The second male leads whom we root for, even when they have no chances of winning the girl
Text: Dang Hui Ling
How many times have you rooted for the second male lead in a K-drama, even when he is clearly not destined (in the script) to win the girl?
From Won Bin in classic 2000 drama Autumn in My Heart to Kim Hyun Joong in Boys Over Flowers, many K-drama viewers have experienced an overwhelming empathy for the second male lead, who is usually self-sacrificing and incredibly good-natured – a phenomenon now known as the Second Lead Syndrome (SLS).
SLS happens when you can’t help but gravitate towards cheering for the poor chap, especially when he gets friend-zoned by the female lead or when the main male character is already one step ahead in the dating game.