Korean Dramas: the next level for rom-com lovers

Milenne Quinonez, Columnist

Look, I won’t argue, and I agree that romantic comedies in the 1980s were truly a masterpiece. I mean who doesn’t like “Sixteen Candles” starring the classic Molly Ringwald? I think we can almost all agree any teenage cutesy rom-com movie starring Ringwald was going to be good. We can’t forget about Julia Roberts, the “Pretty Woman” everyone wanted to be. It’s safe to say Hollywood used Roberts well. She was the it girl of rom-coms and probably the reason current rom-coms aren’t doing so well.

2018 wasn’t a bad year for rom-coms either. I loved “Crazy Rich Asians” as much as the next person, maybe a little more, but it’s because I truly believe it was a well-rounded cast and they weren’t afraid to use an entire cast of Asian people. That idea alone might have scared some people out of making the movie because, well, we all know Hollywood and diversity do not go well together. But, that’s precisely why the movie did so well. 

Okay, so now hear me out, Korean Dramas? Don’t worry, I won’t try to recruit you to watch K-Dramas like I’m part of some cult, but I will say I believe you are missing out. So for a basic run down of K-Dramas, they are regular TV shows, typically one season long with a maximum of 16 episodes and each episode being an hour long. They are not only rom-coms, but can be other genres such as period romances or thrillers. 

I know, I know, the shows are in Korean and subtitles are annoying to read, but like Bong Joon Ho once said, “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” I think the dude knew what he was talking about, after all, he won an Oscar award for a film that was entirely in Korean. The movie is “Parasite” by the way, and it’s a great film.

Again, although the shows are in Korean and the only way to follow along is through subtitles, I strongly believe that shouldn’t stop people from enjoying shows in different languages. Take anime for example, all of them are in Japanese and people love those. Granted people watch it dubbed in English, but don’t even get me started on that. 

Do I think K-Dramas have better romantic comedies? I’m not claiming that, but I do think they are great. There is a great mixture of comedy and romance, and some dramas even have mystery and crime. It’s like “Criminal Minds” but the love triangles are much more intense. 

Rom-coms are my favorite because, as someone who is a hopeless romantic, I still wish for that cute happy ending. I also know what it’s like to scroll through Netflix aimlessly for hours just trying to find something new, fun and different. 

Ever since the beginning of the pandemic I struggled to sit and enjoy anything but getting into K-Dramas allowed me to open my mind to a new culture, language and food. If you’re still not convinced by what I’m telling you just search up Park Seo Joon and I promise you there is no going back, you’re hooked. 

Don’t worry, I wouldn’t tell you all this and not recommend some great K-Dramas. These are some of my favorites and some of the sites you can watch them on. 

“Strong Girl Do Bong-Soon” (Viki Rakuten)

Literally the cutest K-drama ever. It’s about a girl with super powers who gets hired by the CEO of a gaming company to be his bodyguard. There’s also a crazy woman kidnapper on the loose who she tries to help find (crazy, I know).

“Crash Landing on You” (Netflix)

This one is a bit more romantic, but still funny. It’s about a woman who is the CEO of a beauty line. One day she goes paragliding and somehow lands in North Korea. Since it’s illegal for South Koreans to enter North Korea, especially illegally, she’s basically stuck. The plot thickens when she falls in love with a North Korean soldier. 

“What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim” (Viki Rakuten, Hulu)

This one is much more lighthearted. It is about a woman who has been a secretary for a CEO (I know, another CEO) for over nine years and has done everything for him. One day, she decides she wants to do something else with her life and gives her notice to quit. Her narcissistic boss doesn’t like this idea and in order to get her stay he tries to make her fall in love with him.