High production vs. Low production value k-dramas

Some K-dramas are of high production value, for example: My Love From Another Star, Master’s Sun, Secret Affair . Many are just churned out with every cost savings trick. I found some sure signs:

**Actors do not change clothes to go to bed, get hospital treatment or even surgery. **

Think of it, it takes time for wardrobe changes,why bother. I know I find it annoying particularly I think it was in Emergency Couple, the dad had heart surgery and after it was done, poof, he was still in his street clothes. It used to bug me, but now, I just go with the flow.

What are some things you have noticed that are obvious production cost shortcuts?

**Night filming **

Easy to manage the gawkers and the streets less people.

Elevator and stairwell scenes

Yes I find this so amusing too and have commented before on another topic how funny it is to see them go to bed with their coats on and then expect the viewers to accept some couple have have had a passionate night, hahahahaha. I admire the actors even more for doing their best with what they’re handed but does make me laugh out loud. The other one is the ever repeating scenes to fill in time. Like you I keep watching anyway.


I just finished watching one where people are in the hallway (of say the 14th floor), office, or apartment, then the conversation suddenly switches to outside the building without missing a beat.

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I particularly admire the older actors who simultaneously play different characters: the good and noble mom in one drama at the same time the same actress can be the most horrible step mother/mother in-law.

Some shows all the action sequences are in hallways and waiting for elevators.

Oh, yeah, I watched a Sageuk where this one guy was a eunuch, and in a concurrent “modern” drama, he was somebody’s uncle .

Another cost saving trick is providing no heat on the set. I have seen many dramas where the actors are clearly freezing their butts off with the cold smoke coming from their mouths whenever they speak, but we the viewers are supposed to think they are in a cozy warm house! Ugh! I feel for the actors.

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Ugh. I know. And even those long, winter conversations where there’s obviously snow all around (and they’re practising their fire-breathing skills :wink: ) and they stand outside instead of going in, when sometimes the highschool students have only a vest or their jacket on; but when you see the stills from inbetween shoots, they’re drinking hot coffee and wearing fur coats.


Reminds me of behind the scenes videos of BOF … lee min ho was freezing his but off but at least they tried to make it better with warm clothes or sth like that…

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me I notice straight away product placements. sometimes it’s hard to notice but take for ewample heirs, they showed that samsung tablet holder at least 3 times an episode. the last one is in the witch’s romance were she even says a slogan with ger multivitamins. I think the more they have products placements the more they save on production.

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A few things I noticed:

  • Totally broke persons have the latest smartphone but hey they reuse those phones in more Kdrama.
  • Companies just use their own office to film scenes of a company. Like you see the SBS office in Kdrama on SBS.
  • Some Kdrama share the same filming locations or houses at the same time.
  • I sometimes read that celebs say nobody has time to eat properly since they are so busy. Must save a lot of money on food too. And lucky them sometimes fanbases send food.
  • They use real events in a drama to make it look like it happened in that drama. Like concert audience they sometimes use in Kdrama to make it look like they are cheering for the kpop star in the Kdrama.
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There was a whole string of dramas I watched in a row that were advertising “korean beef.” Everyone would want it when they went to eat or were serving in their house, and I really picked up on it, cause the introductory line was the same every time.

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The houses are amazing. I now track not just the actors, but the houses. How about that “rooftop” apartment? Everyone has lived in it. I can just see a Korean Airbnb, you can stay at the different houses, well actually about 5-6 houses, where dramas are filmed.

On the food, I think they do a lot of eating on the shows, saves time on taking time for meals.

I’m pretty sure they do have of their soju drinking on these shows, too.

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I don’t think they drink much Soju but just keep filling them with water only the bottles they really open are filled with soju . The empty bottles they just have for display. There is no way they can keep acting like they do after drinking so much real soju.


Reminded me of personal taste :smiley: lee min ho can’t even drink a cup of soju in real life and played drunk :smiley:

LOL. That last line was so funny!!

I don’t remember who said that (maybe Park Shin Hye…) but the trick was to eat ice cube to avoid cold smoke when they spoke… It’s fun, you are frozen and you eat ice cube…

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Talk about torture…