K-Dramas are famous all over the world for their unique perspective of showing simple yet intricate human connections. Whether it is romance, mental health, past trauma, social status, gender roles, or coming-of-age dramas, they have always heralded an unusual spot for portraying emotions.
The soaring interest of people from American and British dramas to K-Dramas has given an influential platform for not just Korean culture but Asian culture itself in the world of Television Series globally.
Another rare yet unique aspect of K-dramas is their portrayal of human conflicts. Nonetheless, they have been side-lined for too long and people have measured K-Dramas as “cheesy” romance especially suitable for young teenage girls.
As a K-Drama fan, we assure you that even romantic comedies are not as “cheesy” as they may appear. For instance, “Crash Landing On You” and “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” could be quite funny and cheesy as well as devastating.
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To break that barrier and introduce you to the world of K-Dramas with their layered illustration of human emotions, here is a list of dramas that should be on your list to detach yourself from the stereotypes around them–
1. Goblin and Grim Reaper
—Conflict between Friends.
To begin the list with probably one of the most famous K-Dramas since its release, Goblin, and Grim Reaper in Guardian: The Lonely and Great God had the most problematic bond. It shows how a minor spark of jealousy can break the strongest bonds.
If someone were to tell you that you committed something absolutely barbaric in your previous life, most of us would not be able to accept it.
The series puts forward a profound lesson– Humans have the potential to lie on opposite ends of the moral spectrum.
If Grim Reaper had the power to kill his own love and thousands of innocent people in his previous life, he also characterized that the same human can sacrifice his own happiness for atonement for his sins.
On the contrary, Goblin had a tough decision to make. He wanted to take his revenge and kill the Grim Reaper. However, the previous king was the same person who was his one and only friend until the truth came out. The love-hate relationship shared by the two was only vaguely visible yet present at all times.
2. Yeon and Rang
–Conflict between siblings/family.
Next on the list are the brothers from The Tale of Nine-Tailed, with his prolonged age came maturity and understanding, Yeon bothered Rang but to a degree where he was able to protect him.
Rang, on the other hand, reflected that he can even kill his brother or shove him to another world just because his love was not reciprocated.
Although Rang might appear to be the one at fault initially, Yeon had people around him, particularly his one true love– Rang only had Yeon.
After being abused by his mother and treated as an outcast at a young age, Rang was deprived of any love and warmth.
3. Chief Hong from Hometown Cha Cha Cha
–Conflict with oneself.
Chief Hong did not have conflicts with people around him, rather he was grieving in another hell. His conflicts were inside of him and in the midst of all the chores that kept him busy, he was still clinging to the guilt because it made him feel the pain.
When you begin with Hometown Cha Cha Cha it might appear to be a feel-good show with magnificent seaside views while capturing the errands of a normal and healthy life.
However, the dark side of this show sets in with the shadowy past of Chief Hong. When it comes to light what eventually took place, it becomes even more difficult for Hong to encounter the reality.
At some point, all of us have to move on from our past traumas and grief. Nonetheless, when we have people by our side, the recovery becomes easier.
4. Na-bi and Park Jae-Eon from Nevertheless
-Conflict with your lover.
Possibly one of the most debated couples in the history of K-dramas, Na-bi and Park Jae-eon ended up together even with their relationship clogging with red flags. Nevertheless‘ taking on toxic past relationships and blossoming lovers who can turn toxic can be titled as unconventional.
To begin with, Na-bi was skeptical about affairs especially after her dominating ex cheated on her. She came across Jae-Eon in a club and eventually got into a ‘Friends with Benefits’ relation.
Initially, Na-bi is alright with their label-less bond but gradually she realizes that it was not what she wished for. She has an ideal guy right in front of him– sincere, considerate, and honest– but her attraction to Jae-eon is far stronger.
On the contrary, Park Jae-eon made it clear from the beginning that he was a “no dating” guy nevertheless, ends up spending his birthday with Na-bi and doing several other things that exhibit how committed he is.
Though, him proposing Na-bi only when another man came into the scene, is a complete red flag.
We see at the end that Na-bi risks it all and gets into a relationship with Jae-eon. We see in the last scene that Jae-eon has changed for good as he ignores a group of girls trying to flirt with him. “Nevertheless”, this may not always be the case. So, what should a person do in a risky relationship?
5. Squid Game
–Conflict with the world.
Squid Game needs no introduction owing to its worldwide fame and recognition. However, the series itself is filled with contradictions around conflicts among humans.
All the characters re-entering the game signified their desperation to give themselves or their loved ones a good life. But weren’t all of them aware that they would have to see others die right in front of their eyes?
So, can you enter a game where people dying will earn you money, and if you do join it, are you a good guy or a bad guy? Squid Game reminds us of dialogue from Money Heist– “There are no right sides in hell.”
Whether some of the characters chose to help each other or kill the opponents, all the competitors knew that only one person will be alive in the end.
If Sang-woo kills Ali and Sae-byeok, didn’t all of them including Gi-hun kill more than 10 people in Tug of War even though they were only trying to protect their own lives? Is it okay to kill people as long as they aren’t your acquaintances?
Also, it is shown in the series that VIPs are people who give money to enjoy and entertain themselves by watching the game. Is it the creator’s indication that all the viewers, meaning us, are the VIPs?
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