The Good, The Bad, The Weird of Kdrama

Discuss Korean drama series here.
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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 12th, '11, 07:39

Long time ago nuptials and engagement were not separated properly. And their main part was spending the first night together. And voila. After some time those two events were separated. Even sometimes today engagement is sealed with spending the night.
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Post by Sakari » Dec 12th, '11, 09:02

Ethlenn wrote:Long time ago nuptials and engagement were not separated properly. And their main part was spending the first night together. And voila. After some time those two events were separated. Even sometimes today engagement is sealed with spending the night.
Thank you for the explanation. But... What is the connection with Korean TV dramas?

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Post by Silverman » Dec 12th, '11, 15:59

Sakari wrote:
Ethlenn wrote:Long time ago nuptials and engagement were not separated properly. And their main part was spending the first night together. And voila. After some time those two events were separated. Even sometimes today engagement is sealed with spending the night.
Thank you for the explanation. But... What is the connection with Korean TV dramas?
The connections is, that at first i wondered why in kdramas and other asian dramas the people believe man+woman+room=sex . then we discussed tradition and Confucius, well and now we are at the point of nuptials.

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 12th, '11, 16:20

Digressions and off-topics are trademarks of D-A :mrgreen:
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Post by Sakari » Dec 12th, '11, 16:22

Silverman wrote: The connections is, that at first i wondered why in kdramas and other asian dramas the people believe man+woman+room=sex . then we discussed tradition and Confucius, well and now we are at the point of nuptials.
But is there a Korean TV drama that has 'nuptials' in the sense explained above? That is, there is an engagement with the couple subsequently having a first night together, without marriage proper?

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 12th, '11, 16:28

Drama, I don't know, but it's in Chunhyang Story the movie.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Weird of Kdrama

Post by Silverman » Dec 12th, '11, 16:37

Orion1986 wrote:We have posts on bad kdrama, good kdrama, bad endings, happy endings etc. But what about the things that annoy us, the things we like, the clichés, the surprises and so on?
Or maybe things that appear "off" for different cultures. Or things we can't explain. For example, can someone tell me why they lick their finger and touch their noses when nervous? XD

So, here's a thread to talk about all of these things. Elements of Kdrama that stand out. The way they tell stories, the pros and cons of them etc.
This is the reason, that these things are not really offtopic. Because these are the things and questions we had about certain aspects of kdramas and culture.

Hey, if it weren't for offtopics, then this forum would be dead.

EDIT:
Funny things in dramas (but not in rl, as far as i know, even in Korea), they marry after a few months of dating. I'm dating the same girl for 5 years and i don't really think about marriage.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 12th, '11, 23:08

True. But if it's the style of series where there is family pressure and marriage is seen as "business" then it makes sense. No need to wait or get to know the person. :P
I'm personally not crazy on marriage, but would like it at some point. For the legal reasons. People have certain rights and all when married. But I still need to know the guy.

And indeed, off topic makes DA lovely. Topics are made to make life easier, not stifle people and their opinions. They are guidelines, as Barbossa said. As long as we're having fun. ^^

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Post by Silverman » Dec 14th, '11, 23:25

A few another things which i ask myself, every time i see it in a kdrama.

- errors in dramas. I know we can't expect perfection in kdramas, where the most expensive Hollywood-movies can't avoid them. But still a lot of kdramas make the same mistakes again and again and again. I'm not talking about reflections of mics in mirrors or such things. I'm also not talking about false information about things, like where they describe spiders as insects. I'm talking about numbers and dates. They are often inconsistent. For example i saw in a drama, that one guy had 1983 his birthday, but after a few episodes it was changed into 1985. Then for example in SG, at the time where this "famous" stereotypedirector comes for auditions, one of the greetingplacats has the date xx.01.2010 and not 2011. In the next scene it was changed to 2011.
Then in "Delightful Girl" the story happens over a span of ~7-10 years and starts in the year 2005, but in the end of the drama there is a press conference and the banner in the background states, that its xx.03.2005. And no, the story starts not earlier, than 2005, because in the first few episodes the year 2005 was shown.
These were just a few examples. There are a lot of other timline-errors in kdramas, like an average guy has his phd at the age of 23-25(like the guy in Smile,You..i think he made a phd in Harvard in 2-3 years and invented a motor, but with this example i'm not to sure. It could also be just a Bsc and not a Phd, i can't remember). its not possible to end highschool at 19/20 and make a Phd in 3 years, because its not just a question of intelligence, but also researchtime and collecting of data and you have to make at least a bachelor-degree, and then you can start your phd, and that if you had straight As and recommendations. But i digress.


- ALL celebrities (in dramas) have big posters of themselfs in every corner of their house. OK i was never in a home of a big star, but i doubt, that they have posters of themselfs all over the house. If it is so, then its pathetic,

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 14th, '11, 23:30

Silverman wrote:but also researchtime and collecting of data and you have to make at least a bachelor-degree, and then you can start your phd, and that if you had straight As and recommendations
A digression to your digression, here where I live we have:
bachelor - master - PhD. You don't have master's?
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Post by Silverman » Dec 14th, '11, 23:52

Yes we have masters(i have a Msc). But you can also make a PhD after your bachelor degree, if you fulfill certain conditions, like:
-all subjects have to be As
-you have to have a few letters recommendation from a few profs
-you have to have a doctoral advisor, who is willing also recommend you and take care of you
-you also should have some special achievements (i don't know what it means^^)

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Post by Silverman » Dec 15th, '11, 15:45

Does anybody has some firsthand experience with native Koreans? I for my part have just a not-in-korea-born Korean as an acquaintance, so her character is pretty much like any other girls from my country. But does anybody know, i korean people in general are overthetop materialistic? I mean i have read in internet that not only in dramas but also in rl the koreans watch at first if you have a foreign car and a branded suit and watch, before they even consider talking or approach you for a friend/dating-relationship.
I for my part can't believe, that the koreans in general are so "greedy". I mean over the world are a a certain amount of people greedy, but i can't believe that it is true fr the general population (in Korea). I mean ok some amount of greed and calculability is in every human being. So that at some point you do evaluate, if you want to marry someone, like: Can we raise the children and feed them, if i marry this man/woman? But i just can't believe, that the general population evaluate someone just based on the worth of the watch. I for my part had never such thoughts.

