Korean Variety Shows, known as K-varieties are getting more and more interesting as the K-pop industry rises.
I’ve always prefer K-varieties to K-dramas, because they’re more of comedy, and not the soapy romantic dramas. And usually, there are some special guests which they will appear for the whole episode. While guests appear on dramas for cameos for a few seconds. Well, you get the point. I’ll list down the K-varieties that I recommend you to watch as of July-Aug 2014. The shows that I’ll be listing are currently running, so there are still running on the Korean channels. The information are mostly from Wikipedia, while I’ll add on my own comments/ opinions and ratings of the show.
1. Running Man
I believe many has heard of this show, be it K-pop fans or not. I’ve been watching the show every week since its 10th episode. The 7 casts as of now are: Yoo Jae Suk, Kim Jong Kook, Song Ji Hyo, Haha, Lee Kwang Soo, Gary & Ji Suk Jin. Song Joong Ki and Lizzy were also a part of the Running Man Cast but they left due to their schedules. The show also invites singers, actors and actress, sportsmen & women, etc to guest in their episode/s.
Each episode will have a theme, and missions for the casts and guests to complete. Usually there are 3 missions before the final missions and the 3 missions are for the casts & guests to collect clues/chances for the final missions. And the famous mission are the ripping of name tags, which is like catching, where the catcher has to eliminate the players by ripping their name tags. This missions are less seen in the latest episodes and fans who are missing it are asking the casts and PDs to have it back on their show. Nowadays, the episodes are quite boring, no offence, but I believe the runners (fans of Running Man) will continue to support the show.
2. Real Men
The 8 casts,Seo Kyug Suk, Kim Soo Ro, Sam Hammington, Park Hyung sik, Park Gun Hyung,Chun Jung Myung, K.Will, and Henry are sent to Korean Military troops to cope with the training given to them in the troops or by the red cap guy (the high rank soldier that always gives punishments for the soldiers). Honestly, Henry was the one who prompted me to watch Real Men and I’ve learnt more about the Korean Military troops through the show. And obviously, Henry is the hole of the casts, so mainly, you’re going to see how he doesn’t understand the rules in the army and how he gets punished. And also, its a “eating boardcast” of Chun Jung Myung and Sam Hammington where they literally show you how to enjoy the food cooked by their fellow soldiers. However, the show is going to continue with only 7 casts, with the recent announcement of Hyung Sik’s departure of the show. It was nice seeing his determination and the “fire burning in his eyes” when he does his duties.
3. Superman is Back
A reality show with celebrity dads and their kids, where the dads look after the children alone for 48 hours without the help of anyone, while their wives leave the home to enjoy some relaxing time off. The wives are shown leaving the home before the 48 hours begins and coming back to greet their family once the 48 hours have ended. During the 48 hours the dads and children are either doing a task the wives have written out for the dads to complete or the dads exploring new activities with their kids. Occasionally celebrity friends of the dads will stop by to interact with the kids. The current cast are
adapted from Wikipedia
So the kids are really cute especially the twins and Sarang. Its another ‘eating broadcast’ with Sarang and occasionally her mom, where they show the viewers how they have their meals. It is also heart warming to see how the kids have grown, especially the twins. Starting of the broadcast, they were still being carried around by their dad and they started to crawl, started to stand by themselves and now, they can walk and run. Nawwww. This show is also has a China adaption,爸爸回来了.
4. Daddy! Where Are We Going?
Daddy! Where Are We Going? 아빠! 어디가?) is a South Korean reality show featuring five celebrity fathers and their children as they travel to rural places and go on camping missions. The original cast members were announcer Kim Sung-joo, actor Lee Jong-hyuk, former soccer player Song Chong-gug, actor Sung Dong-il, and Vibe singer Yoon Min-soo (and their respective offspring) Kim Min-gook (son),Lee Jun-soo (son), Song Ji-a (daughter), Sung Jun (son) & Yoon Hoo (son).
Lee Jong-hyuk and Song Chong-gug left after season 1; Kim Sung-joo, Sung Dong-il and Yoon Min-soo remained, but Kim and Sung brought on different children for season 2. They were joined by former soccer player Ahn Jung-hwan, rapper Kim Jin-pyo, and actor Ryu Jin (and their respective offspring).Kim Min-yul (son), Sung Bin (daughter), Yoon Hoo (son), Ahn Ri-hwan (son), Chan-hyung (son), Kim Gyu-won (daughter).
