Chinese Dramas vs Korean Dramas

I haven’t had too much exposure to Chinese dramas yet, but these are some of my thoughts on differences between Chinese dramas and Korean dramas, in particular, historical dramas.

What I love about Chinese dramas are the strong female characters. Whether they are good or bad, they make decisions for themselves. Some can fight and even if they can’t, they hold their ground against the men. They’re intelligent and speak their mind. In Korean dramas, I don’t get the same feelings. The female characters are very much like damsels in distress and require men to save them.

Now this concept exists in both Chinese and Korean dramas, but I feel it’s more apparent in Korean dramas. For example, the recent Ruler: Master of the Mask: Ga Eun, the main female lead, got herself into trouble more than she helped the Crown Prince. In Scholar Who Walks the Night, they tried to pass off the female lead as someone who was strong and worked hard to care for her family, but once she met the male lead, she became weak and couldn’t protect herself.

In Lost Love in Time, the female lead sacrifices her happiness in order to set things straight (this is a whole other issue that I could on and on about). But she makes decisions to help those around her. She can fight to protect herself, and she tries hard to protect those she cares about. From what I watched of General and I, with Angelababy and Wallace Chung, the female lead was portrayed as a very intelligent individual who was a military strategist. She was able to win battles against armies of thousands. It’s amazing to see these types of characters.

Chinese dramas also have characters that are morally questionable, whereas Korean dramas tend to have very straightforward characters. They’re either good people (who sometimes may have to make hard decisions-but that doesn’t make them bad) or they’re bad people who deserve punishment. Whether it’s known to the characters in the drama, we–as the audience– know if the character is good or bad.

This is harder to determine in Chinese dramas. It’s not as black and white. Characters can sometimes treat their loved ones with great care, but be absolutely evil towards others. Some of the decisions they make are harmful towards many, yet makes sense when one thinks from their position. This makes the stories more interesting and less predictable.

For those who are more familiar with Chinese dramas, what are your thoughts? And what are some other differences you see?



Thoughts on: Ruler: Master of the Mask


While the actors did a wonderful job portraying the characters, each character seemed to be missing something. They didn’t seem to be reaching their full potential, and it was really such a shame. The most disappointing character was Han Ga Eun. She was essentially a character there just to be the love interest. There was nothing more to her. Her character had no development whatsosever. ¬†While the other main characters did change, the writers didn’t go as far as I felt they could have.


Again, the plot had a lot of potential. At the beginning, I was so excited to see how everything will play out. The set up was so good. The King was corrupt and controlled by a corrupt group. Since he was unable to get out of the situation alive, he knew his son was the only chance he had at saving his kingdom. So he hid his identity, thereby protecting his son from the group. How then was his son going to claim the throne if no one knew his face? There was so much that could have been done, but because the writers wanted to focus on the romance, a lot of time that could have been spent on developing this plot was wasted on the main love line.


Despite all the time spent on the main couple, it was still very bad. There’s not much to be said about the romance. While the individual scenes were good, it was difficult to see how they connected to the overall plot. There was also no development between the main leads. I had no idea how they even came to like one another and how they could love so deep when they hardly knew each other. It was extremely frustrating and this is the first drama where I was rooting for the male lead to fall for the second female character. There was much more to be seen between the Crown Prince and Hwa Gun than the Prince and Ga Eun. The love story would have been so much better and tragic (like Romeo and Juliet) had the Prince fallen for Hwa Gun instead. The romance could have been good if the writers actually took the time to tell a story, but I don’t know what happened.