I've never watched any Korean show that isn't a drama. I've tried Running Man but couldn't get into it. I've given this show a chance and now in the middle of episode 3, I'm pretty much a fan. I've read some spoilers online that has me already aware of certain roommates leaving the show, but despite that I'm going to keep watching.
Here's why I like it. It shows that even as celebrities, their being Korean makes a difference in how they interact and how they try to live together. As an adoptee, I find it fascinating to see the subtle or major ways in which Koreans interact with one another. There are definite differences from the mostly White American culture I’ve been raised in. For example, there’s more thought given into eating together in Korea - even for breakfast. A lot of times I think this is uncommon in "American" culture. People are so used to living the individual lifestyle and coming and going without giving thought to actually eating at the same table as those they live with. Seeing the roommates in this show try to cook and eat together was endearing.
I also find it interesting to see Korean humor – the producers of the show like to tease and poke fun at the roommates which I find to be really endearing. I like how they put an ajumma wig on “Mama Shin” and how they pretended four of the guys as they were walking down the street were “F4”, referencing the popular drama Boys Over Flowers. So funny.
I think a more interesting show to me, but perhaps not the Korean public, would be the same show but have non famous people live together – basically a Korean version of The Real World, but with more age variety, just like Rooommate has (roommates range from age 19 to 46). I think the appeal though is to see celebrities in another way than what you’d see in a formal interview, or music video, or of course in a drama. It shows they’re human, too which I can appreciate. And although I’m pretty removed from Korea as both an adoptee and someone who hasn’t lived there since 2010, I can appreciate seeing 2NE1’s main vocalist eating food in bed and then passing out again, or My Girl’s hottie Lee Dong-Wook being such a nice “Oppa/Hyung” to everyone.
Will definitely keep watching!
See the complete list of dramas I've reviewed here.
Soju (1) | It had me coming back for more, but left me with a hangover. Worth it in the moment, but slight regret the next day.
Kimbap (2) | It moved well and often left me wondering what would happen in the next episode, but it wasn't as fulfilling as it had the potential to be.
Bibimbap (3) | I lost a lot of sleep because they knew how to end each episode with a cliffhanger! Lots of harmonious ingredients making this one a win!
Fanatic (4) | An amazing drama that was very well told and nearly every single episode ended with a major cliffhanger making you scream for more! I'm an absolute fan!
(I only put on here the dramas I actually recommend because I think it's really good. Even a soju rating means it was good and satisfying. A fanatic rating just means it blew me away and was near perfection. There are many dramas I've seen that I don't have on my recommendation list.)
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