[HanCinema's Column] Kdrama Kiss Types - Part 1

When "Secret Garden" aired, the coffee shop peck was an instant hit. The 'Foam Kiss' was quickly copied by citizens and celebrities alike, mostly in the form of parody, but still highlighting the obsession over kiss types in Korean drama. From the 'Cola Kiss' in "Lie to Me" to the 'Candy Kiss' in "IRIS", themed kisses are everywhere.


But as any foreign fan of Korean dramas coming from a very different culture knows, it's often the odd and awkward way in which kisses are portrayed that gets us. Whatever the reasons behind their form, they are certainly interesting to watch. So let us take a little lighthearted look at all these whacky ways of performing kisses that are as frustrating as they are entertaining.  

The Dead Fish

Have you ever fallen asleep on the bus or in the car during a long road trip? You're positioned as if awake, but the lights are out. This is the 'Dead Fish' kiss. Lips barely touching, minimum contact and you would swear either or both parties had a narcoleptic attack during the approach.

He's mesmerizing, but not enough to put you to sleep.

The Deer In Headlights

When you think of the worst things that can happen to you, isn't being kissed by someone you like possibly in the top 5? It certainly is in kdrama, with women having the clear majority here. This is when the person freezes like a statue, with their eyes open and a look of sheer terror in them. Kissing; it's a horrifying experience.

A technique Park Shin-hye has perfected.

The Duck Lips

A thankfully rare kiss type, this is the one where no one taught you how to kiss beyond the age of 5. Girls have cooties and boys are gross, you must therefore extend your lips as much as possible, approach and attach. If you're extra lucky, the other party will look just as ridiculous.

When a duck meets a deer.

The Alien Octopus

The 'Alien Octopus' or 'Facehugger' kiss happens a lot in kdrama. Men are usually more daring with their kisses, but somehow forget to mention that to their co-stars, resulting in a scene where the woman keeps her lips shut while the man tries to swallow her mouth whole. Reaching toxic levels of awkwardness, this "kiss" is hair-raising for all the wrong reasons.

Press your lips together as hard as possible and watch him suffer.

The Missed-A-Spot

Do you remember the "drinking problem" Ted Striker had in the movie 'Airplane!'? Every time he tried to raise his glass to his mouth, he'd pour the drink all over his face. This is the kissing equivalent of that. Chin, side of the mouth, under the nose and sometimes even the cheek or worse, not touching at all.

Hover nose kissing; a great display of love.

The Finally

This is the kiss. When both people know how romantically involved adults kiss in a real life setting. There is chemistry, smoothness, technique. No one looks horrified or asleep, no one is attacking. This is when dramas get it right. There is still a catch in these though.

Somebody shoot that sun!

As you can see above, even a kiss that is perfect in its performance is sometimes ruined by the other major elements that bring it to the screen. Directing and editing. Join me next week, when we will take a look at how kisses are visually presented in Korean drama.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'


Read [HanCinema's Column] Kdrama Kiss Types - Part 2

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