My addiction/ love of K-dramas came after watching my first good one. I say this because the first actual one I watched (Jealousy Incarnate) didn’t really grab my interest so I thought nothing much of it. With each episode in that series being over an hour long and barely keeping up with the subtitle pace, it definitely wasn’t love at first sight. That changed when I sat down with my uni housemates one night to watch the drama ‘Cheese in The Trap’. Thinking back to then, it wasn’t the greatest drama I’ve watched but I was firstly, amused by the name and secondly, as I continued to watch the drama in love with the protagonist’s relatable awkwardness.
It escalated pretty fast after that. I mainly watch crime and romance shows and although I feel South Korea does them best I have watched a few from China and Taiwan. For me one thing I do love about K-drama’s is they are free from most of the Western clichés you see (particularly in American dramas). However, they still have clichés of their own. Basic things I have observed:
- Fate, loyalty and friendship are big themes you will find in some shape or form in each drama. For instance, in a few romance dramas the main characters have unknowingly met in their past as if to imply they were destined to be together. Exhibit A: the show Cinderella and Four Knights.
- K-dramas can be a bit more conservative when it comes to romance; this probably partly because TV is more closely censored than film (which is another ball game- you only need to watch one to realise.)
- Female characters can be marmite. My likability for show does strongly depend on the depictions of females within it. Females that are always damsels in distress or highly emotional slowly annoy you; although I’ll make an exception for The K2.
- No-one is ever as they seem in a good K-drama. Even the ones you come to hate/love have a backstory or change sides due to events within the drama. This adds a layer of realism to the dramas as they seek to portray the complexity of individuals; humans are complicated things after all.
A lot of K-pop singers dabble in acting also but this is something you’re unlikely to realise unless you research the dramas and actors like me. (I’m weird like that.) I also like watching behind the scenes footage and cast interviews since they can be pretty funny. For those that want to test run a series; I will be posting some of my recommendations up soon 😉 I also have another obsession I will be revealing in a part (2).
Have a good weekend.