Are abusive relationships romanticized in KDramas??

  • So I've never watched Korean dramas but I came across this video about abusive behaviours in romantic dramas and I wanted to see other peoples opinion on it.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3mFWU352L4


    Does this go for the minority/half/majority of Korean dramas? :whatb:


    Is there a difference in portraying romantic relationships (male and female roles) in older/newer dramas? If so then what are the differences?


    Are Korean dramas mostly focused on romance or are there some other dramas that have different main themes? (I'm not into romance but I want to give it a try so a recommendation would be nice :oops: )


    When it comes to cliche romance I've only watched some rom-com anime back when I was a teen :danceb:

  • i haven't watched that many k-dramas, but there's this old really good k-drama about a sad romantic relationship. it's called "49 days". it's a sad, romantic, comedy, sci-fi K-drama.


    most of them do have romance, but not all of them, some of them are about revenge or horror or sci-fi, etc..

    Edited 4 times, last by haj1ma ().

  • I guess it appeals to many women, because I've also seen it in many mangas for women. No woman wants it to happen to them in real life, but it's different in fiction.

  • I watched a K-drama where the main point seemed to be that the woman was unreasonable because she wasn't happy that she was being cheated on. I think the moral was that if she'd just been a nice pick-me he might have stayed. There seems to be a lot of that melodramatic "It's not love if we don't scream and slap each other" stuff. The male lead yanks the female lead around by the arm a lot.


    But Koreans probably watch Twilight and 50 Shades and wonder what's wrong with Westerners that we like this fucked up stuff.

  • There is a great kdrama "Dinner Mate" which is the exact opposite of your "thread"


    there is one male character who is mentally ill and abusive and crazy about one woman, he says he loves her but his behavior makes her go like "ughhh this guy" and there are other characters that see him who he is and also try to stop him and talk some sense to him.


    So I guess it just depends on the drama.

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  • To be completely honest, I haven’t watched many romantic KDramas, but from what I have seen, the grabbing of the gf’s arm and like, forcing her to go places and all of that is heavily romanticized in KDramas. I guess it’s seen as “cute”, but in reality is most definitely not. I usually watch action KDramas, so I’m not too knowledgeable.

  • hmm...i would say that in most kdramas it is romanticised. Not all, but most.

    Grabbing your partner’s arm, pulling them in for a kiss, etc.


    this can be cute in the show, but irl it can be scary


    most of the time the relationships are healthy and adorable tho! I think the older ones with the bad boy x poor girl trope are the most toxic ones tho

    EN-: jungwon | heeseung | jay | jake | sunghoon | sunoo | ni-ki


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  • I guess it appeals to many women, because I've also seen it in many mangas for women. No woman wants it to happen to us in real life, but it's different in fiction.

    I agree with this!

    Grabbing the hand and stuff people mentioned often happen in Korean dramas. I never had problem with it, especially if there is some limit or scenes where woman does the same or where woman was messing around just to get attention.

    I even like it sometimes.

  • I guess it appeals to many women, because I've also seen it in many mangas for women. No woman wants it to happen to us in real life, but it's different in fiction.

    True, I guess the problem lies in differentiating what behaviour is acceptable or creepy in real life and fiction.

    I watched a K-drama where the main point seemed to be that the woman was unreasonable because she wasn't happy that she was being cheated on. I think the moral was that if she'd just been a nice pick-me he might have stayed. There seems to be a lot of that melodramatic "It's not love if we don't scream and slap each other" stuff. The male lead yanks the female lead around by the arm a lot.


    But Koreans probably watch Twilight and 50 Shades and wonder what's wrong with Westerners that we like this fucked up stuff.

    Yeah same shit with 50 Shades, I don't get the need to always have a couple where one partner is extremely toxic to the point where it just becomes creepy and abusive but in the drama, it brushes of as affectionate and caring like--

    I agree with this!

    Grabbing the hand and stuff people mentioned often happen in Korean dramas. I never had problem with it, especially if there is some limit or scenes where woman does the same or where woman was messing around just to get attention.

    I even like it sometimes.

    Same here, when it's for the attention or affection in a non-toxic relationship

  • True, I guess the problem lies in differentiating what behaviour is acceptable or creepy in real life and fiction.

