South Koreans Decipher Growing Global Popularity Of K-Dramas


On the Korean young adult show ‘Record of Youth’, when an aspiring actor named Sa Hye-jun asked his girlfriend Ahn Jeong-ha, a makeup artist, for permission to kiss him, many fans were blown away.

The male protagonist, played by Park Bo-gum, had sought consent for the female lead role, tried on by Park So-dam, star of the Oscar-winning film ‘Parasite’.

”Authorisation? In a K-drama ?? I have tears of joy for the K-dramas that evolve so much, ”one fan noted on the stage’s YouTube video.

The high school but toxic tale of the opinionated girl falling in love with the bad boy with a heart of gold, as in the popular ‘Boys Over Flowers’, gave way to K dramas like ‘Run’, which showed the romance between a retired athlete and his performer, and ‘Hot Stove League’ where there is no romance between the main protagonists.

K content has spread around the world in recent years, including India, and Koreans believe it has a lot to do with the country’s ability to offer variety, keep up with global market trends, and revisit stereotypes.

Visual effects artist Hayoung Jo said she tunes in to K-Dramas once or twice a year to “catch up on trends and watch the hottest shows.”

Jo, who moved from the town of Siheung-si in South Korea’s Geoggi-do province to Toronto about seven years ago, likes these dramas because of the “cultural background.”

“I feel more attached to Korean culture than Western culture and it easily resonates with the characters in the dramatic scenes,” she added.

According to Jo, K-Dramas are undergoing “good changes.”

For example, there was a prevalent idea that women should marry before their 30s to raise their children, but now female characters in K-Dramas are mostly over 30 and over career-oriented. to the woman of ‘The 90s-2000s, which reflect the idea of ​​gender equality in Korean society, “said artist VFX, who worked on the hit Disney Plus series” The Mandalorian. “

K-drama fans agree that there are certain tropes that were killed off on the shows and that a subgenre that needs to go is the story of “Cinderella”. Many successful series, including “Secret Garden”, starring Ha Ji-won and Hyun Bin, and “Coffee Prince”, starring Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun-hye, have used the fairy tale as an outline in the pass.

“I’m happy that K-Dramas are trying new things other than the Cinderella stories; they’re too lame, ” Jo added.

Min Kim, a Toronto-based VFX artist from Busan, said the usual 12- or 16-episode format allows for a clean plot.

“We can watch two episodes a week as they drop. It’s relaxing to watch a K drama after work with my family. (The limited series format) makes the storyline pretty intense, ”said VFX artist, who worked on survival action drama“ Greenland ”and Amazon’s hit superhero series“ The Boys “.

Ga-yeon Kim, from Seoul’s Gangnam district, said she was fed up with the stereotypical strong female character in K-dramas where the woman may appear “stubborn and outspoken” but the show would use these personality traits to possibly feed a novel.

I felt that K-Dramas rewarded women who are easily swayed and punished or labeled the character as a bad person if they trusted what was good for them. I think K-Dramas should celebrate, humanize and diversify types of women by championing their success even if it exceeds the success of male characters without denigrating them, ”the teacher from a primary school based in Paris told PTI. Toronto.

She, however, changed her mind after her mother told her there were ” improvements ” in the new dramas, such as ” It’s Ok To Not Be Okay ” and ” Kill Me Heal. Me ”, shows that dealt with mental health issues and childhood trauma.

“I think this is great news because there are so many issues in Korea and around the world that need to be addressed, such as mental health, equal rights, poverty, etc. With all things Korean – drama, movies, music, cosmetics and food – going global, Ga-yeon Kim believes the reason content is gaining momentum is the skill of Korean industry to study and replicate what people liked in the past.

She added, “Korea is also great at innovating and adding to these dramas, movies and music. For example, I’ve heard that K-Dramas and K-pop embrace current issues that young audiences face, such as anxiety, depression, work-home balance, etc. ” Jo said K-pop, through bands like BTS and Blackpink, and dramas have had a synergistic effect on the growing interest in Korean content around the world.

“If a K-drama gains popularity, people can also pay attention to K-pop and vice versa. As many people overseas have noticed K-culture and its value, they are also digging hidden treasures that have never caught people’s interest before, ” she added.

When asked what could be the factors contributing to the growing international interest in the country, BTS member Jung Kook told PTI last year: Music, etc. As artists representing South Korea, we also want to share this with the rest of the world. ” Beomgyu, a member of Korean boy group TXT, said that South Korea tells “ relatable stories ” that make them resonate around the world.

“Wherever you are or wherever you come from, I think our shared experiences of experiencing these moments together serve as the basis for stories that many people can relate to. I would like to say that this is the main reason why many people now resonate with our stories and our culture, ”he told PTI in June 2021.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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