First Love, Second Lead Act

An act defining the role of first loves in kdramas, assigning duties and responsibilities thereof.

Section 1. Definition

(a) Whereas a First Love, Second Lead (FLSL) is a type of second lead who used to be the object of affection of one of the members of the OTP.

(b) Whereas an FLSL has unresolved romantic issues with the lead hero/heroine either because the FLSL left suddenly for stupid pressing reasons, “didn’t have the courage” to return the affection of the hero/heroine in the past, or both.

Section 2. Introduction and Purpose

(a) An FLSL shall be used to expedite the formation of love triangles by removing the part where a kdrama shows us why the hero/heroine even bothers to defend, admire, favor, etc this character who dropped into our midst (usually from getting an MBA in the US).

(b) Should any member of the OTP act questionably in favor of a FLSL, a kdrama is authorized to shrug its shoulders and say: “DUH. He/she was her/his first love. No explanation needed.”

(c) An FLSL’s back-story shall be released on a need-to-know basis, preferably via broody shower scenes where a hero reminisces about his failed first love.

(d) An FLSL shall be introduced to the story right when the OTP are starting to fall for each other and not an episode before.

Section 3. Qualifications

(a) Male FLSL – must be smart, with pleasing personality, at least one (1) year older than the heroine; preferably a work, hometown, and/or university sunbae-slash-Oppa.

(b) Female FLSL – must be smart, rich, and beautiful/well-dressed; highly presumptuous and takes hero’s adoration for granted.

Section 4. Duties and Responsibilities – An FLSL, in addition to its role as described in the Second Lead Act, must also perform the following duties in a kdrama:

(a) Return unexpectedly after a period of absence AND non-communication.

(b) Act as if he/she didn’t disappear for a long time.

(c) Forget the stupid pressing reason for not having a relationship as described in Section 1b of this act and try to return to the relationship pre-abandonment stage

(d) Deny the increasing lack of interest of the OTP in him/her by using statements such as: “You love me. You just pity him/her. I will wait for your heart to return to me.”

(e) Become extremely clingy and fixated on the past.

Section 4. Penalties and Violations

(a) Establishment of convincing relationship between FLSL and the hero/heroine
Dramas that violate Section 2d of this act by introducing the FLSL at an earlier episode, establishing his/her relationship with the OTP, showing cute falling-in-love scenes, and the like shall suffer a divided audience with possible severe cases of Second Lead Syndrome.


11 thoughts on “First Love, Second Lead Act”

  1. Haha! Shall we also mention that in severe makjangy cases, the males of the FLSL affiliation, as well as becoming necessarily over-manipulative, will also behave quite violently (forced hugs, and the “might be kiss of death” dodge). Love the penalty section. You’re Beautiful definitely gave me an extremely severe, and long suffering case of Second Lead Syndrome.

  2. Our lawyer is becoming snarky and sarcastic. 🙂 You’re supposed to be impartial…
    I just hate those obstacles in the way that you call FLSL: Is there a drama where one actually won the object of her/his affection? They are annoying and born to lose. I hate them personally and artistically.

    1. I completely agree. Isn’t it just unfortunate that the very nature of casting actors in a Kdrama makes us as the viewer already know what’s going to happen.. I’m constantly looking for upcoming dramas to watch, and when I see my favorite actors in a second lead position I automatically get depressed.. it’s sometimes better to see them as a side character. At least then I won’t know exactly how their entire role in the drama will be.

      1. “Our lawyer is becoming snarky and sarcastic.” — No… I’m just subscribing to Min Sook’s principles. I kept the edits in the law for err.. historical/archival purposes.

        “I’m constantly looking for upcoming dramas to watch, and when I see my favorite actors in a second lead position I automatically get depressed” — haha. Me too! I get disappointed when my bias is cast as the second lead. The least they can do is develop a separate, awesome loveline for him/her like they did in Protect the Boss!

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