Korean dramas: the clean, internationally appealing genre

Written by: 
Zeek Cheng

Korean dramas are the latest international hit for the millennial generation, according to students who said the genre’s mass appeal comes from its relatable and unique plots and clean and hopeful tones.

Yui Chayama, a sophomore from Japan studying anthropology, said she enjoys the love comedies that are about everyday life. “It’s realistic and relatable. It also includes the unexpected that could happen in real life, such as a girl being with a popular guy in school. It gives the audience the fantasy they seek for.”

Chiao Min Liu, a junior from Taiwan studying communications, said, “I like the aspect of the Korean drama that is based on the realistic situations along with some exaggerated elements, which made it relatable to your life. And the happy ending gives you hope when feeling stressed out and stuck.”

Chayama added, “When I put myself into the situation of the story, it gives me hope that something great like that would happen to me as well. Once you start watching a Korean drama, you will feel the strength of it and it will somehow drag your emotions into the story. Then you will not want it to end.”

The lessons and stories are even relatable to those from the Polynesian Islands, said Lowell Laulu, a freshman from Samoa studying psychology. “Also, I really like the Korean actors and actresses because they are sincere in their acting.”

Korean dramas provide people with clean and healthy entertainment and takes them away from R-rated movies, said Laulu. “Everyone can enjoy it without being exposed to gory or sexual images. It’s so innocent and the focus is on the story and jokes.”

Chayama added, “When watching the dramas from other countries, I get to know about the culture there. Even though it might not be entirely accurate, I still got to learn about the basic things such as what people eat, how they express themselves. For example, when expressing sadness in Japanese dramas, the actors would cry silently, but Korean actors and actress would cry out loud. It’s interesting to compare differences.”

Liu also expressed how Korean dramas are different from other entertainment. “I used to watch Chinese dramas growing up. Over time, I became familiar with the plotlines. It started to get boring because I can pretty much predict what is going to happen and how it’s going to end. I wanted to explore something new, and I then came across Korean dramas.”

She said the best aspect in Korean dramas’ storylines are the cliffhangers. “There is always a good cliffhanger at the end of each episode, which made me curious and want to continue watching.”

Due to Korean dramas’ rising popularity, Liu and Chayama said they are able to form friendships quickly. “Korean drama often becomes my topic starter with my friends who are also interested in Korean drama. We share with one another which one we watched recently and which one we like. We also give each other recommendations.”

Chayama added, “Korean dramas sometimes are the topic I discuss when I first meet people because so many are so into it or they know family members and friends who are interested.”

Date Published: 
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Last Edited: 
Wednesday, January 3, 2018