Second Lead Smackdown: Moon Jae-shin vs Yoon Ji-hoo

This week’s premise is simple: If these two ended up in the same drama universe, who would get the girl?


The Commentary

A-ko: This is a tough one but I’m going to have to go with Ji-hoo sunbae—

B-ko: Oh, thank God! For a moment, I thought I was going to have to fight you for Geol-oh sahyung.

A-ko: Can I continue? The reason why he’s going to get the girl is simple: he’s Yoon Ji-hoo, HELLO! Your Geol Oh virus is just a little sneeze compared to the Ji-hoo/Hanazawa Rui/Hua Ze Lei epidemic that broke out not once but three times courtesy of the Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean versions of Hanadan. Put it this way, Yoon Ji-hoo is to Second Leads what Elvis is to rock and roll.

And let’s have a look at the stats, shall we? He’s rich, intelligent, sensitive and he has more sense than to go on suicide missions playing Robin Hood. Why go through all that trouble when you can just bankrupt your enemies? And besides, if you’re planning on getting the girl, it makes sense that you should be alive to do it, no?

Bonus: Ji-hoo sunbae bathes and changes his clothes on a regular basis. That’s enough to seal the deal for any girl. You think your Geol-oh sahyung is hot now but that’s only because you can’t smell him through your computer screen.

B-ko: Whatever. You can make fun of his daily ablutions all you want but we all know that had Sungkyunkwan Scandal been a regular K-drama, which I’m assuming this is going to be, he would have gotten the girl. Do you even have to ask why? Because Geol-oh sahyung has all the traits of a classic male lead. He isn’t some weedy little pretty boy who plucks his eyebrows, waxes his chest and reeks of cologne. Geol-oh sahyung is *all* man.

A-ko: Do you want a bucket for your drool?

B-ko: *clears throat* Anyway, I second your point about Ji-hoo being the Elvis of second leads because that’s what he is – a second lead.

And what’s ultimately going to tip the scale in favour of Geol-oh sahyung is the fact that Ji-hoo only gets his shit together when he doesn’t have a chance in hell with the girl.

Exhibit A: Seo-hyun. Spent years pining for someone who regarded him as her little brother.

Exhibit B: Jan-di. Starts pining for her only after she has fallen for Jun-pyo.

Maybe he’ll fall in love with the girl after she falls for Geol Oh sahyung.

A-ko: I love that you’re trying so hard but you’re forgetting that the person who gets the girl in any K-drama is the one who can lay his feelings on the table. Ji-hoo has no problems doing this. What does your Geol Oh sahyung do? He hiccups. And he moons (pun fully intended) after her from afar.

And just in case you’ve forgotten, Ji-hoo has friends to help him win the girl. See how F4 banded together to help Jun-pyo win Jan-di’s heart? The moment they hear Ji-hoo sunbae has girl trouble, they’ll be burning rubber and hightailing it to his house. And where girls are concerned, F4 has two of the best experts in that field—So Yi Jung and Song Woo Bin. What’s Jun Pyo going to do, you ask? Why he’ll be there to make sure that his men bury the bodies of Ji-hoo’s rivals properly, of course!

As for Geol Oh, ha! Good luck with getting help from the Jalgeum Quartet. Might I remind you that Yong-ha singlehandedly sabotaged his chances with Yoon-hee? First by marooning Sun-joon and said girl on the island and then by arranging for them to meet at the creek. Sorry, but unless you’re talking about bringing their bromance to the next level, Yong-ha is not to be trusted with helping Jae-shin get the girl. And Sun-joon? Ha ha ha. You’re talking about someone who spent 15 episodes not knowing that his roomie was a girl. Good luck, Geol Oh! You’re going to need it.

B-ko: Tell me, have you ever considered writing K-dramas? Your argument has more holes than the plot of Marry Me Mary. How on earth did Yi Jung and Woo Bin help Jun-pyo in BOF? All potter boy did was tell JP that a guy should never call a girl first if he didn’t want to be her slave. What the hell kind of advice is that?

