For Korean Drama fans, the world is divided into two categories of people – those who are obsessed with Korean Dramas and those who have never given it an honest try. The latter, unfortunately, has a sub-category of doomed folks who will forever stay trapped within their self-imposed bounds without ever realizing that greater happiness can be attained. (Yes, dear friend, I’m looking at you.)
I first whiffed the air of the K-Drama world when I was 15 and now I proudly think of myself as one of the Sectoral Ministers. It was an ordinary day; a day to try new things – 5 episodes into the legendary ‘Coffee Prince’ and my mom and I are hooked. (Shout-out to my mom for being the Coolest. Mom. Ever.) Once the show ended, my mother graced me with the three most beautiful words that every person wants to hear – “Are there more?”
K-Dramas are like cupcakes; little sugary treats that send a burst of serotonin in your body with every bite — That’s not what I say, that’s according to my mother, her sister, her sister’s daughter, my best friend, her college friends, my sister, her roommate, her best friend, her best friend’s mother, my neighbour…. I could go on all day. Literally. It won’t be wrong to assume that if any of them were to meet for the first time, they’ll probably get excited, giddy and swoon over their K-boyfriends together as if they’ve been best pals since Grade 7.
Happiness is fleeting so you might as well find new excuses to feel joy often. I have a special kind of appreciation for people who delve into new obsessions and hobbies with grins on their faces and their heads held high – whether it be crochet, anime or cheese-making documentaries. I study in a law school, and our lives out here are weird because they are crazy and mundane at the same time. You’ll have about a gazillion and a half submissions, tests, moots and committees, yet, at this point, you’re so used to gracelessly juggling these beautiful do-it-or-stay-unemployed elements of law school that they’ll all seem ordinary. At nightfall, some of us just want to wear our comfy pajamas, arrange a blanket cushion and look at the screen to swoon. If you start having “oppa” moments within the first three days of watching, you probably always belonged in this world.
What makes it even better is the fact that everything gets over in a matter of few episodes. In 16 episodes, they bring you a beautiful plot, make you fall in love with the characters and complete the major story arcs. While there will be times when you crave more episodes, you’ll never say that they have outlived their glory days. (Ahem, Arrow).
More importantly, there is no bullshit. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon has a female lead who is actually incredibly strong. Like, very strong. They don’t lie like the funny showrunners of ‘Flash’,
“My name is Barry Allen and I’m the fastest man alive.”
Now, let’s get back to the swooning because…. K-Drama heroes. Sigh. Remember how you felt while watching Eugene and Rapunzel’s epic ‘lantern-scene’ in ‘Tangled’? K-Dramas are filled with scenes which make you feel this way; perpetual butterflies in your belly. Watching them is like binge-watching ‘Friends’. It makes you feel light after a stressful day and acts like the virtual equivalent of a balm.
Finally (and when I say ‘finally’, I’m talking about the last TV reference that I have subtly put in.), joining this fandom is like joining the ‘Supernatural’ fandom. Once you’re in, you’re in. Whether it’s because you’re madly in love with your future husband, Dean Winchester, or because it is awesome enough to make you adore even the King of Hell- there is simply no getting out. You won’t ditch it after 2 seasons like you ditched ‘Suits’. (Oops.)
After all these radical declarations of love for this fandom and my public display of obsession, if you still don’t want to give it a try then it’s probably not meant to be. Anyhoo I’ve brought you a list of the very best Dramas for you to break your KD-Virginity with, just in case.
1. DESCENDANTS OF THE SUN (2016)
Being the perfect blend of a theme that inspires and a romance that makes you swoon, this drama was a sensation across the world throughout 2016. People also call this drama the one where the world fell in love with Song Joong Ki.
2. COFFEE PRINCE (2007)
If you’re a fan of all things goofy and cute, you’ll probably fall in love with this one. After all, there’s a reason why this is known as a KDrama Legend.
3. HEALER (2014)
This is a complete package; mystery, thrill, romance, comedy. An illegal mercenary who goes undercover as a journalist? Yes, please!
Important information: It stars the Korean heartthrob, Ji Chang-wook. Sigh.
4. SHE WAS PRETTY (2015)
This show is responsible for converting numerous non-believers into addicts, so obviously we’ll be adding it here. A sweet story that is bound to make you feel giddy, this drama will also give you a full-fledged experience of the infamous ‘second-lead syndrome’.
5. STRONG WOMAN DO BONG SOON (2017)
A crazy psychopath who kidnaps women? Check. An eccentric entrepreneur being threatened by a stalker? Check. An adorable protagonist with superhuman strength which she uses to set bullies straight? Check. Check. Check!!
I hope you’ll give at least one of these a try, because honestly, all it takes is one good show to get you hooked. Enjoy!
By Roselina Roby