Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Unnie's Wednesday Write Up: TKJ

You've all seen the formula.  Time & time again.  The sweet unspoiled lead playing opposite the TKJ.

{{pssst...Unnie?  What's a TKJ?!?!}}

TCA K-Vocab Lesson:
TKJ = Typical K-Drama Jerk

But what you may not realize is that TKJ can be both a male OR a female.  I've seen the formula played by both sexes.  It's the Yin/Yang in K-Dramas.  One lead must be a jerk & one lead must be the polar opposite.

{{It's another K-Drama 101 moment, brought to you by those crazy ahjummas.}}

TCA Cultural Lesson: 
The difference between Korean TV & US TV.  In Korea, TKJ gets the girl/guy,  AFTER the girl/guy has changed them, for the better, of course.  In US TV, the "Jerk" is taught a lesson, has their butt kicked &/or is properly "schooled" by the nice person & the nice person, gets the girl/guy.    

It wasn't till I had 2 or 3 K-Dramas under my belt that I started to recognize the formula myself.  My first K-Drama; "My Princess", had Song Seung Heon starring as the TKJ.  In my second, Boys Over Flowers, starring Lee Min Ho as the TKJ, & my third, Secret Garden starring Hyun Bin as the TKJ.  However, I will admit, that I have NOT seen every K-Drama under the sun, {{gasp!  No way!!  How can it be unnie?!?!}}  so I cannot state that for a fact every K-Drama follows this formula.  There are of course exceptions to every rule, or in this case, formula.  With that admission made, I will continue w/ this statement, TKJ is alive & well for a reason.  He, for the purposes of making this easier, TKJ will remain male for the rest of this post, is a very popular plot moving device, that the writers heart the mostest.  He keeps the fangirls/guys coming back for more & more.

I will admit myself that I too, adore the TKJ.  The TKJ is another form of the "bad boy".  There is a line in one of my favorite books, Anne of Green Gables, it's actually in Anne of the Island.  Anne is talking to Marilla & Rachel & lamenting the upcoming marriage of her best friend, Diana.  While complaining that Diana's husband to be isn't like the dashing, wicked, man Diana used to dream of marrying.  Rachel aghast that Anne might want Diana to marry a wicked man asks her so, and Anne says, "I wouldn't want to marry anybody who was wicked, but I think I'd like it if he COULD be wicked and WOULDN'T."  So you see, girls/women from a century ago, liked the bad guy too.  My point is that this is not a new phenomenon AddiKts.   If you need more evidence that TKJ has been around for a long time, read Jane Austen.  She has her own form of the TKJ.  The haughty, stuck up, rich englishman, who fights his attraction to the poor but good girl.  Mr Darcy & Lizzie Bennet is probably the best example of this dichotomy.  Even Mr. Knightley was a jerk to Emma once or twice.

Another side of the story is that the idea of being able to "change" the sexy bad guy, into the sexy good guy, who still has a slightly wicked taste to him, is very appealing to a lot of people, mostly women.  Why we think we should find someone we can then "change" is beyond me.  I may have been attracted to the bad guy type but I married the Nice Guy.  And I'm so glad I did.  And rather than try to change him, I accept him for the blessing he is...does that mean that I am now above the bad guy "TKJ" type?  Oh heck no!  I love TKJ as much as ever.  Why?  I haven't the foggiest.  I am a complicated person, & I try to stay out of my psyche as much as possible.

{{It's dark & scary in there.  And the exits are always changing location, kind of like the staircases in Hogwarts.  Just sayin'.}}

I believe the TKJ is a popular formula, because he keeps the story from being boring.  He's mocking, rude, selfish, greedy, complicated, usually with a long complicated back story, that makes him behave the way he does, although not always.  Baek Seung Jo, (played by my Hyun-y, Kim Hyun Joong) in Playful Kiss, came from a well off family, had both of his parents still alive & healthy, who were involved, loving parents.  His back story was that he was a genius & therefore socially inept & stone cold in the heart, till he met Oh Ha Ni, the sweet & beautiful but stupid girl next door, who showed him there was more to life than books & intelligence.  She showed the Tin Man HOW to use the heart the Wizard gave him.  TKJ keeps the heroine on her toes & brings emotion to the story every time he makes her cry, his heart grows a little more, which makes our hearts melt a little more.  And every time he pisses her off...same scenario...the combustibility in the room goes up, as their fire eats up the oxygen, leaving no recourse but to throw in a yummy Stealing Breaths moment.  It's not that we love the TKJ's jerky, horrible, cry inducing attitude or behavior.  We deplore that & we get mad & cry alongside our heroine, it's when he softens, smiles, holds her, grabs her wrist, pulls her in for that passionate embrace or when he cares for her lovingly & selflessly, THAT's when we sigh w/ all our heart & fall for the TKJ.  Forcing the TKJ lovers returning eternally.

