Ok, so How I Met Your Mother ended last week and the whole online community was abuzz with happy, sad and angry reactions by fans the world over to the finale. A couple of months ago, the legendary Dr. Hur Jun made his way to the Indian television, and well, wait a minute- Dr.Hur Jun? Who?
Now check what is common to all these terms: Samsung, Psy, Gangnam Style, Hyundai. Famous brands, popular songs- what’s common there? Korea!
|Dr Hur Jun- popular Korean drama series, now being broadcast in India|
You are probably not the only one with this kind of a reaction. Till about a month ago, even I had no idea that we have Korean television shows running on Indian channels in India. While the American shows have kept me and almost everyone in my friend circles deeply engrossed, the Korean shows haven’t made a mark, yet. And I don’t blame anyone except my ignorance for the same.
A few days ago I came across a post on facebook talking about the emergence of Korean dramas in the Indian TV circuit. I was intrigued and went to Google for enlightenment. A plethora of news articles and posts flooded the search results. I started going through each one of them. I was surprised at how little I knew about such a highly growing contemporary phenomenon.
This was when I decided that the next thing to write on my blog would be something that would let my fellow Indians learn about the various K-drama shows on Indian TV (or the most popular ones, to say) and let them know what they are missing. Also, my brief research led me to many interesting facts regarding K-dramas in India which I will mention later in the post. (I somehow managed to find many English name variants for the same show, which got me a little confused!)
Some popular recent shows (Source: IMDb/Wikipedia):
The Heirs- (Rom-com/Drama/School) The show follows the stories of a group of elite high school students as they are groomed to take over their families' business empires.
Gu Family Book- (Rom-com/Action/Fantasy) A melodrama epic about the great deal of trouble Choi Kang Chi, born as a half-human-half-mythical-creature, who goes through in order to become human. (Umm…no vampires or werewolves there for you Twilight fans! :p )
|Gu Family Book|
The Master’s Sun- (Rom-com/Horror) Joo Joong-won is the greedy owner of a conglomerate that includes a major department store and hotel. He meets the gloomy Tae Gong-shil, who started seeing ghosts after an accident. Their lives take a new turn as they work together to deal with the terror and sadness brought about by the spirits, while delving into a kidnapping incident in Joong-won's past.
|The Master's Sun|
I hear your Voices- (Romace/Courtroom) After overcoming poverty and a difficult childhood, Jang Hye-sung becomes a lawyer, but she is pragmatic, self-preserving and jaded. Her life changes when she encounters Park Soo-ha, a high school boy with mind-reading abilities, and cop-turned-lawyer Cha Gwan-woo who is cheerful and idealistic. Together, this unlikely team use unconventional methods on their cases, proving that while sometimes justice is blind to a fault, she can still hear your voice.
|I hear your voices|
An all time favourite and probably the most famous K-drama:
Dr. Hur Jun ki Sachi Daastan- The Hindi dubbed version of the popular autobiographical account of Dr. Hur Jun is the result of a collaboration between the Korean Cultural Centre, India and DD Bharati to highlight the contemporary Korean culture and history. It is aired on DD Bharati every Mon-Fri at 7PM.
(If you are free and in Delhi on 8th April, you can catch a screening of an episode from the series)
Some lesser known K-facts:
Manipur saw the ban of all satellite channels and Bollywood films in 2000. In the lack of any alternate source of televised entertainment, the Manipuri people found refuge with South-Asian dramas. And soon K-dramas became popular not only in Manipur, but throughout the North-East.
The Korean dramas or the Korean wave is popularly called Hallyu, which literally means ‘the flow and spread of Korea’.
The majority of K-dramas are categorized into two genres- romance and historical fantasy.
I came across various forums on the web with a major Indian fanbase talking about Korean shows. There are many facebook pages on the topic with loads of discussions on. Going through these discussions I saw posts dated almost 2 years old with people from Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata talking about their favourite K-show’s previous night episode. Of course the majority of them seem to be college-students who (I can safely assume) would be using torrents rather than watching the shows on broadcast TV. (But how does that matter, as long as the shows get seen and increase their worldwide reach? It’s the spread of the knowledge about the culture that matters here, right?)
I am yet to see a full length Korean tv show myself. As of now, it’s been just a few clips on youtube. Dr Hur Jun is surely on my top priority. I hope this blog entry and my followers somehow do contribute in the spread of Hallyu and discover this largely unknown form of entertainment. If you have seen any good Korean drama and would recommend it, do mention it in the comments, I would love to get some good suggestions.
This post has been written for the blogging competition being conducted by Korean Cultural Centre India, the country partners for First Frame 2014- Sixth International Students’ Film Festival conducted by MBICEM.
PS: Frankly speaking, when I first read the topic of this blogging competition (the same as the title of this post), ‘K-drama’ brought Ekta Kapoor’s ‘k’ serials to my mind. Not that I have anything against them but then, on second thoughts and seeing the ‘Korean Cultural Centre’ name attached, suddenly the topic made much more sense!