Something must have been in the air or in the water this year to make the bad guys in our favorite Asian dramas so deliciously bad! They killed or tried to kill people, they sabotaged, they set fires, they stole husbands, they threw away their own kids, they faked injuries, and they even brutally beat up innocent bystanders! But that was just the beginning of it. They’re cold, heartless, conniving, nasty, vindictive, self-absorbed and just downright malicious.
But if evil characters didn’t exist in our favorite Asian dramas, we wouldn’t have a reason to watch. Evil characters are the necessary foils for our heroes and heroines, giving them the perfect platforms from which the good can shine through and prevail!
This year gave us so many memorable evil drama characters. Here are our favorites for 2014!
Min Jung — Jang Bo Ri Is Here
If there was an “Evil Villain of the Year” drama award, then Yeon Min Jung (played by Lee Yoo Ri) of “Jang Bo Ri Is Here” would take home the Grand Prize for 2014! No other character this year made so many fans scream at their screens quite like Min Jung, and her name was the hottest keyword searched online during the third quarter of 2014. It was reported that when a key plot twist happened in the drama, viewers began to scream and applaud during the original broadcast in Korea at a deafening level usually reserved for the World Cup! So convincingly bad was Min Jung that she was dubbed “the nation’s villain” in Korea. And some people can’t distinguish fact from fiction because while the cast was filming a scene on the streets, a woman in a passing bus yelled at Lee Yoo Ri “that evil bitch”! The incident was caught on video and immediately went viral on Korean YouTube!
To go into all the bad things that Min Jung did would require a novel. But in a nutshell, Min Jung wanted to escape her destitute background so she left her poor mother and lied to get adopted into a life of privilege; she had a baby with her ex-boyfriend but threw the baby away because she didn’t want to be held back; she cheated at work and sabotaged others to get ahead, even taking other people’s handiwork and passing it off as her own; she tried to keep people from finding out who her adopted parents’ real daughter is; and she manipulated her way into marrying a wealthy man, trying to sweet-talk his family, and then got pregnant to keep her man after he found out her real identity. But Min Jung’s reward for all of her bad behavior at the end of the drama is oh-so-sweet!
Yoo Ae Yeon — You’re All Surrounded
They say that a person’s eyes are a window into that person’s soul. If that’s the case, we are truly afraid of Yoo Ae Yeon (played by Moon Hee Kyung), the despicable daughter of a powerful politician in “You’re All Surrounded.” This is the snootiest, most narcissistic person ever to grace dramaland. She treats all the people around her like they were born to serve her hand-and-foot. She uses her money, her father’s power and her privileged position to idle away her days shopping at expensive stores, exercising at the most prestigious health club, and spending time with her equally snobbish friends.
But on occasions when she needs to expel some of her murderous bad temper, she also uses her money, her father’s power and her privileged position to make sure that she gets away with it. The law is beneath her, and she doesn’t have to abide by it! We hope to never cross paths with a woman like her, or she will beat the living daylights out of us for sport — but not before forcing us to sign a legal waiver holding her unaccountable! Scary!
Lee Jae Kyung — My Love From the Star
We all hope that we never have a sibling like Lee Jae Kyung (played by Shin Sung Rok) in “My Love From the Star”! So deep was his “father loved you best” complex with his older brother, Lee Han Kyung (played by Yeon Woo Jin), that Jae Kyung became a terrifying, deranged lunatic who keeps killing or trying to kill people to cover up his wrongdoings.
Not only did he poison his own older brother and his girlfriend, Han Yoo Ra (played by Yu In Young), he even locked up his ex-wife in a mental institution when she started getting suspicious of him! When our heroine, Cheon Song Yi (played by Jun Ji Hyun), also became suspicious, he ordered his minions to trash her apartment, stage accidents on her film set and cut the brakes on her car! He’s definitely not a one-trick pony — he has lots of evil artillery in his expansive repertoire!
Huan Huan — Fall in Love With Me
A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get her man, you know what I’m saying? Li Huan Huan (played by Beatrice Fang) has an angelic face and an outwardly sweet disposition, but the devil in her tells her to do and say whatever she has to to guilt Lu Tian Xing (played by Aaron Yan) into staying by her side in “Fall in Love With Me.” Huan Huan knows she has formidable competition in Tao Le Si (played by Tia Li) for Tian Xing’s heart, so she brings her “A” game to get Tian Xing to marry her over Le Si.
That “A” game is to make Tian Xing believe that he was responsible for the car accident that put her in a wheelchair. When she later discovers that her legs are recovered — oh, look, she can use them just fine! — she wants to keep that little secret to herself so that Tian Xing won’t dare leave her and go running to Le Si! But when Huan Huan finds out that Le Si and Tian Xing want to elope, she sends her mother’s henchmen after them to put a stop to it! Just let him go, sweetie! He never loved you!