So, I ask you AddiKts, what has kept you coming back to K-Drama over & over.  Does the TKJ play a part in your return?  I hate him & I love him.  He keeps the story moving forward & shows what it means to become the man of your dreams.  He's resurrected the Bad Boy persona & made it his own.  He's showing us that men can be changed & for women, a changeable man, is an extremely sexy idea.  Being able to mold the hot bad guy into the man of our dreams?  Oh yeah.

TKJ?  Keep him or Leave him?  Along that route who were your favorite TKJ's?  Which drama had the best or worst TKJ?  Which TKJ was the sexiest, had the biggest transformation or the best Stealing Breath or SWAK moments?  I want to know what YOU guys think.  So tell me!

And to celebrate my favorite TKJs I will of course add pictures.  Its not a TOP 5 though.  Just the ones that have stuck in my memory.  And since I already talked about My Princess, Secret Garden, Boys Over Flowers & Playful Kiss, as well as Jang Keun Suk as the TKJ in my Love Rain Review ep 6-10, I will NOT include them in my pictorial.  I'm going for the ones we haven't really talked about yet.

Gong Hyo Jin as Seo Yoo Kyung & Lee Sun Gyun as Choi Hyun Wook

The story of an Italian Restaurant in Seoul & the people who work there. In particular, it's loud, overbearing, controlling head chef & one of his underlings.  Choi Hyun Wook does NOT have women in his kitchen!   Except for teeny, little, mousy Seo Yoo Kyung.  Who even though she was fired, refused to leave.  Choi Hyun Wook, screamed at her, belittled her & yes he even fired her.  Then after he fired her, he asked her to date him.  What?!?  A TKJ to be sure.  But when he finally caved, boy did he go hard.  Even admitting to the entire staff right before their lunch rush arrived.  

"Yes, Seo Yoo Kyung likes me.  As for me?  I...Love Seo Yoo Kyung.  And I refuse to apologize for that.  So I'm not worthy to be your chef."  WOW!!  

Did I mention the food was amazing.  I was hungry the whole time I watched this show.  So watch it w/ healthy food in the house or you WILL gain weight.  You've been warned! 

Son Ye Jin as Park Kae In & Lee Min Ho as Jeon Jin Ho

He needs to see her house, best architecture around & that's what he is trying to be, an architect.  A successful one at that.  But her father is reclusive & keeps away from everyone.  There is only one way to get into her house.  Become her roommate.  She needs money & she's looking for a quick fix while her father is out of the country.  But you're a guy & she's a girl?!?!  So you pretend to be gay.  In the process he picks on everything she does, from her sloppy house keeping, to her lack of personal hygiene, how she does her hair, her clothes etc...  But eventually you find yourself attracted to this mess of a woman.  You see she needs your help, your fashion sense, {{only Lee Min Ho can get away w/ salmon colored skinny jeans}}  & someone to protect & love her.  While trying to help her get even with her fiance you discover that you don't want to play anymore... 

Hence the famous & delicious {& Dongsaeng's favorite SWAK moment} the "Game Over" kiss.  

The other bonus to this was, that I enjoyed watching Lee Min Ho, play a straight guy, pretending to be a gay guy.  Awesomely funny moments.  

Yoon Eun Hye as Shin Chae-Kyung & Joo Ji Hoon as Crown Prince Lee Shin

You're in high school.  You're crushing on the Crown Prince who just happens to attend the same school, he has no idea you exist, but who cares.  Then you find out that not only did your grandpa & his grandpa know each other, but that they promised you two to each other, in an arranged marriage.  Holy Crap on Toast!  You have to go from being a free spirit, art major to being the Crown Princess & married to a guy who not only cannot stand you BUT is in love with another girl!?!?!  A TKJ savant.  Although, I can't really blame him, he's in high school too.  You're mother in law to be, disapproves of you & your father in law to be, the King, is as warm as a piece of ice.  Awesome!!  Thank goodness for the Queen Mother who loves you & is the cutest, sweetest most lovable Queen Mother on the planet!

Bi {also known as Rain} as Lee Yong Jae & Song Hye Kyo as Han Ji Eun

You have the worst best friends in the world.  They send you on vacation w/ no money & then while you're gone they sell your house, w/ no legal rights & take the money & run.  You come home from an awful vacation, cannot get a hold of your friends & find your house completely emptied of your belongings.  Then Rain comes along & tells you he owns your house & then kicks you out of it.  Oh he lets you back in, to cook & clean & slave away for him.  He is mean, rude, bossy & yells at you constantly.  A total TKJ!!  Although, when you got that really bad fever he stayed by your side & nursed you back to health.  But still it took him nearly the whole show to finally admit how he felt about you out loud.  

And of course I have to include the one I'm reviewing right now....

 Remember these??
Jang Dong Gun as Kim Do Jin & Kim Ha Neul as Seo Yi Soo

A show about men in their 40's & how they're screwing up their love lives, as only men can.

