Maybe not such a great idea
(Emcee and actress Hyun Young with Canadian panel participant Julien Kang)
With the success of the talk/variety show Chatting with Beautiful Women, which I briefly mentioned here, producers were quick to jump on the money train and slap together a male counterpart for a Chuseok special program called (what else?) Chatting with Beautiful Men. But it seems they just produced a show that has attracted more criticism than praise…
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
Verbal Jint – “Make-up Sex” (Feat. Kjun) [ zShare download ]
I didn’t catch the show, because Misuda (the regular, women-participant version) bores me — decent idea, pedestrian execution, in my opinion. It would be much more interesting if, say, they raised the level of discourse to ask about matters of social relevance, or politics, or culture… But from what I’ve caught (admittedly not a whole lot), it seems like a lot of bland twitter and flirty-flirty attempted banter with the Korean male celebrity guest panel, which makes for cringingly awkward conversation. But Koreans seem to like it. It’s like an outside look at their society from within their society. Foreign but not too foreign.
(Chatting with Beautiful Women)
Anyway, call me sexist or stereotypical but a male version of Misuda appeals to me even less — could it really be anything more than giggly female celebrities cooing over handsome foreign men in broken Korean? Thanks, but I had plans to gouge out my eyes already, and Perez Hilton called dibs. (It’s like crack; you know it’s horrible and salacious and brain-rotting, but you keep going back for more…)
Koreans audiences apparently feel the same distaste, although perhaps for slightly different reasons. The program aired on the evening of the 24th and has in the few days following its broadcast created a flurry of online criticism.
The conversation was intended to be go along the lines of each foreign-born hottie explaining what he liked about Korea, but their free-flowing, unfiltered coarse talk instead offended viewers by putting down Korean women. A little bit of the critique goes to hosts Hyun Young (actress and singer-lite) and Nam Hee Seok for asking lame questions like “Which of the female panelists would you most like to have a drink with?” Viewers disliked the shallow talk which barely touched on any matters of interest, such as asking about the culture gap and the men’s opinions on the differences of living in Korea.
(Julien Kang from Canada, Pierre Deporte from France)
But you’ve got to give credit where it’s due, and stupidly thoughtless comments must be blamed on those who uttered them more than those who asked the questions: French pretty boy Pierre, for instance, made the cavalier remark that often in nightclubs, Korean women approach and keep talking even when he makes it clear he finds them annoying, sitting next to him, drinking, and asking him his name. In these instances, the gracious guy said his method of choice is to just ignore them. (Hey, I’m not saying the guy’s wrong — he’s entitled to feel annoyed by whomever, whenever — but maybe he could’ve figured some things are best not spoken on nationally broadcast television, on a show where you know you’ll be under particular scrutiny.)
Also contributing to the public’s dissatisfaction is that the show aired as holiday programming at the family hour of 8pm. Yeah, maybe not the best time to be making innuendos and flying free with the loose talk.
Online message boards have been full of criticism and debate over the broadcast, commenting that the program has as much (or as little, rather) value as an hour of commercials. No interesting insights were gained; only feathers were ruffled. Then again, in Korean netizen culture, one day’s hot-button debate is tomorrow’s “Huh, what was that?” source of amnesiac apathy, so maybe they’re over it by now.
(Leonard McCormick from the U.S., Enes Kaya from Turkey)