Ever since we got exposed to Korean dramas, our perspective towards love and relationships changed, Single imagine a fairytale love story, while married couples crave for a relationship that has more passion and power.
The handsome or pretty and flawless faces have given us an unreal image of lover. Without realising that the reality can be very different, we want to believe in what we see on screen. The K-drama lovers no0 longer seek men or women who have rugged faetures or attractive dusky Indian faces but they look for smooth skinned, pink lipped men who have a feminine touch to them.
What i felt when i watched these K-dramas was that the outer appearance really matter for them. The way they dress, the way the look, etc.
Well Korea is not all perfect and fairytale as shown in kdramas. Like any country, Korea has its own complexities and challenges that aren't always potrayed in those shows. For eg:
the work culture as they have to work for long hours high academic pressure is common in Korea.
real life social issues like mental health, inequality, etc
kdrams only depicts the urban life and doesn't show the diversity between urabn and rural araes in terms of lifestyle, opportunities.
it doesn't show the racism that exists in the daily life of in individaul living in Korea
So here are some kdrams that depicts the real life in Korea and struggles of an individual living in Korea:
1. Fight For My Way
Unlike the usual stories of a neoliberal rich boy who meets a poor girl, the 2017 drama Fight for My Way tells the tale of four young people considered to be living ‘third-rate lives’ struggling to make their way up the competitive South Korean job market.
This drama is not your average teenage or high-school story. Though it portrays exaggerated dark themes, the drama also sheds light on some contentious South Korean issues plaguing the teens. Extracurricular depicts teen crimes, bullying and Asian academic pressure. Bullying and academic pressures are two issues that are rampant in South Korean high schools. Unlike in other countries where bullying is often brushed off as childish fights, South Korean society, even the adult world, takes it quite seriously. There have been several instances where popular K-drama actors like Kim Ji-soo had their entire careers destroyed due to high-school bullying allegations.
On the heels of Extracurricular, is Sky Castle, which also depicts the academic pressure in South Korean society on students. And like Extracurricular, it is a bit exaggerated. In the critically acclaimed drama, a group of rich housewives belonging to the Sky Castle community does everything to ensure their children get into the prestigious Seoul National University. It means that those from middle or poorer backgrounds lose out on the spots despite their qualifications and merit. In 2019, then-President Moon Jae-in’s office was rocked by his Justice Minister’s scandal of falsifying his daughter’s merits to get her into a prestigious university.
The 2018 South Korean drama tells the story of police officers, no not the detective, gang-busting rung of officers, but those doing the menial tasks at district offices. The characters' road to being a police officer is also not of an extraordinary tale, but that of a normal real-life struggle we are familiar with - unable to get a place in the competitive labour market in the private sector.
5. WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS
This K-drama talks about single unwed mothers, the perception of the society of such women and the discrimination. The protagonist Oh Dong-baek, an unwed mother of a little boy, moves into a quiet neighbourhood and starts a bar and restaurant business. The neighbourhood doesn’t take too kindly to her presence. The ajhummas (middle-aged and old aunties) accuse her of being a homewrecker, and the men in the neighbourhood make unwanted advances towards her. The drama also shows how the discrimination based on the society's perception also has an impact on Miss Oh's business and livelihood.