The Values of K-Drama and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

I’m here to tell you why you should watch more Korean Dramas, but honestly, I’m writing this as an excuse so I can watch more K-Drama.

First, some background information: A wave of Korean music and dramas in the United States began in 1990s and is currently at its peak. With groups like BTS, GOT7, and BLACKPINK rapidly adding Americans to their fanbase and popular K-Dramas on Netflix, interest in Korean culture is playing a sizable part in South Korea’s economy. But let’s focus on K-Dramas, particularly a relatively recent show: Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.

A girl from a lineage of abnormally strong women, Bong Soon’s strength knows no bounds–so much to the point where she is embarrassed and attempts to hide her ability. Although her desire is to develop her own video game, she is hired as a bodyguard to An Min Hyuk, CEO of a gaming company. When a crime involving a series of kidnappings of women begins to unfold, Bong Soon realizes she can use her powers to do good, although she is simultaneously being chased by a gang-like organization.

Surprise–there’s a love triangle, too. Although K-Dramas often include clichés, I find that they’re done well. One of the first things we discover about Bong Soon is her so-called “one-sided love” with former classmate and policeman Gook Doo. At the same time, she is becoming suspiciously close to Min Hyuk. This love triangle, however, doesn’t serve to make you bang your head against the wall. Throughout episodes, Bong Soon will have to make a decision: “Handsome Gook Doo” (as she calls him), or…handsome, lonely Min Hyuk. (It’s a win-win situation, if you ask me). This will reveal how far she’s come as a character.

K-Dramas are especially good at creating characters you genuinely care about, including female protagonists who aren’t stereotyped or sexualized. Usually, they represent an atypical type of beauty. Romance plays a big part in any K-drama. Despite this, Bong Soon’s story revolved around her, not her relationship with her love interests. In the drama, she has discussions with other characters who tell her how she should use her strength. Bong Soon isn’t afraid to use her strength to defend herself against a large group of men, those who harass her, and her crazy coworker. We also see her working towards controlling her strength.

As a culture that revolves around sex, we’re not surprised when the shows we watch contain explicit scenes. We don’t have mainstream shows that display wholesomeness. In a K-Drama, couples rely more on an emotional connection rather than physical intimacy. Rest assured that you’ll be able to watch most K-Dramas with your grandmother and younger sibling in the same room.

In addition, K-Drama plots have a clear beginning, middle, and end. The story is planned and developed before filming episodes to avoid plot holes. It’s common for American shows to become delayed or canceled completely, leaving you on a cliffhanger. In addition, American shows are likely to continue on and on without a strong storyline. K-Dramas will tell a good story and will conclude and satisfy.