K-pop idols usually go in huge entertainment packages that go beyond music. Aside from compelling music videos and ventures into the K-dramaland, idol reality shows also do best at keeping fans engaged and perfectly satiated. Almost all idols have their own reality TV, but some groups have gone the extra mile by giving their shows a dash of variety and humor. And they’re what we’re highlighting here. These K-pop idol variety shows have the greatest entertainment value, and even if you’re not a K-pop fan but are looking for a good laugh, they are definitely worth watching!
We’re lucky they cater to international fans with English subtitles, but you sure can relate better if you know how to speak and understand Korean!
BTS’s Run BTS! & Bon Voyage
There are many reasons why we love BTS. And one is their being fun and comic beyond the stage! Run BTS! is the main variety show of BTS, which has been running since 2015 and can be viewed for free on V LIVE. The Bangtan boys do missions or play games against each other, and you get to see a different side of them that’s quite different from their day job. If Jin’s dad jokes don’t crack you up, Jimin and J-Hope’s slapstick moments or RM’s destructive clumsiness definitely will!
Meanwhile, Bon Voyage is BTS’s premium travel reality series released yearly from 2016 to 2019 (4 seasons). It features the boys traveling to amazing destinations around the world while still filling us up with fun and laughter.
Super Junior’s SJ Returns & Super TV
Super Junior are arguably the kings of variety in the K-pop world, and it shows in their top reality series SJ Returns and Super TV. Each season takes on various refreshing concepts, from recording and work docus to game segments, food tours, and fan service. In the King’s Game season (2018) of Super TV, they even brought in other idol groups like Oh My Girl and SHINee to demonstrate their status as peerless variety kings.
If you love traveling, you’re in for a ride with EXO’s travel variety show, Ladder. Season 2 is especially a treat for EXO-Ls because most of the members are present and we rarely see them do activities, let alone travel, together outside of their work. In this show, the members lay their fate on a ladder game, which will decide their destination, food, and other privileges throughout their trip. Various games also bring out their competitive and dorky sides!
Going SEVENTEEN started as a regular vlog that offered a peek into the group’s daily life and work activities. But now, it has turned into a full-blooded variety production where the 13 members play games, test their wits, and strengthen their bond. The latest season has just premiered on YouTube, and it starts with the boys pitching crazy ideas for the show!
GOT7’s Hard Carry & Real GOT7
Real GOT7 ran for four seasons on YouTube from 2014 to 2017, offering a behind-the-scenes look at their project activities and promotions mixed with fun and games. On the other hand, the group’s self-produced Hard Carry features the boys enjoying exciting sports and activities around different places including Thailand and Canada.
Another idol variety show that has a high comedy factor is Monsta X’s Monsta X-Ray, which unleashes the members’ funny and playful side through various missions. Where else can you see them dress up as girls or act out romantic K-dramas or bicker like rugrats? The show has so far run for three seasons until 2018, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a new season soon!
Express your love for your idols beyond saranghae with the help of this Korean for Beginners Program by the Study at Enderun Colleges.
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