Is Netflix Riding the Korean Wave or Vice Versa?| Third-Space K-Drama: Netflix, Hallyu, and the Melodramatic Mundane

Yin Yuan


This article examines K-drama’s potential as a postcolonial Third Space. I consider the impact of Netflix’s profit-driven transculturalism on Hallyu by contrasting Netflix Korean Originals, particularly Squid Game, with K-dramas such as Liar Game. The latter belongs to an emergent mode of Korean TV that I call the “melodramatic mundane,” which creates new forms of hybridized identity in the global arena. Analyzing K-dramas’ Western reception alongside a comparative close reading of American, Japanese, and Korean TV shows, I examine alternative structures of feeling in K-dramas that challenge American narrative ideologies.


K-drama, Hallyu, hybridity, Netflix, Squid Game

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