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Variety Roulette: Strong Heart

So 1 Night 2 Days is ending soon, which happens just as I was getting into this whole variety world, which is so close and yet so far from the world of scripted television. (Even allowing that yes, variety can be scripted too.)

With the overwhelming number of variety programs out there — seriously, a ton — it can be pretty daunting trying to find out what show does what and when, and what its themes and formats are. So Girlfriday and I thought we might take a crack at all the variety shows out there and pick up random episodes in a series we’re calling Variety Roulette: No preplanning, no following special guests, just pick an episode and dive in.

We plan to take a look at as many different shows as we have time for, and are starting off with one particular hit talk-show offering, SBS’s Strong Heart. Keep your eyes peeled for more installments to come in the future! What shows or what episodes we’ll pick, we have no idea. We’ll go where the wind takes us.

 
EPISODE 93. Broadcast on August 30, 2011.

Emceed by variety kings Kang Ho-dong and Lee Seung-gi, this is a Tuesday program that takes the humble talk show and juices it up by a factor of twenty. The panelists in this episode, broadcast last Tuesday, include: The members of boy band Super Junior, here just days before Heechul’s enlistment in army duty; newish actors Im Soo-hyang and Sung Hoon, co-stars from New Gisaeng Story; and drama veteran Choi Min-soo.

javabeans: I’ve actually seen little bits of Strong Heart here and there, but never enough to get a sense of the show — I’ve always been confused as to the format, and why there are so many guests, and why the seating is the way it is. So this is the first episode I’ve seen in its entirety. And while I can’t speak to the quality of the episodes as a whole, I think I got lucky with a pretty entertaining episode to mark my initiation to the show.

girlfriday: Strong Heart is basically like Talk Show: Thunderdome.

javabeans: Seriously, I caught the intro to the previous episode (it looks like this one’s a continuation) and it’s got Iron Chef-like music and bombast. I half-expect the opening announcer to declare, “Allez cuisine!”

girlfriday: There are two MCs, Kang Ho-dong and Lee Seung-gi, and a set of regular “cast members” who do little side bits and add to the conversation and give big reactions — the comedians in the back row, the Super Junior boys (not the bucketfuls in this episode — just Leeteuk, Eunhyuk and Shindong). And then you invite a slew of guests to sit in the main seats and tell a bunch of stories, and the studio audience votes on the best one. The entertaining part for me is when the MCs give the guests crap for telling lame, unfunny or self-aggrandizing stories.

javabeans: I notice that with Korean variety programs, there’s no introductory bit to get you up to speed. They just assume you know the format and dive in — the opposite from American reality shows, where they’ve built in a framework that gets repeated episode after episode until you can pretty much recite, say, Tyra Banks’ entire judging spiel as she reveals which one of the two beautiful girls standing before her will have to go back to the house, pack her bags, and leave, and which one is still in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model.

girlfriday: I used to have this DVR sweet spot for how to fast-forward through that kind of bullshit.

javabeans: Right? “You’re fired.” “The tribe has spoken.” “Please pack your knives and go.” “You’re in or you’re out.” They got to be so ridiculous that they actually went from annoying back around to funny again.

girlfriday: Because when people say things in that tone of This is a catchphrase, it’s friggin’ hilarious.

javabeans: Like with all those D-list copycat shows. Shear Genius: “This was your final cut.” (Groan.) Stylista: “You’re not the right fit.” (Uh, ouch? Isn’t that kind of insulting? Especially since I recall there was a plus-sized girl on that show. Oh crap, I’ve just outed myself as having seen it, haven’t I? FOR SHAME.)

girlfriday: I’m ashamed by association.

javabeans: Like you have no skeletons in your pop-culture closet of shame.

girlfriday: I have NO idea what you’re talking about. *hides 80% of dvd collection*

javabeans: There are upsides to each approach: While I appreciate not having the same old spiel hammered into my head for hundreds of episodes, there’s also this weird feeling of displacement I get from watching a show like Strong Heart for the first time. I generally get the premise, but the little things that the show takes for granted that you know are sort of lost on me. For instance, I get that there’s some sort of competitive aspect to it, because after a couple stories are told, there’s that split-screen and one guest gets blasted with…is that air? Smoke?

girlfriday: Hot air? (hur hur)

javabeans: Netizen mouthfire?

