open discussion

Open Discussion (May 22, 2022)

Open DiscussionIt’s Sunday, which means it’s time to end the week with an open discussion post!

To keep things civil, there are a few rules:

  1. Be kind and respectful to one another. Any harassing language will be deleted.
  2. This is not a place to state what you don’t like about me and/or my blog. Move elsewhere, trolls.
  3. Video/gif/image embedding is totally fine. Just try to limit yourself to a couple per comment. Otherwise my moderation filter goes crazy.

Each week, I’ll open with a question to get the conversation going. Feel free to chat about anything, but if you’re not sure what to write you can use this question as a starting point.

This week’s question:

Let’s talk idol variety. Do you have a favorite variety series/show, or one you would recommend to new fans?

42 thoughts on “Open Discussion (May 22, 2022)

  1. I always hold up Infinite’s 2011-era Sesame Player as my favorite series, mostly because it helped me get into the group and was one of my first experiences with idol variety. The guys were so funny in this, and so, so green. You really got to see a group struggling to make it and the payoff was so sweet.

    I also love (and miss) idol variety that mixed and matched personalities from different groups. The initial season of It’s Dangerous Beyond the Blankets was so entertaining and 2014-15’s Roommate pretty much sold me on the whole genre. I used to love watching Let’s Go Dream Team because of the competitive aspect, but also because it featured so many under-promoted idols. And of course, the original version of Weekly Idol with Doni and Coni can’t be beat. No one interviews idols the way they did.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Not related to this week’s question but one of my favourite English (well… he is Dutch) artists released a song a few days ago. The irony is that the artist’s name, Blanks, is filled with so much charm and energy. I’m a big sucker for synths, and I think Blanks uses them really well in his songs.
    Here is his latest single ‘Home Without A Heart’ which is retro at its finest.
    I wrote my thoughts on it already… So I just want to say that few days later since this song’s release and it slaps


    • On another unrelated note, Nick! You mentioned in last week’s open discussion about how you really like from20’s ‘Because it will be faster for you to forget about me than me loving you’. I think you may really like his latest song that he released earlier this month called ‘WEOL’, a great extension in terms of sound to the super long song of his:

      I still can’t believe that from20 is BIGSTAR’s Raehwan.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. New Journey to the West, easily.

    The title is based upon the ancient Chinese classic “Journey to the West” which features a madcap cast of characters journey west to a Buddhist shrine, get caught up in hijinks along the way. Hilarity ensues.

    Here, the madcap cast of characters journey around and have to do the usual mix of Korean variety games to earn stuff – bragging rights, bigger plate at lunch, the nice bed to sleep in, etc, along the way. Hilarity ensures. Odd costumes and makeup too. These guys are so well cast.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t watch much of the variety content but I agree Weekly Idol is nice.

    One of my fave is Nadol, where they do the “call the family and say I love you”. What can I say… I like the simple sweet side of things sometimes lol. Also they call even rookie groups so it’s fun. And they have a few games as well sometimes.

    I sometimes watch kbs cool fm and arirang radio as well – again a variety of groups and the song sessions are really good! ❤


  5. As a kpop newbie, most my fav variety are pretty recent. Right now I’d say Time to Twice or Channel_9 are my favs. I like the way they do like mini series with each concept/theme. All time would probably be IZONE Chu because I’m a sucker for a dorm reality and that was the one for my fav kpop group. I also loved the earlier Knowing Bros episodes.


  6. going seventeen !! favourite part is especially their debate nights, where they once debated on whether farting fire or having water shoot out of your armpits be a more useful ability

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Let’s go dream team was awesome. I learned about m.pire, myname, bigstar, and other groups from the show. I just love obstacle courses in general and they were a staple on the show. The non idol cast and guests were pretty entertaining aswell. The girl’s generation episode was gold. I don’t know why they stopped the show but I want them to bring it back. They have full episodes on YouTube and I still holds up for the most part.

