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Top 4 most unhealthy relationships in Korean dramas and movies: Nevertheless, Penthouse, and more

Known for depicting the most dreamy and romantic love stories, but many Korean productions still feature toxic relationships.

Korean movies and TV series have always been famous for many sweet and dreamy romances that capture the viewers’ hearts. However, there are still controversial on-screen relationships because they exceed the normal boundaries or the age difference is too big. In fact, some Korean productions have faced criticism from the audience for the portrayal of unhealthy and inappropriate relationships.

1. Nevertheless

Based on the webtoon of the same name, “Nevertheless” explores the relationship between the female lead Nabi (Han So Hee), a girl who has lost faith in love due to a past heartbreak, and the male lead Jae Eon (Song Kang), a guy who just wants to fool around and is not willing to be in a committed relationship. The two have feelings for each other at their first encounter and begin to develop a totally physical relationship. After a while, Nabi realizes how “toxic” this relationship is when the “bad boy” Jae Eon only comes to her when he feels like it. Although this might be a modern, comfortable mindset, the relationship is still considered unhealthy and emotionally draining for both parties.

Jae Eon and Nabi's relationship is typical of the “Friend With Benefits” relationship
Jae Eon and Nabi’s relationship is typical of the “Friend With Benefits” relationship

2. Penthouse

In addition to the endless dramas and unexpected twists and turns about the battle for power of the ambitious and wealthy upper class, “Penthouse” also portrays a manipulative relationship that is full of intrigues and tricks of the two antagonists Ju Dan Tae (Uhm Ki Joon) and Cheon Seo Jin  (Kim So-yeon). From the beginning, Ju Dan Tae and Cheon Seo Jin get together by having extramarital affairs behind their partners’ backs. Later, Cheon Seo Jin realizes that she is actually used by Ju Dan Tae. He only wants to be involved in a relationship with her to steal her assets. 

Blinded by greed, Ju Dan Tae ruthlessly deceives and physically abuses Cheon Seo Jin
Blinded by greed, Ju Dan Tae ruthlessly deceives and physically abuses Cheon Seo Jin

3. Young Lady And Gentleman

As soon as it aired its first episode, the drama “Young Lady And Gentlemen” was under fire for promoting an unhealthy relationship between an adult and a teenager. In the scene where the two main characters meet, the drama is criticized for showing an overly intimate scene of the two playing games together. Many viewers find it “creepy” that male lead Lee Young Guk (Ji Hyun Woo) is 27 years old and the female lead Park Dan Dan (Lee Se Hee) is only a 13-year-old minor in this scene.

The romantic scene between a male adult and an underaged girl in “Young Lady And Gentleman” serves as a premise for their future relationship
The romantic scene between a male adult and an underaged girl in “Young Lady And Gentleman” serves as a premise for their future relationship

4. A Muse

Kim Go Eun’s first breakout film, “A Muse” won many awards and nominations at prestigious film awards but still got embroiled in controversy because of the unhealthy relationships between the central characters. Specifically, in the movie, Kim Go Eun plays Han Eun Gyo, a 17-year-old high school girl who is abused. Her life changes when she meets poet Lee Yuk Yo (Park Hae Il) and his assistant Seo Ji Woo (Kim Moo Yul). Although not focusing on the complicated love triangle, “A Muse” still received mixed reactions because of its steamy scenes between a 70-year-old poet and a 17-year-old girl.

Eun Gyo's innocent and refreshing beauty inadvertently makes the 70ish year old poet flutter 
Eun Gyo’s innocent and refreshing beauty inadvertently makes the 70ish year old poet flutter 

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kenh14

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