girlfriday: Well THAT would be frightening. It’s thankfully limited to studio-audience-surrogate mouthfire.

javabeans: I enjoy how the whole first part of the show is spent roasting Leeteuk, aka Teuk hyung, aka leader of mega-boy band Super Junior. At first you’re thinking, “This is amusing.” And then, one after another, the Suju boys take turns tarnishing his image by outing his little quirks, and it becomes hilarious.

girlfriday: I love stuff like this, especially when it’s the younger ones ganging up on the hyung.

javabeans: Donghae tells a story, for instance, about how before Suju, they were in a different boy band together called Smile, of which “Teukie hyung” was also leader. Donghae was just 17 and still in high school — he looks like a baby in that photo! — and after a rowdy World Cup match that Korea had won, they’d run into three older guys and tensions sparked. (Two guys were built “like Kang Ho-dong” and one was built “like Eunhyuk” — shorthand meaning two burly dudes and one wimp. Ha!) Donghae’s temper got the best of him and he talked back, and ended up getting beat up while Teuk was trying to take on the lone wimp. Later at home, Teuk had burst out all emotionally, “I’m sorry your hyung couldn’t protect you!” He disappeared and showed up a few hours later, and when the manager asked where he’d been, he mumbled, “Sa…saum…” which means fighting — or it does until he finally completes the word, which turns out to be “Sauna.” HAHAHA.

girlfriday: The stories make him sound like a hothead, except he’s all talk, no action.

javabeans: Right? Like when Yesung recounts the story about driving in Teuk hyung’s car and getting into a tiff with a car of seven men and women, who’d hit his car in road rage. Leeteuk had gotten out of the car, growling that they were all dead…until the three women recognized him, and suddenly he was all smiles and polite bows, a la Dokko Jin. Yesung was confused and asked what that was about, and Leeteuk had grumbled, “If only those women hadn’t recognized me, they would’ve all been dead!”

girlfriday: Heechul calls him a genius, but in the sly self-preserving way, where you sell your brothers up the river to save yourself. They ask Choi Min-soo what he thinks, and he laughs, “All artists are con men.” Heechul quips, “He’s not an artist who cons… he’s a con man that does art!”

javabeans: I love Heechul’s other example of Leeteuk’s “genius.” On a previous episode of Strong Heart, they’d made a deal beforehand to say nice things about each other. But when Heechul had been praising him, Leeteuk had welled up with tears and even exited the stage, ostensibly because he was so overwhelmed with emotion. Therefore: No Heechul praise, and lots of Leeteuk sympathy. Haha.

girlfriday: I think that story says more about Heechul than Leeteuk.

javabeans: There’s also Shindong’s story (see? it’s a pile-on) about how Leeteuk’s actually really weak to the power of suggestion, so he and the others were teasing him before a performance, saying, “This outfit looks better. Actually, now that one looks better. No, the first one. Now I like the third.” Leeteuk had gotten angry but the guys kept going, until finally he lashed out by grabbing Eunhyuk by the throat and making him cry. Awwww. Leeteuk admits that he chose not to grab Shindong or Sungmin because one’s bigger than him and the other knows martial arts. Eunhyuk points out that even in this flash of anger, he’d had the foresight to calculate which one of them was the weakest, HA.

javabeans: And then later, Kyuhyun tells how he was the newest entry to the group and had a hard time with Leeteuk, who wasn’t very warm to him at first. The guys point out that Leeteuk’s really good at picking on the weakling, which seems pretty true. Oh man, he’s getting an image beatdown, but even then Leeteuk works his “variety genius” and says calmly that he’s not upset to hear all this, because it’s proof of how close Suju is — and that if they actually felt that way about him now, they wouldn’t be able to say so.

girlfriday: It’s Choi Min-soo’s turn and he offers up a free Q&A, where he’ll answer any random questions that people have. Seung-gi asks if it’s true that he once turned down a Spielberg film. He says it’s true–Spielberg came to Korea to meet with him for Gladiator, but Choi Min-soo turned him down. Ho-dong asks if he ever regrets it from time to time. Without reservation, he blurts, “I TOTALLY regret it!” Hee.

javabeans: It’s the comic timing that makes this moment. He’s telling this story like the cool, movie star stud he is, and it misleads you into thinking he’s going to dismiss it all with some wise adage or insight. And then comes the punchline and he’s all honest and dorky, berating himself for being crazy enough to reject Steven Spielberg.

