1 min read

Second Lead Syndrome

Start-Up, a K-drama, made me suffer "second lead syndrome".

It's when you root for the second lead to snag one of the protagonists.
Deep down, you know it'll never happen, and so foolish to expect otherwise.
And yet.

Maybe it takes one to know one.
As someone all too familiar with runners up finishes and a life characterised by a singular secondness*, I felt for Han Ji Pyeong, Start-Up's number two guy.
The show ended on the right note, but of course, our man didn't get the girl (we rarely do).

You grow up thinking you’re your show’s star, but life offers more interesting roles.
And playing the lead can feel fraught with danger.
One isn’t used to it, you’re always in the firing line, and the spotlight’s glare can blind and burn.

No leading man roles for our kind, I’m afraid.
We’re better off seeking the right one to second!

*A second child; a perennial no. 2, from high school to the workplace; a right-hand man to many; good enough, not great, any way you slice the cake; forever, it feels, orbiting other peoples lives and times.