How did you discover k-drama?


Just curious. Personally I’m into Scifi, History, Politics, to lesser extent drama, fantasy, comedy and romantic stuff. I like the Walking Dead series, but the series season had just ended and I didn’t find anything new on Netflix or HBO. Ofc I was searching for series in familiar languages that I understand, being dyslexic and all. I had some very limited exposure to Chinese films, like Hua Mulan (which I had to watch on 90% speed), which I really liked. Until I just stumbled onto this just released Netflix series of Kingdom, set in Joseon Korea, with a Zombie outbreak. I really liked it. Though didn’t start watching any kdrama after bindging that, though what it did was plant the seed and destroy some bias about foreign language media (that you have to watch it on 90% speed and invest lot’s of time into it), which was important. So in august 2020 when I again ran out of series to binge on Netflix (western series availability in Finland on Netflix isn’t always good, though getting better), I found this series about North Korea called Crash landing on you, I watched some trailers, saw that they had actually made North Korean costumes, uniforms, sets etc. look really authentic, nothing like the norm, I got interested. Binged it. And then the flood gates opened and I just started going from one series to another. For a while, my Netflix page only recommended kdrama :smiley: . Haven’t stopped since, though, now I take breaks from kdrama by watching other stuff, like Star Trek Discovery, A discovery of Witches etc. before picking up on kdrama again. :slight_smile:

Looked if there where any similar topics already created, but didn’t find any so created this topic. Odd that it hasn’t come up before.


I was learning Korean and at some point I went looking for things to watch in Korean … and was lucky enough to discover Viki. :slight_smile:


Similar topics:


‘First Drama’ and discovering a new genre is imo different. I have had lot’s of ‘first dramas’ over the years, like Watching Hua Mulan as mentioned. I’m looking more for the story and connection why someone keeps coming back. Sure, their similar and for some even almost one and the same. There’s a reason for why I like kdrama, but haven’t discovered cdrama even though I had some ‘firsts’ in cdrama :slight_smile:


In one word: peer-pressure. :joy:
In a long sentence: Feeling left out and tired of hearing the the same Disney Channel plots over and over or ‘different’ plots containing suicide, high school kids jumping in and out of bed and vampires everywhere, I made the switch to the world of chaebols, chicken shops, accidental kisses and eight hours waiting for the couple to even hold hands and didn’t look back :joy:


If i talk about how i discovered k drama i had say that c-drama or if i say more accurately an Ad open the doors of k drama to me cause my first asian drama was ’ Put your head on my shoulder’ (c-drama) which i accidentally discovered from an ad from then on started watching this and at first i had no idea that c-drama and k-drama are different but after some research and all i finally got the difference and hence i discovered that i am actually watching k-drama :joy::joy:cause after watching Put your head on your shoulder , i started Whats wrong with secretary kim (which was amazing) and now here i am calling myself a k,c-drama and k-pop fan :triumph::triumph:


I AM SO GLAD TO HAVE FOUND VIKI! Normal people doing really good movie stuff!
hmm, You want the Truth? Ok. Here you go… I don’t know if I ‘discovered kdramas’ or grew up in a kdrama type environment. :laughing: History lesson.

Hollywood’s portrayal of ethnic people has always been racist as hell. Ethnic people are only extras at best and always in the background. If the movie needs a main ethnic character they dress up some European-descent actor to play that part.

School - We were force fed the Columbus myth year after year - and this was to kids whose ancestors have always been here. When the teachers said, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” They were met with, “And they met my grandfather.” The outright coverup and lies about the Spanish Mission system being portrayed as,’ gentle friars and their native children gardening." We’d go home at tell our parents what they taught us in school that day and we knew they were mad but they didn’t tell us the awful truth at that time because we were just small children. But we knew the gig was up and found out later what really happened. For those who do not know, the Spanish Mission system in California was outright genocide. And the Vatican wants to make Junipero Serro a SAINT! Oh HELL NO! :rage: Look it up. We were mad at the misrepresentation and whitewashing of history. (and they wonder why the schools are failing.)

Early Hollywood movies involving Native (American Indian), Asian, Mexican or Black ethnicities were horrible - (look them up) so, along comes the 60’s and 70’s, TV. They decided to ‘allow’ real ethnic people into films, but they were still extras. Look at the tv show ‘Kung Fu’. They got David Carradine to play the lead part. Besides being European, he did not even know Kung Fu! Real people who did know martial arts were stars of Hong Kong movies at that time. The famous Bruce Lee, who is a local guy from San Francisco, had to go to Hong Kong to star in movies. Star Trek was the first US show to have people of various ethnicities just being regular people, doing their jobs and NO CARICATURES! (Except Checkov was a stereotype based off of Brezhnev and Khrushchev - He sure the heck did not act like any Russians from San Francisco. :roll_eyes: The Russian population has been in San Francisco and all the way north to Alaska and over to Vladivostok since the fur trade days.)

