Here I am addicted to Korean dramas and I know I’m not alone. But really, why are they so addicting?
From one week to the next, I wait. I know which days Empress Ki will be subbed. After watching an Inspiring Generation episode I YouTube Kim Hyung Joong. But whyyy? There are studies on addiction to love that apparently activate the same part of the brain as drug dependence. My guess is that Korean drama creates an experience so intoxicating and pleasurable that it becomes an addiction.
So in an unscientific observation of my own addiction I’m going to try to break down why these dramas are so addicting. At least for me.
1. Cliff hangers at the end of each episode. I don’t know what is so pleasurable about cliff hangers, because I find them to be incredibly painful. At the end of each episode in My Love From Another Star I was pulling my hair out in anticipation for the next scene. Only after I saw a few minutes of the next episode did my heart feel relieved.
2. Lovely people are showcased in Korean drama more so than western entertainment. I mean they are beautiful. Flawlessly. Sure there are beautiful American actors and actresses, but it seems like being beautiful is a requirement to be a main character of a K-drama. One can’t even marry an ‘ugly’ husband (see the queen of pop Lee Hyori) without haters hatin’.
3. Personal investment in a 16 episode of
drama means I’m getting to know these characters like friends and buddies for at least eight weeks and more for more than 16 hours. I became so emotionally involved to the characters from Master’s Sun that I missed them after the show ended.
4. The music that plays over and over. Some of the music is mediocre, but some dramas use it so effectively, like Emergency Couple, where even the blinking motion of the eye fits the beat creating an even more comedic scene. Or the songs that top music charts. My personal favorite is by Yoo Mi Rae’s Touch Love from Master’s Sun mentioned above and Ali’s Carry On on Faith.
5. Quality *could* means lots of money involved in the making of dramas. Iris‘s budget was 20 billion won (16 billion usd). Inspiring Generation came in at $15 million. Im Soo-hyang’s kimono was $100,000. At any rate, some dramas are very expensive and very well made. I love seeing beautiful cinematography, costumes, and locations.