until her kidneys were damaged and when she finally got to see the ML only to find out that her father died to save her then she thought she could finally escape this hell she got shot instead of her fiancé aka the ML and sacrificed her life for him only to find herself back to the in-concentration camp until she got a new identity and was promised that if she agrees to be part of the plan to get rid of the current president of South Korea, she gets to meet the love of her life and be with him, so she impulsively jumped at the chance without thinking of the consequences, all she wanted was to see the ML and be happy, she's been through so much that it was so painful for me to watch. Besides, how could she possibly predict that she would regret this decision and that it would lead to misery instead of happiness and to separation instead of a union? Now that she got stuck already in this game, she could only play along and be strong for the sake of the ML. She was a goddamn survivor, she knew if she gave up the ML's life would be in danger, so she kept all of her pain and secrets to herself and kept ongoing.

Finally, Jae Hee is one of my favorite characters. I think that her character outshone all the others. She had that mysterious aura that gets me excited every time she appears on-screen. She may look icy and indifferent, but she cares a lot about her entourage that she even wanted to apologize to the SFL when she and the ML started dating again and felt sad thinking that she deceived her roommate by going out with the guy the latter had a crush on. So, in my opinion, her character was unique, charming and interesting because rare are characters who balance between reason and feelings and act as professional as she did. Thinking about watchers who made her more like the villain of the story or shipped the ML with the SFL made me a bit sad and I hope that reading this changed their minds about her.

Cunning Single Lady

Na Ae Ra

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Before I start explaining why Ae Ra is really pitiful and far away from that cunning gold-digger image watchers had for her, I want to say that this drama, putting all the comedy aside, dealt with serious issues about marriage and divorce. It showed how much pressure a divorcee woman has to go through and all the blame on her for the divorce while a divorced man is seen as someone who just got back freedom and he's now officially available. It was obvious in that scene where the company staff went out together, and the topic of the ML aka CEO divorce was brought up, how people were badmouthing her and pitying him without knowing anything was so disgusting. And what made it worse is him agreeing with them, I know he's hurt but letting others throw shade at his ex-wife is way worse than what she did. I felt my blood boil at that moment, people were siding with him, and they don't even know the real reason behind their divorce, and he was even enjoying it. 

And this is not the only scene where the divorcee woman is seen as a "car" whose price went south because it's been used and that she should be happy that some guy good or not still wants her while the man is encouraged to find a "better" wife and restart his life with his new "car". And many other scenes showing that a divorcee woman should be ashamed and hide that fact as if she committed a crime, I think that such a horrible mentality is ruining many women's lives and making them prefer to suffer a miserable marriage then get divorced  (If I started talking about this topic, I'd need more than just one article for it).

Ae Ra is a character that appears greedy and selfish, a woman who left her husband struggling on his own and divorced him because she wanted a better life for herself then when he became the CEO of a well-known company, she wanted him back because she's eyeing his money. That's how watchers including me thought of her at the beginning and hated her for that, but as the story develops, we get to see the real her and the real reason behind their divorce. Unfortunately, the majority of watchers couldn't get that selfish cunning gold-digger image of her out of their heads even after seeing all the hardships she had to go through. Well I do pity the ML, he loved her deeply and worked hard for a better future for both of them, but she had enough after what happened right before they got a divorce. Here are some reasons why she is not what watchers thought she was :

Imagine yourself seeing your ex-husband as the CEO of a well-known company after you worked harder than ever and suffered for a long time to pay the debts he started his business with even after the divorce (plus the fact that she inspired the idea he started the company with), I mean it's logical that you would feel angry that he didn't even pay you back when that amount of money means nothing to him by now. That's exactly how Ae Ra felt seeing her ex-husband enjoying luxury by himself, I'm not saying she's 100% right, but she's a human being, after all, she's far from perfect. Put yourself in her shoes, the poor woman had to work multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet and support her husband who used to have a steady job, but he suddenly quit to start his own business and drowned the two in debt. 

She wasn't greedy at all. If she was, she would have supported his idea of having more than a simple office job, but she made it clear that she wanted a decent and simply life, she was thankful for whatever they could afford, she enjoyed waiting for her husband to come back home while cooking dinner, this is how she imagined her life, she wanted no adventures and no regrets. He on the other side wanted more, he was ambitious, and I don't blame him for that, but he should have had at least a proper conversation with her before quitting his job, he made such a major decision without her knowledge, and that was a big mistake.

