K-Variety Review: ‘Traveler – Argentina’ It’s Enough to Make Us Want to Leave

Translated by Kim Hoyeun

To let go of the daily routine and just leave for somewhere. I believe that this is a dream that everyone carries. This may be why there are many travel-related TV shows that pierce people’s thirst and convey vicarious satisfaction. Among them, JTBC’s Traveler catches the eye by presenting actors who are not well exposed through the entertainment shows and a distant land that is at the opposite side of the globe, the Latin American continent. Traveler-Cuba, which aired last February, showed Ryu Jun Yeol and Lee Je Hoon, and Traveler-Argentina, which has just aired its third episode, shows off a fresh combination of Ahn Jae Hong, Kang Ha Neul and Ong Seong Wu, and guides the viewers to a place full of strange and mysterious charms. These days, with everyone recoiled due to COVID-19, the scenery introduced seems cooler, nicer, and certainly heightens the desire to leave.


Three Actors as Cheerful and Relaxed as Argentina’s Sky

Credit: JTBC

Editor Kim Won Hee: The stars of Traveler-Argentina are Kang Ha Neul, Ahn Jae Hong, and Ong Seong Wu. Kang and Ahn have already met through their works, but this is the first time that they’ve met Ong. It may be awkward to travel to Argentina together for two weeks upon first meeting, but the three quickly get closer as they find common ground. Those who are as relaxed as the warm skies of Argentina show similar yet different charms. Ahn is the oldest member and a trustworthy leader throughout the journey. Kang is a mood maker who always jokes, adding cheerful spirits to the trip. Ong presents a colorful appearance by quietly taking beautiful pictures and posing challenges of skydiving. Seeing the three jump together at 3,000 meters above the ground for Ong and making unforgettable memories, it makes me want to go on a trip with my friends. (6/10)


It’s Enough to Make You Want to Leave

Credit: JTBC

Editor Yang Young Jun: Even if they might not be such famous attractions, I always enjoyed visiting places I’ve seen in movies or dramas. I recalled Daredevil as I walked through Hell’s Kitchen and even sat on the bench at the Touleri station, which appeared on Paris, Je t’ aime, posing as tourists. So naturally, before I started watching Traveler-Argentina, I went back to see what movies were filmed in the country. To be honest, only “Por Una Cabeza,” which highlighted the scenes from Scent Of A Woman and True Lies, and the fact that Argentina is home of the tango, came to mind. But it didn’t take long to remember that Buenos Aires was where Happy Together was filmed (also scenes the film were shown several times as reference). Looking at the Obelisk standing at the center of Avenida 9 de Julio, Bar Sur on the DePensa Street and the Iguazu Falls, I couldn’t stop wondering what it would be like to personally visit the places where Ah Hui and Bo Young shared their memories and pains. Oh, I had a sudden desire to leave. (6/10)


A Trip to Find the Beauty of Tango

Credit: JTBC

Editor Seo Hae Lan: To a person who thinks of ‘Tango’ instead of ‘football’ when it comes to Argentina, Traveler-Argentina grows more yearning as a country she has never been to. So it was most interesting to see the process of the travelers retrace the footsteps of Tango’s history in Buenos Aires. Upon its first encounter at La Boca Port, the birthplace of tango, Tango demonstrated its status, which is receiving enthusiastic love by the public. Salon Tango performed at Bar Sur, which appeared in the movie Happy Together, shows why tango is also called “three minutes of love.” The singer’s passionate singing, dancers’ movements, facial expressions, and glaring eyes are all combined to create the most beautiful and sexy moments. But for me, the most impressive scenes of the show was the tango performance the three actors saw in the square on their way to San Telmo Market. Watching the sexy, mournful tango performed by a dancer in a wheelchair, I realized that anyone can enjoy the dance of “touching the bodies and crossing the legs”. (6/10)


Perfect Food in Argentina

Credit: JTBC

Editor Hwang Hong Sun: The best part of Traveler-Argentina for me is the food episode. When eating at a famous restaurant in Argentina, the three actors look like real travelers, not celebrities. Especially, Asado, traditional Argentine barbecue, was mighty impressive. With the images that clearly arouse one’s appetite, the explanations of the taste using Korean food as examples, the food becomes familiar. In addition, the reaction of exclamations and shouts of the actors vividly conveys the joy of discovering great restaurants. Most of all, what I loved about seeing these food episodes is that the three actors got even closer, like real friends, as they shared a meal. Traveler-Argentina does an excellent job of introducing a country as a well-organized travel guide, but for me, something about the show felt awkward and directed. However, as they sat together at a restaurant, sharing the food, the natural energy expressed by three actors changes the stagnant image of the show in an instant and makes one expect what’s coming next. (6/10)


An Exciting, Yet Somewhat ‘Eventful’ Journey

Credit: JTBC

Editor Hong Hyun Jung: The pleasure of traveling is certainly there. Ahn Jae Hong and Kang Ha Neul, who have already known each other, and Ong Seong Woo, who met for the first time for their trip to Argentina, naturally melt into the journey and become closer. Seeing the three people getting closer to an unfamiliar place, I understand why people sometimes leave everything behind to travel. Also, as a place I always wanted to visit, I envy their journey in Argentina. The excitement of the trip is clearly portrayed, but strangely enough, as the episode continues, so are the regrets. Compared to Traveler-Cuba, which aired about the same time last year, Traveler-Argentina seems to have focused more on the event of traveling itself. If Traveler-Cuba is like a traveler’s blog, Traveler-Argentina feels more like Instagram or YouTube posts. This is because an hour-long episode focuses more on food, attractions, and things to enjoy, rather than the voice of travelers. Of course, the narrations lead the broadcast as always, but the traveler’s honest stories and thoughts are dim. I miss the conversation Ryu Jun Yeol and Lee Je Hoon had in an old taxi heading to Playa Giron. I can’t help but think of the chemistry the two presented as travelers, not as actors. I do hope to hear more of the traveler’s voice on the rest of the show. (5.5/10)

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