Being a kdrama fan will introduce you to new terms only fellow fans understand. These are the terms kdrama fans use often when they talk about Korean dramas. If you are new to kdramas, you need to learn these terms to communicate with fellow kdrama fans better.
There are a lot of kdrama terms out there but I’ve compiled 10 of the most commonly used. And so here they are:
1.Oppa actually means ‘older brother’ in Korean. Girls use the term ‘oppa’ to refer to their older brother. However, ‘oppa’ is also used by women to refer to men who are older than them in an AFFECTIONATE way.
In kdramas, however, we use the term ‘oppa’ to refer to all the HANDSOME men in the dramas, REGARDLESS OF THEIR AGE.
‘Who’s your favorite oppa?’
‘Oh, it’s Lee Min Ho.’
‘Oh, yes. I love him, too. Oppa, saranghae!’
2. Feels refer to the intense emotions you feel while watching your favorite dramas. It may also refer to the ‘kilig’ you feel when you’re watching your favorite oppa.
‘Ohmygod! ‘Goblin’ gave me sooo much feels!’
‘I know, right? ‘Goblin’ feels got me crying and laughing at the same time! It was crazy!’
‘I enjoyed ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’ a lot because of Park Hyung Sik.’
‘I feel you. Hyungsik’s giving me a lot of feels, too.’
3. Fangirl (or fanboy) refers to someone who’s very passionate about kdramas (or about a certain Korean actor or actress).
‘You like kdramas a lot, don’t you?’
‘Oh, yes. I’m such a fangirland I’m proud of it.’
Fangirling (or fanboying), on the other hand, refers to the extreme actions you’ve been doing as a fan.
‘You’ve been talking about ‘Descendants of the Sun’ on your Facebook feed for like one whole week already!’
‘Oh, I’m sorry. I hadn’t realized I’ve been fangirling a lot lately. All these fangirlfeels got me so ecstatic.’
4. OTP is short for ‘One True Pairing’. The term is used to describe your most favorite pairing, be it on screen or in real life.
‘I love Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo so much. They’re like my ultimate, ultimate OTPright now.’
‘They’re my OTP, too! I am actually hoping that they start dating in real life!’
5. Ship is actually short for ‘relationship’. The term means to ‘root for a particular pairing’.
‘I shipPark Hyung Sik with Park Bo Young.’
‘Yes, I’m a shipper, too.’
‘Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo are spotted again somewhere. Together.’
‘Really? Oh, my! I think our ship is sailing!’
The ‘ship is sailing’ (or has‘already sailed’) basically means that the relationship you are rooting for (be in on-screen or off-screen) has somehow started to develop. For real.
6. The term Second Male Lead Syndromeis used when you love the second male lead MORE THAN the main male character in the drama.
Most of the dramas have two male leads and one female lead. Of course, the female lead is expected to end up with the main guy. However, if the audience fell in love with the second male lead instead of the main male character then they are known to suffer from thesecond male lead syndrome.
‘I love Park Hyung Sik’s character on ‘Hwarang’ more than Park Seo Joon’s character.’
‘I feel you. Park Hyung Sik gave me my worst case of second male lead syndrome on ‘Hwarang’, too.’
7. Idol refers to those who belong to kpop groups. They have spent years on being a ‘trainee’ before they were introduced to the public as a part of a kpop group.
Some of the most popular kdrama actors actually started as an idol.
‘I didn’t know that Yook Sung Jae can sing.’
‘But of course! He was an idolbefore he became an actor. He started as a member of the kpop group BTOB before he landed his first acting role in ‘Who Are You: School 2015”.
8. Bias refers to your most favorite Korean actor (or in the case of kpop, your most favorite idol).
It’s called ‘bias’ because, basically, you are ‘bias’ when it comes to him. You’ll always see the good in him NO MATTER WHAT. Not to mention that he’ll always be the BEST in your eyes even if new and better actors (or idols) come along.
‘I love Park Bo Gum.’
‘Me, too. He’ll always be my bias.’
9. Bromance refers to the platonic close relationship between two male characters in the drama (or even between two actors in real life) that appears to be almost romantic.
‘I love Gong Yoo’s character in ‘Goblin’.’
