They both are about the lives of certain families and the dilemmas they face. They both have some predictable lines (“I love you!”, “Don’t you show your face around here ever again.”) and a very predictable ending. Yet, they are so different. This is my thought on how they are different and the overall superiority in Korean dramas.
The last comment may (and probably did) sound biased since I’m Korean. But then again, 99.9% of you won’t even know I’m Korean (should have used a colored photograph on the main page, dang it) so I guess that comment doesn’t sound biased. Anyhow, enough of my useless murmur that no one will read, let me explain why I think this way.
The reason Korean dramas and American Soap Operas are so different is that, to be blunt, Korean people don’t like the idea of love affairs and such. It’s basically a taboo subject as Korea is still a country that doesn’t easily accept new ideas. There was this one drama played around last year in which one of the couples in the drama was gay. I’m not saying that this is easy to accept in the States as well since there will always be some conservative people around this world. But the concept of “a gay couple appearing in a t.v show” was not taken well by many Koreans; especially for the elders. People around my age and in their 20’s were able to accept this idea as most people don’t mind this idea but some (I emphasize some, and by some I mean a very, very small percentage) Korean moms went overboard. They said,
“If my son becomes gay and dies from AIDs after watching ‘Life Is Beautiful’, SBS must take responsibility!”
http://www.allkpop.com/2010/09/union-of-mothers-create-anti-gay-ad-because-of-drama-life-is-beautiful, a link to the comment above (note, SBS was the channel that was showing the drama with the gay couple.)
These are the few over-dramatic people but yes, Korea still has difficulties accepting gay rights and the idea of “gay.”
Wow, I went off topic. But the point is, Korean people don’t accept these ideas very much (divorces are still an “eyesore” to be blunt). The States seem a bit more lax in these parts.
Another difference is the quality. When I see American Soap Operas (I don’t mean shows such as Castle and NCIS but those soap operas on t.v in the morning), the quality is lacking. It’s very hard to describe what I mean and you probably won’t understand until you watch a Korean drama. In Korean dramas, you can tell that everyone put much effort in the show. It makes more sense if you type in Korean dramas into Youtube and select a video. Okay, maybe it won’t make sense but people who are Korean like me and saw a soap opera once will understand my thoughts.
The largest difference, by far, is the sheer amount of fame the stars from dramas gain in Korea. I’m not saying that stars
from soap operas are not famous but people who don’t watch them won’t know them. Of course, this is a pretty biased idea from me so if I have it wrong, I’m sorry *bows*. But in Korea, wow. Take this, Secret Garden, a Korean drama that aired from November of 2010 to January of 2011. Both the male and female lead were already quite famous in Korea but with the end of the drama, the male lead actor filmed so many commercials, it’s said he earned about 4 billion won. That’s 3.5 million USD from just 6 commercials and the renewing of earlier commercials. Once a drama hits well in Korea, it’s pretty much an easy road to fame. Psham!
That answers my first thought. Onto the second point. Why are Korean dramas so “superior?” First, mind that I’m using the term “superior” lightly. Well, the quality of the drama as said before is amazing. The story is not too bland but the dramas that become popular have a great story line with interesting twists. Most dramas are predictable but perhaps that’s better for Korean people, since new ideas often raise shock. Not to mention that the actors are quite good-looking, although this is just my basic idea in looks. These are just main points on my opinion. Don’t take it to heart, fellow soap opera lovers.
Overall, the idea that Korean Dramas are better than American soap operas is quite unfair. Of course I will choose over the soap opera since I enjoy Korean dramas much more. It’s all in taste, you see. This is just me, expressing my thoughts.