Korean Dramas vs Korean Movies

What are some difference between Korean movies and Korean dramas, besides the viewing length?
Warning: There’s talk about adult themes in here~

Okay, so this article isn’t really about which is better than the other, but more about things you’ll find in some Korean movies that you won’t find in the dramas.

Of course, this is to be expected. Things on TV are generally toned down because anybody could be viewing it; it’s this way in America too.

What moved me to create this article is a question on Yahoo. The person asking assumed that Korea was a more “moral” place in the world. They came to this conclusion because of the Korean dramas they had seen.

Well, while the majority of, let’s say, teen romantic-comedy dramas are milder, this type of entertainment doesn’t reflect all of Korea.
(Plus, don’t even get me started on the difference in drama genres right now… maybe I’ll do that later, haha. I mean, watch something like “Iris” then come back and tell me how innocent Kdramas are.)

The bottom line is, there’s less censoring in the movies. Public entertainment is just more censored.

Here are some of the things I’ve seen in Korean movies that I’d probably rarely/never see in a Korean drama:

“100 Days With Mr.Arrogant”

  • Gross-out scenes

I have seen a few in some dramas. There are a lot of throwing-up scenes out there, especially to show how drunk a character is… however, when I started watching Korean movies, I noticed this gross-out trend right away.
Apparently there is humor in disgusting things and many Korean comedies use it. For some reason, I don’t really see it in dramas much.
I’m sure they’re trying to think of the elders’ feelings.

Let’s see… I don’t even want to list the terrible things I’ve seen in Korean comedies, haha… it’s not my type of humor.
But, for example, while characters do throw up in dramas, you actually see the vomit in the movies. Dramas kind of hide it and just make noises.

Not only that, but apparently seeing characters on the toilet is funny too. Though this has also been seen in dramas, they often add more facial expression and, sometimes, even noises to these scenes, (like in “100 Days With Mr.Arrogant”).

If you need a movie to compare, then I suggest “Sex Is Zero“.

“Like A Virgin”

  • Controversial Themes

They’re not afraid to tackle some controversial or sensitive topics in Korean movies, just like a lot of other places in the world.

For example, “Like a Virgin” is about a transgender character, as was “Lady Daddy”.
“I Like It Hot” had a teen discovering her sexuality as a lesbian.
“Antique Bakery” had a gay make-out scene.

I have to admit that some dramas do go there sometimes, though. “Ireland” is a drama about a girl who falls in love with her brother, for example. However, usually if there is a character like this in a drama, it’s more common for them to be a side character rather than the main character.

  • Disturbing Images/Violence

If you’ve ever seen a Korean Thriller or Horror movie, you probably know what I’m talking about.
If you haven’t, then I’ll point you in the direction of “Bloody Reunion” or maybe “No Mercy“.

I won’t make anybody suffer by posting any bloody reference photos… haha….

“100 Days With Mr.Arrogant”

  • Language

In dramas, yeah they might say some bad words and maybe have some playful naughty banter, but in movies, they aren’t as conservative with it.
When I watched a few fairly new romantic-comedies, I noted the stronger flirtations between characters. For example, in “Chilling Romance”, the female lead tells the guy outright that she wants to experience an orgasm. Her boyfriend assumed she was serious, and in the next scene, we find that he was right.

There’s also just more talk about sex in general.
Referencing “100 Days With Mr.Arrogant” again, the beginning of the movie has some schoolgirls talking about sex in the bathroom. I really don’t see that much, if at all, in dramas about schoolgirls.

  • Kissing.

In dramas, it’s not very likely that you’ll get to see any crazy making out. Yeah, I actually have seen some exceptions, but you generally won’t see much passion.
In the movies, you’re more likely to see some tongue and couples rolling around and all that.

Which comes to the last thing on this list….

“Untold Scandal”
Bottom half cropped off for censoring since this is a general article. (It’s full body in the movie.)

  • Sex

In dramas, there’s just implied sex. You see the couple in bed the night after or you just see a character coming out of their lover’s house.
In movies, there are actual sex scenes. There’s the simple massaging through clothing, but then you have the more… adult versions as well.

I’ve found that if it’s a romantic-drama, (not romantic-comedy), the chances for a sex scene are generally higher. If it’s a drama set in the old Joseon era, well, expect an almost-porno.
For example, “Untold Scandal” had full frontal nudity and groping in a long sex scene.

However, they don’t show any details below the belt, cause you know, that would actually be a porno if they did that. (Though they do show full nudity and  side views of full naked sex, you just  never see actual genitalia.)

“Bad Guy”

So, what are the most memorable “adult” Korean movies I’ve reviewed so far?
If you want some recommendations, or proof about what I’ve said, then I suggest;

Two detectives try to solve some murders.
*Rape and disturbing images.

Bad Guy: 
A pimp kidnaps a girl, has her raped and turns her into a prostitute.
*Rape, Sex and violence

Untold Scandal:
A guy seduces a pure woman.
*Long, somewhat detailed, sex scene.

The Servant:
A poor man catches the eye of a rich woman. She goes back and forth between him and her rich suitor.
*Long, somewhat detailed, sex scenes.

So, as you can see, Korea overall isn’t so different in their entertainment as America.
The only difference is how much they censor their public entertainment.

Disclaimer: This is based off of my own observations. I’m not a professional, so feel free to dispute anything I might have said if you actually have experience in this sort of thing :D


One thought on “Korean Dramas vs Korean Movies

  1. I agree with you but now i think now the korean movies are getting better. These movies are everywhere but i am sure such movies are not publicly show in every cinema. Censor board always take actions on such content

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