‘Me, too. I enjoyed his bromance with Lee Dong Wook’s character. It was very entertaining to watch.’
10. Skinship refers to the physical contacts between the kdrama leads (or between an actor and an actress). This doesn’t need to be a major touch. If let’s say, the male lead brushes his hand against the female lead’s shoulder, even if it’s almost unintentional, that’s already considered as skinship.
‘I love watching Gong Myung and Jung Hye Sung on ‘We Got Married’. They have a lot of skinships.‘
‘Yes, I noticed that, too. It seems like it’s very natural for them to touch each other.’
So there! Those are just 10 of the most common kdrama terms that are used by fans nowadays. There are still a whole… lot… more.
Please hit that SUBSCRIBE button for more kdrama terms (and maybe some basic Korean words) I’m gonna blog about in the coming days.
So you’re not really into kdramas but you have this one Facebook friend who loves to post about nonsense kdrama-related stuff. You were annoyed by all his/her posts at first but then curiosity got you one day and you decided to check it out. Before you know it, you have already finished your very first kdrama! And you’re like ‘OMG! Did I just finish all 16 episodes in one day?!’
And what’s even more surprising is, you actually enjoyed it! You are, in fact, craving for more! You even found yourself checking that friend’s posts for more recommendations while thinking ‘Uh-uh. This is bad.’ *LOL*
Well, I’m sorry to say this, my friend, but you are already on your way to kdrama addiction. And you can’t help it, the force it too strong to resist. And once you’ve started, there’s no turning back. We, kdrama fans, knew it. We’ve.. all.. been.. there.
But before you proceed, let me tell you something. ‘With kdrama addiction comes great responsibility’. So you must know what you are getting into before you start exploring the depth and wonder of kdramaland. *LOL*
To help you get started, here’s a list of what you need to ‘prepare’ if you are planning to start a kdrama addiction (not that you have any choice, hehe!). Here’s a ‘starter pack’ every new kdrama fan must have to survive the tough and demanding world of kdrama addiction! YOU’VE. BEEN. WARNED. *evil laugh*
10. A Reliable Cellphone or Computer
Because of course. You can’t watch a kdrama without a decent cellphone or computer. It’s like wanting to go to the moon without a space shuttle. Impossible.
9. External Hard Drives
Because you need somewhere to save all of the kdramas you’ve downloaded. Of course, you can always stream online, especially if you have a dependable internet connection. But believe me, you would always want to download them so you can watch them anytime and anywhere at your convenience.
If you are telling yourself that you don’t need extra memory to store your kdramas with because you can always delete them once you’re done with them, believe me, THAT’S ONE BIG LIE. It will always take a lot of courage to delete a drama you’ve saved because, at the back of your head, something’s telling you that you’d want to WATCH IT ALL OVER AGAIN some other time.
So spare yourself the burden of having to go through the hard times of battling with yourself on whether to delete your dramas or not, BUY THOSE FRIGGIN’ EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES. They make (the fangirling) life less complicated. Period.
8. Dependable Earphones
You might think that you don’t really need earphones because, hey, you don’t really need to hear what they say, right? You don’t understand what they are saying anyway. You just need to read the subtitles and you’re all good. WRONG. You need to hear everything they say! I’ll be like music to your ears. *LOL*
You might not understand what they’re saying (at first) but you will not be able to fully enjoy what you’re watching if you won’t put the volume on full blast. Trust me.
Plus, you need a good set of earphones to SHUT THE REST OF THE WORLD OUT. Just you and your sweet kdramas. Nothing else. 7. A Good Eyesight
Reading subtitles can be hard and confusing at first. You’ll be like ‘So where do I focus? On their face or on the subtitles?’
Believe me, chingus. You’ll get the hang of it soon. Before you know it, you’re already expert on focusing on both. It’s like you can already focus on their faces and read the subs at the same time even with your eyes closed. I’m just kidding, of course. 6. A Sharp Memory
Among the very first dilemmas new kdrama fans encounter are, first, their NAMES and, second, their LOOKS.
Their names can be a little confusing at first. They’re like random words and are very hard to remember.
That’s okay. We’ve all been there. We’ve all been on the point where we call Lee Min Ho ‘that Boys Over Flower guy’. But believe me, sooner or later, you’ll be surprised to realize that you already know all their names (even their nicknames). By heart.
