Once upon a time not so long ago, bad boys were something that all drama-loving girls would fall for. From Meteor Garden’s <流星花園> Dao Mingsi to Devil Beside You’s <惡魔在身邊> Ahmon, bad boys were the trend that defined idol dramas of the 2000’s.
But as we officially hit the late 2010’s, it appears that bad boys are no longer the main act for business. Starting with 2011’s In Time with You <我可能不會愛你>, the “sweet boy”—or warm boy (暖男)—became the one where all girls would fall for. Gone were the days when girls would chase after angsty boys who were broken and mistaken; now all they want is someone who is kind, loving, and supportive.
This transition from bad boy and good boy isn’t just happening to Taiwan and Korea—its influence is affecting Hong Kong dramas too. Manipulative bad boys like Bosco Wong’s (黃宗澤) Sheldon in 2016’s Two Steps from Heaven <幕後玩家> got more hate than love, while simpler characters like Kenneth Ma’s (馬國明) Ma Kwai in The Exorcist’s Meter <降魔的> is getting all the love letters. In fact, Kenneth’s good, obedient image is the reason why he is still so popular with girls, despite not having the handsome looks of Bosco Wong nor the athletic image of Vincent Wong (王浩信).
The formula for popularity is changing, and it’s exciting to know what would happen next.