Sunday, March 23, 2008

Koreanovelas and Pinoys

I’m guessing I wrote this in January 27, 2008. It was when I joined my mom with her Coffee Prince marathon that I tinkered with my brother’s (company) Blackberry phone and composed something that described and justified what we were doing with our lives at that given moment. In that light I wish to thank my bro for preserving this piece and for helping me transfer it from his phone to our PC.

Ten hours and counting—that’s how much time we, Pinoys, are willing to spend watching canned telenovelas shipped from Korea. These shows’ addicting effects have proved to be lucrative for local networks as well as for the friendly DVD pirates around our neighborhood.

Never mind if one has to sit excruciatingly long hours in front of the TV set, staring at the poorly translated subtitles then to the Korean actors who almost always look alike. As pathetic as it may sound, finding out what’s going to happen to the characters Korean writers came up with is all worth any viewer’s trouble.

Appeal to curiosity is key, if there really such a thing. I would personally call it the “Pringles effect.” Once you pop, you just can’t stop. And this explains why a lot of our people get hooked.

It helps that Korean writers are skilled in creating characters who are easy to love. Once the Pinoy audience connect with whom they see on TV, they will surely be up for the Koreanovela ride no matter where it leads them, no matter how long it takes.

Why, then, are we, Pinoys, so easily predisposed into appreciating Korean TV? Because we want corny in our lives. And corny is what we get from these Korean imports. But unlike our locally produced telenovelas, the ones from the hermit kingdom are done in better taste.

No, it does not do away with the same old mush we’ve seen a thousand times from the boob tube. However, the subtle way in which these familiar elements are scattered within the span of a series’ run makes them more effective than we might expect.

Then again, Koreanovelas have a finer selling point than that. Aside from doing away from the usual damsels in distress who do nothing but cry which ultimately empower women—the demographics that probably compose the big bulk of these shows’ fans, Korean shows manage to present flawed characters making them more life-like than others.

And in a country bombarded with harsh truths on an hourly basis, it’s always easier for its people not to venture too far away from reality in their pursuit to take a time off from their realities. A tiny step away from their normal lives offers less far out dreams to live up to, yet at the same time, provides hope that is within every Pinoy’s reach.

For as long as Koreanovelas serve their purpose to the Pinoy households they are sure to proliferate faster and more extensively than they do now. And for the temporary escape they give, we just have to thank God for the Koreans and their telenovelas.

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