Sitcoms/Variety Shows
Barefoot Friends logs perilously low ratings
by | May 6, 2013 | 108 Comments

javabeans: New Sunday variety show Barefoot Friends premiered to lowish numbers three weeks ago, but the real test was whether it would be able to climb up from its initial 5.6% numbers to challenge Dad! Where Are We Going?… but instead the numbers have dropped. Yesterday’s Episode 3 pulled in a frankly shockingly low 2.9%.

girlfriday: That is dismally low.

javabeans: I would hate for Kang Ho-dong to get another show cancelled so soon after his comeback, but let’s be fair: I’ve seen all three episodes and I see why people are zoning out. It’s got a great cast, a confusing non-premise, and a lot of boring filler “missions.”

girlfriday: For one, it takes halfway into the THIRD episode to even get the entire cast together in the same city, which is a confusing way to launch a show.

javabeans: Also, they spent three episodes on the same trip. Even if you disregard the fact that I think they miscalculated by going abroad for the premiere, that’s a long time to spend on one event.

girlfriday: While I understand the purpose of travel shows, I also don’t watch variety for the traveling part. I watch it for the crazy personalities and the spontaneous moments that come out of whatever game/mission/race is the backbone.

javabeans: Plus, the show is apparently not even billed as a travel show. So why focus so much on the traveling? Their producers call it a variety show that’ll depict real lives while the cast undergoes lots of suffering (the variety-suffering kind), but then you set up this premise of forcing celebs to work, and then you basically give them outs at every opportunity.

girlfriday: I know. There’s no actual suffering going on.

javabeans: I feel like Barefoot Friends is the show people think they’re going on when they do 1 Night 2 Days, when they’re all, “I thought we would suffer a little on camera, and then you’d turn the cameras off and we’d eat!” So there are no stakes because although they’re TOLD they have to earn their food and sleep on their own, they’re still given translators and local guides and rules and help.

girlfriday: The thing is, the same show could have stakes if it were done differently. Set up with different rules. Framed as a team vs. team thing. Something that keeps it from trying to be a documentary when it’s clearly not.

javabeans: This is where I’ll argue that they misstepped by going to Vietnam for their first episode, because it both was too much and not enough at the same time. There was so much to do that I felt at numerous points that we were zooming past any chances to tease out the funny interactions, because the guys had some lame and pointless mission to take photos of people smiling, for instance. The best parts were the random funny bits along the way, like Hyun-joong and Ho-dong giggling their heads off about corny puns. I was rolling when Hyun-joong died laughing at Ho-dong for calling the Sahara the Ohara, because in Korean “sa” is four and “oh” is five and he got mixed up, and Ho-dong barked at him, “Don’t you laugh at me!”

girlfriday: Or when the cast reunited fiiiiiinally, and got to compete for who suffered more.

javabeans: And the cyclists were groaning about their sore unmentionables from the bike seats, and the other team was like, “We had to fish!”

girlfriday: Yes. They could’ve separated for the afternoon, done separate missions, and met for dinner. That would’ve saved us like two episodes’ worth of unexciting screentime.

javabeans: There was a great blink-and-you-miss-it moment when Shi-yoon was exclaiming about how hard his mission was (which was great because he actually sucked it up really well at the time), and he actually gets teary-eyed recounting it.

girlfriday: Yeah like he gets a little too invested in his retelling, and actually starts to cry. Ha.

javabeans: I think the main “event” of Episode 3 is a perfect example of what the show’s fatal flaw is: There’s much ado about nothing. The eight members come up with this idea to do this flash mob dance (which, by the way, was SO NOT a flash mob on a base conceptual level)—

girlfriday: I KNOW. There was a stage. Hello.

javabeans: And they invited everyone ahead of time! How is that spontaneous? They spend all afternoon telling people to come to their barefoot flash mob, and then instead of just breaking into dance, UEE gets up on stage and starts performing to the crowd, and then the others join in, and you’re thinking, This is fun, they’re all dancing, but what is the point again?

girlfriday: The much ado about nothing is a good way to put it, because I think that’s why Ho-dong’s other show, Our Neighborhood Variety Sports, is doing well, for exactly the other reason — it’s small, unpretentious, and allows you to get invested in something without having to sell it.

