The Good, The Bad, The Weird of Kdrama

Discuss Korean drama series here.
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Orion1986
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Post by Orion1986 » Nov 12th, '11, 00:31

It is interesting, no doubt. ^^

Maybe it's one of those things that people are so used to that they don't think of alternatives, unless there is really a big issue with them. Like, basic gloves they use. Cheap and common.

It does make sense to get the best gloves for the job, but if they work well for people and they are inexpensive, there would also be those who don't want 10 different pairs around for all types of work.

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Post by Silverman » Nov 21st, '11, 11:20

I think its funny, that especially in kdramas the women who have sex behave like they sacrifice something for the men (its one thing for the virgins, but nonvirgins- behavior is exactly the same). In my experience the women are just as hor*y as men (if not more). So what the heck is with the whole: "I'll sleep with you, so you don't leave me"-thing? Every time i watch such things I feel so dirty for being a man. I mean in almost all the dramas except the more realistic ones, the men are portrait as sexhungry animals and women are victims.

To my thesis with the gloves, that the koreans (IN DRAMAS) are using them for just everything i can add a few examples: to hammer a nail!(come on i never saw anyone in real life to put on gloves for such task). To put the wallpaper on the wall or paint the wall (you don't use knitted gloves for such tasks, because the glue or paint)...but thats just an example and doesn't need further elaboration on this topic.

I know i posted it in some other topic, but whats with the ajuma-hairstyle? I mean yes here in europe we have also such hairstyles, but they are used only by women over 70..In kdramas they are used buy women over 30.

Has somebody checked the TVs out, which are shown in kdramas (well perhaps im the only person in the world, who checks such things out)? In over 50% of the dramas, they are all from the same manufacturer. I think its "Changdong". Does anybody know if its a korean brand?

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Post by arakira » Nov 21st, '11, 11:36

LOL I always wondered about those gloves, too. Not just about them being always the same but also them being used for the smallest tasks, as you mentioned. Even for like carrying one plastic box or for putting up an ikea shelf ;) Was wondering if it's like a sign, look I'm doing some manual labour... or if korean hands are especially delicate, male and female alike?!

Oh and about the sex thing...Silverman don't worry, I also feel 'dirty' sometimes because it makes me feel like a slut. Being a European woman who's used to just enjoy sex for what it is - sometimes kdrama stereotypes really make me feel like I'm acting improper and living my life without morals cause sex does not at all imply love or marriage for me :mrgreen: And then, I wonder...is Korean society really mostly still like that or is it just broadcasters' code of ethics and way to promote oldfashioned role models??

Didn't notice about the tellys though...will look for them

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Post by Silverman » Nov 21st, '11, 12:32

Most of these Changdong-TVs(not all) have a blue ring on bottom part of the TV, just a small distance from the screen away. So its kinda a trademark for them. 1 year ago i bought such a Changdong-TV and at first i thught, that it was just a coincidence, that my TV and these korean TVs have this blue/red ring, but then i saw in a few dramas the "not connected"-savescreen and its also the same, and then in one drama they didn't cover the brandname and there i was sure that its was this manufacturer.
arakira wrote: Oh and about the sex thing...Silverman don't worry, I also feel 'dirty' sometimes because it makes me feel like a slut. Being a European woman who's used to just enjoy sex for what it is - sometimes kdrama stereotypes really make me feel like I'm acting improper and living my life without morals cause sex does not at all imply love or marriage for me :mrgreen: And then, I wonder...is Korean society really mostly still like that or is it just broadcasters' code of ethics and way to promote oldfashioned role models??
This point is so exaggerated in korean and in american(!) dramas. In koreans and americans point of view is Europe just one country and all the women and men alike are naked in the daily life and have sex all the time and everybody has sex with just everything, that can walk and talk.
Ok in the department of geographical ignorance are the Koreans even more ridiculous than the americans. Americans, even if they don't know, that Europe is a continent/subcontinent, which consists of over 50 countries, they know the difference between Australia, Asia aso. For koreans its: Korea (s+n), perhaps Japan and other asian countries, which are directly behind koreas border and then "foreigners"/foreign countries and all of them are clones of the US.
Last edited by Silverman on Nov 30th, '11, 23:54, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Issy » Nov 21st, '11, 12:39

Silverman wrote:Has somebody checked the TVs out, which are shown in kdramas (well perhaps im the only person in the world, who checks such things out)? In over 50% of the dramas, they are all from the same manufacturer. I think its "Changdong". Does anybody know if its a korean brand?
you are not the only one. I am a gadget freak who always checks out all gadgets in dramas...I have noticed the tv brand in City Hunter were all Samsung Smart tvs. and most of recent of mobiles in recent kdramas are all Samsung Galaxy SII.
it was funny when I saw a docking station for Galaxy tablets that is a keyboard at the same time. I was very impressed and was looking for those in our stores here. :mrgreen:
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Post by Silverman » Nov 21st, '11, 13:00

Yes there are also a lot of Samsunggadgets. Especially phones. The Samsung TVs are also easy to spot, because they have these trademarkremotes (at least the recent ones)

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Post by Sakari » Nov 21st, '11, 14:26

Earlier, posters were wondering about KDrama characters sitting, eating and sleeping on the floor. I would think it has to do with the floors being warm - the traditional Korean heating system, ondol, is an underfloor one. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ondol

Obeying your parents, worshipping your ancestors, etc. are part of of the Confucian tradition in Korea. Sometimes they bring out a warm feeling of love and closeness. On the other hand, if family is the most important thing in life, what do you do if you're an orphan? And quite often a KDrama character's only ambition is revenge for a parent's death - too often, I sometimes think.

