From “Hometown Cha-cha-cha” to “Twenty-five, Twenty-one,” the whole world is into K-drama

“After watching Korean dramas, I feel like I’m deeply fascinated by the warm emotions and the lingering feelings.”

“After watching Korean dramas, I feel like I’m deeply fascinated by the warm emotions and the lingering feelings.” This is the most common review left by global viewers who enjoy K-dramas on IMDb, a global content review site. Last year, the K-dramas consumed around the world were mainly of the “dystopian genre,” but contents of other various genres are increasingly becoming more popular. Following “Hometown Cha-cha-cha,” which was released last year, realistic genre dramas containing Korean sensibilities such as “Twenty-five Twenty-one,” which recently ended, and “Our Blues,” which is currently on air, are also drawing keen attention from around the world.

Hometown Cha-cha-cha
…vs Hometown Cha Cha Cha

The healing romance “Hometown Cha-cha-cha” on the background of a sea village full of different people, “Twenty-five Twenty-one” about the wandering and growth of young people who lost their dreams during the IMF era, and “Our Blues,” which cheer for the sweet and bitter moments of everyone standing at all corners of life. What these dramas have in common is that they contain raw Korean emotions. “Hometown Cha-cha-cha” is ranked 7th on the worldwide chart, “Twenty-five Twenty-one” ranked 4th, and “Our Blues” recently entered the top 20 on Netflix.

Recently, British media outlet TBI analyzed the popularity of the Korean drama industry under the title of ‘KOREA: Dreaming Big‘. “People like Korean drama because there’s always a character the audience can confide in and it’s not necessarily the main character,” it explained. “In general, South Korean drama is more complex, the characters are more complex and they have more complex relationships.”

Our Blues

A New York Times article reported last year, “Scenes often overflow with emotionally rich interactions, or “sinpa.” Heroes are usually deeply flawed, ordinary people trapped in impossible situations, clinging to shared values such as love, family and caring for others. Directors and producers say they deliberately want all of their characters to “smell like humans”.”

Global viewers of “Twenty-five, Twenty-one” shared their thoughts through IMDb, a site that allows visitors to review movies and dramas around the world, “Unlike other K-dramas that focus only on romance to the point of being burdensome, this drama is superior in focusing on each character’s story” and “The passion of young people that transcends cultural differences and the process of finding their own identity in their lives are captured in this drama.”

Twenty Five Twenty One

“Our Blues”, which revolves around the sweet and bitter life of people standing at the end, climax or beginning of life, depicts their stories in an omnibus format against the backdrop of Jeju Island. At the production presentation, writer Noh Hee-kyung said, “Life is not only about two main characters. Our life is a story in which everyone is the main character, and I wanted to portray a story in the form of omnibus in which many main characters appear.”

An official from Studio Dragon said, “While it’s important for Korean producers to have a story that will be appealed to the world, they always aim at a point where they can embody a good story. Our storytelling is a story created by intertwining various characters, and it is based on affection for humans and life. I believe these feelings will reach viewers around the world beyond countries and cultures.”

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