K-Drama School: A Pop Culture Inquiry into Why We Love Korean Television (Hardcover)

K-Drama School: A Pop Culture Inquiry into Why We Love Korean Television By Grace Jung Cover Image

K-Drama School: A Pop Culture Inquiry into Why We Love Korean Television (Hardcover)


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From the Emmy Award-winning Squid Game to streaming sensations like The Glory and Crash Landing on You, Korean television has emerged onto the global pop culture scene as compelling televisionbut what exactly makes these shows so irresistibly bingeable? And what can we learn about our societies and ourselves from watching them?

From stand-up comedian and media studies PhD Grace Jung comes a rollicking deep dive into the cultural significance of Korean television. K-Drama School analyzes everything from common tropes like amnesia and slapping to conspicuous product placements of Subway sandwiches and coffee; to representations of disability, race and gender; to what Korea's war-torn history says about South Korea’s media output and the stories being told on screen.

With chapters organized by "lessons," each one inquiring into a different theme of Korean television, K-Drama School offers a groundbreaking exploration into this singular form of entertainment, from an author who writes with humor and heart about shows that spur tears and laughter, keeping us glued to the TV while making fans of us all.

Shows discussed include: Squid Game, SKY Castle, Crash Course in Romance, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, My Mister, Something in the Rain, One Spring Night, DP, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, Autumn in My Heart, Winter Sonata, Our Blues, and more.
Grace Jung is an internationally touring stand-up comedian, writer, scholar, filmmaker, and actor who is in season 4 of The Joe Schmo Show on TBS. Grace is also a former Fulbright scholar with a PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her academic articles are published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She is the author of Deli Ideology published by Thought Catalog Books and a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Prize at Pace University. Grace lives in Los Angeles where she hosts her podcast K-Drama School. Follow her on Instagram @gracejungcomedy and @kdramaschool.
Product Details ISBN: 9780762485727
ISBN-10: 0762485728
Publisher: Running Press Adult
Publication Date: April 23rd, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English
“For any fan of Korean dramas (these days, isn’t that all of us?) wanting to delve deeper into the turbulent history and intricate cultural dynamics that have informed and shaped the world’s most popular TV genre, Grace Jung’s K-Drama School is must-read—but, like the medium it explores, it’s much more than that. Jung’s book presents scathing social observation alongside darkly comic memories of childhood traumas and adult disappointment, while exploring how K-dramas have both reflected and helped her recover. It’s a book that’s funny, insightful, and smart in ways that only a media studies PhD-turned-stand-up comic could deliver.”
 ——Jeff Yang, New York Times bestselling author of The Golden Screen and Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now

“Dr. Grace is revolutionary. Her creative approach not only educates you with history, social issues, and human rights, but also mental health, healing and inner peace through K-dramas and her personal stories, proving that vulnerability is power. This book is necessary to us all. You don’t need to know anything about K-dramas to read this book. Dr. Grace introduces each show tastefully. She is super funny in the most sophisticated way.”
 ——Teruko Nakajima—Lady Dynamite on Netflix, The Millers on CBS, Funny or Die, MTV, and creator of the award-winning show Made in America

"For anyone looking to learn more about the unique backstory of K-dramas or that 시원한 feeling, Jung's work is a must read!"

 ——Conner Shin, writer of the GLAAD Media Award nominated series Harley Quinn on Max

“Class is in session! K-Drama School drops knowledge on the deliciously addictive deluge of Korean pop culture that increasingly consumes our consciousness and bandwidth. Whether you're a critical scholar or a couch potato, whether you've gotten your drama fix through streamers or old school VHS bootlegs, Dr. Grace offers a personal and knowing journey through the history, culture and influence of Korean television.”
 ——Phil Yu, creator of Angry Asian Man and co-host of They Call Us Bruce podcast

“[A]n astute examination of the themes and appeal of Korean television shows… Jung’s penetrating commentary showcases the variety of the K-drama format while assisting foreign readers in understanding the cultural context. It’s an essential companion for anyone who has binged Crash Landing on You or Squid Game. “—--Publishers Weekly

"Books on this subject are long overdue. Jung's book transcends being merely a chronicle of K-dramas' evolution. Instead, she employs a refreshingly structured storytelling approach to present K-drama characters and their illuminating perspectives, while weaving in her own experiences of abuse, depravity, and growth. In doing so, Jung crafts some of the most beautiful prose I have ever read."—-Joe Wong, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Ellen Show, RTCA Dinner

“K-Drama School is equal parts entertaining, informative, and vulnerable. Grace masterfully shows the intersections and parallels between the world she grew up in and the world she consumed on TV. It is more than a deep dive into Korean television. These are essays that make sense of generational traumas and explore why certain behaviors were embedded in culture while using various TV shows as a guide. Grace elevates the discussion with her biting wit and dark sense of humor. But what shines the brightest in this work is Grace’s willingness to give the reader access inside of HER world.”
 —--Kimberly Clark, Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready on Netflix, The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS, Last Comic Standing on NBC