As opposed to movies or TV, I like to escape the tediousness of life through books. That not withstanding I have to admit that I might be obsessed with Korean drama series. When my family and friends found out, they were shocked, and dare I say, a bit scandalized. The usual line was "how can such a no no-nonsense person like you like Korean dramas?"
I, like most people I know, found Korean dramas in secondary/high school where girls were giggling over how lovely the guys were to look at.
But I really disliked the cheesy storylines. At first.
Then I was hooked.
And after my explanations below, you're likely to get hooked too (yes, even if you're a no-nonsense person as I supposedly am).
1. Drama. Drama. More drama. Infinte drama.
If like me, you have a rather boring or uneventful daily life, Korean movies are for you. I lead a boring life by choice because I just can't deal with the complications and complexities of an otherwise active one. With Korean movies, you get a bit of excitement with no complications and/or consequences. Living vicariously through the heroine, you get to experience the thrill of your parents forcing you to choose between the man you love and don't. But then, in real life you're saved the consequences of that as you're actually chilling on your sofa munching away on your favourite snack!
You gotta admire their flair for drama though. Something as little as the heroine cutting herself while chopping vegetables is treated with as much drama as a girl mistakenly walking into a wedding only to find out that her best friend and fiance were getting married.
I don't even want to get into the cliff hangers that have at countless times made me say "just one more episode" until 9am in the morning.
2. Culture and Language
One huge benefit is an insight into a different culture. Honestly, other than the American culture (and a bit of Chinese) I have hardly gotten any cultural exposure.
Korean dramas open you up to new values, norms and morals. And the added benefit of feeling like you're learning a new language. I can now say "sorry", "thank you", "oh my", and "what should I do?"
Language lessons plus vicarious living. Yes please.
It's an educational experience. Now, if I somehow end up meeting Lee Min Ho I will actually know how to communicate with him! *wink*
3. Heroine focus
If there's one thing I've noticed, it's that most Korean dramas focus on the heroine and isn't that a refreshing thought? Go girl!
Although I despise the way they often make the girl seem hopeless at first - I've learnt that you can't get everything you want in life and I'll just have to accept this.
4. Fashion Inspiration
I'm a very huge fan of Korean fashion - so every episode is like watching a fashion lookbook on youtube. The guys are always so dapper and when the girls do quirky, it is done in a polished manner that renders me green with envy.
But how do they get off wearing those really tiny skirts though? Another insight on culture right there.
While Nigerians often frown on legs, Koreans seem to frown on cleavage. I of course, deduced this on my own, mind you. I also really like Japanese fashion too but it's a bit too out there for my taste, so Korean fashion wins!
5. Happily Ever Ever
The innocence protrayed in Korean dramas, however cheesy is so cute. And I'm not just referring to how a guy touching a girl's hand is seen as such a big deal (is it or not?). I'm also referring to the how optimistic the storylines are.
Guy always gets girl and so on. Some people die along the way of course - there would be little to no drama or reality if that didn't happen. But still, it's mostly always happy ever after. In this world of ours today, definitely helps one look on the bright side.
6. In Moderation
There's nothing I dislike more than a story that drags and drags and drags until the desperation of the script writers and producers to keep the show going shines through.
Korean dramas drag a little, yes. But there's always a point they're trying to make. When made, they end the show and that is that. Very good for you if you like series but get bored eventually.
I can't count the number of series I've started (due to boredom or lack of an interesting book most likely) and never finished. Pretty little liars (got bored after two seasons), Flash (two seasons), Gotham (one season) and Empire (three episodes) to name a few. Although, I actually finished "How I Met Your Mother" which was a whooping nine seasons!
+1. Eye Candy
Bet you were wondering what the +1 was eh? How could I not mention this?
For a very long time, my father tried to get me to like sports. Any form of sport would have done really. But, alas, I showed no interest so it came as a very great surprise when I actually started watching football with him uncoerced. I had no interest in the game (I don't understand how he thought 20 guys kicking a ball around a field was supposed to hold my interest) but because seeing some cute guys never hurt, it became a worthwhile past time.
So yes, that's another reason to get into Korean drama series. It also helps that its kind of different from the everyday Black or Caucasian guys you often see. And that ties in nicely to appreciating their culture as well.
So if you've been waiting for the (non-existent) man of your dreams to profess his love for you, save you from distress, and other fairytale-like circumstances, you could easily picture yourself as the heroine and live vicariously through her.
Trust me, it works.
Are you a fan of Korean drama series or have you never watched any? I recommend checking out "Personal Taste" which has just two awesome seasons!
What are your favourite series of all time? Why did you like it and did it expose you to any culture? Would love to hear and it's being a pleasure sharing with you!
Like Ijenna, I've never been a TV person especially series which required that I wait week after week for a new episode. Plus many of them just got cut short and ended abruptly.
However, one I quite fancied was Secrets of the Sand - the Brazilian series. I was fascinated with Ruth and Raquel, Ethan, Theresa and that guy who used to mould sand sculptures by the beach. I remember waiting every week for new episodes, and I would stand in front of my mirror pretending to be Ruth (you know she was the good twin!). I also actually really liked Passions - although for the life of me, I'm struggling to remember the story line. I just know I used to look forward to it so much. There were a few others I didn't quite get into like The Rich Also Cry.
I watched FRIENDS growing up as well, but only in my adulthood did I come to love and understand it. And being in New York early this year made me understand and appreciate quite a few things portrayed as American culture.
These days I hear quite few people go one about Telemundo. Never seen that.
With YouTube & Netflix, there's obviously a lot out there these days. But I still don't seem to have gotten into them. The themes are often so similar these days with lots of nudity, violence and foul language.
So I'll be honest and say I'm actually looking forward to checking out a Korean drama. A bit of innocence and optimism never hurts.
So thanks Ijenna for getting us on this!
Share your thoughts people.
And definitely connect with Ijenna - a Nigerian Fashion, DIY & Lifestyle Blogger at www.miralabelle.com. She's also on Instagram @miralabelle.o and has a YouTube channel -www.youtube.com/friendsinfashion