girlfriday: Choi Min-soo totally has this half drunk rocker, half mountain guru way of talking, and he spouts all these edicts, which is usually Ho-dong’s job. (I especially love when Ho-dong’s edicts go awry, which is often.) Seung-gi turns to Ho-dong and chides, “Are you taking a break today?”

javabeans: I do love one of his comments, where he holds out an arm and indicates its length: “People have this road, right? And if they walk back and forth this much, they get bored. So let’s say we increase the angle. It’s a little harder to walk back and forth now, but it’s worthwhile. So you raise it higher. Now when you get to the top, you feel like you’ve won over yourself. Even higher [holding his arm vertical], it feels like the top of the world is yours. And this is all just in difference of angle. Now let’s take the opposite case. If you lower the angle, the path becomes easy. Lowering it more, it’s super comfortable. [Holding his arm nearly vertical downwards] If you get too familiar here, you fall. In life, you need balance.” It helps that he says it in this matter-of-fact way, not in the puffed-up “I know I’m saying something cool” way.

girlfriday: Siwon tells this really elaborate story about Athena that pretty much amounts to: I wanted to show off my abs and/or some part of my half-naked body, but was foiled at every opportunity because of the production’s adherence to realism. PFFFFFFFFFT! Okay, what? Are we talking about the same drama? Dude, this guy’s like the Korean Matthew McConaughey. I’m suddenly less interested if you’re just GIVING it away.

javabeans: It’s hilarious, this basic admission that every Siwon role has to come with an abs scene. It’s just part and parcel. Why else would you cast Siwon? And he’s fully aware of this, and expecting this, and preparing all the while to keep his body in tip-top form. I can’t believe the drama was like, “Sorry, we’ve had lots of Woo-sung abs and Seung-won abs, no need for Siwon’s!” As though too many abs detracts from the drama’s believability factor.

girlfriday: They ask what Cha Seung-won is like, and Siwon says they can ask themselves because Cha Seung-won is sitting around, waiting for their call. His ringtone is from Best Love! Aw, how cute. He says that Seung-gi was really nice to do the cameo and even though the shoot took all day, he never once complained. Seung-gi: “I complained at home.” Heh.

javabeans: Everyone perks up when he comes on the line, sitting up a little straighter, amazed that he’s actually on the phone with them. I love the meta of this moment, which totally reminds me of the reactions when Dokko Jin calls in to SeBaKwi (the World Changing Quiz show).

girlfriday: Ho-dong asks which hoobae Cha Seung-won thinks is better looking — Seung-gi or Siwon? He goes about describing how they’re both pretty in different ways, and then ends with: “I’m the handsomest!” Hahahaha.

javabeans: It’s the perfect way to win the laugh, and also answer the question diplomatically, ’cause basically Ho-dong’s rustlin’ up trouble by asking. Ha.

girlfriday: Ho-dong tells him that Choi Min-soo is here, and immediately Cha Seung-won’s voice changes, “Ah, hyung-nim!” Isn’t it weird how even in a 30-second phone call, you can hear the difference in an exchange between two alpha males? They get very terse but keep strict rules. Choi Min-soo tells him that another sunbae is there (Song Kyung-chul, who is older than him), and tells Cha Seung-won to greet him first. Seung-gi asks why Gu Ae-jung never came on Steel Heart, and asks Cha Seung-won to come visit instead. Choi Min-soo suddenly calls out: “Seung-won-ah! I love you!” all while chomping down on a choco pie. Oh my god, why is he so funny?

javabeans: It’s totally the randomness of everything, combined with his star power and his comic timing, right? Plus there’s also the fact that my point of reference when thinking of Choi Min-soo (and I suspect this is the case for a lot of people) is always his star turn in Sandglass, where he was a badass gangster. He’s the ultimate man’s man, the macho Korean star, the antidote to the pretty boy… and then you have him on Strong Heart cracking jokes and goofing off with idols and it’s just so hilarious and dissonant.

girlfriday: It’s time for Teuk-ki Gayo, a segment that used to be more elaborate with people showing off weird abilities or doing impressions and then dancing as a last resort, but this time Super Junior dances and they just do a big round of embarrassing photos. Wow, that one of Leeteuk looks like it’s CG’ed. Do people’s faces do that?

