Birth Secret Based Dramas have taken over the Small Screen


There is an influx of birth secrets in Korean dramas these days. KBS1’s “Smile Donghae;” MBC’s “Flames of Ambition,” “Sparkling,” and “Mate;” KBS2’s “Thorn Birds;” and SBS’s “New Tales of a Gisaeng,” and “Smile Mom” are all different genre dramas but are based on the same topic of birth secrets. Coincidently, all these dramas achieved strong viewer ratings.  


 “Smile Donghae”

Currently, daily drama “Smile Donghae” and weekend drama “Flames of Ambition” are at the apex of birth secret based dramas. Both dramas have high ratings and have taken over the lead in their respective time slots. “Smile Donghae” is on its way to setting a record with 40%. Donghae’s (Ji Chang Wook) birth secret has recently been revealed; but as the drama uncovers Anna’s (Do Ji Won), Donghae’s mother, birth secret, ratings are skyrocketing.


“Flames of Ambition”

“Flames of Ambition” also boasts of excellent ratings. In episode 43, aired March 5th, it has finally come out in the open that Baek In Gi (Seo Woo) is Yoon Na Young’s (Shin Eun Kyung) daughter. Additionally, with the blood test results between Kim Young Min (Cho Min Gi) and Kim Min Jae (Yoo Seung Ho) spurring out, the drama hit its new personal record with 21.5% (23.8%) viewership. The drama is continuing to garner more attention as speculations about Yoon Na Young’s birth surfaced.  

“Smile Mom”

The evil mastermind Hwang Bo Mi (Ko Eun Mi), who tore apart main character Kang Shin Young’s (Yoon Jung Hee) family, is actually Shin Young’s aunt Kang Suh Poong (Lim Yea Jin)’s long lost daughter. Because Bo Mi is the archenemy of Shin Young in everything (family, election, etc.), Suh Poong conceals the fact that Bo Mi is her lost daughter. On its 36th episode, aired March 6, the drama recorded a 17.0% (17.7%) viewership, its highest yet.     

“Thorn Birds”

The most complicated birth secret scenario goes to KBS2’s new Wed/Thurs “Thorn Birds.” Suh Jung Eun (Han Hye Jin) rose to stardom through the help of national actress Yoon Myung Ja (Cha Hwa Yeon) who also is Han Yoo Kyung’s (Kim Min Jung) biological mother. Lee Young Jo (Ju Sang Wook) is a 3rd generation chaebol born to a second (Korean jargon for a second wife to a man who already has a wife). His  biologial mother is Kim Gye Soon(Song Oak Sook) who runs a beauty shop in Chungdamdong (a Korean equivilant to Beverly Hills). “Thorn Birds” somehow links all these complicated stories to each other.    


MBC’s weekend drama “Sparkling” started with a bang by revealing the switch of Hwang Jung Won (Kim Hyun Joo) and Hwang Geum Ran (Lee Yoo Ri) early on. “Sparkling” is expected to hold on to its strong ratings as viewers are anticipating the drastic changes in Jung Won and Geum Ran’s lives.

Unexpected events often occur in our lives. While some over-the-top dramas are pointed out as makjang dramas, the influx of all these birth secrets makes everyone at one point rethink about the stories behind their birth.  


Written in Korean by [email protected]; translated by [email protected]