Jump to content

Korean Variety


Recommended Posts

Possibly shouting into the void here, but anyone else follows Korean variety shows? Which are your favourites?

I got into kvariety courtesy of Running Man and then picked up Infinite Challenge (...still infinitely sad this is over), and Three Meals A Day and some other shows on an irregular basis. But as my first show, I always have a soft spot for Running Man, especially when they focus on mafia/spy-themed episodes. 

Edited by Kasimir
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Briar King said:

I don’t know what a variety show is but Kingdom and especially Mr. Sunshine are outstanding Korean shows on Netflix.

Mr Sunshine is fantastic, just so sad! A Korean variety show is distinct from a Korean drama: variety shows often involve celebrities (entertainers, gagmen, comedians, idols, etcetera) performing a set of tasks and trying to make it entertaining. Korean variety often has reality TV elements as well, because of their fondness for 'hidden camera' segments which catch their casts off-guard. Excessively scripted varieties are seen to be undesirable as they're 'too artificial', though often, celebrities will have personas/'characters' on variety shows. So it's a strange mix between reality and scripting, IMO.

So, Infinite Challenge is known for doing long-term projects/challenges meant to fulfill three criteria: Dirty, Dangerous, and Difficult. To do that, it made members - your typical not-very-fit comedians - undertake a series of demanding challenges: in their earlier years, they did smaller projects in each episode like rice planting, and learning to dance, and bigger projects like putting on a pro-wrestling event. This one was notorious for the amount of injuries the amateur cast accumulated, with one of them having to be hospitalised a few hours before he went on stage to perform, and led to a fan outcry. Since then, they've done zany challenges like film their own movie, urban chase specials, trained to participate in professional streetcar races, and underwent basic military training (as the cast were in their thirties to forties!)

Running Man is the opposite: it started as a variety show where the members were locked into one venue overnight and had to perform a series of missions. The losing team had to perform a penalty when they were released from the venue in the morning. It eventually evolved into an urban chase/action variety, in which the members and the weekly guests competed for both prizes and to avoid penalties (e.g. being showered with mud or water-bombed.) But as it's a variety show, the cast focuses on making things funny, and it's helped by producer subtitles commenting on what's going on, editing for suspense or drama (there's a clip where one of the members has his pants drop by accident during a match and it replays in slow-mo with dramatic music) and funny music. A recent week had a mission where the members had to put on an a capella performance within an hour, and the results are about 4 minutes of hilarity, with the main singer going horribly off, and the producer subtitles roasting him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...