k-DRAMA DISCLAIMER: This is my experience and mine alone. I don’t expect everyone to agree or see the same way I do, and I’m only criticizing one aspect of Korean AND American film in this post.

By Caleb Parke (@calebparke)

As an American Christian, I find Korean dramas to be especially refreshing.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my critiques, but I mostly watch K-Dramas as an outside viewer, rather than a critic.

Here’s a little background.

It all started with the movie, Train to Busan, a zombie thriller that packs a gut-wrenching punch, which I have now come to know as a staple in Korean film.

k-drama, kdrama, Train to Busan, Korean zombie film, Netflix

(I’m a fan of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, so it was a natural fit.)

My friend suggested I watch Goblin: The Lonely and Great God because it has the same actor from the zombie thriller, and this sparked my not-so-secret K-Drama love affair.

I was reminded of the gospel with themes of love and sacrifice, and as far as the love element, kissing was the ultimate affection – no sex scenes!

k-drama, Korean drama, Goblin, couple, dramafever

How refreshing! Watch any American show on Netflix, and if two people make eye contact for more than 5 seconds you already know where they’re headed.

This was painfully obvious watching How to Get Away with Murder – an excellent show – but with morals rivaling House of Cards. In HTGAWM, almost every character hooks up with another character in a way that makes you wish you paid more attention to combinations and permutations in high school math class.

But, back to the main subject: keeping K-Dramas classy.

k-drama, Korean drama, DOTS, Descendants of the Sun, dramafever

I subscribed to dramafever (basically Korean Netflix), but Netflix has added quite a few K-Dramas, to be fair.

So far I’ve watched Descendants of the Sun (another all-time favorite!), Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Boys to Flowers (classic), Tunnel, The Sound of Your Heart (so funny!), and My Shy Boss. I just finished watching Love In Trouble (Suspicious Partner).  *available on Netflix

I was surprised My Shy Boss dealt with suicide right up front, but then even more surprised that the main characters not only make out but willingly sleep together (with their clothes on) but still, we’ve opened Pandora’s box.

k-drama, Korean drama, My Shy Boss, dramafever

It prompted me to write this open letter to my Korean brothers and sisters to hold on to the onscreen innocence.

You don’t have to compromise the purity in your films or art. Embrace it. You will only shine brighter and attract more attention with your fight for purity.

I don’t know what the K-Drama formula is, but after a few episodes, I feel like I’m completely engulfed in the story, hoping for love to win in the end. Not to mention, the background music can be addictive as well. And unlike American shows, Korean shows typically only have one season – it could be upwards of 40 episodes, though.

Let K-Dramas be cliche for their plots, weird coincidences, and the never-ending unrequited love stories.  Tweet This!

Don’t sacrifice your scope and story to satisfy the low-life lusts like Hollywood has over and over again.

k-drama, Korean drama, Weightlifting fairy, dramafever

You can pull our heartstrings, make us cry violent tears, and have us laughing uncontrollably in a unique way only Korean dramas can do…without turning your actors and actresses into sex objects. Let’s keep it that way.

I hope to visit South Korea someday, partly inspired by K-Dramas and their idealized stories, and my hope is I’m not the only one watching on dramafever (or other platforms)  who wants to keep K-Dramas pure.

If you agree, please share!


An unexpected K-Drama fan

Caleb Parke


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August 24, 2017