Why Are We So Into K-Dramas?

The Asian Articles
3 min readJun 9, 2021

written by Edana Uy and edited by Jemima Yoon and Abigail Romero

There is no doubt that Korean dramas are highly addictive and entertaining. With the interesting plots, good-looking actors, catchy OSTs, cliffhangers, and plot twists, it’s hard not to get hooked. But why do we find them so interesting?

Korean dramas go a long way back. The first-ever K-Drama, Death Row Prisoner, was aired in May of 1956, and at that time, who would have thought it would be the start of something that would become so popular today? From that moment on, K-Dramas started gaining popularity in Korea and other Asian countries, even spreading its way to the West.

K-Drama is a broad word though. It’s used as an umbrella term for millions of genres, ranging from historical to school love to action to fantasy to melodrama… there is something for everyone. It’s amazing how directors and writers are able to make different kinds of K-dramas and add their own flair at the same time. Some of the most popular K-Dramas have been produced at completely different times and from completely different companies, encompassing many different genres. A lot of the most popular K-Dramas, like “Boys Over Flowers” (2009 school love story), “My Love From The Star” (2013 comedy), “Descendants of The Sun” (2016 war-torn love story), and “Sky Castle” (2018 housewife story) are from different genres and from different time periods.

Partially because of how long they’ve been around, and partially because of how many possibilities there are to create a compelling story that fits under the K-Drama category, there are millions of K-Dramas to watch. Now, during this pandemic, more people have been able to discover K-Dramas, while those who are already hooked get more time to watch. “Crash Landing On You”, a K-Drama released in 2019 that’s become available worldwide, is an outstanding example of this. Long-time watchers have gotten hooked on the story, while new watchers are discovering a new world of things to learn. People willingly lose sleep over these amazing and addictive shows. These shows became a much-needed escape from all the problems and issues people are experiencing in our world right now.

Some people who used to claim they “hated” K-Drama call themselves fans now. Even I myself was introduced to K-dramas by my mom. I refused to watch it at first because I thought reading subtitles was gonna be hard. But nope… I too became addicted to it. These shows would open me up to Korean culture, food cravings, fantastic storylines, and brilliant acting. Bong Joon Ho, a popular Korean film director said, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” It’s not that hard to get into K-dramas once you start them! You can watch them on different sites like Netflix and Viu. Netflix was able to make K-Dramas more known during this pandemic actually. They released amazing Netflix K-Drama Originals like “Start Up” and “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay.”

The gorgeous and stunning actors and actresses play a big part in gaining fans and attention for K-dramas as well. Some popular actors are Lee Min-ho, Cha Eun-woo, Song Hye-kyo, Park Shin-hye, and many more. Many rookie actors are also gaining popularity now that the industry is getting bigger. There are a lot of amazing K-dramas out there waiting to be watched. Directors and writers just keep getting better at creating dramas and it’s exciting to wait for what’s gonna come.

Because of the longevity of its existence, the endless subgenres, the addicting plotlines, the state of the world right now, K-Dramas are on the rise. There is a genre for everyone, an escape for those who need it, and a space for everyone who wants to be in the K-Drama community.

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Cover Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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