Saturday, June 15, 2013

American TV vs. Korean TV

American TV vs. Korean TV

If you've never heard of Kdramas or you have and you don't know what all the hoopla is about, I'll explain it to you. It's not a matter of what is better or worse, just a matter of what is different. In this blog I'll explain the base differences and maybe alleviate some of the misunderstandings surrounding Kdramas!




*sigh* Where to begin this blog...

Brief background: My Korea fascination obsession actually started only a few months ago. First with Kpop then almost immediately with Kdramas...the first Kdrama being "Oh! My Lady" with Choi SiWon-ssi from Super Junior (it all leads back to Kpop) and immediately fell in love. I think I finished the show in less than 4 days--for only 16 episodes, you ask?!?! Well yes...considering I go to school full time and work full time and was newly married at the time...


It wasn't long until I was breezing through "Secret Garden" (Which remains my favorite Kdrama)...
Hmm-Look at that man...ok well this picture looks weird BUT HyunBin is magically handsome (proof below)


 *shakes out of HyunBin daze* Anyway...what was this blog about again? Oh yeah...back to it then...

At this point, I have almost literally given up hope on all American TV shows except for a few select lucky ones. Now this isn't to imply that American TV is bad, not at all actually, I've just come to realize that Korean Television suits me better...for the most part...

One of the reasons I prefer Kdramas over ADramas is that Kdramas have a set schedule and plot line for their shows....and that's it. I don't feel I can put any more emphasis on this even if I tried! An average drama will have anywhere from 14 (sometimes less) to 30 (sometimes more) episodes but eventually the story comes to an end with all the strings tied into a neat little bow and satisfaction is to be had! There is no Season 8 of any one television show HOWEVER, "Boys Over Flowers" was said to have 2 seasons but in actuality, what this meant was BOF had an extension. This sometimes happens if a KDrama was particularly popular. Another example is "I Miss You" which also had a 1 episode extension...although why they would extend a Kdrama for only one episode is beyond me..

Having TV shows with a set limit of episodes is exceptionally awesome because it clears the clutter from a story--and what are TV shows but stories given one chapter (i.e. episode) at a time? This feature also ensures that there will be no "Season Finale" cliffhangers...now if that's your thing, by all means have at it..but I hate dislike waiting 4 or 5 months to see what happens with a story. Granted, I still do for the few American TV shows I watch (such as Game of Thrones which ensures 9 months of hell waiting...ugh) but in Kdramas, the only cliffhanger you're bound to experience is "Holy crap...I can't wait til next week!"

Remember when I mentioned a set schedule? Yeah, ok, lets go back to that for a moment. KDramas actually air twice a week (sometimes more) I am currently watching two "airing" Kdramas: "Crazy Love" and "I Hear Your Voice". These two are perfect examples of what amounts to the American TV shows "Grey's Anatomy" and "Days of Our Lives". "Crazy Love" airs four times a week for 35-40 minutes (seems random, I know) and "I Hear Your Voice" airs twice a week for 62-65 minutes. In a lot of ways, this resembles American Television-They also have a set schedule however they only air once a week for 45 minutes each episode...in my opinion, this severely cuts down on story time (ok, that sounded very kindergartner-ish)... Also, call me a hater of commercials, if you want but there are only so many times I can see a preview of "The Bachelorette" before I want to go postal on the entire cast and Kdramas air without any commercials...can I get a HEY-YO...no? Anyone? fine...*pouts*

Ok, moving on to a different topic--Now there are exceptions to every rule HOWEVER, more often than not Kdramas are simple. Sure, their plot lines seem complicated..but how complicated can a story become in only sixteen episodes? Yes, there will be hardships, some struggling, some episodes that leave you going "Mwo-Ya!" (Korean for "What the hell?") But considering they have only a limited amount of time to tell a story; the characters tend to progress quickly as well as the story and cliffhangers...psh...only last one or two episodes before being revealed. In American Television, shows can go 13 to 16 episodes before finding out "Oh My God, he's the FATHER??" Ok...that sounds like an episode of Maury but my point still stands! Again, there are exceptions: "Crazy Love" is one of them and "Bridal Mask" is another...these plot lines are as convoluted as I've ever seen...I was even compelled to make a timeline and a detailed character list of "Crazy Love" just to make sure I kept all the stories straight...

Is it beginning to sound like I'm bashing American Television? Well let me spend some time rectifying that...