Just kidding women are just as bad, at screwing up their love lives, as guys.  I won't actually go into too much detail.  As this drama is still airing & it's actually my DFR right now as well.  But I got to say Jang Dong Gun does the TKJ magnificently.  And yet I am still attracted to Kim Do Jin.  Go figure!  

There you have it AddiKts.  The TKJ.  I told you earlier, is alive & well & pushing K-Drama plot lines forward & keeping millions of addiKted housewives coming back for more everyday.

This is actually the second time I am writing this ending as right after I finished writing it the first time & after I saved it & hit publish, blogger freaked out & did not save the 2nd half of the post.  Not kidding.  I had this all finished & published at 12:30.  It is now 1:30 & I am rewriting all my witty repartee.  Okay, it probably wasn't that great to begin with.

I love him & I hate him.  But the TKJ is the bad boy I can't get enough of him, sigh.  I guess I'll never change.  My question is, do I even want to?  Nope!  Not even a little bit!!  I hope you guys liked the post, of course, the only way I'll know is if you leave me a comment telling me what a good unnie I am.  A pat on the head & a little chocolate wouldn't kill you or me either.  It's called positive reinforcement addiKts.  Learn it, use it on your unnie as often as possible.  I am so easy, all you need is chocolate, & I am your slave. True story.

That's it for this week's WWU.  Aww, no need to be that sad AddiKts.  I'll be back Friday w/ another DFR & then again next week for another WWU.  What's that?!?!  Oh.  {{cricket cricket}} You're not sad I'm done talking & leaving.  You're watching you're drama & the TKJ made you cry.  And you'd really like it, if I stopped talking now & stopped bugging you while you're drama watching?   No. I get it.  Really.  I understand.  I'll just make sure the door does not hit me in the butt on my way out.  Thanks.

{{she said sarcastically}}

Oh... before I leave AddiKts... {{don't you roll your eyes at me!}} I just wanted to let you know we have our first poll on our TCA Facebook Page.  So check it out & answer it, when you get the chance.  Thanks for everything.

{{OMO!!!  They are actually completely ignoring me now.  Nice guys.  Very nice.}} -_^

Have a great rest of your week AddiKts.



  1. Unnie I love you and I really enjoyed reading this post. I promise though that next time I will wait so that I don't cause half of it to disappear again. That's right readers, it was me. I'm to blame, not Blogger. Oh, how I wish I could blame it on blogger, but no, it was me. I accidentally caused half of Unnie's post to disappear. I accept full responsibility and blame. I'm a terrible blogging partner and owe my big sis the hugest apology ever. :( Thank you though Unnie for talking to us about the TKJ. I don't know why, but I sure do love these guys and (almost always) pull for them to get the girl. My favorite TKJ guy right now is definitely Do Jin from AGD. He's just so brutally honest and open with her, I love it. I think if my guy was a jerk to me, I'd probably like these guys a lot less, but since he's also a Nice Guy like your CA, I enjoy the fantasy "bad boy" in my dramas. Thank you for the witty repartee, I just adore your WWUs. It was great even the second time around. Sorry for messing it up in the first place. Sorry for causing you a late night. So very very sorry. Very. Forever and ever.

    1. First of all, it's not that big of a deal. Last night I might have let you have it, but in the light of day & probably because it's summer & therefore, I got to sleep in, meaning no sleep was lost, I'm fine. Not even a little mad. So apology totally accepted. In fact, I think you are being way harder on yourself than I ever could be so consider us even. :) I heart you too much to be mad at you for more than .000005 seconds.

      I'm glad you liked the post. I had fun dissecting the TKJ. He is one of my favorite plot devices. Gotta love the bad boy. And I agree Do Jin is blunt, abrupt & very straightforward. I LOVE that about him & I hate it at the same time. Although this week I will add he was ugly to her at the end of ep 9. His last sentence was just ugly & I totally cried. But I'll go into that more in my DFR.

      Hmmm... do you think anybody is out there listening? It seems like we're the only ones willing to leave comments lately. Even our regulars have deserted us. {{sad face}} I miss our regulars. You have your one fan, I want a fan too. And no I'm not counting you as my fan dongsaeng. That would be like feeling beautiful when my mom tells me I am beautiful. She's my mom, of course she thinks I'm beautiful. But hearing it from a total stranger? A total stranger I can believe, not my mom! -_^

    2. I was listening. For some reason I have problems leaving comments when they are first up but then I try later and it lets me in. I loved your commentary on the TKJ. And I am glad that I am not the only one who loves this formula. The shows would be a lot more boring if the nice guy always got the girl. Maybe that is why so many US shows seem to lack any romance at all right now. One of my favorite TKJ's (and sadly he did not get the girl) was in a little watched comedy called Secret Agent Miss Oh. He was hilarious and you could not help but like him even if he was the 2nd lead. IN my opinion he stole the show. Some of my more well known TKJ's is of course Do Jin, the lawyer from Stars Falling from the sky and Dokko Jin from Greatest Love. ------Amber Humphries--------


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