K-drama is short for Korean drama, as in a soap-operatic television series made in Korea in the Korean language. Wikipedia specifies South Korea, but I’d like to think we all know that North Korea’s not producing any hit television dramas let alone advanced nuclear warheads. What Wikipedia can’t tell you is what it’s like to have grown up in the 80s watching k-dramas in a Korean-American household, and community.
It was bonkers. Anyone menstruating-age was hooked on k-dramas. Any men involved with any menstruating woman or otherwise, watched k-dramas. Famed actors and actresses in Korea made lots of money with come-backs, and fast. The story lines were almost always the same, and still are at the core. The k-dramas were built around Korean history and monarchy, gang warfare and family scandal, and they sucked in Korean viewers easily because they were based on real-life dramas. There was always a lesson taught where rags-to-riches love ended in doom, and family hierarchies were to be respected under a microscope. Fat male characters were always comic relief and fat female characters mostly alone and lonely.
Sometimes I knew families in the Korean circles that were like the scandalous black sheep families in the dramas, and sometimes my family ended up the gossip for real-life k-drama. Only recently has there been a shift in roles for the better. Gay people might even exist in Korea!
My personal favorite “fat girl” k-drama was My Name is Kim Sam Soon, which they’ve now renamed “My Lovely Sam-Soon” for international consumption. I think it’s ridiculous to translate something original into something “lovely,” but I’m difficult like that.
Oh, and Sam Soon wasn’t fat except by Korean standards.
That’s her, the lead actress “Sam Soon” on the cover, and she’s supposed to be fat. Does she look fat?! I grew up believing that was fat. I’ve covered some of this before.
Shit happens. I’m grown now and know better, but back then each k-drama coming out of Korea was the hottest thing on the shelves at Korean video rental shops. These shops were money-makers until the internet killed most of them. A sign of the times. The k-dramas went from VHS to DVD and now nearly most Korean households now trust the mighty web for viewing.
I was addicted for some time too, and I think it’s time I get addicted again. There are so many quirks and intricacies in Korean life that k-dramas capture, and my life’s never been so global as it is now. K-dramas helped Koreans in America to connect with their roots via television entertainment. Homesick immigrants in the U.S. clung to k-dramas like they were Korean crack. I tend to speak better Korean when I watch k-dramas…so this might benefit me AND Noah. Justification…
Now with so much available at your fingertips with subtitles, out in cyberspace, it’s possible to watch whatever you want from anywhere in the world. Apparently Netflix has a cache of k-dramas, but unfortunately I couldn’t access the homepage because I’m in Belgium.
Sad, but I’m getting used to it after living here a couple of years. Besides, there must be a glitch in the Netflix system because I was still able to find the specific page for Sam Soon, despite my unnattractive geographic location. If you’re interested in checking it out, here’s the link. No pressure. I’m not getting anything out of the link.
Thank goodness for the world wide web. Even if I can’t rent from Netflix, while my neighbors in Holland will by the end of this year, I can look elsewhere to squelch my k-drama fever.
I can feel the k-drama fever coming on.