While the popularity of soap operas in the U.S. plunges, the dramatic daytime programs are still wildly popular in Asia. However, watching those shows can be deadly in North Korea.
Reports say that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently executed 10 officials by firing squad for watching soap operas. Charges leading to the killings also included corruption.
The executions reportedly bring the number of people killed by the hard-line regime to at least 50.
British newspaper The Independent says:
"All television and media is under strict state control and access to the internet is limited. But despite a harsh crackdown, banned foreign shows and films have been gaining popularity in recent years."
Some shows are being secretly streamed over the internet, others are smuggled into the country on DVDs, video cassettes and flash drives to be sold on the black market. Soap operas are dubbed into local languages.
The Wall Street Journal says the dramas "tend to feature outrageous plot lines" and are "characterized by the use of plot twists like birth secrets that connect lovers as blood siblings, or conveniently-timed car accidents that lead to temporary amnesia."
That sounds better than most American reality shows! Move over Kardashian sisters!