They may also seem to ALL LOOK LIKE THE SAME at first. It will be frustrating at first. Like why the fudge they all look like they come from the same set of parents?!
Don’t worry. Eventually, you’ll be able to tell apart Kim So Hyun from Yoo Seung Ho. You’ll actually find it amusing on how you first thought they’re the same person.
And last but not the least, you need to prepare your brain for all the Korean words you’ll soon be learning. Because believe me, whether you like it or not, you’ll start learning some Korean words soon. One by one.
You will start with annyeonghaseyo, then saranghae, then oppa and so on. Before you know it, you already found yourself watching the newly-released episode ‘raw’ because you can already understand a word or two. Jaraesseo!*pats own head*
5. Caffeine, Caffeine, and More Caffeine
You need to overdose on caffeine because oh well, sleep is for the weak. Remember, too many dramas, too little time. Who needs sleep when you have a lot of catching up to do with your favorite dramas, right?
4. Time, Lots of Them
‘It’s okay, I’ll just watch one episode for today,’ is probably the biggest lie you’ll ever tell yourself. Because chances are, it’ll be followed by ‘just one more episode’ and another ‘one more episode’. Before you know it, you are already on the finale.
Kdrama addiction is time-consuming. If you don’t have time for it, learn how to make some. ‘If there’s a will, there’s a way,’ remember? Not that you have any choice. Chances are, you’ll really find time for your dramas amidst your very busy schedule. Hehe!
3. Patience, Tons of It
Watching ongoing dramas can be a whole lot of torture. Imagine having to wait for ONE WHOLE WEEK after the latest episode of your fave drama ended in a very intense cliffhanger?
When you feel like dragging the hands of time so you can already watch the next episode, remember that ‘Patience a virtue.’ You need to practice patience because, basically, you’ll go through the same torture again next week. That’s (the kdrama) life! Hehe!
2. Crazy Friends
You need some crazy friends to share all those ‘ fangirl feels’ with. This is because your ‘normal’ friends will never understand (or might actually think you’re crazy) why you need to squeal when oppa made that finger heart sign. You need some crazy friends to share those super long conversations with on how ‘hot’ oppa looks on his latest magazine cover (while he’s taking a dip in the beach, fully-clothed). You need people who understand (and who actually feels the same way) why that ‘statue kiss’ (you know that famous kdrama kissing scenes where after the leads touched lips they suddenly forgot how to move?) made you lose your sanity.
Fangirling is intense. You will need someone to share all those ‘feels’ with or you might actually go crazy. *LOL*
1. A Fat Bank Account
Last but definitely not the least, you need money. Lots of money. Or maybe just enough to fund your first ever Korea trip.
This is because sooner or later, you will feel the urge to fly to the land of kimchi and see cherry blossoms ‘up close and personal’. Hehe!
Your life goals will suddenly revolve around visiting Korea like it’s the essence of your whole existence. It’s like life will never be complete if you can’t visit those famous kdrama filming locations and exchange annyeonghaseyo to real Korean people (and not just to your ‘feeling Korean’ friends).
And of course, to meet oppa (or his standee, at least) and take a selfie with him. Because that’s the whole point of visiting Korea, right?
So? You think you got what it takes to be a kdrama addict? Proceed at your own risk. *LOL*
I was just exaggerating, of course. Please don’t take this post (or your kdramas) seriously. Go ahead and just enjoy your dramas (and your oppas), chingus! No pressure. *winks*
(Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. GIFs belong to its rightful owner. This blog post is for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy reading!)
I’ve always wanted to start a blog on kdramas and I think there’s no better way to begin it than introducing my fave dramas. It took me a while to come up with my list. I have watched more than 70 kdramas as of writing and believe me, most of the kdramas I’ve seen are really, really good which made it so difficult to choose 10 among all of them.
For the record, I am not the technical type. I don’t judge kdramas based on the technical aspects, I leave that to the critics. Basically, I judged kdramas based on how I enjoyed it, how strong the ‘feels’ it gave me, how long it took me to ‘move on’ from it, and of course, on how strong the leads’ chemistry is (for me, at least).
