“Finding new chemistry” has become a new trend in the entertainment shows.
“In the past, the strategy was to cast one of Yoo Jae Suk, Kang Ho Dong, and Shin Dong Yup, but now, the key is how fresh the cast combinations are.” This veteran producer’s interview alone can sum up the entertainment shows these days in one sentence.
MBC’s How Do You Play?‘s SSAK3 project is the best example of this change. Yoo Jae Suk, Lee Hyori, and Rain have excellent individual talents as broadcasters, but when combined, they give off fresh synergy. What stands out as much as the “casting power” of producer Kim Tae Ho, who got these three together, is the ability to recombine cast members who can produce good chemistry and find newness in familiarity.
“Reforming the cast members” is the new hit trend regardless of genre. In Channel A’s My Golden Child (literal translation), which combines parenting with observational entertainment, Shin Ae Ra, Jung Hyung Don, Jang Young Ran, Hong Hyun Hee, Dr. Oh Eun Young, and Park Jae Yeon, a psychological counselor appear. They are all familiar faces. Shin Ae Ra and her husband Cha In Pyo have appeared on several entertainment shows, and Jung Hyung Don is a famous MC. Jang Young Ran and Hong Hyun Hee are also active after getting married, and Dr. Oh Eun Young is a top star when it comes to childcare counseling. But it’s quite refreshing to have them on the same screen. All of these casts, who seem to have nothing in common, had a common denominator of childcare, and they sympathized with each story and quickly became “one body” and gave off good synergy.
In addition to the fixed cast members, how guests are combined is also an essential factor. tvN’s You Quiz On The Block is an exemplary answer. The program, which has been on a roll since changing its concept due to the aftermath of COVID-19, draws attention by introducing a special theme and inviting guests every week. Recently, actor Jung Woo Sung, the oldest hotel doorman Kwon Moon Hyun and detective Hwang Sang Man appeared under the concept of “World of Jobs,” showing a fresh combination.
Also, KBS 2TV’s 1 Night 2 Days Season 4 and Channel A’s City Fisherman 2, which have returned after many twists and turns, are also gaining steady popularity with new combinations.
Kim Sung Soo, a popular culture critic, said, “In recent entertainment shows, main MCs are only there as a guide. Now, it’s important to have a fresh combination that fits well with each situation and has good teamwork,” and added that the main MCs no longer take charge of the entire show.