How do you solve a problem like an amazing second lead? Make the lead cute!
What usually makes it easy to root for the lead even when the second lead is amazing is that there’s something lacking. Often, the second lead lacks guts and just longs for the lead from afar, or there’s no romantic chemistry, or the female lead isn’t interested in him etc etc. But that’s not the case in Jealousy Incarnate.
This week, the writers gave the second lead scenes that made us swoon.
First of all, Jung Won stayed up to drive her to work first thing in the morning. And with that deep, sexy voice of his, it’s hard to consider this clingy especially as Pyo Na Ri appreciated it. Plus he made it clear that it’s not something he’d be able to do all the time which is the opposite of clingy.
Then he’s the best best friend a man can ask for. He’s kind-hearted and made it clear to Hwa Shin after he got kicked out that his home was open to him.
Then he stood up to Hwa Shin and protected Na Ri when he was being rough with her. I loved that he grabbed him and pulled him off her. *swoon* This is a man who knows how a woman should be held.
Then they showed us that these two have great sexual chemistry when he fitted her for custom-made clothes. Who knew that a guy could be so sexy using a tape measure? *double swoon*
What I love most is that there are no major secrets between them and she already knows about his chaebol marriage problems. I loved that he chased after her when his mom showed up with her chosen daughter-in-law. How refreshing is it for a man to not play games and make his intentions clear?
But what about Hwa Shin?
As usual, he was rude, rough, passive-aggressive, etc. and made me root of Jung Won. Why be with a selfish man who plays games and lies about his feelings when you can be someone who doesn’t put you through such stress?
This week, he gave Pyo Na Ri the silent treatment when he thought she showed Jung Won his bra video. Then instead of confronting her like a man, he fought her for her phone which resulted it in being dropped in the toilet. And did he ever apologize for acting on a misunderstanding? All I recall is him offering to buy a new phone while insisting he didn’t do anything wrong.
Then at dinner, he got passive-aggressive, pretending to be encouraging their relationship while actually discouraging it by saying that they wouldn’t last. Grr.
The worst part is his personality and how much of a big baby he is. I understand that he’s self-loathing and feels guilty for caring about his health when his brother just died. But he’s also obsessed with his image and career and would rather risk death than news of his cancer spreading. While he didn’t ask Na Ri and her doctor to collude to get him into radiation therapy, his attitude forces her to go out of her way to help him. This makes him look like a petulant child. While the scenes were entertaining, it’s definitely clear that Na Ri gives more than she gets from this relationship. Then karaoke happened.
Hwa Shin has to avoid alcohol and pork belly while getting radiation treatment which naturally means that the office party they are all made to attend is at a pork belly restaurant. Na Ri protects him by eating his food and drinking gallons of alcohol. All I kept thinking was that all he needed to do was feign a stomach bug.
Anyway, in a quiet moment, this made him fall harder for her and he couldn’t keep his eyes off her the rest of the night.
Le sigh. Boy am I a sucker for stubborn men who inadvertently become secretly obsessed with their love interests.
So after spending most of these two episodes highkey shipping Jung Won and Na Ri, I found my feelings swaying when he sang a duet with her after he noticed that none of their colleagues were paying attention to her solo performance. And when he performed a song that depicted the love triangle he’s stuck in, he couldn’t keep his eyes off her and stopped performing the second she walked out of the room. *swoon*
Then he gave the obviously drunk Na Ri a piggyback ride to the station and when she expressed how tired she was and mentioned that she was worried that she’d oversleep and miss her broadcast, he stayed with her to be her human alarm clock. *double swoon*
And just when I was sure I was now in love with Hwa Shin, we got a flashback scene of Na Ri and Jung Won at the dress fitting reminding us of how right he also is for her. OTTOKE!?!?!
This writer is playing us. How can she write two different, great guys for our lead? Hwa Shin is that friend that she’ll always bicker with but they made Jung Won the man that she’d have a great romance with. Why?
We all know who she’ll end up with and I also think they’d make a funny couple but is it wrong for me to want her to have a dreamy romance with a prince? A part of me wishes that he can follow his heart and marry the girl he likes but the other part doesn’t want Jo Jung Suk to lose his male lead status. I honestly think that’s the one thing that stops me from fully wishing that the second lead gets the girl this time.
So I’m glad that I doubt I will be disappointed with the inevitable couple because Hwa Shin is quite endearing when he’s longing and caring for Na Ri.
While the unfolding love triangle is excellent, everything with Ppal Gang is an unnecessary distraction. A lot of it is that the characters’ love and battle for Ppal Gang leads to some drawn out over-the-top scenes that aren’t even that funny. However, I think my lack of interest is largely due to the actress playing Ppal Gang.
I don’t want to criticize her acting but she doesn’t have enough screen presence to justify everyone’s obsession with her. I can understand her moms wanting to be in her life but those two guys in love with her? Other than her looks, what do they see in her? And we can’t blame this on her depression after her father’s death because she wasn’t that great before the tragedy. I hope they soon flesh out her character and show us exactly why we should care about her. I did like the one scene where her inevitable boyfriend dissed her.
One thing that’s currently lacking is Na Ri’s journey towards becoming an anchor. I actually think that she’ll make a good reporter because she’s quick on her feet but we’re only a third of the way through so I’m hoping we see a little less focus on her romantic life and more on her professional one.
Everybody believes that Na Ri and Hwa Shin are dating and I wonder if he won’t deny it, similar to his actions at his doctor’s office. Does he secretly wish it were true? LOL. You snooze, you lose, Bro.
The love triangle featuring the chef and Hwa Shin’s two ex-sisters-in-law is heating up. I wish I could say I cared. LOL. One thing I liked was that the two women seemed to get along at karaoke when they were both drunk. Do that more often, ladies.
Hmm… it looks like Na Ri might be embroiled in a scandal soon.
Credit: SBS, Subber