My list mainly consists of the kdramas I would love to watch again. These are the dramas that I would not hesitate to recommend to those who are asking for suggestions, especially to the new kdrama fans hoping to lure them into kdrama addiction, nyehe!
And so here it goes…
10. Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth (2016)
Cast:Park Seo Joon, Go Ara, Park Hyung Sik, Choi Min Ho, Do Ji Han, Jo Yoon Woo, Kim Tae Hyung
Episodes:20 + 4 specials
So a lot might be surprised that Hwarangmade it to my list because, honestly, the drama has a lot of shortcomings. But yes, I’ve enjoyed the whole drama. That’s despite the fact that ‘Ah Ro’ was getting into my nerves the whole time. *LOL* I haven’t watched any of Go Ara’s other dramas so I don’t really know if it’s her acting that annoys me or just the character. (Peace y’all Go Ara fans out there!) Anyway, the boys of Hwarang are so adorbs that it was enough to compensate for the drama’s flaws. And, of course, Hyungsik! Hyungsik’s like my ultimate ‘bias’ as of the moment and (since I first fell head over heels for him on this drama) it’s like a mortal sin not to include Hwarang on my list. Bias it is. Nyehehe!
9. Princess Hours (2006)
Cast:Yoon Eun Hye, Ju Ji Hoon, Kim Jeong Hoon, Song Ji Hyo
Princess Hours (also known as Goong) has always had this special spot in my heart because it was my very first kdrama (I watched it on a pirated DVD because we still have no internet connection back then, hehe!). Plus, being the hopeless romantic that I am, I always dig for the prince-and-princess kind of plots. It made me believe that and-they-live-happily-ever-after kind of endings still exists. *LOL*
8. I Hear Your Voice (2013)
Cast:Lee Jong Suk, Lee Bo Young, Yoon Sang Hyun
Genre:Fantasy Legal Romance
I Hear Your Voicemade me an instant Lee Jong Suk fan. His superb acting got me. I especially love the courtroom scenes in this drama. I love the plot itself and all those twists. Lee Jong Suk’s strong on-screen chemistry with actress Lee Bo Young was surprisingly good considering the fact that they have a 10-year gap.
7. World’s Within (2008)
Cast:Hyun Bin, Song Hye Kyo
World’s Within (also known as The World That They Live In) is soooo underrated. It’s a shame how I don’t see a lot of kdrama fans talking about this drama. World’s Within is sooo good in depicting reality. It doesn’t only show how young people struggles with career and life in general. It’ll also make you appreciate the people behind our favorite dramas. The leads are both young drama directors so the story will revolve around the people behind the scenes and how hard they work just to give us, viewers, the best dramas possible. Plus Song Hye Kyo and Hyun Bin’s on-screen chemistry is off the charts! This is maybe because they were actually secretly dating while filming the drama. I am actually one of those who still wish that they get back together one day. This could be the reason why I couldn’t ship them with anyone else but each other. *sad face*
6. W – Two Worlds (2016)
Cast:Lee Jong Suk, Han Hyo Joo
Hats off to the writer of this drama. The plot of W – Two Worldsis skillfully written to the point that it is already confusing. I mean, you get confused by all the twists and turns of events but in the end, you’ll realize how everything fits in perfectly like pieces of a puzzle. Daebak! *claps hands plus feet* Plus Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo’s on-screen chemistry is so natural and so effective. They are, in fact, one of my ultimate, ultimate OTPs! All their BTS got me like *falls on my knees*‘Oh, please, please! Date in real life, jaebal!’
5. Reply 1988 (2015-2016)
Cast:Lee Hyeri, Park Bo Gum, Go Kyung Pyo, Ryu Jun Yeol, Lee Dong Hwi
Episodes:20 + 1 special
This is my favorite among the Reply Series (though I haven’t really seen Reply 1994). I have already watched Reply 1988twice (and I’m not the type who rewatched dramas because, oh well, too many dramas, too little time) and I don’t mind watching it all over again. Reply 1988 is a ‘feel good’ drama that will show you a realistic approach to life. It will leave you feeling nostalgic over small things. You will learn to love everyone in the drama, even the supporting characters. And somehow, you’ll wish you live in their neighborhood. Nyehe!
