Edited by Jeon Gyeong Ju
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
When I first heard the news of tvN’s House on Wheels, honestly, my expectations were slim to none. Though Sung Dong Il is well-known for his sense of humor, Kim Hee Won and Yeo Jin Goo, who barely have any experience in entertainment shows, got me worried. I was also worried if the “trailer house life” could smoothly melt into the Korean culture. However, the combination of these unfamiliar faces and material has rather garnered a substantial viewership, proving the high interest in a leisurely life of “traveling the country on the house on wheels and inviting friends to spend time together.” Let’s look back on which guests have moved viewers’ hearts by visiting House on Wheels.
Unexpected Charm – Uhm Tae Goo
The recent popularity of House on Wheels has been attributed to The Age of Shadows and A Taxi Driver actor Uhm Tae Goo. Uhm Tae Goo was invited as a close friend of Kim Hee Won and presented a whole new side of him, drawing much attention. He used honorifics for Yeo Jin Goo, who is much younger than him, replied with short, shy words despite his macho voice, and ended up getting teased by Sung Dong Il. During the dinner preparation time, he would hold the refrigerator door for Yeo Jin Goo, or grate potatoes to the point where there is not a single chunk, catching the eyes with his sincerity. It was the moment what it was confirmed that the honesty of the actors (both hosts and guests), which are rarely seen except on big and small screens, is the driving force behind House on Wheels‘ success.
Break the Highest Viewership – IU
Though there are still two episodes left until the end of the show, the highest viewership of House on Wheels (5.4% viewership nationwide and highest viewership of 6.6%) will most likely stay as an unbroken record. The hero of this remarkable record is IU, who worked with Yeo Jin Goo in drama Hotel Del Luna. She visited the three brothers, who have set their home in Mungyeong, with plenty of food, and took good care of Yeo Jin Goo even when she teased him, giving heart-fluttering moments for the drama fans. Moreover, despite complaining, “I came here for healing, so why am I doing this,” she successfully challenged paragliding, making us think, “IU is IU even in entertainment shows.”
Sung Dong Il’s Perfect Daughter – Jung Eun Ji
House on Wheels roams around the country, inviting precious friends to the trailer to have a one-day housewarming party. Naturally, the guests are close friends of Sung Dong Il, Kim Hee Won, and Yeo Jin Goo. Jung Eun Ji, known for her fantastic chemistry with Sung Dong Il as the first daughter from Reply series, once again showed off her all-time “father-daughter chemistry” in the Chuncheon episodes. Even after she was put into work after a short welcoming, she served without uttering any complaints and even held a portable fan for the three brothers, proving the reason as to why she is the one-pick (even among all the other daughters) of Sung Dong Il. The reason why “family love” stands out in the so-called “healing” entertainment shows may be because it’s not easy to receive healing and happiness from our own family in these harsh reality.
The reason why House on Wheels seems more special than any other program is that “yolo life” and “slow life” are adequately combined. To viewers, who are rooted in one place and living the same cycle, seeing the three brothers traveling around on the house on wheels, settling wherever they please, and trying special activities with their friends, give them vicarious pleasure. Even if it might not have been an ingenious attempt, it will surely remain the “better-than-expected attempt” in Korean entertainment history.
Editor Jeon Gyeong Ju: A natural-born media geek who is physically Korean and mentally multinational. All dramatic stories are my favorite sweets for life. TVs and streaming platforms are not only the playgrounds but also the weapons.