K-Variety Review: Producer Na Young Seok’s Experiment ‘Friday Joy Package’

Credit: tvN

Producer Na Young Seok is unique. Aside from the fact that stars appear in his shows like Grandpas Over Flowers and 1 Night 2 Days, he makes his shows appealing with ordinary trips and not so unusual topics. While always trying fresh ideas, the contents inside form a high consensus among the viewers, so that these ideas wouldn’t outrun the viewers.

It goes the same for Friday Joy Package. He brings experiments, travel, cooking shows, experiences, and sports, all popular on YouTube these days, together into a single TV entertainment show. He covers each topic in 15 minutes, providing many attractions in a single episode. There has always been a need for TV entertainment to match the YouTube era, but this is the first time that we are provided with such different menus at once. Let’s see how the editors are taking Producer Na’s fun challenge with Friday Joy Package (hereinafter referred to as FJP).


FJP: I Like This.

Credit: tvN

Editor Wonhee: It’s refreshing to see various themes in different ways. Similar to any entertainment show, FJP lasts about one hour and a half, but by splitting time into 15 minutes, it overall feels more speedy.

Editor Haeran: The show is an attempt to connect and aggregate what already exists. Everyone witnessed the phenomenon. Short-form is a familiar format, as YouTube has become a daily routine for Koreans. Also, the content is not new since the regular casts of tvN shows are already doing what they do on numerous entertainment shows, including food, sports, and travel. FJP has reversed the stereotype by connecting platform characteristics and formats that are not easily connected.

Editor Youngjun: The omnibus format, which leads six formats with various cast members in about 80 minutes, is impressive. TV programs and artists with multiple charms are often saying, “I prepared everything since I didn’t know what you like,” but FJP goes one step further to “I prepared everything that you would like,” and provides the contents that the public enjoys today. Compared to other entertainment shows, the feeling of boredom is also relatively less. Even if there is a boring part, you can just turn the channel for about 15 minutes.

Editor Hyunjung: It’s a buffet-like program where Korean, Western, Chinese, and Japanese food are available. If you are not interested in one of the six topics, you can simply change the channel for a while or do something else for the time. The convenience, like instant food, can be felt as the show is carried out in sections and does not have to be focused for the entire episode. In addition, each topic’s individuality comes to life as it only picks and delivers an interesting subjects.

Editor Hongsun: FJP makes me feel like I’m watching six YouTube channels and watching them comfortably on TV. As YouTube and Netflix expanded their territory, I unconsciously thought that TV and Internet entertainment were different. But the show allows a mixture of the two, giving a variety of menus.


FJP: This is Lacking.002

Editor Wonhee: There are many topics, but it’s hard to choose. Since each item has a short running time, you can easily miss it. So you have to endure other (relatively) uninteresting parts until you see your favorite topic.

Editor Haeran: Both cliche and freshness can work as entry barriers for viewers. After being familiar to the usual format of the shows, these short contents feel like “it’s over as soon as it starts.” There’s no other way to avoid something boring than to turn the channel over. Also, although the format might be fresh, the contents are not new. The “recycling” of PD Na’s usual stars, including Eun Ji Won, Lee Seo Jin, Song Min Ho, and Lee Seung Gi, is now boring.

Editor Youngjun: They are aiming for ‘Entertainment that I’ve never seen before!’ but to be honest, we already have been exposed to a lot of entertainment shows similar to this omnibus format. We can instantly recognize where the topic “Life Experience Factory” came from. The reason why I personally like producer Na’s shows is in the “Tiki-taka” between “Nano (Na Young Seuk Slave)” and the casts, but this is hard to find due to the nature of the show.

Editor Hyunjung: The format is seeking for something fresh, but the content is lukewarm. I can’t tell what difference the show has than the other entertainment shows or YouTube videos. Even if you can enjoy the show because you are comfortable with its contents, you will feel yourself somewhere in-between entertainment and educational programs.

Editor Hongsun: A fresh attempt to taste five to six entertainment shows is significant, but if you take a closer look, most of the 80s and 90s shows take this format. These six sections are also familiar concepts for those who enjoyed previous PD Na’s shows. It’s not dull, but it’s not enough to say it’s unique or fresh.

FJP: Could It Become The Rising-Star?

Credit: tvN

Editor Wonhee: Well…. To be honest, the show feels like it’s only scratching the surface. These kinds of short videos are easily accessed through YouTube and the show being aired on TV, it’s hard to access the video whenever you want. I don’t see the charm in watching the show live, unless it somehow becomes a YouTube clip.

Editor Haeran: It won’t be easy. Most of all, there is a burden that the show doesn’t just end as a meaningful attempt. Now it is airing weekly with new content, but at some point, it will have to make changes, like continuous broadcasting.

Editor Youngjun: There’s more to be done. There is a lot of content to replace FJP, especially on YouTube, for example, Workman, Paik’s Cuisine, and many other proven channels. There are many interesting channels on YouTube, and I don’t think the show has enough content to compete with them.

Editor Hyunjung: FJP seems like a challenge of PD Na, who is trying to communicate with the current trends. The problem is that the challenge is quite familiar and flowing in small steps that it’s unlikely to bring the wind at once. Looking at the show, I think it will probably be satisfied with the attempt.

Editor Hongsun: I believe the viewer’s satisfaction is different with each topic. So if PD Na focuses on the items that are gaining positive views, who knows, something might change.

FJP: I Recommend This.

Credit: tvN

Editor Wonhee: I recommend “I’m Rooting For You” hosted by a soccer commentator Han Joon Hee and an announcer Park Ji Yoon. In a recent episode, they cheered for a judo game by an elementary school judo team on Jeju Island. Since there are only a few opportunities to come across judo unless it’s on the Olympics, it was a refreshing experience to watch the elementary school judo games.

Editor Haeran: I recommend “I’m Rooting For You,” which cheers an unpopular sports or the players who have never been in the spotlight. The content itself is meaningful, and both laughter and tears are pressed down in 15 minutes, making people feel various emotions in a short time. “Lee Seo Jin’s New York and New York” features producer Na’s way of using Lee Seo Jin. I know some are saying that they are bored with Lee nowadays, but the fact that the character ‘Lee Seo Jin’ is unique does not change.

Editor Youngjun: “The Wonderful Science/Art World” with Jang Do Yeon, Song Min Ho, and Eun Ji Won and “Lee Seo Jin’s New York and New York” is on my Watchlist. I usually enjoy watching educational programs, and most of all, I am a huge fan of Jang Do Yeon, so the “The Wonderful~” series comes friendly. “Lee Seo Jin’s New York and New York” features the tiki-taka that I mentioned earlier between PD and the cast compared to other programs.

Editor Hyunjung: I’ll vote to familiarity: Lee Seung Gi’s “Life Experience Factory.” As soon as you see it, you know what it’s going to be about. But Lee Seung Gi’s affinity seen in entertainment shows proves itself again.

Editor Hongsun: I strongly recommend “Lee Seo Jin’s New York and New York.” Most traveling contents shown on entertainment shows these days have a strong tendency to improvise as they go without planning ahead or go on adventures. But this has a sense of stability, like a local native introducing the city to a friend visiting for the first time. Travel becomes more comfortable as a place to enjoy small things with good people, even without a grand and colorful landmark visit.

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