I was sitting down to my computer contemplating what I should write about and drawing a blank. It was only while I was staring at My Drama List when I realized one very disturbing fact. I am not watching any truly romantic dramas right now. There are a few which feature aspects of romance, but even they are besieged with melo angst tropes and/or illness. Which brings up the question “What has happened to the romantic drama genre?”
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that all the current airing kdramas (and recently completed dramas) are bad. There are some really intricate storylines in Misty, Return, and Should We Kiss First. But along with the romance is a heavy dose of murder, distrust, and terminal illness. Except for Return. That drama is absent of any romance and every character inside it is 100 % crazypants and should never reproduce…… ever.
In the past six months the only rom-coms that I really clicked with was I’m Not a Robot and Live Up To Your Name. Other than that it has been all melodrama, mysteries, and murder. So why are there so few romantic dramas currently in dramaland?
One of the largest problems with getting more romance in a drama is the fact melo is king in Korea. All of the highest ratings dramas involve murder, cheating spouses, or terminal illnesses of loved ones, or in the case of weekend dramas, a parent. Think of all the most recent highest rated dramas. Return, Shall We Kiss First, Misty, My Golden Life…… Gone are the days when people were flocking to shows such as You’re Beautiful, W: Two Worlds, or Reply 1988. Excuse me while I tear up over what drama watching used to be.
So you might be wondering what the solution is to the lack of kdrama romance. The easiest answer is switching over to Chinese dramas for your romantic fix. Sure they are hell-a-long but that means there is just more romance to go around. But even with a romantic outlet, I still miss that traditional Kdrama romance that got me hooked in the first place. I guess I will just have to wait for that next drama nugget which hopefully will come sooner than later.
Til our next shared drama moment,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi
11 thoughts on “Kmuse’s Musings: Where have all the romantic kdramas gone?”
Sigh, this is so accurate, it makes me sad. I thought starting with I Am Not A Robot is a good thing but after that, I can’t seem to find other kdramas recently that I will genuinely like 🙁 I switched to jdramas again for a change.
Btw where was the first gif from? It’s kind of disturbing hahaha
The one where they are licking the beer? Witch’s Romance. It actually is right before they go into a crazy steamy kiss scene. One of my favorite kdrama kisses of all time. Great romantic drama.
I just cimpcomplRadio Romance. This was essentially a sweet romance leaning more to the gentle… You might like it.
Agree totally…watching that now. Soo Ho’s soulful stares are what you’re looking for.
Totally agree with you. No romantic kdramas to watch any more.
It takes a bit to get there and its mostly about lost loves but Marry Me or Not is very romantic in places. Roy Chiu is lovely to watch in his many, many suits and there is some significant skinship later on. https://mydramalist.com/13606-marry-me-or-not
Radio Romance and Evergreen/That Man Oh Soo are 2 rom-coms that are airing (although Radio Romance has just finished-so you can binge that one.) Grand Prince promoted itself as a romance historical, but I’m not sure how much palace politics is in that one. But yeah, it’s getting difficult to find a straight up love story these days. It’s really too bad. Usually, I either search the backlist or do a re-watch of a previous favorite, like Marriage, Not Dating or 1% of Something.
This article is so accurate! And even with the romantic Korean dramas that are available, I can’t seem through sit through even one of them. I haven’t seen anything that’s caught my interest recently that’s made me want to binge it. On the other hand, Chinese Historical dramas is where its at for me for romance right now hands down. It doesn’t take long for me to fall in love with the characters
Oooops, I accidentally submitted my previous comment before finishing it lol. But Chinese historical dramas offer me everything I need right now. A good laugh, an even better love store, dynamic characters, and a plot that doesn’t put me to sleep.
Meant to comment when this article first posted, I too and many other kdrama viewing friends have been complaining about the lack of rom-com kdramas. There’s nothing to watch! I have tried Taiwanese dramas and Jdrama but they production quality is not the same. Plus all the new kdramas have new actors, we don’t recognize anyone! Are they trying to save on salaries by using newbie actors?
I think a lot of it is all the top actors of the last 6years or so are now in military. It means the are a lotof newbies taking roles while they are gone