You Know You’re A Seasoned K-Drama Fan When…

Being a seasoned K-drama fan comes with years of experience and is not something that happens overnight. The title is earned, and many hours of K-drama watching comes into play as well as some serious K-drama knowledge. You know you’re a seasoned K-drama fan when…

Everyone around you goes to you when they need a K-drama to watch

You suddenly become the local K-drama reviewer as people are messaging you when they “need a good K-drama to watch.” You obviously go through the standard questions when recommending, such as, “What kind of genre are you looking for?” “What was the last K-drama you watched?” etc. It’s important that you lay down the basics before recommending a series.

You go through a list of “recommended K-dramas” on Soompi and have watched basically all of them

Whenever there’s a new feature that comes up on your Soompi feed of random K-drama recommendations like, “K-dramas to watch when you’re in a mood,” or maybe even, “K-dramas to watch when you love animals,” you’ve basically seen them all. You go down the list and think in your head, “Check… Check… Check… Seen it… Loved this one!…. Check…”

There is basically no K-drama I haven’t watched.

Rookie actors become seasoned actors

There’s always the “new and hot” K-drama actor to look out for, and as the years go, these rookie actors slowly make their place in K-dramaland. They get roles as minor characters, which lead to second lead actors (who we obviously go gaga over), then they begin to star in some roles in various hit movies or really successful K-dramas. The rest, is history.

Song Seung Heon and Song Hye Kyo in 2000

Song Hye Kyo now.

Song Seung Heon now.

You are well-aware of the term ‘Guerilla Date’

If you’re an avid follower of K-dramas (and K-pop) and have a long list of biases galore, you’re well aware of what a guerilla date is. You’ve most likely even watched guerilla dates of celebrities you don’t even necessarily like and end up becoming a fan of after watching the interview.

You have a playlist of your favorite K-drama OSTs

With every favorite K-drama- or even not so favorite K-drama – there is bound to be an OST song that touches your heart and soul. If the song is playing in the background of a monumentally romantic moment, the song will probably forever remind you of it, which makes it that much more important to store in your playlist.

You’ve ventured into 90s or early 2000s K-drama territory

Once you’ve gotten sucked into the K-drama world, you’ve watched basically all the hit K-dramas within the past 5 years or so, so you start to venture into the “classics.” These classics always include the standard “Stairway to Heaven,” “Winter Sonata,” or even “What Happened in Bali.”

Classic!

Once you’ve gotten through these classics, you make the bold decision to check out some 90s K-dramas which may or may not include “Sandglass” or “Star In My Heart.”

OGs!

You know the names of the writers and producers of K-dramas

It’s not easy remembering the writers and producers of K-dramas. I mean, you’re so busy being entranced in the story and main leads that it’s a part that can be difficult to remember long-term. But once you’ve really invested yourself into the K-drama world, you become well-versed with the popular writers and producers.

Do you know who this woman is? Give yourself a pat on the back if you do!

You can tell the outcome of a K-drama just by looking at the poster or watching the teasers

K-dramas are full of cliches and tropes that are done over and over again. There are formulas and methods that are used when producing K-dramas, and it’s probably the reason why they’re so addictive and fun to watch! For a well-seasoned K-drama watcher, you know all the tropes, so all it takes is one look at the poster to determine the story and outcome of a drama. No sweat, really.

You even know the names of the supporting actors in K-dramas

When you’ve watched a lot of K-dramas, you start to recognize the moms, dads, grandparents, and uncles in all the episodes. Most of these secondary characters make appearances in several dramas – sometimes even at the same time! If you know the names of these supporting actors and actresses, you know you’re a veteran K-drama watcher.

Kim Mi Kyung in “Heirs” (2013)

Kim Mi Kyung in “Healer” (2014-2015)

Kim Mi Kyung in “Her Private Life” (2019)

And SO many others.

You learn basic Korean from watching so many K-dramas

If you’re not Korean and you fell quickly into the K-drama world, you probably didn’t even understand a single word at first. After watching a few K-dramas, you start to pick up on some common words and phrases like “saranghae” and “annyeong!” And then after years of watching, you can carry basic conversation with a Korean native.

You watch raw episodes and can get an idea of what’s going on

Sometimes a series is so good that you can’t wait for the subs to come out, so you find yourself going to that K-drama site (that only you know) where you watch the episodes raw. Although you don’t understand every single word, you can get a grasp of what’s going on. The fact that you know the basics also obviously helps with this.

Hey Soompiers, would you call yourself a seasoned K-drama watcher? Let us know in the comments below how you started to watch K-dramas!

binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG. She is also the author of “K-POP A To Z: The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia.” Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!

Currently watching: “Little Forest,” “Vagabond,” and “When the Camellia Blooms”
All-time favorite dramas: “Secret Garden,” “Goblin,” “Because This Is My First Life,” “Star In My Heart
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen

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