Sunday, March 26, 2006

Leave me Alone, I'm Watching my [Korean] Stories

Here's a story about Korean soaps ("hallyu," or the "Korean wave") and their growing audience that is interesting to me because I have a Korean adoptee sister, I read the blog of a Korean adoptee (who recently moved to Hawaii where Korean soaps are ultra-hip), and I also read the blog of a blogger of Japanese ancestry, and apparently that's enough to tie you to this article: "Gerrie Nakamura and Nora Muramoto, who are of Japanese ancestry, are truly Korean drama queens."

I find it interesting that those who watch the Korean soaps extoll the virtue of Korean cinematic arts as more "wholesome" (than U.S. television). I have to assume this means they're referring only to television and that they've never watched Park Chan-wook's Vengeance Series. Sympathy for Mr. Vengence and Oldboy are perhaps two of the most violent, twisted movies I've ever watched. Which probably means there's a very interesting cultural study that can be done regarding the dichotomy of Korean cinema versus Korean television and why there might be two extremes. Then again, maybe Park is just a psychotic and needs a good therapist.

I have to admit, the idea of ending a soap after a dozen or so episodes is a breakthrough that U.S. soaps should follow, and I think it's in part why 24 and Lost are popular, because each season is like a mini soap - limited in scope and, in some respects, insular of story line within the season (just with overlap).

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