Six months ago I ran out of things to watch on Netflix and clicked on a random show on a whim. And just like that, I was sucked into Hallyu, the over two-decade long wave of South Korean pop culture which has created K-drama and K-pop fans around the world. To say that I went down a rabbithole is an understatement. It’s also completely in line with what other K-drama fans, especially women, have experienced with these shows.
Many Korean dramas are targeted at women in their 20s and 30s and it shows. Where else in popular entertainment do you find a virtual cornucopia of stories about interesting women and their complicated lives? (Tell us if you know!)
Unlike American shows, which have dominated our consumption of non-Indian pop culture, these K-dramas rarely have more than one season, with most series ending in 16-20 episodes. Long enough to escape into another world, short enough not to drag you down with it.
Its focus on an emotional journey over complex plotlines makes it an easier watch than an American show. While many dramas can be very problematic—homophobia, fat-shaming, casual sexism—they also have some strong women characters with fascinating inner lives as well as men unafraid to appear vulnerable.
They are also REALLY funny, and have great soundtracks.
Indian TV sorely lacks feel-good, fluffy entertainment, so these shows are often a great escape. The cultural similarities when it comes to familial relationships and certain social norms also help Indians in connecting with these shows.
So if you’ve been wondering where to begin your K-drama watching from, here are five great options.
1. Romance Is A Bonus Book
Watching Romance... is like watching the world through an Instagram filter. Beautiful people in beautiful clothes in a beautiful world that looks like it’s fresh out of a washing machine.
37-year-old Kang Dan-i, a divorced, single mother is struggling to get back into the workforce after a seven-year gap. Trained as a marketer, she...