javabeans: It felt like the producers of Barefoot Friends got really excited about their show and left the planning meeting one step too early, like where they decided the actual premise of it. Because I no longer think, “Hm, I don’t know what the premise is,” but rather, “Oh, they forgot to come up with one.” There’s a great cast, strong personalities, and… no purpose. In fact it would have been better to just focus on their moments as buddies and skip the fancy voyaging. I felt like I was watching one of those really dull soap operas where I only care about one loveline, and therefore sit through a lot of boring stuff just to get glimpses of what I want. In this case, the good stuff is the cast members being funny and joking around and insulting each other.

girlfriday: But those moments are too few for an hour-and-a-half show.

javabeans: I won’t give up on the concept just yet, but they would have to retool the concept and keep it in Korea for it to work, I think. Losing the stress of trying to communicate and convert money and navigate a foreign city gives them much more room to be free and comfortable.

girlfriday: Sadly I don’t think the show knows that yet. They’re headed to Indonesia next, which means more of the same.

javabeans: Ack. Then no, I won’t be watching, because I’ve had my fill of secondhand embarrassment.

girlfriday: The real question is will anyone in Korea be watching, because if it doesn’t get higher numbers soon, it’ll get cancelled in no time. No one ever said variety was easy.

Via My Daily


108 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Starstruck.

    Tbh, this show just feels like a 1n2d gone wrong. It’s such a pity though since I love the cast and really hope that KHD’s project will be good especially after moonlight prince.

    • 1.1 bernie

      this show just feels like a 1n2d gone wrong

      THIS. watching barefoot friends, i’m just even more impressed with the people behind 1n2d for keeping it interesting for so long.

      • 1.1.1 thisismyop

        The thing is Kang Ho-dong’s style of brash variety is going out of style, it’s almost like he is a relic of another era. Tbh, none of his current shows are that good – Moon Light Prince – unfit concept and boring, same with Barefoot Friends, and even Our Neighbourhood will get stale pretty soon. Even that talk show he does has come under fire recently. Why is he on so many shows?

        Joining SM was a bad move, yes he gets the SM brand behind him, but SM also seems to be overplaying their involvement and trying to piggy back off him, which is not exactly helping him, but might actually be doing him more harm.

        • kim


        • gg

          ~~~ none of his current shows are that good ~~~

          Don’t blame that on HIM. Blame the stupid writers who are writing all these stupid shows!

          And while I’m here, the people in these shows (Kang Hodong, Lee Sugeun, etc) need to STOP TALKING SHOP – about who is getting air time, about the director, about all the backstage stuff that we don’t care about. It’s B O R I N G !

          I like Kang Hodong. I think he deserves to be a celebrity. But these stupid new shows are really hurting him.

    • 1.2 zodd

      Girlfriday is right, they should have made the concept more simple and clear. Had the team split to either two or three teams and have them compete with each other. The team that had earned the most money with the jobs they worked on will get to stay in a more well off home and eat the best food, while the losers get to stay in the worst homes with the least tasty food to eat.

      Right now the point of the show doesn’t make much sense with not much at stake. Look at other popular variety shows like Running Man, Laws of the Jungle and most recently Dad Where are you going? All those shows make clear the point of their shows and make it simple for any to understand.

      Hopefully they’ll retool the show otherwise it’s going bye bye.

  2. Jules

    It’s sad because I like most of the cast, but this show bores me to tears. There are funny bits, but they’re too few and far between to hold my interest.

    I actually spent most of episode 2 wondering why it was 3 hours long and when it was going to end already. 🙁

    • 2.1 Megan

      Yeah. I love the cast, but there are too many irreverent missions.

      I think they’re trying to get their monies worth by stretch one trip into three episodes. But there is only enough good content to fill one and a half.

  3. Dita

    For me, it’s like watching “BIG”. Expecting something GREAT until the very end, but still, I got nothing. It’s too shame,,

    • 3.1 meanrice


    • 3.2 fifi

      hhaahhahaha,u mention BIG. yes, that drama is really suck., while the casts are so great.

  4. snow_white

    I haven’t seen the show but it sounds boring after reading about it!!

