04 December 2012

Falling for Korean dramas

My daughter M, who is currently a sophomore in college, has been meeting with me on Sundays via Google Hangout to watch streaming videos. Being the weirdos that we are, we can't just watch indie fare on Netflix. We have discovered Korean dramas and fallen into like with them. The otherness of watching TV from another culture makes even predictable melodramas seem exciting.

Like British TV shows, Korean dramas (they seem to call all TV shows "dramas" even if they are funny) have a definite beginning and ending. Another difference is that they air in Korea twice a week on consecutive days: Mon-Tue, Wed-Thurs, or the weekend, all at 10p. They typically have 20 to 30 episodes, although the first drama we watched completely (Gloria) had 50 episodes. 

I think that Korean dramas, or K-dramas, might be another option for people who think that American TV has become too smutty. Outside of the Koreans' weird obsession with poop, most of what I've seen has been fairly conservative. There is no graphic sex and the bad characters tend to get their comeupppance. A lot of the plots revolve around someone using a career path to make life better for herself and her family. There is usually a family honor component, as well. Of course, you still have to be a discerning consumer because there are dramas that are more adult than others. 

There are three options for watching K-dramas in the US, as far as I know.If you have the Netflix streaming service then you already have access to a smattering of the more popular K-dramas like Boys over Flowers. Once you sample a few on there and want more, there are a couple websites that have a larger library. Crunchyroll is all Asian, with access to anime shows and K-pop shows as well as dramas. Dramafever focuses on dramas alone. They are mostly from Asian countries but if you dig deep you can find a few Spanish-language telenovelas, too.

If you start watching K-dramas or if you have been a fan for years, let me know what you are watching!
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