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Asian Viewers Want Twists From Korean Dramas: Research

2005/12/16 Source

SEOUL (Yonhap) . Repetitive plots and poor translations are some of the biggest complaints Southeast Asians have about Korean television dramas, governmentfunded research suggested Thursday.

People in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, where Korean dramas have begun to appear on public television and cable after proving popular in China, Japan and Vietnam, find the stories tend to hover at the secrecy over circumstances of the main characters\' birth and their love affairs with a supposed kin.

Also, the translations are often too awkward to convey raw emotions, said the report by the Korea Foundation for Asian Culture Exchange, a public organization.

"All the experts in the three countries were unanimous in saying that many Korean dramas are all identical in their plots. If you see some of it, you would know how it would go at the end," Lee Hung-chul, a Ph.D. in psychology who headed the research, said in a forum in Seoul. Some of the most popular drama series from Korea, such as "Autumn in my Heart" and "Winter Sonata," revolve around secret birth stories.

"They suggest Korean producers become more open-minded and think of such things as joint productions with other countries or studying the sensitivities of people abroad to better target viewers," he said.

The survey, aimed at studying trends in cultural demand in Southeast Asian markets, asked 500 people each in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok how they consider Korean entertainment compared to rivals from China, Japan and the United States.

Singaporeans said they favor foreign dramas from Korea over the U.S., Japan or China. Of the respondents, 58 percent said they like Korean dramas, followed by 57 percent who chose the U.S., 52 percent who picked Japan and 33 percent for China.

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