    • 4.1 mira

      it was really boring for me but I thought it’s because unlike other people I didn’t care much for most of the cast members ….but that wasn’t it , it WAS boring .

      • 4.1.1 zodd

        The show feels like it should be edited down to just 1 hr. Right now there’s too much filler and dead air. It feels oddly/lazy edited.

    • 4.2 Miyuh

      It IS boring. I really didn.t expect much and just gave it a try for Hodong, but i was really disappointed. There was nothing worth watching. It was rather bland.
      I stopped myself from watching, i couldn’t bear looking at Hodong speaking in korean to a vietnamese….

  5. rainerust

    It would have been really fun if they could have upped the stakes by ditching the translators and accommodation etc. Aka a real backpacking adventure – or amazing race type thing! I would tune in. This one – I love the cast but the whole premise just bores me to tears
    I only managed half an episode before I zoned out completely and dropped it.

    • 5.1 tigerl21

      That’s exactly what I was thinking! They don’t have an Amazing Race type show in Korea at the moment that I can think of. You have the traveling element with a little learning something new on the side and competition elements to keep it exciting.

      I also found myself zoning. The only interesting or fun part was the cyclist team. The interactions were more fun and their reactions to pressure were more interesting to watch because it was so physical.

  6. Hannah

    How sad! I think the creators of this show invested too much on the cast alone. No concept and planning was done. I hope they change the format soon! The show has so much promise but doesn’t deliver.

    • 6.1 jane

      I think it was a running man mix with 1D2N and yes I agree that it had a lot of pointless missions. Also I dont support torturing the emcees in excess. The cycling mission was painful to watch and I dont enjoy seeing people in real extended suffering for variety. Tats why I prefer Runningman, because the stars get to play funny games and I know they get their lunch and dinner.

      Also I think Kang Ho Dong is partial to Kim Hyun Joong instead of bringing out the personality of others like Uee and ( I cant even remember who else was on the same team as him).

  7. Mystisith

    Meh. I tried to watch an episode but dropped it like a hot potato. I’m not a variety show lover obviously and I just want YSY on a new drama or a movie. 🙁

    • 7.1 zodd

      Watch ‘Dad where are you going?’ instead, such a great concept show. Love seeing the the dad’s bond with their kids, lots of touching moments.

  8. Ivoire

    I just read the title and I have some friends who actually like the show. I was planning on checking it out soon. It is so sad that their ratings are so low :-(. I was hoping the cast would be successful in this venture.

  9. ellina

    Uee is too bland to be the only female cast member. They should have gotten Lizzy instead.

    • 9.1 anonymous

      Who is Lizzy?

      • 9.1.1 mav

        The original Satoori Idol. She is another After School member.. and I second that idea, I adore Uee, but I just think Lizzy is really funny.

    • 9.2 Mia

      Agreed. I love UEE as a person, but Lizzy has the personality for variety.

      Or, instead of an idol, they could have gone with an interesting, underrated actress a la Song Ji-hyo…or, y’know, a comedienne.

    • 9.3 bd

      Lizzy is OK, but she’s no Sunhwa or Narsha when it comes to variety.

  10. 10 skinnymocha

    They’re trying too hard to be everything whilst amounting to… nothing. I hope the show finds its concept soon. I feel bad for all the cast members.

    • 10.1 branwen

      The most I feel bad is Kim Hyun Joong. He’s just recovering from the cancellation? of his drama. I do feel bad for Yoon Shi Yoon, too, because it looks like he really want this show to work. I watched him in tVN taxi and I remember how he looked so eager to be on par again with Joo Won. Poor puppy…

  11. 11 djes

    I also thought this show is boring, I don’t even want to check the 2nd ep.. But I want to watch the upcoming episodes, since they traveled to my country, Indonesia!

