South Korea is famous for a lot of things – kimchi, K-pop, K-beauty sheet masks, Korean barbecue and of course, K-dramas. As Academy Award-winning director Bong Joon Ho said during his acceptance speech, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” Well, thanks to Netflix, we did and we fell head over heels in love with K-dramas. While we could write a gargantuan thesis on what makes them exceptional and so watchable, for brevity’s sake, here are five reasons why we can’t get enough of them.
Size does matter
Most K-dramas wrap up their story, and it’s always a riveting one, in 16-25 episodes making them the perfect length for a binge-watch. There’s no impatient waiting for the upcoming season to drop, no having to navigate 70+ episodes as you would for a telenovela or a soap opera. And the best part? Once you start episode one, you just HAVE to see it all the way through because they’re all that good.
It’s all about a good story
K-dramas have some of the coolest storylines we’ve ever come across. And no matter how cheesy or over-the-top the premise may sound, the treatment is what makes all the difference. They also explore different genres and varieties – from romance to comedy, fantasy to teen dramas, period dramas to supernatural; there’s something for everyone. The plot never fails to grab your attention, exposes you to South Korean culture, introduces you to memorable and well-written characters, and frankly, is the hero of the show.
A class act
While the story is the hero of the show, the actors do a superb job of bringing it to life. Whether it’s real-life super couple Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin from Crash Landing on You (pictured above) or Kim Soo-Hyun of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, the actors are simply the cherry atop a delicious cake.
Relatable culture and values
Watching K-dramas makes us wish we had a South Korean friend for the simple reason that their culture is so similar to ours. And the shows do a great job of introducing you to it. South Koreans are just as family-oriented as we are, traditional and conservative when it comes to things such as physical intimacy, have a defined class structure and have to deal with an established and firm patriarchal system (like the majority of the world).
Music to our ears
If these were not reason enough, the music featured on K-dramas is what elevates them to another level. It’s feel-good, hummable, danceable, memorable and perfectly fits the mood of the show. Add You Are My Everything by Gummy, Beautiful by Crush and I Give You My Heart by IU to your playlist and you’ll know what we mean.