Chicken Soup from Seoul

It was love at first sight.

Several months ago, I picked up a DVD-set of a Korean soap from a sale. While I was just hovering around the shelves waiting for the husband to pick up some movies, two overenthusiastic salesmen took it upon themselves to introduce me to finer things in life – the dramatic world of Korean soaps. They had several recommendations, and I ultimately chose a DVD-set by just reading the blurb at the back. It was the 2005 show called – Only You.

It sat forgotten on my bookshelf for many months until a couple of weeks back when overhearing an interesting conversation of a Korean lady in the train reminded me of my purchase. I was hooked from the first hour itself.

I am now watching my second Korean soap – Goong. Although this one was a strong recommendation, I was initially hesitant as it revolves around teenagers and I considered myself too old to enjoy teen romance. How wrong could one be! I am now completely immersed in the hugely fascinating world of Korean soaps. I not only watch the shows on every possible opportunity, I am also actively researching different aspects of this world.

I love almost everything about the soaps, starting from the delightful Korean words. Its melodious, this language and every word has a typical ring to it. Also, I find the Korean culture hugely absorbing with its wondrous mix of orthodox ideals and modern values. It is so similar, and yet incredibly distinctive.

The stories of the soaps are very Bollywood (and that is a good thing!) with clichéd twists, and set templates. They are corny, over-the-top, and simply fantastic. The background scores are also pretty hummable with extremely catchy tunes and the actors are usually extremely cute.

My friend Beatzo summarizes aptly – “Watching Korean soaps heals the world and makes it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race.

I see a new mania waiting to happen.

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