Descendants of the Sun (Photo: NEW)

Soap operas are one of the most popular types of TV shows in the world, originating in the West with the advent of consumerism and marketing in the mid-20th century. Now, however, Korea is shining in the soap opera light.

Latecomers often outshine those who went before, just as blue outshines indigo (청출어람, 靑出於藍) and just as the old will eventually defer to the next generation (후생가외, 後生可畏). So, too, are Korean dramas reaching for the stars as they stand on the shoulders of those who came before them.

Korean soap operas have shown remarkable development since the 1980s. This is partially thanks to the freedom enjoyed by creative writers and producers in Korea, backed by the development of democracy and a general opening of Korean society. There has been a diversification in TV watchers, too, thanks to economic development, a growing appreciation for cosmetic beauty and leisure activities, and the central government's active support for media and the arts. 

Korean dramas have evolved very interestingly, as the plots are generally just based on standard content found across human society, but then added to the top are elements of fiction and imagination. This is partially thanks to the strong fan base from around the world and to their love for Korean TV shows.

Let's learn more about the wonderful world of Korean dramas.