Gyo Chae Yeon — Birth of a Beauty
To be a true drama villain, you have to master that evil stare-down! You know that look — that piercing glare that feels like laser beams will dart out of their eyes and kill you! Gyo Chae Yeon (played by Wang Ji Hye) is the queen of the evil stare-down in “Birth of a Beauty.” She is a selfish woman who openly has an affair with Lee Kang Joon (played by Jung Gyu Woon) even though she knows he is a married man and takes him away from his wife. She then witnesses him cause the accident that supposedly kills his wife but does nothing about it and then tries to use that knowledge to keep him by her side. After she marries him and he again strays with another woman, she acts like the enraged wife who can’t palate her just desserts and plans all kinds of vengeful things to get back at her husband and the other woman. But it’s hard to feel sorry for her when she gives us that evil stare-down!
You can’t fault a man for having a bad heart. Or his parents for wanting to do everything they can to help their son get the heart transplant he needs in order to live in “Big Man.” But you can fault the man and his family if they think they are above the law, or too wealthy and powerful to wait for a suitable donor to materialize like everyone else in their situation. The parents of Kang Dong Seok (played by Daniel Choi) decide they will “create” a family member who can donate a heart by finding an orphan who is a match for Dong Seok. When Dong Seok wakes up in the hospital to learn that he now has a “long-lost older brother” that he can’t get rid of and a media frenzy that won’t let him take his heart, he pretends to be a caring younger brother to his face while plotting a way to frame him or kill him — whichever can happen first! Dong Seok’s insincere, two-faced smirk — through those pursed, gorgeous lips — is truly evil!
Lee Joong Goo — Hotel King
It’s almost expected in business to be cutthroat, conniving and ruthless — especially in the massive conglomerate world of K-dramas! But Lee Joong Goo (played by Lee Deok Hwa) takes competitiveness to a whole new level in “Hotel King.” He takes in a young boy off the streets, tells him he is the son of Chairman Ah, the owner of the luxurious Hotel Ciel, just so he can groom the boy to seek revenge against his biggest competitor! Now, that is patient business planning! He then knocks off Chairman Ah and makes it look like suicide; tries to frame his own protégé, Cha Jae Wan (played by Lee Dong Wook), for leaking private hotel information; tries to steal the hotel away from the chairman’s daughter, Ah Mo Ne (played by Lee Da Hae); and takes people hostage and runs away rather than be caught for his crimes! If this type of man turns out to be your father, what would you do?
Song Cha Ok — Pinocchio
Some people are just missing the maternal chromosome from their genetic makeup. Song Cha Ok (played by Jin Kyung) is so consumed by her career as a broadcast journalist, she lives and breathes her job and ignores her husband and daughter in the currently airing drama “Pinocchio.” When her husband calls her to tell her he’s leaving her and taking their daughter, she just accepts the news like someone just confirmed her lunch order and goes back to her reporting duties.
But it’s Cha Ok’s demeanor on the job that is truly scary. She will fabricate, twist, turn and misrepresent the information she is covering to make it more dramatic, heart-wrenching and powerful. She will go buy a baby shoe and pretend she found it among the wreckage of an accident. When other reporters are standing knee-deep in a flood, she will get down on her knees to make it look like the water is up to her chest! She has no guilt about ruining an entire family with her twisted words as long as she got a good news story out of it! She even rejects her own daughter, Choi In Ha (played by Park Shin Hye), for a job but then brings her to work with her only as a publicity stunt. She has no maternal instincts toward In Ha at all and is even quick to want to fire her when she no longer seems useful! Truly mean, cold and heartless!
Yang Joo Hee — Trot Lovers
And then, of course, there’s this kind of mother! The kind that would do whatever it takes to help her her own daughter get ahead, even if she lacks true talent! Yang Joo Hee (played by Kim Hye Ri) is that kind of manipulative, calculating mother in “Trot Lovers.” Years ago, when she herself was a trainee, Joo Hee did unspeakable things to get rid of her toughest competition and make sure that she succeeded instead. Now that she’s an executive in the entertainment company where her own daughter, Park Soo In (played by Lee Se Young), is a trainee, Joo Hee uses the same methods to get rid of her daughter’s toughest competition! Paying people off, creating false scandals, perpetuating hurtful rumors, covering up her daughter’s crimes and pinning it on someone else — nothing is beyond this stage mother’s abilities!
King Yeong Jo — Secret Door
I’m sure if we were suddenly made king of a vast empire, we too would get so drunk by the idea of power that we would do whatever it takes to keep it! King Yeong Jo (played by Han Suk Kyu) is so thirsty for power, he plots to poison his own older brother and assassinates him so that he can succeed the throne in “Secret Door.” He then becomes a nervous king who tries to guard his power because he’s always afraid someone will take it away from him. He does everything in his power to prevent a document that proves his role in the overthrow of his older brother’s government from seeing the light of day, even killing off the people who know about its existence!
The King wants to groom his son, Prince Sado (played by Lee Je Hoon), to become ruler, but when Prince Sado wants to make government service opportunities equitable for all the citizens, the King will have none of that and takes his power away again. In the end, the King punishes Prince Sado in the most horrific way that will haunt you for a very long time! Was King Yeong Jo a conflicted ruler who just did what he had to do at the time? We’ll never really know!
Which evil drama character was your favorite this year? Let us know in the comments!
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