Batman has Robin.
Frodo has Sam.
Sherlock has Watson.
Harry has Hermione and Ron.
What’s a hero or heroine without a trusted sidekick? Someone who is brave and loyal, someone to act as foil for our protagonist and someone to provide comic relief?
Today I am exploring the worthy sidekicks that have graced our kdrama screens lately. These awesome supporting characters deserve our love as they often don’t get a ton of press but without them, the story is a little dull and a little shallow. They exist to complement our heroes and heroines. They carry out the menial tasks, they are the sounding boards, they make us all laugh and often than not, they show up just in the nick of time to get out heroes and heroines out of a bind.
Here’s my top 5 sidekicks from recent memory.
Assistant Manager Kim from Misaeng
Wow! What’s not to love about Dong Shik? He is fiercely loyal, super nice, unassuming and fair to a fault. He’s the perfect sidekick for our passionate Manager Oh and a mentor for young Geu Rae. While Manager Oh is someone that goes with his guts, Dong Shik is the voice of reason when it needs to be. He was the valiant defender of Manager Oh from undue criticisms and the steadfast supporter when others have abandoned the ship.
Kim Dae Myung delivered an epic performance as the understated, unpretentious sidekick with a bad perm. He made us care for the trio of misfits from Sales Team 3. But most memorable of all, he made me laugh and jump for joy when he left his comfortable and prestigious job at One International to join Geu Rae and Manager Oh. What a trooper! Unparalleled friendship and camaraderie for the ages!
Princess Han from Angry Mom
I confess I was a little worried early in the show premiere when Gong Joo first made her appearance on Angry Mom. I am not a fan of over the top unrealistic characters but Go Soo Hee’s portrayal as Kang Ja’s best friend and loyal protector proved me wrong. Despite the outlandish outfits, crazy hats and tiara galore, she grew on me as the quirky, lovable and kind Princess Han.
A show with so much darkness in its story telling was rendered a tad lighter and kinder with its humorous lines, many of which were delivered by Gong Joo and her minions. She was an awesome best friend in need and never gave up on her friend despite suffering setbacks and consequences to her own personal life and establishment. A deserving sidekick and cherished friend for life!
Ajumma from Healer
On first look she might not be your classic sidekick. Jo Min Ja was a disillusioned detective turned hacker and mercenary who was technically Healer’s boss and handler.
She acts tough and uncaring, dishing out mission after mission to Jung Hoo (Healer) while she coops up in her apartment all wired with the latest hi tech gadgets that can rival any secret mission agency. But when push comes to shove, her true self comes through; justice will triumph over greed and evil.
Kim Mi Kyung played this role to a tee! She was hilarious and cracked me up in her stereotypical Ajumma outfit of colourful slacks, socks, big hair and glasses. She was the motherly figure that Jung Hoo needed and the invisible confidante to lean on for advice on life and love. The show would not have been the same without this eccentric, sock knitting, kimbap loving hobo to ‘watch over’ Jung Hoo and Young Shin in their mission to uncover the truths. Luv her!
Jo Dal Goo from Liar Game
Jo Dal Goo may not be a willing sidekick but in the grand scheme of thing he was Nam Da Jung’s partner and protector, albeit a clumsy and naive one. He might be a loan-shark wannabe but one clearly not very good at his job. Instead of harassing her to pay her debt he goes to her house every day for food and she feeds him willingly. Huh?
In his own child-like ways, he self appointed himself her guardian angel, always looking for ways to thwart any attempts by the thugs to harm Nam Jung. Though he was manipulated by the evil Do Young one too many times, in his own simple mind, he sincerely believed those schemes would be the best way to protect her. Money might be his first love but when it counted, his weakness wasn’t money itself but the kind and soft-hearted Nam Da Jung that won him over.
Manager Go from My Love Eun Dong
This one is front and centre in my mind as it is a currently airing drama. Manager Go (Dong Gyu) is a loyal subordinate to mega star Eun Ho.
He may carry the elusive title of Manager but he is basically your run of the mill personal gofer to the stars. But what sets Dong Gyu apart is his integrity and loyalty. He carries out his tasks but does not get intimidated or threatened by the perception of power.
When Hyun Bal ordered him to never let Eun Ho meet the ghostwriter, he defies that order since the command bears no sense.
And when he finds out the real identity of Jung Eun, he does the right thing and secretly arranges for the two long lost lovebirds to meet. Though he seemingly gets ordered around and picked on by Eun Ho (not intentionally and not in a mean way), he still respectfully calls him hyung. He looks out for Eun Ho’s best interest, purely out of kindness and compassion and not for any personal or material gain. In my book, he’s a friend for keeps and a worthy mention to make my deserving sidekick list.
So, who’s your favourite kdrama sidekicks of late? Care to share? 🙂