javabeans: It looks like they caught him mid-roller coaster ride. You know what’s funny about this segment isn’t even the old photos of idol stars, but their reactions to them. I find myself being impressed with the guys who just show the photo proudly, like, “So what if I looked like a dork?” Whereas some are so embarrassed that they immediately hide them.

girlfriday: It’s Im Soo-hyang’s turn, and she’s someone I don’t know, but I can tell right away that she’s going to be in that category of really dim actors who come on this show and tell ego-puffing stories and then become joke fodder. This kind of stuff is Strong Heart’s bread and butter, because it’s almost guaranteed that the jokes will go over their heads. Some manage to turn it around and make fun of themselves, though, which is awesome.

javabeans: She’s from New Gisaeng Story, which is why I think she’s now a household name. Er, maybe not that popular, but much more well-known. She’s not very funny or very sharp, and I keep thinking the whole time that she looks like Park Han-byul except with distracting eye surgery.

girlfriday: She fails pretty hilariously at this story where she attempts to explain the difference in line delivery, choosing to use the phrase: “…Kang Ho-dong is fat,” “Kang Ho-dong… is fat,” and “Kang Ho-dong is… fat.” (There is no perceivable difference in her performance.)

javabeans: It’s inadvertently funny in that her point is to show different acting techniques…except because they all sound the same, it actually proves she’s a bad actor. But she completely misses that implication.

girlfriday: Young-chul determines that the end result is that all three are annoying. HA.

girlfriday: Ho-dong makes Soo-hyang and Heechul do a staring contest, which is one of Ho-dong’s favorite activities that he likes to make people do whenever any minuscule hint of romantic interest is implied between two people (a stare-off to see who laughs or turns away first, indicating feeeeelings). It goes on for a while and Heechul starts to turn on the greasy charm, and then out of the blue Choi Min-soo snarks at Heechul, “You know in the monitor, you look like Kim Sumi.” It slays the whole room.

javabeans: Especially since Heechul picks up that joke right away and shoots out an eerily spot-on Kim Sumi impression, with her raspy grandma voice. Yesung proceeds to tell a story about his father and how they used to not get along, but after his father got into a serious accident, he had a sort of epiphany and decided he’d try harder to mend fences, and now he’s moved his parents up to Seoul and set up a shop for them to manage because Dad can’t work at his old job anymore. It’s one of those stories designed to wring tears, which is why I sort of chafe at it. The thing is, I like the aura of this Yesung kid (I don’t know much about him outside of this) and I don’t get the sense he’s being sly or manipulative, but the story in this show context is pure manipulation. For some reason I’m fine with guests preparing funny stories, but something about preparing a story that’s designed to tug at the heartstrings feels disingenuous. So I find myself half-tuning out, lest I cringe instead at the uncomfortable feeling I get from the manufactured sympathy.

girlfriday: This happens quite often — the mom/dad tear-inducing story prepared to wring tears. Most of them are exactly like this one, but a few do actually manage to be different and genuinely moving. Though that’s the rare case. It’s often, as with most stuff on this show, all in the delivery.

javabeans: Well, I do feel that he’s sincere about his feelings. It’s just the delivery isn’t so sharp. But it’s better than inane, I guess. Why does that Im Soo-hyang chick annoy me so much?

girlfriday: Because she’s annoying? Along with her co-star, who’s equally empty.

javabeans: Touché. But Sung Hoon at least has a better story. Hers is that vapid thing that some girls do, the “Oh, it’s such a burden being so pretty!” thing. For instance, her big “complex” (insecurity) is her gaze, which everyone tells her is too sexy. Oh boo frickin’ hoo.

girlfriday: The Strong Heart term for her kind of story is 지자랑 [self-praise], which the MCs freely call people out on.

javabeans: Ha. Apt.

girlfriday: Ho-dong’s favorite thing to ask actresses is, “Have you always thought you were pretty?” which is kind of a trap for that, either way you answer.

javabeans: I love that. So. Much.

girlfriday: I guess that’s why I like this show. It’s snarktastic.

javabeans: I know! I feel freer to admit the things I dislike if it’s part of the format! For instance, Sungmin tells a sorta cute story that then, I think, goes awry. It starts out with him saying how he really wanted to get closer to one of his co-stars on President, and you’re supposed to think he meant a woman like Wang Ji-hye, until he admits it was Mr. President himself, Choi Su-jong. Who is like an A-list drama star.