And while we are at the topic branded stuff. What is branded for a korean person? Is for example Lee and Wrangler branded (yes i know its branded, but does it count as "branded" in korean understanding of branded)? Or do just clothes with an value of, lets say, 1000$+ /piece, count as "branded".

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 15th, '11, 18:32

Silverman wrote:Yes we have masters(i have a Msc). But you can also make a PhD after your bachelor degree, if you fulfill certain conditions, like:
-all subjects have to be As
-you have to have a few letters recommendation from a few profs
-you have to have a doctoral advisor, who is willing also recommend you and take care of you
-you also should have some special achievements (i don't know what it means^^)
Hm, the same but here those are requirements after Master's... no possibility of going PhD after bachelor.

From what I know from my native Korean friends, the financial status is important.
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Post by Silverman » Dec 15th, '11, 18:50

I think the keys here are these "special achievements" and the doctoral advisor, who has to supervise you. In a normal case the advisor advises you(^^), but overall you make your own work and in the case you screw up, its your problem. In the case of Bsc-->PhD, the advisors head is also on the chopping block if you screw up. But i'm not sure about this point. But overall the advisor has more responsibility for you, so that even good students are taken just in rare cases. Further, the point is also the experience. Almost all the profs advise even the best students to make the master before the phd. So overall i think its more or less a case of theoretical possibilities, without a real application. Although i don't know how it works in other departments(i'm a scientist). I once heard, that a history student made his phd after the Bachelor of Arts.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 15th, '11, 18:51

I have only known some students here, but all the ladies I met seem nice. I don't get the feeling they shun me for not having money or being of amazing social standing and looks.
I don't think one should judge any and every person of a certain country on stereotypes or examples. Maybe they do value financial status, but that does not mean they're all snobs.

That said, financial status is normal to look at when first meeting a person, in relation to other things. Everyone does it. In every country. Having nothing in common never helps start things with people.
If it's an acquaintance that just wants a casual friendly relationship and spends their every night at expensive clubs, a poor geek like me, i.e, won't even be able to join them long enough to know them.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 15th, '11, 19:07

To a certain point i agree that you look at the overall status. but i heard rumors, that in korean society its "normal" to ask a person you meeting for the first time, how much money he has in his account and how much does he make and how much the parents make a.s.o.. And for me its just shallow and rude and i don't care if its "normal" in that society.But its just rumors, so i don't know if its true. And yes i know, you can't judge the whole country, but stll shallow is shallow.

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 15th, '11, 19:17

Koreans ask 4 questions when meeting:
1. age
2. parents
3. educational background
4. financial background
It's like that, to place a person in their appropriate place in social relationships (Neo-confucianism, ladies and gents) so that the speaker knows how to address the other one properly (honorifics in Korean, where the fun part starts).
My friend told me that while it's not rude in Korea, some Westerners find such questions rude. She didn't ask me those though.

Plus, you have to remember, after Korean War, Korea was horribly poor (well, usually Korea was poor), and the country received the aid even from Ethiopia (after the war), so financial topics are somewhat run also by the fear of poverty for you or for your future kids.
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Post by Silverman » Dec 16th, '11, 16:33

The really weird thing for me at the poin i began to watch kdramas were the eyes o the actors. They obviously use eye drops, so their eyes look teary and sparkling. For me it was weird, because normally you have such eyes, when you drank the whole night and have a hangover. Ok now after 2,5 years of kdrama its not so weird anymore, but still a thing wort mentioning.

Also the korean book design is very interesting. The covers are all very colorful. Its a little weird, if the book is about murder and rape, but the cover is designed by a Teletubbyfan.

Btw at which age is a korean citizen an adult? I know it's 19, but its 19 korean age(so basically 18 ) or 19 western agecount.

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Post by Sakari » Dec 17th, '11, 20:31

Something I find decidedly weird is a surgeon operating on a girlfriend. This happened, early on, in Thank You (Jang Hyuk was the surgeon), which unfortunately meant I never could really enjoy that drama, as I thought the supposed hero, the genius doctor, was a stupid klutz. Lee Beom-soo's character did pretty much the same thing in Surgeon Bong Dal-hee; it's just that it occurred very late in the drama, so it didn't spoil as much.

I'm not familiar with what doctors are taught, but, well, it's self-evident to me that a surgeon should never operate on someone he (or she) is emotionally attached to. It's much like the rule that police officers or prosecutors should not work on cases involving people they have ties with - self-evident, right? Still, it happened in The Scales of Providence, where a prosecutor (Kim Yoo-mi) interrogated a guy she thought of as the love of her life, a guy who was suspected of murder. For me, a WTF moment.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 18th, '11, 18:30

I don't know if this is true for all countries, but a surgeon can operate on a relative/girlfriend/whatever. There are no problems with the law or with medical ethics. If the surgeon has problems with objectivity, then he just declines such an operation. I have some surgeons as acquaintances and they operated on their family members.
But with the prosecutor you are right.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 18th, '11, 18:37

I guess it's because when it comes to a prosecutor, you might be inclined to act on their behalf when you shouldn't.
But a doctor does his best no matter what, so there are no moral issues there. As long as he can handle the work.

You would not want to hurt a loved one so if a doctor felt he/she was too nervous or unstable to do it, they'd stand down.

As for the creepy sparkly eyes, they even have contact lenses which make the eye iris larger, to look even more like dolls/anime. XD
It's another issue of what is "aesthetically pleasing" and they feel it's good to see glaring creepy eyes, so a lot of them do it, I guess.

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Post by Silverman » Dec 18th, '11, 22:43

Yea the first time i saw it in a drama, i thought, that the actor was drunk on set^^(well it was the first thought for a few seconds, until i saw the other actors^^).

I know this question is not for this forum, but i ask here, because in the dvd-forum there are 2 people in a month who post something. Are there actually kdramas on BD? I never saw them.

btw I would like to make a new daddicts top 30/50 list, because the one which is there was edited almost 3 years ago. Is the interest there or is it just me. If its just me, then i abandon the idea, if a few other would like this, then i make a new topic and voting etc.