So if Ae Ra wasn't greedy or selfish and still supported her husband financially, after all, then why did she coldly ask for divorce that even the ML thought that she wanted to get rid of him and leave him to suffer alone? It all started with her overworking to the point of affecting her health badly. But since all the money she gets was spent on life necessities and paying her husband's debt, she had no spare money to go see a doctor and no time to rest. Her only hope was that, soon, her husband would succeed and they will enjoy luxury together. I admit she was a bit harsh on him sometimes, but she was too stressed and exhausted to care. 

She still bore it anyway. She was actually the definition of the good supportive wife. Until she got pregnant and it's a must for a pregnant woman to rest and keep calm, but having no choice, Ae Ra had to keep working with the same pace. Then a mother's worst nightmare happened. She lost her precious baby before even having the chance to tell her husband about its existence, the scene where she tells the story was really heartbreaking. At this point, if I was her friend, I wouldn't dare tell her not to ask for a divorce. A mother who lost her baby is capable of doing anything even if the baby wasn't born yet, still, she didn't blame him for what happened (I don't mean it's his fault, but anyone in her position would've put all the blame on him) but she couldn't live in the same conditions anymore, if she did, I think she would have been seriously ill by now, and I'm not exaggerating because working too much can cause serious health issues.

Lastly, even after getting back together, when Ae Ra thought that the ML would be better off with the SFL, she chose to let go, she was ready to even hurt his feelings than let him go back to the beginning because of their relationship. When she was so drunk she didn't even tell that she was talking to the ML, she told him about her plan to reject him saying that she was eyeing his money and status and that if he was to ever go bankrupt, she would break up with him. At that moment, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, the ML kept listening to her anyway and nodding. She did truly love him just like he did. As for whoever saying that she married just because she was sure he could pass the government exam (I'm not sure this is the name of the exam), come on!! everybody chooses their partner according to their own standers, personality alone cannot be the only thing you care about before tying the knot, marriage is a serious matter, she thought that her happiness is to marry someone like him if she was scheming than aren't we all?

Siege In Fog

Qin Sang

Qin Sang is a really complicated character, you never know what's in her head, she smiles when she's sad, she pretends to be fine when she's hurt, she says yes when she wants to say no, she shut people out when she needs comfort the most, she's torn apart between reason and heart, she may make some reckless decisions, but she takes responsibility for them,... Resuming her tough, tragic life in one sentence: "You never know how strong you are... until being strong is the ONLY choice you have", dumped in the harshest way by the love of her life, witnessing her father accused and going to jail causing her family to fall apart, forced to marry a guy she barely knows, having to deal with rumours and malicious gossip about her husband who's busy having fun and constantly meeting other women without even hiding it and the list goes on... all while remaining quiet and calm sitting still and looking pretty because she's nothing but the daughter of a mere government officer in the household of one of the most powerful families in the country at a time when women didn't have much freedom or many choices. It broke her and made her icy cold, brave and cunning (Extract from an article I wrote before). 

Starting with the very beginning of the series of events that changed her, her lover's betrayal that left a deep scar in her heart and memories. The old and young Qin Sang is a naive girl with big dreams, easily fascinated by the charming revolutionist (the SML) and his speech about revolution and freedom. After dating for a while, Qin Sang became attached to the SML and chose to elope with him when her mother refused to accept him, she knelt down on her knees and waited for her prince charming or so she thought he was, rain poured, but she still didn't budge. You guessed right! He never came, turns out he went to Japan and left her. Humiliation, betrayal, depression,... and the constant gossip and mockery broke her. After seeing her flash-black, I felt sad for her. I didn't expect her to open up to the ML because she's too insecure and for her, the thing she's afraid of the most is falling in love with a guy she thought married her to hide his love for another woman.

As if that wasn't enough, Qin Sang had no time to rest and heal the still bleeding wound of betrayal because she was the only thing that could save her family from misery. After her father was arrested even though it was obvious he was innocent, her mother put all the pressure on her and made her into their ticket for a better future thinking that a "good" marriage equals a good life and forced her to approach rich and powerful men who can help her family regain the respect and wealth they once had. All of this lowered her self-esteem and affected her personality that she started to think that she was truly nothing but a tool, she even thought she was ugly. I can't even imagine how lonely, hurt and stressed she must felt with no one to comfort her, no shoulder to cry on and no one to show her hidden scars to, wearing a fake smile and act as if everything is all right becoming a talent for her. The old Qin Sang was a lively smart girl full of innocence and warmth, but it was a life that turned her into the person she became, and she hated her mother for playing a major role in it, but her hatred didn't stop her from grieving for her death and carrying on with the responsibility to protect her family.

