This Week in Pop Culture: K-Dramas

(Republic of Korea/Flickr under CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you like old-school boy/girl dramas, then a Korean drama might just suit your tastes. Having female characters that compete for their romantically intended in just the right way to form some intrigue in this take on Korean culture women being a little more “attached” to their men then were used to in North America.

There are mainly two types of Korean drama: the more popular contemporary Korean dramas are often centred around a love story involving a strong, intelligent, and emotional protagonist, whereas the more traditional Korean drama has its roots in historical events. The latter is also known as the Saguek, which means “historical drama”. What has given rise to the popularity of this art form? It could have been the mesmerizingly “cheesy”, fun plots premises, or just the romance itself?

Sure, it could also be from the fact that Korean streaming services became worldwide, as well as making subtitles in many languages available to streamers. Of course, there’s the fact that these dramas are amazing. They’re certainly fairly realistic, being shot in a “close to life” manner, often due to the fact of tight scheduling and being filmed a few hours before they’re aired.

Making the situations and humorous instances contained within more relatable and understandable, because they were shot in honest without a mass of “flavorful” special effects. The drama in most cases being quite quaint and humorous, and the quaintness coming from a different culture it is quite engrossing and interesting to watch.

Not knowing a lot about Korean culture (at least that can be said for the general Canadian) is what makes this take on romantic drama just so intoxicating. The cultural stereotype around the plot of a Korean drama goes as follows: A rich man falls for a poor girl; he has a best friend who falls for her as well, but helps him romantically; the poor girl has a best friend who eventually gets together with the male best friend; and the rich man’s mother does not approve of the relationship. It’s cheesy, un-North American, and I love it.