I have an addiction.
Don’t worry too much as it isn’t anything dangerous! My addiction is actually quite tame and harmless: I’m addicted to Asian dramas. More specifically South Korean dramas.
Where does this addiction come from???
Well that’s kind of hard to say…mostly I blame YouTube because that is where I had my first taste of K-Drama. I had spent 23 years in ignorance of their existence but one day while watching films on YouTube I somehow stumbled on to ‘He Was Cool’ (I have no idea how this happened, I vaguely remember it being a suggestion on the side bar). After that it was ‘My Girlfriend’s A Spy’, ‘My Little Bride’ and ‘Innocent Steps’ before quickly progressing to the aforementioned K-Dramas (and Japanese Dramas / Taiwanese Dramas).
When I admit to my addiction people always look at me a bit funny and say things like: ‘But surely it’s all subbed, isn’t that just irritating?’
No, it isn’t. It has no effect on my enjoyment at all and to be truthful I don’t even notice that I’m reading rather than listening anymore. It surprised me how quickly my ears started to recognize the different languages so that when I saw a trailer I would know if it was Japanese, Taiwanese or Korean. I was even more surprised when I started to recognize some phrases!!! (Although I’m not sure how useful ‘I love you’ in Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean is going to be!!!)
But we digress…
Now you have to approach K-Dramas in a certain way: they are the television equivalent of candy, do not expect gritty realism in any way, shape or form. Sit back, suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the (admittedly mad) ride you are about to take.
So why do I like K-Drama???
For several reasons: I like that the stories are (mostly) sweet romances, everyone always looks lovely and the characters are nice. The good guys always win, the bad guys always fail and the hero ALWAYS gets the girl.
That’s not to say that I don’t have my issues with them sometimes! Mostly the story centres on a love triangle (or square??? with all three guy liking the same girl), normally both guys will be handsome/kind and generally awesome and yet one of them will suffer a broken heart and see his true love lost forever…not cool, I don’t approve of that at all!!! Also these two guys will normally be best friends at the beginning and fancying the same girl will tear them apart before one of them gives up and then everything is hunky dory again.
But despite that I still watch and wait and hope that the guy I’m rooting for is going to get the girl at the end. Sometimes the love triangle thing doesn’t upset me at all so long as I like the hero BETTER than the other guy, but this doesn’t always happen and sometimes I end up liking the secondary guy better than the lead (yes ‘Mary Stayed Out All Night’ I’m talking about you!).
The story lines are almost always ridiculous but there is also always something to keep you interested:
A young poor but plucky girl is given a scholarship to a private school that only takes the children of the wealthy elite and catches the eye of the handsomest, wealthiest boy. This boy is the leader of a gang (not that sort of gang!) called F4 made up of the four wealthiest boys in the school who also happen to be the four handsomest boys in the school as well. But come on: it’s the romance between the hero and heroine, the friendship between the 4 boys (okay, okay: AND their good looks!!!) that’s the real reason you’re watching anyway! (Boys Before Flowers)
A poor stunt woman body swaps (think ‘Freaky Friday’) with a rich man. This one was just so funny in places and I really liked the Hero and Heroine, how the guy playing the Hero managed to make me believe that he was actually the Heroine trapped in the wrong body I will never know, but he had me in stitches: I never knew a guy could scream like that!!! (Secret Garden)
A poor girl finds out on her sixteenth birthday that she is betrothed to the future King (yes I know that Korea has no royal family but just go with it!) and must now marry a complete stranger who doesn’t know her, doesn’t like her and is pining for another girl. I wanted to strangle the Hero in the first few episodes but I warmed to him in the end, the romance between the two leads was lovely and I didn’t want it to end! (Goon, Princess Hours).
Can you see a pattern emerging here??? ;-P
I’ve just finished ‘Can You Hear My Heart’ and I loved it, it had the same poor girl meets rich guy scenario but the Hero was so lovely! A new favourite! And I’m just starting ‘Faith’ which has Lee Min Ho as the lead (he was also the lead in ‘Boys Before Flowers’). It’s a historical drama, which I like, with a Heroine from the future. At the minute I’m more interested in the secondary romance between the King and the Queen than the Hero and Heroine…are you intrigued??? Then why not check it out!!!