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Post by Silverman » Nov 21st, '11, 17:15

The name of the TVcompany is "Changhong" not Changdong like i wrote before.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 1st, '11, 00:02

I want to keep this thread alive^^.
Was it mentioned somewhere, that all the men cover their nipples? Before i watched kdramas i never imagined, that somewhere on earth men cover their nipples if there is a female. They also try to cover their boxer shorts. Imo its more awkward if a man tries to cover shorts and nipples, than if he just stands there. It cant be s TV-thing, since they show these things before and after the girl leaves the room.

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Post by SpankThatAss » Dec 1st, '11, 00:34

I vividly remember boxer shorts action in Smile, You. It was probably the funniest scene in the drama, where Lee Min Jung was passed out drunk in his bed and he was all over her trying to take her top off because she vomited on it and then all the parents walked in with the wrong impression. *forcefully inhales* I think I missed a comma somewhere.
Last edited by SpankThatAss on Dec 1st, '11, 01:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 1st, '11, 01:05

What i wanted to say was, that yes they show shorts and male nipples in kdramas, but in a lot of dramas the characters try to cover their shorts or/and nipples, if a female character comes in. But they show them before the female character enters and after she leaves. So we can be sure, that its not a censoring-thng.

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Post by Jav_sol » Dec 1st, '11, 01:22

Silverman wrote:What i wanted to say was, that yes they show shorts and male nipples in kdramas, but in a lot of dramas the characters try to cover their shorts or/and nipples, if a female character comes in. But they show them before the female character enters and after she leaves. So we can be sure, that its not a censoring-thng.
I think it depends on the situation. How familiar one character is with another. I mean, if you aren't close with someone, you aren't exactly going to be comfortable taking off your shirt in front of them. Unless you're at the beach or something.

In any case, there are way too many men taking off their shirts in K-dramas :x We need more girls in lingerie. :D

For example,
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Post by SpankThatAss » Dec 1st, '11, 02:53

Speaking of that sexy girl in lingerie and things we need to see more of, we need to see more REAL kissing scenes with a little tongue action like the one she did in Goong.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 1st, '11, 08:39

Vote for Mike He as tutor for kiss-scenes in korean dramas

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Post by Silverman » Dec 2nd, '11, 15:29

Does anybody know whats with koreans and dance instructors? In almost all kdramas, where they show dance teachers (for tango, samba a.s.o.), they also suggest, that its shameful and on the same level as gigolos. I just don't understand, why should be dancing shameful?

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Post by arakira » Dec 2nd, '11, 20:25

Jav_sol wrote: In any case, there are way too many men taking off their shirts in K-dramas :x We need more girls in lingerie. :D

For example,
Image
Haha yeah, I agree with you...the amount of naked skin is kinda unbalanced. Reason more to like kdrama for me...it's exactly the other way around here...we only get to see tits but hardly any abs :P

@silverman...they're not?? Isn't it the same in Western drama and movies?

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Post by Sham26 » Dec 2nd, '11, 21:12

Well lately, I just see micro skirts and shorts everywhere! :scratch:
Last edited by Sham26 on Dec 5th, '11, 22:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Silverman » Dec 2nd, '11, 21:24

Its not the same in the western movies. I never watched a western movie, where danceteachers have a shameful reputation.
In Powerful Opponents for example, they say thats almost the same as a gigolo. In Bad family the grandfather, who is a dance instructor, is a (wannabe)-playboy. In other dramas, where one of the supportcharacters is a dancer/dance-teacher, they try to cover this up. There are exceptions and i don't say thats the common case, that danceteachers don't have a positive reputation. Perhaps its just coexistence, that i watched dramas, where these people have such a reputation. Thats why i'm asking^^, if somebody knows, if its true or just a thing in few dramas. And just to make clear, i don't want to say that dancer=gigolo, i wanted to ask why in some korean dramas they have the same reputation.

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Post by Sakari » Dec 4th, '11, 09:25

One thing that always puzzles me in KDramas is medical insurance, or, rather, the lack of it.

South Korea clearly belongs to the world's developed countries, and I think one of the hallmarks, so to say, of a developed country is a medical insurance system. Yet, one of the KDrama staples is a character faced with an enormous hospital bill for an operation or simply medical care that is needed by a family member. This is precisely the problem that a medical insurance system is supposed to solve.

Various alternatives come to mind:

1) South Korea does not have a medical insurance system.

2) South Korea has a medical insurance system, but it does not really work.

3) South Korea has a medical insurance system and it really works, but writers of KDramas are so fond of the hospital-bill plot device that they keep on using it regardless.

Which is correct? Or is none?

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Post by Silverman » Dec 4th, '11, 10:18

They have medical insurance. But, at least in dramas, not everybody has one. Even if they have one, then these insurances just pay a certain amount of money. So if a cancer treatment costs 100k(yea i know in reality probably more), then the insurance pays 20k and the rest has the patient to pay.

