By Lukas Schwarzacher
With over one million Koreans and Korean Americans in the greater Los Angeles area, you can be assured that Korean television is here, offering news, entertainment and drama.
Television stations in Southern California carry programming from the two main television networks of Korea, KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) and MBS (Munhwa Broadcasting System), as well as Seoul Korea Television (SKTV), Arirang and SBS, each privately owned. Several mission channels in Korean round out the lineup.
KSCI-TV (LA 18) has been on the air since 1977, reaching 6.2 million TV households and 2.9 million cable-subscribing households in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and San Diego counties. DirecTV and DISH Network satellite services also carry LA 18. News, sports, drama, and entertainment programs are telecast in 13 languages, of which Korean programming comprises a major part.What would a Korean channel be without drama series? Ten years ago the "K-Drama", as they called it in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, was the main attraction. Since then it has been widely developed. Today, Korean television networks bring 15 to 20 dramas over cable and terrestrial channels each year to California viewers. In East Asia the Korean drama forged the beginnings of the so-called "hallyu" (or "hanryu"), the "Korean Wave".
The year 2010 brought a wide range of Korean series to American audiences. A steady succession of well-crafted, solid shows like "The Slave Hunters", "Jejoongwon" and "Giant" could be seen with solid casts. On a lighter note were "Naughty Kiss" and "Pasta". "Secret Garden", a romantic comedy with two main actors switching bodies, is an intriguing example of "hallyu". And then there was the drama "Bread, Love and Dreams", with commendable performances by its young actors.
(Blog post coming soon: Korean television programming online in the U.S.)
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