Korean dramas are never complete without the most-awaited kissing scene. It normally signals a big transition in the romantic lives of the main characters. No matter what genre—action, comedy, sageuk (historical) or romance—the all-important kissing scene is a staple in drama land.
Here's my attempt at classifying the types of kisses that will help us K-drama addicts identify our favorite lip-locking moments.
Let's start with the tamest of kissing scenes. The sweet kiss is often depicted as a gentle peck on the lips which lasts less than five seconds. This type of kiss is typical in high school dramas like "Boys over Flowers" and "Mischievous Kiss" because the characters are young. Some examples of sweet kisses include Jun Pyo (played by Lee Min Ho) and Jan Di's (Goo Hye Sun) "swing kiss" in "Boys over Flowers," the playful kisses between Baek Seung Jo (Kim Hyun Joong) and Oh Ha Ni (Jung Su Min) in "Mischievous Kiss" and the lovely kisses between King Lee Hwon and Queen Yeon Woo in the recently concluded historical romance, "The Moon that Embraces the Sun."
In K-drama land, one of the best ways to shut up an angry (or nagging) woman is with an angry kiss. It occurs when the emotions of one or two of the main characters explode in a moment that culminates in a strong unexpected kiss. The angry kiss normally happens when jealousy rears its head. Who can forget the heat of Kim Joo Won's (Hyun Bin) jealous kiss with Gil Raim (Ha Ji Won) in "Secret Garden?" Another great example is the angry kiss Prince Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon) gave Princess Chae Kyung (Yoon Eun Hye) in "Princess Hours." Although not a big drama ratings hit, "Me Too, Flower" generated buzz when the angry kiss between Jae Hee (Yoon Shi Yoon) and Bong Sun (Lee Ji Ah) became a hot topic due to its intensity.
This is the kind of kiss that delivers romance and frustration in equal measure. It often happens when the key characters are still undecided about their feelings and the biological responses of their attraction take over their minds. Best exemplified by the sudden kiss exchanged by Hwang Te Kyung (Jang Geun Suk) and Go Minam/Minyu (Park Shin Hye) in "You're Beautiful," the I- don't-know-what-just-happened kiss surprises not just the characters but the viewers as well. Other great examples of this type of kiss is Jihoo and Jandi's kiss on the beach in "Boys over Flowers" and the surprising kiss between Han Gyul (Gong Yoo) and Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) in "Coffee Prince."
Kissing scenes in K-dramas are typically tame and light when compared to Hollywood kissing scenes. The Hollywood kiss is described as a more passionate moment when lips lock, mouths open slightly and—okay, okay, I'll say it!— tongue action happens. In the past, this type of passionate kissing was not seen in K-dramas. However, recent shows have moved away from conservative kissing scenes and provided viewers with nicely shot Hollywood-type kisses. Some examples include the passionate kiss between May-December couple Cha Chi Soo (Jung Il Woo) and Yang Eun Bi (Lee Chung Ah) in "Flower Boy Ramyun Shop" and the sexy kissing scenes of Jeon Jin Ho (Lee Min Ho) and Park Gae In (Son Ye Jin) in "Personal Taste." Of course, the kissing scenes between top stars Lee Byung Hun and Kim Tae Hee in "Iris" also fit this category.
The concept kiss is a unique kissing scene popularized and later parodied (and probably imitated) by ordinary folk. The most popular concept kiss to date is the "foam kiss" in the fantasy drama "Secret Garden" when Kim Joo Won (Hyun Bin) wipes away the cappuccino foam from the upper lip of Gil Raim (Ha Ji Won) with his mouth. This scene became so popular that even Hallyu stars Big Bang parodied it. Other examples of cute concept kisses include the "cola kiss" between Hyun Ko Joon (Kang Ji Hwan) and Kong Ah Jung (Yoon Eun Hye) in "Lie to Me" and the "bike kiss" between Lee Yeon Jae (Kim Sun Ah) and Kang Ji Wook (Lee Dong Wook) in "Scent of a Woman."
What are your favorite K-drama kisses? Do they fit the categories here or do we have to add more categories? Share your thoughts in our comment box!
Catherine Deen blogs for Yahoo! Philippines OMG! She lives, eats and breathes Korean music, cuisine, telenovelas, and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter @cathsdeen.