    I also really like running man, but who doesn’t know about running man lol. That said, I really want a show to do what running man did in the beginning. Like the golden pig races and name tag eliminations, amongst other things


  8. I am a big Knowing Brothers fan. I especially like it when idols and actors give Ho Dong grief. Here’s a small compilation of the many funny idol moments on the show.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t watch too much variety, since once you watch a few you kinda know the formula and it loses its luster a bit. You can expect similar adorkableness/being extra across the board.

    That said, a few stick out. SNSD on multiple eps of Running Man. Also, it’s more of a travel show but GFriend Loves Europe. Eunha re-enacting scenes from Before Sunset is classic.


  10. I was so pissed by fans who found Doni and Coni mean with their idols… I liked the fact they obliged the idols to be themselves and not what their compagny told them to be… like you’re athletic? Ok show us! They let the less famous ones shine too.

    I liked We Got Married with the 3 couples Jo-Kwon and Ga-In, Victoria and Nickhun, Seo-Hun and Yong-Hwa.

    Otherwise, I liked Love Letter with Shinhwa members or X-Man, it was so funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My fav and to be honest the only things I watch (its all on YouTube so easy) are the variety content my fav groups are involved in. I am watching P1Harmony Harmony Forest at the moment and every week this has me in stitches. How 6 boys playing Dodge Ball in a slippery bubble pool can be the funniest thing ever I dont know! The editing? The fact the boys are so young and genuinly like playing those kind of silly games and have a total blast doing it? I cant tell you, All I know is that if I need a pick me up I watch them (they did a series SESSEAK Harmony last year which was also hilarious). Other great content comes from N.Flying, they are also a group of quirky oddballs who love to do silly and embarrassing things (and also one of my ult groups). and there is of course my über ult group ONF who sadly (due to entlistment) dont produce any content atm. I miss MKs crazy screaming so much!
    I do watch Weekly Idol but only if it features groups I follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jessi’s Showterview always makes me laugh! I would call her Korea’s culture shock, but her jokes are vulgar even by Western standards. I love seeing her make idols blush, especially since they’re marketed as all pure and earnest. She really brings out guests’ unseen side so effortlessly.

    Much respect to Jessi and her shamelessness! We need more confident women like her 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi everybody! I started a new therapy program in March and it’s been sucking most of time mental energy away from obsessively listening to every single new Korean release I can get my hands on. I have been making sure to give all of Nick’s reviewed tracks (and their associated EPs) a listen, and am feeling like May is definitely a step up from the last couple of months!

    I keep meaning to take some time on Sunday to review title tracks so far and comment here, but this is the first time I’ve managed! I’ve playlisted 13 titles so far and current ratings are as follows:

    Two Stars (fine): ONEWE, AB6IX
    Three Stars (like): WOODZ, TNZ, JEONG SEWOON, Golden Child*
    Four Stars (really like): ONEUS, iKON, ASTRO, LE SSERRAFIM, and CLASS:y.
    Five Stars (love): ATEEZ, TXT

    Some of the above will probably change – I’m leaning towards deleting AB6IX because I have no idea what playlist to put it on, and want to give the new WOODZ room to not be the last one. And bias will probably push up ONEWE and ONEUS.

    *100% agree that this could have been any one of many BGs and there’s no way I’m going to remember it’s GC, but I still like this type of song and am not attached to GC the way many of you are. I’m still excited to see them in July!


  14. ALSO! I would love to hear recommendations for new releases from the last two or three months not covered here, such the new from20 mentioned above. I will literally listen to anything if it’s in Korean or from a Korean artists or has some sort of connection to Korea.


  15. I would have to recommend Hello Baby (SHINee ver and SNSD ver), Invincible Youth, Running Man but the early seasons, and Star Golden Bell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I forgot to say this but I don’t watch a lot of the recent Korean variety shows because they’re boring, imo. Only if there is a idol group or celebrity guesting that I really want to see. But I feel today’s idols aren’t as funny or have the same variety skills as older generations, so I don’t watch them. And the shows have becoming more and more boring.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s definitely gotten way more predictable, with far too much time devoted to watching people eat (I’ve never gotten the appeal of that…)

        90% of the variety I watch is now Japanese. I find it a lot funnier and more unpredictable.


