23 January 2013


Finding the Logic Behind [Some] KDramas Clichés [Guest Post]

Posted by latteholic on January 23, 2013
I'm sure you've seen it all before. The KDramas that we all love are laden with these clichés. But have you ever wondered whether there are some logical explanation behind all of these clichés? No? Never? Not even once? Ok, maybe just me, then.. But now that you have clicked on this post* you have no option than to keep reading otherwise it will self-destruct in the next 30 seconds**...

Piggyback scenes

Ok! Let's see if kakashi's blogger tip will do the trick by putting Lee Min Ho picture first.. Oh! and his hair looks good here! [okay, LMH and hair.. covered! *sly smirks*]
The logic? Given South Korea's conservative culture and the lack of PDA, piggyback ride is viewed as an excuse for skinship without looking too "inappropriate" in public. It also gives warm allusion to the piggyback rides that dads often gave to their little girls, and in turns heighten the male image as someone safe and reliable just like... a dad. And I know for sure that it's easier to piggyback someone than to carry them on your shoulders... just sayin'. Read more about this staple here


Why, hello there hot stuff! [yep, the wrist-grabbing part is short, blink and you'll miss it!]
The logic? If you have followed kakashi's blog for a while, you might remember that kakashi has talked about it in this post. [Yes, and so I admit this is only my excuse to put my beloved Joo Won related gif. Sigh. The blogger is strong, but the fangirl is weak]. Side note: However when I think about this cliché, I feel like this must resonate with the audience to some degree. I remember from my time watching Happy Together episodes, the female MC would ask the male guests to re-enact some of the scenes from their dramas and some of them would involve wrist-grabbing of all sorts. And the reaction of the female MC after the reenactment? "So cool!" And in some way I could understand why she would think of that. Women who grew up in a patrilineal society are attracted to strong masculine man, and an act of wrist-grabbing and whisking a female somewhere shows the male's masculinity/ability to lead. Now, I'm not saying that if that happens in real life, I would like it. Because it looks painful and I don't like to be forcefully dragged somewhere when I don't want to, especially when I have voiced that out. But we all know how different reality is to KDrama world, don't we? And [some] women do buy the romantic idea of being claimed and whisked away, especially by a handsome man. And why hold the wrist and not the hand? In conservative Asian culture, holding wrist is a step down from holding hands, and hence.. wrist-grab! Yeap, I too have been guilty of wrist-grabbing my friends and vice-versa in a non-romantic, violence-free, less-dramatic, no dislocating-body-parts-swirling way in the past

Taking off battery to switch off phone

I'm pretty sure the newest model of Samsung Galaxy are equipped with an OFF button, so I guess her taking off the battery serves for dramatic purpose?
The logic? Other than it gives more dramatic punch to the scene, according to this post, turns out most cellphones in South Korea used to not have an OFF button and removing battery is the only way to turn it off. And maybe that's why it's not until recently that most dramas choose to take a close up of the actor/actress switching off their phones, although as kakashi and King of Dramas have taught us well, it could also be a part of a grand scheme called Product Placement [PPL]. Btw, can you imagine characters removing batteries from their i-Phones? I, for one, have no idea where the battery on my i-Phone is located until this day. Now I'm sure that would make a pretty dramatic scene!

Sudden U-Turns

A conveniently located u-turn in the middle of six-lane traffic. I can whip a u-turn here... like a boss!
The logic? According to this post, U-turn lane can be found in almost every road in Seoul, so no wonder that every car in Korean dramas can whip around 180 degrees virtually anywhere, anytime, in congested traffic or not. No matter how big or small the road is. That and also the fact that making U-turns in 6 lanes of traffic is part of driving test in South Korea***.

Jjimjilbang scenes

You know it's the only place where you can pull off Princess Leia style without getting "the look"
The logic? Chilling in a bathhouse with your friends and scrubbing each others backs is viewed as a bonding experience between family and close friends in South Korea. Plus, jjimjilbang is open around the clock and  from as low as $6 you can, not only take a bath and a sauna, but also eat, sleep, date, watch television, read, and play computer games. Honestly, that's a great deal! It is also a convenient and inexpensive place to crash in when you're late catching the last bus/train back home. Hmm.. I guess now I know where to stay if I ever backpacked in South Korea (note to self: bring pillow). Read more about jjimjilbang here

Karaoke scenes

Don't ask me why YEH is carrying flowers on her back while singing..
The logic? I think South Koreans are a bit like me, I'm quiet in public but I'm not so quiet around my friends. And norabang is definitely a place where you can let loose with your friends and have a good time. Those little rooms are like little Vegas. Whatever happens there, stays there... unless your friends decided to upload your crazy karaoke session into various social networking sites because they think your method karaokeing is cute! *TRUE STORY* . And take it from another karaoke enthusiast. Once you start, you will get hooked! There's nothing more fun than submerging yourself in a song and sing your heart out [even when you hit the wrong notes all the times]. And that moment when you just basically nanana-ing the lyrics of Wonder Girls' "Nobody Nobody But You" and your score hits the 90s region? Priceless! Oh, and the soju bit [other than because Koreans love to drink] probably just help you ease into the zany singing session. Me? I'm crazy enough even without it!

Shower scenes

No.. Not this one..
The shower scene that makes you sure to lock the bathroom door before taking shower!

You know what I'm talking about, it's this one..
Hmmm... Are those Satsuma and Pink Grapefruit shower gels from Body Shop?? PPL alert!
Uh-huh... You're welcome!

Now hang on, where was I? Oh right! The logic? Errr... Because it's good to know that our male lead -who will do all the wrist-grabs, piggybacks, sudden u-turns, etc, etc- smells flowery or fruity fresh?? Plus, it simply completes your drama viewing experience! ; )

*) Sorry if Lee Min-ho and the hair thingy brought you here! 
**) No, of course it's not going to happen. Otherwise kakashi will ban me from doing guest post... forever!
***) Except I just made up that last fact, but you never know, it could be true.. 

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