K-Drama: Escapism Or The Idealistic Portrayal Of Romance
Foreign films in Nigeria gained waves in the ’60s when the Indigenization Decree was issued by Yakubu Gowon. Since then, it has given birth to the growth of cinema culture. The spiralling effect of the cinema has since continued to give room to progress in Nigeria’s contents in foreign films, which has since dominated the market, ranging from the Indian classics to Japanese, Chinese, as well as American films introducing a wide range of foreign actors. Before the internet, foreign films were the pathway to revealing life beyond what was known; consumed by Nigerians who from then on have been influenced by them.
Of all the foreign films paving the way in the hearts of Nigerian films watchers presently, the Korean films/series also known as K-series ranks first. Superseding the popularity of the singing and dancing of the heart-crunching love stories of Bollywood in Nigerian homes, the K-drama with its content, fashion, humour, and beauty created a niche for itself on the Nigerian movie market.
Korean series is a mix of modern and national creativity that infuses the rich and historical texture of the country with its modern artefacts. The K-drama has a high dose of creativity in content, humour, language, conversations around family honour, and a showcase of fashion trends, technology and yes – beauty.
With its endearing stories of love, K-drama easily toppled the lure of Indian films, minus the latter’s singing and dancing. But the portrayal of love in Korean films reflects love in an unrealistic outlook that may be damaging to some.
Scratch back to beauty, this element in physical appearance, fashion and flora are aspects that have mesmerised the Nigerian movie audience. Some ladies love the way the Korean film heroes love. Having to see that softer side of men on screen may just be a side most keen watchers add to their wishlist in life.
Captured in a word, “escapism” is a vital element in all of these enticements; giving a few hours of the day, that momentary amnesia that wipes away the upheaval of our marriages, hectic schedules at work and life in general. So, it suffices to say that the Korean love stories step in to reassure shaky marriages and blooming romances through their creative screenplays.
However, some critics think otherwise of the story outline and the ways they are dramatised, picking on poor acting skills and poor dialogues. Sometimes, these plucky films give a compass to navigating the real world where the unattainable is attainable in dreamland, therapeutically capable to calm nerves and create hope. Apart from their sophisticated story-lines and humour, the K-drama have since created, especially the perceptions of Nigerian women, an idealistic mode of romance have since led most Nigerian females, including respective God-fearing housewives, to embrace Korean characters like Lee Min Ho, as their walking talking dream lover.
This begs the question: Is the institution of marriage so dysfunctional that it has run to “art” to proffer solutions to romance, relationship, love and marriage, knowing that reality sometimes imitates art?
In the end, it boils down to the sense of hope these films/ series offer their respective audience.
Through their consumption by the Nigerian market, especially in the 1990s and early 21st century, the Indian film/series, like many others, has exposed the world to the cultural outlook of the Indian people. Their mode of dressing their adornment of pieces of jewellery and their flowing sari are the right dose of charm for every Indian film addicts.
Either to trends or the different perception of the new generation, the intrigues of Bollywood music, stories, fashion, and characters are being replaced with exciting new films that are birthing the era for Korean series in the Nigerian film industry. Although the northern parts of Nigeria still patronise Bollywood, other regions of the country have since embraced K-drama.
With the country riddled with uncertainty as a result of the unease and limited mobility in the time of the coronavirus, the Korean films/series stand as an opium, that Nigerian movie lovers avidly gobble to escape their present situations either in marriage, professional, or domestic lives.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.