In the past few years, I started watch Asian soaps and was impressed with certain aspects that are unique to their culture. Sharing my view of the best ones to watch when you are looking for a change in genre!
1. Princess Weiyoung
My top favorite. It is about Chinese royal families and how a princess who is nearly killed, finds her way to end up ruling an empire. Every step of the way she faces a lot of struggles and learns from it adapting herself to survive. The actors played their parts really well and seems like they are a real life couple as well! Available on Netflix
2. Legend of Yunxi
This is about a Poison master (Yes.. i was shocked at the concept at first). The herb valleys described here are like those explained in Ayurveda books (Indian medicine). The story is about Yunxi – daughter of a Poison master and how she saves her husband every single time from complex poisons. Available on Youtube.
3. Princess Hours
Korean teen drama about a hypothetical royal family in the modern days. This was the first time I got to realize the walls were made of a kind of paper. Teens are made to go through an arranged marriage. How they wade through their school and personal lives makes it an interesting series with a lot of funny and cultural mix. Available on Youtube
4. Dating in the Kitchen
AMAZING dishes made by the lady chef. The lady chef ends up cooking a series of fantastic dishes where the CEO names one item in the dish. Like 100 dishes with wine (all exotic) from appetizers, entrees, desserts! And everyday a new item and series of food preparations 🙂 Anyone who loves cooking and is tired of the food channels or contests – should try to watch this – just for the varieties of dishes! Available on Youtube
5. You are my destiny
Typical love triangle(s) and how destiny brings the couple together! Loved the simplicity of the pottery in this one! Available on Youtube
It was interesting to see some of these have been dubbed in Indian languages and being aired!! It truly seems to be a global phe
Special mention – First Romance
Watched this to recommend a teen a safe and clean first K-drama to watch. The girl is an athlete and the boy a Piano player. Story revolves around their day to day choices and how their relationship affects their career and how they pull it together! It was funny to watch her being stronger than the boy and lifting him and running across the track field to win. Breaking gender stereotypes.
Some aspects I learned about Asian culture from these series
- Loved the jewelry, hairstyles, bewildering acrobatics and poise of the actors.
- Everyone (all characters) love to eat dinner outside and there seem to be plenty of food joints open late at night
- Soup and hotpots seem to be very common food items (olden days and in modern series)
- Surprisingly, peeling oranges and serving fruits after dinner seems to be a common theme (promoting healthy eating habits.. I liked that aspect very much)
- Promoting women to take up careers and jobs and professions typically set aside for men – be they rulers (olden days), experts in their fields (like poison masters, chefs), athletes (like First Romance) was a great way to see diversity being promoted even in daily soaps.
- The importance of ballet in the lives of teens wanting to play the White swan in Paris seems to be common across serials. Graceful dancers!
Do share your favorites in the comments below!
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