And please, was pretending that Yi Jung and Ga Eul were dating really the best those two could do to get Jan-di and Jun-pyo back together again? I rest my case. If Ji-hoo knows what’s best for him, he’ll keep his relationship woes to himself.

And you’ve conveniently forgotten one tiny little detail. The Jalgeum Quartet has Yoon-hee. Why the hell should Geol Oh ask Yong-ha or Sun-joon for help with girls when he can get it from a woman? Moon Jae-shin will get the girl but look on the bright side, Ji-hoo’s reputation as the most perfect Second Lead in all of K-dramadom will be unrivalled after this.

A note to the fan girls: You’re welcome to comment but please, no bashing. This isn’t really the place to declare your undying love for Kim Hyun-joong or Yoo Ah-in. For starters, “XXX IS THE BEST. I LOVE XXX etc” doesn’t really make for fun reading. Also, in case it wasn’t clear enough, we’re talking about the characters, not the actors.


  1. I thought you were a good person. Come on, haven’t these guys suffered enough to put them through so much torture once again? Heights of sadism, Ellely! ha ha

    That was hilarious to read. The “you can’t smell him through the computer screen”line cracked me up big time. Valid arguments on both sides!

    Tough question to answer. Let me put my thinking cap on …My counter question is do u see them falling for the same girl? Are Yoon Hee n Jan-Di quite similar characterwise? Saw BBF long back (rooted for Ji Hoo), so do not remember that much of Jan-Di. Somehow, can’t imagine Jaeshin with some one like Jan Di and vice versa. I feel though that Ji Hoo will have a harder time if he again gets bested by a rival in love. Jaeshin has Yong Ha, no? Keeping the bromance aside, I see Yong Ha-Jaeshin bond as stronger than b/w the BBF boys.(Btw, is it called ‘Boys over Flowers’ or ‘Boys before flowers’ ? The title sounds confusing in either case!)

    But with Jaeshin’s record, I feel the girl will have to make the first move. Yoon Hee, if she did not have her eyes only for Sun Joon, would have been perfect in that sense.

    I hope that they fall for different girls. But if it is the same girl, he will win her who tells her his heart first. And there, I believe, B has a valid point. “Maybe he’ll fall in love with the girl after she falls for Geol Oh sahyung.” However, by the time Geol Oh Sahyung moves from feeding his sweet heart potato delicacies to confessing his feelings, the girl would have died of a broken heart. I see this drama ending only in tragedy.Sorry!

    1. But think of the ratings, novkid! They will be solid GOLD XD

      Naw…to even the playing field, it’ll have to be a different girl, though if she’s smart, she’ll go for both of them.

      I’ve seen people refer to the show as Boys Before Flowers and Boys Over Flowers. If you’re talking abbreviations, it’s usually BOF. But makes no difference either way – we all know which drama we’re talking about!

      Yes, I think Ji-hoo might end up having a breakdown if he ends up playing second fiddle again…I’m not sure what Jae-shin would do though. He might actually look at the whole situation philosophically and write poetic essays about heartbreak…or he might end up in a monastery XP

  2. I think that the girl will have to make first move in both cases (with Ji hoo and Jae shin).
    I guess, Ji hoo learned his lesson, so he would not be so indecisive again. But he was always acting based on his felings while Jae shin was thinking what is better for the girl, so he might again step aside if he will think that she likes Ji hoo.
    And Yoon Hee helping Jaeshin? She looked raser clueless in girls matters.
    But if the drama will be about modern times, than go for both girl! :)

    1. “I guess, Ji hoo learned his lesson, so he would not be so indecisive again. But he was always acting based on his felings while Jae shin was thinking what is better for the girl, so he might again step aside if he will think that she likes Ji hoo.”
      Hmm…true. You have a point. I see a love triangle that is fated to go nowhere *sigh*

      “But if the drama will be about modern times, than go for both girl! :)”
      I know right? XD