        • I love watching people eat! When I have no mental energy, I find it comforting in an ASMR-ish way. My favorite eating variety show is K-Bob Star, where the idols eat enormous amounts of food cooked in huge woks. You figure they have to be starving the rest of the time.


      • I actually saw an interesting discussion about this somewhere. Nowadays we have so many platforms like YouTube and VLive where we can watch variety/reality shows straight from the idols, rather than them guesting on TV programmes like Star Golden Bell. So we don’t have so many variety stars in the new gen, and its also why the newere idols don’t seem to be as popular with the public. Before you just had to watch what was on TV, which is how peolle got to know the first and second gen idols. YouTube shows were more of a thing for the underrated groups who couldn’t get invited on these popular TV shows, but ever since BTS (don’t remember what they’re little YouTube show was called) and other big groups started doing it too, so did everyone else. And regular people who don’t care about idols aren’t necessarily going to seek out this content and learn about these idols like fans are. They only knew idols back then because there wasn’t so much choice as to what to see on your TV.


        • Just to clarify about the BTS bit actually, they were one of the underrated groups at first with a YouTube reality show and then they blew up. I didn’t mean that they did it after becoming popular.


  16. I don’t watch much variety but I’ll always like the cast of Knowing Brothers!!!!
    Anything with Jangjun in it is also a watch!

    My favourite Ssap possible episode

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! Anything Jangjun does is great.
      I haven’t watch a lot of content by them but he and AB6IX’s Woong got some great chemistry together and it really shows when they do… say interviewing other idols.

      I’m jealous of their friendship, but even more jealous on well they can make the room so lighthearted without making any idol feel awkward or coming off as rude (from what I can tell on screen that is).

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Sunmi’s variety(?) show with her brother’s, “Rreal World” has to be mine. My favourite episode is this one where they’re playing Just Dance on the Wii


  18. So far I enjoyed watching some of the I Live Alone shows. I watched one that features Key of SHInee, with Minho, Taeyeon, and one with Taemin. I also watched episodes with DARA and CL of 2NE1. Its fun to see how their personalities show on the apartments they live in and that beyond what is shown you can see how they interact with people and how they manage in the everyday life as humans and idols. It will also give us thought that they are as human as we are.


  19. I’ve recently been enjoying MMTG and its host, Jaejae. I’m unsure if it’s due to the interviewer or the editing team, but their videos always have a perfect balance of energy.

    For example, I watched two interviews which featured Red Velvet. The first only had Irene and Seulgi, while the second had all the members. In the former, Jaejae offered enough energy to keep the episode lively, but not so much that it overshadowed the guests. In the latter, Jaejae tended to sit back and let the hyper/louder members (Wendy + Yeri) fill out the energy. Jaejae is great at reading the room and knowing exactly what kind of presence to bring at what times.

    The questions are always fun without being shallow. The formula tends to be around asking questions unique to each member, and then finishing off with some group topics. This ensures that every member gets an opportunity to speak, and offers more variety than just “what is the concept for your song”.

    The Shinee episode in particular was excellent. Jaejae genuinely seemed like a fan, and frequently surprised them with knowledge of the group’s music/performances. Other memorable interviews included Tiffany, IVE, and NCT 127.

    As for specific group variety, I like ITZY and Stray Kids. ITZY has fantastic chemistry, and are quite witty. They are one of few groups that really sell me on the idea that they are genuinely friends off camera.

    Stray Kids has two series that I really love: 2 Kids Room and Bang Chan’s vlives. 2 Kids Room puts two members together and has them discuss their relationship and history with the group, with occasional comments from the other members. It goes a bit deeper than other variety content without feeling too heavy or sappy. Bang Chan streams weekly on Vlive (often in English), where he discusses various topics about life and sometimes gives interesting insights about the industry. His perspective as a producer and songwriter is always interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. not really into k-variety shows….maybe someone here can send me in the direction of a few good ones i can check out????


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