    This show unfortunately drags the fellow SBS variety show, Running Man ‘s rating ( arguably RM is getting boring too…it’s 100+ eps, you need to create new format to keep it fresh ), and MBC has Dads, Where are we going & Real Men which have more interesting formats…

    Is Kang Hodong losing his touch? 🙁

    • 11.1 latteholic

      On the contrary, after a so-so episodes (from 100+) I think RM is just picked up again, their last 8 episodes were interesting and fun to watch, but yeah, I think BF also drags the rating down if they keep going like this.
      I used to think that the problem with BF lies in the editing, because there’s so many silent/nothin-really-happened moments, but I guess there really wasn’t much happening in the show to begin with, and like majority, I feel like they don’t suffer enough. I had high expectations when they were given the mission to live as Vietnamese, because imagine how interesting to watch them trying to communicate, etc. And with YSY studying the language in the middle of the night, I’d think that the other team would fare better only to find out that there was no need to study the language after all because they will have a translator tagging along with them. But I did enjoy watching the part where the other team was working as cyclo drivers though, and how most of the tourists didn’t pay them immediately and they have to ask them for money. Awkward but funny.
      And I don’t know whether it’s just me, but I felt like KHD come off as a bit awkward here, maybe because he hasn’t been MC-ing in a while? Seems like he doesn’t have as many good comebacks as he used to have.
      I guess I’ll be checking next episode as well since thy’re going to Indonesia And KHD needs to tone down a bit when he’s in there, people will think that he’s being angry at them or something if he’s still that loud, but again that would be interesting to watch 😀

      • 11.1.1 Mia

        “On the contrary, after a so-so episodes (from 100+) I think RM is just picked up again, their last 8 episodes were interesting and fun to watch, but yeah, I think BF also drags the rating down if they keep going like this.”

        Yep. Running Man was hit-or-miss for a period (although there was always really funny bits even in on-the-whole dull episodes), but it seems to have generally picked up steam lately.

  12. 12 lemondoodle

    This will probably be canceled soon and they’ll fix it, get rid of the who/what isn’t working and then come back with something better. Like they did with Hodong’s other show.

  13. 13 Ace

    Yeah, this show is boring compared to the other new variety shows. Wish they’d kept it simple (and short) because now, I’m all, when’s it going to end? Wasting good variety personas in KHD, KHJ, Eunhyuk and newbies YSY & UEE.

  14. 14 Sponge

    Saddest news since i love the cast but understandable since i did indeed try to watch barefoot friends but closed it after about 10minutes, the concept is so boring. If it has to be cancelled, i hope the cast all move together or find themselves in a good variety alternative, it’s just too unfortunate, seriously khj back in variety and eunhyuk part of a cast and ahh just everyone 🙁

  15. 15 owl

    Yeah, jb, ‘secondhand embarrassment’ is so uncomfortable. I want to like the show, and watched all 3 eps, but there is an amateurish quality that isn’t endearing, it’s just not well done. Love the cast and there were cute moments, but I think if the producers had fit good footage into 2 eps in Vietnam and – as you both point out multiple times – had a tighter purpose, well okay, at least some purpose, them we’d all be cheering them on. Not sure this will be able to hold up on it’s weak premise.

  16. 16 merry

    i think this show gives people laughter. its not that bad

  17. 17 junibacken

    I watched the show and got really confused with the whole situation. They had to earn certain amount of money to be able to pay the room but we never know they really earned it or not. I have no intention to watch eps. 3 and maybe will watch the early Indonesian episode, just because I’m an Indonesian 😀

  18. 18 

    1N2D, Running Man, Family Outing – all great. And I like Dream Team too since I get so immersed in the records, who wins and so on. But this show? No, it’s not what we want. It’s simply boring and to pick UEE as the only female of the cast was a bad choice. Either get another girl or change her. Don’t get me wrong, I like UEE but she’s just not fit for the role, unlike Song Jihyo’s personality in Running Man to put an example. Actually I think it would be for the better to cancel it or start anew with the concept.

  19. 19 branwen

    I thought it would be closer to Family Outing, but Barefoot Friends is seriously missing some rapport from the casts. It’s so frustrating to watch because there are obviously some great members but the chemistry among them is lacking. I remember how the FO family worked really hard to get their characters at first, even resorting to bullying Chun Hee so him and Soo Ro can get their screentime. Even Yoo Jae Suk helped Jong Kook and the other members to have a character so they won’t fell behind. I guess Kang Ho Dong should just help his members to develop their own characters so the show can move on from being awkward to at least acceptable.

    • 19.1 bd

      FO was great not just b/c of the characterizations each member picked up, but b/c they all interacted really well together and brought a lot of heart to the show as well as laughter.

