Brief impressions of the Korean dramas’ critical community

Hello. This is AKIA Talking now from Korea. While being back in Korea, I have been looking into the Korean drama critical community here which includes blogger who tend to be shlubs like yours truly. And, to be frank, the community here is not that large or considerable.

And this is just some thoughts I scribbled as I am writing another long long editorial.

On a professional level, there are few professional critics associated with official publication. However, there is no real dedicated Korean drama publication in mainstream distribution that I could find. This is a stark comparison with the numerous number of fashion publications. Those tend to be the least affected by the digital age shift here. However, there were not really any Korean drama magazines before also. In comparison, while the movie magazine market space has shrunk drastically, there are like 4 left.

None for Korean dramas.

There are even at least 2 miniature hobiest magazines in publication but no Korean drama ones. The situation in “academia” of Korean drama is similar as they tend to be out shadowed by the Movie crowd. It is difficult to find any Korean drama related books in major books stores. I only found one place which had a section for those books. Here are some of the books.

What is the difference between Korean and US dramas?

Why are these dramas popular now?

The developmental history of Korean TV dramas

Korean dramas, scooped from the sea of myths

The TV home drama world

Predictable drama, touching love: How to enjoy the melodrama in drama 

Even in the digital space, the situation is not great. There are blogs and but not as many as you may think. Most tend to cover Korean drama sporadically.  It seems easier to find dedicated Korean blogs for U.S. shows than those for Korean dramas. I would have to say that the number of words written about Korean drama in English by people like you, my foreign peers, far exceed the number written in Korean.  Among those Korean drama blogs that exist, the quality of the content is not up to snuff for a snob like me. I am even including those English blogs that I tend to consider fluff. At last, those seem to have more passion about the subject than their Korean counterparts.

I mean isn’t this weird.

The reasons for this?

It is rather complex issue. Foremost, I do not think that Korean dramas are viewed to be of that socially importance. In a lot of ways, Koreans are short sighted, snobbish, and hypocritical. We have a tendency to over value what we consider more lofty so called “serious” subjects and snub all of what they see not to be in that category. At the same time, we are very shallow about endeavors that make money. This is where I think Korean dramas lie.

But that is just a brief impression I had. 

1 comment:

  1. I would read those drama books. Back before they closed down all the bookstores around me…grrrr!…I used to always browse the entertainment and read books about making movies, and TV shows, acting, Hollywood, etc. etc. It seems like the grass is always greener, Koreans will blog about their favorite Western Television, and Americans will blog all about Korean dramas. From what you say about the culture, I can definitely see it reflected in the drama plots and behavior of many of the characters. Even the leads reflect them at times.

    Oh, The Critic! I LOVED that cartoon. So funny.