What I learned from compiling my list of k-dramas (See top menu), is that a good rule of thumb is to watch a drama twice when able, if still curious about it. In more than one instance, I didn’t care for the couple that the writers chose, but the second time around was fully on board. If I’m being overly logical, it might mean that I have a hard time forgiving, but do stay open to a “belief reversal” or change of heart.
I found myself wondering whether it might be interesting to contrast with more Western TV, not just in the obvious ways, pointing out differences in restraint and virtue, but contrasts between specific shows, comparisons with specific actors. People have written about the obvious Jane Austenness of Korean drama, but where is this seen most clearly?
Well, the first image that pops up for me is from Emma Thompson’s interpretation of, Sense and Sensibility. Col. Brandon is at the door catching first sight of Marianne, who is playing piano. His hiding in the shadows is so clearly parallel to k-drama second-lead moments of adoration and brooding. In k-dramas however, this longing usually ends with something like #thanksnothanks, #sorrynotsorry.
In Sense and Sensibility, When Marianne lingers later, recovering from illness, Col. Brandon’s stance is the same, but her heart has actually changed. She has not settled, nor reasoned herself into a more stable affection. She has seen him with new, more fragile eyes, and thus truly appreciates his less showy devotion.
Which is something I’ve not seen fully realized in k-drama yet. I could search for “second lead gets the girl” but wouldn’t be the same as pulling off a genuine shift.