Scenes That We See Over and Over Again in Korean Dramas

the heirs

“Do I like you?” Lee Min Ho asks Park Shin Hye in the currently airing drama “The Heirs.” It’s the classic story of rich boy meets poor girl. In this case, Lee Min Ho (Kim Tan) is the second son of the ridiculously wealthy Jeguk Group, and Park Shin Hye (Cha Eun Sang) is the daughter of Jeguk Group’s housekeeper. Of course, he’s in love with her, and is doing everything he can to win her over. Oh yeah, and they live in the same house. 

It’s the cliché that we all saw (and loved?) in the 1990 American classic, “Pretty Woman,” starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Since then, maybe even before that, we’ve seen countless dramas that have employed a similar story line. They’re different, with different people and different circumstances, but in many ways they’re the same, too. 

Here are some scenes that you can probably relate to many different dramas:

  1. “Get in!” – Guy appears like a hero in a luxury car and saves wandering/lost/walking female protagonist.
  2. “Are you okay?!” – Guy appears like a hero (again) to save female protagonist in danger, suddenly having become invincible.
  3. “You can have whatever you want.” – Guy lets female protagonist pick out whatever she wants at the shopping mall and/or sends her expensive presents. 

These scenes can be found in dramas like “The Heirs,” “Secret,” “Master’s Sun,” “Secret Garden,” “Boys Over Flowers,” and on and on the list goes. 

Of course, there are many more other things that we’ve also seen over and over again in dramas, like terminal illnesses, the famous water-thrown-in-face/slap combo, amnesia, etc.

drama heirs secret master's sun

So why do we like these dramas so much if we’ve seen it all before? Drama critic Gong Hee Jung said, “The wealthy are one of the central topics in Korean dramas. [People like it so much] Because it’s something the masses don’t have and can fantasize about through dramas. We may see the typical average wealthy girl along with another main female character in dramas, but in the end, we don’t break away from the ‘Cinderella complex.’ You can call it a sort of admiration by people of average income for that unreachable status of wealth.”

What do you think? Do you agree? Why do you think we keep seeing these types of dramas and scenes air in Korea?

Are there any particular scenes that you’re tired of seeing in dramas, and do you think any scenes are a must-have?