March 1, 2023
SEOUL – South Korean broadcasters are set to flood the airwaves with programs filmed abroad as they resume long-suspended plans for shootings overseas.
With the easing of travel restrictions and reopening of international routes, broadcasters have been filming in exotic locations hoping to entertain viewers who have longed to see far-flung places beyond their doorsteps.
Monopoly-themed travel show
Cable channel ENA and YouTube channel Teo are scheduled to release the show “Blue Marble World Tour,” helmed by Kim Tae-ho, the star TV director best known for MBC’s smash hit “Infinite Challenge.”
The travel series features three of the most famous Korean travel YouTubers, Pani Bottle, Kwaktube and 1G, competing in “Blue Marble Game” — a Korean board game similar to Monopoly.
The cast roll a dice to move around the game board and travel to the destination of their choosing. The creator with the most YouTube views wins a ticket for a spaceflight.
The videos, featuring their journeys, will be released on Teo on Thursdays, starting March 2.
Behind the scenes videos and additional footage will be included in the broadcast version of the show airing on ENA starting March 4.
Separately, Tving, the South Korean online streaming service provider run by entertainment giant CJ ENM, is set to present a show with the working title “Bromarble” in the first half of this year.
Starring singer-actor Lee Seung-gi, actors Yoo Yeon-seok, Lee Dong-hwi, comedian Ji Suk-jin, singers Kyuhyun of Super Junior, K-pop boy band Seventeen’s Joshua and Hoshi, the upcoming Tving show will feature the landmarks of Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates.
The players will roll the dice to buy the landmarks and collect rent from their opponents, seeking to drive them into bankruptcy.
Promoting ‘hansik’ overseas
As the global popularity of Korean culture rises, broadcasters are turning to promoting lesser known “hansik,” or Korean cuisine, at overseas travel destinations.
As “Youn’s Kitchen” (2017) and “Korean Hostel in Spain” (2019) have shown, combining travel and cooking content are reliable hits.
Cable channel tvN recently released “Jinny’s Kitchen,” a travel-cooking show which centers around actors Lee Seo-jin, Park Seo-joon, Jung Yu-mi, Choi Woo-shik and singer V of BTS, selling Korean street food in Bacalar, a tropical destination in southern Mexico.
“Jinny’s Kitchen,” whose first episode aired Feb. 24, will be available via streaming services Tving and Amazon Prime Video on Fridays.
JTBC is scheduled to release another cooking entertainment program under the working title of “Korea Lunch Tray,” which features Korean school lunch-style dishes.
Star chef Lee Yeon-bok, nutritionist Kim Min-ji, comedian and kimchi company CEO Hong Jin-kyung are among the six cast members who travel together to showcase Korean school food abroad.
According to the broadcaster, the members traveled to the UK upon a request from Wolverhamton Wanderers’ South Korean forward Hwang Hee-chan, who wanted his teammates to get a taste of Korea’s mouth-watering cuisine.
“Korea Lunch Tray” continues on to Oxford University and other renowned English high schools to promote hansik.
The cooking-travel show is scheduled to be released in mid-March.
Exciting overseas experience
Terrestrial broadcaster SBS takes viewers to wintry Hokkaido, Japan’s second largest island that is known for its snow, in “No Math School Trip.”
Helmed by former “Running Man” director Choi Bo-pil, the travel program brings together six celebrities including comedian Yang Se-chan, rapper Zico and singer Crush.
“No Math School Trip” is one of the most-anticipated travel shows as K-pop boy group EXO’s Do Kyung-soo, better known by his stage name D.O., makes his first solo debut as a variety show cast member.
“No Math School Trip” will be available sometime in March.
Cable channel tvN plans to release travel program “Europe Outside Your Tent 2” and another with the working title “You Go to Sydney” in the first half of this year. The cast list for the shows include acting veteran Cho Jin-woong, “Squid Game” star Heo Sung-tae and more.