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Post by Sakari » Dec 19th, '11, 06:48

I hope I am not scaring anyone, but there are known cases of doctors actually killing people. I mean, doctors and surgeons are human beings who can love and hate like the rest of us. A close relation or tie between a surgeon and a patient does not necessarily mean they love or even like each other. It might also mean they hate each other. Is it OK for a surgeon to operate on a person she/he hates?

On the other hand, the trouble with prosecutors investigating cases involving people they know is not just that they might be overly lenient with - or not even suspect - people they know and like. The opposite case is possible, too - a prosecutor might concentrate on going after someone she/he knows and does not like.

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Post by JaJe » Dec 19th, '11, 21:49

I have noticed that in rom-coms the male leads always describe the main girl as some animal - usually it´ s cats or some other cute animal, but I´ve seen even snails and bears going around! for example:
Marry me, Mary - cats
Playful Kiss - snail
Heartstrings - bears
etc.

So is it usual thing or have I just ended up watching all these kind of dramas?

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Post by Silverman » Dec 19th, '11, 22:18

Thats a common thing, not just in dramas, but also in rl. Doesn't your bf have a cute nickname for you?

I think thats funny, that in korean dramas, but also variety shows, all the men who carry women on their backs describe them as "heavy". The funny thing is, that the most of these women have a weight less than 50-45 kg, so thats alway a :blink moment for me.

The whole chaebol-families don't do things like normal people. They don't: watch TV, snack, play games, bicker, show affection etc..
They just sit there and: read newspapers, drink tea, talk about inheritance, talk about the best heirs of other charebol-families and the best partner for their children and talk trash about others. The women are always dolled up..even in bed. And...has anybody seen a toilet in one of these chaebolhomes? I think they don't need one (yea i know there are few dramas, where at least showers are shown...but never toilets).
Ok i never met people, whose families have several hunders millions or a few billions, but i think they are in their private life not so much different than other people.

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Post by Ethlenn » Dec 19th, '11, 23:40

Silverman wrote: Ok i never met people, whose families have several hunders millions or a few billions, but i think they are in their private life not so much different than other people.
I read once an article about chaebols (Samsung mostly), and some people from those families have no idea how a cow looks like, and they have no idea how to ride a bus. So yeah, they live inside the bubble. Not all, I guess, but some for sure.
Silverman wrote:Thats a common thing, not just in dramas, but also in rl. Doesn't your bf have a cute nickname for you?
If I have a bf, and if he ever calls me a cute name, I will kill him.
One lovely lady on my blog called me poongsan dog as the compliment. That's more of it that "oh puppy".
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Post by Silverman » Dec 20th, '11, 00:03

OK such things are perhaps true.
BTW. Almost all people, who live in the city, haven't seen a cow except in pictures or movies. Hey and last time my father rode a bus, was 25 years ago, so not just chaebols don't ride buses.

But what i meant weren't such things like bus-riding. I meant the behavior, if they are at home and alone. I'm sure they watch also dramas in the TV, they also bicker with each other because of something, They behave like humans and not like the royalty in a cliché novel. OK they have to appear like royalty in public eye, but not at home with the family.

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Post by Orion1986 » Dec 20th, '11, 07:14

I am pretty sure chaebols actually crap and eat and talk and sit and watch TV like any other person. But series being oh so smart and realistic, they think they can't show "royalty" with any other way than writing them up as psychos who act like they're in the company when they're at home.
"Royalties" act like that in any girly 13- novel and that is what most of these series are. Which is why I find stuff like Protect the Boss lovely, but even then, the family background of the dad was a gangster. Commoners turned rich. I'm sure born-rich people are humans too. Snobs, but human.

As for a boyfriend calling me something cute, I'd love it if it had a good reason or memory behind it, other than the fact that I'm cute and he sees me as a dolly or kitty, and it came later on in our relationship. If i.e I happened to dig my nails into him in... some kind of occasion, I'd accept "My kitteh". :roll

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Post by JaJe » Dec 20th, '11, 22:16

Haha I think I was misunderstood. I meant that it´s not weird to have that kind of nickname (even though I would kill my bf if he tried to call me sth like "snail" or "bear" or "dog" out of the blue. "Cat" would be fine in some situations...) , but what is weird is that it is shown in dramas so much. Maybe the reason why I find it weird is that in my country this kind of nicknames aren´t used in TV series, even though in real life they are used (well mostly only p***y-cat and sth with the meaning of "little chicken").

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Post by Silverman » Dec 20th, '11, 22:33

I don't know how it is for other people, but we (gfs+me) use always something more or less "unique". or at last something we understand.For example sometimes my gf calls me dwarf, while i call her skyscraper. Ok these names are more or less obvious, if you see us^^(I'm 181cm and she 185cm^^). For other people it could be sound something like an insult, but we think its fun.

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Post by Silverman » Jan 2nd, '12, 22:38

In the most dramas they don't have locks on their door. Is it normal in Korea?

In kdramas the law-students learn like 20 hours every day and this for almost a year. Its perhaps true for the last 1-2 weeks before the exams, but i doubt its true for a whole year.

Somewhere we discussed, that in Korea they earn less, but the things also cost less (~4 times less, than in America). But i don't think that its true, because in a lot of dramas they also name the prices of the things and they are way higher, than here in Europe. For example tangerines. They sell them in Korea for ~3-5$ each kg. here i can buy 5 kg for 4-7$. And thats not the only example. Other things like apples or other fruits are also ridiculously expensive.

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Post by moadeep » Jan 2nd, '12, 22:56

Korea or seoul? IME produce is often more expensive in city. I don't know if this is the case in korea, I'm just throwing it out there as a possibility.

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Post by Silverman » Jan 3rd, '12, 07:36

In dramas its almost always Seoul. But even so. But even in London you can get tangerines for 2-3 pounds..

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Post by deshou » Jan 3rd, '12, 09:44

Dunno about Korea, but here in Japan fruit (well, almost everything), but especially fruit is ridiculously expensive if compared to other countries...
Like ONE apple costs around $1,3, $4 for a SLICE of watermelon... Yet, for instance, you see people cracking and playing with watermelons at the beach (more than $20 each one...) and saying those are not so expensive...

