You should know that there are a lot of Korean variety shows that are worth watching! It’s not only the ‘game’-oriented variety shows, but there are some shows about travel and food. Of course, even though it is a journey or food variety show they still make it fun, to make sure viewers don’t get bored. Now, let’s take a look at the Top 10 Korean variety shows you must watch from 2019!

Let’s Eat Dinner Together

Let’s Eat Dinner Together (Korean: 한끼줍쇼; RR: Hankkijupsyo) is a South Korean television program starring Lee Kyung-kyu and Kang Ho-dong. This show is also known as Dining Together. This is a documentary-like program that traces the journey of two men who have been called the “National MCs” (due to their appearances on many South Korean entertainment programs) in finding their dinner. It is also the first collaboration between the duo since Kang’s entry into the entertainment industry. The show first began airing on JTBC every Wednesday at 23:00 (KST), starting October 19, 2016. The show has format in which there are a few parts to the show, and there are rules to follow in completing the main mission. Rules Actually, there are no fixed rules given by production team, but the cast in episode 1 had set the following rules and respected them, which are as follows:

Press the doorbell only from 18:00 (winter) or 18:30 (summer) to 20:00. Do not return a second time to the same house which had rejected them before. Do not eat anything given free by citizens on the road (a few exceptions exist, like in episode 47 the members/guests accepted grapes). Do not tell any people before 18:00 that you will come back later (i.e., no pre-arranged families are allowed). Can insist a maximum three times if people refuse. (Original on episode 1: Do not insist if people refuse) Go to another family if any family member is uncomfortable about the shooting. Do not enter a home in which the family already had dinner.

The beginning part of the show is an introduction talking about the location and guests. The hosts start from a specific place, and then proceed to the neighborhood they are tasked to have dinner. The production team gives the hosts the mission they have to complete, which usually reads: “With a spoon in hand, go to (a selected place) and request to have dinner with a family”. Some additional details may be given, such as on how to get to the destination (usually by walking/public transport). They may also be given clues to find their guests at a specific location. The production team offers each cast member the same amount of money for travel or snacks during the day. The cast will then proceeds to find if there are any guests who will be joining them for dinner, and the guest gets introduced. The guest/s are selected by the production team to join the cast as someone whom, if they rang our doorbell, we would really want to share a meal with. There are some episodes in which the sequence is changed (i.e., the guests are found and introduced first, and then given the mission card together with the cast members). The cast is given a brief introduction to the location as they move through the neighborhood, which may include introducing the beautiful scenery, the culture, and how the place got its name. Some short interviews may also be conducted with local residents to help understand the neighborhood better. In addition, the cast will usually enter a realtor’s office to find out more about the locality and obtain useful information, such as the housing types (apartments, villas, or houses) as well as demographics which may influence the success or failure of the mission. At times, some famous personalities will be mentioned as having a house in the region by the realtor. The cast may identify some houses they would like to visit later. When the time for ringing bells starts, the cast will then decide how to team up for the mission. If there is no guest or only one guest is there, the members do the mission together with the guest. If there are two guests, they can do the mission in teams (member/guest, or member/member, or guest/guest) in the same area, but with different families, or together with the same family. They then start to ring the doorbells of households. The mission is deemed to be a success if, before 20:00, a family (with all members allowing) permits the cast members to go inside and have dinner with the entire family, talk, and then take a family photo together, which will also be presented to the families afterward. A photo of the dinner that the cast had is also taken, as proof of mission’s success. The mission is deemed to be a failure can’t do all those things. If the mission fails, the cast heads to a convenience store nearby, to have a dinner with a local resident who is eating dinner in the store and uses the rest of the money to buy their own dinner. They will still take a picture together and share lesser stories. This is deemed to be a partial failure. After 21:30, if they still cannot find a resident to eat with, it is a complete failure and the cast/guest cannot eat anything at all for the day. Before the cast members join the dinner table of any family, there is a segment called “Dinner Theater”, when the family’s members will take their dinner as per their daily normal routine for around two or three minutes. After dinner, there is another segment called “Compliments and Disappointments”, when the family’s members tell three compliments and three disappointments about each other. In few episodes, there is also a segment where video messages are sent from family members to their extended family or loved ones. At times, the cast will also provide tokens of appreciation to the host family. The cast will also wash the plates for the meal and share final thoughts (in the epilogue of the episode when title credits are shown).

Coffee Friends

Coffee Friends (Korean: 커피프렌즈) is a South Korean reality show program that aired on tvN. Coffee Friends stars Yoo Yeon-seok, Son Ho-jun, Choi Ji-woo and Yang Se-jong. It began airing on January 4 and ended on March 8, 2019. This program was broadcast on Fridays at 19:10 (KST). Coffee Friends is a show about the four cast members running a cafe on a tangerine farm on Jeju Island, selling food and beverages to the people. The show was inspired by a donation project that the two friends, Yoo Yeon-seok and Son Ho-jun, ran in 2018. During the donation project, the two friends gave free cups of coffee in exchange for donations in any amount. In this cafe, the menu does not list the price for each item, but instead allows customers to donate how much they want for their food and beverages. The total profits that they earned, which was 12,093,977₩, was all donated to disabled children at the end of the show. From this show, we can learn some moral messages, such as helping each other, not hesitating to ask for help if you need it, that failure is a natural thing but we should get up, not to be afraid to try a new thing, and how important is to support each other. So, how is it? You should watch this show very soon!

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