At one point in our lives, we were all k-drama newbies and had to learn our burning answers to k-drama questions on our own. For those of you that are new to the wonderful world of Korean Dramas, I think this would be a useful guide into understanding k-dramas.
This is a post to showcase some of the most common and popular k-drama questions. If you’re new to the genre, I hope these questions prove helpful. If you feel you have k-drama questions I haven’t answered yet, please comment below. This list will be updated somewhat regularly as I have new material to add.
When did Korean dramas become popular?
Korean dramas became popular in the late 90’s, but, on a global scale, that success didn’t spread until roughly 2009 and later due to a spread of content online and provided in English and other language subtitles.
One of the original pioneers in Korean drama availability to the US and other countries was the now defunct DramaFever, which served as the gateway to Korean dramas on a global scale.
Do k-dramas have second seasons?
Very Rarely. Most k-dramas only have one season averaging 16 episodes.
What are some k-dramas that have second seasons?
Some rare k-dramas with second seasons are Voice, Vampire Prosecutor, God’s Quiz/Quiz From God, Age of Youth, Let’s Eat, Mystery Queen, Signal, Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul Ho, Sound of Your Heart Reboot, Kingdom, etc.
Why do k-dramas blur things? (Knives, other weapons, etc.)
South Korea has censorship laws that prohibit showing weapons on screen. This is why you will often see them blurred out.
Does Netflix have k-dramas?
Yes, Netflix has a variety of k-dramas. You can read my post here on how to find k-dramas on Netflix. The content is always growing and changing, so take advantage of Netflix as you can. The shelf life of k-dramas varies greatly on the licensing agreements that Netflix obtains for each individual drama.
Does Crunchy Roll have k-dramas?
No, Crunchy Roll no longer has k-dramas. They launched kdrama.com back in 2014 exclusively for k-dramas. That was eventually acquired by Soompi TV and then Soompi TV merged with Viki.
What are k-dramas?
K-Dramas are short for Korean Dramas. You might find them also stylized as kdramas without the dash. K-Dramas are television series produced in South Korea.
Are k-dramas popular?
Yes. Not only are k-dramas popular in South Korea, but they are more accessible and popular internationally thanks to websites like DramaFever (RIP!) Netflix and Viki. This accessibility has allowed international viewers, like myself, the opportunity to watch.
Where do I watch Korean dramas with English subtitles?
The most popular and official sources to watching k-dramas with English subtitles is Netflix and Viki. (RIP to DramaFever.) You can also find k-dramas on Kocowa, and OnDemand Korea (not everything is subtitled here) and KBS World TV’s Youtube page.
Where can I watch Korean dramas with English Subs for free?
Most k-dramas on Viki are completely free without additional subscription passes. There are always exceptions; this is your main, legal source. Some options are available on ODK (OnDemand Korea), but be cautious as some dramas do not have English subtitles. KBS World TV’s Youtube page also contains some k-dramas. Asian Crush also has a small collection while Vui is another option but that is not available in all countries. No US access for that, sorry all.
There are popular non-legal sources with English subs that I will mention, but I am not linking to these for legal reasons. You can find very easily with a google search. Kiss Asian, Drama Cool, Drama Nice, Drama3s, Kseries, and more. Also, you can find some dramas on Youtube as well.
Why do k-dramas cover/blur car logos?
Brands can only be displayed on screen if they’re an approved source of product placement. Company logos cannot be displayed without their permission, which is why you’ll sometimes see logos covered.
Advertisers don’t want free advertising, so if they’re not sponsoring content in dramas and that drama is using their brand, it must be covered to avoid any legal issues.
What is the Korean Wave?
First things first. The Korean Wave is also known as the Hallyu Wave. You may hear this world thrown around a lot in articles, so I wanted to take the opportunity to explain it a bit. K-dramas gained traction in the 90’s and spread across Asia first. Then, thanks to the internet and social media platforms, it spread on a global scale.
The key to success is accessibility and since roughly 2009, Korean drama availability to global audiences has exploded. K-pop is also large in Korea and has widely spread across the world thanks to video sharing sites like YouTube. You may remember when Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ exploded internationally, specifically in the US. I couldn’t listen to the radio without hearing it play at least once or twice a day.
The Korean Wave aka the Hallyu Wave is simply the global spread of South Korean content and culture. Whether it be language, music, dramas, or history, South Korean culture is everywhere.
Do guys like k-dramas?
Yes, k-dramas are not just for one gender. There are plenty of different styles out there to appeal to everyone: contemporary, sageuks (historical), romantic comedy, action, thriller, comedy, and melodrama. I’ve personally had guys comment on my posts that they watch dramas and love k-dramas—some even romantic comedies at that.
Does Amazon Prime have k-dramas?
Yes. You can find some options here. Your selection on Netflix and Viki are more diverse than Amazon Prime, but, nonetheless, you will find a few things on Amazon Prime.
Does Hulu have k-dramas?
Yes, Hulu does have a couple of k-dramas. Current selection as of 2/4/19 is: Descendants of the Sun, Oh My Venus, The Legend of the Blue Sea, While You Were Sleeping, Just Between Lovers, Chief Kim, & Boys Over Flowers. (I no longer have Hulu, so if this list changes, please let me know.)
What is a k-drama trope?
A trope is essentially a popular plot device or element you see used over and over again in Korean dramas. Some examples of tropes and/or cliches are amnesia, truck of doom, wrist grabs, friends to lovers, noona romances, hate to love, rich girl/poor guy, evil parents, back hugs, piggyback rides, loan sharks, gratuitous shower scenes, birth secrets, cohabitation and many more.
This will be an ever-growing resource with questions and answers. I will update content regularly, but that will vary on what questions I come across. I also have a listing of 10 Popular K-Drama Tropes that may help you understand k-dramas better. Please note that these are only a few of many popular tropes. Fighting!
I want to make it easier for everyone to find what they need, so if you’ve found these commonly asked k-drama questions helpful or useful for beginner drama watchers, please voice your thoughts and feel free to like, subscribe, and share.
So, what did you think readers? Did you learn anything new through my commonly asked k-drama questions or was this information you already knew? I always look forward to hearing your thoughts.