About Kdrama, someone mentioned No Eun Siol from Protect the Boss way back; she's another example, right? Poor as they come, but always stylished and fashioned with how many pairs of shoes, make-up, iPad... I wouldn't mind living in that poor house with a terrace view like that, with kitchen, dresser and other commodities :O
Even the dad living in the middle of the woods and eating roots had an iphone or something to keep in touch with the latest news... With that kind of upbringing, she wouldn't even have lived long enough in the same city to have a childhood friend, much less thought of going to college by herself... :unsure:

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Post by Silverman » Jan 3rd, '12, 09:57

But Tokyo is also ranks 4th on the list with cities with the highest living expenses. But the problem that i have is, that in dramas they have salaries of ~1000$, so i don't see people with such wages buying fruits....

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Post by Issy » Jan 3rd, '12, 10:02

yes, someone mentioned much earlier that prices in Korea are cheap. to be honest, it is very hard for me to believe that. for example for a poor person who is struggling for their food it is not normal to see them holding a latest model phones. no matter how cheap they are, at least they cost much much more than a price for a meal.
ps. also noticed how many times those "poor" girls change their hand bags in a day. they go out with a new one every day and they do look branded and very expensive. and now if someone comes and tells me that those handbags are very cheap too, I'll pack my suitcases right away because I am handbag-holic!
Just not realistic no matter who many times you say it's normal to see.
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Post by arakira » Jan 3rd, '12, 10:20

Well...about the prices. Maybe their bags n shoes etc are all just fakes ;) I agree...display of clothes etc isn't always realistic but well it's drama, you gotta make the ladies look good on TV ;)

And about food...well that's almost nowhere as cheap as in the big EU countries, (esp germany) thx to subventions and price wars...to stay with the tangerines...I can go buy em cheap and tasteless for about 1€/k or better ones from a grocer for like 4-5€/k.
And btw isn't korea a high-income country? As far as I'm aware wages there aren't really lower than in the West nowadays (as long as you are employed)

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Post by Silverman » Jan 3rd, '12, 10:38

Well the average gross income of an South Korean citizen is ~20.000$ each year. So its 1.600$ each month. I don't know how high are the taxes and insurances in in Korea, but i doubt, that the average net income exceeds 1000-1300$. So my comment is still valid, even in the real world^^. Also, if you believe in dramas (but at this point i don't know how real it is in the real world), half of the family is unemployed (children, wife and elderly) and live from this income.

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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 3rd, '12, 11:27

Dramas feature characters with the latest designer clothes, bags and shoes and latest technology, because the audiences for those series are spoiled little bimbos who would rather not eat to spend money on the bag which existed next to oppa in that episode.
It's the same reason why they show all the beauty products, the same reason they stress certain sweets and food, the same reason why they film in the dead of winter and dress actors and actresses in skimpy spring clothes, so that the viewers will buy them soon.

Stick around kdrama long enough and you see how cheap they are and in how many ways they try to gain money and attention to certain items or individuals their "sponsors" want shown. Is it sad that quality suffers for that? Yes, but that's just one of the problems.

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Post by arakira » Jan 3rd, '12, 11:31

Well if you want to take into account how much people can spend with their income you should look for GDI per capita with purchasing power parity rates (PPP). Then Korean income/c would be about 30.000$. (For comparison, Switzerland would be about 50.000, Germany 38k, Italy 31k, Portugal 24k, etc. data taken from world bank for 2010) So that would make an average Korean about an average European income wise.
Different groups of goods can still be differently priced but all in all people with some kind of employment should be able to live well if we let the economic data speak ;)
Also official unemployment rate according to OECD statistics was about 3% for the ast 6m...(which ofc does not take into account people who are not looking for jobs, like wifes or self-employed etc)

Now...guess ofc drama does overdo it with poverty and riches - showing just the average people living average life won't make good drama material. so I guess we cannot really draw conclusions about people's income and work situation from drama alone. Was all I wanted to say ;)

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Post by Silverman » Jan 3rd, '12, 11:33

Yea, but its subtle compared to some TW-dramas. In one drama they talked to each other about the products, like in a cf.

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Post by deshou » Jan 3rd, '12, 12:13

Silverman wrote:But Tokyo is also ranks 4th on the list with cities with the highest living expenses. But the problem that i have is, that in dramas they have salaries of ~1000$, so i don't see people with such wages buying fruits....
I don't live in Tokyo, but can imagine fruit being even more expensive there :O
But yeah, people don't really eat much fruit at all compared to European...
Although is a bit like some people say, treating a tooth cavity at the dentist is very expensive (about $50), but a watermelon (about $30) or a night out ($50?) aren't...

Orion1986 wrote:Dramas feature characters with the latest designer clothes, bags and shoes and latest technology, because the audiences for those series are spoiled little bimbos who would rather not eat to spend money on the bag which existed next to oppa in that episode.
It's the same reason why they show all the beauty products, the same reason they stress certain sweets and food, the same reason why they film in the dead of winter and dress actors and actresses in skimpy spring clothes, so that the viewers will buy them soon.
:thumright: Right on! And not just kdrama, right...
Talking about skimpy clothing, in kdramas women always seem to wear these mini-skirts to the office with no stockings and such... Wonder if it's really like that in real life??

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Post by harukogirl » Jan 3rd, '12, 12:26

Currently in Korea. From what I understand, produce IS quite expensive here (just like Japan, where I'm living atm). However, I can get a $3 meal if I eat at a small korean restaurant. Soju's like a dollar a bottle. And I took a taxi from N tower back to my hostel one night (maybe 15 minutes?) and it was under $4.50. I bought a bunch of face products at this AwESOME place called "skin food" (a chain store here): $6 for face cleanser, $6 for hydro-face cream, $4 for a tube blackhead peel mask, $4 for pore tightener.... Not to mention, I went to the movies at night, paid $8 for my ticket (in CA, where I'm from, it's like $11), and my bottle of water at the theater was $1.

So, is everything cheaper? No. Is a LOT of stuff cheaper. Oh, yeah. This is one of the reasons why, after 2 weeks, I am a die-hard Seoul fan.

....I got a haircut here....they shampooed and massaged my head, gave me a latte, cut and styled my hair, and charged me $25. I love Seoul.

