Are there Nigerians out there that like K and J doramas as much as I do?
For the uninitiated, Kdorama or Jdorama are simply slang terms for certain sorts of TV dramas that come out of Japan and Korea.
The Dorama is a very wide genre encompassing everything from serious to somewhat bizarre or perverted but the type I’m referring to tends to follow certain patterns: melodramatic, mushy romance or silly, comical, romantic comedies. Characteristic features include, high school life, swaggering pretty boys, clutzy but cute or spunky heroines, bullying, love triangles, jealousy, fights, possessiveness, emo posing, angsty brooding, heart breaking misunderstandings, dramatic confessions, bitter sweet endings and syrupy sweet j or k pop sound tracks.
Of course there are variations. Some of them feature older, working types and therefore slightly more mature stories but the end product is the same. Something to massage your heart strings. They are literally shoujo mangas (japanese comics aimed at girls) on TV. Quite a few of them are based on mangas or manhwas (the Korean equivalent).
I have recently discovered that those shows are like crack to me! I mean it’s a good thing we don’t have an Asian TV channel in Nigeria cos I don’t think I would be able to leave the house!
Why do I love them so much? They are predictable, manipulative, derivative, saccharine, frequently unhealthy…but I could say the same about chocolate and I love that too.
The truth is that a good J or K dorama gives me the warm fuzzies. You know that feeling that you get when you realize that you’re smiling despite yourself? Even when you’re alone? They also make me tear up despite myself and make me laugh despite myself.
I love when the school idol (usually a pretty boy, tough guy that all the girls, including myself, squeal at and all the boys fear, see bishounen) cracks his icy cool armour and falls hard for the (insert predominant quality – shy, quirky, spunky, clutzy, average) girl and starts to indirectly woo her. I love it when competition rises in the form of another pretty boy tough guy that’s a foil to his type. If our main guy is rowdy, this guy is a cool customer, if our main guy is chill, this guy is wild and happy go lucky. Like a mugen and jin (samurai champloo) situation.
I love that the shows never try to be clever. They are what they are and are unashamedly so. I love the online communities of soft hearted fan girls that spring up around and as a result of these shows.
Doramas remind me that there is a place and a time for everything. Sometimes you want something deep and thought provoking. Sometimes you want something that challenges your imagination. Sometimes, you just want something thats fun, can only described in squeals and awwws and gives you warm fuzzies.
I guess that’s why I’m addicted to doramas and I wish other Nigerians or West Africans would be interested in them too because that would influence the supply around here! Right now, it’s not worth it to my DVD supplier to get them 😦
Will do my best to post about some of the dramas I have been enjoying so you can check them out too. Mean while, some good places to start introducing yourself to the genre include here and here.
UPDATE: On further exploration, other really good sites for getting into all sorts of doramas are Soompi and Dramabeans. These guys give really exhaustive reports and very satisfying breakdowns on shows and pop culture in general.