Why Am I Still Rooting for this Jerkface? – A Look into Oh Hae Young Again’s Frustrating Hero

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Sooo… Before we get into the heavy stuff, can we all agree that Oh Hae Young Again thus far has been and still is so satisfyingly awesome that every other show airing right now doesn’t seem to compare? (Except for Mirror of the Witch and Beautiful Gong Shim, which I believe are equally awesome for different reasons.)

The teasers made it look like another decent rom-com that would help me get through the week, but I didn’t expect the show’s content to hit me this hard. It has the cute fluff and outrageous comedy I expected, but it’s also just such an intense show. Like, good lord, each episode leaves me pounding my chest to make sure my poor heart is still functioning. It’s definitely not the easy watch I initially thought it would be, but I love it exactly for that reason. The tangled mess that our male lead Park Do Kyung created leaves me as a viewer with so many conflicted emotions. Do I want him happy? Do I want the second lead happy? Can’t they ALL just be happy?! Drama Gods: “No.” Me: *siiiiiiiigh*

After the picture below, I’ll go into some major ~spoilers~ so catch up on the show (Seriously, watch it. Why are you depriving yourself of that goodness?) before diving in.

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I haven’t been blogging in a while, but after seeing this specific comment in episode 11, I had a flood of thoughts I had to let out in a post:

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The comment was made after many others bashed Do Kyung for being selfish and holding too much pride to beg Hae Young for forgiveness. This absolutely breaks my heart because this man is not the asshole everyone thinks he is. He does have his ugh moments, but he’s a good guy at heart, with his own hurt and turmoil. And he made some mistakes. Before anyone pounces me, I love our Hae Young. I really do. In fact, I want to slap Do Kyung’s face to oblivion for putting her through all that pain. But I’ve grown to love him so much that I’d, of course, be willing to pull him into a big hug after slapping him. He needs more than a hug honestly if he really is accepting his car accident vision as the “right thing” for everyone. His final words in the episode make him sound so done with life and it has me terrified. But why am I feeling sorry for him? After all he’s done and all the lives he’s ruined, why should I express any kind of empathy?

Something about him reminds me of an ignorant child, and it ups my pity points for him. That made me wonder, in all seriousness, if he somehow stopped growing mentally after the traumatic experience with his dad’s death. On the surface, the scene of young Do Kyung showed that he was forced to mature quickly and act as the man of the family. It’s true that he had a lot of growing up to do after losing his father (and having a, let’s face it, pretty worthless mother). But the scene also showed that the experience really cut off whatever childhood he had left.

That’s why I think the show developed his character perfectly. Like a kid, he lashes out, makes stupid-ass mistakes because he lashes out, and he has no idea how to handle the consequences. It’s frustrating as hell, but because of the brilliant writing with his childhood, I can understand why he’s like that. Do I like it? No. But I understand him. This child-like side to him crushed my heart on a whole new level when I saw the genuine happiness in his eyes while hugging our Hae Young. Why? Why you do that to me, Do Kyung-ah? Arghhh.

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He doesn’t deserve that happiness^^ to be taken away from him. Sidenote: If I seem like I’m being too easy on him, I do have a reason. My biggest issue with dramas is that I root for the first male lead no matter what–with the exception of School 2015. No matter how cruel or dumb he is, I’ll always be on his side. I think it may be because I’ve gotten used to the first lead always winning the girl, so I’ve trained myself to just cheer him on. For instance, I think more than half of She Was Pretty‘s audience hated the character Sung Joon with a burning passion, but I was that small percentage that still wanted to defend him. (And okay, my soft spot for Park Seo Joon might have also played a big part in that.)

So yes, I may be easy on all first leads, but something about Do Kyung’s character… I feel the need to defend him more. Looking at what Do Kyung did… if it had been orchestrated by anyone else, I think I would’ve viewed them more as a villain than the hero. I would’ve cheered Han Tae Jin on while beating the shit out of him. But because it’s not just anyone else, but Do Kyung, instead, watching him get hurt both physically and emotionally legit almost made me want to cry. I’ve been in that kind of hell before–where I’ve done something so terrible or so stupid and I have no idea how to handle it other than wallowing in my own pathetic self-pity. Having that kind of relation to Do Kyung just made him seem so much more human to me. He’s so flawed, just as I am, and just as many other people are.

But I want to believe he’s not a bad person. And I hope there are others who agree with me. More importantly, I hope Do Kyung himself eventually agrees with me. I’ll continue being his little cheerleader from this side of the screen, despite all the damage he’s caused. It doesn’t necessarily mean I want Hae Young to witness his accident and suddenly change her mind and forgive him. No, no, no. I love my happy endings, but as you may know, I like my happy endings to feel earned. And that means I’ll be cheering Do Kyung on to 1. Get off his sad, mopey ass. 2. Realize he has more people around him who care than he thinks. And 3. Get some serious, professional help and deal with his own inner demons before even THINKING of starting with Hae Young again. The few minutes of cute we got from the end of episode 10 and the beginning of episode 11 was great, but I want to be able to watch them together without any anxiety it could crumble at any moment. I want the reassurance that they’re both okay and ready to give their all with this relationship.

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(To close, I apologize for the messy rant. It’s 7 AM and I still haven’t slept. ㅠㅠ)

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About SailorJumun

Psh, who said you're too old to fangirl over fictional characters?
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