ARE ALL K-DRAMA HEROINES
Yes, ladies. I've gone there.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the majority of men our heroines bag are RICH, RICH and some more RICH.* The heroines always make a point, about having pride and not accepting handouts, but it's strange how convenient the epicentre of their worlds (that's the guys) happen to be rich anyway. If money didn't matter so much, why do the writers make a point of addressing the social classes and making lead characters at both ends of the spectrum?
So basically, what I want to know is...why are men always portrayed as rich, if things like that, don't matter?
I think it all comes down to the idea of STABILITY. Which goes hand in hand with love. It's the 21st Century. Women are more than capable of bagging a job, and not being dependent on a man for some pocket money. But it all comes down to the Disney Utopia we were force-fed as children. The girl always married the prince.
As women, we collectively like to have a man, who is not a lazy layabout, and is seen as proactive, and a go-getter. This usually means he's successful in his chosen field, and that comes with a bagload of cash. Women are, and always will be, addicted to the idea of a very successful man.
That said, why have KDRAMAS taken it so far?
Surely not every love story has to have such an unequal distribution of wealth between them. In fact, plenty aren't. That said, I think it has a lot to do with the writers, and finding a formula that worked. The women, though intentionally not portrayed as gold-diggers, do come across a little suspect, when drama after drama, we see other characters getting shunted in favour of the one who owns a butler and wouldn't be caught dead in double denim.
Nothing against a rich man, of course. I've been attracted to this storyline for a very long time, and I think it is PURE GOLD. However, that doesn't mean I'm opposed to change, and positively welcome any plots where the leads meet in a tea plantation where, go figure, they both bond over tea leaf picking. OK. Maybe not exactly like that. But you get the picture.
*There are obviously dramas that buck this trend, like high school dramas, because the protagonists usually have not had time to amass a fortune, unless they of course inherit it. In short, in nearly every single drama, the male always ends up rich in the end. Through sheer hard work (well done, him) or it being handed over on a plate (in which case, I shall reserve my judgement and not make my real feelings known here.)
Here are some clear offenders
BOYS BEFORE FLOWERS
Gu Jun Pyo, is the typical narcissist, in love with nobody but himself. But then Jan Di comes along, and when she refuses to bow at his feet, he's smitten like something fierce. When Gu Jun Pyo starts to show psychotic qualities, like kidnapping her, and dressing her up like his favourite Bo Peep doll, you know things have gone too far. However his relentless display of wealth (and devotion) pays off, and he nabs the girl in the end.
Joo Won is a decorative CEO, who likes turning up a few times a week, and have everyone bowing to him in a constant state of hero worship. When he's not carefully adorned in a sparkly Tracksuit, he's cowering from elevators and anything that might be reasonably scary. Understandably such a man would be attracted to his opposite, and he falls in love with his very own ACTION GIRL. Life is bliss.
A MILLIONAIRE'S FIRST LOVE
Another Hyun Bin feature, not intentional, I promise. Here the story is more poignant, and you see the philandering ways of a rich dude, slowly get changed around by a girl dying with cancer. Sometimes you have to admit, the best lead has to be a character who is changeable, and who's more changeable than a person who is arrogant?
This drama already is a sore point for me, without getting past the first episode. The main lead's evil, questionable friends sold everything she owns, without her even being aware of it! Rain, plays her all singing, all dancing flatmate and things go from there. I always wondered what the drama would've been like, if it took a 180 turn, and Kyo fell in love with a hobo instead.
LIE TO ME
What a tragedy this drama turned out to be. But let's not focus on that, shall we? This drama also presents a common scenario in k-dramas, when the girl mistakes the man for being a lowly minimum wage worker, but then ends up with egg on her face, when she sees him striding down a hallway (or just plain sitting), in a suit, very clearly a CEO, and she becomes mortified, at her HUGE mistake. Oh no. How will she ever live? *sarcasm muted *
This article is the brainchild of a person suffering for her art.
Leave a comment below, if you noticed things too.