If you are having a rough day because you have finished all the K-Dramas you plan to watch and you want to explore more Korean TV shows, then you have come to the right place. I will introduce you to the world of Korean Variety shows!
The tears you’ve spent watching painful Korean drama episodes? Let’s replace it with non-stop laughter and giggling from hilarious segments and pranks these variety shows can offer!
In this list are 6 must-watch Korean variety shows for starters. These are just few of the many variety shows that you can watch too.
1. New Journey to The West (TVN)
The show set-up: The members usally travel abroad and are given with ‘missions’ or ‘games’ that can help them earn a ‘dragon ball’. The ‘dragon ball’ can grant wishes for those who can collect them once the show is done. If one of the members failed with their mission, the show will be cut-off and the whole season is finished.
Cast: Kang Ho-dong, SECHKIES’ Eun Ji-won, Lee Soo-geun, Ahn Jae-hyun, WINNER’s Song Mino, and BLOCK B.’s P.O
Former Cast: Lee Seung-gi & Super Junior’s Cho Kyu-hyun
Episode count: 42 (combined episodes since Season 1-6)
The hilarious whisper challenge between Mino and P.O belongs to this show. You can also watch it below:
2. Knowing Brothers / Men On A Mission (JTBC)
The show set-up: Special guests (most of the time Kpop idols or actors) are invited on the show’s classroom set up where the hosts act as investigators who determine whether the guests are accepted in the class or not. On the first part, the guests introduce themselves and usually tell funny anecdotes for the hosts to guess. While the second part of the show is a short skit or drama skit for the episode’s storyline.
Current Cast: Kang Ho-dong, Lee Soo-geun, Kim Young-cheul, Seo Jang-hoon, Super Junior’s Kim Heechul, Buzz’s Min Kyung-hoon, and Roo’ra’s Lee Sang-min
Former Cast: Hwang Chi-yeul and Kim Se-hwang
Episode Count: 162 and ongoing
Here is a preview about iKON members’ story on something Seungri has left in their current dormitory:
3. The Return of Superman (KBS)
The show set-up: Celebrity fathers get to spend 48 hours alone with their kids while their wives are given the opportunity to relax without worrying about their children. Fathers usually have a checklist or plan on what they would do for the next two days without their partners. In this show, we can see on how celebrity dads teach their adorable children as they grow up!
Current Cast: Lee Dong-gook with two sets of twins — Jaesi, Jaea, Seola, Sua and Sian; Ko Jiyong with son, Sungjae; Sam Hammington with sons William and Bentley; and Park Joo-ho with Naeun and Gunhoo
Former: There are many to mention but popular kids were Lee Hwijae’s twins – Seoeon and Seojun; Song Il-gook’s triplets — Daehan, Minguk, and Manse; Epik High Tablo’s daughter – Haru; and Choo Sung-hoon’s daughter Sarang. The most recent father and son duo to leave the show is Bong Tae-gyu and son Si-ha.
Episode Count: 260 and ongoing
Here is a little throwback preview when Lee Dong-wook visited the five siblings’ house way back in 2016. Sian was still a baby back then!
4. The Great Escape (TVN)
The show set-up: The cast are trapped inside an escape room and they have to find the way out. They learn about the context of the background story from the clues during the exploration but they must find secret codes, solve riddles and deal with unexpected twists!
Current Cast: Kang Ho-dong, Kim Jong-min, Yoo Byung-jae, Super Junior’s Shindong, Kim Dong-Hyun and BLOCK B’s P.O
Episode Count: 13
Look at this video when MMA fighter Kim Dong-hyun was surprised to see something in one of their escape rooms!
5. I Live Alone / Home Alone (MBC)
The show set-up: The celebrity hosts show to everyone a peek on what usually happens in their everyday lives from handling schedules, doing fan meetings, and hanging out with a fellow celebrity friend. It shows the lives of Korean celebrities who are living on their own.
Current Cast: Jun Hyun-Moo, Park Na-rae, Han Hye-jin, Lee Si-eon, Henry Lau and Cartoonist Kian84.
6. Running Man (SBS)
The show set-up: Running man is one of the oldest running variety show program in Korea and it has been running for almost 9 years already. The show is always a race against each member. In some cases, members are paired with each other or with their celebrity guest(s) to finish a mission. The losing team or member gets punishment, and even the celebrity guests are not being spared!
Current Cast: Yoo Jae-Suk, Ji Seok-jin, Kim Jong-kook, Haha, Song Ji-hyo, Lee Kwang-soo, Yang Se-chan and Jeon Seo-min
Former: Kang Gary and Song Joong-ki
Episode Count: 460 and ongoing
Check out this episode clip when Gong Yoo guested:
Watching Korean variety shows can be your good source of laughter especially if you want to take a break from watching K-Dramas or if you just want to escape from real-life dramas.