girlfriday: And a dude.

javabeans: So that’s cute. And then the conversation skews to how the boys never liked him in school because they were jealous of his popularity with girls, and he demonstrates with Im Soo-hyang and gets waaaay too touchy-feely for my comfort, and actually comes across as a creepy stalker dude, except that he’s really pretty.

girlfriday: It’s disconcerting because it’s greasy and weird, but coming from this kkot minam who looks twelve.

javabeans: Unsolicited back rubs are not okay! But I guess we’re supposed to find it innocuous, since Im Soo-hyang says he has the aura of an unni more than an oppa. Then he’s called over to sit by Choi Min-soo, and he’s hilariously timid and awkward, like he’s afraid the scary man is going to do something…scary. I love how his Suju-mates Siwon and Eunhyuk are both giggling and cringing for him, and the caption reads, “I can’t watch…” My thoughts exactly.

girlfriday: I love all of Heechul’s little comments, like when Sung Hoon stops in the middle of a story to turn to him and say, “I really like you.” Heechul just mugs for the camera and sighs, “Looks like another article’s coming out.”

javabeans: Heechul’s awesome. He has really sharp comic timing, and knows when to make a jab, and when to take a hit himself.

girlfriday: Plus he’s just got that “I am fabulous” air going on at all times.

javabeans: But he is. So it’s okay.

girlfriday: He’s the only kind of diva I like — the kind that can make fun of himself.

javabeans: Let’s just hope the army doesn’t beat it out of him. See you in two years, Heechul!

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aaah JB you picked a good episode to start watching Strong Heart... the guests were engaging... though it might be my Heechul and SJ bias speaking... Though I think that the person who really kept this episode together was Choi Min Soo, man that guy's hilarious if you watch episode 92 you can hear his other stories which were equally hilarious and also he does beat down Hodong a lot... haha... apparently Hodong had asked Heechul to control Choi Min Soo since they're friends but CMS is uncontrollable... lol

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Ooooh. :D I didn't know much about Strong Heart except it's Seung-gi's and Ho-dong's show. Now I know more. Thank you for the recap!

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Thanks so much for recapping this! :) I am usually a lurker but I totally couldn't resist commenting simply because I love Strong Heart and Super Junior!:)

I'm a die hard strong heart fan. I've watched and currently have in my trusty hard drive, every single episode since day one. I think I started watching it because Taeyang and Daesung guested on it (also a definitely MUST WATCH. It's hilarious), and it was from watching Strong Heart that I discovered the gems that Super Junior are in the variety world. I had no idea who they were before Strong Heart but Eunhyuk's dance battle with Taeyang...that was something awesome.

And now I'm like crazy over Super Junior because they are such dorks and totally unlike all the typical idol stars out there. Like so many of you guys who've commented, they shine in variety, especially when they are together. They have this genuine air about them which makes everything hilarious and at the same time, you know they aren't faking their closeness.

But back to Strong Heart. I think it's one of the best variety shows out there because it shows to a certain extent the real characters of these celebrities when they are telling their stories, some which you might never have heard before. Some are truly funny, some are just boring and some of the stories seriously make you cry.

I suppose I'm one of those people who likes to believe everything isn't scripted even though I totally know it is (grin), but I can't remember the number of times an ep of SH has made me cry buckets. And I love the fact that SH invites all sorts of people, and is watched by lots of celebrities. Many rarely appear on other talk shows or varieties but they're willing to go on SH.

Apart from Super Junior, I also have strong heart to thank for fueling my love for Seo Ji Suk, who's like one of my major crushes right now. His episode with SNSD's Jessica, and also with the cast of Ob N Gyn was hilarious.

Now if only Park Shi Hoo would guest on Strong Heart, I'd be over the moon.

I hope you guys will review Strong Heart again. It's really an awesome program.:) It's kept me entertained for the past 2 years!:)

Ooh...sorry, just scrolled my post and it's way longer than I intended it to be.:)

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment...

You really nailed the charm of Super Junior. They are GENUINE. And by that I don't mean that they are honest all the time but that they are natural about their dorkiness, humour, and brotherhood. They are also one of the most humble polite idols out there.

Seo ji suk crush on Jessica was very cute... I've always noticed him even before his army years but I'm glad he got more spotlight in variety shows for his return.

