There are many aspects of Korean dramas, also known as K-dramas, which keep me captive as a loyal watcher. I never thought I would become hooked on one K-drama after another, but it is something I continue to experience since watching the first two back in August of 2022 (Business Proposal and Extraordinary Attorney Woo). What was interesting about Business Proposal and Extraordinary Attorney Woo was that they were so different from each other with respect to plot lines and characters, but I began to notice that both shows featured charming dialogue, good looking and interesting people, and innocent love. I think another reason why K-dramas resonate so well with me has to do with my Japanese ancestry. Though Korean and Japanese cultures are different from each other, there are similar themes, such as the use of language honorifics, the love of food, societal structure, and work ethic.
Despite the fact that I was already addicted to K-drama formats after Proposal and Woo, I had yet to experience the dazzling cinematography, set designs, and costume designs of period pieces depicting the Joseon era. When I would watch an episode of a Joseon era or Joseon era-inspired series, I found myself staring at the details of the buildings and the clothing. The hanbok , or traditional Korean clothing, which is featured in shows like The King’s Affection, is elaborate and absolutely stunning, thus providing yet another visual feast for viewers’ eyes. Even if a K-drama is set in modern times, the characters are frequently clad in expensive and beautiful designer clothing.
K-dramas characteristically have some type of love story embedded in the plot, and the development of that love story is almost agonizingly slow because it harkens back to the days when people believed more in true love. By then end of a few episodes, viewers start cheering for the male and female protagonists to realize their adoration for each other and get that first kiss over already. The kissing scenes are so refreshing, because they serve as a stark departure from the often vulgar and graphic love scenes which characterize many Western shows and movies. A lot is left to the imagination in a K-drama, yet the outcome is much more satisfying because of the fairytale romance ending which usually wraps up a show.