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Post by Sakari » Dec 4th, '11, 12:45

Silverman wrote:They have medical insurance. But, at least in dramas, not everybody has one. Even if they have one, then these insurances just pay a certain amount of money. So if a cancer treatment costs 100k(yea i know in reality probably more), then the insurance pays 20k and the rest has the patient to pay.
That looks like my alternative 2) - the insurance does not really work. For me, a working medical insurance system is one where the patient pays very little and the bulk is covered by the insurance.

So, is South Korea really a "developed" country? On the Human Development Index of the United Nations, South Korea does rank as #15, ahead of Denmark (#16), say. But this HDI does not depend on a country's medical insurance system, if any.

Perhaps South Korea's rank on the so-called Inequality-Adjusted HDI is a better indicator: #28, way behind Denmark at #8. Indeed, it is a sign of inequality if there is a treatment for a disease or ailment, but only the rich can afford it.

(For the indices, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index)

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Post by arakira » Dec 4th, '11, 13:26

@Sakari,
HDI and IHDI say only very little about a country's health insurance system. Since both do not take those factors into direct account. It's life expectancy, schooling and gross national product. The IHDI does not change the indicators or meassuring but takes inequality as a mathematical factor (google Atkinson index and IHDI if you want the formula).

Secondly as far as I am aware there is a pretty decent health insurance system in korea...which is pretty cheap for the individual compared to europe (you pay about 6% of your income of which 50% is paid by the employer, if you're employed and there's medical aid service for those who're not able to pay the premium...
the other side of the coin is that certain diseases, especially chronic ones like cancer are a special case. They require so-called eligible treatments and those are not covered by the basic health insurance (though there's special insurance for those treatments - so it's not like only the top 10% can afford it but it IS hard for those with low income who can't afford another insurance...which is the very poor)

I guess if I had to choose by your numbers I'd take 3 and a bit of 2 ;) since there's cases where patients can't afford the best treatment, yet basic health care seems to work...

And just one last remark...health care systems differ a lot in the OECD...look at America or South America where there's huge problems about getting proper health care to all sections of the population . . .

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Post by Sakari » Dec 4th, '11, 13:52

Another medical queerness in KDramas... If it's a hospital drama where the characters are doctors and such, usually they are extremely gifted. The lead character has been schooled in the US, and is so talented that world-class American hospitals would be happy to secure her or his services.

If it's not a hospital drama and a character is sick, then no Korean hospital and no Korean doctor is good enough. The character must get treated in the US.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 4th, '11, 18:27

Well, US rules in both occasions. In the former, it's the land of best schooling which creates geniuses (sucking up to them). In the latter, it's a promise land that cures all (sucking up to them).

Just like how characters go there and become awesome and rich, learn perfect English and generally become so much better than everyone else, as the US is a cradle of education and equality. :P

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Post by Silverman » Dec 4th, '11, 19:07

But that thing with the US is not a kdrama-invention. In a lot of occupations its almost a must to study, at least some time, in the US. For example in science, if you have studied half a year or one year in the US, then it counts almost more than a PhD in the CV.

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Post by Sakari » Dec 5th, '11, 19:35

Orion1986 wrote:Well, US rules in both occasions. In the former, it's the land of best schooling which creates geniuses (sucking up to them). In the latter, it's a promise land that cures all (sucking up to them).
But why should KDramas suck up to the US? I understand anti-US sentiments are, and have been, rather widespread in South Korea. Like, did not thousands of people take to the streets a few years ago, on the occasion of the mad-cow scare? It was about beef from the US, wasn't it?

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Post by Neliets » Dec 5th, '11, 19:50

Sakari wrote:
Orion1986 wrote:Well, US rules in both occasions. In the former, it's the land of best schooling which creates geniuses (sucking up to them). In the latter, it's a promise land that cures all (sucking up to them).
But why should KDramas suck up to the US? I understand anti-US sentiments are, and have been, rather widespread in South Korea. Like, did not thousands of people take to the streets a few years ago, on the occasion of the mad-cow scare? It was about beef from the US, wasn't it?
I want to correct what Orion said. Not sucking up to US but Korean(mostly youth) thinks that US is something great, something that should be looked up on. It's also seen in kpop. And that's why there is such a big desire for Koreans to learn English.


Sakari, and I live in Latvia(it's in Europe) and we have no Health Insurance what so ever(you can buy one if you like, though). So I think mandatory Health Insurance's existence is good enough.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 5th, '11, 21:01

Why do the Koreans seem to be obsessed with the IQ? And is it in their schools the IQ-test mandatory? IMO IQ-numbers are so pointless. OK in my younger days i had to take one (it was a requirement to go to a private school), but is it really necessary in a public school? The only other purpose of IQ I know of, is for a membership in mensa...but thats it. So why in the world are these numbers so important to so many koreans (at least it seems to be in dramas and variety shows?

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 5th, '11, 21:10

Because people believe in numbers. If some company sells 8 millions of its products it is thought to be a good company, if a shirt costs 300$ it is thought to be a good shirt. The higher the number the higher the appreciation.
The fact it's all blown up like a bubblegum on hype doesn't count.

