‘House on Wheels’ vs. ‘Summer Vacation’ – Same Start, Different Results

tvN’s House on Wheels and Summer Vacation both started under the concept of “healing programs” that include keywords like “unfamiliar place” and “house.” But after a few weeks, the two shows are receiving completely different responses.

House on Wheels is an entertainment show where three men roam around the country with the house on wheels and invite their friends to spend a day together. So far, they have visited areas such as Goseong, Jeju Island, Chuncheon, and Mungyeong. The unfamiliar yet minimal life on a mobile home, which has concentrated living space on a minimum area, caught the eyes. The struggles the three men faced, like water tank problems and difficulties in setting up the tent, gave a big laugh.

Also, how Sung Dong Il, Kim Hee Won, and Yeo Jin Goo invited their friends, who weren’t easily seen in entertainment shows, and shared candid talks drew much attention. Gong Hyo Jin made headlines by talking about her honest thoughts on marriage and dating, while Uhm Tae Goo confessed to going on a “cafe tour“ with Kim Hee Won when they have time. Jung Eun Ji also showed off her perfect chemistry with Sung Dong Il, who she worked together as a father and daughter in Reply 1997, and sang ”Hopefuly sky“ she wrote for her father.

On the other hand, Summer Vacation, which had been the talk of the town even before the first episode with the meeting of producer Na Young Seok and popular actors Jung Yoo Mi and Choi Woo Shik, is receiving disappointing reactions.

Summer Vacation is a home-cance (home vacance) reality show for adults to find a balance between their tired bodies and minds by enjoying their vacation-like daily lives alone or in a strange place with friends. The show was embroiled in a controversy from the first episode when it was pointed out that plagiarized the Japanese game “My Summer Vacation“ and that the house is reminiscent of a Japanese house. However, besides these controversies, the biggest reason for such unfavorable reviews is that despite its keywords of rest, health, and leisure, there’s not much difference from Na Young Seok’s most-famous project Three Meals a Day.

Jung Yoo Mi and Choi Woo Shik finish the day after eating three meals and writing a diary after enjoying their leisure time. The show presents the friendly atmosphere of the countryside and assimilation with the neighbors, but to be honest, such pictures have been introduced continuously in other Na Young Seok’s works.

The mixed reviews of House on Wheels and Summer Vacation remind us once again that entertainment shows should have a solid concept, and above all, they should draw sympathy and romance.

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