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Post by harukogirl » Jan 3rd, '12, 12:28

Currently in Korea. From what I understand, produce IS quite expensive here (just like Japan, where I'm living atm). However, I can get a $3 meal if I eat at a small korean restaurant. Soju's like a dollar a bottle. And I took a taxi from N tower back to my hostel one night (maybe 15 minutes?) and it was under $4.50. I bought a bunch of face products at this AwESOME place called "skin food" (a chain store here): $6 for face cleanser, $6 for hydro-face cream, $4 for a tube blackhead peel mask, $4 for pore tightener.... Not to mention, I went to the movies at night, paid $8 for my ticket (in CA, where I'm from, it's like $11), and my bottle of water at the theater was $1.

So, is everything cheaper? No. Is a LOT of stuff cheaper. Oh, yeah. This is one of the reasons why, after 2 weeks, I am a die-hard Seoul fan.

....I got a haircut here....they shampooed and massaged my head, gave me a latte, cut and styled my hair, and charged me $25. I love Seoul.

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Post by deshou » Jan 3rd, '12, 12:32

Hahaha, reading that, I wanna go to Seoul as well!!!
Skin Food is becoming very popular in Japan right now as well, right? Think there are shops already, but if not near to your place, you can always buy them on Gmarket! Cheap :wub:

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Post by Silverman » Jan 4th, '12, 10:59

harukogirl wrote:Currently in Korea. From what I understand, produce IS quite expensive here (just like Japan, where I'm living atm). However, I can get a $3 meal if I eat at a small korean restaurant. Soju's like a dollar a bottle. And I took a taxi from N tower back to my hostel one night (maybe 15 minutes?) and it was under $4.50. I bought a bunch of face products at this AwESOME place called "skin food" (a chain store here): $6 for face cleanser, $6 for hydro-face cream, $4 for a tube blackhead peel mask, $4 for pore tightener.... Not to mention, I went to the movies at night, paid $8 for my ticket (in CA, where I'm from, it's like $11), and my bottle of water at the theater was $1.

So, is everything cheaper? No. Is a LOT of stuff cheaper. Oh, yeah. This is one of the reasons why, after 2 weeks, I am a die-hard Seoul fan.

....I got a haircut here....they shampooed and massaged my head, gave me a latte, cut and styled my hair, and charged me $25. I love Seoul.
So overall just certain food (relatively) expensive in Korea(like fruits) and the rest is less expensive. But I need a Skin Food store. lol i spend like 5 times more for skincare products.

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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 4th, '12, 12:27

By the way, I am planning articles on this post, for my blog and Hancinema. I will not be using any names or direct quotes, so I hope you are ok with it.

I will probably use 2-3 elements at a time, with some references, pictures etc. Like i,e the gloves and removing the battery from the cellphone and such.
Which will be some work, as I need to remember some series I've seen that in, which episodes, download them and do the captures, but it's worth it. XD

And if someone does not like the fact that I am making these based on our conversations, do tell me, but know that I am not getting paid for writing these.

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Post by Issy » Jan 4th, '12, 13:46

will be looking forward to reading it Ori-chan. :-)

so far, everyone talked about how cheap is food and drink (apart from fresh fruits) in Korea. but what about branded goods and gadgets? specially gadgets and latest smart phones. veeery curious to know because honestly, I do believe they are almost same price every where. in 2007 I was in Tokyo and bought myself a digital camera that was not out yet in UK. but not long after that, it was out in shops here and it was more or less the same price. a matter of a month or so maybe.
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Post by Silverman » Jan 4th, '12, 15:07

A phone without a contract in Korea is just slightly cheaper, than her in Europe. In one of the recent dramas, they showed cellphones and there were priced´tags in range of 200-600$.
But i also looked some phone prices online up. For example is the original price for an iphone in korea about 20-25% lower, than in the US or most European countries. But as far as i know, these aren't necessary the prices they are sold for. The phone stores in SK sell them often cheaper, than for the official price.

And Ori, if you look for certain moments, pictures or so, then you can ask here, i' sure its faster, than to skip through all the dramas^^.

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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 4th, '12, 15:14

I will, thanks. Someone might remember where to find a certain thing. Less work for me. XD

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Post by Silverman » Jan 5th, '12, 10:09

While we are not to far away from the "fruit-topic".
Has someone noticed, what kind of families eat fruits in kdramas? The poor families eat fruits, if they have something to celebrate, like a paycheck from a new job or if they have important guests. The middle class-families eat fruits in every other scene, where they are together, even if its not dinnertime. The rich families eat them occasionally.

And what's up with the meatmania in Korea? I know we discussed this somewhere before, but still...Every time there is meat on screen, the characters behave like zombies, who caught a victim. And every time they emphasize, that its korean meat. Whats so special about it? Ok i know the mad cow-thing plays a role, but its still a little bit ...meh, if they say that every time. I would understand f you mention it, if its Kobe beef or Mishima beef, but just "korean beef"....I know that koreans think, that korean beef is the best...but cmon reality check: its not true. Their beef ranks way below japanese beef. But then again, the Koreans are still hyped over their 4th rank in the FIFA World Cup 2002.
In the western movies, but also rl, its almost a insult, if someone asks you if you love meat^^. DAMN VEGETARIANS. But the petite korean actresses eat meat like a wolf after 4 weeks of hunger.

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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 6th, '12, 01:45

They promote "Korean meat" because people who watch the shows will then think it's awesome and buy it like crazy when they visit as tourists. "Promoting culture", it's called. And making money.
Same as how every American series or movie shows Las Vegas as some sort of a glamorous paradise with hot women all around, when it's just fat guys in Hawaiian shirts and gambling addicts.

As for rankings, big deal. There is a lot of food which is a "delicacy" and "rare" and it's just crap that's been named "delicacy" to sell the illusion of something special to rich bastards who want to eat "rich".
I can't account for the taste, however. Only between Greece and Finland cause those are the ones I've tasted. But they are worlds apart, these ones. Nothing is even half-decent in Finland. Food-wise.

