Feed Your K-Obsession with These Korean Dramas
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Korean dramas, or K-dramas, have been gaining popularity worldwide thanks to their captivating stories, charming actors, and diverse genres. Whether you are new to K-dramas or a seasoned fan, there is always something for you to enjoy. In this blog post, we will introduce you to some of the different genres and terms commonly used in K-dramas, as well as recommend some of the best korean drama shows to watch in 2023.
Rom-com: Light and Fluffy
Rom-com, short for romantic comedy, is one of the most popular genres in K-dramas. It usually features a cute and funny love story between two characters who overcome various obstacles and misunderstandings before finding their happy ending. Rom-coms are perfect for when you need a dose of laughter and sweetness in your life. Some of the popular rom-com dramas to watch are:
- Strong Girl Bong-soon: A hilarious and heartwarming drama about a woman with superhuman strength who becomes the bodyguard of a CEO with a soft spot for her.
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo: A sweet and inspiring drama about a female weightlifter who falls in love with a swimmer while pursuing her dreams.
- What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?: A witty and romantic drama about a narcissistic boss who tries to stop his loyal secretary from quitting by pretending to date her.
- Crash Course in Romance: A lighthearted drama about a former racing driver and a car mechanic who fall in love while teaching each other how to drive.
Sageuk: A Glimpse into Korea’s Past
Sageuk, or historical drama, is another popular genre in K-dramas. It usually depicts the lives and events of Korea’s past, ranging from ancient times to modern history. Sageuk dramas often feature elaborate costumes, sets, and cinematography, as well as complex political intrigues, wars, and romances. Some of the popular sageuk dramas to watch are:
- Moon Embracing The Sun: A beautiful and tragic drama about a king who falls in love with a female shaman who is his long-lost childhood sweetheart.
- Jewel in the Palace (Dae Jang Geum): A classic and epic drama about a woman who rises from a lowly kitchen maid to become the first female royal physician in Joseon dynasty.
- Six Flying Dragons: An intense and thrilling drama about six people who are involved in the founding of Joseon dynasty and their struggles for power and justice.
- Queenmaker: A historical drama about a woman who rises from a slave to become a powerful queen.
Chaebol: Rich and Powerful Love Interests
Chaebol, or wealthy conglomerate, is a term that refers to the elite and influential families that own and run large businesses in Korea. In K-dramas, chaebols are often portrayed as arrogant, cold, and handsome men who fall in love with poor or ordinary women. Chaebol-centered dramas usually involve conflicts between family, business, and love. Some of the popular chaebol-centered dramas to watch are:
- Boys Over Flowers: A classic and iconic drama about a poor girl who receives a scholarship to an exclusive high school and gets entangled with F4, a quartet of smug rich kids led by the prickly Lee Min-ho 3
- Heirs: A drama about a group of privileged and rebellious high school students who struggle with their family issues, social pressures, and love lives. Lee Min-ho plays a chaebol heir who falls for a poor girl played by Park Shin-hye
- My Love from Another Star: A fantasy romance drama about an alien who landed on Earth 400 years ago and falls in love with a top actress who is also a chaebol heiress. Kim Soo-hyun plays the alien who has superpowers and Jun Ji-hyun plays the actress who is spoiled but lovable
- Cinderella and the Four Knights: A cute and fluffy drama about a girl who ends up living in a house with three feuding chaebol cousins because their grandfather thinks she would be good for them. Park So-dam plays the girl who tries to change their bad habits and Jung Il-woo plays the eldest cousin who falls for her.
Makjang: Crazy Plot Twists and Turns
Makjang, or extreme melodrama, is a genre that features exaggerated and unrealistic situations such as birth secrets, affairs, revenge, murder, kidnapping, amnesia, and more. Makjang dramas are often addictive and entertaining because of their unpredictable and shocking plot twists. However, they can also be frustrating and illogical at times. Some of the makjang-heavy shows that are still worth watching are:
- The Last Empress: A thrilling and suspenseful drama set in an alternate reality where Korea is still a monarchy. It follows the life of a musical actress who becomes the empress and gets involved in a series of crimes and conspiracies within the palace
- Sky Castle: A dark and satirical drama about four wealthy families who live in a luxurious residential area called Sky Castle. It exposes the secrets and lies behind their obsession with education and success for their children
- Temptation of Wife: A classic and notorious drama about a woman who fakes her death after being betrayed by her husband and his mistress. She returns with a new identity and seeks revenge on them
- Penthouse: A popular and controversial drama about the lives of wealthy families who live in a luxury apartment building called Hera Palace. It depicts their greed, ambition, cruelty, and scandals as they compete for power and prestige
Skinship: Not Just About Romance
Skinship, or physical contact, is a common trope in K-dramas that shows the intimacy and affection between characters. However, skinship is not always sexual or romantic. Sometimes, it portrays platonic intimacy between friends, family members, or co-workers who share a close bond. Some examples where skinship isn’t sexual but rather shows warmth and comfort between characters are:
- Reply series: A nostalgic series that follows the lives of different groups of friends from different eras (1997, 1994, 1988). It shows how they hug, cuddle, hold hands, lean on each other’s shoulders, and sleep together without any romantic implications
- Fight for My Way: A charming drama about four childhood friends who pursue their dreams despite their harsh realities. It shows how they support each other physically and emotionally through their struggles and hardships
- Hospital Playlist: A heartwarming drama about five doctors who have been friends since medical school. It shows how they express their friendship through hugs, high-fives, fist bumps, back
We hope you enjoyed this blog post about the different genres and terms commonly used in K-dramas. Whether you are looking for romance, comedy, action, or drama, there is a K-drama for you. K-dramas are not only entertaining, but also educational and cultural. They can teach you about Korea’s history, language, customs, and fashion. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your popcorn and start watching some of the best K-dramas of 2023!