Many K-Drama lovers come from the West, and many Western show lovers come from the East. So what can we learn by comparing the two? As it turns out, there are quite a few things you can find in K-Dramas much more often than Western shows! Let’s take a look!
1. Focusing on Food
Koreans love food; who doesn’t? However, unless a Western show is specifically about cooking or food, we hardly ever get to see it! Either that, or it just sits on the table, and no one eats it! No matter the genre, K-Dramas usually always have multiple scenes of a character cooking, eating, or even a slow close-up of the food itself. Don’t watch on an empty stomach!
2. PDA Between Straight Male Characters
In the West, men can often be more conservative with their skinship, and it can be rare to see men show platonic affection toward each other. In K-Dramas, male friends can often be seen hugging, feeding each other, walking arm in arm, offering each other things, and more. This really comes down to cultural differences and the popularity of “bromances” in Korea.
3. Slow Burn Romance
We all know this by now. The absolute pinnacle moment of any romantic K-Drama is the kiss! They lock eyes in the first episode, hold hands in the seventh, and kiss in the sixteenth. Sex is hardly ever shown in K-Dramas and is usually saved only for experimental shows and movies. In Western shows, couples could have sex within the first episode and within 10 minutes of meeting each other. This could also be a reflection of different cultures; however, many appreciate the romantic nature of the slow burn.
4. Office Workers Drinking With Their Boss
When Westerners are seen drinking, it’s usually at home, a party, or a bar. Almost always, it’s with friends. In fact, one could argue that many Westerners try to stay as far away from their boss as they can and only see them at work. This isn’t the case in Korea as many co-workers go out for drinks together once their shift is over, and many times their boss comes too!
5. Product Placements
Perhaps Westerners are extremely used to it by now, but product placement just seems so much more obvious in K-Dramas! This could be because K-Dramas don’t have commercials or if they do, it could be one or two commercial breaks. Therefore, they use many product placements as another source of revenue. In the West (America specifically), they can have several commercial breaks in just a 30-minute time block! This lessens the need for product placement.
Although there are many school-related shows from every country, the West doesn’t really show studying! The West is often much more focused on the character’s social life than their academic life, so sometimes classes can hardly be shown! K-Dramas often have a scene with a student diligently studying at their desk or the library and show them forming study groups and even taking exams.
7. Protective Parents
While protective parents are a part of pretty much every culture, it could be said that Western parents can be a bit more lenient. You will hardly ever see a mother paying a girl to break up with her son in a Western show!
8. Getting Hit By A Truck
Okay, we’re sorry for this one, but seriously what are the statistics? How many times does someone get hit by a car in a Western show compared to a K-Drama? Probably not much. It’s happened so much in K-Dramas that it’s pretty much a stereotypical expectation in them now, along with amnesia, chaebols, and the slow-mo arm grab.