The Bolder and the Beautiful
India Today|May 10, 2021
Actors in K-dramas can be impossibly pretty, but the secret to their global success is their smart storytelling
Deepanjana Pal

Mainland India should have been the last place where South Korean entertainment would find fans. Ours is a country with its own thriving television and film industries. Culturally, we have been fascinated by the West, rather than our Asian neighbors. Our audiences are not known for embracing subtitles and are so parochial that no actress from Northeast India was considered for the role of champion Manipuri boxer Mary Kom in the mainstream Bollywood film based on her life.

Yet, according to Netflix India, in 2020, there was a 370 per cent growth in the Indian viewership of Korean television serials, fondly known as K-dramas. While Korean entertainment has had a loyal following in Northeast India for about a decade, the rest of India woke up to it last year. So what is it about this genre that has convinced Indians to turn away from the macho men of desi entertainment and towards the feisty heroines and impossibly pretty heroes of K-drama?

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