it’s no secret that tropes and cliche’s are the backbone of the k-drama world. here’s my take on seven of these.
enemies to lovers
an obvious classic. whether it’s straight up hate or bottling of emotions from both the parties, enemies to lovers is always an entertaining one.
- watch it: “so i married an anti-fan” and the iconic “boys over flowers.” the former is extremely entertaining and it also has a webtoon.
tragic endings are a new favourite of k-drama writers these days. tragic endings are hard to grasp and hard on the heart. why cry when you can not? why can’t we have satisfactory and happy endings? why is media obsessed with the portrayal of the tragic and the damned. obviously it’s an amazing trope. i think the whole appeal of the tragic trope rests on the fact that it’s like walking into a fire very well knowing there’s barely a one percent chance you’ll come back in a single piece.
- watch it: “twenty five-twenty one” is exactly the k-drama i had in mind while writing about this one.
friends to lovers
friends to lovers is actually more realistic in real life than in fiction. despite the hallway and airport crush craze, you’re actually more likely to fall for a close friend than the dude with good hair you sat next to in a plane once. i don’t like this one as much because it’s mostly executed half-heartedly, but it can be nerve-racking and exciting if done right.
- watch it: “weightlifting fairy kim bok-joo”
something about this trope always hits. maybe it’s the dysfunction itself or the way all the characters react and each in their own way contribute to it. something about watching mothers go crazy and fathers get even more tight-lipped as the days pass, makes it a very satisfying trope to watch.
- watch it: “penthouse”, “sky castle”, all these dramas do it psychotically and do it right. penthouse always does it the best.
does this trope even require any explanation?
- watch it: “what’s wrong with secretary kim” and “itaewon class” are among my faves.
the love triangle
in one word: outdated. this used to be extremely fun but now i’m just sick. i truly thought we were done with this after true beauty? it’s a fact that it’s team seojun for the win but this trope really does need to take a backseat. it’s been an iconic plot tool but the overuse of it ( and overuse being TERRIBLE) is just a huge no for me.
- watch it: do yourself a favor and don’t.
rude/ socially awkward leads
sorry but i’m a sucker for this one. any rude lead and i’m sold. rude female leads serve even better. even better if they’re both rude and hate the other person’s guts. its always nice when the male lead’s rude because he’s so tongue-tied in front of the love interest and he ends up doing all the wrong things. watching him regret all his life decisions is both relatable and diffuses the tension underlying the plot and between the characters.
- watch it: “boys over flowers” and “the inheritors” are some that i can name off the top of my head.
question: which one of these tropes do you truly detest and which one of these is your fave? it’s hard to pick a single trope to hate on, there’s so many to hate. on the other hand, my ultimate fave trope has to be enemies to lovers. let me know yours in the comments and have a great day </3