Everyone needs an escape. Sometimes life gets a little bit boring, especially during the summertime and the best way to look for some excitement is in the form of good old-fashioned Korean variety shows. There are a lot of variety shows in the Korean entertainment world and a lot of them have concepts that are so unique and different. And a lot of these concepts involve some sort of traveling or stepping out of comfort zones. This, in turn, can inspire and motivate you when you’re bored or need a bit more excitement. Here’s a look at eight variety shows to watch when you’re looking for something fun to watch:
This series sounds very simple; guests are invited to the countryside where they are to stay and make three meals a day. The series first premiered in 2014 with Lee Seo Jin and 2PM’s Taecyeon. Even they seemed to be confused throughout the season as to what the show was actually about, but it proved to be a success regardless as they were invited again the following year.
As the show went on for several more seasons, they invited various celebrities on the show and the cast members would help the cast members make meals and engage in various tasks in the countryside like fishing and having to take care of some animals. It’s slow-paced, but really relaxing to watch. You’ll also get a kick out of seeing the superstar cast members and guests throughout the seasons!
Start watching “Three Meals a Day”:
2. Youn’s Kitchen
This is another series with Lee Seo Jin as part of the main cast and produced by Na Young Suk – what a genius! “Youn’s Kitchen” has had two seasons thus far, and both of them involve a set cast embarking to a foreign country. They create a menu and set up shop in which Youn Yuh Jung is the main chef.
The charm in this series is seeing the cast interact with foreigners and cook Korean dishes for them. There’s a sense of pride and cultural awareness that the cast brings to these people and it’s entertaining to see. Plus you get to see some amazing views in the various places they travel to.
It’s also humorous watching the foreigners react to the cast and their good looks!
We honestly don’t blame them!
Start watching “Youn’s Kitchen 2”:
For anyone who’s a homebody, this series is for you. “It’s Dangerous Beyond the Blankets” is a series that brings celebrities who are homebodies together to interact. They all sleep in one house together and basically get to do whatever they want. Sometimes all they do is sleep and sometimes they play random games. There’s always awkward first introductions, as most of them are pretty introverted.
Seeing introverted homebodies try and live together for several days is hilarious to watch, to say the least! But the show not only documents introverted people interacting with each other, but it also shows them stepping out of their comfort zone and socializing with others who are just like them.
Start watching “It’s Dangerous Beyond the Blankets”:
“Traveler” is a show that involves Ryu Jun Yeol and good friend Lee Je Hoon traveling to Cuba together. In the show, Ryu Jun Yeol arrives in Cuba first and basically fends for himself while he travels around Havana and other neighboring cities.
It’s a beautiful country, and to be able to see it through the eyes of Ryu Jun Yeol and Lee Je Hoon makes it seem like we are on this enchanting trip with them! The sights of Cuba are so breathtaking that you’d thoroughly find solace and comfort just by watching this program.
Start watching “Traveler”:
“Newlywed Diary” basically filmed the couple just shortly after their marriage. In “Newlywed Diary 2,” superstar model Jang Yoon Joo and her husband Jung Seung Min were the newlyweds that were documented.
The series has a very romantic aura as it shows the new love between a married couple and the lifestyle these particular couples have. It’s also sweet hearing the stories of how the couples met and the proposals. This show will give you all the feels and butterflies, much like a K-drama except they’re real life!
Start watching “Newlywed Diary”:
These days, many people are taking to the minimalist lifestyle. With technology whirring all around us, “Little House in the Forest” shows us what it would be like to live in a cabin, in a forest with very little resources. The highlight of the show is probably the fact that So Ji Sub and Park Shin Hye are the cast members.
Although the show doesn’t have much talking or guests involved, it’s still fascinating to see So Ji Sub and Park Shin Hye live in a cabin for a few days, eating and doing their own thing. It’s so peaceful and brings a feeling of comfort. It’s the show you didn’t think you needed! It really makes you realize that you don’t need too much in your life and can be satisfied with the basics.
Here’s a clip of the two actors getting ready for bed in their little cabin in the forest:
Start watching “Little House in the Forest”:
7. Korean Hostel In Spain
“Korean Hostel In Spain” is a spin-off of “Three Meals a Day,” but it’s definitely still worth the watch if you like the idea of seeing Cha Seung Won, Bae Jeong Nam, and Yoo Hae Jin setting up a hostel in Spain.
It seems like a random concept, but it’s an intriguing one. The three stars set up a hostel along the path of the famous Santiago pilgrimage in Spain. They provide beds, showers, and delicious home-cooked meals for their guests. You meet some intriguing travelers who are going on this 800-kilometer journey, and you’ll almost feel a bit jealous of their carefree nature. You’ll also find your mouth watering from all the delicious meals that Cha Seung Won cooks up! Check out this clip of him cooking a simple breakfast:
8. 4 Wheeled Restaurant
With the popularity of food trucks within the past few years, this program takes a group of celebrity Koreans and a food truck to a foreign country where they come up with a menu and make it for that particular city. In the first season, the cast members went to Thailand, in the second season they went to China, and in the third season, they went to the United States.
All three seasons have varying cast members, and it’s so refreshing to see them go through the tasks of having to make a menu, prepare, cook, and serve the locals who buy from their food truck. It’s also so cool to see them be tourists in those particular cities, taking in the culture, food, and just having fun.
Hey Soompiers, which of these variety shows do you watch? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG. She is also the author of “K-POP A To Z: The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia.” Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
Currently watching: “One Spring Night,” and “Hotel Del Luna”
All-time favorite dramas: “Secret Garden,” “Goblin,” “Because This Is My First Life,” “Star In My Heart”
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen
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