The 6 Best Korean Variety Shows for Beginners

Carla Barefoot '20, Staff Writer

On April 3rd, Netflix announced the release date of their first Netflix Original Korean variety show, Busted! I Know Who You Are. This goes to show just how much of an impact these incredible shows are having on people. Korean variety shows are some of the most surprising, creative and unbelievably funny unscripted shows out there. To commemorate this event, here are 6 of the best Korean variety shows:

1. Running Man

This is one of the most popular and longest running Korean variety shows in Korea. Like most Korean variety shows, this one has a set cast and invites a variety of guests. The cast goes to different landmarks (both international and local), all while performing different challenges and missions. Of course, the highlight of each episode is the race, hence the name Running Man.

2. Knowing Bros

This show mostly takes place in a school environment where the set cast and different guests have to pretend to be high school students in school. They get to know each other, play games (both mental and physical) and sometimes have hilarious unscripted skits. The best thing about this show is the set cast and how well they mesh together to make any and every situation fun.

3. Weekly Idol

Unlike most Korean variety shows, the guests on this show are only Korean idols. This is the dream place for fans, a show where your favorite singers or groups are able to show sides of themselves you’ve never seen and showcase their charms. On Weekly Idol, the main segment consists of a variety of games that vary from guest to guest. Watch this show, and you may end up with a new group to obsess over for the next year!

4. We Got Married

This show pairs up celebrities and forces them into an intimate environment where they pretend to be married. While pretending, they need to complete various tasks and challenges assigned to them. There are generally four or five couples per season, which allows the couples to really experience the ups and downs within a marriage (including an extra awkward stage) and become much closer.

5. The Return of Superman

This is one of the most family concentrated variety shows in Korea. It gives viewers an inside look on the personal lives of many celebrity families. Celebrity fathers (who aren’t usually alone with their kids) are left with their children for 48 hours while the wives go and relax somewhere else. The father is left with tasks to complete with their children or do something completely new with them. While this just seems like a heartwarming drama, it contains one of the most unpredictable creatures on this planet: children.

6. 2 Days & 1 Night

This show is similar to Running Man in respect to going to different places and completing challenges. The difference is they go to a variety of Korean locations and compete in challenges against each other to win basic necessities for the rest of their stay. The winners get supplies, food, or shelter while the losers are left to sleep outside no matter the weather. The playful chemistry between the cast members makes for no dull moments whatsoever.

Hopefully this list gives you some ideas as to what to watch when you’re in the mood for some serious laughing.You will learn a little bit more about the up and coming Korean musicians, too. There are a lot of sites out there to see these shows. I use a lot.