October 22, 2015
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.
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!
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.
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!