Kim Jin-pyo left after several episodes (he stated he could not “blend in” with the other cast members), and was replaced by actor Jung Woong-in and his daughter, Jung Se-yoon. This also has a Chinese adaption named 爸爸去哪儿. I feel that generally, Season 1’s more enjoyable to watch while in Season 2, it just seem to have lost the touch. Maybe they should invite all the kids and casts in Season 1 to join the season 2 casts for 1/2 special episodes.
Roommate is another reality show; which features eleven celebrities living together in a share house, sharing common spaces such as the kitchen, living room, and washrooms, as well as household tasks. The house features sixty cameras and five bedrooms.The cast consists of Hong Soo-hyun, Jo Se-ho, Lee Dong-wook, Lee So-ra, Nana (After School), Park Bom (2NE1), Chan-yeol (EXO), Park Min-woo, Seo Kang-joon (5urprise), Shin Sung-woo & Song Ga Yeon. The program is a response to society today where single-person households are dramatically increasing and aims to show the life, troubles, and joys of eleven different celebrities as they form friendships, relationships and possibly enemies living together under one roof.
The show is quite pointless to watch, which is showed in their ratings from the recent episode at 4.1%. I started watching the show because of Bom and Nana, which two of them are known for their 4D personality, I was interested to know how they will communicate with each other. And also Chanyeol. But for now, it that seems the upcoming July 27th broadcast will be Park Bom’s final appearance on the show. The PDs also edited out a lot of the footage of Park Bom due to the controversy. (Adapted from allkpop) So it seems that she ‘left’ the show because she didn’t participate in the filming of the upcoming episodes.
Showtime is a show with different idol groups each season that allows the fans to see behind-the-scenes of their daily lives. This show is where the fans get a chance to see how they act offstage. The first idol group was EXO, their first own reality show. Then Beast, which was filmed during the making of their ‘Good Luck’ album and their comeback. The third group upcoming will be Apink. The show will ask the groups questions that the fans have left for their idols and they will reply them through the show. I think its quite interesting if you’re interested in getting to know better of the group that is starring in the show.
7. Laws of the Jungle
Law of the Jungle is a reality-documentary show , a hybrid of reality-variety television, natural documentaries, and human drama; a new concept of programming. The cast of celebrities travel to primitive, natural places to survive on their own and experience life with local tribes and people. The recent episodes are filmed in Indian Ocean with Kim Byung-man, Kim Seung-soo, Park Hwi-soon, Kang Ji-seob, Uee (After School), Niel (Teen Top), James (Royal Pirates). The show is reallllly interesting, as you get to learn how to survive in the jungle literally. And how they hunt when there is no food, how they built their house, how they experience life with the tribes, etc. Just watch and you will understand.
8. Dancing 9
Dancing 9 is a dance survival program by Mnet where 18 contestants are divided into two teams, Blue Eye and Red Wings with 9 members each. A live performance each week where the two teams perform will determine the winner. A prize of 100 million won will be given to the winning team with 300 million won worth of support for dance performances. The person chosen as the MVP will also receive a 100 million won worth of additional benefits.
Red Wings masters from the first season Lee Min Woo, Woo Hyun Young and Park Ji Woo would be returning as masters for Red Wings. Season 1 winner Ha Hui Dong would be joining them. Jay Park together with Park Ji Eun and Lee Yong Woo who returned as Blue Eye’s masters for the second season and another new dance master, actor Kim Soo Ro. Okay, this may be a little bias as I’m a dancer. I do quite a number of genres so its interesting how the dancers auditioned with one genre and develop and master some more genre of dances throughout the show. Although in Season 1 and Season 2, the dancers that I like are in Blue Eye, I prefer the masters in Red Wings.
And of course, there are much more variety shows, 2D1N, Jessica & Krystal, Weekly Idol, Infinity Challenge, etc. The above listed are the shows that I watch frequently and are still running. Some old varieties that you should watch are Intimate note and Crime Scene.