October 3, 2006

Heroines In Modern Korean TV Dramas

Endless Love ImageHave you noticed the change in the personalities of the lead female characters in modern Korean TV dramas in the last few years?

When the Korean Wave first exploded from 2001 to 2003, the heroines in the most popular dramas during that period were usually sweet and gentle girl-next-door types that somehow had extremely tragic destinies. However, they still maintained their sweet smiles and stoic optimisim even in the most difficult circumstances, which of course made the situation look even more tragic in the audience's eye. Classic examples include Eun-Suh (played by Song Hye-Gyo) from , Yun-Hee (Kim Hyun-Ju) from and Han Jung-Suh (Choi Ji-Woo) from . If you want to enjoy a good cry, try watching these dramas, especially Autumn :-P

My Lovely Sam Soon ImageBut since about one or two years ago, the producers must have realised that audiences were getting tired of the unrelenting tragedy in their dramas, possibly signalled by falling ratings in similar dramas and decided to make more light hearted dramas. In came the comical, down-to-earth but klutzy heroines such as Kim Sam-Soon (Kim Sun-A) from , Yoo-rin (Lee Da-Hae) from and Ji-Eun (Song Hye-Gyo again) from . Besides the usual comedic but sometimes touching romantic entanglements with the male lead characters, these modern misses mostly do not have painful pasts or tragic destinies like their sisters in earlier dramas. They are more like Asian versions of Ally McBeal and Bridget Jones... and immediately struck a chord with young Asian women who identified with the characters' struggles and problems.

The success of these light-hearted dramas in terms of ratings showed that perhaps this is the road to TV drama land success for Korean drama serials at the moment. However, who knows, there may come a time in the near future when weepy dramas launch a comeback with a new vengence haha....

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