I love Kdrama, but why does everyone have a drinking problem?

I don’t think I have ever seen a Kdrama where the characters didn’t drink until they literally passed out and had to be carried home. It’s not just the men, either. The women drink side-by-side with the men. I mean, this is a national problem. It’s gone far beyond the entertainment factor. There is nothing funny about a young man or woman slumped over from drinking too much.

Alcohol abuse isn’t just an addiction; it’s a disease-inducing addiction.
You will most certainly die!! I’ve seen it first hand. It’s scary, like on a nightmarish level!! I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink, but just do it with moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation, after all.
My grandfather had a winery, but he never drank more than one glass of wine on special occasions.

For such a technologically advanced country, it’s surprising that Koreans are unaware of the devastating effects of alcohol on the body. My mother said that they must be very sad and depressed to be drinking this much. I suppose that’s true. Rarely have I seen them drink after something good has just happened. Actually, they only drink when bad things happen, and let me tell, a lot of bad things happen in these Kdramas.

Anyway, the link below is just to scare you off in case you didn’t know any better.
It worked with me… I don’t drink or smoke or do drugs. I just watch Kdrama. That’s my addiction. I just wish they wouldn’t drink so much, so they could live a really long time and do lots of them. :slight_smile:



Hello Adrian, great thinking.

I think that “drinking too much and getting slumped over” has become a technique to show that the characters are extremely angry, sad, depressed or sometimes extremely happy. When they break up with their ex, they get drunk; when they lose their job, they get drunk; when they get married, they get drunk…And in dramas, when the characters get drunk, they will do things that normally they won’t and forget all about them when they get sober again.

I think this phenomenon is somehow related to the wine culture/drinking culture in some Asian countries, especially South Korea and China. I know that in China, there are old sayings like “You’ll have no worries when drunk” and “When drinking with a bosom friend, a thousand cups will still be too few” and “Alcohol will boost a coward’s courage”. Actually, we have so many idioms, poems and stories that is related to alcohol. Drinking has become a way to both forget the painful things and and express happiness. Hope this article will help. http://www.kdramastars.com/articles/20119/20140421/understanding-k-drama-what-are-they-drinking.htm

But yes, it might not be proper to have too many drunk characters in dramas. Young people might regard it to be normal and imitate it.

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It reflects the actual situation in Korea.
You may want to take this whole discussion to this thread:

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Great post! Thank you.

Alright then… How do I tag others?

Like this:

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Thank you!


Is part of the Asian culture for man to drink after work before heading home. If the guy wants to decline he’s considered rude, disrespectful and stingy. Not only they are forced to drink , they have to offer a round of drinks to all the one’s drinking in the group. (My niece fiance is Asian).

When it comes to women, I bet they never go to that extreme of drunkenness. But in k-dramas we see that scene so often, and is so obnoxious/unpleasant/uncomfortable in my book.

In my culture a girl who is decent, never goes in a men’s back spreading her legs like that, much less! I don’t understand how being carried like a sack of potatoes is suppose to be --’'romantic? in k-drama world.

I did a research paper on alcoholism during my College years (Wayyyyyyy back lol), and discovered through that research that if you are a male and your father is an alcoholic once they touch that first drink the probability of becoming an alcoholic is 99.9 percent.
Even if the male was not raised by the father or was ever around him to see him drinking. The female on the other hand, would have high tolerance to alcohol, but most likely would not become an alcoholic, out of her resentment to her father’s drinking and behavior. The probability of the female becoming an alcoholic was very low (sorry I can’t remember the percentage).

I like that you are sensitive to all this subjects. Everyone knows young girls watch this K-dramas here and I bet they see that as being normal and is definitely not normal. In my opinion, K-drama need to respect the young viewers and change those scenes already. I disliked them from day one and hate them every time I see them in dramas.

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LOL Yeah! Another cultural shock maybe.


It’s quite an intimate contact, isn’t it? And especially for a culture when physical contact between the sexes is otherwise kept to a minimum.


Yes, it is a sensitive subject for me, but I am happy to report that I am the elusive 0.1%… I don’t drink, or smoke, or do any drugs. It would be pretty shameful for an up-and-coming writer, after all. :sweat_smile:
I’m no angel, of course. I have a difficult time keeping my emotions in check, and I end up upsetting the people who actually care about my well-being…

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If I lived 35 miles from the DMZ like Seoulites do, I’d be drinking too.

In case this is not humor, it raises some interesting questions:

  • How much did Koreans drink before the war and division, compared to now? (Taking into account the new affluence in South Korea). What about during the war and the years just after?
  • How much do Southern South Koreans drink compared to Northern South Koreans? Is it proportional to their vicinity to the border?
  • How much do other people in countries where there is a threat or risk from neighbouring countries drink? How about Berliners before the Wall crumbled? How about Greeks who live near Turkey? How about Palestinians? (ok Palestinians are Muslims, so they wouldn’t drink much anyway).

It would be interesting if there were some research on these matters.

ok guys, here I go, do Koreans really do that or is it just in the dramas??

They really do that. On the thread I had made some time ago there are links to several interesting articles and a video.

I just didn’t realize that. still good to know. thanks for the info.

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