I hope you will discover more and more about Super Junior because they are the rare case where the more you discover, the more you like and dont get bored.

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Yeah, Sungmin is like... that first year (say, age 11) boy that all the girls in the years above him (13-17) fawn over and follow around because he's so cute and tiny. He brought some of his high school friends on a show with the rest of Super Junior and they were all female and older than him. It's hilarious because he does look like he's 12, but I've seen his martial art skills...

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Sungmin martial arts skill are NO JOKE... He's a third dan at taekwondo, and a chinese martial artists. It wasn't for nothing Leeteuk skipped him when grabbing Eunhyuk's collar.

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At the beginning the show was interesting as some of the stories told by the stars were new and funny but after watching it for several months it just felt boring. All the reactions from the mcs to the stories told by the stars just felt heavily scripted.

Thanks for your take on SH! It was an interesting read~

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I really like Strong Heart, though I've only seen clips of it on Youtube. Super Junior is just so awesome! I'll miss you, Heechul!

I like the idea of Variety Roulette! Thanks, JB and GF!

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how bout trying secret? the one with half of the 1n2d casts are guests (jiwon, sugeun and jongmin) ^_^

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I've seen a no. of eps of 1N2D, RM and SH - and while they each have their moments, none of them have that all-around appeal that FO (season 1) had (JB/GF should really recap the FO eps - best combination of heart and humor of any variety show).

Choi Min-soo is a total badass in ""Warrior Baek Dong-soo" - so it a bit funny to see his silly side come out when he appeared on RM recently.

As for SG, the ep where Shin Min ah appeared was totally endearing; she comes across a bit shy, but her use of Kim Yong chul's "Reaction Service" was a total riot.

CSW was being totally diplomatic in his answer to Ho-dong's question as to who is better looking (LSG isn't really good-looking at all).

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oh god. screw FO1 it's scripted and fake.

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Though it may be scripted (and it may seem super obvious towards the end), but the dynamic between the members are there and it real, unlike the rest of the subpar variety shows out there. So i say, FO1 is still one of the better variety show out there. And Strong Heart is more of a talk show than a variety show, just sayin.

Infinity Challenge is definitely one of the best imo. I'll be patiently waiting for dramabeans to review them :)

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Every variety show is scripted to a degree.

What's not faked are the personalities of the cast - and FO1 had a top notch cast.

Shows like RM and 1N2D just don't allow for the personal interaction like FO1.

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i totally agree with you rumbalumba..FO1 is fake and scripted unlike 1n2d, u will really feel that it's unscripted... that's why its funny because of those unexpected turn of events.

@bd: and who are you to say that LSG is not good looking at all? he wouldn't be the CF king if he's ugly... and why is he the no. 1 choice as the ideal son in law? If I am a mother, would I choose an ugly son in law for my daughter? Of course CSW will give a diplomatic answer since the men in question are handsome in their own way.

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Haha, i love that you did a super junior episode of strong heart, and i love how many comments about super junior there are on this! I was sad about Heechul leaving to the army but can not wait for his return, now i have to resort to watching old super junior variety shows and performances to fill that void (not that thats a bad thing, EHB and full house are hilarious xD)

I'm really looking forward to your other variety show recaps, it'll be interesting whichever one you choose, how about Infinity Challenge? even though i personally don't watch it, but i love the national MC yoo jaesuk xD

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Let's Go Dream Team and Happy Together are both great...

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thanks thanks ...plz do more strong heart <3 and again thanks

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YAY! I love the variety roulette idea!!!
And I'm so glad you're starting with Strong Heart (and especially starting with this episode) because it's the super junior episode.

Anytime you get all of the super junior members in one show, it becomes hilarious. Especially with Heechul involved.

Good luck in the army, Heechul! See you in 2 years!

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I could see the ELFs coming once I saw that it was the SuJu special of SH. I've watched Strong Heart a couple times. The few times I'm watched it, sometimes the stories they reveal are bit controversial. I remember Dongwan (Shinhwa) talking about getting the "gift" (a new nose) from the company president and then pointing out to a model guest on the show if she got the gift because she no longer has a very "eastern look". Bua haha. I love the show for that. I didn't have any plans watching this episode so I'm thankful for the recap even though I skimmed through it and stopped to read the Cha Seung Won parts. Sorry, SuJu :p.

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anyone knows youtube links for strong heart eps?

