tvN’s “Twenty-five, Twenty-one,” JTBC’s “Thirty, Nine,” and KBS2’s “Young Lady and Gentleman” have touched a debatable topic.
“Comedy is just comedy, don’t get me wrong!” It’s a buzzword from a comedy show in the past. It was added after talking about a bitter satire of reality to make up for it. As it becomes a buzzword that the whole nation knows, it has changed shape and is currently used in many places. “Drama is just a drama, so don’t get me wrong.” It means that you should only watch dramas as dramas, so don’t mistake them for reality. It’s very dangerous to approach it like a joke like that, because they didn’t take into account the impact of the mass media.
Some of the dramas that are currently on air have brought this up, including tvN’s “Twenty-five, Twenty-one,” JTBC’s “Thirty, Nine,” and KBS2’s “Young Lady and Gentleman“. The main characters of “Twenty-five, Twenty-one” became a problem because a minor and an adult became each other’s strength and led to love. The drama has been pointed out as glorifying the relationship between minors and adults. At the same time, “Thirty, nine” is accused of giving justification for adultery. Among its characters are two who had to break up because of the opposition of their family, and while the woman was a time-limited patient, her ex-boyfriend, who then returned to have an affair with her, had a fraudulent marriage. It provides many reasons for adultery. “The Young Lady and Gentleman” also features a character who was about to die. The husband kept it a secret from his wife and visited the ex-wife who was nearing her death. When his wife, who knew this, got angry like fire, the husband said, “She’s pancreatic cancer! She’s the mother who gave birth to Dan-dan!” The husband then left the house, leaving behind his shocked wife.
It’s a little uncomfortable to say that those were just a drama. The relationship between a minor and an adult, dating with people who are already married, and the act of continuing the relationship with your ex-wife even though you already have a new family are all difficult to accept in our current society. The attitude of these dramas while dealing with such sensitive subjects is more dangerous. “Twenty-five, Twenty-one” naturally depicts the process of expressing love by portraying the male protagonist, who is an adult, and the female protagonist, who is a minor, as each other’s savior. “Thirty, Nine” even turned that character’s friends, who opposed adultery, into supporting her. “To have a happy death as my life is time limit” is how “The Young Lady and Gentleman” portrays a wife furious at her husband’s affair as a villain. These dramas all try to give excuses to those inappropriate relationships and induce viewers to understand the character’s behavior.
Viewers who are deeply immersed in the drama take the opinions of viewers who feel uncomfortable lightly. They say that this is a fictional story and just the worldview in a drama anyway. Many believe the freedom of creation should not be violated and the characters can have such narratives. Many reasons have been stated and they all lead to one conclusion: “Drama should be viewed as a drama only”. From this perspective, viewers who point out problems in the drama are considered sensitive people who cannot distinguish dramas from reality.
In fact, the influence spread through mass media, including books, dramas, and movies, is not limited within the work’s content itself. It often has a direct impact on reality. When Goethe’s novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther”, which was published in the 18th century, gained popularity throughout Europe, many young people at that time who sympathized with the protagonist Werther followed him and made suicidal extreme choices, leading to the suspension of the book’s publication. When the 2012 film “The Dark Knight Rises” (directed by Christopher Nolan) was released, a young man in his 20s shot a gun during a movie screening and killed 12 people.
The media should be careful of justifying dramatic settings. If dramas depict love affairs or minor-adult relationships, the viewers might accept and recognize these as relationships that are reasonable in reality. That’s why it’s still dangerous for a drama to show a harmful romance even though it was portrayed in a harmless way. Hopefully, there will be more dramas that attract huge attention with exciting settings and spread good influence rather than crossing the line. Even if a work is worth watching, just avoid doing what should not be done.