Cover Lee Min-ho as Gu Jun-pyo in 'Boys Over Flowers'

What is it about "bad guys" that make women fall in love? In this write-up, we invite you to take your rose-coloured glasses off and assess why we love rooting for the slightly unconventional Prince Charmings

This trope has been going around many of our favourite K-Dramas: the bad guy falls in love with the damsel in distress and is soft to her but mean to everyone else. 

On the surface, the dynamic looks cute but can be a bit problematic if you see everything that lies at the bottom of this swoon-worthy-but-only-in-romantic-TV-shows type of iceberg. 

According to Madeleine A. Fugère, PhD, professor of psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University and author of Social Psychology of Attraction and Romantic Relationships, women tend to become attracted to hyper-masculine men who are attractive, confident, and risky. 

“These men ooze testosterone, which leads to boldness and is associated with exaggerated sexuality,” she explains

In case you missed it: 6 Best Healing K-Dramas to Lift Your Spirits 

Marni Feuerman, Psy.D., licensed psychotherapist and author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships, on the other hand, believes that women feel more secure around “Alpha Males” or men who show dominance. “It’s likely that some women feel more protected by the tough guy and his ease with aggression.” 

“They desire to have someone in their life who is tough enough to face the world and punch back when necessary,” agrees psychologist Forrest Talley, PhD.

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In this article, Tatler Philippines lists a couple of very manly folks whose attitudes audiences should further assess: 

1. Choi Ban-do: "Go Back Couple"

The whole time travel fiasco in the fictional drama Go Back Couple started when long-time couple Ma Jin-joo (Jang Na-ra) and Choi Ban-do (Son Ho-jun) started resenting each other.

Life with Ban-do was not easy; while he struggles to find decent-paying jobs outside, his wife Jin-joo is left at home with mammoth-like tasks that physically and emotionally exhaust her. When the ex-lovebirds return to their young age to rekindle their romance, Ban-do attempts to change his fate and pursues his first crush Min Seo-yeoung (Ko Bo-gyeol), instead. 

The young Jin-joo also finds a man in Jeong Nam-gil (Jang Ki-yong), but she knows they cannot be together due to mental age differences. In the end, it is Jin-joo who snaps out of this fairytale and reminds Ban-do of their son. 

2. Gu Jun-pyo: "Boys Over Flowers"

One of Lee Min-ho's most popular roles is Gu Jun-pyo in the hit K-Drama Boys Over Flowers. Heir to the Shinwha Group and leader to the powerful F4, Jun-pyo loves taking everyone for granted and takes pride in bullying people who question his authority in Shinwha High.

Jun-pyo's followers and friends blindly follow him and enable his attitude, but this changes when Geum Jan-di (Koo Hye-sun) enters the picture. 

As the episode progresses, Jun-pyo has become adamant in his desire to charm Jan-di. He believes that the latter keeps waging wars with him because it is the only way one can really grab his attention.

Eventually, Jun-pyo falls for Jan-di and forces her to follow his commands. 

More from Tatler: 8 Lee Min-ho Movies and Shows You Need to Watch This 2022: 'The Heirs', 'TKEM', And More

3. Oh Soo: "That Winter The Wind Blows"

Everything about Oh Soo screams "red flag!". He's a gambler, a con artist, and an emotional manipulator. Behind his calm demeanour, Oh Soo has a tragic tale that he uses to justify his wrongdoings in the present time. 

In the melodrama That Winter The Wind Blows, Oh Soo pretends to be the long-lost brother of a rich blind woman. He seeks to befriend her and use her wealth to evade the money he owes other gamblers. 

Related: 11 of the Most Popular Female K-Drama Leads To Know This 2021

4. Baek Hee-sung: "Flower of Evil"

If he hides bodies in your basement, then it’s time to let the cops take over. Baek Hee-sung (Lee Joong-gi) plays a ruthless psychopath in the 2020 drama Flower of Evil. To hide his dark past, he starts a family with Cha Ji-won (Moon Chae-won), a police investigator who’s completely oblivious to her seemingly calm and adorable husband. 

Throughout the drama, Hee-sung tirelessly manipulates his wife and uses her daughter to make everyone think he’s a rational person whose only goal in life is to provide, take care, and make the family whole and happy.

5. Dokko Jin: 'The Greatest Love"

Dokko Jin (Cha Seung-won) is a narcissistic celebrity who treats his colleagues, ex-girlfriend, and assistants very poorly. One day, he meets his match in Ga Ae-jung (Gong Hyo-jin), a B-List celebrity who fell from grace after multiple scandals. 

Dokko Jin publicly shames Ae-jung and bosses her around. The cycle only stopped when the two fell in love with each other.


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