11 Kdrama Clichés We Love To Hate
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11 Kdrama Clichés We Love To Hate

Hate the cliché, love the Kdrama.

11 Kdrama Clichés We Love To Hate

Okay, so if you've never watched Kdramas, this list is going to make them sound like soap operas. I can promise you that they're not -- but like any American show, they run on conflict. Sometimes, though, writers run out of ideas and fall to very seasoned, very old, and very annoying tricks to keep their shows "interesting." We love them anyway, but really?

1. The jerk gets the girl.

Usually this "jerk" is no longer such a jerk by the end of the drama, but let's be honest: the male leads often start out as winners of the World's Biggest Jerk Award. Yet instead of going for the adorable, hot, very friendly and supportive man at their side...they fall in love with the jerk. After all, he's really just a jerk because he's had so many problems his whole life! And I'll admit it -- they are often very hot jerks who become adorable squishies once they've opened up...but Cheese in the Trap's Baek In Ho should teach us some things. He had tons of emotional baggage but was still an incredibly nice, incredibly supportive person. Character growth is an important part of any story, but using the same formula (jerk falls in love and then becomes adorably sweet) gets tiring. It's refreshing when the male lead of the drama is a nice guy to begin with.

2. Lack of communication.

Good relationships run on communication. Did you have a bad day? Tell your significant other. Did you boyfriend do something to make you upset? Tell him so that he can fix it instead of getting mad at him every time he unknowingly does it. Oh, and is his idiotic mother trying to make your life miserable -- getting you fired from your job, offering you money, humiliating you in public -- so that you'll leave her son? It'd be a good idea to, I don't know, tell him! What an idea! Just mind-blowing!

3. Leaving for the other person's own good.

This one is the worst of the bunch -- I've actually stopped watching Kdramas because of it. It follows a pretty steady pattern. The drama gives you a few episodes of happy, adorable bliss before one of the idiotic lovebirds (usually the woman) is told by some jerk that she is simply dragging her man down or causing him pain. He would, of course, be so much happier and better off without her and would definitely not be devastated if she left him. Instead of, you know, communicating her newfound fears to him, she simply vanishes without a single word. She acts completely happy and then poof! Gone. While sometimes drama writers surprise us and only utilize the angst for an episode or two, others drag it out until the drama's conclusion -- often four to six episodes. This cliché is a surefire sign (especially when dragged out) that the writers have writers' block and can think of nothing else.

4. "I never loved you!"

This one is usually said under the above circumstances -- one of the little idjit lovebirds decides to leave, but instead of leaving quietly, decides to make sure that their One True Love doesn't look for them or moan over their loss. To make that separation "easier," they say awful, horrible things and then vanish completely. Because that helps things.

5. Studying abroad for no reason.

This one usually pops up at the tail end of a drama as a way for writers to eat up some extra time and cause a bit of last minute angst. It's incredibly popular for the power couple, having weathered all the hardships of their relationship, to need to separate so that one of them can study abroad. Coffee Prince and Beautiful Gong Shim are two examples of dramas that do this.

6. Radio Silence.

To add even more angst to the year (or two) abroad, the couple passes that period of time in radio silence. This is a staple in nearly every single drama that includes the studying abroad cliché. The person going abroad doesn't call or write, so the person stuck in Korea alone just waits and waits, refusing to take the initiative to call themselves, and acts all angry and butt-hurt when their lover returns completely unannounced. The person who studied abroad just assumes that their significant other won't think they've broken up with them and will just wait for them, justifying their silence in the exact same way every time: "I'd miss you too much if I called." Uh-huh. Yet it is also slightly hypocritical of the person in Seoul to complain about their lover's radio silence when they made no attempt to break it...it's basically just a jumble of (unnecessary) stupid.

7. Makeovers.

Okay, so I don't hate this one, but it is refreshing when they skip right over it. Oftentimes in dramas, the female lead is...not stylish. To put it simply, she's dumpy. The male lead often takes her out and buys her new clothes, after which her hair, makeup, and style magically becomes top of the class. Again, it doesn't bother me much, but it's nice to see dramas like High School King of Savvy where the main lead never attempts to change the main woman's style -- he loves her the way she is, quirky, klutzy, dumpy style and all.

8. Fish-eyed kisses.

Oh, the memories. This is a Kdrama classic. The guy surprises the woman with a kiss and, instead of being momentarily surprised before deciding whether it's nice and she needs to kiss him back or she hates it and needs to kick him in the shin, she stands there, eyes wide open, lips closed, completely frozen and unresponsive. Park Shin Hye is especially infamous for this one, as well as just generally bad kissing (although she's improved so much since then -- she was great in both Pinocchio and Doctor's Crush!).

9. Disapproving family members.

Oftentimes the male lead's family strongly disapproves of his relationship with the female lead (or sometimes vice versa) and decide that they'll do anything and everything to separate them. This is a big deal in Korean culture -- if the in-laws don't approve, you literally can't get married. Real-life couples who genuinely love each other are sometimes forced to break up because of this, so the problem has become a staple plot point of many Kdramas. Over time, it has moved from a staple to almost a guarantee, with a few welcome exceptions such as Beautiful Gong Shim and Lucky Romance.

10. ...Who magically approve for no reason later.

It wouldn't be a happy Kdrama ending, though, if the couple didn't get married because of their families. As a result, Kdrama writers have to spin the in-laws' opinion of the female lead on its head, making sure that they, at the very least, grudgingly approve of the relationship. Oftentimes, though, the reason for their flip-flop of opinions is pretty darn flimsy.

11. Amnesia.

Y'all knew it was coming. Kdramas have been much better about this lately and amnesia hasn't made an appearance (at least in the drama's I've watched). It makes an almost constant appearance in older dramas, though, and it's a writing technique that belongs in soap operas. It's nearly impossible to do this one well, and it's usually put into a show only because it's an easy (albeit horrible) fix for a drama whose writers have run out of ideas -- it can fuel angst and pain galore for as long as they want to drag it out. I can't say how glad I am that writers have wizened up and trashed the amnesia card.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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