The most common form of television entertainment
; stems from drama
, but went through the katakana wordgrinder
Basically, a dorama is a hybrid of a made for TV movie and a regular TV series; the plot is orchestrated from beginning to end, and the themes vary a lot. Doramas are usually made of less sensationalist stuff than TV movies, but not as trivial as soap operas. A typical number of episodes is 10 to 20. A sample plot (from a recent dorama called "Face"):
A girl meets a guy and falls in love with him, but it turns out that he has a split personality, and the other side is not a nice guy. However, she likes his "bad" side too, and tries to reconcile them. She finds out that his family is not innocent in this, and that they actually try to maintain the split...
In fact, the concept is not exclusively Japanese; Twin Peaks
, for example, is basically an US-made dorama.