We K-drama Fans come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us have been drama fans since Jewel in the Palace, while others have stumbled across K-dramas by accident when looking at our Hulu offerings. Most of us, though, were taken by the hand and led into this wonderful world of 15th century beaded hats, hoteliers, insanely high heels, CCTV everywhere, and women crying "OPPA!" at the tops of their lungs. So who are we? Let this handy guide walk you through the stages of K-drama fandom.

1. The Newbie 

The Newbie has heard you rhapsodize about K-dramas and has finally taken the plunge. They have watched a few episodes or even a whole drama and have been enchanted by the stories, the characters, and the self-contained story arcs. Newbies are still surprised when characters are hospitalized, drink themselves into a stupor, and are wondering if the romance will ever get off the ground because it's episode 17 and the couple has only gazed longingly at each other! "Hey!" says the Newbie to their K-drama friends, "I just watched this show with an actor I really liked. His name was Kim Woo Bin. Have you heard of him?"


2.The Dilettante

The Dilettante knows the score. A K-drama heroine faints and they yell at their screen: "Brain Tumor!" They know that in a 24-episode series episode 18 is the one that you will need your hankie for the most. They have their favorite actor (So Ji Sub) and have made the leap from Netflix and Hulu straight to the source. Dilettantes marvel at their K-drama friends' ability to watch six series at a time.  They read articles about Lee Hong Ki's best roles (Bride of the Century) and think, "Huh, have to get around to watching You're Beautiful."


3. The Marathoner

The Marathoner knows that "favorite actor" is a general term for the slate of actors they will watch in anything (Song Joong KiPark Yoo ChunRain) and has decided opinions about which actress works well opposite their favorite actors. Unlike the Dilettante, the Marathoner knows biographical information about the actor and his other side projects and music career. "Oh sure!" says the Marathoner. "Min Hyuk was great in Heirs, but I really feel that fellow CNBlue star Yong Hwa was better in Heartstrings." (Side Note — Author does not endorse this opinion. Sorry Yong Hwa, Min Hyuk was adorbs in Heirs.) The Marathoner does watch six dramas at a time — because they are trying to catch up on the back catalog of shows and a 3 a.m. ramen and K-drama hangover is nothing new.


4. The Old Hand

The Old Hand has watched ALL the shows — and tells you. The Old Hand constantly gives the Marathoner advice about which dramas are worth their time. Because the Old Hand has been watching so long — and has encyclopedic knowledge of every K-drama ever — he or she graciously points out deficiencies in a list article purporting to tell drama fans about the "Best Ever Roles for (insert star here)." The Old Hand has favorite Korean channels and production houses. When a confluence of favorite genre, star, OST creator, writer, and channel merge into one glorious drama, they clear their schedule to watch the premiere and wait impatiently for the episode alert email.


5. The Superfan

"Superfans" (Side note — Yes, I put that in scare quotes. We all know who they really are.) are mentally married to their favorite actor (Lee Min Ho). Their Facebook Feed is updated at least once daily with a photoshopped picture of their favorite surrounded by hearts and "saranghae." They follow every ad campaign, every drama, every bit of tabloid fodder, and get angry at the news that he might be dating. Hapless writers chum the water with slightly scandalous pictures of actors in an effort to get their clicks on an article. "Superfans" own at least one article of clothing with their favorite actor's face on it. A slightly scarier subset of the "Superfan" has plastered his or her favorite actor's face on a doll or pillow and has conversations with it.


So which fan are you drama fans? Did I miss a level? Let me know in the comments!


Watch No Min Woo and Yang Jin Sung in My Unfortunate Boyfriend, a lighthearted romance about a woman who lies to get ahead and a man who firmly believes in the truth: