Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Korean TV Dramas - responding to the critics

I have received a comment by Charles in the comments section and the other by Kevin about my post on Korean TV dramas. I am flattered you both read my post (but am more freaked than flattered by some of Kevin's comments).

Charles notes that women also like Lost and many other American TV dramas. Absolutely, I agree. And particularly with regard to Lost, I have heard many good things about it and did not mean to imply that Lost and other US dramas are solely aiming for the male audience. My point was more generally aimed at the idea of shows being attractive to certain people and not attractive to others.

Charles says "Perhaps [Korean TV drama watchers] prefer predictability because its all they ever knew". Do people who watch Korean TV dramas only like them because they don't know what else is out there? Possibly for some this is true. But generally I don't think so. I know US TV dramas. I have lived in the US, I am Australian and have spent my life watching US TV...and yet...I don't think Korean TV dramas are crappy (although they are predictable). Given their international popularity (ok - Asian popularity) would also indicate that people have choices on what they watch and choose to watch Korean TV dramas.

Perhaps greater exposure to international/US TV in Korea will lead to better Korean TV production, as Charles hopes. But, using Australia as my benchmark, I see no evidence that exposure to US TV leads to better domestic programming.

Kevin looks more closely at how we might compare between US and Korean TV drama to see which is best. But I remain unconvinced that this would further the discussion. You could do the comparison and find out (probably) that US TV drama is just better than Korean TV drama in every aspect. But that might only lead you to be more perplexed than ever with regard to knowing what it is that people like about Korean TV dramas. Can 'appeal' be measured, does it need much budget, does it rely on good script writing?

And now I must attend to my stable of chiseled beaux-hunks.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui