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Korean Dramas: Expectations vs Reality

October 22, 2015

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For this week’s video, we talked a lot about what Korean Dramas get wrong about life in Korea, but now we’d like to talk about some of the things it gets right.

Broke, but Still Got the Hottest Smartphone

This is something that always struck me about Korean dramas. Oftentimes the characters that are so poor that they have to have seventeen side jobs just to get by still have the latest Samsung phone. Girl, if you broke then why’d you get that phone?! We wondered, then, if these are just product placements, but – from our experiences – we don’t really know ANYBODY with an old phone. Our students had the coolest phones. All of our teachers had the coolest phones. Our broke university friends had the coolest phones. It could be because Korea used to have crazy phone subsidies, but now that rules have changed we might see fewer people with cool phones. We haven’t really seen the impact of the rule change yet, though. Reservations for the iPhone 6s in Korea sold out in 7 minutes. Good thing we got ours in Japan! Woohoo!

The Korean Wrist-Grab

This is something that I think annoys all foreigners watching Korean dramas. No matter how strong the female lead is, both physically or mentally, she can be immediately dragged away by her caveman love interest even if she’s in the middle of a movie.

The Iron Wrist Hold

This really really enrages me and I usually have to pause the drama and walk away huffing and mumbling angrily to myself, wishing I had more friends watching the same drama as me so that I could vent to them. I’d like to see a guy just try and drag me by the wrist against my will. GO ahead. MAKE MY DAY. I especially lost my mind when watching Secret Garden which featured one of the strongest most kick ass female characters only to have her broken down by a rich good-looking guy and yet again, dragged around against her will. So the question is, does this really happen in Korea? I will have to admit, it does happen. Sometimes it’s just like a “hey, come with me to grab a coffee” kind of non-aggressive wrist grab but, and it doesn’t happen often, we have 100% seen girls being lead by the wrist down the street by a guy in a “COME WITH MEEEEEEEE” kind of way. It usually seems like they’re either fighting, play fighting, or drunk but yes, we have totally seen it. It’s not like the usual form of transportation for girls in Korea, but I can say I cannot recall seeing a girl being dragged by the wrist in Canada without it ending in a resounding WTF ARE YOU DOING, GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME and maybe even a punch being thrown. I don’t know, is the wrist grab and drag a normal form of transportation in your country? Let me know!

On that note, how does your country’s TV programming lead to misperceptions about your country? And I’m not talking about another country’s representation of your county, because those are most often always wrong. Don’t get me started on the depiction of Americans in Korean Dramas. Yuck. Also, the other day, Martina and I were talking about the depictions of Russians in TV and Movies, and it’s really hard for us to think of any show that doesn’t show Russians as either gangsters or prostitutes or dirt poor. I’m sure there must a positive image of Russians out there in the media, but I just can’t think of them and I imagine that pisses off people from Russia. I wonder how Russian TV depicts Americans? Hmmm… also for those of you wondering, no Canadians all don’t speak with thick accents, but we do tend to say eh…eh.

Side note, we actually find bad product placements hilarious. You ever see that scene from Wayne’s World? It’s comedic gold. Sorry if we borrowed from it too heavily. Actually, we’re not sorry. It’s still hilarious to us. But, for reals, we’ve been playing a lot of QuizUp lately. We made our own quiz but we’re not sure if you’ll like it. Check it out here. We’re just trying to get to level 100 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe Quiz. They just ask too damn many Iron Man 3 questions. I HATED IRON MAN 3! Ask me some Agents of Shield stuff! Ask me about Daredevil! Ask me about Thor! Agh!

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Korean Dramas: Expectations vs Reality

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  1. One thing that bothers me are the misperceptions about Swedish girls. That we’re obsessed with sex…that you only have to ask and then we will sleep with you. Sweden was the first or one of the first countries that produced porn movies. If you watch the movie Taxi driver with Robert De Niro, there is a scene at a cinema were they play porn movies. The movie De Niro watches with his date is a Swedish porn. Guys behave really weirdly in some countries when you tell them you’re Swedish. Also tourists who come here to Stockholm sometimes expect a lot. Don’t. Swedish girls are like most girls. But one thing is true, Swedish girls are taught that they have the same rights as men. Of course we like sex (like most people do), but you have to treat us with respect if you want to go somewhere near us.

    2 years ago
    • I forgot to mention that this doesn’t apply to all guys I’ve met in foreign countries. But there is definitely a stereotype about Swedish girls.

      2 years ago
  2. Oh yeah…and my favorite depiction of an English speaking person in a drama is Brett from When Love Walked In. I know, not a kdrama, but Victoria is in f(x) okay? Connection! XDDDDD

    2 years ago
  3. Heh…1st time I saw a wristgrab i thought “holy holla, that’s assault!”… But then I saw more and just figured it was cultural. You know…if I did the wrist grab on my wife it would probably save her from some embarrassment and apologies…just saying.

    Deep-southern American…I do not hunt or fish or live on a farm. I don’t listen to country music or play a banjo. I don’t wear jeans and flannel. I DO enjoy foreign culture and classic literature…studying hangeul on my own for fun. Just fun! I’m not a redneck moron! (Though the neighbor clearly is…)

    Dewy

    2 years ago
    • Yeah, lots of American stereotypes out there. I just came back from Korea and got “Are you Christian?” “Do you smoke lots of marijuana?” “Does everyone carry a gun?” “Are the police good in your area?” I had a taxi driver sing The Star Spangled Banner to me. I’m from Miami and I always get (even here in the US of A) “Why are you so white? Why didn’t you tan?” “Why don’t you speak Spanish?” “Do you live on the beach?” “Do you club all the time?” “Do you own a boat?” And in foreign countries. “You’re awfully quiet for an American.” The list goes on. But such is life. Differences create questions. I don’t mind answering them as long as their not ill-willed. :)

      2 years ago
  4. I’m from Austria and if people get that we don’t have kangaroos they start to sing one of those songs from “The Sound of Music”… I don’t know any of those lyrics but I admit, I sing a lot and love dancing (and I’m blond & have blue eyes) :D

    When I had a korean Boyfriend he did the wrist-grap too XD first I was so shocked and felt like a part of a sitcom.. (imagine a 150 cm tall guy try to drag a 176 cm girl) :D but It was more the “wooah! he tries to be a man”-kind of feeling so I just giggled and did let him be

    2 years ago
  5. I don’t know about how Swedish film and series represent Sweden and our society internationally but I do know that not all swedes are blond, have blue eyes and are super-sexy all the time, something you often see in Hollywood movies and stuff. It’s not really a bad image but it isn’t representing either.

    Sidenote: I do hate the wrist grab as well!

    2 years ago
  6. OMG!!Martina, I was and still am hooked on Quiz Up!! Simon, who knew you could use big words xDDD Love ya~~

    2 years ago
  7. OMG!!Martina, I was and still am hooked on Quiz Up!! Simon, who knew you could use big words xDDD Love ya~~

    2 years ago
  8. Must be a Korea thing … any of the Filipina’s I know of, if a guy did that he’d have one of two assured options – his arm would come back without said hand, or the hand would be ripped from his grip and he’d better find another zip code to sleep in …

    2 years ago
  9. When I see the wrist grab I always imagine Sandra Bullock from “Miss Congeniality” doing her attack prevention. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97JIFQzw8NM

    2 years ago
  10. About the Russian depictions, I was more than satisfied in the kDrama “Modern Farmer” when one of the country-farmer-men guys was married to, and had a child with, a Russian woman! Not only was she kind and more outspoken than women are shown to be in kDrama’s, but she ACTUALLY had her own spotlight.

    When her son told her that he was embarrassed for her to take him to the bus or school due to her being a foreigner and the kids making fun of him for it, she stood back for him and cried a bit, but didn’t want to make his life hard.

    Then at one point, his dad was like “oh fuq dis”.

    His parents dropped by his class when he was in school, and actually did a VERY sweet and prostitute-free presentation on Russia, and Russian language! You could see the mother speaking in Russian and translating it, saying “repeat after me!” and the kids loved it. It was not only the most positively depicted foreigner expose I’ve ever seen in a Korean show or movie, but it was so heartwarming to see the racial attitudes being brought to light and fought against in a positive way.

    2 years ago
  11. I live in Las Vegas, NV,USA and omg so many misconceptions that people have about here because of all the movies and shows. Some people think we live in Casino’s and go gambling all the time. I really hate the whole tourism/marketing slogan “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” cause people think they can just come here and do whatever they want like in the movie “The Hangover” and that there’s no consequences. Usually though if they try to do something stupid people find out the hard way that that is a big fat lie. All the movies about Vegas usually take place on the strip or near the strip and maybe cause I’ve been living here for almost all my life or cause I don’t have money to blow but I avoid the strip I don’t like the strip and I think most locals avoid it cause of the same reasons. Unless family is coming over, then you have to go give them a tour of the strip. I mean the strip is not the worst place obviously people come here just to walk on the strip and see it, but really its not that glamorous like in the movies. It’s usually you driving really slow cause of all the traffic and the stupid drunk tourist that you have to avoid hitting cause they are jay walking. On the strip get used to walking really really far with crappy transportation in 100F degrees weather like even if it is night here in the summer it is hot like super hot. Winter here are nice but I digress.

    On another note the wrist grabbing in Kdrama’s oh my gosh does it piss me off so much! along with the guy having to save the girl from the other evil guy or the girl falling in love with the guy that treats her super crappy and not caring about the super nice guy that was not a jerk and likes her :P most of the time i’m just like smh what are you doing girl?! and sure the jerk becomes prince charming eventually but ugh did you forget he was a crappy jerk for 20 whole episodes before the finale!!!!!
    and its almost always the not so pretty girl or the poor girl that falls in love with the rich handsome looking jerk face guy!!!
    I’ve watched a lot of kdramas and before I use to be like OMG I want a jerkface like that!!! now i’m like smh girl you should have gone with cute adorable nice guy ;D

    but yeah eatyourkimchi crew come to Las Vegas hehehehe forget about how unglamorous I said it is (it’s probably just cause i’m a local nothing surprises me here no more lol) just come here lots to do here if you are a tourist! just come around fall or winter this time around it’s really nice to walk around and not die in the sun on the strip. The highroller (the biggest ferris wheel in north america, scratch that I think the world) is here and the Linq has a cute little mall and you can see where BAP, sistar, and BigBang shot their videos and downtown is really great :D lots of quirky little shops and places ^_^ just come here and party and have fun ; D

    2 years ago
  12. Meg

    Woah, woah woah! Canadians can hate hockey!? Waaaaaah???? lol ;) I’m from the USA and i’m pretty sure you can already guess about how we’re misrepresented here. All the sex in high school (ok which might be happening but no one talks about so idk?) the drugs, which generally most people know thats a no-no. Though actually a lot of people are ok with weed. Like they may not do it, but they don’t think its a big deal of others do. Ummmm….teen pregnancies…which ok actually does happen. Like 4 girls in my high school class graduated with either a bun in the oven or the pastry already popped out. But still! It’s not as major as it looks! The parties are definitely not as epic as they appear on TV. Nope not at all. We also don’t have many vampires roaming around, though the occasional witch will pop up… ;)

    I HATE THE WRIST GRAB TOO! Like with a fiery passion. I am waiting for that one character to finally be like “Boo I will CUT YOU” when her wrist is grabbed. We’ll see lol. That would not happen here, not without the guys morals being questions. Like people will assume he’s abusive or something. You just don’t do it.

    Also, Martina, I totally just got that quiz up app -_- so thanks for that lol.

    2 years ago
    • Ha! I hate hockey for a specific reason: because I love basketball! Every time I’d try to watch highlights on the sports network, in a half hour program 8/10ths of it would be dedicated to freaking hockey and basketball would be glossed over so quickly. AH! I don’t hate the sport itself: I just hated how it got in the way of my love of basketball :D

      2 years ago
      • Meg

        Yea, thats pretty much how basketball is treated here too. They focus more on football (American football) and then gloss over basketball and baseball. Hockey barely gets mentioned here. I think I read somewhere that the NBA has actually been on a decline the past few years.

        2 years ago
  13. Not sure if you guys have watched it or not, but “Josie and the Pussycats” is another fun example of a movie making fun of the fact that product placement is everywhere in films, and how pop music is just a ploy to sell products.

    2 years ago
  14. I live in New Jersey, and man the stereotypes are annoying… but then again they are semi right. I mean I am sure a lot of people know the New Jersey stereotype- The Sopranos, The Real Housewives, and Jersey Shore and there are tacky people like that, but they are pretty much all Italians. Plus the people from the Jersey Shore aren’t from New Jersey, they are from Long Island. New Jersey is actually REALLY diverse, we have lots of Koreans, Indians, Europeans, African Americans, Jamaicans, Asians, whatever. You can easily see it with our various ethnic supermarkets, hell we have swedish and danish specialty markets here!

    Plus there is the joke that New Jersey is a dirty pit that no one wants to live (think of the Futurama joke, “This place looks great, what’s the catch?” “Well, you’ll technically be in New Jersey”) but clearly there are positive points of New Jersey, it is just that most people drive through it, and the drive isn’t very pretty, so people assume it is a dump. When driving out of NYC you usually drive by all the oil refineries, which isn’t attractive. Plus the major cities are kind-of getting back on their feet since most of the factories supporting the cities closed down.

    2 years ago
    • This makes me so sad in a way. NJ is nice, and I’m Italian from Long Island and I promise all the tacky girls you see on TV are not representative of our de facto population. Most of us are just awesome. Only a TINY bit trashy. None of that fake tan Snooki crap. Though I don’t live in LI any more and now get the lovely stigma of “OMIGODWHEREAREYOUFROMSAYDOGSAYCOFFEELOL” every single time I speak (because I have a very, very thick accent) rofl.

      2 years ago
    • Meg

      I lived in South NJ for quite awhile and you’re right about it being really diverse. I, personally, hated NJ lol but I know a lot of people who love living there, I mean location wise its awesome. So close to NYC, Philly, and the Shore! But year, super diverse. Camden, basically a cesspool of crime and violence was only like 20 minutes away from Mooristown and Haddonfield where all the rich people were.

      2 years ago
      • The further you stay away from NYC and Philadelphia, actually New Jersey is really pretty. Very green and rolling hills. Lovely countryside. Newark sucks and that whole Lindhurst, North Arlington, Kearny corridor IS the Soprano’s (I lived in N.A. for 2 years – my landlord could have been lifted right out of the TV show) … and given how my love life was going, getting out of there when I left the Navy probably saved my life.

        2 years ago
  15. Red

    I live in Lima, Peru, and my family from argentina still thinks that people here own llamas as personal pets.

    3 years ago
  16. For the first part, in Latin America, Ecuador including, there is a lot of violence against women. So, the wrist grab is horrible, but not unseen here.
    For the TV country perception, in all USA movies they show Latin American countries like only poor, very old, and full of hens. If you google Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Quito, etc, you will see there is not such thing.

    3 years ago
  17. I really hate the wrist-grabbing aswell. Everytime I see that in dramas I imaging some guy doing that to me and me shouting him to the next universe. I really wish to watch some drama with a strong woman because these girls make me so angry by being so submissive. That’s why I really didn’t like Secret Garden at all. She was supposed to be this bad ass girl but still acted like some stupid little girl that needs to be scolded because she did something wrong. I tried to watch it two times and never finished it because it made me so annoyed.
    As for the product placement I really loved the korean Hana Kimi (to the beautiful you or something like that) back then I just recently got my Samsung Galaxy S3 and through that show I learnt so much about the phone. It was like a 16-hour manual that showed every single feature of the S3. It was so detailed I wasn’t even mad.

    3 years ago
  18. Well… I think I have hardly ever seen ANY Europeian people in english or american movies who were not gangster or prostitutes or dirt poor. Oh, maybe the French and Italians – they might be chefs in some noble restaurant. Or privat detectives, but it is maybe close to gangsters. :-)

    3 years ago
  19. I want screencaps of these dramas you possibly made it in! Anyone see them yet??
    As for movie portrayals and whatnot… why doesn’t anyone ever have screens in their windows? I live in America, and this confuses me…

    3 years ago
  20. Can anyone tell me what the dramas in the above image are called? >w<

    3 years ago
    • No problem! In order from Minho, Taekhyun, Siwon, Hyun Bin and Minho again:
      Boys Over Flowers, You are beautiful, Billion Dollar Ihneritors, Secret Garden, and The Heirs.

      2 years ago
  21. While I notice the product placement a lot, I actually tend to notice much more when they duct tape over everything they didn’t pay for. Then I’m staring at half-covered clothing brands, or trying to remember the various swanky car names.

    3 years ago
    • Oh that taping over is soooooo annoying! As a dutch person, when I see Heineken I recognize. Doesn’t matter if you put a small black ducttape over the word “Heineken”. In the drama “the time we were not in love” it’s at least in 50% of the scenes… Really bugged me.
      Glad to hear i’m not the only one :)

      3 years ago
    • Taped over the unsponsored product placements*

      3 years ago
  22. Hmmm.. I’m Russian, but I don’t really remember any old TV show featuring Americans. As a rule, most foreigners in the Soviet movies of the Cold War period were spies, predominantly American spies. The late Soviet movies depicted foreigners as almost always drunk and shocked by Russians and their mentality (as far as I can judge by the movies “Interdevochka” and “Osenniy Marafon”), shocked and fascinated at the same time.

    Nowadays, there’s a popular sitcom “The Interns” featuring an American actor playing an American intern who came to a Russian hospital by an exchange programme. The image he created was really funny and it perfectly depicted the attitude of Russians towards Americans: the guy was considered naive and his colleagues used to tease him quite a lot. But, by the 4th season he’s become quite confident and “russified”. An interesting point: according to the plot, he was raised by 2 gay fathers. Can you imagine that said from the screen in a country that adopted the law about gay propaganda?! Nothing happened :) The colleagues were like “Did you call both of them “dad”? Or was one a “mum”?” And then, “Okay”.

    There’s a new series coming called “How I became Russian”, a story of an American journalist. As far as I could see in a trailer, the story will be a ususal one: he’ll be shocked, then fascinated and “russified” :)

    3 years ago
  23. Wrist grab schmist grab. Yeah that’s irritating but what makes me see red is how the older woman mother-in-law is always always always an inflexible shrew.

    I just realized that everything I had written was about the tropes used in Korean story telling as opposed to expectations vs. reality. Delete delete delete. Hate that all old people are inflexible. Hate those long ass shots with boy looking at girl or book or fish while the camera pans for fucking ever. Don’t like the Gumby style hugs and kisses either.

    I don’t like that representations of the Midwest in the US are always rural. Because the flyover is all farms and cows. No Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, Springfield, Kansas City. It’s all Mayberry.

    The Canadian shows I watch are all cooking shows. So, Canadians are all Nadia G, Chuck Hughes, Roger Mooking and those guys from The Food Jammers.

    Part of the fun of watching shows from other countries is identifying the cultural differences in story telling.

    3 years ago
  24. That wrist grab kills me. I’m like, really, you’re gonna let him treat you like a petulant child and then you’re gonna act like one to boot? If it were me… LOUD AND UGLY SCENE COMING UP!
    I’m in the US – Alaska, to be specific, and no, I don’t know Sarah Palin, I cannot see Russia from my front porch and no, I don’t live in an igloo or travel by dog sled.
    I am, however, rather fond of the hunting and fishing we are able to do here – This summer we were able to harvest Copper River Red Salmon right out of the Copper River. We were also able to go dipnetting for Salmon on the Kenai (pronounced Kee-nigh) River.
    So for some of us, some of the “stereo types” hold true. LOL. In my house, moose, caribou, salmon, and halibut are common.

    3 years ago
  25. Every time I see a wrist grab in a drama, I think, “That’s how people get shot.”

    And that brings me to my next thought, everyone thinks they’re extremely likely to get shot in the U.S.

    You’re not likely to get shot…unless you do a wrist grab…because that’s how people get shot.

    3 years ago
    • I would agree with this. I do not walk around in fear that I am going to be shot. There are not guns waving around everywhere, at least not in the Northern VA area, or anywhere else I have lived. There are a lot of people with guns around, but they are probably more likely to be used for hunting or in storage. Now, I would not walk around part of DC at night. Then I would be concerned about being shot along with a number of other things, but other than that.

      You would also be more likely to see some concealed carry’s come out if you went around wrist grabbing.

      2 years ago
  26. How America is portrayed in media drives me nuts. It’s nothing like that where I live. OH, and SPEAKING OF CANADA!!!! I’m from Minnesota. And (apparently) Hollywood has now decided that Minnesota is “Canada”, because we are portrayed the same (wrong) way that Canadians are, except, to make us “more American”, they have us be fat… Like, what the heck? “hi, doncha knooooooe. hockey, ice, snow, doncha knooooe, eh?” …

    The area I live in, I don’t see many overweight people. Most of the people I run into have physical jobs (farming, carpentry, etc.). NO ONE talks like that. No, actually, yes, sometimes we talk like that to make fun of the weird stereotype, but no one sounds like that normally. I can’t think of ANYONE that I know who likes hockey (Vikings football vs. Green Bay football culture is real, though, but most of the people acknowledge that in any given year, neither team will make it to the super bowl, so interest in it sometimes just goes like this- “hey, how did the Vikings do?” “Well, they tried really hard to lose, but they somehow managed to win” <– real conversation I've heard)

    So, yeah, I've always felt a fellowship with Canada since the rest of the country stereotypes us with the same weird things.

    idk, I guess since I'm so used to going "that isn't even close to being right" when watching tv struggle to portray my own state or country, that I don't tend to assume that media is correctly portraying any other country.

    And, lol, I would love to see a guy try to drag a girl by the wrist here. That could only end badly. A willing hand-in-hand approach could work, but an unexpected wrist grab, oh heeeeeeeeeck no. People here are generally too polite to do something like that, but if they tried, either the girl would (quickly) get away from him, or all the people around them would come down on the guy. We look out for each other here.

    LOL- okay, funny story, actually (sorry, this is getting long, but you have riled me up and therefor I write). When I was a teen, many years ago, I remember a music video coming on the channel I was watching and it was a guy singing to a girl, trying to win her back or something, and he actually grabbed her wrist as part of the choreography and my dad BLEW UP. Seriously, I didn't see it coming, but he just went on a huge sarcastic rant about how "romantic" that was to treat a girl like that. Oh man, he was mad at that one, little, wrist grab. Apparently he used to see things like that in movies or something when he was young and he didn't approve. I can't imagine how ticked off he'd be if he saw those k-dramas doing it. ^^;

    3 years ago
  27. Lately, all the dramas being produced and set in Canada are either about cops (Rookie Blue) or doctors (Saving Hope). We have other types of work here, dammit!

    OT, but how are you watching the Blue Jays games in Seoul Simon?

    3 years ago
    • Speaking of cop dramas set in Canada… CONTINUUM THO <3_<3

      3 years ago
      • oh maaaaan…Continuum is on my *long* backlog of TV that I need to catch up on. It hits so many things on ‘relevant to my interests’ list that I know once I start, I wont stop. XD I need to start that catch up on Lost Girl BADLY.

        2 years ago
    • I’m not watching them, sadly. Just checking the scores online :(

      3 years ago
      • Try rojadirecta? They online stream lots of different sports; you could access it via VPN maybe? I use it all the time for European championship football. :D

        GO JAYS GO!!!!!

        2 years ago
  28. Thank you for this! I love Korean dramas, and I am surprised at how I always seem to forget how much of an anti climax the kiss in the dramas are. Sure, there are some good ones, but it’s rare. I find the product placements cute, but I agree that there is so so much more to Korea than those chains. The wrist grabbing is really provoking – but I remember when I was in Korea that my female friend and sometimes students would gently take me by the wrist to show me something or take care of me in a crowded place. It’s a totally different situation of course, but perhaps there is something about holding someones wrist?

    And hey, will you guys be in Seoul during Christmas/New Years? Or will the café be open??

    3 years ago
  29. Apparently, as I’m from England I’m supposed to be posh and talk weirdly. Oh, and be a snob.The USA, Korea, Japan and randomly the Philippines are the worst for this. No one even from London pronouns very letter of every word precisely. It’s so awkward -_- Oh, and the fact that to the majority of the outside world nowhere exists in the UK, but England, precisely London… I’m from West Yorkshire in the north west of England (I’m also half Northern Irish, so my accent’s probably pretty weird). The UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain (Scotland, Wales and England) and Northern Ireland. There is no such thing as a British accent. There are at least 20 easily distinctive accents within England, yet alone within Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. London has 2 distinct geographic accents, yet alone all the interesting hybrid accents from having a city of the world. Also, no, I DO NOT LIKE TEA. I HATE TEA. Rant over :P

    3 years ago
    • OMG THANK YOU!!!!!!
      I have been saying this exact thing for YEARS and watching the portrayal of England in the media frustrates me so much I can’t even explain. My blood is boiling as I type this. You’ve pretty much covered what I wanted to say so I won’t go on for too much longer, but I really wish the media showed a more accurate image of England (or the UK in general tbh)- the rest of it is SO different to London, or at least the touristy side of London that others seem to think is the daily life of everyone. I can tell you now that it’s not. England is such a beautiful country with rich history, amazing architecture, breathtaking countryside sceneries and so much more and I really wish people could see it for what it really is!

      -Story Time-

      One time my dad went to America for work (I can’t remember where) and when he went to the grocery shop he started chatting to the girl at the till as you do, and when he told her he was from England she said, and I quote, “Oh, is that in London?”
      I kid you not, she actually thought that England was IN London…

      -Story time over-

      But seriously, it saddens me that people only see England for London. Every time I go and visit my family in India everyone always people assume that we live in London, and even though they know we don’t live there (we live near the Scottish border for goodness sake) they’ll still be like “Oh, when are you going back to London?” “What’s London like?” and it really irks me. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against London, I just REALLY wish people would see England as more than London, just like Korea is far more than Seoul or the US is more than LA.

      Another thing that bothers me is that Asian countries always seem to view people who live in the West as sexual beasts who have no morals or respect.

      -Story Time Number 2-

      When I was 9 I went to India for my Uncle’s wedding, and one day we went to meet his fiancee since we’d never seen her before. When we were there she asked my mum if me and my sister (about 12) ever went clubbing. You read that right. This highly educated woman thought that children as young as NINE in England went out clubbing and drinking. What. WHY?! I was utterly flabbergasted and I had no idea what to do. Our cousin also asked us if we’d ever had a boyfriend. Dude, I was 9. NO I HAVE NOT EVER HAD A BOYFRIEND. I AM ALMOST 20 AND I STILL HAVEN’T, NOR DO I WANT ONE ANY TIME SOON. It really makes me sad that this is the image we have…
      And I agree, I hate tea so much too- I’m betraying both India and England :/

      I’m sorry for the long and ranty comment but what you said spoke to me too much and I couldn’t help myself!

      Also, Simon and Martina! I would love for you to come to England one day, I think you would really appreciate the beautiful countryside and everything else we have to offer :D

      3 years ago
    • I feel you. But I think most countries could complain of “we aren’t just *name of city*”. France isn’t just Paris, Japan is more than Tokyo, shoot the USA barely acknowledges that there are actually towns and cities that *aren’t* on the coasts.

      If it makes you feel any better, I enjoyed reading old (or slightly old) British novels when I was a kid, and I grew up knowing that there were many different accents in the UK, just like in the US. I do wonder why Wales barely ever gets mentioned. (lol, okay, story time, hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but it just popped into my head. When I was a really little girl, I liked studying the countries of Europe. I was talking to my Dad once and mentioned “England” and for some reason that I still do not know, I felt the need to explain what “England” was to him and said, “you know, that country by Wales.” and my dad laughed and laughed and told me the story many times afterward xD) But, yeah, Wales doesn’t appear much in the media that I’ve seen.

      Last point, though, how can you not like tea? That was always the one stereotype that I thought was true! xD I mean, like how people assume that Americans love apple pie (I don’t, but people think that I’m weird because of it.) So, do your countrymen think that you’re “the odd one out” so to speak, or is the love of tea just something that the media latched onto for some strange reason?

      3 years ago
  30. So I’m from Syria. Before the whole war thing we have going on, the Syrian drama industry was HUGE in the Arab world. We definitely had the most popular Arab TV. It was not internationally renowned like Korean or American dramas, but within the Middle East we definitely made a mark.
    And these TV shows severely misrepresented us in so many ways. There is this very popular Syrian TV Show called “Bab Al-Hara” (Door of the Village), and it was set mid- 20th century. The women in that drama were all super pretty, always cleaned and cooked, always called their husbands “sweetie” and “my love” and they were just really flirty, they always listened to the men. They also had this arab equivalent of aegyo, which Arabs call “dala'”
    Anyways, basically, all of the sudden, some men from the Gulf Arab states specifically started asking for Syrian women to marry, because they expect the women to be like they are in the Syrian dramas. I’ve heard really sad stories about Syrian women who found themselves in such situations. They married a man that expected them to be like that and then fighting and divorce etc.
    BUT I DO WANT TO EMPHASIZE, because I don’t want this post to skew people’s perspective of Arabs (we Arabs get enough of that already), that this happened in very specific cases. Not all Arab men are misogynistic pigs that want their wife to cook and clean for them and call them “sweetie” when they return from work. It’s just a select few rotten apples, rotten apples that were spoiled even more by the image of Syrian women our dramas had shown.

    3 years ago
  31. It’s a really funny quizz guy… Thanks a bunch

    3 years ago
  32. American pop culture is awful. We advertise ourselves as stupid, lazy, racist, violent and oversexed. I have a fair number of friends from around the world who now live here and the common thread in their feedback is 1) I was shocked at how conservative about sex and relationships compared to where I’m from Americans actually are and 2) You guys aren’t stupid at all.

    We need a new PR department and should fire Hollywood immediately. We don’t do ourselves any favors. Of course many Americans should pry themselves away from it and maybe not believe it either.

    One trope used here that I hate with the same passion as the wrist grab – stupid dad, or stupid men in general. It’s all over our dramas, movies and commercials. Men are not stupid and we’re all kind of over that BS. Come up with something new to sell us soap and get laughs.

    3 years ago
  33. Oh god the wrist grab! Absolutely can’t stand it! ”You’re my property, now come with me” type of thing..ugh!
    Another thing in Korean drama’s (a lot of asian drama’s in general) is when something is happening/happened and there’s a big confusion and everyone’s angry and they never.say.anything.to.clear.up.stuff! Especially the girls, they very rarely stand up for themselves and just go along with a lot of the things the guys do. I usually can’t finish drama series because a lot of the time even the strongest female character becomes some weak little blob the does nothing! Stereotypes in movies.. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a good stereotype about Russians in American television, also the internet makes them out to be vodka drinking, bear-riding prostitutes… I honestly don’t like that :( But I’m from Iceland and the typical Scandinavian stereotype I see on tv shows (american, english, korean, japanese) is that all of us are blond, big boobed idiots who do nothing except sit in our igloos, talking to fairies while trying to seduce someone with a terrible non-accurate accent. Oh and side braids, lets not forget the side braids! hhaha

    3 years ago
    • Oh yes! The not-saying-anything-to-clear-things-up! This one makes me so fuming mad~! Seriously, just thinking about it makes me mad all over again… ^^;;

      3 years ago
  34. Ugh, the wrist grabbing! If anybody pulls me by my wrist, I’m going to kick their booties all the way to next week!

    3 years ago
  35. Hey there from a Russian nastie ;D Honestly I’ve never seen any American TV show or a movie, that would not depict Russians either as gangsters, alcoholics, prositutes or people with the thickest accents. Not everyone in Russia speaks with an accent, please believe me.

    I have to say, Russian TV shows are so horrible, they usually make my eyes bleed. According to them everyone is trying to steal a husband from the family, to kill the unwanted illegitimate children who turned out to claim inheritance from their rich grand parents and so on. According to some Russian dramas, we all still live in the villages and wooden houses with no electricity and lots of home made vodka. It may be true in some remote districts but of course not in big cities in Russia. And not everyone in Russia drinks vodka on the daily basis, in fact lots of my friends hate it or don’t drink at all.

