Forced Living Situations — What does this mean to you? Does it mean having to live with five other people in a three-bedroom apartment? Having to live with your parents? Having to live in a town that’s too small for your larger-than-life dreams?
Whatever your answer, let me tell you exactly what Forced Living Situations — from hereon F.L.S. — means in the world of Korean dramas.
In Kdrama-Land, Forced Living Situations are when a handsome (conveniently rich) man lives with a pretty (conveniently broke) girl, usually because some ridiculous circumstance involving money and contracts requires them to do so. F.L.S. are key plot devices in bringing said man and woman together in romantic harmony.
We love F.L.S. here at FeverWatch, which is why we are spotlighting it in today’s edition of Let’s Talk Kdrama.
So without further ado, here are our Top 5 F.L.S. Kdramas:
1. Full House
Imagine having to live with the hottest superstar in your country, which is exactly what happens when Han Ji Eun (played by Song Hye Gyo) enters a contractual marriage with A-list actor Lee Young Jae (played by Rain). As a condition of their fake marriage, the two live together in Full House, the home that Ji Eun’s father built. The two strangers begin their F.L.S. begrudgingly, but it is no surprise when these roomies eventually blossom into this:
Sigh. If only all of our F.L.S. could involve living with a handsome, powerful megastar…
2. Attic Cat
Attic Cat offers an unusual F.L.S. scenario in that both the guy and girl are broke. They live in a small room on the roof of a building in Seoul. Though this isn’t an ideal housing situation, living on the roof does pave the way for some truly breathtaking scenes featuring a panoramic view of the city. While F.L.S. in kdramas are borderline gimmicky, Attic Cat is reminiscent of the Jdrama classic Long Vacation. The Forced Living Situation here is relatively believable and offers an honest and modern take on what it means to be young and broke in the big city.
3. Personal Taste
Jeon Ji Ho (Lee Min Ho) needs housing, so he pretends to be gay in order to move in with Gae In (Son Ye Jin), who has sworn off all straight men after being dumped by her longtime boyfriend. Misunderstandings and awkwardness galore arise as Ji Ho struggles to keep up his act while developing feelings for Gae In. As if F.L.S. in kdramas aren’t awkward enough, just add misleading sexuality to spice things up.
4. My Girl
My Girl has a crazy F.L.S. scenario: Seol Gong Chan (Lee Dong Wook) is a rich, handsome young man who begins a search for his long lost sister in order to fulfill his grandfather’s dying wish. Gong Chan hires Joo Yoo Rin (Lee Da Hae), a con artist, to pretend to be his sister. Yoo Rin moves in with Gong Chan, but things get complicated when the two pretend-siblings begin to fall for each other. Will Yoo Rin have to play out her role as Gong Chan’s sister forever, or will the two be able to love openly? Only a kdrama F.L.S. could lead to a situation as complicated as this.
5. Goong (Princess Hours)
Forced Living Situations in kdramas are outrageous and at times, borderline fantastical. Case in point: in Goong (also known as Princess Hours), a young, ordinary high-school girl is uprooted from her life in order to live with the fictional prince of Korea. That’s right. I said prince! As in royalty. The two are betrothed because of an old pact made between their past relatives.
Imagine being “forced” to live with a prince. I mean seriously…
An F.L.S. honorable mention that did not make our Top 5 is Paradise Ranch (first picture in this post). We love the premise of an ex-married couple living together, but it was outshown by the other F.L.S. situations mentioned above.
If we’ve forgotten an F.L.S. that you believe is worth mentioning, comment below!