The lure of Korean drama
I just finished watching Heartstrings, a Korean drama that first aired in June this year. I completed watching the drama over a span of three sleepless nights and now that I am suffering the after effects, I wonder to myself, why are Korean dramas so darn addictive?
I started my first journey down this path in 2005 when I watched an episode of My Lovely Sam Soon on TV. It was so darn hilarious that I was practically counting down the days to the weekend when it was screened.
My fate was sealed when Goong hit the shores of Singapore. I recall waking up in the middle of the night to watch the drama, careful not to wake Joel and my in-laws, who were sure to nag if they caught me in the act. Over the years, I collected several boxes of K-dramas until I came upon MySoju.
It was like entering K-drama paradise when I found out I could access possibly any if not all the K-dramas ever to make it to screen. Since Goong, these are the few other dramas which I found to be rather addictive as well –
My Lovely Sam Soon – 2005
Fashion 70s – 2005
Goong – 2006
The First Shop of Coffee Prince – 2007
The Devil – 2007
East of Eden – 2008
Boys Before Flowers – 2009
My Princess – 2011
Heartstrings – 2011
Now in case you have watched these dramas too and wonder why I think they are good, I never said they were. I said they were addictive. During the period of recovery from lost sleep, you begin to analyse and wonder why you lost sleep and tears over such cheesy plots, bad acting and what not.
It was only with Heartstrings, that I finally got a clue. I think it is about the heart. No other type of drama comes close to being able to move the heart the way the Koreans do it. They have it all nailed down on the way the lead actor and actress should progress from starting as enemies, then becoming friends and falling in love and breaking up and either getting back together or someone dying.
In as many episodes there are in the show, that many hours are they able to keep viewers glued, pining for the final moment when they two protagonists kiss each other and the final credits roll.
It’s amazing isn’t it? Some people may think that it’s too draggy, ‘come on already, just bed that girl!’ but others find that the build up is so intense that when they actually do kiss, the sensation is lost. Everything seems to go downhill from there.
I think perhaps in this present society where we are used to instant gratification even in love, something is missing in our souls. A desire of being fully loved for who we are and taken care of in every small detail. If we can’t find it in our lives, we hope to at least have a glimpse of it onscreen. And I suppose it does bring us back to cheesy plots in order to fulfill that.
I mean seriously, in this day and time with smartphones and social media, who still waits outside your house just to have a look at you?