      The same thing goes for RM.

      • 19.1.1 branwen

        Yeah, FO did have lots of rapport and they were a great cast. I’m just saying that if not for the early developments of their characters, things won’t be as easy for them. Running Man also had to undergo characterizations so they can interact well. Joong Ki was the only one who struggled for a character, which resulted in lacked of air time and then leaving the show eventually. And I don’t even felt bad when he did because he was barely there.

        • KimYoonmi

          Joongki had a character… but he also got success in the time he was on the show, which lead to scheduling conflicts which is why he left the show.

          I liked his character on Running Man, the one with Noonchi and the flower boy. Also the one that pretended not to be Lee Kwang Soo’s friend though he was good friends with him.

          He also was pretty quick at figuring out strategies for the games and established some strategies that they still use in the show today. (Such as the spread out and search, the coordination) etc.

          It wasn’t because he lacked airtime he left, it was because he got movies, dramas, and was inundated with work. While Lee Kwang Soo continues with bit roles. And Song Ji Hyo can keep it up because while she’ filming, she can be “Miss Mong” all she wants. (Which isn’t a negative for either of them)

          I liked Joong Ki, so I was sad to see him go. Sometimes he’d outsmart the writers of the program and was good at organizing the members quietly in his own way.

  20. 20 mav

    Honestly I like the show, I love the cast and I think they have great chemistry and some really funny moments. However, as JB and GF explained they are too far a part and too little for a show that last more than an hour. Also, I kept thinking throughout the entire 3 episodes that they should have just given each cast member one of those travel books that have info basic words and conversation lines and make them actually need/use them. I think that would have provided some really funny moments.

    Also… I felt there were no stakes in the game.. if there even was one… One needs stakes in variety to make things interesting!

  21. 21 Chaloner

    Reasons for low ratings is because during the first episode it was boring as hell I nearly fell asleep.

  22. 22 TS

    It’s a bit dull. It goes up and down in waves like a sine curve.

  23. 23 SandrOu

    It was really boring, the thing i was looking forward the most was to get the whole cast together. And it was fun and that’s the end of it. Couldn’t they just make someting about travelling? with a fun cast i believe that it will be way better, because the cast are suffering for nothing

  24. 24 Jay

    So far I like the show but I do agree with it’s pitfalls. I think it’s important to remember that although there are 3 episodes there really only has been one filming and therefore format changes couldn’t be made yet nor could they make changes after episode 1 to up the ratings on 2 and 3. I think it’s possible that the upcoming episode in Indonesia could have a better flavor based on what they learned from filming the first three and also now that they have all traveled together once. Perhaps the ‘getting to know’ stage will be over.

  25. 25 myra

    Everything feels wrong with this show. It’s almost unbearable to watch and the members have NO CHEMISTRY. The only one I can stand is Yoon Shi-Yoon. Even Kang Ho-Dong and Eun-Hyuk (sadly) are not doing great on this show. Choosing Uee was a big mistake, I mean why her. Didn’t you already see her performance in variety programs before, SBS? And while I liked Hyunjoong in WGM, I don’t think he’s suitable in this type of variety. The Sahara joke was so not funny. Hyunjoong is not good with remarks. He can be witty and funny, but only with people he’s familiar with. The missions were extremely boring and felt dragged out. Please, do some homeworks before you start a new show, SBS.

  26. 26 ium

    I hope they’re able to pull it together before the show gets canceled.I really like the cast and don’t think they’re the issue. I do think that they should have added another female to the group. Since they are travelling it would be nice if Uee head another female cast member there for support and company.I think that having only one female works when you have a strong personality that can go head to head with the other male cast members. To me Hyori, Baek Ji Young, and Song Ji Hyo are some female variety stars that have this quality.

  27. 27 anvesha

    What I want… same cast, a different show. This cast is so good yet the premise makes it a boring show instead of highlighting their personalities. It seemed like the Production team thought they would do 1N2D but copped out and made it easy.

  28. 28 KHJ

    how i wish they just stay in Korea and play game together instead of running all around, i watched the 1st ep in Vietnam and it was boring like hell.
    I miss the old shows like Love letter, x man
    I love it when celebrities play game and pair up together.

