BH Discuss: Korean variety shows you want to see again on your TV

It’s no secret that Korean variety programmes are successful around the world. Running Man, one of Korea’s top shows, is now sold in 9 territories in Asia outside of Korea and the recent explosive reception of the show’s cast in an airport in Sydney, Australia shows how wide the its appeal is.

Korean shows are so big in China now that Chinese networks have begun to buy the formats themselves so that they can make their own versions that will appeal even more to a local audience. The Chinese version of Dad, Where Are We Going? was a gigantic hit on Chinese TV in 2013 with more than 600 million viewers (that’s over 10 times the population of Korea) tuning in each week. As if that wasn’t enough, when a Chinese-language film based on the show was made, it broke box office records, taking £9.8 million on the day it was released.

The growing popularity of streaming services such as Viki, Dramafever and Hulu offering a wide range of Korean shows including variety and KBS’s own YouTube channel which offers subtitled versions of many of their popular variety and talk shows indicate that interest in Korean variety across the world is growing.

Of course despite this popularity, there are only room for so many shows every year shows are cancelled to be replaced by new ones. Casualties of the past couple of years include Barefoot Friends, Infinite Youth, Come To Play, Strong Heart and many more.

It’s always upsetting when a show you like is cancelled but which show would you most like to see brought back?

For me, nothing will ever top Star Golden Bell. An entertaining format, hosts and regular guests plus the chance to see idols make a bit of a fool of themselves is always and winning combination and I still watch old episodes on YouTube to this day. I’m not entirely sure the format would still work in the current TV landscape but it would be nice to see the show reinvigorated with the next generation of idols.

Given the growing popularity of Korean variety formats, is there a Korean show you would like to see brought over to your country?

And lastly, what is it that makes Korean variety so popular anyway?

Let us know in the comments!

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  • Janey

    X-Man! I miss that show~ TT_TT

  • whateverwha

    I’ve never understood the appeal of these shows…I’ve only watched some short scenes of them, never watched them in their entirety so I admit I can’t judge them. Still, if I don’t find myself entertained enough to watch it all…it’s telling. Can anyone explain to me what they like about these shows? Do you like Korean humour?

    The Beyondhallyu’s writer talked about popularity of these shows in Asia in this blog post, so I’d like know the reasons behind this success and if I’m missing on something.

    • lolasama

      For me it is interesing how in the case of mamma mia how musicians, comedians and stars in general interact with their mother’s who are mostly not used to broadcasting. I like comparing what they find funny, embrassing or fun to American and Haitian culture. As for 2 days and 1 night it is seeing different regions of Korea.

      • whateverwha

        Thank you for these recommendations and for explaining what you like about these shows :) I’ll check them out!

        • lolasama

          I’m glad to have helped. :)

    • lolasama

      I would suggest watching a entire episode of happy together, hello counselor, mamma mia and or 2 days and 1 night to start

    • sasha_BH

      Hi ^^

      I personally find all humour regardless of where it is from to be a little hit and miss at points and korean humour is no different, it all just depends on the show. For instance a lot of people find the show Gag Concert to be highly amusing yet I find myself simply smirking at it sometimes (rarely). It just depends on what tickles your funny bone :)

      Try a couple of shows, you never know you may come across something you rather enjoy.

  • lolasama

    I wish Mamma Mia and the qualifications of men came back

  • choi tan

    Infinity Challenge is the best. Great interaction between casts.
    I hope it will go on forever and thank god, Dramafever is subbing it now.

  • Seti Tesefay

    strong heart is my favorite. I love to hear stories that were fun, sad, etcc..

  • hyunjae kim

    family outing..