Gathering the inevitable elements from k-dramas, I have compiled the following list.
The Truth? A love triangle is a MUST.
However, there are more sub-categories under love triangles.
Two men - One woman = In this type of love triangles, all the guys are good-looking, professional, and wealthy. The girl is poor but EXTREMELY pretty and innocent. Under no circumstances can the drama lack the girl nor can the guy be sub-perfect.
Two girls - One man = Once again, the man is a rich heir to a massive fortune and/or company. At the very least, he is the Vice President of his father’s company; always dresses in crisp suits, knows business-smarts, and is of course- handsome. Likewise, the girl is just as beautiful but POOR and innocent. The Other Girl who is about the same level as the Guy is pretty but evil and/or psychotic. For the guy, the Girl is always sacrificing herself. In the long line of K-Drama history, the Evil GIrl has never gotten the Guy.
Nowadays, the 2 Guys-2 Girl Love Quadri-angle is very popular, not to mention complex.
Conclusion. In the drama, the guy is always handsome, rich, AT LEAST the vice-president of a mega-conglomerate but ODDLY ENOUGH(?) he doesn’t know how to be anything but KIND and LOVING toward his polar opposite: The Pretty-Innocent Girl. In one word? The Kight In Shining Armor.
On the other hand, the Girl is always poor, but spunky and inevitably GORGEOUS with a HIGH SENSE OF indepenence and PRIDE. Even though The Girl gets the Man (in the long history of k-dramas, this is EQUIVALENT TO THE BIG BANG THEORY), she always gets screwed by the Other-Pretty-But-Evil Girl in the middle.
There CANNOT be a marriage WITHOUT the interference/fierce opposition of the family.
Whether it is class differences, family problems, the marriage cannot come without a big bang in between. NOTE: The parent’s opposition never lasts forever. In the end (usually 1~2 episodes before the End), they are suddenly all loving and grandmotherly without the prior b!tchiness displayed through Episodes 1~6. A story that’s been more stretched out than turkey meat.
The rich family is the one that protests the wedding, the parents threaten to cut off all ties with their child and/or remove them from the family register.
In the end, they say OK.
3. The Man’s Profession
In popular dramas, there are no middle-level management employees, no salesman, no KFC manager, and Definitly no pizza delivery guy. Their fathers are always the CEO of a huge company, and the Male Character himself is AT THE VERY LEAST Managing Director / Market Director. He is UBER-talented in his field. I wonder how many % of the world’s male population fit the aforementioned qualifications. In addition, MOST of these GUYS ARE ALSO Awesome FIGHTERS.
Rich. Good-looking. Intelligent. Prestigious Family Background. Skilled. HAS COMPLETED COLLEGE AND/OR MBA ABROAD (99% IN AMERICA).
Dresses like a Model. Kind. Warm. Pure-hearted. Perfect Gentleman. CLEAN. Plays at least ONE Musical Instrument. Good at SPORTS.
LASTLY, although the origins are unknown, they ARE HELLA GOOD FIGHTERS.
4. Girl’s Profession/Job
In this situation, it’s not absolute, but MOST OF THEM work at the Guy’s company and/or closely affiliated fields. Of course, the Guy ignores his seniority over the Girl and helps her out like a . And although most of the Girls have a high sense of independence AND do everything there is, they rarely get any recognition for their hard work. To put it more specifically, the Woman’s CLIMBING/OVERCOME OF SOCIAL OBSTACLES are not very important- at least not enough to focus on.
5. The Republic of Korea FIts In Buddha’s Palm?!
There are dozens of parks in Seoul (The 3rd most populated city in the WORLD). What is the likelihood of two people WITH DAY JOBS spotting each other like that? But against LOGIC and PROBABILITY, One of the Main Character always sees the other person WITH THE EVIL CHARACTER EVERYONE LOVES TO HATE. (In girl’s case, they usually roll their huge-ass eyes with double-lids).
6. The extent of lovers’ touching BEFORE & AFTER the conflict is resolved
While dating, it is ALWAYS a hug. After their conflict gets resolved, ALWAYS a KISS. There can be no IN-BETWEEN. In the earlier stages of their relationsihp, they are always hugging (no more, no less), but when the obstacle (whether its the EVIL 3rd Party and/or Evil-Crazy Parents), they start kissing EVEN THOUGH NO ONE TOLD THEM TO. Can’t they kiss BEFORE and hug AFTER?
7. Cancer & Car Accidents
The main character ALWAYS dies of cancer. And they usually don’t recover. When the character gets cancer diagnosis, they usally think “that’s it, my life is over.” Especially when its the Girl, it’s 99% likely cancer. It can’t be a freak accident- no sticking a finger into the toaster, no falling off the cliff, no struck by lightning- it’s GOTTA BE CANCER. And in the final stages, they HAVE to go on a JOURNEY.
They ignore little, unimportant details such as : CHEMOTHERAPY, MEDICATION, TRIAL THERAPIES, MODERN MEDICINAL CARE IN GENERAL.
Without trying, they usually end up dead.
Although the MAIN CHARACTERS usually die of Cancer, most of the RELATED characters die of car accidents.
8. THE RICH CHARACTER’s HOUSE IS ALWAYS 2-STORY HIGH
The Wealthy person has to live in a 2-story house. They can either live at a HUMONGOUS apartment like Tower Pellis (The Formerly Most Expensive APT in Korea, now its Hyundai I-Park ) Although the character can live by themselves, their family always has two stories. IT CANNOT BE 3 STORIES HIGH, ONLY 2. And even though its a huge-ass house, they never have a A/C machine (The Korean type that’s shaped like a refrigerator) in the middle of summer. From the viewer’s perspective, the kitchen is always to our left and the master bedroom is always to the right. The stairways is at the middle and the front door is to the right, as well.
AND THE RICHER THEY ARE, THE LESS LIKELY ARE THEY TO HAVE TELEVISIONS.
Although home theatres are the rage nowadays, it seems that the rich people don’t follow that trend. On the other hand, the Girl’s family usually resides in the GHETTO with long, winding roads with doors that have chipped paint.
9. The Must-Have: Slapping
For as long as I have lived, I have never BEEN slapped nor have I slapped as I have seen in k-dramas. In fact, I’ve never seen other people do, either. When the main character’s pissed: SLAP. Unsatisfied? Slap. Fighting? Slap. Seeking revenge? Slap. [insert random emotion]? Slap.
As I watch k-dramas, I wonder if of Korean culture lies within the Art of Slapping. Whatever the problem is, a good-ole slap can solve it. Currently, the REALISM of the slapping fascinates me. They hit hard.
10. The Chauffeur’s NAME IS ALWAYS “KIM”???
It’s true that Kim is the most common Last Name in South Korea, but MOST, if not ALL drivers in the drama are named Kim. Can’t there be a Driver Park? Driver Choi? Driver Cha? Driver Bang? Driver Lee? Driver Lim?! There are countless surnames, yet the driver must be “Driver Kim” or else. Do many Kims work in the field?!
Note: I didn’t write this and the author is unknown…