Feeling already like an object for sell, the way the ML asked for her hand in marriage didn't help at all. He chose to persuade her mother at first using his status as the third master of one of the most powerful families in the country, but it didn't work because of his bad reputation as a playboy. Her mother, selfish or not, was at least smart, even though she wanted her daughter to marry someone with power, she still wisely rejected all offers from old or already married men. As plan A didn't work and Qin Sang's mother rejected the ML, he offered her a deal he thought was too good to be rejected, he gave her a fortune of the antiques he owned, in case he ever cheated on her daughter or got a concubine. After he left,  Qin Sang was so happy thinking he left because her mother drove him away and rejected his proposal again. 

I still remember how expression changed when her mom explained that he only left because she approved of the wedding. The saddest part is that even though she was so good at faking her expressions and controlling her feelings, she still cried at her wedding day (it was mentioned in her conversation with the young general when she asked "did I cry?" and he said "yes") which shows how hopeless she must have felt back then. Even though his intention was to make her his and shower her with love, he ruined his chances since the beginning. He said he was knocking at her heart for a long time, but I think he was just kicking and banging. And not to forget that both are hot-tempered, whenever they fight they end up shouting at each other and saying hurtful words out of anger. Plus why was everyone harsh on her, for me, she was stuck in an arranged marriage she couldn't even dare say no to. Put yourself in her shoes, seeing a rich playboy (you only met once)  buy you with a bunch of antiques, how would you feel towards him? I don't know about you, but I've seen CSI, I would murder him and make it look like an accident. 

Moreover, Qin Sang is that type of FL who was born in the wrong period of time, a period when girls were still dolls with limited freedom ordered to be elegant, feminine and classy. 90% of them have only one thing on mind "marriage" they would spend their youth learning how to "behave like a woman" by reading using a certain pitch, writing poems, dancing, drinking tea like a royalty, laughing quietly, smiling shyly, talking with a delicate voice, cooking sweets and the most important looking pretty. But what I love about Qin Sang is that she isn't that badass girl with a hidden gun in her waist, but she also doesn't belong to the 90% category, she has her own unique personality. She may have spent hours learning some dance moves, but she also spent hours practicing fencing not because she was rebellious or wanted to prove she could be as good as guys but because it's her hobby and it helps her concentrate, and she may talk with a sweet voice only because she let her words do the job. 

I admit though, she did make a few reckless and stupid decisions like when she gave the ML sleeping pills and made a plan to save her ex-lover (the SML) that I personally despise or when she turned down in a pretty harsh way the ML's first confession. But that doesn't make her a bad person instead I think it made watchers discover a new side of her, she's brave and takes responsibility for her actions, she can be icy cold, but deep inside she's innocent, caring and forgiving, she's ready to risk it all for the sake of her beloved ones (she did everything to protect the ML in many situations). She's way too good for that cruel, mean entourage she's stuck in.

Last but not least, even though I loved the ML, he still sucks at being a good husband (in the first half of the drama). I know what Qin Sang said at their wedding night was like a dagger stabbed in his heart, but instead of taking things slow he chose to force his feelings on her and try seeing other women make her jealous but I think he only made things worse. His plan only made them more distinct and made their marriage life a failure. He made his wife exposed to rumours, mockery and bullying all over again and she was deeply hurt by his actions but was forced to ignore it all and play along with his games and being his shield most of the time, she never let him down, at least they were good partners and defended each other. I liked that they had a connection like they could understand each other with the blink of an eye (doesn't apply to their feelings sadly), well great minds think alike. After they made up and fell in love, when Fu Rong Cai tried to get back at the ML by telling Qin Sang how her husband is involved in her family's misfortune, she didn't let him mock her husband or even know that she's mad at him and that only show great and smart she is. 

Hope you enjoyed this way too long article!!

Who else do u think should be mentioned?

(Hopefully soon!)

Edited by: Yuanwei (1st editor) & Jojo (2nd editor)