KCON, the convention celebrating all aspects of Korean pop culture, will be coming to Los Angeles this weekend, as fans anticipate special appearances by superstars Lee Min Ho, Block B, GFriend, Eric Nam, Astro, Shinee, and Dean. It will be the fifth year of KCON, which has become the world’s largest Korean culture convention and and music festival.
Korean entertainment has become popular in the USA, not only among Korean and Asian Americans, but for audiences of all backgrounds that appreciate the music, television, and films. Psy became a global phenomenon with “Gangnam Style,” but even Hollywood celebrities have become enamored with all things “hallyu.” Emma Stone talked to Conan O’Brien about how she was a fan of K-pop, especially 2NE1, and Conan later joined Steven Yeun on a trip to Korea where they starred in J.Y. Park’s K-pop video.
Anna Kendrick did a Funny or Die skit with the K-pop group F(x). Chloe Grace Moretz became the first American celebrity to appear on “SNL Korea,” followed by Tom Hiddleston. In addition, Latin Americans have become the fastest-growing fanbase for sites such as Dramafever that specialize in Korean dramas.
But for the uninitiated, here’s an XFINITY Asia collection of popular Korean dramas that can act as a sampler for any Korean entertainment newbie.
“My Love From Another Star” – This 2013 drama starring Jun Ji-hyun and Kim Soo-hyun was such a hit that it inspired Korean fashion, with clothes, accessories and make-up products based on what Jun was wearing in the episodes. It’s about an alien that lands on earth and happens to fall in love with the most famous actress in Korea.
“Coffee Prince” – This drama from 2007 stars Yoon Eun Hye and Gong Yoo, and it’s based on a novel written by. The story centers around a tomboy who dresses like a man and a young food mogul who initially doesn’t realize his co-worker is actually a woman, as they renovate an old coffee shop that the call Coffee Prince.
“Secret Garden” – This 2010 drama starring Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won follows a rich department store CEO as he falls for a stuntwoman. It’s a modern-day Cinderella story.
“You’re Beautiful” – This 2009 musical follows the drama surrounding a fictional musical band called A.N.JELL. In addition to starring Jang Keun-suk and Park Shin-hye, the drama showcases performances by real-life K-pop stars Jung Yong-hwa of CN Blue and Lee Hong-gi of F.T. Island.
“My Girlfriend Is A Nine-Tailed Fox” – This 2010 fantastical drama stars Lee Seung Gi and Shin Min Ah, and it’s about a young man who accidentally unleashes the spirit of a nine-tailed fox (gumiho), a creature that appears in Korean legends. He later meets a strange woman, who he realizes is the 500-year old gumiho in human form.
“Full House” – This 2004 drama starring Song Hye-kyo and Rain is a romantic comedy between a screenwriter and an actor. This drama was extremely popular when it aired because both Song Hye-kyo and Rain were rising stars at the top of their games. It shot both of them to fame outside of Korea, because the drama was a hit all over Asia.
“Heartstrings” – This 2011 drama starring Park Shin-hye and Jung Yong-hwa takes place in a music university, one is studying traditional Korean music and the other is a guitarist studying Western music. Fans loved seeing the two of them reunite after starring together in “You’re Beautiful.”
Watch these Korean dramas and more with XFINITY On Demand!