It's all about the numerology, actually. People believe and trust numbers.
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Post by Issy » Dec 5th, '11, 22:04

OK this is my observation from watching kdramas. Fashion!
apart from the fact that most of cloths worn by actors/actresses are disaster. whenever there is a "Pretty Woman" scene of shopping for clothes, after trying best of cloths, they end up buying the most horrible ones.
and somehow I am a bit confused with the way young girls dress up in Korea. when it comes to top part, they dress very conservatively yet at the same time they wear shortest skirt/dress/shorts that I don't even see it here. I just keep wondering how do they manage to sit comfortably and decently. :whistling:
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Post by Silverman » Dec 5th, '11, 22:51

Hell a lot of younger girls don't think about it^^. I saw a lot of times girls in shopping malls with a skirt, where i wasn't sure if its a skirt or a belt. The thing is, that in shopping malls there are escalators...the rest i don't want to describe.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 5th, '11, 23:41

It's like ascending to Heaven? :P

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Post by Neliets » Dec 6th, '11, 05:12

Issy wrote:OK this is my observation from watching kdramas. Fashion!
apart from the fact that most of cloths worn by actors/actresses are disaster. whenever there is a "Pretty Woman" scene of shopping for clothes, after trying best of cloths, they end up buying the most horrible ones.
and somehow I am a bit confused with the way young girls dress up in Korea. when it comes to top part, they dress very conservatively yet at the same time they wear shortest skirt/dress/shorts that I don't even see it here. I just keep wondering how do they manage to sit comfortably and decently. :whistling:
That's really not in kdramas alone. It's more like Korean culture. In Korean culture it's not nice to show shoulders with everyday clothes but it's allowed to show legs. As much as you like.

I just woke up so my text may not make a lot of sense.

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Post by TofuQueen » Dec 6th, '11, 05:48

What about the shoes?!? Kdrama girls/women always seem to wear SUPER high heels, surely such high heels aren't as prevalent in real life, right? :crazy:

I know that height is a big deal in Korea, being tall is good, high heels are "sexy" etc., but I feel sorry for the actresses' feet. :pale:

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 6th, '11, 10:57

The minute the camera stops, it's back to comfy shoes for them. But yes, it's unrealistic to show women running around in high heels.
Secretaries, businesswomen and generally those who do walk a lot. For a special outing, yes. Fancy heels are nice. But not every day.

But series sell clothes and shoes. It's the reason for the high heels and the reason for actors freezing in winter because they dress them in spring clothes to sell the spring collections.
So you see the crew running to cover them with proper jackets when the "cut" comes. Not to mention any poor character has designer clothes, shoes and cellphones. It ruins immersion.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 6th, '11, 11:56

The funnies thing about high heels i saw in a kdrama, was in Bad Family. The 4 leads played a basketball game and the second female lead had the whole time high heels on. I'm telling you, after the cut, she had to put her feet in casts^^.

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 6th, '11, 12:17

One of my sister's teacher, a petite woman, said if they made slippers on heels, she would use them as well. She was always wearing high heels and said she had troubles wearing flat shoes. So, from my own experience, I can say that heels give woman some kind of boost and confidence, therefore some ladies risk everything (their back and hips) just to feel gorgeous wearing them.
And no, I walk like a duck while wearing heels. Although I'd love to have some nice pair and walk comfortably in them. Eh, on of my never-achieved goals...
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Post by Silverman » Dec 6th, '11, 13:50

i tried to walk just for fun in high heels and after 2 steps i almost broke my legs.

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Post by Neliets » Dec 6th, '11, 15:01

Ladies, but you know what? Guys love heels. Maybe not really high but decent height heels.

But what I am really not satisfied with is the fact that like 90% of Koreans drive cars with automatic gearbox(and 99,99% of kdrama(seen only 1 drama with manual car and the car was shown briefly). I hate automatic gearbox myself, manual is the way to go but I can't understand why everyone uses them...

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 6th, '11, 15:10

Guys should try to walk on heels, believe me, no one would want to repeat that experience. Except for Heechul and Geunseok.

Automatic is easier, manual requires some skills. That's the answer.
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Post by Sakari » Dec 6th, '11, 15:38

Neliets wrote:
But what I am really not satisfied with is the fact that like 90% of Koreans drive cars with automatic gearbox(and 99,99% of kdrama(seen only 1 drama with manual car and the car was shown briefly).
Well, if we go into cars (a vast subject), then I have never noticed a KDrama character flicking the turn indicator stalk when taking a turn, but I don't think this means that the turn signals are automatic. It just means that the mechanics of driving a car are usually of no importance to the drama. And the character does not really drive a car. In the usual method of filming in-moving-car scenes the car would be sitting on a trailer that is towed by a truck.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 6th, '11, 15:45

And then there's the changing lanes issue. They always do that in kdrama. When the car scene is over and we want to do the transition, you see the actor driving and the car changes lanes.
I realize they do it to advance the scene somehow, but it just looks ridiculous. Can't the scene end before it? Or after it? Why do they show the actor bypass the camera van? Quite a lot too.

And indeed, many errors with cars in series. Like the character wanting to turn and look at the person sitting next to them, but making it last way too long.
To make the scene romantic or intense, they just stare for the longest time, despite supposedly driving in traffic. It makes such scenes very unrealistic.

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Post by TofuQueen » Dec 6th, '11, 17:46

Ethlenn wrote:One of my sister's teacher, a petite woman, said if they made slippers on heels, she would use them as well. She was always wearing high heels and said she had troubles wearing flat shoes.
I have heard that wearing heels constantly can lead to the Achilles tendon shortening so that wearing flats is uncomfortable. I used to wear moderate heels pretty often, but now they hurt my feet after an hour or less. (And if I wore heels like I've seen in Kdramas, I'd be well over six feet tall.)

