Most tourists who visit Korea are fans of Korean Dramas. Last year, when we booked our Korea tour at the NATAS fair, we were given a free DVD each to feed this addiction. Since the rest of my travelling partners do not watch any Korean dramas, I had five DVDs altogether. My Korean tour guide, Thomas, a 4th generation ethnic Chinese, typical of men, could not understand this. He would return home from work to find his wife, a Taiwanese, crying in front of the TV. Life is already so hard in reality, why do you still want to escape into such depressing fantasy? He asked.
I’m a novice to Korean dramas, and only started watching when Be Strong, Geum Soon was shown on Channel U. (I’m still following the repeat on weekends.) I like the witty dialogues and had pilfered some for my writing assignments. The short serial (mostly 16 spisodes each, as compared to Taiwanese serial of 700+) is also another reason. The twist and turn of events were a help when i had to write my novel. Since I’ve discovered channel KBS 173, this addiction has become worse. My friends, ever so helpful, told me I can watch the any serial I wanted on www.koreanmovie.com or www.mysoju.com. So with these plus scrabble competing for my attention everytime I logged in, I have not been able to do any creative writing at my writer’s site. My fans at this site (yes, I have fans, I think 6 of them) must be wondering what had happened to me.
During the short span of watching these shows, I have come to agree with Thomas. Most of the dramas are rather depressing, even when it’s touted as a comedy, with the lead often dying. I’ve just finished the last episodes of two series at KBS last night, and both lost their love at the end. Mike would return home at the end of my shows just to catch a glimpse (and know the whole story with just that 5 minutes), and i would update him with he died or she died, and once they froze to death.
Mr Goodbye – He dies of heart failure, although this was expected from the title.
Again, My Love – She loses her love through car accidents twice. The first time she had thought he died and wasted 30 years pinning for him, only to find him and lose him again.
Single Dad In Love – He dies of brain injury from boxing.
Rosemary – She dies of cancer.
Stairways to heaven – She dies of cancer, after going blind, and despite receiving an eye transplant from one lover who committed suicide in order to donate his eyes to her.
The Scoundrel – He dies from a brain injury (from boxing).
Knockout Love (A love to Kill) – Both the leads freeze to death.
The sad ending really do not do justice to the series. Most of the deaths of the leads were unnecessary, since there was nothing to stop them from ending together morally (as in incest cases) or otherwise. Incidentally, all the above have a parental warning that said The show is not suitable for 15 years and below. I had wondered why, since they contain no violence, no nudity and very mild kissing scenes. Now i know.