As we are getting nearer and nearer to the end of 2018, we may take a look back to those Korean dramas we have watched this whole year. But before we all get to excited and start to shout our favorite title out, CJ found some trends (or things that must exist) in Korean dramas lately. When back hugs may be a little too old fashioned now, apparently people in “Dramaland” found new things they love in common no matter what the genre are. Here they are..
- One way or another, there’s always a “good” reason to live together
Following the success of contract marriage trend, now Korean dramas try to spice things up by making our supposedly innocent leads have no other choice than living together. From a chaebol who wants to keep his robot near, a man with prosopagnosia feels the need to sleep together with a woman who changes into different body once in a month, to a crown prince who has to marry the oldest spinster. Yes, every story leads to that scenario.
2. This stuffed doll or other symbolic jewelry
Some older dramas may already use this tactic, but current dramas (especially those of Rom-com genre) are not missing it for one bit possibly to add more income from the merchandise selling or simply to promote its sponsors even more. When jewelries like specially designed necklace/earrings are still the most popular items, some dramas choose stuffed doll or even keychain, hat, and many other more.
3. Promoting specific tourism spot
While older dramas not specifically promoting one tourism spot, current dramas tend to do so. They use tourism spots as part of the drama, whether as the main lead’s mansion, favorite dating spot, or simply a place they often visit. Hence we may see special mention of the tourism spot as part of sponsors. And, some of these spots seem to actively promoting through Korean drama as we could see them in several dramas. Some of the popular and most seen tourism spots are (drama titles are limited to 2018 dramas):
- The Garden of Morning Calm: Jugglers, I’m not a Robot, Lovely Horribly, Your House Helper
- Forest of Wisdom Library: I’m not a Robot, Hwayugi, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim
- Incheon International Airport: What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Where Stars Land, The Beauty Inside, Encounter
- Seogang Bridge: Suits, Rich Man, Devilish Joy, The Third Charm, Are You Human?
4. That absurdly friendly and savage right hand man
Okay, this may be nothing new since we get to see cute secretary since “Secret Garden” era. But we have to say that the relation between the superior and his/her right-hand man, whether a secretary, eunuch or a palace worker is getting closer and closer. At times we might wonder who is the real boss here, and honestly we wouldn’t mind to work as a secretary if we could treat our boss like that.
5. Fierce heroine
When older dramas love to make the heroine in a helpless state and she tends to be really kind, girly and forgiving, current dramas love to have fiercer heroines who can stand up for herself. This heroine may thrives at work, behave rudely or messy or outspoken, or even makes the male lead scared of her at times. And honestly, we love this kind of heroine more because it makes more sense in a way.
6. Our main leads come with heavy “baggage”
Main leads in latest dramas tend to have dark pasts that shaping them into their current selves. The past mostly very traumatic and causing the main leads to have weird personality or various (rare) diseases. Remember how Lee Young Joon (What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?) cannot touch or be touched by women due to his traumatic childhood? Or how Kim Min Kyu (I’m Not a Robot) has a human allergy due to painful betrayals he faced when he was a child? Or how Lee Yeol (100 Days My Prince) becomes really cold and easily feels uncomfortable to his surroundings after loosing both his mother and first love at the same time? Or how Gong Woo Jin (Still 17) decided to be cold, alone and care not about others?
7. Adorable younger version of main leads
Okay, child actors are already “happening” in the past as we have Park Shin Hye (Stairway to Heaven), Moon Geun Young (Autumn In My Heart), and of course all the rising child actors from “Moon Embracing the Sun”. But if we look more intently into current trend, almost every drama is using childhood story – mostly to support our point above – and thus having adorable child actors whose cuteness and acting skills are not less than their older version.
8. Minimalist-Scandinavian style houses
There used to be a trend where Korean drama loved to use manor-like-houses especially for chaebol. There was also the time where hanok (traditional Korean house) seemed to be the trend. Then, there was the time where rooftop house is a must in a Korean drama. Now, whether it’s a chaebol or even a frugal part-timer, they would have a minimalist-scandinavian style house with pastel or simply black-white colors.
Can you think of any other trends?
See our 2018 K-drama reviews here: