The K-Pop-slash-K-Drama experience is not complete without you watching your faves in at least one variety show. In these shows, you get to see an unexpected side of your bias—whether it is funny or just downright embarrassing. But admit it—watching your bias embarrass himself/herself and make the most meme-worthy faces makes you love him/her even more. That, and it’s proof that despite your fave’s stunning visuals and amazing talents, no one is perfect.
But back in the early years of K-Pop stanning, watching variety shows was a challenge. Since these shows weren’t easily available, fans had to resort to watching the show split into 10+ parts on YouTube or Dailymotion with some shady file name like “sT@r G0ld3N b3LL” because the TV networks might take it down for copyright issues. Or does anyone still remember the Livejournal and HJ Split days?
Luckily, that’s all in the past. Now, you can watch Korean variety shows on local streaming sites, on YouTube, and even on local TV networks. Still, we—and many other #LumangTaoofKPop out there—can’t help but miss the shows we used to watch in the olden days, as well as the memories (aka the difficulties) associated with trying to watch them. So without further ado, let’s walk down memory lane with this list of past Korean variety shows we all miss watching:
This mini-drama series tests the acting chops of your favorite idols by making them act in different scenarios, with each episode completely unrelated to the other. The end of the episodes usually has a plot twist that will get you screaming in surprise or frustration. And if we have to recommend an episode from this show, it’s none other than TVXQ’s Dangerous Love. We don’t need to explain what it’s about. Just watch.
Exploration of the Human Body
There was no doubt back then that Super Junior are the kings of Korean variety, and Exploration of the Human Body was one of those shows that proved it. Here, the group answers questions about the human body by exploring the answers in, well, their own bodies. Never did we think human anatomy could be so interesting until Super Junior is subject to ridiculous experiments, sending us laughing till we couldn’t breathe. Not convinced? Here’s a clip of them being subjected to laughing gas.
It’s the show that gave you the perfect opportunity to see if your bias can be the perfect parent for your future children. (Admit it—you’ve thought of it!) That aside, it was so heartwarming to see your favorite group take care of (or at least, struggle to) take care of a child. And whenever we think of this show, we remember SHINee and little Yoogeun the most. Would you believe time had flown fast?
Intimate Note allows idol groups to tell each other anything—complaints, confessions, and criticisms. Simply put, this is an hour’s worth of your favorite idol groups roasting each other on national television. If we were to pick a favorite episode, we think SNSD’s appearance was one of the best. The girls definitely went all-out with the roasting!
Star Golden Bell
A highly popular show up until its end in 2010, Star Golden Bell consists of mini-games which invited celebrities must answer. The winning celebrity gets to donate to a charity chosen by KBS under his/her name. One of the segments was Level With Me, in which Nicole of KARA asks guests to guess a term or title from her clues. The challenge? Well, at that time Nicole was not that skilled with the Korean language.
Another highly popular show, Star King has four segments that invite people with unusual talents or stories to come to the show. The audience votes for their favorite person, and the winner receives prize money. Perhaps the most talked-about episode among us Filipinos was when Jake Zyrus (then Charice Pempengco) wowed Super Junior and the show audience by performing And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.
This show has twenty guest stars tell something emotional to make people laugh or cry. Here, you would hear idols talks about their experiences, their hardships, or funny experiences. Sometimes, idols would even clear up rumors. Here’s a fan-favorite episode: YG Family taking over the show!
We Got Married
What happens when our idols get married … to each other? Here, the show paired off idols who pretended to be married couples. This spawned tons of ships such as Joy (Red Velvet) and Sungjae (BTOB), Seohyun (SNSD) and Yonghwa (CNBlue), Solar (Mamamoo) and Eric Nam, Victoria (f(x)) and Nichkhun (2PM), Kang Sora and Leeteuk (Super Junior), and Gain (Brown Eyed Girls) and Jo Kwon (2AM).
Did we miss anything in our list? Which Korean variety shows did you miss watching the most? Let us know in the comments below!