Now go back to the very interesting ethnic mix of Barbary Coast days (San Francisco). Before 1848 it was a sleepy trading post between the Russian, Aleuts and Spanish/Mexicans. Then the gold rush was on. BOOM! In 1849 you had one CRAZY! and I mean CRAZY/WILD boom town. Men were about 95% of the population back then. That ‘prime’ real estate in downtown Union Square? Maiden Lane? You know why it has that name? It’s because they put the prostitutes in the windows so the customers could walk past and select which ‘window dressing’ they liked. Same thing was going on in Chinatown a few blocks over except the brothels kept their women downstairs out of sight.

People were brought in from Asia - Mostly from China but also from Japan and the Philippines to do the hard work in the mines, railroads and farms but they were not allowed to bring wives or families because racist Americans wanted Asian people to go home. Of course, that persecution only encouraged smuggling and human trafficking and forced a really ugly business underground. Many guys managed to bring their families anyway at great cost but they either kept to the center of their communities or moved up the coast where there were no gold miners to harass them.

California became a state in 1849 on Union Square - the public square place where the elected to ‘join’ the United States.- which is why it’s called that. by 1849/50, they started enforcing law and order because it was just too wild. You had people coming in from all over the Pacific Rim. Russian and Aleut fur traders, People from Shangai to work in the railroads and mines. People from Japan too along with regular trade with Lima, Peru and half of western Ireland getting off ships in San Francisco. The trade network then was between Peru, SF, Shanghai and Russia. You also had all the various Native California people disguised as Mexicans just because they spoke Spanish and the Americans coming overland but mostly by boat since there was no easy route across the country back then. Before 1900, you had people from the Philippines and the Azores also. So this was early California, and my ancestors are from this timeline. Interestingly, My ancestors back then are from Peru, the Azores, Ireland, Mexico, Japan and China. Yea, that is an interesting story, right there. :rofl:

Way back in the 60’s and 70’s, due to the garbage from Hollywood, we were watching movies from Hong Kong and Japan. KQED in San Francisco used to have a Japanese Film Festival (mid-70’s) which showed movies from all the great directors from Japan - Akira Kurosawa, Yasujiro Ozu, Kenji MizogucJhi, Kinji Fukasaku, Hayao Miyazaki, Takashi Miike, Kaneto Shindo, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Shohei Imamura, Mikio Naruse, Kon Ichikawa, Seijin Suzuki, etc. There are so many great directors from the 20th century. Look them up. You will not be disappointed. They are very interesting - a much different pace. I wish I could watch some of the historical series again. They were really good.

Hollywood has been slowly improving but they still have a LOOOONGGG way to go.

So that still does not answer how I found Viki. For the last 22 years, I have been living on the backside of the reservation in Idaho. My hubby came to California and decided it was just too fast paced for him and took me back with him to Idaho. a HELL of a long way from The Pacific. Parts of the rez do NOT have tv or cell service. You have to get satellite or dialup. There is no streaming out there. and the snow can pile up out there and me being a California girl really really hates driving on ice. :scream: So after my hubby passed I moved to town and STREAMING! But I can’t afford to move back to the Bay Area. The cost of living back home is out of my pay grade. :sob: I MISS the ocean! I MISS fresh seafood! I miss my friends and family! Dang it. I MISS my multicultural city! Viki is saving my sanity!

So, then, How did I ‘discover’ kdramas? I streamed Netflix and found a Korean Odyssey. It was hilarious! I LOVED it and looked other Lee Seung Gi stuff. Gu Family Book - Loved that one too. and in there I found Viki, liked the shows that are available and subscribed and have been here ever since.

There was no Korean speaking community my part of the Bay Area when I was growing up. So I never learned any Korean from neighbors. But to my ears back then I always had to listen a bit to know if someone was speaking Japanese or Korean. They sounded so similar. Back then I only knew some Japanese words and phrases - mainly from Kurosawa and Godzilla movies (To mix Kurosawa and Godzilla movies together in the same sentence must be a crime somewhere. :roll_eyes: :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :joy: :scream: :rofl: )
Streaming some of the Viki shows used to annoy me when they forgot to put in subtitles for whole chunks of dialog. It bugged me enough that I decided to learn Korean. :laughing: Yea,. What’s one more language to pack into my ‘know enough to get myself into trouble but not enough to get out of it’ non-fluency bag of tricks… :grin: :roll_eyes::rofl:

Here you go - San Francisco demographics -


This is true, not to the same degree as the western counter, I feel kdrama does similar things with europeans or americans, often potraying them as dumber than the Korean character or having a obviously Austrian play as an American etc.

Indeed, it’s not only racist issues they have imo, but a bunch, in this sense as kdrama is newer, it hasn’t gotten all the same biases. Though I do se things like domestic violence, stronger traditional roles etc. Though I have to say that imo kdrama has more equally developed ‘independent’ storylines than western dramas. Western dramas tend to focus more on one “main” character, though there are exeptions to these in both western and kdrama.