    Yeah same shit with 50 Shades, I don't get the need to always have a couple where one partner is extremely toxic to the point where it just becomes creepy and abusive but in the drama, it brushes of as affectionate and caring like--

    Same here, when it's for the attention or affection in a non-toxic relationship

    I completely agree! It just really depends!

  • yes. the most popular shows everyone recommends are full of problematic scenes. i dropped many due to ML's horrible mistreatment of FL and not only physical but emotional abuse. princess hours (which is in the video you linked), she was pretty, and secret garden are some of the examples where such behavior is depicted as romantic.



    nowadays a lot has changed for the better, there are no more forced kissing scenes but wrist grabbing and forced pulling scenes are still present. i assume wrist grabbing is a cultural thing, maybe they think taking someone's hand is more intimate. but forced pulling is unacceptable.


    it also annoys me that being jealous is depicted as romantic. when a couple gets together none of the partners should be left alone or talk to another person because the other one will get mad. then it follows that infamous line - from now the only man/woman you are allowed to see is me (i'm paraphrasing but you get the point).


    btw, i think that forced kissing scene in coffee prince worked, it wasn't meant to be romantic but to show ML's frustration. yes, it wasn't nice but it worked.

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  • nowadays a lot has changed for the better, there are no more forced kissing scenes but wrist grabbing and forced pulling scenes are still present. i assume wrist grabbing is a cultural thing, maybe they think taking someone's hand is more intimate. but forced pulling is unacceptable.


    it also annoys me that being jealous is depicted as romantic. when a couple gets together none of the partners should be left alone or talk to another person because the other one will get mad. then it follows that infamous line - from now the only man/woman you are allowed to see is me (i'm paraphrasing but you get the point).

    I agree, forced pulling and pushing someone is such a part of their romantic culture that they don't register it as violence, but just some sappy couple thing.


    I think that to them it's not romanticizing because they know it's just a fantasy thing like omg hot boy pushes you against a wall.


    Tbh I'm not surprised that jealousy is depicted a lot in these dramas. Just by the video I watched, I think there is a limit to how much a person should feel this emotion before it becomes some type of addiction through stalking and other acts that are considered impulsive (physical and emotional abuse) due to their suspicion and insecurity.


    Back in the days of vines, there was a trend in Japan where they made fun of people pushing against the wall so it's probably the same for Koreans who are used to these types of cliche romantic tropes xdd

  • yeah i havent watched thai dramas only remake of jdrama or kdramas

    but then i have found bunch of thai drama clips on yt it was scary

    I watched it. There are some good too. But a lot have extreme scenes of mistreatment. Their famous, older dramas are mostly slap and kiss or whatever is the name of it. It's like hate to love relationship. So it is quite extreme and scary.

  • What are they like?? :pepepizza:

    Rape is depicted as sexy. Literally, I'm not being overdramatic. Forcing yourself on a person who says no but they eventually end up having sex because "romantic". it's portrayed like woman/man wanted it after all.

    Also, thai's bl are misogynistic and homophobic as hell, one partner is called "wifey" and everyone is fine with that

    edit: grammar

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    Edited 3 times, last by doesitneedsaying ().

  • Sadly yes, I think they still need to learn what Japan has in recent years that Stockholm syndrome and rape is not something to romanticize. It teaches young people the wrong thing and that people can love you and abuse you to "make you learn to love them too". Which leads to many young girls losing their human autonomy and giving up on their goals because they were groomed to think the abuse is normal.

    Micah Forever

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  • Rape is depicted as sexy. Literally, I'm not being overdramatic. Forcing yourself on a person who says no but they eventually end up having sex because "romantic". it's portrayed like woman/man wanted it after all.

    Also, thai's bl are misogynistic and homophobic as hell, one partner is called "wifey" and everyone is fine with that

    edit: grammar

    I thought that I was the only 1 who dont like and cant understand this aspect of Asians BL loves. From manga, novels to dramas (all dramas, not just Thai), they have that uke/seme relationships. It just isnt logical at all to me. I get pissed off when I see how they treat the submissive one (idk which one is it)....

