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Melodramatic Tactics for Survival in the Neoliberal Era: Excess and Justice in The Heirs and My Love from the Star

Melodramatic Tactics for Survival in the Neoliberal Era: Excess and Justice in The Heirs and My... This article examines two 2013 TV miniseries, The Heirs and My Love from the Star, by relating their melodramatic aesthetics to the survivalist imperative under neoliberal governance. From the colonial sinp’a theater to Golden Age films, melodrama has operated as a popular mode of imagination that expresses inarticulate experiences generated over the course of Korea’s modernization. To extend and complicate existing scholarship on modern melodrama, this study approaches recent K-dramas’ melodramatic modes as both an affective response to and an everyday tactic for coping with failing economic democracy in contemporary Korea. In this light, the intensifying fantastic elements of the genre are deemed not so much anachronistic as tactical, as they are deployed to reclaim the justice and equality that are felt to be hopelessly disappearing in daily lives. As I look at their excessive aesthetics within the context of diminishing social mobility in the neoliberal era, my analysis of the two miniseries further notes the gendered structure of these melodramatic fantasies in which the survival of women, who have fewer privileges, is achieved through the reform of male elites. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Studies Duke University Press

Melodramatic Tactics for Survival in the Neoliberal Era: Excess and Justice in The Heirs and My Love from the Star

Journal of Korean Studies , Volume 23 (1) – Mar 1, 2018

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Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
ISSN
0731-1613
eISSN
2158-1665
DOI
10.1215/21581665-4339098
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines two 2013 TV miniseries, The Heirs and My Love from the Star, by relating their melodramatic aesthetics to the survivalist imperative under neoliberal governance. From the colonial sinp’a theater to Golden Age films, melodrama has operated as a popular mode of imagination that expresses inarticulate experiences generated over the course of Korea’s modernization. To extend and complicate existing scholarship on modern melodrama, this study approaches recent K-dramas’ melodramatic modes as both an affective response to and an everyday tactic for coping with failing economic democracy in contemporary Korea. In this light, the intensifying fantastic elements of the genre are deemed not so much anachronistic as tactical, as they are deployed to reclaim the justice and equality that are felt to be hopelessly disappearing in daily lives. As I look at their excessive aesthetics within the context of diminishing social mobility in the neoliberal era, my analysis of the two miniseries further notes the gendered structure of these melodramatic fantasies in which the survival of women, who have fewer privileges, is achieved through the reform of male elites.

Journal

Journal of Korean StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2018

References