Is it the story? The music? The ridiculously good-looking cast? Everything?
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21 Feb 2017 - 12:44 PM  UPDATED 21 Feb 2017 - 12:44 PM

With popular shows like "Goblin" and "Decendents of the Sun" recently hitting airwaves to critical and commercial acclaim, it goes without saying that the popularity of K-dramas has dramatically increased in recent years. 

According to a new report, popular streaming website DramaFever streams a reported average 800 million minutes of content with over 2.4 million unique visitors tuning in during November 2016 alone.

So why are K-dramas so addictively popular?

Fans will normally reel off some quickfire responses, such as the ridiculously good-looking cast, the production values, and the soundtrack, but it appears to go a bit deeper than that surface level stuff.

In an interview with NBC NewsJi-Yeon Yuh, a professor of Asian-American Studies at Northwestern University, explains that the rise of internet streaming websites such as DramaFever, Hulu, and Netflix have allowed K-dramas to reach a global audience.

However, Yuh states that "mere availability doesn't explain popularity," noting that Korean culture is popular internationally because it offers a "different aesthetic mode of modernity."

The different tone and aesthetic of K-dramas differ to Western dramas, which in turn help draw in new audiences. Furthermore, Yuh also states that the blending of traditional Korean values with modern day technology is also a big factor in the genre's rapidly-rising popularity as this lends K-dramas a element of fantastical yet ground romanticism.

"That is, Korean drama and pop music, but drama especially, offer a version of a society that holds onto traditions and traditional values while moving forward as an economically advanced and developed society," Yuh concludes.

So PopAsians, why do you think K-dramas are so popular?


 

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