Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Drama, Drama, Drama! Part I: The Beginning

Real life drama is not the same as TV-drama. Nor is American drama and Korean drama the same. Actually Korean dramas are more close to what we call "soap operas" but with way more sexy guys and gals in it, and perhaps more optimism.

Korean TV drama by now has its own history filled with some flops and classics. I for one have only started to hit the iceberg on this behemoth of entertainment. Not only are there TV dramas but movies that accompany an actor's profile.
This post will be meant to point out to you how I got started into my Love-Hate relationship with Korean dramas and how I am on the constant search for a drama that satisfies my American tastes.
Where did it all start?
About a year and a half ago I started watching the Korean drama "Jewel in the Palace" (Dae Jang Geum). I managed to find this show on one of the free channels I get through my television. It was in subtitles and sometimes since it was free the picture didn't come in as clear and so I had to guess the storyline.

For a TV show this one is quite impressive. It is considered an historical drama and captures a love, socio-political and power struggle story that is cast through the character Jang-geum. We see her as a child and up to adulthood as she strives to become the Head Lady of the Royal Kitchen. Unfortunately I didn't watch this from start to finish but read up on the whole story online. The parts I did see and that I enjoyed most were when there were cooking contests going on.

It is here that I discovered that Korea has a rich culinary history. Not that it is really any kind of secret that ancient cultures like Korea, Japan and China have a deep history with their cuisine, anyways. I found it amazing how the producers took the time to show how each dish was prepared and also put a lot of historical context into them.

Sometimes I thought I was watching a cooking show. The costumes and scenery were also lovely. It seems people loved the scenery so much that there is now a Theme Park where you can go visit the sets.

What Dramas do you watch now and what is your reaction to them?
In Drama, Drama, Drama! Part II I will cover which dramas I have watched and ones I am currently working on. Also I will analyze the differences between Korean Drama and American Drama, and highlight what Bo Kwan has to say about his impression of both.
Stay tuned....

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