Whenever someone who doesn't know me finds out that I watch Asian dramas, one of the first questions I get is "How did you get into Asian dramas" or "Why do you like Asian dramas?" I was actually asked this recently, and YOU KNOW WHAT...it was hard to answer this question and articulate my answer. Why you ask? I like all the dramas but for very different reasons. My solution is to now write a short introductory series on why I like the dramas I watch because I like Korean dramas for reasons that are different on why I like Japanese dramas and so on and so forth.
SO, THIS POST IS "WHY I LIKE KOREAN DRAMAS"
1) KDRAMAS WERE MY INTRODUCTION AND GATEWAY INTO ASIAN DRAMAS. I never would be watching Asian dramas or listening to kpop or even writing this blog if I wasn't bored one day and clicked play on an OLD bootleg kdrama video uploaded to YouTube more than 10 years ago. So, part of it is that Kdramas introduced me to Asian dramas, now a sense of nostalgia but also what I have been watching the longest on this journey of watching Asian dramas. I will always be watching Kdramas I think at this point.
2)GORGEOUS WOMEN AND HANDSOME MEN. I am sorry I am only human. YOU CAN'T DENY THAT THESE ACTRESSES AND ACTORS ARE GOOD LOOKING! When you first get into Korean dramas, no one can deny that they clicked play on a kdrama (at least once) because they thought an actor was good looking or an actress was pretty without knowing anything about the actor/actress, plot or what the drama would be about. Appearance may draw us in but we stay because of other reasons that we learn from watching more and more Kdramas.
3)CINEMATOGRAPHY. I remember as I watched more and more Kdramas, I was always surprised with the cinematography and how a lot were shot at movie quality levels. I normally notice cinematography and interesting camera angles in anything I watch so I was fascinated on how the setting, camera angles and locations in Kdramas lent to the story and how it affected the story/acting. In Kdramas, the cinematography within itself can tell a story and evoke emotions or just elevates the acting that is playing out on my screen. I find myself exclaiming "WOW WHAT A BEAUTIFUL SHOT!" or "WOW SUCH AN INTERESTING CAMERA ANGLE!" regularly when watching a kdrama.
4)OSTS. We all know that music can tell its own story or add emotion to a scene of anything we are watching. Kdramas (most Asian dramas in general) each have their own soundtrack which you can go and listen to after you are done watching that one kdrama. A lot of the soundtracks are sung by Korean artists who have their own fans and make their own music so Kdramas are sometimes a gateway into Kpop/Korean music because we go hunting for the drama's soundtrack. This is how I found SHINee (by hunting down the OST for Boys Over Flowers). Music is always brought in during the stressful or emotional scenes which just elevates what is in that certain scene. The soundtracks to Kdramas are exclusive to that kdrama and allows the artist that sings it to experiment sometimes as well. The music coming out of Kdramas are so beautiful and interesting. Just a unique piece of music that can bring back the impactful memories of watching that one kdrama for the first time. The OSTs stick with us and brings impact. I have an entire playlist dedicated to just Korea Drama Soundtracks which I add to and listen to regularly.
5)STORY/PLOT. There is a Kdrama for EVERYONE! Kdramas aren't just all about the romance and the kissing. Sure, There are some EPIC romances and some of them are my all-time favorite romances to see being played out on my screen BUT you can find EVERY genre in Korean dramas. Some of the plots can get pretty inventive! I mean, where else are you going to watch a crime drama where a woman has super hearing and works in an emergency call center, teaming up with a cop to catch a serial killer? Or An exiled prince in the Joseon era who has to discover the mysterious reason behind a virus spreading through his kingdom and evidently save his kingdom from the results of this horrific virus. There are just always creative options to draw you in and always something new to watch or discover.
6)ACTORS/ACTRESSES ACTING AND EMOTIONS. As I said earlier, Actors/Actresses may be the reason why we click play but then we find ourselves checking out more of that actors'/actresses' dramas because we loved their performance in the Kdrama we just watched. These actors and actresses put everything into their performances. The emotions that they evoke are just amazing to me. It causes us to become attached to these characters as we watch the drama. We as viewers are happy when they are and cry when they are crying on our screens. The acting allows us to connect with the characters and the stories which makes Kdramas that much more enjoyable for us.
7)1 SEASON FORMAT. Unlike other countries, Korean dramas USUALLY have 1 season and then done. On a very rare occasion, the drama might get a second season but the audience usually has to wait years for the second season. Second seasons are never planned with Korean dramas. You get 1 season of 16 to 20 episodes. The director, producers, crew and actors/actresses have 16 to 20 episodes to tell a full story and make that connection with the audience where they will want to click play on the next episode. It allows Kdramas to be easily digestible. 16 to 20 episodes for the characters to be introduced, the story to unfold and play out beautifully and the conclusion to come in and end in a nicely tied bow. No loose ends or to end abruptly. Now I am not saying this happens ALL THE TIME but overall, 16 to 20 episodes is a perfect number and an enjoyable number for the story to be told and for audience to become invested and enjoy the ride.
8) ESCAPISM. BIGGEST REASON WHY I WATCH KOREAN DRAMAS - ESCAPISM! Korean dramas (All Asian dramas really) allow me to ignore my problems and stress for an hour or two (or five) and just enjoy the drama playing out on my screen. It is a good distraction from reality and life, even if it is just for a short time. Korean dramas draw me into a world that might be magical and romantic or take me into a gripping mystery where I am trying to figure out the murderer along with the characters as they investigate. The story is always riveting where I want to watch the next episode or just stay one more minute with the characters because I am so invested. Escapism is KEY when enjoying Korean dramas - especially during the times that we are currently in.
I am SURE I am forgetting some reasons BUT there you go!
FAVORITE KDRAMAS OF ALL TIME (I have many but here are a few):
FAVORITE KDRAMAS OF 2020 SO FAR(I have many but here are a few):
CURRENT KDRAMAS THAT I AM WATCHING:
Why do you like Kdramas? Have you ever watched a Kdrama? What are your favorite Kdramas? What Kdramas are you watching now?