Korean Dramas Unmasked: The Truth Behind the Plot Twists

Howdy all 🙂

Near the beginning of my blogging days I wrote a post called How to Predict the End of the World, in which I discussed the writer’s formula for thrillers and how you can predict who the killer is before the book/movie/television show ends. This is kind of like that, except instead of American television shows, we’re talking about Korean ones!

In order to conserve time (because this post could probably go on forever), I’ve narrowed the field of K-dramas into five specific genres: Teen/High School, Melodrama, Romance (including RomCom), Mystery/Thriller, and Gender Bending. These do not cover every single genre of Korean television shows (just like it couldn’t possibly cover all of the American ones), but these are–what I’ve found–to be the most prominent, so I thought I’d talk about them individually.

Each one of these also has its own, unique style, so the predictions and formula will change per genre. Thus, this post is about to turn into a mini-series 🙂

So, to introduce this mind-bending prediction series, I will begin by telling you the things you must know about Korean dramas. Of course, this is all opinion based (as in, you know, my opinion). These are things I think you must know in order for my theorem to work. Okay, now that that’s straightened out–let’s begin!

1) Guy #2 never gets the girl.

Korean dramas love love triangles. Only, they tend not to be very triangle-y because (for the most part) it always ends up with Guy 1 + Girl 1…………………………………………………………………..and Guy 2 is waaaaaaaaaay over here in left field. Poor sucker. He doesn’t even have a chance. We just pretend he does so he feels less crappy about himself.

2) The main male lead tends to be a total douche (although there are exceptions. This tends to be more prominent in RomComs, though I’ve seen it in all genres.) It usually stems from the main character being a super wealthy heir that’s never had to do anything for himself before he meets the girl, etc. etc.

And why else? Because girls love the bad boys, didn’t you know? Um…yeah, about that… no, that’s not exactly true. Because, let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute: the “bad boy” might be intriguing for a while…and then you find out that he’s got a crappy personality, still lives with his mom, has no life prospects, and–if he’s a “player”–will probably die of some strange STD. Yeah, not a turn on.

3) People cry a lot. That’s just how K-dramas roll. The characters are very in touch with their inner children. Don’t get me wrong, I know crying on demand is extraordinarily difficult (I have actor friends and I read, so I know…kind of…that was my unsuccessful attempt at ethos) but I’m not a crier so I did find this a little distracting in the beginning. Then it just becomes one of those things you get used to–like the completely unoriginal “pregnancy” plot twist in American dramas that always comes around the time you can tell the writers are giving up on life.

4) Korean dramas are linear, not episodic. This is more about the technical side of K-dramas and not the content, but I have yet to see a Korean drama where every episode is stand alone. These shows are very much linear, meaning that each episode follows the story line of the previous one. (If you’re still confused let me give you examples. T.V. shows like Criminal Minds, Friends, and The Simpsons are episodic. Shows like The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones, and Pretty Little Liars have linear plots).


If you don’t watch Korean dramas, no worries. Find a friend (or a stranger–even more impressive) and use these tips and tricks–and the ones I will introduce to you in later posts–to predict the plot twists before they even occur. Then tell your friend(s)/the stranger that you are psychic *completely straight faced*, walk away, and watch their dumbfounded reactions.

SHAZAM! I just told the future.



One thought on “Korean Dramas Unmasked: The Truth Behind the Plot Twists

  1. Pingback: K-Dramas Unmasked: Teen/High School | The Ultimately Useless Stories of an Average Teenager

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