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Direk Joey Reyes on K-dramas: 'Impressive, substantial in content, visually stunning'

Filipino director Joey Reyes wrote an entire blog post praising Korean dramas and listing down why it's well-loved by viewers from all over the world.

A day after Erik Matti called K-dramas "faux cinderella stories with belo-fied actors whiter than white," Reyes took to Twitter to promote his blog celebrating K-dramas and listing things and details he loves about Korean shows.



In his blog, Reyes began by saying, "Koreanovelas are not only impressive. They are not only substantial in their content, but are visually stunning."

The Filipino director said he's not only talking about the "grandeur of their production design historical dramas."

"I am not even including the excellence in the way their KDramas are photographed, the choice of locations and costumes and even details including food props and atmosphere characters."

Reyes said it's about "television materials which are world class caliber."

"If Filipino viewers are in awe of the amount of investment plonked into these productions compared to the local counterparts, then let us explain," Reyes wrote in his blog.

He listed down three points, beginning with K-dramas "market and branding."

"The production value is given utmost premium in Koreanovelas because it has got everything to do with branding," Reyes began.

He said K-dramas' looks are easily identifiable and "money is funneled into giving worth and value to every scene shot."

While there are terrific actors doing great jobs portraying their roles with "exquisitely written plots that make familiar tropes look new," Reyes said what makes K-dramas distinct from their other Asian counterparts is their brand.

"This is primarily why production value equates with branding. In a highly competitive market you have to look expensive," he wrote.

He said the locations in K-dramas itself promotes and showcases the country's culture and tourist spots shot almost like "tourism ads highlighting both the qualities of the metropolis like Seoul or the richness of its modern architecture. "

According to Reyes, Koreans spend so much for "productions for technical excellence, polish and impressiveness" because Koreans know "their market is not Korea alone." It has grown to become regional at the very and international at most.

Next, the production design in K-dramas is of premium importance.

Reyes pointed out that actors in dramas reflect Koreans' sense of style and their authority in it. K-drama characters, he said, are all "aspirational. You look at them and you want to look like them."

"The women are always dressed impeccably and the men look like they are about to be set up in a fashion pictorial," he wrote.

According to the Filipino director, fashion plays a major role in K-dramas because "this shows, despite the weight of subject matter or the intensity of emotions — are fantasies."

Reyes said in K-dramas, "costumes, make-up and total commitment of the actors make them unrecognizable in every role that they play because production design revolves around credibility and not just presenting something pretty."

Finally, K-dramas stay true to being conservative. 

Reyes said despite delving into controversial subjects and plot lines of revenge, "the crux of the problem always centers on honor and dignity."

He said K-drama characters "do not feel lust: they show love."

"There may be passion but it is controlled and emotions are expressed through detail and not excesses of physicality."

According to Reyes, it is "useless" to compare K-dramas with Filipino productions because "they have transcended national boundaries to provide worldwide entertainment."

He acknowledges that several Filipino telenovelas have also been aired abroad and have been subtitled in countries "both Asian and otherwise," but "we have not reached that league wherein Filipino telenovelas have achieved a brand that would warrant a substantial audience of non-Pinoy viewers."

"We must advance if not evolve into thinking beyond Aleng Tacing and her baranggay and start imagining that ... uh, there is a bigger world out there that should be given a better taste of what Filipino talents can still accomplish."

He added, "We cannot keep getting stuck like flies on sticky paper on what we predict as the papatok taste of the masa ..."

While on quarantine, Reyes said he will "consume these brilliant little episodes of Korean storytelling" as well as explore Thai and Turkish mini-series as "a beautiful and useful way to utilize confinement: to discover that there is a whole world out there to analyze even from the burden of quarantine and the imperative of social distance."

Read the rest of his blog post here— Jannielyn Ann Bigtas/LA, GMA News

Tags: k-drama