One of the more popular dramaland clichés that Korea loves is the Gender Bender drama. There’s just something about girls pretending to be guys – I don’t really get it, though I admit I love watching it as much as everyone else. Why drama producers think that a girl cutting off her long hair and putting on a plaid shirt immediately makes her look like a guy – I will never really understand.


In all of the years that I’ve had short hair (and it’s been a few) I’ve only ever been mistaken for a guy once, when I was sitting outside the boys dormitory in university and the guy rectified his “hey man” when he got closer with an embarrassed “uh..woman”. It was all rather anti-climatic. The only other time it has ever been something to talk about was teaching children at hagwon. They couldn’t quite make up their minds whether I was a boy or a girl until I opened my mouth.

It’s amazing how well liked these types of dramas are, and not just by us non-Korean fans. If you think about it, they must also be popular amongst Koreans. After all, Korean television are who the drama writers and producers are really making the dramas for. Because.. lets just be completely honest with ourselves: Korean dramas are not made with a global audience in mind. They are most definitely enjoyed by many of us, but they are made for Koreans first.

If I take a moment to contemplate my own country’s obsession with role reversal, body switching, and trying to put yourself in the opposite gender’s mind amongst characters on TV and in movies, its heyday really happened several decades ago, although movies do continue to be made with these themes. The 1980s and 1990s were a time when movies more than TV shows flirted with women playing men, and men playing women. Movies like ‘Tootsie’ (1982) and ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ (1993) are considered classics. The original Freaky Friday was made in 1976, and this movie continued to be popular for many years after. Other good ones made in this light were ‘Just One of the Guys’ (1985), ‘What Women Want’ (2000), and ’17 Again’ (2009).

Whether Korea, the United States, or wherever, we can all agree on one thing: it sure can be fun watching a woman dress up and act as a guy. It must be, or we wouldn’t be talking about it. ☺

The list from the video:

10. To the Beautiful You
9. KPOP The Ultimate Audition
8. Nail Shop Paris
7. Painter of the Wind
6. Ma Boy
5. Queen Seon Duk
4. Sungkyunkwan Scandal
3. You’re Beautiful
2. Coffee Prince
1. Secret Garden

the bloopers

  • yasmina elseidy

    so true the secret garden you so epic

  • lovedramas30

    personally i love coffee prince the most but loved this video! ;D

  • Su VI

    like tihs but what about big bang´s parody of coffee prince, because there´s a guy pretending to be a girl, that prtends to be a boy^^ too funny

  • Grace Montemayor Terrado

    Unnie how are you :)) It’s been along a time since I last commented in your videos. How’s your vacation with your Hubby in your hometown. I hope you enjoy. .Unnie can you make video about top 5 or more Kdramas of all time :)) Thank you my vote is secret garden :)))

  • Cutie hunter In Beef Stew

    Bookmarked and recommended.

    I finally found it!

  • saila
  • Kumiii

    Yoon Eun Hye <33

    i really love park shin hye, but yoon eun hye is amazing as a guy.

  • Tbamazing

    i really love watching gender benders and come to think of it I’m not 100% sure why. i seem to find them interesting and funny to watch and I’m glad that its popular