Oppa Syndrome

*Dramatic music

The room is dark. The screen casts a glow on the pale fixated face. The bloodshot eyes blink slowly as they say, “Only one more episode.”

There is no time or meaning during a kdrama binge.

I feel like a zombie coming back to life. Sortof. I can’t make any promises.

 

I’ve been immersed in the land of Oppa’s. Watching kdrama after kdrama and kpop reality shows. My sleepy mind cleared for a moment while watching the documentary from BTS this last week. I’ve come to think of the men called Oppa and the ideal built around this them.

As far as I know no other country comes close to the Korean Oppa as far as idols are concerned.

Lee Jong Suk

So what/who is Oppa? In the Korean language it would be what you call your older brother. But there is a different connotation to this word, and those who watch kdramas are probably familiar with this, it would be what you call the man you are dating in Korea. A term of endearment like we in the states would say “honey.”

In facebook groups and all over social media women call out to these men as their “Oppa” or their stan.

I am fascinated about what exactly makes this obsession with these men so successful.

I mean you may remember me and my whole deal with abs…

Park seo joon abs

haha but it is way more than how these men look. Even though it is a large part of it. All the idols in Korea have to be very careful with their appearance and weight.

Something struck me while I watch the BTS documentary. RM was talking about how he “has become RM” and it is hard for him to “remember who he is” They are putting on this character for the crowds.

So what makes an Oppa?

They don’t date in real life. That is part of the fantasy they sell in Korea. That these men are single and devoted to their fans.

They are kind, thoughtful, the real life prince, and available.

This isn’t an act for just the kdrama or the stage. Every social event this is how they act. There is even more pressure for them to act like the perfect Oppa. Because if they falter the fallout for these men is enormous. Up to even “fans” protesting that they leave their kpop group or not act in another drama. I know I’m just talking about how it is for men but honestly it can be worse for the women who are idols in Korea.

Why is it so bad? Sure in the states we have tons of scandals concerning stars but they generally don’t suffer forever (depending). But in Korea they are selling the “Oppa” and it isn’t just supposed to be on screen. It takes over their lives.

bts

Taking the Disney prince to the extreme real life version.

Maybe you can think “Well, they knew this is what would happen.” Maybe so but I still find it a bit sad.

There seems to always be a cost for achieving extreme success. I wish that these actors and singers could have a bit of a normal personal life.

I’m thankful to them and the escape they give from the real world. They make it seem better somehow and I hope that they are happy even though it is probably hard to even go down to the store just to grab something to eat.

Happy watching!

Take care in these strange times 🙂

 

 

 

An Issue of Class in Kdramas

I lost my way from anime land. I fell into kdrama land so I guess I can’t complain much. I’m having a hard time trying to focus on anime so I just let this happen.

Kdramas have their own weaknesses even though they deal with the same tropes over and over I find them more refreshing than normal TV shows. It may be to the fact that I didn’t grow up watching them so the tropes seem new… Well newer.

They tend to be very dramatic. A theme pops up in Kdramas often and I don’t find it dramatic at all. It deals with the difference between the characters “class” to be more specific the socioeconomic status.

This is a topic that is very near and dear to me. I’ve notice in all three series that I am writing that is a common theme. It gets to me when those who are born into more privilege seem to get away with anything. We’ve come to face facts that money is power. This is a common theme in kdramas. Those with money bascially can do whatever they want. We see it in the news and we see it on TV. The truly frustrating part is all I can do it seems is write about it. Those with the gold make the rules. Right?

Itaewon Class is a kdrama that is recently airing on Netflix (in the states at least) and it really hammers home the difference between those who are rich a poor. There is only one lesson that the heir of a corporation learns:  That he can get away with anything, including murder.

Life isn’t fair. I think this is something we learn at a young age. However, it tends to seem to be more fair to those with money. I think if you see this anime you will feel the injustice along with me. It is horrible but this is also an issue we see everyday. People get away with fraud, rape, murder, drug use… Mostly because they are born to a life we will never understand or have.

In the first episode I think I cried at least three times. This may be an old trope but the actors/actresses especially Park Seo-joon hit each note with perfection. Park Seo-joon portrays the main characters rage and secrets that you can’t look away from him. I want to know what is going on behind the mask that he puts on for the world. He has a plan and you hope that he completes it.

Each character is unique and they all have their own goals. Most of them you don’t know what is going on behind their eyes. I think that this one will keep me guessing until the end. My heart might just break a bit…

This drama isn’t finished airing but if you start watching be warned the week long wait is hard to handle. I hope for a happy ending with these characters but the great thing about kdramas is sometimes you never know what you will get.

Itaewon Class Run

Even though I miss anime land I’m in good company with my kdramas. Take a moment to check out Itaewon Class if you have time!

Happy Watching!