Friday, 4 February 2011
Currently watching: Family Outing
What is it about Korean variety shows that draws me to them whenever I fall ill? A recent three days with the flu meant I was more bed-ridden than normal. To fill the hours, I went back to iSubs (home of Running Man) and took a look at their other project, Family Outing.
In this show, which ran from 2008-2010, a band of celebrities spend a weekend at a house in the countryside while the owners are away on a lovely holiday (which I assume is paid for by the TV station, otherwise I can’t see the benefit). During these two days they have to complete a few tasks, play a few games, and argue, laugh, eat, and sleep. Just like a family, really.
This is definitely a show that improves as you get to know the cast. The only person I recognised at first was the host Yu Jae-suk but I soon got to know the rest of them, and their lovable foibles. It's fun to watch how they interact, and how the in-jokes grow from one show to the next. If watching the same people week after week seems boring, at each location they’re joined by special guests which usually changes the balance of power enough to keep things lively between the regulars.
However, I wouldn’t recommend this show to vegetarians. Fish tend to be the main dish of the evening meal, and we see them being caught and gutted before being cooked. In most cookery shows, the food is already killed and cleaned before being prepared but Family Outing is more honest than that as it happily shows how to stun a fish. And how not to. But, as someone who eats fish and meat, it would be hypocritical of me to complain.
All in all, this is the TV version of an old photo album with lots of funny comments written underneath. Very silly, often quite touching, and definitely addictive.