Over the past two decades, the Korean Wave or Hallyu has swept the world. Korean culture first spread to China and Japan, later to Southeast Asia and several other countries worldwide where it continues to have strong impacts. The prominent spread of the Korean Wave now extends its influence from the leisurely popular culture to daily matters such as cuisine and fashion. This comes to show just how evident and omnipresent the Korean culture has become in the lives of the international community. Even within this phenomenon that overarches to many areas of daily life, the popular culture, especially K-Drama – is arguably the most defining aspect of the Korean influence.
Since there are a variety of K-dramas, a range from young teens to grandparents watch the shows. The typical series of TV drama in Korea is comparable to the mini-series in the United States. A riveting and complete story is often told in 16-24 episodes. Like the United States, Korea runs different types of series across several television broadcast networks. And, dozens and dozens of new shows are produced each year never leaving a shortage of K-drama fandom.
K-dramas are often categorized in specific groups. Action-adventure dramas show Hollywood style explosions, gun fights, and car crashes while contemporary romantic dramas become huge hits because of their melodramatic themes. Despite the popularity of the aforementioned categories, other types of dramas also receive high praise, ratings, and attention from viewers such as historical dramas and adaptations of Webtoons.
Like the eye-catching Kpop music videos with dynamic colors and meaningful background scenes, K-dramas show creative and unusual elements in their stories. K-dramas tend to be unconventional yet hilarious, mysterious, and oddly satisfying to watch.
Sola Park, a freshman at West Ranch High School, stated, “K-dramas are very widespread in my community,” showing that there is always a show for everyone to suite each viewer’s interests and preferences. From horror dramas to well-executed comedic ones, the sheer diversity of K-Dramas are remarkable.
Furthermore, many people have distinct but positive reasons as to why they are inclined to liking certain types of K-Dramas over others. Erin Choi, a freshman at Academy of the Canyons, stated, “I love [the current drama I’m watching] because the characters are dynamic and the plot is interesting.” Kaiden Bae, a 9th grader at La Cañada High School, also stated, “I have an all-time favorite K-drama because it is really funny and the show has thrilling action.”
While no definitive answer can be given to the fate of K-dramas, as of now, a number of clear indications demonstrate that the popularity of K-Dramas will become even more internationalized as the growth of Hallyu – Korean Wave – increases. In my community’s instance, the base case has been established in illustrating the commendable fame of the Korean culture in foreign grounds.
Holly Bae, Grade 9
La Canada High School