I like my drama with a side of popcorn . . . and subtitles.
Although I’m not an avid television watcher, I make time for one particular genre: K-dramas!
K-Drama, otherwise known as Korean drama, are television series made in South Korea. They are, of course, in the Korean language and show the rich Korean culture.
Never heard of it? Today is the PERFECT time for a K-drama jamboree. Every mom should add it to their watching queue. Here’s why:
1. Because K-dramas are quirky.
K-dramas are quirky partly because of how they are produced, partly because of Korean culture, but mostly, because the characters are hilarious. They use their body and faces to show humor. Even the more serious shows have laugh-out-loud moments. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to true-to-life American entertainment, but K-dramas are playful. The characters are always doing or saying something new and unexpected. While American culture values beauty and brains, K-dramas place grit and quirkiness on a pedestal.
2. Because they have a happy, complete ending.
Ever get into a series, and then the T.V. network cancels it!? There is either an incomplete wrap-up, or the storyline just stops, and you’re left to imagine what happened to Arlene after she found out that Jeff never got her letter of ultimatum. I’ve never seen a K-drama without an ending. The series usually have between 20-25 episodes. And the ending is happy! (There’s no season two, but, at least there is a complete story!)
3. Because you have to sit down and read the subtitles.
I’m super guilty of this. I “watch” shows by doing the laundry or cleaning the kitchen, which means they are just background noise. I get lost in the storyline and don’t care what’s happening. However, with K-dramas, I have to sit down and do nothing. I don’t know Korean (yet), so I have to pay attention and read the dialogue.
4. Because you can skip a few episodes and still figure out what’s going on.
Flashbacks are key in K-dramas. I think this goes back to how K-dramas are produced. They need the flashbacks as fillers so writers can finish and more material can be filmed. Halfway through the series, every other scene is a flashback. So, if the dishes are calling, and you have to take your eyes away from the screen, no fear. There will probably be a flashback showing what you missed.
5. Because there’s always a love triangle.
Don’t you just love a good love triangle? In K-dramas, someone is entitled and wealthy. Someone else is struggling with an impossible situation. There’s a secret crush. Unrequited love. A fight. The two people who are supposed to be together are usually not, and there’s another fellow or gal in the mix. But don’t worry! Even if you don’t like that other fellow or gal, by the end, they’ll turn out to be in a better situation, too. The plotline may be basic, but there’s LOTS of drama thrown in.
6. Because . . . K-pop music, anyone?
Need I say more? Korean pop music is one of the most popular music genres around the world. K-dramas are chock full of great K-pop music. And since producers use the same music to signal the various moods of the show, you’ll learn some new tunes quickly!
7. Because there’s usually a trip (and lots of sponsored content).
The characters will take a trip to Hong Kong or an island in the South Pacific or just “the sea.” There is sponsored content with familiar and unfamiliar brands, there’s yummy-looking food, and there’s always beautiful scenery. Watching K-dramas is a great way to see another culture and part of the world from the comfort of your couch.
8. Because the characters are all so good looking!
Being attractive must be a pre-requisite for all Korean actors. Not only are they cutting-edge fashionable, but, oh, so good looking! I wouldn’t mind being an extra on one of their sets.
9. Because of the awkward pauses and kisses.
There’s nothing quite like the build-up for a K-drama kiss. There are many “almosts” with awkward body closeness. But when the kiss actually happens, it’s PG (maybe even by American standards G) all the way. I have yet to see something to make me blush or turn the channel if my kids are watching.
10. Because Love triumphs!
There’s usually a lengthy absence between the two main characters. During that time, love doesn’t die. You’ll find yourself annoyed with the characters. It’s so obvious. Why doesn’t he just tell her what’s happening? Why don’t they just talk to each other? But pride’s on the line. During the long absence, one of the characters will make poor choices because he or she misses the other one so much. But in the end, they always come back together. I love a happy ending, and K-dramas aim to please.
Have I convinced you? Ready to pull out the remote? Here’s where to start.
(Note: If you are a serious movie watcher, you might be more interested in Parasite which just won several Academy Awards. Still Korean, still full of drama, but rated R.)
Happy watching! (Don’t forget the popcorn!)