I got bored with American TV last year and turned to Korean dramas for entertainment. If you’re not familiar with these dramas, “drama” really is just another term for a TV show and doesn’t mean the shows are dramatic.
I made a short list of things that I kept noticing throughout different series:
1. The U-Turn – No matter what show I’ve watched, there is always a wild and dangerous U-turn that spans across a couple of lanes. It signifies a plot twist or that the character’s resolve has changed.
2. The Blood – A woman usually cuts or pricks her finger, and the camera then zooms in on her blood (ew), or she sticks her finger in her mouth.(ew ew)
3. The Parking Space – Characters park at bus stops, in turning lanes – and sometimes in the middle of the street. They’re so easy-going and carefree about it. It irks me. Ugh!
4. The Grab – A man ALWAYS aggressively grabs a woman that’s turning away, or walking past him and whirls her around. ALWAYS! The grab is usually in romances, but fellas, this is not romantic behavior! If you find this behavior appalling, like I do, check out “Reply 1988” or “Remember”, two grab-free dramas.
5. The Walk- I have seen female leads start off knowing their own mind and kicking butt, then gradually become timid, jumpy women who literally shuffle behind the leading male character/love interest. There’s often a class difference at play: the male lead is royalty, heir to a fortune, or considered to be more attractive than the woman. I don’t always finish those dramas because it’s so annoying. You’ll see this a lot in series like “Boys Over Flowers” and “You’re Beautiful”.
6. The Chastity – Couples don’t usually do anything but hold hands or kiss (briefly) in most dramas. This seems radical compared to American TV. I love it! It lets us focus more on the plot.
7. The Frequency – Most dramas have two new episodes a week. That’s right! TWO NEW EPISODES! If you have a few favorite series, why would you ever leave the house?
Aigoo! I forgot one…
The Fist – The camera zooms in on a character’s fist when they are frustrated or angry. If they are really classy, they’ll continue to look calm while clinching away.
These dramas are pretty good:
- W – I love the unique spin of joining a comic book to the real world. The plot was really creative.
- Replay 1988 – This didn’t feel like a soap. The actors were relatable, and it was interesting to learn about what mattered in life in 80’s Korea. I had never heard that marrying someone who has the same last name was taboo back then. Just one of the fun tidbits I picked up.
- Remember – Great acting from the antagonist! Definitely not a fluffy drama.
- Another Oh Hae Young- I appreciated the workplace tension often showed, and the ridiculously lovable second leads.
- My Love From Another Star – Funny female lead, cute plot
- I Hear Your Voice – I loved this one! There’s a huge age difference between the leads that made it a bit different.
- She Was Pretty – Choi Si Won, the most charismatic and funniest actor I’ve seen in a while. ‘Nuff said!