  29. 29 fun-lugha

    I just watched ep 2 and giggled quite a bit especially when they are struggling with the language, be it Vietnamese or English! Am just wondering for example just how bad was RM before it finally became a hit with the ratings? cuz I only started watching it last year so I wasn’t even aware it had started off so badly since for me the beginning episodes were especially funny! Maybe it’s the same issue here, only if they are given a chance ;(

    • 29.1 zodd

      RM demographic in the first 1 year and half was largely children and teen, but the older demographic didn’t watch RM. Which is why it had low ratings but didn’t get cancelled thanks to the strong following of the younger audience.

  30. 30 Abbie

    This is really depressing, because I like the show okay, though I’ve only seen two episodes. I agree the show has no concept yet, but it’s not a bad show. Great cast personalities are a big plus. I really wish the show would stick to Korea like Running Man, and only venture overseas occasionally, again, like Running Man. If it’s just going to be the cast going overseas for no real reason, then I’m gonna quit watching, which is sad, since I like a lot of the cast members. And I haven’t seen Kang Ho-dong in anything while he was “retired”. This is just sad. I hope they spend one episode in Indonesia and then return to Korea.

    • 30.1 Abbie

      Okay, I just watched episode 3 of Barefoot Friends, and would like to change my opinion a little. I watched it on Dramafever, so I’m going by the subtitles from there.

      I still think the show has a long ways to go before it’s like Running Man or 1 Night 2 Days, but I think it does have a (sort of) concept. At the end, after the flash mob, Jong Shin was talking about how the people of Vietnam put new shoes on their bare feet, and that they would return home with those new shoes on. And the captions after the flash mob said that “Their first footprint was as hot as the sun in Vietnam” or something like that. So I think what this show is about is Korean celebrities going to other places (for now it seems to be all foreign countries, although I do wish they would stick to Korea for a while) to learn as much as the can about other cultures and other ways of life, and to “make a footprint” their with their bare feet, and leave with a better understanding of life outside of their “world”. It’s all symbolic, in that the “make a footprint” thing means to make friends, or make some one smile, or make them happy for a little while. If you think about it, it is really touching. I thought episode three really solidified that concept.

      So, yes, I’ll be sad if this show gets cancelled, because I feel like this first trip was just to test the waters and get the cast and crew to stand on their own two feet (haha), and to make them comfortable with the following missions. I do think three episodes was too long for one trip, but, again, the show (and everyone on it/connected to it) is still trying to figure itself out. So, please Javabeans and Girlfriday, don’t sell this show short just yet. Give it a chance, because if it lasts, I really think this will be a real treasure of a variety/travel show. Whichever it turns out to be.

      • 30.1.1 Abbie

        I made a few mistakes and typos, I was so excited to type everything. LOL. But, I do believe everything I said.

      • 30.1.2 rosy

        I agree 100 percent!

  31. 31 bella

    Sigh. Love the cast. But in defence, 1n2d too struggled in their earlier episodes with cast resigning (noh hong chul, ji sang ryul anyone? – yes i’m that old) and they too changed concepts. Same with RM they are competing with 1n2d before their rating rises. Ji hyo has been doing the show for years now, but to compare it with Uee when the cast met for what, five days? Thats not fair me thinks. I agree they need to change the concept n everythg. I came to watch for Eunhyuk, there’s no Eunhyuk in the next ep. Not sure i’ll watch but hmm who knows…

  32. 32 melissa

    OMG You guys just summed up everything I felt about the show!! Great idea, but nothing interesting. Variety is about humor, but this show has barely any of that. With such an awesome MC like Kang Hong Dong, along with witty Seyoon and Eunhyuk, they really can’t do better?
    And this show must cost sooooo much to produce, with the plane tickets and all.

  33. 33 anna

    Oh that’s a pity. I do enjoy the casts, but the premise of this show is a total mess. Do these producers read netizen’s comments? Do they not realize the mess they’re in? Please do something about it quickly, but if the next trip is another 3 episodes of nothingness, it’ll be cancelled real soon 🙁

  34. 34 MiNI

    I watched this for Vietnam, but now that that arc is over…

  35. 35 hoaa

    They came to my hometown, Yogyakarta – Indonesia, for the next episode. All of my friends was so excited because usually korean star visit Jakarta when they came to Indonesia.

