Korean Netizens React To “Unrealistic” Portrayals Of Korea In Netflix’s “XO, Kitty”

“Also, that is where the soup goes?”

Korean audiences laughed off certain portrayals of Korea in Netflix’s XO, Kitty.

Poster for XO, Kitty |

XO, Kitty is the Netflix spin-off series of the streaming giant’s massively successful To All The Boys movie series. The series, which partly takes place in Korea, follows Kitty’s quest to find true love.

Poster for To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before |

Ever since the series’ announcement, Korean audiences have, with bated breath, been interested in how their country would be portrayed in the series, which was released on May 18.

Despite the series’ best intentions, however, Koreans inevitably found certain portrayals to not make much sense. One netizen’s online post pointing out discrepancies between the country in “real life” and as portrayed in the series has since gone viral. In the post, the author had qualms about five things that are listed below.

1. Hotel heir buying a whole bunch of STYLENANDA products

| netflix
| netflix

Although STYLENANDA is popular, they are seen as a more affordable and casual brand. The author of the post found it hard to believe that a hotel Chaebol would be buying the brand with this much fervor.

2. Being sent to the boys’ dormitory because of an androgynous name 

| netflix
| netflix

In the series, a female character is assigned to stay at the boys’ dormitory because her last name, “Song,” is alleged on the show to also be a male’s name. This is wrong. “Song” in this context is a last name and therefore doesn’t have any gender. Also, there is no way dormitories in any country would be assigned based on names.

3. The fashion


Koreans are renowned for dressing well, and the author of the post felt the fashion in certain scenes just wasn’t up to par with Korean standards.

4. Kissing in the library

Can you imagine getting caught by the librarian ajuma or ajussi?

5. Cupcakes for lunch.

Although Korean school lunches are famous for being rich in taste and nutrition, the author of the post felt students would seldom ever find a cupcake on the menu. Also, that is where the soup goes? And the real crime here is the bulgogi-to-rice ratio.

Netizens had a mixed reaction to the discrepancies, although all agreed that the above scenes were pretty unbelievable. But while some netizens criticized the show, others had fun with it since the liberties taken by the show were ultimately harmless.

  • “That’s cute, LOL.”
  • “I’ve almost watched the whole series, and it didn’t feel disrespectful as if they weren’t knowledgeable about Korea. The cupcake scene is also about an international student from the US who isn’t familiar with Korean school lunch, LOL. The reason it isn’t very realistic is because it takes place at an imaginary international school. Just think of it like Heirs or Boys Over Flowers. There are also scenes where it shows how considerate and respectful the show’s producers were when showing realistic scenes of Korean culture and families. You’ll be surprised if you scoff at the show for its knowledge about Korea.”
  • “There are some scenes that stand out, but for the most part, it’s pretty good, LOL. It’s not like how they messed up in Emily In Paris.”
  • “Umm… I’ve had a slice of cake at school once.”
  • “Ah, it looks so fun, LOL.”
  • “Why are you making a fuss over a cupcake?”
  • “We get cupcakes at our school, but why is it placed where the soup goes? LOL.”
  • “It looks fun. I’m going to watch it, LOL.”
  • “This level of (fantasy) is nothing compared to Boys Over Flowers and Heirs. Plus, the show takes place at an international school. I’ve watched two episodes, and it is cute, LOL.”
  • “The writer is a Korean-American who has never lived in Korea, so how much would they know? They should have done some more research…”
  • “It’s fun, but isn’t the series’ genre fantasy like in Boys Over Flowers and Heirs?

What are your thoughts?

Source: theqoo

XO, Kitty

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