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love the idea of variety roulette... can't wait to see what other programmes gets recapped by JB & GF.

I second the idea of recapping Happy Together. I'm addicted to Yoo Jae Suk.

Oh, and Secret's not too bad as well. Heechul's hilarious in that one.

SuJu are definitely variety world gems. The other one who is good at variety is SHINee's Onew... so lovable!

... but then... I'm more of a Shawol than an ELF... gotta love both bands, though!

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I completely agree that there seems to be a manipulative twist in the sob story. However, I think that's just the show's way of creating variety in the stories. It would seem a bit overwhelming if all the stories were meant only for laughs, making it seem almost like a comedic talent show. The show tries to encourage the variety in stories from the very beginning of the show so it prevents an interesting mix. We get grievances about the star's treatment in the industry and the sob story along with the laughs. It's just the comedic tone of the show becomes so overwhelming that when you focus solely on that, you sorta get a bit shocked when you get one with a more serious and dramatic tone.

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I adore Super Junior!!!!

I <3 this episode and it's actually the first time that I have watched an episode first before reading a recap here in Dramabeans!
I rarely catch varieties because it's REALLY hard to look for streaming and subbing sites... but it's SuJu after all and it's one of uri Heenim's last appearance before going to service so I digged deeper and found a site! Yay!
SuJu indeed is a variety gem. all the members have a lot of good things to say may it be funny, sad or embarassing. It's also nice to hear them make fun of each other and themselves on air. It's bittersweet because at the end the members have to face the reality that one of them will again be leaving for some time. but still it was great to see them being theirselves. SuJu Daebak!!!!
one more thing... Choi Minsoo is effing awesome in this episode... for an ahjussi he really held his own among the idols

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The Variety Roulette idea is GREAT. And thank you for the very entertaining read :)

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Yay to Variety Roulette!!!
Really appreciate all your efforts and dedication to giving us all these GREAT recaps!

Cheers babes :)

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You guys were lucky that the random episode you picked was a SuJu episode. :) SuJu episodes of Strong Heart tend to be more enjoyable than others. While I do love variety shows, I only really watch them depending on the guests that appear. I love how Strong Heart sometimes really gets brilliant casting for certain episodes, because they turn out as total TV gold.

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Variety roulette, I like it! :D

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i love this! hope you can do lots of these. cant wait!

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sigh why must kang hodong leave 1N2D only and not his other programs... sigh...

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For the newbies like Im Soo Hyang and Sung Hoon, they did quite well here actually and we could cut them some slack, being rookies. The Suju guys have been at it for donkey years...... so they took all these like ducks to water, not surprising at all.

You people should see Heechul when he first started out, he did much much worse than these newbies ( then, he was the guy most would love to hate and some did utterly hated him ) and now, how 6-8 years later did wonders to horn his witty come-backs and comic timing. ( Altho' as an aside, i do cringe some when that Soo Hyang chick talk about how her eyes were too alluring for her comfort, heehee. Am pretty sure she will come to regret this part when she has become a seasoned actress later on).

So let's give some cheers to rookies and give them a leg up too, and refrain from UNPROVEN catty remarks like 'eye surgery' and what not. So unbecoming , no?

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Fair point actually. I've seen old Heechul shows when he was totally paranoid about his image and had to be coaxed through everything by the MC.

Not that any of this makes me warm to Im Soo Hyan, but I was cracking up at the way Sung Hoon suddenly seemed to have everyone's attention when he got onto the subject of skin care. The one thing everyone in front of the cameras had in common.

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Please cover more Strong Heart episodes! It is one of the few variety shows that I love watching. Every episode has me laughing out loud, crying, or grinning like an idiot. I especially love the comic trio Leeteuk, Eunhyuk , and Shindong.... and watching the clean-cut celebrities getting their faces blasted with air is just way too awesome.

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Super Junior~~~~~~~ ♥♥♥♥♥
The reason I watched this episode. But I was excited to see a recap of this episode :)

And my boy Kyuhyun won the Strong Heart award and gave it to leader Teukie :) ♥

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I also became a fan of Super Junior by watching them on Variety shows. They're pretty funny and they do love to dog pile on the person being interviewed, which is hilarious for us fans.