  3. I actually didn’t like Ji-Hoo as much as everyone hyped about him. Actually, to be fair, his role was really good, but it was always stated that his character was supposed to be a soulmate to Jan-Di’s, but I never actually felt it. There was nothing soulmate-ish about it at all, excepting the fact that he was a gentleman towards Jan-Di and her friends, and treated her the way he would another really nice girl, despite their “lower-class-ness”. To me he always felt like a.. older brother type character. Maybe because his timing was off, or because the main leads were so good it was hard to break them up? Either way, I never ever actually rooted for Ji-Hoo.. I never felt really really sad for him as well. It just felt awkward.

    Jae-shin, on the other hand, is considerate and all.. but he so *slow*… it’s just agonizing watching him.. I feel like I should put his scenes on fastforward to get at a normal pace… in fact, sometimes I do do that ^u^

    (Slightly Off-topic) To be honest, the best second lead that I have seen uptil now has been Shin Woo from You’re Beautiful (played by Jung Yong Hwa of CNBlue). He genuinely made me feel so sorry for him, I felt for him on the same level that I felt for the lead, Tae Kyung (Jang Geun Suk). To add to that, even the third lead, Jeremy (Lee Hong Ki of F.T. Island), was so gut-wrenchingly good, he made himself and his feelings be felt just as strongly as the main lead’s. Comparing this to the fact that you usually don’t see a third lead, and if you do, they’re used like kleenex to stretch out the episodes, he was quite amazing. In retrospect, all three guys were on a WHOLE new level (The actress was amazing as well, but that’s for another time and place). And now I’ll hush because I’m doing nothing but gushing ^u^

    1. I hear you evlnabiki! I’m not exactly crazy about Ji-hoo myself. Actually, I’m not that big a fan of the BOF story. I tried reading the manga but bailed after a few volumes — I just couldn’t stomach how abusive Domyouji was. However I do find the drama very entertaining because it’s so fun to mock.

      You found Jae-shin slow? Really? Hmm…my memory of SKKS is a little hazy now but I know I wanted him to fight Seon-joon for Yoon-hee’s hand instead of being so noble and mooning (*cough*) at her from a distance. Haha.

      1. I couldn’t stomach the manga either. I stopped when Rui (J-Hoo) came back, because everything was turning into this convoluted mess that I couldn’t bear to read. (Plus the fact that Domyouji’s curly hair annoyed me so much I wanted to pull it all out ^u^). I like the drama not only because it’s fun to mock, but because I get the feeling that they actors were also mocking it, like they were sort of going “Oh, so you thought the basic premise was unbelievable? We’ll SHOW *you* unbelievable!!~~” and then they went away and had the time of their lives overexaggerating *everything* xP But then, maybe that’s just me ^_^;;

        And as for Jae-shin… It was all… “Oh, I shall protect her for the next 72627637 episodes till the flood of dim-wittedness lifts from her brain and she sees my subtle gestures for what they truly are~~” I would have much preferred it if they challenged each other to a duel… at least I would be put out of my misery in a couple of episodes -____-;;

      2. Domyouji’s curly hair annoyed me so much I wanted to pull it all out ^u^

        Can’t say I was a fan of the hair either. I was kinda hoping they’d lose it in the dramas though between Matsujun’s mop and Lee Min-ho’s helmet, I much preferred the latter.

        I didn’t think Yoon-hee was all that dim actually. Oblivious, for sure, but then again I think you could say that of most of the K-drama heroines out there…Minam in YAB wasn’t all that astute about Shin-woo’s feelings until he spelled them out for her. Maybe that’s what Jae-shin should have done…haha.

    1. i hear you:)
      whatever they say..i will be geol oh oppa’s fan!even though for the fact that he don’t take a bath or whatsoever..and that he was dumb for not confessing his was how the story flows,you can’t do anything about it,and also as for domyouji’s hair your talking about..well,i think he looks good on it.(negative?)*coughs* of geol oh!votes collapsed!its YOO AH IN!

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