4. My Love From The Star (2014)
Cast:Kim Soo Hyun, Jun Ji Hyun, Park Hae Jin, Yoo In Na
My Love From The Star is my favorite Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun drama, separately. I mean, it’s my favorite Jun Ji Hyun drama, and, at the same time, it’s also my favorite Kim Soo Hyun drama. ‘Cheon Song Yi’ and ‘Do Min Joon(ssi)’ (Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun’s characters in the drama respectively) will always have their respective special places in my heart. Jun Ji Hyun’s character is naturally amusing that it goes perfectly with Kim Soo Hyun’s character which is the exact opposite. You have to see this drama to understand what I’m trying to say here. *LOL*But anyway, their on-screen rapport is really, really good, making them one of the most, if not the most, unforgettable tandem in the world of kdramas. Agree or agree? Hehe!
3. Descendants of the Sun (2016)
Cast:Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji Won
Episodes:16 + 3 specials
P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N! That’s one word that best describes this drama. From the plot to the casting, to the filming locations, the visual effects, the cinematography, the OSTs… ohmigod… the team behind this drama is simply genius! Descendants of the Sun has a little of everything, from romance, to comedy, to medical, to action. Everything! And the action scenes will make leave your blood pumping with thrill and excitement. Plus Song Joong Ki played the role of ‘Yoo Si Jin’ really well. I think no one can play the role better than him. How Song Joong Ki portrayed the role made me realized how ‘hot’ he actually is. *LOL*But seriously, I’ve watched Song Joong Ki in his previous dramas and movies but he never really turned into one of my ‘biases’ until DOTS.
2. Goblin: The Lonely and Great God (2016-2017)
Cast:Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na, Yook Sung Jae
Episodes:16 + 3 specials
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting that much with Goblin at first. This is maybe because I am not really a fan of May-September love affairs. But then it only took me like one episode to realize how amazing this drama is. Goblin gave me a lot of ‘feels’. It’s not really ‘kilig’, it’s something more. Something I couldn’t even explain. It’s like I can easily connect with the characters’ emotions. It’s like I can feel their pain and their struggles like it’s my own. Everyone on Goblin is doing really, really good especially Gong Yoo. He portrayed the role really well. He’s such a brilliant actor. I mean I already knew how great of an actor Gong Yoo is but with Goblin, he was able to prove that he is indeed one of the best, if not the best, Hallyu actors of today. He’s versatile and very effective. And surprisingly yes, his tandem with Kim Go Eun worked on me despite their age gap (she plays the role of a high-school student in the drama).
1. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017)
Cast:Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Young, Ji Soo
Episodes:16 + 1 special
I never really thought that a romcom drama would somehow make it to the top of my list. I mean I love romcoms, I enjoyed watching them especially when I want something light and fun. But I am more on plots. I mean, I love deep plots. But Strong Woman Do Bong Soonsomehow changed my mind. SWDBS’ plot is not something extraordinary. However, the whole drama gives me the highest level of entertainment. Ever. Like I enjoyed every single scene of the drama, especially the bromance between Hyungsik and Jisoo’s characters. Plus the on-screen chemistry between Boyoung and Hyungsik is beyond words! It’s also a plus that I love both leads. I love Bo Young even before I started fangirling over Hyungsik so imagine my excitement when I learned that they are to work on a drama together. I feel bad for Ji Soo though, I hope he’ll get out of the ‘second-lead zone’ soon. *LOL* But anyway, if you’re looking for something that is truly entertaining then SWDBS is the best choice you’ll ever have. All their crazy antics will leave you rolling on the floor laughing while all the sweet moments between Hyungsik and Boyoung’s characters will leave you feeling oh-so-giddy and in love! *heart heart*
My other favorite dramas which, unfortunately, weren’t able to make it to my top 10 list are Tomorrow With You (2017), Moon Lovers: Scarlet HeartRyeo (2016), Love in the Moonlight (2016), Page Turner(2016), Who Are You: School 2015 (2015), Reply 1997 (2012), and The K2 (2016).
And among the ongoing dramas which are in the running for my list of personal faves are Suspicious Partner and Fight For My Way.
So how many among my personal favorites made it to your own list? Please share your own faves in the comment section below so we can compare notes. *winks*
(Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Photos belong to its rightful owner. This blog post is for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy reading!)