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Not just K-pop: Korean TV shows gaining U.S. popularity

21 Comments
By ALICIA RANCILIO

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Not just K-pop: Korean TV shows gaining U.S. popularity

Doesn't say much for the state of TV entertainment in the States, does it?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

'Crash Landing on You' is really enjoyable. K-dramas used to be a little coy about including the North, but that one really got stuck in and dealt with a lot of issues in a humane way. A good OST too. Watch K-drama and you may find yourself buying a few OST CDs.

'Train to Busan' was more of a breakthrough movie than 'Parasite', but critics are sniffy about genre movies.

I've watched dozens of K-drama series, usually 12-16 65/70min episodes. Read the blurb first to see if it is your kind of material and then dive in. Be aware that the emotional investment can be intense and, unlike sentimental US dramas, not everyone will make it to the end of the movie.

The BBC don't do so many costume dramas any more, as classic novels lack ethnic roles. Their contemporary dramas are now full of morose, self-obsessed, shallow, insecure people, sex and violence. K-drama is a welcome alternative and I have switched to it. Just cover the screen with your hand at the end of each episode to avoid the spoilers for the next episode.

Taste is a very personal thing, but here are a few suggestions to get you going: 'My Love From the Stars', 'Goblin' [aka 'Guardian: The Lonely and Great God'], '49 Days', 'Descendants of the Sun', 'Time Slip: Dr. Jin' (adapted from a JP original), '3 Days', 'Trot Lovers', 'Doctor Stranger', 'Queen In Hyun's Man', 'The Moon Embracing the Sun', 'Twenty Again', 'Go Back Couple', 'Master's Son', 'The King: Eternal Monarch', '18 Again', 'Stranger' 1 & 2 (with Bae Doo-Na) and 'Healer'.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Personally, I think K-dramas are k-rap, but to each his own. I actually prefer K-dramas to be broadcast so they can get their "exposure" allowing producers to focus on stories instead of "inclusiveness" nonsense for other productions.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There was a time in the early 2000s when S. Korea was making great, gritty movies; then came K-Pop, which was OK because you could avoid it. Now comes all the K-dramas, really the worst of the bunch in their saccharine corniness.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Nothing wrong with enjoying Korean dramas, but perhaps these viewers have not properly sampled what else is available on Netflix, Hulu etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My mother watches a lot of Korean TV shows on Netflix. I dont understand it. Every show is essentially about the life of the business elite and super rich and the relentless backstabbing at every turn. Ive never seen a show that deals with the lives of ordinary Koreans. Its like the entire country is run by Samsung, which is pretty much accurate. Not to mention every single actor doesnt have a single blemish. If ever there was a scar or acne or a hair out of alignment, im quite convinced the entire cast would have some sort of breakdown.

It just rings of extreme fakeness to me and holds no appeal whatsoever, although there have been a couple of mystery/cop shows which were better, there few and far between.

There was a time in the early 2000s when S. Korea was making great, gritty movies

There is nothing gritty about anything Ive seen. Its all about making everything look pretty and extended focused shots on the prettiest person in the room.

Like I say, fake.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

exactly the same situation and opinion with Matt (just in my case it is my wife, her mother, and a bunch of mid age women at the office). It seems that they these dramas are mostly popular with Japanese women (I don't really know any Japanese guy watching them). They somehow love that fake glamour, and those never ending evil plots. To each his own I suppose.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is nothing gritty about anything Ive seen. Its all about making everything look pretty and extended focused shots on the prettiest person in the room.

You can start by watching Oldboy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have been watching Korean TV for many years just on antenna.

I did away with cable as I just watch a handful of shows and did not want to pay an arm and a leg for about 200 channels that I do not watch.

American TV drama is very poor. I do not watch it.

My antenna used to bring in two Korean broadcasters MBS and KBD America.

They are all Live.

MBS moved to another station that I cannot receive on antenna and I am left with only KBS America. Majority of the shows, dramas have English sub titles. Only the news is in Korean and no sub titles.

I had got hoked on Korean dramas but found that most have the same theme and decided not not to watch them unless there is a different one and they are good.

I do enjoy the "Trot" singers competitions and is fun to watch.

My favorite show is every Monday evening called 'Dogs are Incredible'. This show is about a Korean dog trainer who has been asked by dog owners to train their uncontrolled dogs. Some of these dogs have their necks biggers than by chest and biggest fangs that they would use to bite.

It's an incredible show and I have to be in front of TV every Friday to watch it. reruns on Friday.

Korean TV is very good and I love it. If I need to watch news and current events, I watch ARRIANG which is in English, live again.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My favorite show is every Monday evening called 'Dogs are Incredible'. This show is about a Korean dog trainer who has been asked by dog owners to train their uncontrolled dogs. Some of these dogs have their necks biggers than by chest and biggest fangs that they would use to bite.

Sounds like the K version of The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan. Still, nice to see dogs get respect in Korea rather than being eaten.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Speed: "Doesn't say much for the state of TV entertainment in the States, does it?"

As opposed to what? A new drama featuring washed out members of Arashi, then another one where they just switch roles, and then another, with maybe Kimura Takuya as their dad and pro hockey player AND airline pilot?

Nothing beats Western TV at the moment. Nothing. You cannot compare even movies to some of the TV content being produced. But, as expected, some people are upset that Korean content is becoming more popular, as it has been in Japan for some time now, than Japanese content, which is complete and utter garbage. The "24-hour TV" thing the other day was so bad most Japanese couldn't even stomach it.

In any case, Korean dramas are not for me, not at all. Above and beyond the domestic (Japanese) stuff, but both are pretty terrible soap opera styled fluff. Movies, though -- Korea makes excellent flicks in pretty much any genre, now surpassing Japanese in even horror... well, okay, I've never seen or heard of Korean cartoons, so there's that, I guess.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Korean Masterchef is brilliant.

And the potato in "the Greatest Love" is a star in the making.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You can start by watching Oldboy.

A few of the older cop/mystery, political shows and zombie horror flicks were indeed very good

But the vast, vast majority just seem to be the same theme - powerful business elite, everyones a millionaire and drives a Merc, constant sniping and backstabbing, a lot of excessive drama (like Thai shows in that regard) and just an overwhelming focus on looking pretty and perfect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Meh, I don't like korean shows.

Too much dramas, not enough action.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some K-dramas are very good. I have been watching them since 2009, although, admittedly, only some of them are exceptional.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LOL nobody watches TV anymore. My TV is turned on but do I watch it NO!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For me its a waste of time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do not speak or understand a word of Korean. Most Americans are the same. What is the point of listening or watching it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Most Kdramas won't be your type for those who just hate the Kdramas even without watching one of it. If you want to try just once, you'd have to choose the very best one among lot of recommendation. I'd say 'Mr. Sunshine'.

KMovies are actually one of the best esp. Between 2000 - 2010. From 2011 to 2021, Only about 10-15 films are really good. Last year, only 1 Korean film was very good, "The Man Standing Next".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't care about K-dramas or K-pop, but I do love the horror movies coming out of South Korea. They have been churning some of the best thrillers and horror movies in the world the past several decades. I'm thankful they are showing these on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is not about anti Korean but I do not understand Korean and the music besides a beat means nothing. I suppose the TV and movies can be subtitled. Not my favorite viewing choice. It loses something when dubbed or rather becomes a different TV show or movie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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