  • i meant to reply to this post first but i'm useless with phones :) i'm on a laptop rn.


    it's is in their culture. everyone, check this article - 6 Differences Between Dating In Korea And America, According To A Male Idol

    "Rather than spending time alone (or with friends - added by me) , any free time is automatically considered couples’ time. When someone wants to change that, they’re instantly faced with suspicion.

    In Korea, ‘You’re free. I’m free. It’s our time then.’ There’s no, ‘You can have your time. I can have [my] time.’ If you say, ‘Can I have some time to myself,’ they’re like, ‘Why? Is something wrong? Do you not like me anymore?’"

    "They think guys and girls can’t be friends in Korea. A lot of people think that."

    "They (Koreans) think that you’ll be more interested if you do this whole push and pull thing. They think if you only pull, you’re gonna get bored of them fast. They act super interested and, all of a sudden, be kind of cold towards you. Then, they’ll act super interested…"

    no wonder we're getting these kinds of scene if that's korean mindset.

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  • That's why I can't watch most of them.


    coffee prince has a forced kiss scene tho. but i already said that it worked well in it. which is a weird thing to say.


    I thought that I was the only 1 who dont like and cant understand this aspect of Asians BL loves. From manga, novels to dramas (all dramas, not just Thai), they have that uke/seme relationships. It just isnt logical at all to me. I get pissed off when I see how they treat the submissive one (idk which one is it)....

    you're definitely not the only one. 5 or 6 years ago i watched several thai's bls before dropping them for good. it's 2021 and the way they still treat a bottom is disgusting. he's weak, does everything a top say, and is submissive in general, he's even called a wifey. everytime time i watched thai's bl l i got the urge to slap (or beat, yeah) both director and screenwriter. how can anyone think rape or force in general is hot?


    i saw this scene on tumblr. it's from a show that's currently airing "lovely writer" and it's about exposing the world of bl series.


    forward to 12:30, the director actually says that such scenes are hot. thankfully the main lead has brain cells and says it's borderline rape


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    i have no idea what uke/seme relationship is, you're the 3rd person who mentioned it. i need to google :D


    we can complain about toxicity in korean dramas but i honestly never watched a series where rape was depicted as romantic. in fact, i don't remember watching a rape scene. i watched a scene with attempted rape and people's different reaction annoyed me (because this is my first life - i wholeheartedly recommend the show!).


    i don't oppose problematic scenes, i find morally grey scenes interesting. but don't portray them as romantic, call out such behavior. (i'm currently watching a show with such scene and reactions are divided but i loved it :))

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    Edited once, last by doesitneedsaying ().

  • coffee prince has a forced kiss scene tho. but i already said that it worked well in it. which is a weird thing to say.

    The reason why it worked was because Gong Yoo's character thought Yoon Eunhye's character was a guy and they were pretending to be gay so that Gong Yoo's character's family would stop trying to get him to get married...which is an issue in itself. I hope I remembered the plot/script correctly. I tend not to re-watch series. It takes too much time. I'll re-watch feature films and episodes from "reality" series though.

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    "And they escorted her to a prison cell..."

  • The reason why it worked was because Gong Yoo's character thought Yoon Eunhye's character was a guy and they were pretending to be gay so that Gong Yoo's character's family would stop trying to get him to get married...which is an issue in itself. I hope I remembered the plot/script correctly. I tend not to re-watch series. It takes too much time. I'll re-watch feature films and episodes from "reality" series though.

    no, that's not the scene i'm talking about but this one


    it's messed up but strangely i was okay with it.

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  • no, that's not the scene i'm talking about but this one


    it's messed up but strangely i was okay with it.

    I wish my Spanish was better. I can't read the other subtitles. I'm trying to remember the context of this scene.

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    BUz1JbI.jpg

    "And they escorted her to a prison cell..."

    Edited once, last by Poetry ().

  • I wish my Spanish was better. I can't read the other subtitles. I'm trying to remember the context of this scene.

    it's romanian :D i couldn't find a scene with english subs


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  • it's romanian :D i couldn't find a scene with english subs


    There are 4 subtitle options. The default is Romanian. I chose Spanish because it's the only language of the 4 which I have been formally educated in.


    Edit: The 2 other languages were Turkish and auto-generated Korean.

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    "And they escorted her to a prison cell..."

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