I'm totally ignorant about designers, brand names, etc. so that doesn't really bother me (doesn't even register) but the high heel shoes just kill me. :crazy:

And the driving! Sometimes I just can't help yelling "WATCH THE ROAD, FOOL!!" when someone who's supposed to be driving has his/her eyes on the passenger instead of the road. :goggle:

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Post by Silverman » Dec 6th, '11, 18:05

While we are at the topic clothes. Is it me or are almost all wedding dresses the main leads wear, super ugly and in most cases simply don't suit the actress. Especially the hair accessory is horrible.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 7th, '11, 00:41

Sry for doublepost^^.

I know, that Koreans are proud, that their country, is the country of courtesy. So they have a rather wide and strict class-system. Especially in their language. There are honorifics. And honorifics are dropped(as far as i know), if the people are confortable with each other. In many dramas the couple doesn't drop honorifics, even after the spent the night together...cmon how much more intimate and comfortable can you get?

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Post by arakira » Dec 7th, '11, 01:28

Silverman wrote:Sry for doublepost^^.

I know, that Koreans are proud, that their country, is the country of courtesy. So they have a rather wide and strict class-system. Especially in their language. There are honorifics. And honorifics are dropped(as far as i know), if the people are confortable with each other. In many dramas the couple doesn't drop honorifics, even after the spent the night together...cmon how much more intimate and comfortable can you get?
honorifics don't only show distance but also respect and being very close can be a reason to drop honorifics but it's not a must...honorifics are just normal and dropping them with a person outside your family must feel pretty strange at least. I have more experience with Japanese than with Koreans but I know couples who are even married and still address eachother with some form of honorifics.
LOL and btw, I think sex is by no means an indicator of being comfortable and intimate :P

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 7th, '11, 04:11

I do mind it when they try to sell the "deep love" card though. If two people aren't even comfortable and relaxed enough together not call each other's name, then I don't see them as a proper couple.
If one element of closeness is missing, to me, they are not two people who are in love. Closeness as a lover requires sex, romance, intimacy or at least love and intimacy if we're talking later on then.
Intimacy requires being comfortable with a person. Accepting them as people, understanding them and loving them. If those aren't there, it's an affair based on sex or necessity. Not exactly romance.

If a couple doesn't have intimacy, I see an affair and a sexual relationship, not proper love and understanding of each other. Just like how I don't see them as a couple when they "looove" each other without having had sex, which is a must to be sure you like ALL of a person.
So, I am fine with honorifics up to a point, or maybe in older couples and let's not forget many married out of convenience or others' decisions back then, so intimacy is not a given in such couples which are more like a business relationship than a proper one with love and all.

But when in a kdrama they show young modern people having a modern romance with supposedly love and intimacy and understanding, I expect them to kiss normally, call each other's name and have sex.
Seeing as it's Korean television, I am a bit forgiving about the sex most times, as long as they do seem like they actually want to do it and will do it and don't act offended when it comes to mind or a conversation.
But I doubt regular young people call each other "mister", "miss", "sir", "ma'am" etc when they're in a healthy normal relationship. Not a casual one, cause those do exist as well. But a proper "love" relationship.

At least that's how I see it. I am wary of such things in kdrama, because I do not know how much of it is accurate in describing the real younger society and how much is committee crap. Plus, those halt the romance for me.

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Post by Sakari » Dec 7th, '11, 08:11

Orion1986 wrote: So, I am fine with honorifics up to a point, or maybe in older couples and let's not forget many married out of convenience or others' decisions back then, so intimacy is not a given in such couples which are more like a business relationship than a proper one with love and all.
....................
But I doubt regular young people call each other "mister", "miss", "sir", "ma'am" etc when they're in a healthy normal relationship. Not a casual one, cause those do exist as well. But a proper "love" relationship.
What people call each other in Korean takes some getting used to. Age is supremely important. You must never ever call an older person by (first) name. Brothers and sisters are as close as you can get, right? Still, a younger sibling can never call an older one by name. So, it's noona/hyung/oppa/unni.

Even in a "healthy normal relationship" between two people, one is older than the other. Now, the older person can call the younger one by first name, no problem. The other way round, there sure is a problem. If the two are married, yobo might be used. Also, if a couple has children, then oldest-child's-name-father/mother is an alternative.

For an unmarried couple's younger member, the problem is rather severe. And I think there is always a point in a KDrama romance where the couple tries explicitly to solve it - meaning, there is a discussion about what the younger - most often, female - member shall call the older one - most often, male. I shall go out on a limb and declare that the solution never is simply the guy's first name, the way it would be in many - most? - other languages. Sometimes, the solution is ajosshi or some work-related title. Sometimes, it is the first name, but then, a sshi must be added. So it's not Chul-soo, it's Chul-soo-sshi.

This kind of thing is almost impossible to translate in subtitles, say. "Mr Chul-soo"? Not good enough.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 7th, '11, 09:27

arakira wrote: LOL and btw, I think sex is by no means an indicator of being comfortable and intimate :P
Yes, but in most dramas they are close to a marriage at that point. Hell, they talk about marriage after a kiss^^. I know this are drama-exaggerations.

