Korean Dramas

We’ve been watching a lot of Korean dramas (aka K-drama) a lot at home. I don’t watch as much as Will, who’s pretty indiscriminate when it comes to Korean soap operas, but here are the ones that we’ve watched together so far.

Boys Over Flowers

This is the one that started it all.  A few years ago, we watched the Taiwanese drama (Meteor Garden) which is based off the same manga this show was based off of. Since we all know that Korean dramas are superior to Taiwanese drama, we started watching this. The premise is the same (poor, lower-class girl gets accepted to prestigious, high-class private school and the super popular boy falls in love with her), but the characters were slightly different. The main guy is noticeably meaner to the girl in the beginning of this Korean version. I also noticed that “Do you want to die?!” is a very casual threat in Korea.

My Princess

This one is about a regular girl who discovers she’s the secret heir to the last Korean King. Through some convoluted politics, this big mega-rich corporation wants to reinstate Korean royalty and need to convince her to take on her royal duties. The plot thickens as the corporation head’s grandson opposes the decision but ends up being her public servant. Of course, they end up falling in love, and lots of drama ensues.

The best part of this show was the evil museum director lady. She was so mean and conniving! I mainly watched this show to see her get her come-uppence.

Coffee Prince

I was so confused when I watched the first episode of this. I couldn’t figure out if the main character was a boy or a girl, which is the whole premise of this show. The lead, a tomboy girl, gets hired a hipster coffee shop under the assumption that she’s a boy. The manager of the shop, a third-generation rich guy, falls in love with her, but can’t come to terms with it because he still thinks she’s a boy.

At first, I was excited about this show. The subject matter sounded so modern and risque for Korea! Unfortunately, the series devolved into conflicts generated by the age-old problem of not saying the one thing that could solve the problem. For a handful of episodes, while the manager is in turmoil about his feelings for a supposed boy, the girl still thinks it’s a good idea to keep her gender a secret, despite liking the manager as well. Aaah, too much drama!

I was also disappointed that the tomboy girl, who totally kicks ass in the beginning of the series, ends up being an emotional cry baby who keeps getting pushed around by people.

My Fair Lady (aka Lady Castle)

This one was a change from what we’ve been watching, where it’s the men who are third-generation rich guys. In My Fair Lady, Yoon Eun Hye (of Coffee Prince fame), plays the heiress to some rich mogul’s empire. She falls in love with her thuggish low-class butler. Drama ensues.

I didn’t really watch much of this except for the first few episodes and the ending. I got tired of the love drama cliches and how they kept going back and forth with being together and not.

After watching so many K-dramas, I’ve started to notice a trend. Maybe there should be a drinking game made up to go along with watching this.

Drink one shot of soju if:

  • a male character demands that a female character calls him ‘oppa’
  • there’s an airport scene
  • there’s a slow-motion arm grab scene
  • the old person has some mortal illness or disease
  • someone says: n-th generation chaebol
  • the secondary male and female characters end up together
  • someone’s sewing doll eyes, or peeling chestnuts to earn money.
  • someone goes to Jeju island
  • someone has to go to America for X-years and it ends up being New York
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  1. says

    My wife is into K-Drama too! She’s watching Miss Ripley and You’re Beautiful right now. Did you ever see the J-Dorama of Meteor Garden/Boys Over Flowers? (Hana Yori Dango) Not sure you want to see a 3rd version tho. 🙂

  2. says

    I’ve seen all but My Princess… I’m so intrigued. That’s going to be my next drama!

    Where do you watch your dramas? I watch mine at Drama Fever… they have ad breaks but I find the best quality ones are there.

    • says

      No, I haven’t seen it yet. I’m watching one called Pasta now that has lots of good kitchen and food shots and I’m liking it so far. I think we usually watch and download from Drama Fever. I don’t really know where else we get it from since Will is the one who gets them.

  3. says

    I find that Korean dramas in general tend to be better produced and have better acting, but I quickly got tired of all the melodrama and cliche plot devices. I suggest giving Japanese dramas a try to have some more variety. Hrm… a few suggestions: Densha Otoko (nerd falls in love with a hottie and seeks the help of message board members), Kekkon Dekinai Otoko (eccentric architect), Nodame Cantabile (student orchestra drama).

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