Life is beautiful: gay representation, moral panics, and South Korean television drama beyond Hallyu

Glynn, Basil ORCID: and Kim, Jeongmee (2017) Life is beautiful: gay representation, moral panics, and South Korean television drama beyond Hallyu. Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 34 (4) . pp. 333-347. ISSN 1050-9208 (doi:10.1080/10509208.2016.1241615)

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Critical attention on Korean popular culture, particularly outside of Korea, has focused upon the Hallyu cultural phenomenon at the expense of sectors of the Korean creative industries that have sought to actively engage with their social and cultural environment and challenge the status quo. Politically charged, countercultural or just distinctive and/or original, non-Hallyu cultural artifacts have been and continue to be born out of a desire to be creative, to comment on or to create social change. This article focuses upon one such critically overlooked South Korean cultural artifact, the audacious and genuinely groundbreaking television drama "Life is Beautiful" (SBS 2010), which motivated an immense amount of critical and social reaction within Korea and yet has barely featured in English language analysis of Korean drama because it has not been classified as Hallyu. This is in spite of it being a finely produced and performed series and one written by the most prolific, longest serving and commercially successful of all Korean writers of Hallyu drama, Kim Soo-hyeon. In addition to its impressive production credentials, "Life is Beautiful" is also notable for being hugely controversial at the time of its broadcast due to its boldness in tackling the subject of Korean prejudice towards homosexuality.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
Item ID: 20665
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Quarterly Review of Film and Video on 16/11/2017, available online:
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Depositing User: Basil Glynn
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2016 10:16
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2019 11:57

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