To the point with honorifics. Objectively i know, that this is just a cultural thing. But for me its still very weird. In my country its more insulting, if you don't drop the honorifics with a person whom you are close to. SO for me its kinda hard to accept this point, even if i know, that its just a cultural thing.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 7th, '11, 10:00

It is a cultural thing, but I would think that after intimacy comes, the whole "proper way of addressing people" would go out the window, since most formalities are for public addressing.
I get being polite and proper for "the people's eyes", as we say in Greece, but in your own home, with the person you are intimate with and will be sharing "a life" together, I find it weird.

Same thing in Greece, to a degree. You call teachers, doctors, bosses using plural and someone clearly older than you is "miss" or "mister", until you get a bit familiar with them. It's politeness and formality.
But if you're having sex with someone, live with them or see them all the time, love and know them, friggin' break wind in their presence, I find it weird to go "Oops, I have gasses Chul Soo sshi". Ahaha. XD

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Post by Issy » Dec 7th, '11, 10:01

Just to add a point
honorific also used in our culture to show respect too like when I talk to my parents, elders or people I don't much I turn to plural terms... but also what is hard to get into in Kdramas is both side of relationship call each other with their complete name (surname-first name) even long after they know each other. It's just a bit weird on the ears.
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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 7th, '11, 10:33

It's a cultural thing, but the issue is that dramas show these "ideal" love, passion, lust, I ♥ you 4eva relationships, so the pecks and calling by full name the one you are madly in love with feel weird.

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Post by Sakari » Dec 7th, '11, 13:34

Sakari wrote: Age is supremely important. You must never ever call an older person by (first) name. Brothers and sisters are as close as you can get, right? Still, a younger sibling can never call an older one by name. So, it's noona/hyung/oppa/unni.

Even in a "healthy normal relationship" between two people, one is older than the other. Now, the older person can call the younger one by first name, no problem. The other way round, there sure is a problem.
ADDENDUM
There is a special case, that is, when two people are the same age (born in the same year.) In this case, both may use simple first names when addressing each other. This happens, say, between classmates at school, as being in the same class means being the same age. It's not that that the classmates are close; it's just that neither is older or younger. (I think this is why first names are used so often in WInter Sonata - the main characters are all classmates.)

Of course, there are people who look closer at times of birth. The twins in Glory of Family were born 15 minutes apart, but the younger one must forever call his older brother hyung.

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 7th, '11, 16:06

I don't see how this issue qualifies into this topic. It's a part of the language background and culture. Following the same logic one may ask why on paintings tiger accompanies Sanshin.

Personally I find honorifics useful and kind of guiding posts. I'd prefer be called nuna or name+sshi for entire life than "hey you!"
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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 7th, '11, 18:10

Preference and culture, but they are elements we see being played with a lot in kdrama (especially that poor "oppa") so I'd say they qualify. ;)
Last edited by Orion1986 on Dec 7th, '11, 19:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Sakari » Dec 7th, '11, 19:30

As the topic includes "Weird", I thought trying to explain something that is thought of as weird would qualify. Of course, if something weird is explained well enough, it stops being weird. Does this mean it is no longer on topic?

I did think people would like to have weird things explained, or would at least approve of someone trying to do so. I'm sorry if I have spoiled someone's fun.

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Post by arakira » Dec 7th, '11, 20:34

Ethlenn wrote:Personally I find honorifics useful and kind of guiding posts. I'd prefer be called nuna or name+sshi for entire life than "hey you!"
Well I think it's weird at first because people of non-Asian background don't know anything like honorifics. We sure do have polite forms of speech in most languages but hardly something that can be compared to the system of honorifics. And even the Japanese honorifics are a whole different story than the Korean ones.

I think it does qualify for the topic cause it is about things that seem strange for a foreign viewer...BUT I don't think it's something to be evaluated by western standards. So I think we can't demand that couples drop honorifics for our concepts of closeness or romantic situations. On the contrary I find it quite interesting to see how different characters in drama use honorifics in different ways. Feel like you can learn a lot about the Korean society just by ovserving those...
It took me a while to get used to it but by now I find them helpful, too. Cause the use of honorifics show relationships/age/title or even occupation of a person. (And I even feel offended myself if I talk to a Japanese person and they address me without honorifics even though I use them)

LOL and I find nothing weirder in subs than mistranslated honorifics, like somebody says unni and the subs say noona...I wish subbers would mostly just transcripe the honorifics.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 8th, '11, 01:16

BTW is there a general rule, at which point someone is called Ahjuma/Ahjusshi?
OK i know that its in general used for people, who are married and for older people. Also little kids call a 20y old guy/girl Ahjusshi/Ahjuma. But at which point (in general) women/men become Ahujumas/Ahjusshis? At first i thought, that its the same as in the western world the words for middleaged men/women. But we don't describe a 30 year old guy/woman as middleaged, but the Koreans (in dramas) often use it for 25+ year old people.

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Post by Jav_sol » Dec 8th, '11, 01:23

Orion1986 wrote:but I would think that after intimacy comes, the whole "proper way of addressing people" would go out the window, since most formalities are for public addressing.
My parents still use formal language with each other. As do all of my aunts & uncles with their spouses. The exception is when they speak English because English doesn't have formal and informal. So to me the use honorifics doesn't seem odd nor does it imply lack of intimacy.