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Post by Silverman » Jan 6th, '12, 03:33

There are differences and its not just some promotion. Its true, that for example you can't differentiate between two high quality beefs from the same cowpart, if you are not an expert (at least i can't). But you can overall tell difference between Kobe and some lower quality cows. Even the smell is different. Ok the whole Mozart-music and sake massages are promotional BS to make the Wagyu(Kobe) beef more expensive(the only thing which matters, is that the cattle grows without artificial hormones and such things).
But overall you are actually right. The most of delicacy-hype is just moneymaking. For example the beluga caviar, which these "gourmets" praise doesn't even taste good. Its just rare. Rare and expensive doesn't necessary mean good.
But there are people, who think, that expensive=good. If you give them 2 glasses tapwater from the same faucet and tell them, that one is some expensive water and the other one is some cheap water, than almost all will say, that the "expensive" water tastes better.

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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 6th, '12, 19:26

Ok. Lie to Me. An episode where she disassembled her phone. Can't remember which one it was. And I need Gil Ra Im's phone too. The kind all poor women have. :P

I need to find the episodes online and search for them. Then download them and make the screenies. Yep, I got my hands full for tomorrow. Ahaha. But the first piece is done. ^^

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Post by Ethlenn » Jan 6th, '12, 19:42

Silverman wrote:Ok the whole Mozart-music and sake massages are promotional BS to make the Wagyu(Kobe) beef more expensive(the only thing which matters, is that the cattle grows without artificial hormones and such things).
They give beer to the cows to drink. Never heard of sake massage though.
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Post by Issy » Jan 6th, '12, 20:01

Ori, don't forget Kim Nana and the mom's iPhone in City Hunter. :mrgreen:
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Post by Silverman » Jan 6th, '12, 20:29

Ethlenn wrote:
Silverman wrote:Ok the whole Mozart-music and sake massages are promotional BS to make the Wagyu(Kobe) beef more expensive(the only thing which matters, is that the cattle grows without artificial hormones and such things).
They give beer to the cows to drink. Never heard of sake massage though.
Oh yea, the beerdrinking i forgot. But we also have to mention, that they are raised by monks in the mountains^^. But these are all just myths.

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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 6th, '12, 23:00

They do actually do that. They drink sake, spit it onto the cow and rub it with hay or something. Which is a very wtf thing to do and it's just a crazy ritual to convince rich people that it's "fancy expensive beef".

And Issy, I don't feel City Hunter counts, really. Remember, she was actually rich from the money "daddy" gave her. Even if she did not use it, I am sure she would use a small part for a good phone, if she needed it.
But you do see genuinely poor people, who are shown to take up many jobs and always whine about how they are poor sporting iPhones. Especially all these "poor downtrodden, but spunky" leading young women.

They have to hide from loan sharks, or live in crappy houses, have to work like dogs and have landlords chasing after them for the rent, but they somehow own designer clothes, bags and phones. Those are annoying.

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Post by moadeep » Jan 6th, '12, 23:04

It is. I particularly love how there's usually no explanation. I can only think of two instances where they explained *why* a poor character had something so posh. I could believe someone making their own clothes on the cheap, but you never *see* anything to make that seem a plausible explanation. I'd like to. I've known a few good seamstresses who kept themselves outfitted in style for pretty cheap.

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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 6th, '12, 23:28

Not to mention that all the clothes they wear suddenly become available in every shop so that netizens can rush to buy them, just so they can make the <s>delusion</s> fantasy more real.
When I watch Secret Garden and see Gil Ra Im in expensive sportswear which are then shown everywhere online as expensive designer wear, it kind of ruins the immersion for me.

Did we already mention the saying goodbye on the phone thing (I may have)? That one is always weird for me. People just hang up after the topic is closed. No bye bye, no "thanks, talk to you later", no nothing.
Is that normal for Koreans (and Hollywood does it a lot too) or are Greeks too polite in such things (which hardly feels accurate XD ). I mean, I don't hang up on someone's face so rudely. I say goodbye first.

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Post by moadeep » Jan 6th, '12, 23:31

Heh, my friends and I can prolong a goodbye for a good 15 minutes. It's the whole childish thing of "I don't want to be the first one to hang up." It is silly and slightly annoying *but* when a comedy works it in and has someone react to it, it amuses me.

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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 6th, '12, 23:49

Ehehe. I don't mean those huge bye byes, but at least the phrase "bye bye" or "k, see you later" or something. They never say anything. Just hang up. XD

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Post by Issy » Jan 6th, '12, 23:55

Orion1986 wrote:Is that normal for Koreans (and Hollywood does it a lot too) or are Greeks too polite in such things (which hardly feels accurate XD ). I mean, I don't hang up on someone's face so rudely. I say goodbye first.
It's quiet rude for us too if we hang up without proper goodbyes.

Ok, one thing that has been bothering me a lot recently when I watch Kdramas and really making me angry and at the same time wonder if this really how Korean culture is. when from the first day of me watching Kdrama I learned how they always should keep up with honorific names and such, at the same time I have noticed so many cases of people being very rude, outspoken and insensitive to each other too. and mostly is coming from elders in the drama. they blame others (specially youngsters) for problems that totally out of their hands. like, oh your mom/dad is dead, your mother/father have left you, you are an orphan, you're poor, you're old, you're ugly, you're fat, you look weird and one hundred more reasons that you have no control on. they are so out spoken and loud about that make sure the whole people around heard it. not to mention the shouting. I just don't get it.
of course you might find such people every where. but what It does make me wonder if this for real or just for adding some drama to the storyline. if so, it's not really giving a good impression of Korean to foreigners.
and not going to go into whole hitting issues because I think we have gone over it before. but still, my jaw drops every time I see a mother or father beat up their old/grown up children.
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Post by moadeep » Jan 7th, '12, 01:54

that's a good question. Most of the korean folks I know I've always known outside of their family, if that makes sense. I haven't seen the parent-child interaction to know. I do know that Taiwanese parents can be like that, though I don't know how prevalent it is. I have a friend who was from Taiwan, and I don't even want to *think* about the stuff her parents said to her when she got divorced. I told her that I had to keep telling myself "It's a cultural thing...It's a cultural thing..." so I wouldn't go ballistic. She replied that it really was (a cultural thing). So...I don't know how prevalent it is, but it's at least mildly culturally acceptable to verbally and emotionally abuse your grown children in Taiwan apparently.

