To get over my tragic disappointment that both my 'Autumn Tale' and 'Loveholics' DVDs did not have any subtitles at all (not even really terrible ones) I am posting thoughts of less than deep variety. (I am also watching, thanks to baleanoptera
's recent picspam
, Robin of Sherwood. So good. So full of attractive men leaping through the greensward. Plus the best Marion ever. How the hell the recent series managed to screw up the Robin Hood legend so badly is beyond me.)
Anyway onto the fascinating subject of this post, the bastard hero. Kdramas are, as far as I can see, almost obsessively fond of this character. They're not alone in that, of course: romance is full of men with less than perfect social skills who are redeemed by the love of a good woman. Normally I roll with this and even enjoy their wankerishness because I know eventually they will have to bend or break to get the heroine.
However, my reaction to both 'My Name is Kim Samsoon' and much earlier to 'Full House' (where I also spent most of the series wanting to smack Rain's character) has made me realize that while I can accept the bastard hero in romance and melodrama I have a much harder time with it in comedy. I guess it's because it's the nature of comedy that the hero will suffer much, much less and thus his nasty behaviour will not reap its due bitter reward. However, in melodrama he will usually have to spend much time suffering terrible angst and emotional pain because of his behaviour and thus my desire to see him be horribly tortured is satisfied by the narrative. In comedy it is not very comic to do that sort of thing to your hero so he usually escapes fairly unscathed despite his record of horrific slights and insults.
In addition, in comedy you don't usually have a tragic past mapped out for the hero that explains his horrible interactions with the heroine. (I think it's not surprising that Draco, who is I think, largely a comic figure in the actual Harry Potter canon as opposed to fanon is usually given a horrifically awful family life in fanfiction. It goes a long way to fit him into a standard byronic model which Rowling's character does not. But that's beside the point). As I am small-minded enough to demand horrible pain and suffering in the past of anyone who is going to be a total jerk I am probably doomed to hate the bastard comic hero. Unless, of course, anyone is going to be good enough to actually have one of them eaten by bears in the final episode.
I am interested to know what bastard hero did or didn't work for you and why and what bastard hero everyone else likes but you can't stand. It would make me feel much less lonely in my hatred for Samshik.
But! (and this point is not connected at all to any of the ones above) you should also go and look at calixa
of Legend of the Condor Heroes. I can't wait for this one: it looks packed with attractively dumb heroes, fighting, villains, and furry hats. I am also tempted to make it my first wuxia but I doubt I can restrain myself from the genre that long.