There’s more to TV series and K-dramas than just entertainment. From school violence to self-love and social stigmas, here are some valuable life lessons you never knew you’d learn from some of your favourite titles.
Lesson #1: Don’t let technology run your life
Lesson #2: Bullying affects more than just the victim
In this digitally advanced society, bullying has become increasingly prevalent with the use of social media. With the rise in cyber-bullying cases and other forms of school violence, K-drama Beautiful World is an eye-opening series that aims to broaden our understanding on the effects that bullying has on not just the victim, but their family too. Though the premise of the show focuses more on the aspect of school bullying, the resulting repercussions that victims suffer are similar – especially when it comes to the hopelessness and disparity the family goes through when no one is willing to tell the truth.
Lesson #3: Nothing is worth sacrificing your wellbeing
Lesson #4: Own your flaws
It’s never easy to admit your mistakes, let alone embrace your imperfections. Take it from Russian Doll, which tells the story of Nadia Vulvakov (Natasha Lyonne) who is trapped in a time loop that makes her relive the time period leading up to her death, over and over again until she can find a way out. Though she encounters different variations of her untimely death, she’s still able to retain the memories of each day, allowing her to fix what might have gone wrong previously. It is through this constant replay that Nadia willingly accepts her shortcomings in an attempt to better herself as a person – and ultimately leave her time loop.
Lesson #5: Don’t be afraid to be yourself
Despite being a prince of lowly birth who is in search of his identity, Haechi chronicles the life of Yi Geum (Jung Il Woo) as he goes on a journey of sacrifice, courage and self-discovery which helps him to realise his value, leading him to his eventual place on the throne. We may not be of royal blood like Yi Geum, it’s safe to say that we can all relate to his struggles in finding his true purpose in life. Through this show, it instills the notion that each one of us is unique and equally deserving of self- love, no matter our backgrounds.
Lesson #6: Always be hopeful
Lesson #7: Only you have the power to break social stigma
Although society has evolved over the years, there are still some deep-seated stigmas that continue to plague us. Centred around the Geoje prison camp during the 1951 Korean War, Swing Kids brings together a group of misfits with opposing ideologies as they overcome their own prejudices to form an unlikely tap dance team. In a world rife with racial discrimination, patriarchy and societal stereotypes, this film works towards breaking free from this cycle of old-school bigotry.
This article was adapted from our latest issue of Teenage Chapters 2019, out on newsstands now.