Sometimes people talk about guilty pleasures. While I try not to keep anything in my life that makes me feel actively guilty, I will admit to having a few embarrassing pleasures. One of them is my occasional indulgence in Korean Dramas.
These short-run series each last about the length of one season of an American TV show, but unlike American shows, they will always encompass a complete storyline. And although these stories tend to be soap-opera-ish in terms of delivery, they're also rather chaste in terms of content.
Fortunately, I have a friend wise in the ways of Korean dramas who guides my viewing so that I don't waste time wallowing in too much angst-riddled melodrama.
Although sometimes the angst is unavoidable.
I tend to enjoy action or comedy: stories that make me wince and chortle and snort and roll my eyes.
And occasionally make me feel very, very nervous.
|Click to enlarge this one. I dare you.|
I will admit that these shows are often corny and cheesey and melodramatic and predictable. But hey, sometimes I'm just in the mood for a little cheese. When I'm stressed about real life or panicking over an uncooperative writing project, just knowing that I have an hour of predictable cheese waiting for me at the end of the night can be of great comfort.
Plus, since subtitles are involved, watching a Korean drama combines two of my favorite activities: reading and staring at pretty people. What's not to love about that combo?
If you've never watched any Korean dramas, I really don't blame you. But you really should consider doing so, if only because they teach so many wise truths about life.
Truths I've Learned from Korean Dramas:
- Time travel is real.
- It's easy to find a parking space in downtown Seoul. (As a matter of fact, who needs parking spaces? Just leave your car wherever. Nobody cares.)
- Speaking of Seoul, everything important that's ever happened has happened there. (With the possible exception of Jeju Island, the rest of South Korea might as well not exist. Ditto the rest of the world.)
- Dressing up as a boy is easy to pull off, even if you still basically look like a girl. Short hair will fool anybody.
- Surprisingly, throwing up on your crush is not a deal-breaker.
- Sneaking around and spying on people is easy. You don't even need to bother hiding behind trees or skulking around corners! You can stand literally two feet away gawping, and nobody will ever notice.
- When in doubt, drink alcohol. This is the best idea. (Or possibly the worst idea. The data is unclear.)
- You can be shot in the chest at point-blank range and be mostly fine in a day or two.
- You really only need one or two songs.
- Men: forget hand-holding. It will get you nowhere. Women are meant to be dragged around by their wrists. Such behavior is both manly and impulsive.
- While we're on the subject, remember this: if you care about a woman who's just had a narrow brush with danger and is still shaking and crying from the reaction, the best thing you can do is yell at her. This shows how much you care.
- Ladies: you will be able to recognize your true love because he will have the best hair. (Or the worst hair. It all depends how you feel about hair. Either way, he will have the most dramatic hair, and that's how you will recognize him as your soul mate.)
- Amnesia occurs with startling regularity, but don't worry because it's easily cured.
- If you're not sure why someone is doing what they're doing, just wait. If you leave them alone long enough, they'll explain their thoughts through a helpful monologue.
- Concealing your identity is easier than you might think.
- Crying on command is a Korean birthright.
- When in doubt, birth secret.
- Brothers and male cousins must fall in love with the same woman. They have no choice. It's coded in their DNA.
- No injury is too small to require treatment at the hospital.
- All relational rifts can be overcome by eating ramyun together.
- Fox Mulder was right all along: aliens do walk among us.
And they are glorious:
Still to come:
*Truths I've Learned from Action Movies
*Truths I've Learned from SciFi