Variety shows are a big part of South Korea's culture. There's so many to watch, so I created a list of my favourite shows to set you on the right must-watch path:
1. Knowing Bros (2015 - Present)
This classroom based show doesn’t have any boundaries, the members literally say what they want. Kang Ho-dong leads the charge with Super Junior’s hilarious Kim Heechul among other cast members doing everything from physical challenges to improv acting.
2. Family Outing (2008 - 2010)
If I could compare Family Outing to any Western show it would be Big Brother. Yoo Jaesuk, with other celebrities, like Lee Hyori and Daesung (BIGBANG) go out into the country doing tasks and staying over the night. They play mini games, make food. It’s where the Kim Jong Kook and Yoo Jae Suk rivalry began. A must watch!
3. Running Man (2010 – Present)
Running Man is one of my first variety shows. It’s always suspenseful with name tag eliminations, countless mini-games and various special guests, and with two new cast members the show definitely shows signs for a promising future.
(Oh, and they're COMING TO AUSTRALIA)!
4. Infinite Challenge (2005 – Present)
There’s a reason why Infinite Challenge has been one of South Korea’s most popular and longest running variety shows. Even though there's been some cast changes, the show always aims to do something more spectacular every year. They’ve done concerts with famous Korean artists, acted alongside Korean actors and even had Jack Black on the show. Highly recommended!
5. Strong Heart (2009 – 2013)
Strong Heart focused on celebrities opening up and telling stories about their lives. Some would be funny, some scary and others quite emotional. I still remember Kim Jong Kook talking about his rough experiences trying to become a solo singer.
6. Weekly Idol (2011- Present)
Weekly Idol started as a small show letting K-pop idols show off their talents. The show has since exploded internationally with big name idol groups such as Girls' Generation and BIGBANG appearing. Perfect for a good laugh with your favourite groups, or to find out about new ones.
7. Show Me The Money (2012 – Present)
This show is basically South Korea’s American Idol, but just for rappers. The judges are famous industry rappers and, to name a few idols, SEVENTEEN’s Vernon, VIXX’s Ravi, WINNER’s Mino and season three champion IKON’s Bobby have all been on the show.
8. Produce 101 (2016 – Present)
On this show there are 101 trainees from various companies, and the public have to vote for who they want to debut. It's amazing to see the progress certain trainees make, for example Kim Sohye couldn’t even dance in the first episode and showed amazing persistence, which led him to make it into the group. Season two has started and you bet I’ll be watching that!
What are your favourite Korean shows to watch?
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