Kdramas aren't by any means perfect! In fact...because I am so easily accepting of certain things, especially if I like it, that these discrepancies can make or break Kdrama Fandom for some people. First off...the females of almost all Kdramas are absolutely GRATING  at first...this (I believe) is due to the fact that by the end of the show you want to see a noticeable change in the female lead and with only 16 episodes, the Kdramas writers want to make the female lead as deplorable as possible in the beginning so by the end you absolutely love her. The same could be said for the guy in some Kdramas.

....Don't even get me started on Kdrama mothers...*attempts to find a clip of a Kdrama Mom but fails* (Note to self: Make a clip of your own for future purposes) Kdrama Mothers are abhorrent! Ok...that was an exaggeration not ALL the Kdrama Mom's are bad but, as an example, the mother in "Love Rain" and the Mom in "Crazy Love" (ironically, played by the same actress) are particularly...profoundly...bitchy...The kind where you contemplate going to Korea, finding the actress and shaking her senseless!! ....or is that just me? Watch a Kdrama and you'll see this for yourself...if it's not the Mom, its the terrible Dad...

Kdramas are sometimes overly dramatic, especially in their acting. There is a particular scene in "Me Too, Flower" where Yoon Si Yoon grabs the woman's arm but instead of grabbing the arm closest to him, he walks to the other side and grabs her opposite arm...it even had ME going "...ok..." They are normally just small little things that you shrug and say "It's a Kdrama" at but sometimes, it makes you laugh at how corny and dramatic a scene can be...

Lastly (but not leastly) KDramas sometimes leave us wanting...just a little less...prudishness. This is not to imply that there isn't some passionate Kdramas or even scenes in Kdramas but, as an example, kisses tend to be very awkward, mainly because one or both the parties are surprised by the kiss. Below, you will find the varying degrees of kissing that you can expect to see in the average Kdrama:
                "You're Beautiful"                              "Coffee Prince"                                "Dream High"
        *Cringes at Awkwardness*                   *Whoa...Hello!*                         *Cries its so perfect!*

As obvious by "Dream High" not every drama has an awkward kiss, in fact there's a pretty steamy kiss in Episode 6 of "Me Too, Flower"...

Phew...that was an exceptionally long blog...I had meant to discuss TV shows other than Kdramas but I guess I'll have to tackle THAT blog at a later date...

If anyone is interest in Kdramas after reading this blog, then by all means, join us over at Dramafever.com, create an account and enter the land of Kdramas. You won't be disappointed...

Unsure of where to start? Well, that's what us KDrama Veterans are for! Honestly, every drama I've mentioned in this blog would serve as a good starting point...except maybe "Bridal Mask" and "Crazy Love" those are pretty..intense..not for the novices. I know I started with "Oh! My Lady" and "Secret Garden" but "Coffee Prince" and "Dream High" or "You're Beautiful" are amazing dramas...well every drama I've mentioned is pretty amazing..so yeah...

I will also leave you with a link to my personal Kdrama List from mydramalist.com (This site is a handy tool for those who want to keep track of the dramas they watch or make a list of those they want to watch...as you'll see, I have 30 dramas in my "Plan to Watch" list) Here it is: Aunnie's DramaList

**New Feature Below**

This Blog was brought to you by:



 Henry's "Trap" album. If you haven't heard the song or seen the MV here it is: Henry's "Trap" The whole album is very worth while, there is even a specialized English song on the album so go check it out. Don't let the tattooed picture above turn you off, he's a pretty sweet kid and is exceptionally impressive (he plays the violin like a God and the piano just as well...(not to mention he can speak five different languages fluently...and I'm struggling with just Korean...aigoo...)

And also:
The Kdrama "Faith": This was the first Kdrama my sister watched and she loved it...plus Lee MinHo is so easy to look at...The show is about a doctor, taken back in time, who plays a very special role in the history of Korea and in the life of a Korean swordsman named Choi Young. Again, this can be watched at Dramafever.com

Be at peace everyone! 




1 comment:

  1. Brief background: My Korea fascination obsession actually started only a few months ago. First with Kpop then almost immediately with Kdramas...the first Kdrama being "Oh! My Lady" with Choi SiWon-ssi from Super Junior (it all leads back to Kpop) and immediately fell in love

    I came across while watching movies. .Thanks for sharing..^__^..I will tell my sister and friends about your blog ...continue to
    write an article...I'm looking forward for the upcoming posts you will be posting



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