    As for American characters, we actually don’t have them much in the media, except maybe the TV Show “Interns” where there was an American intern/doctor, played by the American actor Odin Byron, and I think he did it pretty accurate. The other expample in an American character from the old Soviet movie “The Circus” (1936), played by the Soviet actress Lyubov Orlova. She played a part of a circus gymnast that decides to leave for SU from USA, because the Soviet circus accepted her with her black child and American circus mocked her for that. It’s somehow accurate and somehow not, regarding the situation in Soviet Union.

    P.S. Dear Lord, how much I am pissed off my any wrist grabbing scene in Korean dramas.

    3 years ago
  36. Just in case you guys forgot: Canada in our shows is represented as being filled with bustling towns (as in Degrassi High series) or filled with trailer parks (trailer park boys). In reality? 90% is barren tundra. Nothing much to see here really. Otherwise, aside from city centres in Toronto, Montreal, QC City, Ottawa, Vancouver, etc, you really only see suburban streets everywhere. High rises are also pretty uncommon in contrast to the News shows like CP24 etc.

    3 years ago
  37. Not really sure why people think Canadians say eh and pronounce about like A-boot… I really dont know that many people who say eh, and NO one pronounces about like that.

    Oh um, dont shoot me but I have had the wrist grab happen to me by my bf. I’m mostly alright with it happening.

    3 years ago
    • Amy

      I live in the US and my English teacher in high school was from Canada. My math teacher was from Canada too. (They were married). I remember a lot of “eh”s coming from both of them. I know they pronounced “sorry” like “soo-rry”. I’m not saying that you’re wrong about Canadians, just after reading your comment I remembered my awesome Canadian teachers. I don’t remember which area of Canada they were from though.

      3 years ago
  38. Yep, that wrist grab bothers me, like how can you be a kick ass tune woman or police officer (yeah I’m talking about you I am Flower too) and be that weak to wrist grab! Makes no sense to me. I really get annoyed to the point where it forces me to stop watching the drama completely. I can understand it sometimes if the female character is a bit weak and in love, but man they make korean women look so obedient with not even trying to fight back. Another thing that bothers me is amnesia, I swear people in kdramas get it just as much as catching the cold. Idk it just annoys me because now we got to spend 5 more episodes, or the entire series for that person to remember everything. Don’t get me wrong there has been really good uses of amnesia in some kdramas. However, there are some where you feel like it’s not needed or wanted, and they just throw it in to add to the chaos because you know why not. I think those are just some things that bother me because it makes me think wow almost every korean has had amnesia. Just my thoughts lol.

    3 years ago
  39. Hello product placement of QuizUp. XD You do realize you’ll be getting a bunch of new followers cuz of that? (I already followed lol.)

    But yes. Kdramas. When I first moved to Korea, my head was filled with kdramas, though I knew not to have expectations. Boy was I right. XD

    Honestly, I feel like Americans, specifically Californians, are portrayed as thin, tan, and blonde. I am not tan, or blonde (unless you count bleached hair…), and can surf like a beast. I wish. XD

    3 years ago
  40. The wrist grab always bothers me too! Also club scenes; no good club is ever that empty. But HOLY CARP the portrayals of non-Asian foreigners in K-dramas… Especially the surfer dude in Heirs, he’s my favorite. And I’ve seen the same pasty, old, white European guy in at least 5 different shows playing various Western European nationalities (badly, of course). What I really wonder about, though, is medical care. In the shows it seems like everyone needs a guardian to sign for everything, regardless of age or mental capacity. If you’re a 30-year-old getting a routine surgery, you can’t consent for that yourself? And the legal system! Are most cases really not tried in front of a jury (see I Hear Your Voice, Prosecutor Princess)? As an American that’s totally odd to me. OK…back to my drama! :D

    3 years ago
    • This wouldn’t be a Korean legal system but I recently watched a great movie about the Japanese legal system called “I Just Didn’t Do It.” It is about a man who is convicted for groping on a train. It follows his 5 year legal battle, which Japan has an high rate of people declared guilty, something absurd like 99%

      2 years ago
    • Another thing about how foreigners are portrayed in k-dramas. Foreign women are always blonde. But not just kind of blonde, PLATINUM blonde.

      3 years ago
    • About the legal system: Jury trials aren’t as common in some other parts of the world. For example: I live in the Netherlands and we don’t use jury trials, but just with judges. It differs from country to country I guess.

      OH AND THE SURFER DUDE IN HEIRS HE IS SO HORRIBLE IT’S HILARIOUS. But all the “foreigners” are mostly really just discount actors, really. right?

      3 years ago