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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 7th, '12, 12:55

It's tricky to know if it's accurate. I mean this "b*tchy parent" stereotype exists in Greek series as well. They are like whine machines; only there to make you feel like a loser.
But it's a stereotype of series. Just like a "greek mom" is pictured as a loud, unsophisticated fat woman who only wants to feed people, in most foreign interpretations.

Not every parent is like that, but the series take the "protective and wants the best for you" to a more dramatic extent. But is it really common enough to be called a cultural trait?

And has anyone seen friggin' "Lie to me"? I'm trying to find the scene where Ah Jung disassembles her phone and it's killing me. XD I'm going through it episode by episode.

Edit: Nevermind. Remembered one.
Last edited by Orion1986 on Jan 7th, '12, 13:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ethlenn » Jan 7th, '12, 13:07

Try Coffee Prince, YEH did that too in this one.
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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 7th, '12, 13:10

I actually remembered the carp. FFS, I never thought he'd come to my rescue. XD

Ok, the first one is out on my blog and it will be out in Hancinema later today as well. Or tomorrow. Well, my tomorrow. :P

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Post by Silverman » Jan 9th, '12, 01:44

We all know the situation in kdramas, where the founderfamily of a big company has 30-40% shares and well they are about to lose the chairmanposition/CEO/whateverposition and most of the time the heir tries to fight for that position, even if he/she had absolutely no interest in the company a few weeks ago. Every time i think in such situations: so what? you still have a big chunk of shares and so you still have a lot influence and you didn't want to be the CEO. But they behave like, if they lose that position, then their whole family will be living on the streets. And hell, even if, they lose the chairmanposition, then they can vote again in a few months and they still own half of the company Although i doubt, that in reality the boardmembers will go against the biggest shareholder, who owns half of the company, simply because this shareholder, even if he/she isn't the CEO can block almost every decision of the chairman, simply because they will just need one another bigger shareholder to be on their side to have the majority.
The funny thing is, that if i were in the position of this heir, than i would let take the cunning and evil guy the CEO-seat. Why? Because in all kdramas this heir is somebody, who is fresh from college and has zero experience, while the opponent is somebody with several years of experience. So the chances are, that this "evil" guy will help the company to grow and make profit and the shareholder will get more money. Yea i know its dramaland, but still these are thing, which i think every time, if i see the characters of a drama and they behave like its Armageddon, just because they are not the CEO.

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Post by moadeep » Jan 9th, '12, 02:10

The funny thing is, that if i were in the position of this heir, than i would let take the cunning and evil guy the CEO-seat. Why? Because in all kdramas this heir is somebody, who is fresh from college and has zero experience, while the opponent is somebody with several years of experience. So the chances are, that this "evil" guy will help the company to grow and make profit and the shareholder will get more money. Yea i know its dramaland, but still these are thing, which i think every time, if i see the characters of a drama and they behave like its Armageddon, just because they are not the CEO.
This. Seriously, cannot agree strongly enough. If I were friends with the person in that position I would say the same thing "You don't know what you're doing! This person is a jerk, but they *know* what they're doing!"

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Post by Issy » Jan 9th, '12, 02:27

Silverman wrote:The funny thing is, that if i were in the position of this heir, than i would let take the cunning and evil guy the CEO-seat. Why? Because in all kdramas this heir is somebody, who is fresh from college and has zero experience, while the opponent is somebody with several years of experience. So the chances are, that this "evil" guy will help the company to grow and make profit and the shareholder will get more money. Yea i know its dramaland, but still these are thing, which i think every time, if i see the characters of a drama and they behave like its Armageddon, just because they are not the CEO.
and don't forget that "fresh from college with zero experience heir" in the matter of last ep becomes Mr know it all, the genius no one ever seen, comes up with a plan that all experts working there for ages, never thought of and saves the company and its employees. :whistling:
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Post by moadeep » Jan 9th, '12, 02:39

I have this sudden urge to go watch Billy Madison...

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Post by Silverman » Jan 9th, '12, 02:43

Issy wrote:
Silverman wrote:The funny thing is, that if i were in the position of this heir, than i would let take the cunning and evil guy the CEO-seat. Why? Because in all kdramas this heir is somebody, who is fresh from college and has zero experience, while the opponent is somebody with several years of experience. So the chances are, that this "evil" guy will help the company to grow and make profit and the shareholder will get more money. Yea i know its dramaland, but still these are thing, which i think every time, if i see the characters of a drama and they behave like its Armageddon, just because they are not the CEO.
and don't forget that "fresh from college with zero experience heir" in the matter of last ep becomes Mr know it all, the genius no one ever seen, comes up with a plan that all experts working there for ages, never thought of and saves the company and its employees. :whistling:
The most funny thing about this "rescue" is, that the genius idea, they come up with, could be invented by a 10 y old kid. Mostly they come with ideas like: a delivery service for a restaurant!!! Or if they develop a video game, then they come with the genius idea to...attention...drum roll...develop a game which can be played by 2 players or that the players can CHAT in an onlinegame. Hahaha..chatting in an onlinegame...genius...., why didn't anybody thought of that before?
The characters behave like such things as a deliveryservice is such a novelty, which just geniuses could come up with and the whole researchers couldn't think of that.
In some dramas there are these CEOs and directors, who are so moronic, that i think every time...wow these monkey could operate a big company for years an make profits...they must have Jesus, Buddha and God on their side to make this work?

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Post by Silverman » Jan 10th, '12, 07:02

A few things, which are so common in kdramas, that most people gave up to question them. But if you think objectively, then you come to the conclusion that the kdrama writes never learn and make the same mistakes and storyholes over and over again. Ok the point i want to mention aren't just common in kdramas, but also in almost all of the movies and dramas over the world.

First of all is there the question: Why does this girl/boy loves this boy/girl so much, that he/she would throw his/her life away for him/her? In a lot of dramas and movies the couple comes to love each other, after they experienced some hardships together and they have some sexual attraction to each other. The guy (in most cases a jerk) has still a vulnerable kernel and is actually a nice guy who helps the girl, if she needs some help. And the boy likes the girl in most cases, because he can be "his true self" in front of her and she understands him and also helps him if he is in need(and she is hot^^). Even if these things are often used in kdramas, so they are at least more or less with some goodwill understandable. Even if the second lead would be the better choice, at least for the girl. Because the second male lead is always a perfect prince, while the second female lead a dumb b*tch. But there are a lot of dramas,especially in the last few years, where I can't understand why the girl loves the guy so much (in vice versa). In these dramas the girl and boy just bicker and hurt each other. Except for this bickering there were nothing between them. No help, no overcoming of hardships, no showing the inner self, no understanding...NOTHING. And still they come to love each other and the dramawriters want to sell it as "the true and only love". You can argue, that there is sexual attraction and thats the reason the love each other. But seriously: its just attraction and not love. Even if I think that one girl is beautiful, but a b*tch, i would never fall in love with her. If she abuses me mentally, it doesn't matter, how hot she is. But still, even if you overlook this b*tchiness, than its still just attraction, but not love. It suffices perhaps for a one night stand, but not love worth dieing for. Or is it just me and I overlook some important point and its actual reasonable, that the couple comes together. OK i admit, that these couples overcome hardships in all dramas, but the point is, that the couples i mentioned overcome these hardships AFTER they are madly in love. But the point is, that they fall in love before they help each other, so its unreasonable.

While we are at the topic sexual attraction and sex. I know, that a lot of korean dramas have some issues with sex and the peak of a relationship is a awkward kiss and a hug. I know, that Koreans can be a little bit conservative. And thats OK. But some dramas perplex me. In these dramas they show, that people have sex and it doesn't end with a hug. But in a lot of these dramas the female lead or the male lead has sex with someone, who he or she met just a few times (not the female lead and male lead with each other, but with someone else) or even just one time. So far its OK, cause it also happens like this in real life. But the strange thing is, that the main couple doesn't have sex, even after they develop an undying love for each other, overcome hardships and are a couple for a few months. Even if they hug or kiss each other, they behave like 13 year old schoolgirls. Even for a simple hug, they have to come a looooong way and they keep thinking for months if they should kiss or not (exaggerated). So the conclusion is: It's OK to have sex with some stranger, but not with your bf/gf/ husband-or wife-to-be!?

COULD CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS:
I know we talked about money and poor people before, but there are a few points, which we forgot and which are very strange if you think about it. The poor lead (in most cases the girl) struggles in the beginning to find a job and earn enough money to eat. And this is in most cases the thing, which starts the story. In a lot of dramas they find a job and are really successful. Also the catch a rich husband. So far its dramaland and unrealistic, but that OK. The point, which keep me thinking is, that all this doesn't matter in the end. The girl/boy throws away the fortune and/or job...just because.
For example in Shining Inheritance the female lead achieves the position of a manager and has the chance to inherit a lot of money. But she throws it all away. One thing is, that she doesn't want the inheritance (even if its unrealistic), because it "doesn't belong her", but she also quits a job-position, which 80% of earths population would kill for (or at least for the speed, in which she achieved it). Ok in the end she still has a rich husband and a father, who starts a company, but she threw it all away BEFORE she found her father or she comes together with a rich bf. Another example is "Pick the Stars" . The girl has 6 siblings, she struggles to feed them and is ready to do almost everything for being able to feed them and survive. She even to considers to sell herself. In the end she inherits a lot of money...but she gives it all away and forces even her bf/husband to do the same. So in the end they live together, have not enough money to feed all the children. And they are happy!? Come on, pride and sense of achievement is one thing, but let the children be hungry?
These are just a few examples, there are a lot more, where the mainleads give their inheritance, shares, jobs away for nothing, so that they basically at the point at which the drama started, except they have now a person they are madly in love with. Yea i know these kind of plots want to suggest, that "all you need is love" and all other things are not important and that its so romantic...but cmon, its still silly. I would also not cut off my hand, so that the person I love can nurse me, because such caring and nursing is "romantic".
Also the in the beginning poor people, who can't even eat rice, because the have no money(I let the designer bags and latest cell phones unmentioned, because its just advertisement), don't care for money in the middle of the drama. OK not caring is one thing, but the money becomes magically not an issue, like it was in the beginning. The also begin to spend money, like its nothing. For example in "Successful Story of a Bright Girl ". The male lead becomes dirt poor and the female lead is also poor and has a lot of debt of ~9.000$ (OK its not exactly like this, but it should illustrate my point). In the middle of the drama they suddenly want to play baseball and they go to a shop and buy 2 full sets of equipment(also catcher equipment) for just playing around, because they suddenly wanted it. The point is, that even if you buy the cheapest equipment, so 2 full sets would cost you over 1500$. In other dramas they buy cellphones, cloths or are going in restaurants and spend ~50$-100$(each person) for a meal. Suh things are just inconsistent with the story.
If a writer wants to include such things, then let the characters come to money, so it could be at least explained or they shouldn't let them be so dirt poor in the beginning, that they could just afford rice.

Yea i know its all fantasy-dramas, where realism is not so important. But its just a bad story/movie/script, if the drama is inconsistent in its own world and rules. If you make a movie about dragons and the setting is in the middle ages, then you can't let a hero drive a car (except its a timetraveler-story). So you also can't let a dirt poor character buy a Yacht or let them spend 2000$ without thinking.

Sorry its something i should tell the writers^^. But these are still weird things^^.

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Ethlenn
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Post by Ethlenn » Jan 10th, '12, 11:52

Start the blog. That would be fun to follow^^
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Orion1986
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Post by Orion1986 » Jan 10th, '12, 15:31

It would indeed be fun. As for the couple issues, those hold a special place for a Drama Curiosities article. I have so much to write about the pecks and "not before marriage, dear" issues.

Also, about some characters who are even leads and are very easy and "oops, slept with someone" and then STILL end up hugging and kissing like they're 13. For one, it's that moral hypocrisy of shows which preach "innocence" to then show such realistic situations.
I mean come on! Really? You just screwed a guy out of impulse and you're an innocent flower who can't kiss him with your mouth open when the moment of accepting each other's mutual feelings comes to play? Not to mention a first hot kiss and then a peck at the end.

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