POPdramatic's 30-Day Asian Drama Challenge: Day 21

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Day 21: Your favourite ahjussi romance.

Well, it turns out that for today's question I don't really have an answer. I think I've only watched a couple of drama series that would count as ahjussi romances and even those haven't impressed me enough to call them favourites. 

There was Prime Minister and I, which started out really cute and sweet. Yoona and Lee Bum Soo had unexpectedly lovely chemistry and it could have been a romance that I would add in this list, but the plot fell apart and the so-called love story ended in that infamous handshake. So no.

Another one that I could consider is King of Dramas, though I never got very far with that series, so I don't think I ever saw the part where the leads actually started developing feelings for each other. It doesn't really count as a favourite ahjussi romance as I never witnessed the romance.

And I guess History of the Salaryman also had a romantic angle, though it wasn't the focal point of the drama. But I haven't yet completed the series, so it doesn't really fit the criteria of a favourite ahjussi romance either. 

So the thing with ahjussi romances is that most of the time, they're kept very PG to the point of the couple not going further than handholding or, if you're lucky, a kiss on the cheek (scandalous!). It's a shame because noona romances get quite a lot of sexy action, but ahjussi love stories are viewed as something icky. 

I mean, they can be icky but then for the same reasons that noona romances can be icky - one party being underage and/or the other one in a position of authority where romantic relationship would be inappropriate. 

What I'm saying is, at this point, ahjussi romances are way too tame in comparison to noona romances. I'm not asking for sexy stuff, but some kissing and decent skinship between lead actors who are both adults would make these love stories a lot more believable and interesting to watch. And maybe then I'd have something to make a favourites list about.

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  1. These are very good choices! If only Prime Minister and I were more like the other two dramas you mentioned, it would be a perfect triplet.

    My Spring Days was a very good ajhussi romance, very-well acted and a nice story -minus the infuriating ending.

    Your last paragraph indicates a usual problem in K-dramaland but from my limited experience I've come to the conclusion that noona romances are completely fictional while ajhussi love stories happen all the time in RL. Korean female audiences must hate watching dramas that overlap with their own reality.

    C-dramas on the other hand have no problem with huge age gap between the leading characters. However, Chinese usually focus on the roles instead of the age.

    1. You're right, noona romances don't usually happen in real life, at least not if there's a big age gap. So it is possible that ahjussi romances hit a painful note for female audiences (a la those who have been left for a younger woman in their own life etc). But I also think that people just don't like seeing young actresses alongside older men because it feels like a corruption of youth and innocence. It doesn't feel as strange with younger men alongside older women because the women still look and act quite youthful in those dramas, I guess. For me, as long as the gap isn't too big or there's no inappropriate layer to their relationship, I'm fine with either type of romance.


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