Monday, April 08, 2013

Catching the 'Korean Wave' Series 1 - Korean Dramas

Here’s my first entry of my series about Korean Wave, whew this is big and I hope I can finish this series. Please free to comment and suggest!
Korean Dramas
 Korean dramas became successful and stay in mainstream not only on its neighboring country but around the world for more than a decade now.

Type of Dramas - Daily, Primetime and Weekend Dramas 
In South Korea primetime dramas are broadcast for two consecutive nights only : it could be Mondays and Tuesdays, or Wednesdays and Thursdays,(compare to the Philippines wherein primetime dramas were broadcast every weeknights.) and there are also daily and weekend dramas. 
 Korean dramas typically run from 16 to 20 episodes. Occasionally, historical epics stretch for 50 to 100 episodes, in a single season. Exception is If a show is popular like Goong (Princess Hours) was extended from 20 to 24 episodes.
Big three televesion networks company in South Korea  that air these dramas-
  • Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS),
  •  Korean Broadcasting System (KBS),
  • Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)
Cable channels-
  •  Joongang Tongyang Broadcasting Company (jTBC),
  •  Channel A,
  • tvN,
  •  Orion Cinema Network (OCN).
The two main categories of kdramas are Modern and Historical
1. Modern
The first category includes stories set in modern South Korea.
Popular examples are Winter Sonata, Full House and Boys Over Flowers.
Drama includes different setting:
      a.     Variety of shops like
  • Bakeshop - for Baker King
  •  Coffee House- for Coffee Prince 1st Shop
  • Restaurant - for Pasta
     b.       Government offices
  •  Mayor's office – for City Hall
  •  Blue House (President’s House) – for City Hunter
c. Office
  • Office Girl
  • The Queen of Office
d. Hospital
  • Jejoongwon
  • New Heart
  • Sign
  • Suirgeon Bong Dal Hee
c. Market 
  • Cinderella Man
f. School
  • Boys Over Flower
  • Dream High
  • Answer Me 1997
  • School 2013

Plots and genre range from serious, 49 Days, to comical, Couple Fantasy.
Some emphasize family, like in Stars Falling From the Sky, My daughter Soe Young, Baker King, and Ojakgyo Brothers among others.
2.  Historical
The second category is fictionalized dramatizations of Korean history also known as Sageuk (Korean: 사극),  such as:
  • Jae Dang Geum (Jewel in the Palace,)
  • Queen Seondeok.
  • Jumong
It typically involve very complex story lines with elaborate costumes, sets, and special effects. Martial arts, sword fighting, and horsemanship are frequently a big component, as well.
There are a growing number of dramas somewhere in between the modern and historical. These tend to be single-threaded like the first category but have many of the trappings of the second. Some, like Sungkyunkwan Scandal or The Moon Embracing the Sun, have a firm historical setting but have little to do with historical events or persons. Arang and the Magistrate, while set in the past, is completely imaginary and based on folklore.
 Time Travel Genre
A few recent dramas exploit both past and present by injecting time travel into the storyline.
Examples are: 
  • Rooftop Prince - The crowned prince travels to the present time to hunt the killers of his princess.
  • Queen In Hyeon's Man - The lead man, from the Joseon era, goes to a library in modern day Seoul to consult a history book so that he can solve a problem in his own era.
  • Faith - another time-travel drama where a skilled warrior transported a doctor from the present time to past time to save the queen.
  • Dr. Jin - A modern-day surgeon was transported to Joseon era, where he cured so many people without the modern-day technology.
Fortunately, Korean dramas have become more expressive and liberal, trying new things like American entertainment industries did. Things like bath scenes, fusion-historical dramas, and affair scenes (example Temptation of Wife, First Wives Club and Two Wives) that were limited in the conservative Korean society were shown more and more, indicating that the Korean society has been opening up to such things, becoming less conservative.
Korean dramas today is promisingly developing more to make it interesting and entertaining plot for the public, enough to make people wait eagerly for what new things will be introduced with every new drama released.

Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS),
Korean Broadcasting System (KBS),
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)

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