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Post by Biozombie » Dec 8th, '11, 01:26

I always took it as a sign of respect for someone, anyone who is older than you.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 8th, '11, 01:44

Jav_sol wrote:
Orion1986 wrote:but I would think that after intimacy comes, the whole "proper way of addressing people" would go out the window, since most formalities are for public addressing.
My parents still use formal language with each other. As do all of my aunts & uncles with their spouses. The exception is when they speak English because English doesn't have formal and informal. So to me the use honorifics doesn't seem odd nor does it imply lack of intimacy.
I take it its weird for a lot of people. For me its weird because here we use honorifics with a stranger or boss. If you drop the honorifics here, then it shows that you are comfortable with each other. I even dropped the honorifics with my team leader. But in such situations like team leader/employee older/younger, the older/higher ranked has to initiate the honorificsdrop. But after the honorifics are "officially" dropped, then a lot of people would feel offended, if you keep the honorifics, because then you show, that you don't see the other one as an equal or you see him as a stranger.
And don't misunderstand, i'm not saying, that i don't understand, that other cultures use honorifics even with their spouses and i'm not saying, that if all people here drop the honorifics, than the whole world should do so. I'm just saying it feels weird and gives me a feeling of a distance.

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Post by Biozombie » Dec 8th, '11, 02:00

When I meet friends of my mother or the parents of my friends, I will always refer to them as Mr or Mrs whatever until they say otherwise. I just think it's a matter of respect, but it's just the way I was brought up.
Having said that, if people refer to me as Mr or Sir, I get well pissed off (I am the wrong side of 30) as I still feel like I am a child.
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Post by Issy » Dec 8th, '11, 02:00

Silverman wrote:BTW is there a general rule, at which point someone is called Ahjuma/Ahjusshi?
OK i know that its in general used for people, who are married and for older people. Also little kids call a 20y old guy/girl Ahjusshi/Ahjuma. But at which point (in general) women/men become Ahujumas/Ahjusshis? At first i thought, that its the same as in the western world the words for middleaged men/women. But we don't describe a 30 year old guy/woman as middleaged, but the Koreans (in dramas) often use it for 25+ year old people.
I do wonder about this too. in "A Thousand Kisses" drama, a girl of 25 falls in love with a guy of 34 and at first she used to call him with -sshi which turned into Ahjusshi after they got closer and she kept calling him that even after they got engaged. that was the weirdest thing for me to hear. don't know what she is calling him after they got married though. need to watch more eps. :mrgreen:
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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 8th, '11, 13:39

I do not watch the series, Issy, but mom does. When I went to say hello to her, she started telling me about the story and then I heard the "ajusshi". If felt so weird that I kept asking to make sure they were the engaged couple. XD

It is a matter of cultures, but it still does not change the fact that for other cultures, it sounds weird and off-putting. It feels cold and distant and it's not a feeling one can change. Which makes it a weirdness for some viewers. ;)

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Post by Silverman » Dec 10th, '11, 23:56

Another topic.

Has someone noticed, that the asians in dramas(!) believe, that if you put one man and a woman in a room for one night, they inevitable have sex? Are humans animals in heat?
OK you can argue, that there are a lot of people, who sleep with each other after one evening in a bar. But this is a different case. In most cases such people come into a bar with the intention to find a sexual partner for a one night stand. Its different if you just put two people in a room. Especially if they don't really like each other (in dramas its most of the time the case). OK in most dramas nothing happens, but still this opinion man+woman+room=sex is there.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 11th, '11, 18:10

Maybe it's a culture thing. Meaning, it might not be common or considered decent to have a male straight friend or acquaintance sleep in the same room with you.
I mean, I've been around male friends all my life and I have an older brother so I have no problem, but I am also from another culture. Maybe it's less common there.

Plus, if there is a possible coupling or attraction between those two characters in a series, it would make sense that being alone in a bedroom would get ideas and libido going.
And don't forget the audience. Fangirls. Having a hot man in your room and making him horny is basically all they dream about, so these scenes are there for the kyaa factor too.

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 11th, '11, 18:39

Anyone care to remember we are talking about a country that worshipped Confucius and that its society was divided according to strict rules? Men and women were separated, they slept in different rooms, they ate in different rooms and they rarely interacted with each other. Men had their circles, and women had their circles. Man and woman could spend time together (in one room) only when they were married (or in a bordello).
Plus, you know about 'nuptials' in Asia, right? Japan, Korea, China alike?

This is still in effect.
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Post by Silverman » Dec 11th, '11, 18:45

Same here, but the opposite. I'm a man and almost all of my friends are women (in the university my friend-circle had the nickname "the sultan and his harem"). But we are all just friends, so i have the believe, that men and women can be just friends, without any sexual component. And i slept with every one of them at least one time in the same room.

OK i know that in the Confucius-teachings men and women after the age of 7 aren't supposed to sleep in one room (except they are married). And at least some teaching are still in the korean culture...but still. This is a modern society. Yes i know tradition is one thing and in some cases a good thing. But such things are just ridiculous. Hell in some cultures there are traditions, that women, who aren't maidens before they are married can be stoned to death by the husband and his family. or there are these "honormurders". So even if its culture and traditions its just wrong from the modern point of view and korea is a modern country.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 11th, '11, 19:19

I agree that some traditions should be eradicated in a modern society, but do remember that most of the huge leaps in development and "modernity" happened within the last 50 or so years.
Korea went from farms and chickens to suddenly being one of the top countries in technology, economy etc. The leap was too huge and too fast, so modern/tradition of it clash at this point.

