Dramabeans: The Book

Why do dramas do that?

If ever there were a question that characterized the seven years we’ve been running this site, that would be the one. What’s with the back hugging? Do Koreans really drink so much soju? Wrist grabs: EXPLAIN!

Those kinds of questions get asked daily around here, which is what initially spawned our Pop Culture and Glossary series of posts. We quickly realized we could fill pages and pages of material…. So why don’t we? we wondered.

And thus Dramabeans: The Book was born.

Check out Part 1 below:

Why Do Dramas Do That? Part 1

Korean television dramas aren’t just for Korea anymore—their popularity has exploded across the globe, picking up rabid followings and spawning addictions worldwide. Maybe it’s the glossy production value or the fast-paced, addictive storytelling of dramas like Boys Over Flowers, Coffee Prince, or Secret Garden. Maybe it’s the family bonds that pluck the heartstrings, or it’s the pathos of a hard-won love that rings true with its universality.

Yet for all the universal themes at play, inevitably things will get lost in translation. Like why heroines always get swindled out of house and home, or why heroes will fight tooth and nail to win their beloveds, only to send them away “for their own good.” Or perhaps it’s the language itself that doesn’t quite clear the cultural gap—why does nobody call each other by name? Why is everyone always encouraging each other to go “fighting”?

The authors of Dramabeans explore these questions and more, taking their trademark irreverence to Why Do Dramas Do That? Part 1, where they answer those questions and explore the most common tropes that arise from drama to drama. A must-read for anybody who’s ever fallen headlong into a drama addiction, puzzled over a story turn, or wondered, “Why do dramas do that?”

Some of the questions addressed:

  • What’s a Hallyu and is it contagious?
  • Why do Korean dramas insist on the live-shoot? Don’t people get tired?
  • Why does makjang get such a bad rap?
  • Why do guys love being called oppa so much?
  • Is a noona-killer a good thing or a bad thing?
  • Why do people always say fighting?
  • Can’t a Cheongdam-dong daughter-in-law and a Hongdae club rat just get along?
  • Why is everyone in a drama obsessed with a first love?
  • Loving your brother from another mother: Is it ever safe?
  • Why do diametric opposites attract?
  • Back-hugs and pining hearts: Is unrequited love still love?

And more!