As a celebration of our three years of blogging and sharing our love for K-dramas, we now introduce you to this new blog segment that we’ll call The Curious Ahjumma. This will be our commentary-like section about any topics involving K-dramas. Be it tropes, actors, writers, production team/themes. Anything and everything! As our first installment, we’ll be delving into this well-loved trope called co-habitation.
Finding a Home in Cohabitation
Ever since our normal lives were disrupted by this global pandemic, I’ve been using my free time to binge-watch past K-series. And recently my cravings leaned towards those that used the co-habitation trope.
There’s something about the idea of two people, usually with the most different personalities, living together in one roof. It was probably because we knew how we unraveled our true selves when we are in our own homes. This set-up is so addicting that there are plenty of K-dramas that uses this as their major or sub-trope.
The first K-drama that would come into mind when they say co-habitation is the classic hit Full House. This is the gateway K-drama for a lot of Millennials out there. This is also the series that made me aware of the existence of this certain trope. As I watched Han Ji-eun and Lee Young-jae fall in love, I realized that their love story wouldn’t be possible if they weren’t forced to live together.
One of my recent co-habitation faves is Because This Is My First Life. This trope is usually paired with fake marriage/contract relationship trope because it will take the underlying romantic tension between the two characters a notch higher.
From a writer’s point of view, co-habitation makes it easier to come up with scenes that would help the characters warm up with each other. There’s no need to come up with other excuses just to make their paths cross each time. The normal things we do in our homes will look like sparks-filled scenarios when put in such context. Who would have thought that washing the dishes, watching TV, feeding the cats, or even going to sleep could turn into a heart-fluttering K-drama moment?
Of course, co-habitation isn’t just for romance stories. Slice-of-life dramas about unlikely housemates are also entertaining to watch. Age of Youth is the first series I thought of when talking about this trope. Each of the Belle Epoque girls had different personalities and would clash from time to time. But it wasn’t overly dramatic like in other dramas. What I liked about the series was how relatable their fights were. I also liked their subtle display of affection and how they didn’t notice they now depend on each other.
Be Melodramatic is another recent fave because of its quite ‘chill’ storytelling. Unlike the Belle Epoque girls, the Be Melo squad had similar personalities. They knew each other from head to toe and that’s what made their relationship so appealing. Their beer sessions and late-night snack conversations were filled with life lessons I often quote nowadays.
I think this trope will never get old for me especially now that I prefer a series with fewer theatrics and complications. This would be the perfect set-up for that. It’s like a photo filter that makes everything look rose-colored and endearing.