If you’re aware of the following, don’t give yourself a pat on the back because if you watch kVariety you should know of this man: “Na PD,” “Na Young Suk”.
Yep, he’s the famous, or should I say, infamous PD behind hits “1 Night 2 Days,” “Grandpas Over Flowers,” “Three Meals a Day,” “New Journey to the West” and the spin-offs.
I’ll be talking about New Journey to the West (mainly the 3rd and ongoing 4th season) in this post because I by chance just got into this show and once again fell for the ruthless charms of Na PD.
|New Journey to The West|
Official poster for New Journey to the West
|Locations||Xian, China (season 1)
Chengdu, China (season 2)
Lijiang, China (season 2)
Guilin, China (season 3)
Xiamen, China (season 3)
Vietnam (season 4)
|Directed by||Na Young-seok
Lee Seung-gi (season 1)
Ahn Jae-hyun (season 2-4)
Kyuhyun (season 3-4)
Mino (season 3-4)
I’m giving this show a weird approach as I’m pretty much doing it really backwards. I started out by stumbling on the 4th season which is still ongoing. After watching the first episode and realizing that I had to wait yet another week until the next episode of a new kVariety obsession to air (it’s not really an obsession), I decided to look into season 3, which has the same cast as season 4; Kang Ho Dong, Lee Se Geun, Eun Ji Won, Ahn Jaehyun, and the 2 new members Cho Kyuhyun and Song Mino. I quickly raced through this season with quirky new maknae (who got his charismatic image as a rapper crushed even more) and Drunk Cho who seriously looked like a clown with the cone hat on.
Let’s not also forget the time when the Variety Gods took pity on Na PD’s victims and granted Mino the magic finger that won the team a Lamborghini & Porches (obviously the PD was joking when he put the tiny targets for these prizes on the board, but…)
This show is charming because Na PD’s ruthlessness — especially when it comes to food and sleeping accomodations brings out the “best” of the members. For example, when the members were given fruits to hide and protect for the Wake-Up mission to get breakfast, savagery was unparalleled. Out of context, which you can’t help but to consider, you have some top stars fighting to hide grapefruits, durians, and even losing the kumquat in a hole. Cheers.
Each season has the members meet up first before leaving for their destination to China/Vietnam in order to assign roles from ‘Journey to the West’ X Dragon Ball. It isn’t a Na PD show if the members don’t have to play a game for this too. After getting their roles, each with their own pros and cons, members have to suit up accordingly — Bulma gets the girl getup for the entire trip, Monkey King gets the low frequency massager + gold hair wax + the famous band, Zhu Baijie get’s the ban from pork (as he’s the pig character), Master Roshi gets his turtle shell backpack as the only thing he can bring with him, and etc.
Once they get to their destinations, more games follow — from 4 character idiom quizzes to identifying the celebrity quizzes. The games are played for [losing one by one] scrumptious local dishes, choosing the room for the night, and etc.
Since the members are traveling abroad, I like this show even more because it’s like a travel show that is extra entertaining.
The ultimate goal for each season is to win the 7 wish-granting Dragon Balls.
Check out this show! Each season has 10 episodes (even bonus director cuts) — so you shouldn’t run out of things to watch for a while 🙂 It’s also nice to have Na PD’s refreshing way of editing where he throws at you a black screen with text telling he’s omitting what scenes for what reason.
4.8/5! (Poor Mino with his shaved head)