Drama Queen

   Those of you who know me well know that I absolutely love Korean Dramas. It started by mistake (or Divine Guidance?) while I was living alone in New Hampshire (NH). I missed having variety and diversity in my life. In the twenty years I lived there (1998-2018) New Hampshire remained, for the most part, a "white" state. To clarify I will simply insert the 2010 census report (source: Wikipedia):

   The racial makeup of New Hampshire as of the 2010 Census was:

   That's all I will say about that. I'm mentioning it to give some backing to my quest. So in an effort to create something new and different in my life I searched for a foreign film to satisfy my need. That's how I ended up with a Korean drama. I enjoyed that one so much that I looked for a second, a third and so on until I became a complete addict.

   It wasn't just the fact that these dramas were foreign. As one who loves the arts and has an interest in theater and acting I was highly impressed by the acting, the depth of character development and even the manner in which serious real-life topics were presented. Not to mention the historical dramas. WOW.

   Now that I am touring around in South Korea I can confirm that my years of immersing in K-Dramas have helped me a lot. Not just with the few words I can throw around in Korean. They helped me gain a unique familiarity with the culture and history. Hey, drama is not all fiction! While the stories and plots may be as such the scenery and other nuances are real and have provided good insight to Korean life.

KBS Suwon Studio (KBS 수원센터)

   So today's topic is all about the KBS Suwon Drama Studios which happened to be only 5-6 blocks from my Airbnb apartment. Imagine my delight! Woo hoo! Here's the link to the website in English.

   I basically spontaneously decided on that morning to visit the studio. I was reading the map and noticed that it was pretty close by. I could actually walk there. I didn't. I took a bus but I walked back! As things seem to happen with me I'm pretty sure I wandered in from the back entrance. I walked along a long driveway until I came to the proper entrance. 

   I approached the receptionist. "Tour?" I asked. He told me there was one at 3pm (it was now 2:30pm) if I wanted to wait. I did. I got myself a nice cold ice-tea and sat at the cafe to wait for the tour to start. I was already getting excited by the life-size display of some of my favorite actors. Yes, I am a Korean Drama Queen. I actually knew the actors being displayed as well as the drama! I even surprised myself! The photos below also include some life-size shots from the tour. 

   More people showed up. By 3pm a decent-sized group had formed with a lot of children. We all sat down as the tour guide began her introductory talk. I had no idea what she was saying but I figured a tour is a tour. I'll just follow along. However, for your sake I will include a description from a website

   The KBS Suwon Studio is an outstanding film studio that produces HD digital TV dramas. It is comprised of an open set, drama production center, special set, and various facilities.

   Intended to be used semi-permanently, the studio boasts realistic buildings. A variety of dramas filmed there include historical dramas such as Empress Myeongseong and Dongyang Geukjang; the studio is also a popular site for producing movies, commercials, and music videos.

   In close collaboration with Suwon, KBS opened this media theme park full of attractions. Visitors can visit the studio through its tour program or the Suwon City Tour run by Suwon.

   Our first destination was Studio 22, a very large warehouse with thousands of studio lights on the ceiling that are adjusted according to which of the multiple sets are used. 

   Next stop: The Special Make-Up Stockroom

   The halls were filled with wonderful displays as we walked through the building.

   We all enjoyed pretending to be news anchors.

   At this point the tour guide noticed that I wasn't actually part of the group. Apparently one must make a reservation for a tour. I explained that I had simply wandered in spontaneously and was pointed in the right direction by the receptionist. We laughed and she welcomed me to stay on. She even offered to take my picture quite a few times.

   So onward to the screening room. I've been on TV before so I was already familiar with the blue screen effect. I enjoyed it anyway. The kids had a blast~ We also got to watch some teasers in the 3-D screening room.

   The guide led us all back to where we started. All in all the tour was fun and informative and I was Drama Queen for a day. On my way out I stopped again at the cafe to get organized. I heard someone humming from the next table. He turned out to be a rapper (not a celeb though). Enjoy the show!~


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