Binge-watching K-drama: Finding Respite from the Pandemic

by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

It is no question that Korean pop culture has infiltrated the global scene. There are millions of fans all over the world who love BTS, and Korean dramas are some of the most-watched on Netflix.

I am not so much of a K-pop fan (though my 5-year-old daughter dances when she hears Dynamite and Butter by BTS), but I am definitely a K-drama lover. Ever since Korean dramas were introduced in the Philippines, I found myself hooked to the beautiful plots, good-looking Korean actors and actresses and memorable soundtracks.

I was in high school when Autumn In My Heart was aired on one of the major TV stations. Since then, I fell in love with Korean dramas. When I was in college, my friends and I would watch K-dramas after exam week to relax. When there was nothing to do on weekends, my sister and I would binge-watch shows until morning and sleep during the day.

And staying in South Korea for almost seven years now, I fell in love with their dramas even more. Watching Korean dramas also became our favorite bonding activity as husband and wife, and for some of our couple friends. When our children are already asleep, we would tune it to our chosen Korean drama. We will laugh together, sometimes cry together, and discuss the plot with each other.

Binge-watching Korean dramas bring us closer to each other. In fact, we made it a goal to visit shooting locations of the dramas we love, this gave us unforgettable experiences and wonderful memories as a family.

What I love about Korean dramas, compared to the ones I watched growing up in the Philippines, is that they have a way to transform a simple concept into an elaborate plot that will stimulate your mind and capture your heart.

The lines are spectacular, the music is superb, the characters are excellent, everything is well-executed. When you look at their stories closely, they have underlying messages with social relevance.

Every story reveals something about their culture – both good and bad. No wonder they have won many people’s hearts, not just the ones who can understand the language but even those who are forced to read the English subtitles.

This pandemic has forced many to stay indoors. Many are looking for ways to cope especially in places where there are lockdowns. Some are looking for things to do to let time pass.

Fortunately, these exciting, heartwarming and beautiful dramas offer respite from a very difficult time. Though temporary, watching beautiful stories take away our minds from the cares of this world and bring joy to troubled hearts.

We live at a time where troubles are all around. We live in a world where we are faced every single day with the threat of a pandemic that seems to have no end in sight.

At such a difficult time, we surely need a good laugh, and definitely a good cry. The beautiful dramas the South Koreans are making will give you both. If you haven’t watched one, please do try. And just like the Pringles slogan says: “Once you pop, you can’t stop!”

Read more Personal Reflection columns:
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It Is Well with My Soul

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