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How to Watch a Korean Drama

Updated on August 21, 2013

If you're a Kdrama addict like I'm a Kdrama addict.

Then you totally know how the right amount of finesse can substantially increase your viewing pleasure. Of course anybody can just plop down and start watching a Korean drama if they want. But a few tips from a self-proclaimed fiend might just help you take it up a notch. So whether you're a "Kdrama addict" or a new to the game "Kdrama Mary" try these tips from a "Hallyu hag" and enjoy the difference.


The more the merrier.

I know this may seem a bit counter-intuitive because the Kdrama addict has a tendency to go it alone. I mean if you're a typical fan you've probably been banished to your own private Kdrama island by all your "closests". And that's probably your own fault for going on and on to your friends about dramas they've never heard of starring actors whose names they can't pronounce. Who could blame them? I know, because I have been an offender on more than one occasion. But before you resign yourself to the life of the lonely (because between the Kdrama and your friends you know who you're going to choose) invite them into your world and onto your island.

Crazy right?! Crazy like a gumiho. Because just like your first encounter with the Kdrama, once it gets a hold of you it's super hard to shake. So pick a drama (I suggest an easy, not too long one like "Flower Boy Ramen Shop"), invite some folks over, let it play in the background, relax sit back and let the Kdrama do what a Kdrama do. Your friends will, probably, curse you at first but absolutely thank you later. If nothing else at least they'll understand you. And you will definitely show me some love, because while it's nice to have some "alone" time with your favorite addiction there's nothing better than sharing a "No she didn't!!" with a friend or two.

Got the munchies?

Every time I watch a Korean drama I become an absolute fiend. The Kdrama has such an intense food culture it's hard not to get hungry. Just look at the spread at a typical Korean meal, unlike Western cuisine everything is presented at one time instead of in courses. So, according to "Korean food 101", with side dishes ranging from 2 to12 deep, there are a lot of delicious eats at every meal. And also, in the Kdrama, food is eaten with such relish and passion it's hard not to get caught up. If you've ever seen a drama and noticed how excited someone gets at the gift of cloth wrapped meat then you know what I mean.

So what I suggest, no, strongly recommend, is adding a little food to your viewing habit. I live in Koreatown so it's relatively easy for me to get at some pretty authentic Korean food so I am a hot mess with the sheer amount of food I'm able to consume while watching a drama. But if in your area nothing is readily available check out Amazon. On a recent hunt for a noodle pot (they make it look so good on screen) I discovered authentic instant Korean noodles. I've had them before, they're really good and the price is not bad at all. I know, kind of weird ordering noodles on line, but if you want to be authentic give it a shot you wont regret it and absolutely do not forget to throw in your egg.

And if you can't do that, try some seaweed. It's becoming pretty common place and you should be able to pick it up at almost any mid-sized grocery store. So wrap up some veggies and rice and grub away. And since by now, fingers crossed, you've added some friends into the equation make sure you wrap a little seaweed up and feed it to them Kdrama style.

And lastly, if all else fails just grab a cup of noodles and use your chopsticks at least. For me, Iiving in Koreatown has its advantages like easily being able to try out new food while watching a new drama. But it also has its disadvantages. like during my last 3 day long "Coffee Prince" binge my cravings for black bean noodles became so unbearable I nearly gained 10 pounds trying to satisfy it. So be easy, be careful, and really pay attention to my next tip.


Get off your a**.

It's so easy to become "that person" holed up in your apartment shunning the light of day in favor of your beloved Kdrama. Fortunately, you no longer have to make the choice between your drama and a little fresh air. It is the 21st Century after all and with the advancement of technology there's a remedy for the prison your addiction has built around you. It's 2013 free yourself and take your Kdrama with you. With mobile options out the kazoo there's no reason to stay inside, so get off your a**, grab your smart device and hit the road.


Ahh vitamin D how I've missed you.

There are a few really good sites where you can watch your dramas on your smart phone or other mobile device. Here are a few that I really like.

My top picks would be Dramafever, Hulu, and Netflix. In that exact order, with the largest selection of subtitled dramas to choose from Dramafever tops my list. Hulu comes in a close second with an impressive library as well. And Netflix providing a nice mix of dramas and movies rounds out the contenders. So there's absolutely something for everybody. And with Dramafever and Hulu both offering free subscriptions for on-line streaming, and all three providers offering paid subscriptions for the all important commercial free experience, any one of these is a solid option for any self-respecting Kdrama fan wanting to take it to the streets.

And if you really want to save a buck. Try Youtube. It's absolutely free. Depending on the type of device you're using, you can download a Youtube downloader, save your Youtube files as an mp4 and then transfer them onto your mobile device. That would give you the added convenience of being able to watch your favorites anytime whether you have access to WiFi or not.

So that's just a few tips to get you started.

So you're going to get a little social; you and all your besties say "fighting!". You're going to get a little grub on; so master those metal chopsticks. And get a little fresh air; lint brush off the cat hair you are hitting the streets. Grab your list of favorite Kdramas and enjoy hotties; make this Hallyu hag proud. Happy watching!

What's Your Favorite...?

What's Your Favorite Food Drama?

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting look into a type of entertainment I really wasn't familiar with.


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