Let's Explore the Giddy, Joyous Escapism of Korean TV Dramas!

Illustration for article titled Let's Explore the Giddy, Joyous Escapism of Korean TV Dramas!
Screenshot: KBS2

If American teen TV isn’t juicy enough and British teen TV is too real, please divert your attention to the romantic and melodramatic stylings of the K-drama and prepare to be taken on a journey.


As we were uneducated about the soaring highs and the tragic lows of the Korean drama, we snagged former Jezebel editor and internet darling Dodai Stewart for a crash course in what I think might be the perfect expression of being a teenager—a heady time when every kiss or stolen glance or perceived deception is the most important thing that has ever happened to you.

Under Stewart’s tutelage, we poked at the surfaces of one of Korea’s richest cultural exports and discussed shows like Boys Over Flowers and Heirs, both of which feature a dizzying mix of rich teens, class issues, and romantic love that culminates in chaste, closed-mouth kisses that last for longer than is likely comfortable.

“I think that’s what I like about it,” Stewart said. “Nothing about it is realistic.” Escape the rich tapestry that is life with us and plug in to these rich, rude teens—life is short! Have some fun.

DirtCast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, NPR One and iHeart Media.

Thanks to Dodai Stewart. Our show is produced by Levi Sharpe. Mandana Mofidi is our Executive Director of Audio. Our theme music is by Stuart Wood. This episode was mixed by Jamie Collazzo.

Senior Writer, Jezebel


i’ve tried to watch a few but i found them hard to watch. if anyone can recommend ones with good female characters, thank you. i still haven’t gotten past the first episode of reply 1988 and i gave up a few episodes into goblin. i wasn’t into a man falling in love with a high school student.