Which is why I do believe that television, music, the entertainment industry in general should be pushing for modernity. Because the world moves fast and keeping up is essential for balance and happiness within society.
So that all of these "women are slaves", "blindly obey your parents, get married and give them heirs", "men should be better and richer than women, otherwise they are worth crap" issues do not pressure people anymore.

But about this specific issue, it's not only cultural, but also to do with people. You are used to women and they know you well. I am used to men. Not everyone is the same.
If you've grown up in a society where even sleep-overs are something your conservative parents have to monitor, then you wouldn't be as relaxed about it as other people.

But coming back to your point, series should attempt to cause a shift in those types of mentalities. Showing people getting all indecent just because they're in the same room is not right.
Because people get closer as human beings when they can exist with each other and both genders can learn from each other. Not everyone can be your lover and the rules change then.

If you don't know men, you can't make a man truly happy one day. If you don't know women, you can't make a woman happy. So you form relationships with/marry stereotypes you "know".
Which is why most men in Korea and worldwide want women "pretty and nice" and women want a guy "Rich and handsome". That is what "they" say is good and you just follow the herd.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 11th, '11, 19:47

I admit that, what i wrote is a little extreme and sounds like: This culture doesn't fit my point of few in life, so it should change. So sry for that^^.
I brought this point up just because i watched "Delightful Girl" at that time.
But actually i think, that this point of traditional view on the woman/man relationship isn't so extreme in rl with koreas younger generations (hey in the point of view of my great grandparents the woman should be a housewife and the man should be the head of the family). But a lot of kdramas portray these things still like in the older days: The woman cooks and if the man cooks just one meal for the woman, then he is the legendary hero.lol in my relationship am I the cook...my gfs culinary skillset consists just out coffee, tee and scrambled eggs.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 11th, '11, 20:11

Well, we have a right to an opinion here. ;) I love tradition too, but I think it should be upheld when it does not interfere with living in the world of today and when it does not lower a person's value.
So, I do love different cultures, including some of their curiosities, but when those cause people to be less of what they want to be or can be and make them miserable, I am fully against them.

I don't care if they are tradition or culture or if I sound like a b*tch for hating them, but I hate them. Like you said, stoning people is "tradition" in some places and I don't consider that acceptable.
And if there was a series promoting stoning people in any society, I would pounce on it like Lady Gaga on big hats and fight against it. "Tradition" or no "tradition". I can't respect that "culture".

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Post by Silverman » Dec 11th, '11, 20:31

btw. does anybody know, where i can play go-stop online or offline (not a gambling site, just for fun) and in english (well or any other language i speak^^)?

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Post by Silverman » Dec 12th, '11, 02:46

seirin wrote:
Silverman wrote:Out of my personal experience its not so extreme (well perhaps its just me). For example. My family has a small business and we have about 250-500k $ profit each year. So for an average family you can say we have a little bit more. But then again compared to chaebols in the dramas its nothing (i can say for sure, that i'm not rich, because i live financially independent from my parents and live from my phd scholarship). But most of my friends and gf are "normal" people. Ok I have a schoolfriend whose family has a small bakerychain and the father of one another friend is a director of a hospital. But its not so, that we have a "secret society", where we hang out. We all have friends and girlfriends from the "normal" crowd. But then perhaps i'm just a douche who doesn't care about such things.
Well, like you said. You hang around "normal" crowd. Not the poor crowd. The rich wouldn't hang out with the "normal" nor "poor crowd". You hang around people who've graduated with at least a post secondary education or higher. Depending on the level of hierarchy, it is seldom people associate with people in lower hierarchy. Maybe slightly lower perhaps, but not too much. I think Asia differentiates social status more than westerners. One example, Bae Yong Joon was dating a rich girl. He has his own business (entertainment company), but her dad made her break up with him. He's okay for dating, but not for marriage.
Ok we are not rich enough for such things like M&A and social status ranking^^.
While we are at the topic. Have the parents in Korea really so much to say, about the marriage of their children? Here in the western world the parents can object, but ultimately they cant make us break up with someone we like. Hell, even if i would like to marry a man, my parents would not object(at least not much^^) or cut our ties.

Hostbars:
Is it for Koreans/Japanese really a everyday-thing to go in such bars? I mean in dramas the wifes scold their men for spending to much money, but not, that they go there. my gf would kill me instantly.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 12th, '11, 04:16

I am also interested in the parents issue. I'm talking about today's society and generations. Do most parents really object so much or even have the right to?
And do kids have to comply and beg etc? I mean, they show it so dramatically in series that it feels so soap opera to be true. Is it really such a huge deal then?

Or is this another case of "drama"? Like, maybe some parents would do it, but most people can date/marry who they want, despite parents whining and all?
And this "cutting ties" thing too. They did that here as well. Maybe in the 20s. Is this one of them elements being used despite being dated or is it really "today"?

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Post by Sakari » Dec 12th, '11, 07:19

Ethlenn wrote: Plus, you know about 'nuptials' in Asia, right? Japan, Korea, China alike?
I thought 'nuptials' just meant a marriage ceremony - is there another meaning?

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