Sorry about posting this terrible blast from the past of the Korean Drama “Jewel in the Palace”. But it was the first that came to my mind when I read this article entitled “If Koreanovelas can, why can’t our teleseryes?” in the Manila Bulletin by Dot Ramos Balasbas-Gancayco (Yes, that is her real name!) wherein she basically asked why Korean Dramas can be popular abroad. She gave five reasons which I thought were actually quite true. Here are her 5 reasons why K-Dramas are so popular that they even overtake the ratings of local dramas (My comments are in red):
1. Korean telenovelas, most of the time, focus on good values. The all-time favorite Jewel in the Palace was adopted by the Yau Ma Tei Catholic School in Hong Kong as a medium for imparting values of had work, determination and patience to the school children. Here, the heroine is a maid (JOON: a cook actually but maybe in Filipino culture I guess the cook is a maid? Just kidding!) who rises up to become the only female doctor in the Emperor’s Court.
2. Korean telenovelas show the country’s culture, traditions and very interesting history such as in Princess Hours (JOON: Princess Hours is a fantasy drama, meaning it’s not really historical, but it does show Korean culture). The grandest palace in Seoul, the Gyeongbokgung Palace (said to be the “Versailles of Asia”) is also famous as a film location not only for movies but also for period television shows as my husband and I were informed during our short visit.
3. Korean telenovelas are lovely to watch because they are usually shot in breathtaking scenic spots promoting beauty and magnificence of Korea — our travel brochure just needed to mention that the Jeju Folk Village museum in teh honeymoon destination of Jeju Island was a location for the drama series Dae Jang Geum for it to be immediately signed up in full by swooning delegate’s spouses. (JOON: Actually, there are Korean Drama Tourist Packages. So you can actually create a schedule or itinerary based on your favorite drama.)
4. Korean telenovelas have interesting plots and are fast-paced and well-scripted.
5. Korean telenovelas dwell on positive universal themes of endless love, quiet sacrifice, love at first sight and romance with a touch of comedy like the Sungkyuwan Scandal. These make the viewer feel good and light. Contrast this with the sickening kidnappings, murders, evil schemes and other vengeful acts in some of our current Filipino teleserye (JOON: There are Korean dramas that are EVIL like this. But generally they tend to be more light and positive.)
6. And most importantly, for the young viewers, the actors are all very good-looking. (JOON: I couldn’t agree more! Ha ha ha!)