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Why Are Kdramas so Cheesy?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Kdramas are cheesy because the producers that write the scripts have the full story layed out in their heads. Koreans love kdramas that are cheesy and that’s why most of the dramas these days are like that.

If you’ve taken a dive into the world of Korean dramas, you probably know how fun, intense, gripping and addictive they are. And did we forget to mention how these kdramas can leave you love-struck and starry-eyed?

The element of love is always given justice when it comes to these romantic TV shows.

Whether it’s affection-filled moments, warm and soft hugs, or dreamy kisses, k drama is often synonymous with cheesy. But there is a lot more to these dramas, which makes them super popular.

So, let’s take a look at all the ingredients that make Korean dramas such a pleasure to watch. 

Why Do People Like K-Dramas so Much?

K-dramas are fast gaining popularity all over the world. It is one of the highest watched categories on Netflix. So, what makes Korean drama so appealing to the masses?

For starters, it is the versatility in the drama plots and stories. You can find the most unique themes and ideas here. In fact, you can think of almost any topic and will be able to find a Korean drama about it.

From a 900-year-old goblin looking for his bride to undo a curse, to a slice-of-life drama set in the 80’s era, to a show about a man suffering from multiple personality disorder. There is something for everyone.

Secondly, Korean shows have the most heartwarming, relatable characters. One reason for the success of these shows is the character development and pacing. They take you on a journey, unraveling the most complex characters with deep story-telling.

There is a lot to like about k shows. It’s the stellar cast, beautifully shot scenes, and the fascinating Korean culture which makes almost any k drama a treat to watch. It’s like a whole new world for international audiences.

Are Korean Dramas Realistic?

Dripping with culture, dramas set in Korea have a personality of their own. Most of the time, there are trendy outfits, luxurious homes, aesthetic sceneries, and lots of eye candy to enjoy.

And how can we forget, the mouth-watering Korean food which is highly emphasized in most shows. The lead actors are absolutely beautiful most of the time.

Well, are these shows realistic? Not really. They do not always depict the average Korean life and are definitely quite glamorized. But this might just be their secret ingredient. Who doesn’t want to look at their screen and feel mesmerized?

It’s worth mentioning that not every k drama is dramatic and stunning in an unrealistic way. Some of them do show the gritty reality.

You will also find heart-wrenching stories set in slums or poor neighborhoods, depicting the true struggles of many Koreans. There are other shows which depict the mundane, real-life of an average person living in Korea as well.

Although, life in Korea is often shown through a rose-tinted lens, there are many situations that are depicted realistically. For instance, the foundations of marriage, the importance of age and rank in society as well as the oh-so flawless skin- it’s all very real and similar to life in Korea.

Why Are K-Dramas so Addictive?

K-drama addiction is a real phenomenon. Once you start watching these shows, there really is no going back. What makes them so addicting? Well, many people say they find an escape from reality when they immerse themselves in a show.

Young, beautiful men and women, clad in fashionable outfits and designer bags, falling in love in the most magical way is quite the norm in a kdrama. There is intoxicating, sweeping-off-your-feet kind of love, with soul-crushing twists, and all the right ingredients.

Yes, they may be cheesy, dreamy, romantic, and filled with stunning scenes, but this is what makes them so special in the first place. You simply want more, and you keep watching!

Another reason kdramas are so compelling is the episode numbers. On average, you will find a 16 to 24 episode drama which means the story will wrap up and conclude perfectly.

You won’t be watching season after season, and investing yourself into a show for years. This 16 episode formula really works for k dramas because you get a happy (or sad) ending within a reasonable time frame.

The element of addiction also arises from the fact that these shows are super emotional. They successfully build emotional connections with the audience. You will laugh and cry with the characters and relate to them. The actors generally do a phenomenal job and pour their hearts into their roles.

Lastly, these shows are highly accessible and easy to watch online, and you can browse through thousands of options anytime, which naturally makes them even more addicting.

If you want to cry a lot, look for melodramas. If you’re more into fantasy or science-fiction, there’s a whole new door waiting for you.

Why Are Korean Dramas so Good?

Korean TV series are actually good from a critical perspective as well. You get to watch a society that has traditional values, a strong culture, and yet it is advanced, futuristic, and updated with the current trends.

Impeccable scenes and cast are not the only two factors at play. In fact, it is storytelling at its finest, which has made Korea a big name in the drama industry today.

It is commendable how the stories are written and executed in a way that the focus is not on the lead actors alone, rather the whole case is woven into it.

There is a good amount of tension build-up, cliff-hangers, and every episode leaves the audience itching to watch some more. It’s the importance given to the little things like holding hands that makes the show feel special.

Even a kiss does not happen right away, like in most Western shows. Every precious moment is preserved and cherished.

This brings us to the next point- these shows are appropriate for all ages. You don’t have to worry about foul language, too much violence, nudity, or other R-rated content.

As most of the dramas are G-rated, they are quite clean compared to American content. Love-making is close to non-existent in these shows. So, you can allow your young children or teens to enjoy watching them without worrying about any of these factors.


Although Korean tv-series is often referred to as cheesy, which they definitely are, we can’t really generalize these gems.

Beyond rom-com, there is an endless list of genres to grip you and move you. Whether you’re looking for some light watching or an intense roller-coaster ride, you will be pleased with Korean television.

This is a category of tv that is like a breath of fresh air right now. Plus, you can even improve your vocabulary and learn lots of Korean lingo and phrases. We just love the educational side of Korean drama, the culture, societal norms, family values, and how their day-to-day life is shown.

If you have some time on your hands and are looking for a new show to watch, we recommend you to join the K club now. Browse the internet and start watching one of these wholesome shows. Start with the highest-rated ones first. You might just find your very own beautiful escape!

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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