First love is kind of a big deal in K-dramas. Whereas I can't even remember who my first "love" was (although I'm pretty sure he was in my kindergarten class and had a sweet bowl cut), the importance of first love permeates many K-drama plots. But how should we, as viewers, feel about first love? In order to navigate the world of K-dramas, let's look at some of the different kinds of first loves:
1. The evil first love
Examples: My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho, Arang and the Magistrate, and many, many more
These might just be the most common K-drama first loves, and they're easily the most frustrating. Proving that beauty on the outside isn't beauty on the inside, these selfish, conniving first loves are always scheming behind the scenes to hurt the leads. They constantly leave K-drama fans shouting "WHY DO YOU LOVE HER?!" at their computer screens. If you encounter an evil first love in real life, carry a recording device with you at all times. He or she is bound to say something incriminating at some point.
2. The placeholder
Examples: Goong, Full House
Not actively menacing like the evil first love, the placeholder is still an irritating distraction until the main leads can get together. They're always popping up at the worst possible times and ruining everything with their bras that double as shirts and their smooth poise.
3. The guilt trip
Examples: My Lovely Sam Soon, The Prime Minister and I
Without guilt trip first loves, how would the leads ever end up being noble idiots? Guilt trip first loves use things like cancer and kids to make everyone cry for at least a few episodes. By the way, as soon as Daniel Henney starts confessing his love for you, you're not getting any more pity from me!
4. Love turns to hate turns to love
Examples: Emergency Couple, Miss Korea
Sometimes first love turns really, really sour, but those bonds are just too strong to resist forever. Even though neither of these sample dramas has finished airing yet, I wouldn't be surprised if love wins out over the middle phase of anger.