Kdrama fans will tell you all sorts of reasons but here are the reasons why I fell into the kdrama habit hook, line and sinker:
For some reason, writers, directors, actors and basically those involved in creating Korean dramas have mastered the art of the “specific details”. By this I mean they have mastered showing the mundane everyday things on screen. These seemingly small things that some creators ignore actually add up to the “realness” of a series. Because it is so specific, it feels more relatable. For instance instead of using heart wrenching lines, they will use a shot of a shaky hand. Because that shot establishes all the emotions that the character feels.
You know how sometimes in a drama there is an antagonist and the explanation for their being the “bad” person is just because they are simply that? Bad. Evil? I noticed that for many kdramas that I have watched, they no longer stop at merely identifying one character as “bad”. The series take time to illustrate the insecurites, the past experiences of the character and make it more understandable for the viewer. What issues do these characters have that motivate their actions?
Also the main character is not always the most conventionally beautiful actor. Sometimes it is the antagonist who is physically more beautiful (in the conventional sense).
They Tackle Social Issues
I love how many shows give us a peek to Korea’s traditions and values including both the negative and positive aspects. Many shows have tackled the idea of family connections and economic status,family expectations, young people’s frustrations and just general human frailty: career insecurities for one.
The Support for Their Own Industry
In terms of industry, they create tons of movies and show them in their local cinemas. Something that Philippine cinema is still trying to do (or re-learning to do) and it is good to compare notes. Some of you may know that the Philippine cinema had a golden era but that is topic for another post as theres’ a cool Tedtalk about it by Pepe Diokno.
Meanwhile here are some of my fave kdramas (that are not so recent):
This one is structured so that individual episodes can stand independently. A series about a woman who sees ghosts and is only able to stop that curse by physically touching… her CEO boss. Lol I know it sounds weird but it’s just funny because she has to lose her pride and has to reach her hand out to his arm, foot or whatever way just to stop seeing ghosts and she follows him around.
Coming of age series. I love seeing the 80s teenagers, their neighborhood and just the fun-loving character Deoksun. As per mom (owemgee she is even more of a kdrama fan than I am), she says this series celebrated the ordinary. Their OST is love, I can still get emotional listening to Oh Hyuk’s A Little Girl.
Office setting. It may come off as meh initially but I was impressed with how it was able to show Korea’s office culture as well as each character’s personalities. I can somehow relate to it having worked in a logistics company before (yeah the boring stuff like bill of lading, etc). I like how kdramas can also show the industry and use the setting to further the story.
And those are just a few of the many (MANY!) shows that I enjoyed over the years!
But Wait There’s More!
Also… a shameless plug for my sister! She joined Soompi Rising Legends Season 2 contest. She is among the 3 finalists in the dance category.
Can I get your votes? And 2 minutes to watch her dance video – her own choreo and interpretation of YOUNG FOREVER, a BTS song. Voting is open hourly until the 13th! Thank you!
Here is the link: #Vote4Frances
The contest entries are amazeballs! I got to hand it to these young creatives for putting themselves out there and sharing their love for dance, song and rap.
My other sister and I are campaigning like crazy #stagesisters so feel free to share with your friends and kpop fans. Enjoy!
photos from Asianwiki