People unfamiliar with KOCOWA often ask me: “What is it?” So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to address some of the most FAQs.
1. What is KOCOWA?
It’s a legal streaming site that provides sub-titled Korean content within five hours after the programming airs in Korea. So for K-Drama fans who can’t stand waiting even a day for their shows (erm, “Running Man,” anyone?), KOCOWA is an attractive option.
2. Why can’t I watch Korean cable shows like “Sky Castle” on KOCOWA?
Korea Content Platform’s KOCOWA is a venture between the Big 3 Korean broadcasting networks: Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS). Therefore, KOCOWA airs content from the Big 3’s extensive lineup. Though it doesn’t air shows from cable competitors, it has exclusive rights to the U.S. distribution for new releases, such as So Ji-Sub‘s “My Secret, Terrius.”
“We are extremely pleased to see how well KOCOWA has been received by various market segments,” said KCP CEO, KunHee Park. “The majority of our viewers are young, female and non-Asian. Our TASTE 24 premium service, which provides the previous evening’s prime-time shows with high-quality subtitles, is very popular with our subscribers.”
3. Why are there so many idols starring in K-Dramas?
In many ways, idols in Korea are trained like old school Hollywood performers, with lessons in singing, dancing and, yes, acting. Popular idols also are highly marketable and increase viewership. “K-pop has been in the United States for years now,” says KCP CEO, KunHee Park. “Some K-pop stars are already very popular in the U.S. Now those same performers have moved on to star in dramas after getting popular in the music industry. KOCOWA audiences recognize these stars now that they are acting and seek them out.”
4. Speaking of the U.S., what other countries can access KOCOWA?
Currently, KOCOWA is available to residents in North and South America. So you’re in luck if you live in countries like Canada, Mexico and Brazil. There are K-Drama fans worldwide who would love to have access as well, so here’s hoping the service opens up to more markets in the near future.
5) Which shows are must-sees?
Oooooh, I’m so glad you asked. I have so many, but the Top 3 I would recommend right now are:
KBS: “Healer.” Park Min-Young and Ji Chang-Wook pretty much personify genetic perfection. That aside, this K-Drama has an intriguing storyline and lots of thrilling action sequences (courtesy of Mr. Ji). One of my favorite supporting characters was Ajumma (played by the stellar Kim Mi-Kyung), who was the Healer’s hacker handler. Be sure to pay attention to the little details. When you find out why she’s always knitting, your heart will break.
SBS: “Running Man.” I admit it. I need my weekly fix of Yoo Jae-Suk and his team of mischief makers. Some days, I don’t feel like devoting the time needed to get into a 16-episode serial. Those are the perfect times to tune into the long-running variety show. They always get top stars (including international celebrities such as Tom Cruise) and have such a great camaraderie with each other. Even though the cast members must have some nice money in the bank, they are like little kids when it comes to eating free food. And I relate to that! (The eating part, that is!)
MBC: “Kill Me, Heal Me.” The first episode of this series didn’t reel me in right away. But by the third, I was hooked. Ji Sung was superb portraying a chaebol’s son, who suffers from dissociative identity disorder and “lives” with six other personalities. This K-Drama is so good at balancing that fine line between comedy and drama. It deals with mental health issues in a serious and respectful manner. The only way Ji Sung’s character can get well is to release all of the personalities he created to protect his traumatized past. But is that a part of himself that he can let go of? (You’ll have to watch, but I promise it’s worth viewing.)
Be sure to follow @GoAwayWithJae, where I tweet about all things Korean.🇰🇷