I think of variety shows as weekly doses of laughter that heal my soul. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to lose oneself in a monotonous lifestyle and be trapped in accumulating stress, but watching variety shows helps me out a bit. Every time I hit play and sit back to enjoy the 90+ minutes, I not only forget my troubles through laughter, but I also learn as some (if not most) of the weight is washed out of my system. I want to share some of this medicine with you, so I present to you:
kVariety Shows I am Currently Watching
- Running Man: I seriously was planning to quit this show along with KJK & SJH back when the whole scandal happened, but after sticking with this show for almost 7 years, it’s hard to just quit. They have added 2 new members since then (Yang Sechan & Jeon Somin), and while it is no longer my 7012, I feel like I should give them a chance without any bias. I can see that the international fanbase is probably the only thing sustaining this show — to the point where they’re making an animation (?!) — probably because in Korea, the audience consists mostly of children. However, the production seems to be trying everything to catch the other age groups by investing a lot into plane tickets lately (Running Man has been going to Mongolia, Russia, Japan, Jeju Island, and etc. in recent weeks). Hopefully all the money going into airfare and such will be worth it! I’m always going to root for the members 🙂
- Infinity Challenge: I don’t really watch this show regularly, but lately I have been following every episode because I’ve run out of things to watch and you can always trust this show to crank out something crazy every week. With Kwanghee in the army, Yang Sehyung has made it big with his official position in MuDo. I can tell he is kind of ambitious, but he is funny so I’ll give him that. I was particularly giddy last week when Kim Soo Hyun showed up and had a bowling competition with the members (Kim Soo Hyun is a bowling fanatic and is semi-pro). I’m looking forward to watching June 17th’s episode as Lee Hyori will join the members in promised fun in Jeju!
- Happy Together: This show is super long running, but I have a bad feeling with the constant layout changes. I think KBS is trying hard to keep this show going because it is (1) one of the top shows on KBS, (2) it has a long history, (3) it’s talk show format is different — it allows celebrities to actually talk and tell their stories, and (4) Nation’s MC Yoo. With the latest change to a 2 part show; part 1 with the original cast doing their original talk show thing and part 2 with 3 additional members joining MC Yoo for a Big Mouth segment — everything smells like the “last attempt.” Hopefully the show does not end, as I really like hearing about all the different stories, but what happens, happens. I really wished that they would bring back Late Night Cafeteria 😦 but I guess that segment was quite burdensome for guests because after so many episodes, it becomes hard to come up with something innovative in addition to something that will amaze the judges. I’m looking forward to the episode where they will bring back guests who did not really get to talk during the 500th episode special (they managed to get Jo In Sung, IU, and other stars!!!)!
- Abnormal Summit: I’ve already discussed this show in a separate post, but it is one of the shows that I watch fairly often so… I don’t watch this show regularly, per se, but I do watch it often enough. Sometimes, I find some episodes boring, most likely because the discussion/debate about the topic isn’t as “lit” or maybe the topic isn’t as interesting to me as others are — so I like to skip around. I really do learn a lot from this show, as it does open your eyes and ears to a variety of topics/issues and also different perspectives.
- I Live Alone: I. Love. This. Show. I’m not a creepy person (well, maybe I am :3), but it’s so interesting to see how seemingly normal celebrities (or not) have certain quirks. It takes a lot of courage to show your private life — especially your day off — to the public, but the guests and rainbow Club members have this praiseworthy courage. Sometimes when waiting for the new episode to come out, I try to find the older episodes with guests that I am interested in — but then I discovered that in addition to the difficulty of finding the actually videos, it was also hard to find the guest list — so I made one myself. As someone who also wants to learn to be more independent, I am also learning more tips and tricks through watching these stars who seem so much more familiar and wise as they take off their masks (or should I say, makeup) and “enjoy” their day off in front of the cameras. It’s also hilarious when the featured guest has to watch their own footage and they discover how they really look like and quirks that they fail to notice. I’m always gonna root for the 3 idiot brothers (Henry Lau, Lee Sieon, Kian84)!!!
- Radio Star: This is a different kind of talk show because the MC’s are not afraid to go to new lengths to dig at the guests sore spots without overdoing it and crossing the line. MC Kyuhyun is gone for the time being because he needs to serve his military duties, but the other 4 MC’s guarantee fun. I intended to watch episodes where I actually know the guests, but I find myself watching almost every episode because there’s so many weird stories and entertaining celebrities who don’t usually get to be on TV. With Kyuhyun’s seat empty, the show has been bringing in special MC’s every week, and it’s quite nice to see people who don’t typically get to host actually host.
- Hello Counselor: Okay. Technically I don’t really watch this — but I do when I am extremely bored and still want to watch something different. As the name implies, a panel of MC’s and guests receive 3 story submissions every week and they bring out the person who submitted the story and those involved and try to talk out the issue(s) with the nation (audience + those who text in to vote). Most of the time, I, along with all the people in attendance, get super frustrated with how narrow minded or stubborn people get, but the panel tries very hard to make the parties involved see both perspectives and work out an agenda to resolve the problem with baby steps — first with a simple promise made in front of the whole nation. In a country that is smaller than the US, it is so interesting to see how many different hobbies people have — even if they can get so out of hand.