As for language learning, one reason I want to learn Korean is so I would be able to multitask and/or passively understand korean, though I’m still at a very basic level. :slight_smile:

I’m super curious about life in other places, hows life in the bay area? Concerning multiculturalism, do everyone get along etc. outside the media industry discussed here? :slight_smile:

Though I would happily talk politics, but it’s banned in the community rules, so I’m curious about the more mundane stuff :slight_smile:


It’s like any other teeming population - 12-15 million people? - full of interesting people and places to go and things to do. Friends and foes live there. It’s very diverse. Lots of fusion and crash. Since it is on the Pacific Rim, there is a very high Asian population in the Bay Area. Maybe about 30% - From several countries - the majority being China, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc. Go read this - and also from all the Spanish speaking countries to the south.

You can’t afford to live there any more. Because they invented the personal computer there. During the Silicon Valley explosion, there were too many millionaires who paid cash for housing - raising the real-estate values to the point no one can afford to live there any longer unless they have 3 figure incomes.

Back in 1990, My sisters and I were renting a house that had a huge back yard with a garden. a garage with workroom in the back and a full basement. $600 a month. Same house in 2020 - My son is renting it now - except the garden and garage is gone. They subdivided the lot and put a duplex in the rear and the owner sealed off the basement so he could use it for his personal storage. My son has no idea how many dead bodies are buried down there. :thinking: :smirk: :laughing: A considerably reduced piece of real estate., $3,000 a month.

So the place is overpopulated and overbuilt. All the small truck farms are subdivided, suburbanized and industrialized. When I was a kid, you could see from one end of the bay to the other. EVERY day. Now you are lucky to see that gorgeous view maybe twice a year. :sob:

A great place to visit but economically difficult to live there now.


Yes, That’s why it’s interesting, the fact that it’s an such high density area is hard for me to imagine, especially on such a big geographical area. As a comparison, where I live, I can walk through my town in 15min, and I think I have everything I need in it. Though I used to live in a “big city” by Finnish standards, but probably a village in some other countries.
Helsinki has high rents, but I think San Fran is higher prized.

Sad to hear that it’s so expensive, I remember the series Charmed that showed off the city, and it looked like a beautiful place. :slight_smile:


It is NOTHING compared to Seoul, Tokyo or cities in China! The Bay Area is RURAL compared to those cities.




And small potatoes, in comparison.

San Francisco

San Francisco Bay Area


Actually I looked up Seoul already, the city area is like ~4/5 of my hometown, but the population is almost 2x the entire country’s population. I plan to one day visit Seoul, but I try to imagine how it is to walk around there, when do the city end, can you walk from place to place, how crowded are the streets etc. Watching kdrama doesn’t make it look so crowded or big imo. Though when I read about it, it is so massive, beyond imagination.

Btw, I don’t live in a rural area by Finnish standards, but I feel like a peasant when reading about this stuff


There are plenty of Subways, buses and cars to get around with but cars are probably stuck in traffic too much.

The cities are IMMENSE! and Seoul is steep and hilly just like San Francisco so your calves will get a workout. :grin:


To be perfectly honest, I think this is part of why I like kdrama so much and why I keep sticking with it. It’s just so different, and via kdrama you get to see (though sanitized) how things look and sound. So if I ever visit Seoul, I might get turned off from kdrama, when I see no forest in sight xD


Respondo en español, disculpen si a alguien le incomoda. yo comencé a ver k-dramas como una terapia auto recetada para la depresión. Quería ver series románticas y descubrí acá un gran repertorio, después de ver muchos dramas románticos, melodramas y comedias románticas comencé a sonreír más, me sentí de mejor humos y hasta comencé a hacer más ejercicio por estar de buen humor. Espero que ayude a muchas otras personas de la misma forma que a mi. hace poco ví un drama que tenía errores ortográficos en los subtítulos y otro donde las palabras estaban desordenadas en las oraciones, por eso decidí comenzar a ayudar y me uní a esta hermosa comunidad. Un abrazo a todos


Un abrazo. I am so glad that K-dramas helped you with your depression and that you are feeling better now.


thank you :grin::blush:


I think after experiencing Mumbai, I can take crowds of pretty much any size :joy: Whether you’ll enjoy it depends on whether you like noise and near-zero personal space

I googled it and there ARE a few in Seoul!! Mostly National Parks…


¡Hola! Es bueno que los kdramas ayuden a curar su depresión. Gracias por ayudar con los subtítulos en español. No hablo español con fluidez, por lo que mi gramática es terrible, pero hablo California street Spanish, no español “correcto”. es bueno que la gente ayude donde pueda. He estado aprendiendo coreano y estoy aprendiendo a segmentar.


My first Kdrama was what’s wrong with secretary Kim?
I really love it, it was very different from the series from my country so I feel very good, it was very different from my imagination. XD
I get to know about this drama from a Friend, she told me that she was watching it and I need to watch, I was like: I don’t want but I will try and Then… Here I am XD now I am 17 and I have a big Crush in Kdramas XD