We hear a lot of criticism against K-Dramas for being too mainstream, and having repetitive storylines, like the same romantic comedy, where the couple meets, then is separated due to some issue and end up getting back together by the end of the drama, in short, it’s all mushy and cringy, but to those people, here are some examples from the pool of variety of available dramas, which deal with societal issues that are still prevalent in our society. It does not sugar coat our reality or instead as an escape. Rather it brings out the evil of our culture and keeps it in front of its viewers.
1. Mental Health–It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
One of the most loved dramas, which was a hit amongst drama lovers, dealt with many mental health issues we might not have seen a portrayal of on television. The main lead suffered from Antisocial Personality Disorder, and other issues that were displayed with included Autism Spectrum Disorder and Dissociative Identity Disorder.
2. Education And Societal And Parental Pressure-Sky Castle
The drama was an attack on the highly competitive era of students as well as parents, who are all struggling and pushing their children to the edge to get them to major league colleges and esteemed professions like doctors, how parents are unfazed even after the suicide of a mother and children running away from home.
3. Cult Mentality–Save Me
One of the darkest shows in recent history, this show seems so unreal that we might not believe that such things happen in real life; it reveals to us how easy it is to manipulate a person into believing stuff. The show portrays the darkness behind cults and how families were destroyed.
4. Racism, LGBTQ–Itaewon Class
This show dealt with such delicate issues that are still prevalent in our society, especially in Korea. A transgender individual was portrayed on the show and was handled very well; the character made us root for them, but the biggest issue that is present on an international level is racism.
5. Beauty Standards, Bullying-True Beauty
This show might be a light comedy set in a high school, but the drama covered underlying issues of highly talked about beauty standards, and how different people are treated when they do not match the usual beauty standards. It also covered the very integral part of bullying, which is a raging issue in Korea.
6. Mental Diversity And Issues – Flower Of Evil
“A Psychopath diary”, that is how ‘Flower of Evil’, the show is referred to, but yes, the show breaks some norms of psychopaths being gruesome murderers and having no affection whatsoever; the main character’s attachment with his daughter was worth it.
7. Body Issues And Mental Health–Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo
A drama that shows us the life of athletes and sports enthusiasts and covers the issues of different sports and how different the struggles for all of them are, for dancers having body issues, grave issues like Anorexia is something we don’t see often, it also talks about depression.
8. Single Parenthood, Grief, And Trauma Healing–Be Melodramatic
Being a part of this generation calls for some mental strength, to be able to cope with stresses around us, being able to deal with the trauma of losing someone close to you, it is not easy to deal with such issues; the drama covered the issues in a very subtle way.
9. Teen Prostitution–Extracurricular
As everybody already knows, ‘Extracurricular’ might be a school drama, but it is very dark and can be pretty controversial and realistic too; the show covers extremely grave issues like teen prostitution, assault, harassment. It also covers murders, violence, and a lot of aggravated violence and betrayals, the world might not be all flowery for the children.
One of the recent dramas, it shows us a very dramatic and coming of age drama including a background representation of the queer community; even though directors do not take risks with controversies, this drama took enough risks and went boldly into filming it.