    Yes, the show is boring. I’m absolutely agree. I haven’t seen the show yet because i’m waiting people comment after watching the show. And after reading this review i’m glad i’m not watching it haha.

  36. 36 Quiet Thought

    Do recall the question DB asked in the first review: why ONLY ONE WOMAN in the cast? Are these producers so scared of “gurls” that they couldn’t ask another one out on a date? Do they think only boys can have adventures? Even Gilligan’s Island had Mrs. Howell, Ginger, and Mary Ann.

  37. 37 Annas

    Why not create a ‘drama’ to gain interest.. Love line whatsoever.. haha.

    I guess too many shows go around Korea, so they wanted a change and go for overseas shooting. I’ve seen fan taken photos and it’s chaotic, poor the cast…

    I’m not a fan of this show but I want to congratulates Uee for going makeup free and toss away her sexy image before. How much I love seeing her in this show, I hope to see her act again, she’s one talented and hardworking idol. I wish her all the best..

  38. 38 Carole McDonnell

    I generally can’t stand boring but I liked this. I think the problem is that there is this anticipation mode in the episodes. As if the writer/director knows something good is coming up and which they believe the viewer will have the goodwill to wait for. It’s like reading a book and the author hovering over your shoulder waiting telling you that the good part is coming soon. So, even if the climax is good — which it rarely is– there is nothing while you wait for the big climax. And yes, no one is really suffering. We love them as stars but we don’t want to see them living their lives like stars who are being pampered as they play at being lost in another country.

    There are ways to have their interactions taped without having cameras everywhere. Google glasses for everyone or cameras put on their lapels or something.

    And really another thing is some of these idols do come off as kinda boring. Maybe they are shy or maybe they don’t know each or maybe they don’t want to offend viewers or foreigners..or maybe they’re simply being too polite or not being themselves. But the only one who stands out for me are Kang Dong, Kim Hyung Joong (cause he’s cute, funny, and stays close to Kang Dong), and Yoon Si Yoon. Even the sole female presence doesn’t seem to matter.

    But all that said. I’ll be watching cause I find it very meditative…just to sit and watch what’s happening with our travelers without really anticipating anything. But then again, I like travel shows.

    • 38.1 epuda

      ditto! Carole McDonell. I like the show probably because its my first variety show and I have nothing to compare it with. And it is really really endearing me to Kim Hyunjoong. I really like his sense of humour! i jelled with him when he threw down his cap in mock anger when Yoon Si Yoon forgot his line while acting with some students and said that the director is now in angry mood!! I wish he could do a drama now!!! Of course my love and loyality to Yoon Si Yoon stay unwavered BUT…Kim Hyun Joogggggggggggggg

  39. 39 Okay

    Eh, I just watch for yoon shi yoon. He tries really hard to do his tasks.

    • 39.1 fifi

      me too :))

  40. 40 Okay

    And I actually hope they don’t cancel it. I just wish they change the concept of it. I think the problem for this show is that they keep acting like they are in Korea. And that’s what makes it hard to watch cause when they are acting loud the Vietnamese just look at them like “what the fudge”.

  41. 41 bambledd

    Hard to believe they really go barefoot, knowing how feet are considered so dirty in Korean culture (for ex: wearing of slippers inside the house; washing feet when you get home or before bed)

  42. 42 Zephyr's Mom Is Sticking it Out

    I am going to be an optimist. Episode 1: first half was funny and then went downhill once “cyclo” team started their task/mission. “They (the team)” were boring.

    Episode 2: a big 180 from Episode 1 because I was seriously laughing my head off especially with KHJ bargaining for the pancake supplies; Dong-Ho getting slapped from pancake lady; “Me? Handsome?” guy getting told by a teenager “NO!” he’s not; KHJ desperate for his “pho” noodles and his look of surprise and disappointment that he will not be eating pho; Yoon Si-Yoon “I’m strong!” moment, “Ohara” desert scene (LOL), etc. . . that I’ve actually rewatched Epi 2 at least 8 times already this past week!

    Yes, editing sucks. Maybe it should be an hour show to make the flow and laughs better. And missions needs to be “fair”. With UEE there as the only girl, I hope that producers are NOT going to make the team she’s on do less physical missions because she’s a girl. That wouldn’t be fair at all.

