Boys Over Flowers

Elements to success of K-drama


Why does everyone watch Korean drama ? K-drama has found certain ways to promote their series using the Cinderella story, similar plots with unexpected twists, gorgeous cast, corporate with K-pop and Fashion to spread popularity, variety in characters, beautiful settings are the significance elements lead K dramas to its success.  


Cinderella is a very famous Western fairy tale. It starts with a poor unfortunate girl who has a step mom and sisters that hate her and always mean to her. One day she meets the prince, fall in love and live happily ever after. Does it sound familiar with “My Princess” where Lee-Sul is a typical poor girl who is given up for adoption suddenly find out she is a princess and fall in love with her prince charming whose grandfather owes one of the biggest company in Korea? She has a sister that dislike her and partner up with a mean girl,who loves her prince, to take her down. She does not have a great childhood and her father passes away just like Cinderella.



Goong is also another fictional  drama series about the Korean royal family. Chae-Kyeong is also a very typical girl from a middle class family who one day finds out she is getting married with Lee Shin the prince of Korea because of an arranged married agreement between her grandfather and the last king.  From a ordinary girl to a princess is every girl’s dream, using that Korean writters comes up with the modern Cinderella plot to attract young female teenagers and they successes based on how popular the two series that I mention above are.



It does not have to involve a prince or royal family to make a “Cinderella story” series, it can be a very handsome, rich, popular boy who is the leader at school and everyone wants to be his girl. Boys Over Flowers for example is a very famous Korean drama series that is well-known worldwide and it does not have anything related to actual Royal family but Goo Jun Pyo who is a leading male character is built like a prince figure. He is the only son of the most powerful incorporation of South Korea, he lives in a mansion as big as a palace with drivers and maids, drive the nicest car and go on vacations in fancy places. He falls in love with Geum Jan Di who is a girl from a poor family and that is when the Cinderella story begins.


Another elements that Korean drama series famous for is the attractive cast in every series. There is always a cold good looking “bad boy”, a pure innocent looking girl or a sexy mean woman who tries to get in between them and there is a gorgeous looking “player” who makes all the girl fall in love. Korean drama has it all and no one can deny that Korean actors and actress are by far one of the most good looking cast. I have heard people ask if every Korean look like that because they get some beautiful figure in drama series. Korean movies are like commercial they always pick the best looking cast and it is a very important element beside the plot in how successful the series would be.



When you watch a lot of Korean drama series you start to see the similarities in them despite how different the setting is or the details. In most movie, the girl and the guy normally hate each other at first, they argue all the time, pick on each other, get mad and fight but then fall deeply in love toward the end of the movie. So why people still keep watching and looking for new dramas ? It is because even though the plots have a lot similarities there is always a twist toward the end. There is always a moment when a secret comes out and changes everything like when Lee Yoon Sung in City Hunter find out his real father is the President who is supposed to be his enemy, it changes the whole situation and no one would have foreseen that. K-drama with same old plots but not really the same, you always have to wait until the end to tell.


In Korean drama series, you can find for yourself a character that you can relate to. Most of the girls or guys are just typical people like us and suddenly something happens that change their life from ordinary to extraordinary. Han Ji Eun in Full house is a writer who writes corny stories on the internet for a living until the day her friends trick her into selling her house to Lee Young Jae who is a good looking famous actor and of course they fall in love. From nobody she becomes the girl that every girl jealous of. That is how Korean dramas find its way to people’s hearts with the “ from just the typical girl today to the most popular girl tomorrow” story because everyone can relate to the character somehow.


Another reason why Korean drama series are so popular is its link to K-pop. Do you know the soundtrack of Boys over Flowers is performed by SS501 the band which Kim Hyun Joong a member of and Kim Hyun Joong is also Yoon Ji Hoo the second leading male character in Boys over flowers ? Using one of the cast’s band to produce soundtrack is “one stone kill two birds” method. The popularity of the band raise up with the success of the series. Before Boys Over Flowers people barely heard of SS501 and after the movies people started to download their music, along with downloading the series. When someone talk about SS501, they also talk about Boys Over Flowers and more and more people start to watch it.


Korean drama series also have a connection fashion that benefit both Korean fashion culture and K dramas. I remember when every girl used to wear the short jacket with floral dresses like Han Ji Eun in Full house, cut their hair to have it short like Geum Jan Di in Boys over flowers. Ji eun wears the same style through out the series and someone it becomes a trend. People start wearing it and it also help to spread the popularity of the series, once others start asking you where you get the style from; they start to watch Full House.


Last but not least, the setting of Korean drama series are usual breathtakingly beautiful and it does not stay within Korea. Full House was shoot in Phuket Thailand- one of the most amazing beach in Southeast Asia, City hunter has some scenes in Chiang mai Thailand with green tall mountains and huge elephants, First love of a Royal Prince also has episodes in Japan and Bali Indonesia where has the most clear transparent blue beach and white sand beach shore. Korean directors choose to shoot their series outside of Korea as a smart technique to promote their film worldwide and who does not want to watch a romantic comedy series with gorgeous beach as the setting ?


Although, there are many reasons why K-dramas are so popular not just among Korean audiences but also globally. Beautiful setting, Cinderella story, gorgeous cast with famous K-pop singers, promote new fashion trend, variety of characters which anyone can find themselves relate to make K-dramas everyone’s favorite. 




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.