With each passing year, Korean dramas, or K-dramas, become more popular internationally. Its appeal began right after the turn of the century when Korea decided to push Korean culture and entertainment outside of their country, its influence grew when YouTube was established. After that, the founding of streaming sites that specialize in niche television, like DramaFever and Viki, took K-dramas to a whole new level.
K-drama’s most devoted fan base, the ones who’ve been “bitten by the K-drama bug” earliest, have identified why it’s growing and thriving outside of Korea. For starters, K-dramas are a part of the Hallyu Wave, or Korean Wave. Therefore, it is often associated with K-pop, a musical genre that’s been gaining momentum far longer than K-dramas. It also helps that many K-pop idols act in K-dramas — like Girls’ Generation’s Yoona, Seohyun, and Sooyoung, and miss A’s Suzy — to further its cross-over appeal. Next, most Korean actors are a one-two punch of good looks and excellent acting.
K-dramas are usually designed to have an ending. This means viewers can invest their time in a K-drama knowing it will end, unlike the majority of American television which could leave dramas open-ended after they are cancelled for any reason.
The fact K-dramas are extremely popular among an international following and they are making more money to boot should be a sign for more-established television industries to jump on the bandwagon, collaborating if possible. It seems the American television industry is finally investing through Dramaworld, the first American and Korean collaboration. Not only that, but fans won’t have to wait long too as Viki has announced when it will air.
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Dramaworld, which is the first original series created by Viki, was announced to air on April 17, 2016, as reported by Soompi. It will be available exclusively through Viki, but will also be available through Jetavana Entertainment in China, the co-producer of the series.
Sadly, there is no trailer up just yet, but Viki already made an official page dedicated to their first original series. It will star Liv Hewson (I’ve Got No Legs, Survey Says), Sean Dulake (Athena: Goddess of War, Feast of the Gods), Justin Chon (Sin City Saints, The Twilight Saga), Bae Noo Ri (Sweden Laundry, The Moon Embracing the Sun), and Kim Sa Hee (One More Happy Ending, A Witch’s Romance). As for the plot’s synopsis, Viki provides the following.
“What is the most exciting — and most terrifying — thing that can happen to a K-drama fanatic? Claire Duncan (Liv Hewson) is a 20-year-old college student who finds her real life boring. Maybe that’s because she’s never looking up, instead having her nose buried in her smartphone and watching her favorite Korean drama, Taste of Love, starring her favorite actor Joon Park (Sean Dulake).
“Joon Park plays the hot chef and protagonist in Taste of Love who is still waiting for his one true love to come into his life. Through a touch of the supernatural and a sprinkle of magic, Claire’s desire to shed her own boring life and live in the world of Taste of Love comes true when she is transported into her favorite drama and comes face-to-face with Joon Park!
“There, Claire also meets the mysterious waiter, Seth Ko (Justin Chon), who made his own journey into the drama years ago from the real world and mentors Claire on how to navigate the dramaworld. When the appearance of Claire throws Taste of Love off-balance, causing other dramas to splice into the series, what kind of crazy adventure will Claire experience?”
From what was provided, it seems Dramaworld will be a unique and exciting venture for both American and Korean television industries. Dramaworld will air for a total of 10 episodes, filmed on location in both Los Angeles, California, and Seoul, South Korea. There will also be numerous high-profile cameos in the series including Siwon (member of K-pop idol group Super Junior, She Was Pretty, Dragon Blade), and Han Ji Min (Rooftop Prince, Padam Padam).
[Image via Screen Capture of Dramaworld Drama Page at Viki]