POPdramatic's 30-Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 20

Monday, June 27, 2016

Day 20: Your favourite drama from a non-romance genre.

A bit late with this one.

So for most of us, romance is the go-to genre when it comes dramas, mostly because almost every drama tends to include romance in some or another way. Sometimes, though, there are dramas that do other genres beside romance, and do it really well. 

For me, the most enjoyable drama series froma non-romance genre so far has been Misaeng. I've never been a fan of workplace dramas, especially the ones with the preachy tone (Japanese dramas tend to prefer that tone a lot) that get boring really quickly, so I was initially very sceptical going into the series. But Misaeng ended up proving me wrong - a well done office drama can actually be a very gripping watch.

I don't want to ramble on about how much I loved the show and the characters, but what Misaeng did exceptionally well was that, although the episodes were long and the subject matter was really mundane, it was never boring to watch. Each episode was tension-filled and full of conflict, even if nothing really big ever happened. It was the characters, their interactions and the complicated office politics, which made the drama intriguing all the way through. Sometimes even the most action-packed dramas can't manage to keep your attention in the same way.

Which begs the question, if dramas can be very emotional and captivating without a love story, why aren't there more of them? Oviously for most drama watchers, myself included, romance gives the biggest kick usually. But not all dramas need a love story, in fact, a lot of shows have much more interesting themes (friendships, family/sibling relationships, mentor-mentee rapport etc) to explore that mandatory romance could easily be left out. 

Lately, I do feel like viewers are more open towards different genres, so I do hope that we'll get a bit of variety in the future as shows like Misaeng prove that a drama series can be super succesful, even if it doesn't have anything to do with romance. Maybe that would also help dramas to break out of the "soap opera" label that outsiders still use when talking about Asian dramas, which I find very annoying.

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