PICK: The 5 Best Reality TV Shows Starring Bigtime South Korean Actors 

korean Best Reality TV Shows

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Eungee Joh

korean Best Reality TV Shows
Credit: tvN

Imagine what it would be like to see celebrities in a totally different setting from their fancy everyday city life. More and more reality TV shows are beginning to carry out their episodes revolving around big actors and actresses. Those famous stars who we get to see in mountains, seasides, or quiet hanoks would often reveal their humane side that we never expected to see from them. Perhaps it’s why Cha Tae Hyun and Jo In Sung‘s Unexpected Business 2, which showcases the growth of rookie mart clerks, is gaining huge popularity among viewers. So without further ado, let’s take a look at five of the best reality TV shows that feature our all-time favorite actors.


tvN’s ‘City Girls on the Climb’

Based on the webtoon of the same name, Work Later and Drink Now is a drama that gained a huge amount of love for telling a special story of three young women who enjoy drinking after work. As soon as the show got confirmed with renewal, the series aired a special episode named City Girls on the Climb. The special features the drama’s three leads on a mountain hike, an activity that’s quickly emerged as a new hobby among the MZ generation since the pandemic started. Lee Sun Bin, Jung Eun Ji, and Han Seon Hwa showed off their remarkable journey �- ranging from small hills to the daring Halla Mountain in Jeju. The show features the cast having a delicious meal and quality time marking their meaningful day after each conquest.


Netflix’s ‘Paik’s Spirit

Paik’s Spirit is another reality show that features celebrities drinking and spilling booze-related anecdotes. The already famous cook Baek Jong Won hosts the show as he drinks with the guests and brings them together on many exciting topics. The show’s title comes from Baek Jong Won’s “Baek” and “Spirit,” which has a dual meaning of “a strong distilled liquor” and “a soul.” The show steals viewers’ attention by introducing many types of drinks ranging from soju to traditional Korean liquor. It also features heart-to-heart chats between the guests and the host. The awkwardness between them gradually disappears as they get immersed in their conversation, and many stars like Kim Hee Ae and Han Ji Min, who we don’t get to see often on reality TV shows, grabbed the viewers’ attention with their stunning appearances.


tvN’s ‘Youn’s Stay

Youn’s Stay was originally planned to be just like its prequels, which feature a group of celebrities opening up Korean restaurants in small towns overseas. However, the plan got switched after many expressed concerns about filming the series out of the country during the pandemic. Instead, they decided to film the show featuring foreign guests staying at a two-hundred-year-old hanok in Junranam-do. There, Minari star Youn Yuh Jung greeted guests with her fluent English and exquisite sense of humor. Lee Seo Jin, Jung Yu Mi, Park Seo Joon and Choi Woo Sik supported her by diligently going about their assigned jobs. Following Noona Over Flowers and Youn’s Kitchen, the show satisfied the original fans with yet another variety show starring Youn Yuh Jung. The delicious meals, great hospitality and beautiful hanok were more than enough to please the eyes of viewers.


tvN’s ‘House on Wheels

House on Wheels is about a group of celebrities inviting guests in their tiny portable home to travel around bits and parts of Korea. The show introduces beautiful hidden places in the country featuring the stars getting used to the ever-changing weather and environment. Although their place is not spacious, the hosts wish their guests to have a memorable stay at their home. The show sometimes rewards us with a hearty laugh by showing their guests being more driven than their hosts. The series aired its 3rd season just recently, starring Sung Dong Il, Kim Hee Won, Yeo Jin Goo, Im Si Wan and Gong Myung. The episode where the Reply cast members, Hyeri and Jung Eun Ji, guest appeared received an explosive response. The show also made headlines when Hotel Del Luna stars IU and P.O came to see Yeo Jin Goo in his cute mobile house.


JTBC’s ‘Sea of Hope

Sea of Hope is a variety show starring top celebrities as the employees at a seaside bar, preparing homemade dishes and performing music for guests. It made headlines with its star-studded cast, Yoon Jong Shin, Lee Ji Ah, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, Onew and AKMU’s Lee Suhyun, and other celebrities like BLACKPINK’s Rosé and Sunwoo Junga making special appearances. However, the show didn’t do well in ratings. Although it constantly showed footage of stars cooking delicious meals and picking up garbage at the beach, viewers tuned out of the show saying that there is too much going on in the show. Others left good reviews on the show as it pointed out some of the crucial environmental issues that deserve a second look by using a fresh format.


Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.


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