    I hope the direction will be more clear cut to save the show because I am liking the dynamics of some of the cast already (especially KHJ and YSY). Make UEE do physical work please otherwise, replace her!!

    If the show can bring me more laughs like the effect that Episode 2 had for me, I will continue watching the show!!!

  43. 43 ftlove

    The show is so boring.

    I didn’t even get it – one group had to be blindfolded to the red sand, while the other went to the historical site, and the thing is, they’re not even there for a mission. They were brought there to just hear the mission. That’s just so lame. Weird thing was that no one mentioned anything.

    Variety shows are funny because of interactions of the members, but in this show, they hardly interact because of their boring missions. And we’re not watching some reality challenge show like Survivor or anything.

    But still, I love the casts (expect for Ho Dong. Sorry fans) – and I do wish that the future episodes are not as boring as these 3 episodes.

  44. 44 kdramalover

    As for myself…i started seeing Dad Where are we going? …then i thought lets see barefoot friends…as my most liked two people are in it Shi yoon and hyun joong ..but after seeing it for 30 mins i got bored of it and return to watch Dad where are we going again…

    So No matter how much i like Shi yoon and hyun joong ..i understood that seeing only 4 ep (as i am started seeing it online) I just fall in love with Min Guk , Hoo,Jiah , Jun and Junsu…so my deepest sorry to shi yoon and hyun joong ^^

  45. 45 denise

    to live like a vietnamese for 24hrs in vietnam looks hard, but the cast had help so i guess it’s not the same as roughing it.

  46. 46 cheekbones


    I truly want the show to succeed just because it has a great cast. What a waste of (variety) talents.

    Even if the Indonesian episode(s) is gonna be better (which is a big question mark), I doubt that people would stay with it.

  47. 47 Stevie N.

    The show feels contrived at times. And Kang Ho Dong got on my nerves the first episode, big time. But I’ll keep watching. Masochism? Perhaps. But I’ve always rooted for the underdog, and BF is just that, the underdog of all variety shows in Korea at the moment. The show either gets dumped or improves. So if there are more episodes, it means we can only go up from here.

    Plus, Uee (is that her name?) has something about her that makes me like her. She’s not your typical giggly girl. She is serious, intense and after seeing her dance like that she really showed why she’s a star in Korea.

    YSY and KHJ are like diamonds in the rough. So much potential there. I only wish the producers up their game a bit and createore interesting challenges.

  48. 48 altair

    KHD – trying too hard to be witty and funny and failing at both
    Uee – bland
    KJH – barely interesting
    Yoon Shi Yoon – a revelation in variety, but wasted on this show
    Eunhyuk – wasted variety talent
    Yoo Se Yoon – wasted variety talent
    YJS – wasted variety talent
    The other guy, I don’t even know his name or what he does for a living, is practically non-existent.
    BFF is cringe-worthy. I can’t bring myself to watch the full show. I just randomly skip through it. Next!

  49. 49 Chizzy girl

    i feel so bad for laughing at the drop in rating…it is so freaking the time we all know it, it is gonna be at 0 0%

  50. 50 gratisetamore

    The show is ambitious and too many loose ends as a result. They should have been together first before splitting into two groups. They had no time to develop their rapport with each other and yet the show would like us to believe it was the first time they met through email then at the airport. It was rushed and yet the missions were hard. But then we know not really because the staff did all the advance prep work.

    KHD was too loud,his face all over the screen and dominating the group. Maybe the comments here are right-that was vintage approach.The MC should make their members shine not him.I like Shin’s style laid back but firm and democratic. What was UEE doing there ? Even if she left no one would miss her. Put someone crazy and loud if only to counteract KHD and to upstage all the boys. By the way,BF is a boys’ club since the beginning.

    There was supposed to be a scene where they were in Vietnamese clothing what happened to it -it wasn’t shown at all (though I heard film was destroyed -really now).

    There were other missions that we didn’t hear of its ending and for what.

    I think they want to make a difference so that the variety show stands out, unfortunately it couldn’t deliver as promised. But maybe they are doing emergency meets in SK so let’s give it more chance to shine.

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