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yesssss! i'm so happy you guys recapped this episode of all episodes to choose!! I think Strong Heart can be really funny, depending on who the guests are. Like anything with Heechul is bound to be fucking hilarious. I like the embarrassing stories, because it's just too much fun to see the big idols act like regular people... like this one time, big bang was on, and g dragon told this story about how he embarrassed the hell out himself by drinking too much and dancing in front of snsd and finding out about it the next morning. Even though they're obviously telling the stories they want us to hear, it still feels like we get to see a little bit into their lives off screen. me gusta.

I didn't like the new gisaeng cast people either! that girl was sooo not funny. it was so great reading your comments because I was just like YESS! this! agreeee!

and since I happen to be a suju fan, I'm glad Yesung gave you guys a good vibe. He's one of those really 4D idols, pretty quiet, verrry eccentric, I think he's really sweet though, and I think his story was coming from an honest place. He's also a freakin amazing singer. Sungmin was creepy hahaha, agreed.

I hope you do more of these because I watch variety shows from time to time, but I don't know what the deal is with all of them, so I love that you started this.

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Heechul's going off to the army now? nooooo D:

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WOW, I had only meant to skim this article when I read the unfamiliar title and saw the type of post.

Then... I just totally got caught up in reading the recaps by you two! Love your comments and details of this episode.

I've never really gotten into Strong Heart before, with all that Korean dialogue and my little to non-existent Korean knowledge, etc. etc.

Thx for the recap! Interesting, funny moments. ^^

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....love it, the ELFs are crawling out of the woodworks. Thanks so much for the recap... This episode was epic how the Suju leedja was totally roasted by his members... Thanks for the recap. You're both really catering to the Kentertainment fans... Thanks, how about recapping Come to Play with Heechul's chocoballs members..

I'm glad that you're getting in variety shows too beyond the Kdramas, because the stars' personalities shine. Watching the dramas and seing the actors on variety shows allows me to see their humanity. A lot get put down to earth instead of fly high with their egos. And not do I get to-just watch the actors, I've discovered singers, comedians, etc.. The shows are such crack ups!!! Lots of laughs including the defunct Star Golden Bell, Family Outing, Happy Together, that really help me get introduced to many Kcelebrities other than actors including Alex-Classiquai, whose music I discovered here in one of your recaps. I love how new dramas are introduced with cast members joining in these shows some are truly lovable while others are crazy enough to risk their celeb status by being goofballs---which I truly enjoy watching...these shows truly add to the enjoyment and endear these celebs to me. The more I become a fan of Kdramas by watching the actors in variety show participation. You are really catering to not only the Kdrama addiction but also the Kvariety addiction.. It's so frustrating not to find Eng subs..!!!
Thanks once again for your reaps.

Oh yeah We Got Married, can't forget that!!! It was Suju's Leeteuk and Eunhyuk's stint as Alfshin's assistants to babysit the babies on 1st season ep 29 & 30... These two lead me to be an on off fan of this show.. I still have a long attachment to the Sanchu or Lettuce couple-Hwangbo & Kim Hyun Joong, and the just split Goguma couple SNSD's innocent Seohyun and CNBlue's choding-Yonghwa as well as the alien couple 2pm's Nickhun and f(x)'s adorable Victoria.. I'm currently enjoying the elder Brave couple.. When they leave the show I feel like I've been part of their break ups, feel sad and mope for a long time...

Okey... I could go on and on.. Oh yeah, GF you hide your DVD collection too? One way of hiding them is sharing them with other kaddicts!!! Sooo, the actual numbers aren't so obvious.. Hoo, and hiding them when they come in the mail... Yup guilty as charged!!! Yeah, if the variety shows were sold on DVDs I'd buy them too.. Thanks ladies for bringing laughter and simple fun to the daily life of the kdrama addict...

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love this show so much...

some thoughts about shinhwa??? drop by @ this site
http://www.airam-anythingunderthesun.blogspot.com

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love your commentary.

i wonder how choi minsoo still emit that strong aura even when he eats chocopie? xD

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super junior and choi min soo were really really entertaining here x)
and girlfriday, that ho dong's self-praise question.. it was a very tricky question that (i think) only heechul could answer it perfectly and amusingly x) i remember there's an episode where khd asked heechul, what is the secret that despite the way heechul acts, you just can't hate him. and heechul was like, 'well if i know the secret, i think i'll be arrogant, but since i don't know it, perhaps people like me for my innocence.'
that's just plain wit x)

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wow funny :D
thanks for recap.. i likes this

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