Kdrama Romance Goes To Army

Posted by Stephanie on July 26, 2012


We all like to joke about the Khottie Army rule. Army=hotness X 8. It’s an actual math equation. Check it out. On Fourth of July, when I was watching Joseon X-Files with my friend Kate, I astounded her with my knowledge of the lead actor Kim JiHoon. Nothing crazy mind you, just the fact that I knew he was in the Army and that he was due to be released this summer (of course it was odd to find out only days later he was released that same week.) “What? Are you some kind of stalker?” she asked.


No, no stalker, I just have a weird tendency to remember details which have no real relevance on my actual life. Did I remember to put out the mail for work? I dunno. When is Hyun Bin being released from the Marines? December. That’s not creepy, right?

Right?Queen in hyuns man

Anyway, I digress. Then last week I was going through my twitter feed and came across an article Queen In-Hyun’s Man Ji Hyun Woo to enlist. My first thought (since I’m still terrible at recognizing names) is I hope it’s not the hero! He’s the one who just started dating the heroine. Followed by several aww…’s when I realized Ji Hyun Woo is indeed the same man.

Now it’s something we all know, Korean men are obliged to spend two years in the military. Usually, if you are non-entertainment man, this happens when you’re younger, right out of high school or during their college years. For stars both in drama and the music world, their twenties are their prime career establishing years. They generally push their enlistments back as long as possible (usually late twenties). It’s pretty strategic to get the exact timing down right.

Of course, sometimes the men don’t have the option of being strategic as they get drafted into their military service. Queen In Hyun’s Man received word of his drafting smack dab in the middle of filming and is currently scheduled for boot camp the beginning of August.

Now, I’m sure this won’t be my only post on the military service as I find it pretty interesting and there seems to be a lot of facets to talk about. Today though, I’m going to focus on Army and relationships.
Why was I so sad about Queen In Hyun’s Man being drafted? Simple. The relationship which I think is quite possibly the cutest thing in Korean entertainment right now. Well, with the exception of Song Joong Ki.

And Yoon Shi Yoon.

And… well, you get the point.

It made me wonder. Will they make it? Their relationship just started. Right now they are in the super cute-we just got together-I love you, you love me phase of the relationship. And now he as to go away for two years? That makes me sad.

It’s something I’ve wondered before. This has to happen all the time in Korea. I wonder this when I watch Kdrama’s too when watching shows based on characters who are really young. I have a very active imagination. Sometimes I think about the lives that characters will have outside the drama. The story that happens after the curtain has dropped, after the credits have rolled. I think about how Hwang Tae Kyung from You’re Beautiful would do in the military. As a character who is in the entertainment world, I don’t think he’s done his military service yet, and I just kind of laugh thinking about it.playful kiss

I also think about Playful Kiss. How the heck is Oh Hani going to survive for two years without Baek Seung Jo? That girl needs her guy like she needs air. I can just picture her stalking him around the military base.

It’s kind of sad. I’m sure this happens in real life too. Part of me is astounded (in a good way) that this is what’s done (compulsory military service that is). I like the idea of everyone chipping in to do their part to protect their country. Well. Every man that is. I think it kind of fosters a sense of unity. But when I think about it in my little world of Kdrama, and the stories within it, I feel sad for the people involved. As an incurable romantic, once my main couple is together, I want them to be married, having babies, living a happy life together forever. I don’t really want to think of them having to spend 2 years apart.coffee primce

Although, I’m looking at it through the eyes of an American. I have friends and family who are in the military. Who choose to be in the military. Who’s families have chosen that lifestyle. Since I’m not Korean, and am still learning a lot about their culture maybe I’m looking at it from the wrong perspective. Since it’s just a known part of their lives, maybe it’s easier to accept. It makes me think of Coffee Prince. Remember that scene? Han Gyul is trying to convince Eun Chan to go to NYC with him but she has to stay in Korea as she is the breadwinner of her family. She tells him, “I’ll just pretend you’re serving in the Army and wait for you.”

I.E. It sucks, but we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do.

I’d be interested in seeing a Kdrama which deals with this sort of topic. It’s just such an interesting facet of the Korean society. There has got to be at least one drama out there, anyone?

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I just rambled for three pages. I hope I didn’t sound too crazy and obsessive. Or even worse, disrespectful. It’s just my ponderings. I hope the real Queen In-Hyun and her Man are able to make it. Since the story of their relationship seems like a Kdrama, I have taken them under my wing and will continue to worry and wonder about them. That’s not weird, right?

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