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My first thoughts on the K-variety show “Barefooted friends”

Hey everyone! I know it’s too early to write a “review” on the Korean variety show “Barefooted friends” just yet, but the first episode aired not long ago and i have recently watched it with English subtitles so i taught i would write my thoughts on it. The show is part of the “SBS Sunday’s lineup (shows)”, it airs on SBS and premiered on the 21rst April 2013.

Concept of the show as i understand: The cast travels to a country, a country different from their own culture (outside Korea), not for leisure sake, but to live like the proper locals of that country, having to experience how it would be like if they were from there and was a normal citizen, eg. working as a local earning money, living in a local house, etc. Here is the Wikipedia page : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barefooted_Friends

I like the concept of the show, not only is it original but i believe each episode would be a humbling experience for the celebrity guests in terms of having to live as a local, “normal/common” person, in a foreign country, it would be a humbling experience.

Cast: Kang Ho-dong; Yoon Jong-shin; Yu Sae-yoon; Kim Bum-soo; Kim Hyun-joong; Yoon Si-yoon; Eunhyuk; Uee

First of all, let me just say, the initial reason why i have even considered watching the show has got to be because of Kim Hyun Joong. When i heard he is going to be a regular cast of a certain variety show called “Barefooted friends”, i taught i HAVE to watch that show. Why Kim Hyun Joong? Because watching certain interviews of him and his appearance on “We got married”, i have always taught this guy had such great and awesome sense of humor and personality and I’ve always felt that part of his personality, some call it “4D personality” was been overshadowed or unnoticed by the outside public because of the pop/idol singer” image he has.

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Therefore, understand my joy when i heard he was going to be a cast, a regular cast for that matter , of a variety show hosted by one of the most respectable and funniest host/MC in S.Korea. I taught “Finally! Kim Hyun joong, go show your skills! :)”

Kang Ho dong! I have heard a whole lot about Kang Ho dong, he has got such great reputation in the “variety” business in S.Korea and is considered one of the best MC, so for a person like me , having being introduced to the Korean culture for almost 2 years now it’d be weird if i had never heard his name being mentioned, but let me admit that I’ve never been a regular viewer of the shows he’s hosted, which makes “Barefooted friends” the first proper show i have watched hosted by Kang Ho dong.

20130429-015130.jpg My impression of him on Barefooted friends? He’s very likable! I’m not exaggerating one bit, he is a different and original host, the kind that laughs alongside the other members when he finds things to be funny, without feeling the pressure of being “serious” just letting the members laughs by themselves, he is just natural and himself. He also have this kind of ” next door neighbor look”, which makes one relate to him, making me understand why he’s liked by many. I can’t wait to see more of him and his skills as the show goes on.

The cast? I’m not familiar with all of the cast so i did not have particular expectations, when an audience is not familiar with a cast,it’s either “they like” or “they don’t like”, the connection goes well or doesn’t, the cast could break or make a show. Me? I LIKE, thinking of me originally watching the show because of Kim Hyun Joong, watching the first episode i saw myself growing fond of each cast member, and i feel each one of them brings something different and unique to the show, the cast is diverse it’s a good and original mix. It does not only contain “KPOP faces” or “Young fresh faces” but it also contains “middle-aged men”.
It does not contain “an ALL men cast” but contain ” 7 males AND a female” , i like the diversity.
UEE as the only woman, i like. I have only witnessed her variety skills on the show i regularly watch “Running Man” , i remember watching the 137th episode and thinking “this girl is strong!” Anyway, that’s not the point.
I believe as the only girl in this new variety show, UEE would fit it in well with the other men in the cast, she is competitive and confident at the same time.
Yoon Jong shin, I like him. Hahahah , he reminds me so much of Ji suk Jin from Running Man,from the comments he makes and even his fashion style , it’s too funny to watch. I’m glad he’s on the show though, he keeps the cast balanced with his “ajhussi image” and comedian feel. I can somehow feel he’s the one that is going to be “the big man” if Kang ho dong is not seen on the show.
There was a moment in the first episode, where i felt quite sorry for him when he couldn’t find anyone that wanted a ride on his motorcycle!!

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Kim Hyun Joong I actually taught he was going to be a little introvert for the first episode, but he wasn’t and we witnessed some of his moments, i somehow feel as the show goes along a soundtrack is going to be added anytime his “blunt and funny moments” appears.
Yoon Si yoon ,as a variety newbie, i got to say he is pretty good, very good.
Same for the other members, they were funny and natural in front of the cameras, not trying to “look good” all the time,and this type of behaviour is something needed for a show like that. Let’s take notice that once the members reached Vietnam and had to get up a few hours later, being blindfolded, they were not given time to brush their teethes or bath, but not one complain or anything like that was heard.

Anyway, let me not talk too fast, as there are much more episodes coming, this show has a lot of competitions among other very successful shows currently airing on Korean TV right now, but i believe this show has potential to be good, what could be the best asset for this show, that could keep viewers hanging even if the content becomes poor would be ….the chemistry between the cast, in the first episode because the teams were separated we, the viewers, didn’t really get a chance to see the interactions very much, but the content and missions were interesting enough to keep us entertained. But in the opening and when i look at the different members’ personalities, i have a feeling they would connect well. For a variety show to be successful, it needs the whole package: good chemistry between casts; great content/concept, creativity, etc.
Another thing that needs to be seen on the show is for each member of the cast to stand out, a member being “too quiet/too shy” would seem transparent, and for that kind of show it could not work well.

Let’s see what happens in future episodes! 🙂

You can leave comments. What did you think of the first episode, what do you think of the show, the concept,the members? 🙂

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