When you hear the word, "Unagi," what comes to your mind? I don't even know what it really means, but I always get to think about Ross from "Friends" being silly about it.
Like you can guess, I am a big fan of "Friends." Furthermore, I honestly don't think that I can be friends with anyone who doesn't like the show (or "The Office").
To be fair though, I am not the only Korean who loves this show because "Friends" is apparently the most popular American sitcom here. And here are my thoughts about why it's so popular.
First, "Friends" is considered the best TV show to practice English.
Since most Koreans try to study American English, they look for American TV shows. And they've found out that "Friends" is relatively easier to understand than other American TV shows. Of course, there are still many inside jokes from Chandler and fancy words from Ross even many Americans don't get. But compared to TV shows like "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI" or even "The Office," this show is definitely easier to understand.
Most importantly, the show itself is just fun to watch. If Koreans were only looking for TV shows whose characters speak simple English, they would've only watched children's shows. I think "Friends" has become really popular here since it delivers jokes and stories many Koreans can understand. For example, I still laugh when Phoebe talks about random craps and Joey is being Joey.
So, these are my thoughts about the reasons "Friends" is popular in South Korea. I am sure many South Korean fans are looking forward to its special episode that's coming out on HBO Max this year. At least, I'm excited for sure.