John Seabrook, author and staff writer at The New Yorker, has taken a typically sharp, close look at the rise of K-pop and its major players (like Lee Soo-Man, who he calls “K-pop’s master architect”). Read the 7,000-word chunk of awesome over at The New Yorker:
“Hallyu” is the term that Asians use to describe the tsunami of South Korean culture that began flooding their countries at the turn of the twenty-first century. Korean TV dramas and, to a lesser extent, Korean films have, along with Korean pop music, become staples in markets formerly dominated by Japan and Hong Kong. According to the pop-culture scholar Sung Sang-yeon, Korean TV producers established themselves during the Asian economic crisis of the late nineties, offering programming that was cheaper than the shows being made in Japan and Hong Kong and of higher quality than most other Asian countries could produce themselves. While the Korean singers and actors are young and the settings are often contemporary, their themes embody traditional values of family, friendship, and romantic love.
Also, Seabrook published a supplemental to his piece – “Uncle Pervy’s K-Pop Playlist”, which you can read here.