The Darker Side of Korean Drama Industry

Are you a fan of Korean dramas? Read this article/opinion on Donga.com. It’s an “eye-opener”. I specially love this part:

“Korean dramas love secrets of one’s birth, affairs, losing one’s memory, a good girl winning against a bad girl, Cinderella-like characters, incurable diseases, and conflicts between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. Without these seven topics, they are left with nothing.”

I still watch Korean dramas, but I don’t watch every drama shown on TV. I’ve become more discriminating and historical dramas are my current favorites. I don’t like watching the same stories with different actors over and over again.

My husband said that screenwriters in Korea are paid almost as much as the actors in a drama. I wish the writers of my favorite US dramas enjoy the same. They deserve it.

6 thoughts on “The Darker Side of Korean Drama Industry

  • January 14, 2008 at 12:06 am
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    It is sad to hear that there is such unorganization in the Korean drama industry. I never knew they were so callous to not only themselves, but those people and places that allow them to use their locations as sets.

    However, I disagree withwhat the author says about US dramas. US cartoon shows are less predictable than US dramas, not that US cartoon shows are unpredictable in the least, mind you.

    In that entire paragraph, IMO, the author overanalyzes. The rest of the article was shocking and had merit, but let’s face it, the more X you make, the more good AND bad you make of it. To demonstrate an example, look at Bollywood films. Most of them are God-awful, but there are diamonds in the rough. Same thing with Korean dramas, and US dramas are not exempt from this rule either.

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  • January 17, 2008 at 1:57 pm
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    i still am a fan of korean dramas and movies, but i didnt know that they are having problems like these. but still, am glad that the end still turn out good and people still enjoy them.

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  • November 3, 2008 at 9:19 pm
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    I dont mind how they make these dramas but for me they are entertaining though time consuming. And I hope they are there to stay. Looking forward to new dramas always.

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  • January 15, 2009 at 10:43 am
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    hi! i just finished watching ‘the world they live in’ or ‘world’s within’ starring song hye kyo and hyun bin. i found it very interesting the koreans film their drama series and their obsession with the ratings(very much the same here in the philippines. however , i noted that they practice a lot of dubious and unfair labor practices in the process of filming. they film or tape without breaks(for lunch or dinner, in the wee hours of the morning, no time for rests, they work straight for 20-22 hours just to get an episode done and in time for broadcast etc. etc. i know for a fact that labor unions are quite strong in korea and these practices as depicted in the drama are prime examples of unfair labor practices. of course, these are also done here in the philippines where they make lamay but they do get breaks for lunch, dinner or toilet. in’ worlds within’, one staffer even used adult diapers because it was difficult to find a toilet or they can’t afford to have a break while filming or shooting. yoo jin kim of ‘lost’ once said that filming or taping a film or drama in korea employs a lot of guerrilla tactics and have not reached holywood professional level yet.compare it with u.s. tv series i.e. ‘er’ or ‘house’ or grey’s anatomy, done episodes in november are for airing in february. of course, budget and time constraints are not the same. however, we wish they would not employ or limit these practices as they show a toll on quality of our kdramas or filipino teleseries, we see a lot of tired and haggard faces as the series progresses on.

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  • December 30, 2009 at 3:48 pm
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    I heard this things but i have not confirm about this but still i like watch the Korean drama.

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  • August 28, 2011 at 11:52 pm
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    hi ms betchay…am looking for the article you wrote about several KD that have reached a status that put the KD craze on the map..can’t find it though and still searching. just this week, we saw an article wherein a female protagonist in a current drama walked out of filiming in protest to the unfair practices. the comment that tiredness shows on the actors faces and accidents that occur during filming attests to this. hope that the industry will look into this as this may hurt both the business and the reputation hallyu is now enjoying.

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