Before the quarantine, I rarely watched Netflix. I also was not a fan of Korean dramas or K-dramas. But during lockdown, I saw myself succumbing into watch Crash Landing on You. The frenzy about Hyun Bin was already high up, and I found myself uninterested until I saw that bedimpled, poreless, and chiseled face doing his signature pouty lips.
After 100 days of quarantine, I am proud and also embarrassed to say that I have finished almost 21 K-dramas (all of their episodes) and availed of other streaming offers just to be able to stalk my other Oppa, who has more social media followers than the whole population of South Korea, Lee Min Ho or LMH ( insert emoji with heart eyes).
Like Hollywood movies, product placements are one of the revenue draws of producing a film, and cars are one of them. Some have blatant arrangements, which was seen in the recent LMH drama The King: Eternal Monarch, where the product was incorporated in the script. While there, you can see that the emblems are covered.
So to just share my obsession with you and still maintain the integrity of the motoring section (insert hilarious laughing emoji), here are the K-dramas that I have watched with the best cars.
Maserati Gran Tourismo in Goblin and the Inheritors (Heirs)
In Goblin (Guardian: the Lonely and great God), a fantasy love story about a 900 plus-year-old god (played by Gong Yoo) who falls in love with a high school student Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-Eun). She was fated to be her bride and end his curse and existence. He suffers a dilemma of want to end his century-old bachelor’s life and wanting to stay alive after discovering love.
The Maserati Gran Tourismo was driven by the heir of the company that manages the asset of the Goblin, who himself drives the Maserati Levante ( SUV). The other couple included a Grim Reaper and the reincarnation of the sister of the Goblin, they completed the framework of how love conquers all. It was funny, well written with a twist that makes you sad about how life is sometimes unfair. But closes in a very hopeful tone of love endures time.
In Heirs/Inheritors, the Maserati Gran Tourismo convertible was seen driven by LMH, while his brother drove the hardtop one as heirs of a giant conglomerate group. They have a father who loves to meddle in their love life.
In Kim Tan’s ( LMH) case, he had a love triangle with former friend Yeong Do (Kim Woo Bin) for the affections of the poor girl. The backdrop is set in high school where the next generation elite studies. The poor girl was sent to the same school by the father of Kim Tan on scholarship. Not because he was nice, but so that she would remember her place and her intelligibility to be a partner for Kim Tan.
Lotus Exige and Lotus Elise in Boys Over Flowers
Boys Over Flowers is the Korean adaptation of Meteor Garden. Another Lee Min Ho lead drama about F4, who are all popular, handsome, and heirs of the top corporations in Korea. There you will see their matching Lotus Cars, superbikes, private planes, cruise liner, and an island.
Another poor girl with two hotties to choose from: one who is explosive, passionate, and
Temperamental, the other steady, mature, and always by her side. At the end of the day, you really can’t teach your heart who to love.
Aston Martin DBS Super Leggera and McLaren 720S in The King
The recently-concluded The King, had several Aston Martins and the Maclaren being driven by the different characters in the story. Aston Martin Leggera is the British Brand’s grand tourer and one of their recent major launches. While McLaren, which will soon debut in the Philippines, is one of the world’s most coveted cars.
The story of this K-drama is so unique and complicated that I needed to watch it twice just to
understand it. It’s a sci-fi story similar to the US drama Fringe and talks about the existence of a parallel universe or realities that can be accessed by a mystic flute. The flute was broken in half when the villain killed the king and tried to murder the prince. He was saved by a masked figure who left behind an identification card of his future girlfriend. The two main characters met and maintained a relationship despite coming from different worlds.
Mercedes Benz in My Love from Another Star
An alien trapped on earth for 400 years found love in his last three months on earth speaks a lot about procrastination.
A red two-door C Class Convertible called “Vroom-Vroom” driven by Cheon Song-Yi (Jun Ji Hyun), a top Korean actress whose career went on the downturn after a scandal. The story revolved around how she fell in love with the alien Do Min Joon played by Kim Soo Hyun and surviving numerous attempts on her life.
Song-Yi’s other suitor Lee Hee Kyung (Park Hae Jin), drove a Mercedes SLK. He was a rich guy who carried a flame for her for 15 years and was willing to sacrifice his life. It was a fun watch, but I saw myself fast-forwarding some of the scenes at the latter episodes.
Range Rover in Crash Landing on You (CLoY)
Both Yoon Seri and Gu Seung Joon drove Range Rovers in the series. Seri with the red Evoque and Gu Seung Joon with Dark Gray Range Rover.
With a North Korean guy falling for a South Korean girl, this drama is really made well in storytelling, cast, cinematography, and even the soundtrack. If you haven’t started watching K-drama, start with this, and you will get hooked. I never get star struck or have the need to see a star in person, but when I heard that Smart signed him in, I texted a friend from the telco company with a mix of pleading and threats to be part of the event.
Maserati Ghibli in What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim
The narcissistic character of Vice Chairman Lee Young Joon played hilariously by Park Seo Joon and doll-like Park Min-Young as his super-efficient executive assistant was one of the funniest I have ever seen.
The Maserati Ghibli is driven by the main character who had a hard time letting go of his
EA when she decided she wanted to have a life too. He had to go on great lengths to convince her to stay, even proposing marriage on the premise that he was such a great catch.
Audi R8 in When the Camellia Blooms
The winner of the Baekseng Awards for Grand Prize for TV, When the Camellia Blooms starring best actor awardee (he beat Hyun Bin and Park Seo Joon) Kang Ha-neul and Gong Hyo Jin who both found each other while trying to catch a serial killer, discriminant and gossipy neighbors (the lead female is a single mom and bar owner) and the prospect of losing her kid to a famous baseball player ex-husband Kang Jong Ryul (Kim Ji Seok)
The famous ex drove around in an orange Audi R8 even when he was contemplating murder while following his wife, who was trying to do the same. So I guess being conspicuous was out of the question. This a story about forgiveness and had high moral lessons all throughout the story. I think the obsession with K-drama during quarantine stems from its stories are more hopeful and showcases how good triumphs the bad. The trend for western plots seems to focus on the violent, dark and really bad facet of humans. The good looking Oppas play a big draw and their roles showcase Christian Grey without the sadistic tendencies. Car brands feel the association with the characters will also bring depth to the lifestyle they are projecting.
Did it work? I’ll let you know after I come back from the car dealership.
Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason’s “why” is to help people become better versions of themselves. Married to multi-awarded race car driver JP Tuason and mother of five children, she is a confessed learning junkie (know it all), avid reader, sometimes life coach (gives unsolicited
advice), triathlete (when not allergic to working out), and cook.