The Best Characters in K-Drama: John Meyer, King 2 Hearts

Time for a brand new Lore in Stone Cities feature! Drum roll please….let’s play a game of:

The Best Characters in K-Drama

One element that constantly keeps Korean dramas fresh and exciting for me are the characters (without characters there would be no stories, without stories there would be no characters. That is too much deep thinking for a Monday night. Aishhh). From the absurd to the painfully normal there is a huge range of characters in K-dramas, and I I love 80% of them. To celebrate that appreciation I will showcase the characters that have stuck with me long after their respective dramas were over. Feel free to make suggestions, every k-drama lover I know has that one Oppa, Noona, chaebol, quirky girl, or baddie that makes them want to fist pump, smile, and cheer in tandem.

For the inaugural edition  I will showcase one of my all time favorites (seriously, kind of disturbing how much I love this character, he had the perfect function):

John Meyer aka Kim Bong Gu aka Jae Ha enthusiast

Actor: Yoon Je-Moon

Drama: King 2 Hearts (2012)

Where do I start? John Meyer is a paranoid, power hungry, obsessive freak. A man without an apparent conscious and with a huge need to appear superior, I am pretty sure he matches every description of narcissistic personality disorder ever written. In fact I am certain he does. Reference Mayo Clinics list of narcissistic personality disorder symptoms, also known as John Meyer’s about me section of his facebook page:

  • Believing that you’re better than others.
  • Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness.
  • Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly
  • Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
  • Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
  • Taking advantage of others
  • Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
  • Being jealous of others
  • Believing that others are jealous of you
  • Setting unrealistic goals
  • Having a fragile self-esteem

With that out of the way let’s focus on what makes John Meyer great. First off, it is hard to top his obsession with Jae Ha. Now, I am totally in agreement with John Meyer on this one, I too would be completely obsessed with the Prince/ King / Cell phone bomb maker of South Korea if he looked like Lee Seung Gi. John Meyer, from childhood until his *ahem* downfall had a creepy fascination with Jae Ha. And the King, well he was mostly about the “Ha. Ha. Who are you again?” vibe.  That dynamic and the frustration that it caused John Meyer was a hilarious comedic part of the drama. As every episode started I found myself hoping that Jae Ha would downplay Meyer’s importance, therefore driving the super villain further and further into the bat shit crazy stalker guy he was.

Another element I loved about this character was his completely crazy worldview. He had absolutely no concept (which was helped a lot by his supposedly all powerful Club M) of anything but his own needs and the needs of his business. Who helped him there and what despicable acts were committed in the name of success were of no consequence. He acted impulsively most of the time with rare moments of clarity. Throughout all of these actions he rejected reality and truly made his own. A fantasist of the best kind, he lived in his bond villain role perfectly. Meyer refused to accept the probable and instead clung to the impossible, all the while believing it was truth. His delusion was absolute; his actions spelled out his crazy and made for great drama watching. It was hard to predict what the insane master mind would do next, a fact that made half of my appreciation for the show.

And finally, Jae Ha said it best in his flash drive speech:

 “At least I had people who believed in me, so I could start over. But you don’t… have anybody. If by chance you really did kill her, that’s the end for you—the very nature of hopelessness. Because that’s what’s really important in life: people.”

In the end John Meyer really had no one (unless you count Bon Bon, who was psychotic enough to bond with Meyer in a sadistic way. Here is to you, Meyer’s only friend. You sick, sick monkey). A lonely man, made lonelier by his endless ambition and ever tenuous grip on reality, he was a foil worthy of the King

In the end I love this character because he made a king out of Jae Ha, all while being damned entertaining. Jae Ha was dependent on a multitude of people to make him what he needed to be but perhaps the most important person to push him towards the level of maturity he was lacking was embodied in insane Meyer. For that I recognize John Meyer-a great character indeed.

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