Korean soap operas Essay

Submitted By joyceywy
Words: 1034
Pages: 5

The Korean Soap Operas has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean and into homes around the world. The growing acceptance of Korean Dramas is dominating the youth culture across Asia. South Korea’s TV drama exports grew from $8 in 2001 to $155m in 2011 and industry executives say there is still room for expansion in Asia and beyond (Simon M, 2013). Nowadays, Korean dramas is taking a lather over Chinese Soap Operas. The core and soul of the Korean opera is a distillation of traditional Chinese culture. It just propagates traditional Chinese culture in the form of TV drama. As refer to the readings by Sheldon H. Lu, I agree that television drama is the main form of entertainment in contemporary China by virtue of the high rate of television penetration in Chinese households, however, the drama that they watch nowadays are mainly Korean dramas. Recently, when the country’s two highest governing bodies met in Beijing, it was being reported that the main issues being discussed on the delegates lips was actually a south Korean soap opera that has taken the country by storm. The show “My love from the Star” has gained more than 2.5 billion views online and has shot up to the top of the country’s viewership.
The reason that what makes Korean dramas so popular and significant is because of the story plot. Korean TV dramas are not as well crafted as those produced in China with more favorable conditions for drama production. Korean dramas develop the stories with a quick reflex approach, which leads off the expected path. They often attuned to audiences’ responses after every episode in an attempt to boost its viewership ratings. That is what makes a flexible and unpredictable storyline. The idea of television fiction without an end by Methuen (1985) could apply to this idea of flexible story plot too. While the basic idea remains the same, the problems and mutual conflicts are expressed from episode to episode, in one after another. The plot of Korean dramas are often strange at first blush, using “My love from the Star” as an example, its about an alien who accidentally arrives on earth 400 years ago, meets an arrogant female famous actress and falls in love. As strange as it may sound, it is the unrealistic and surprises that what makes the audiences hooked into it.
Moving on, the difference between China and Korean soup operas are the target audiences, which also leads to why Korean dramas are more popular than China’s. Korean drama has interesting market and audience environments, which target all audiences ranging from the youth, working class, to housewives and are appleaing to people of multiple generations. They often create an unrealistic world so that these audiences could immerse themselves in such fantasies. As Keane, M. (2005) states that one of the positive benefits of globalization is increasing trade between cultures and the ‘rediscovery’ of traditional cultures. In this environment of audience market, Korean drama evlved from traditional drama to fulfill women’s fantasy which attracts the audiences worldwide, it is consistent that Korean drama fans outside korea also show the similar gender-age distribution to the target Korean audience.Whereas the story line in Chinese dramas, is either distort the War of Resistance, distortion of history, or blindly copy foreign programs, which targets family, or stay at home bodies. As mention by Michael Keane (2004), the Television is an industrialized mass medium where programming decisions are made with full understandings of the ethical and legal ramifications of copying. The lack of creativity is one of the main reason why the bane of Chinese Dramas. Facing the pressure of outsourcing, Chinese filmmakers are increasingly collaborating with the Japanese and the Korean to assert an East Asian identity (Xu, G. 2005).
On the other hand, Korean dramas often portraits unrealistic perfect characters that are recognized for the dazzling capitalist materialism they portray. The…