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Travel-docu-turned-home-cooking show Barefoot Friends gets axed

SBS is pulling the plug on its flagging variety show Barefoot Friends, and really my biggest question is how the show lasted this long in the first place. I’ve been expecting to hear news of its cancellation for months, but somehow it kept chugging along despite low ratings and changing concepts.

Barefoot Friends was on for seven months though it never built much of an audience (Real Men was the winner in that timeslot), but perhaps the broadcasters were loath to give up such a cast, since there were a number of winning personalities in the mix. Kang Ho-dong hasn’t quite recovered his old success from pre-retirement but he’s still a popular MC, and with stars like Kim Hyun-joong, Yoon Shi-yoon, Eunhyuk, UEE, and Eun Ji-won, there’s no reason the show couldn’t have been better.

We caught the show when it premiered and weighed in on the first episode, which was less than we’d hoped for. Back then Barefoot Friends was loosely conceived of as a reality travel docu show, dropping its stars off into unfamiliar waters overseas and watching them struggle in the name of entertainment. That didn’t do so well (mostly because the trips lacked purpose or direction), so then they ditched the travel concept, grounded the cast at home, and started visiting various celebrities’ homes for a home-cooking type of show. Sound confused? Yep.

Once Barefoot Friends gives up its spot on SBS’s Good Sunday lineup, audition reality show K-Pop Star 3 will take up the timeslot as the lead-in to Running Man. Audition shows have been all the rage for the past several years (and has led to a number of launched pop careers), so it seems the safe bet; it almost feels like Barefoot was just keeping the seat warm while the show was in its off-season.

Barefoot Friends’ last episode will air on November 17, and K-Pop Star 3 starts November 24.

Via Star News

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I can't say I'm surprised, but I'm a little sad to see it go – the show could have been really fun if it had a firm grasp on its concept. Oh well, basically.

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I actually didn't think the original concept was weak at all. I never had any trouble following it. And I loved feeling like I was travelling with them.

I got really bored with the home cooking show. Shinhwa had done something similar too and it all seemed overdone - and it made me hungry.

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I find that very strange to keep a title and change the concept completely. Oh well... Anyway, half the actors of the show are starting (or about to start) a new drama. Dramaland is where I want to see them so it's a good news for me.

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Kind of sad, because I did like the show, and still do, though I haven't seen the past several episodes. From travel, it went to diving, then to song-writing, then it got bogged down in the home-cooked meal stuff. Yes, it got boring. But I still enjoyed seeing some of my favorite Korean celebrities hang out. I became more of a Kim Hyun-joong fan, and saw that Uee needs more confidence in herself when hanging out with a bunch of guys. I liked the show and will be sorry to see it go, though I can't say I'm surprised. I blame the writers, the PD and the SBS guys for creating such a terrible show that wasted the talents of many good entertainers.

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Somehow I was a faithful fan although I can't exactly explain why. It was the combination of celebs that I kept believing, hoping would gel. You're right, the editing and show concept was a problem from the start. There were definitely fun high moments Eunhyuk winning a diving competition, UEE showing herself to be quite the athlete, Yoon Shi Yoon's song to grandpa with Junniel (still think they would make an adorable couple), KHJ loosening up a bit, Ho Dong mellowing, Ji Won bringing laughs - it was fun but never quite got there - I wanted it to get over the hump of nebulousness, and it never really did. I look forward to seeing the celebs in other venues soon :)

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exactly

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Ditto

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Very well put. Agree 100%! :)

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Yes I totally agree. I wasn't exactly sold on the traveling concept, but I loved the diving and song writing parts. I just love it when they challenge themselves to do things they have never done! If that was to be the new concept, I would have stuck with the show.

But instead, it went to homes after homes after homes. It became like house tours and food and watching Kang Ho Dong doing Bibimbap every week.

I fee like it's so wasted! Really liked the diving :(

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Agreed, I loved the diving episode. Not too many of these shows are subtitled and easily available here, and this one gave me an up close and personal look at these stars whom I have admired as performers. Sorry to see it go, but I think the weak editing that produced over-long episodes killed it.

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Hopefully the now freed subbing resources will start to turn towards Real Man/Real Men. IIRC its last rating was 18.8%, the best of all variety shows. There is a reason for that!

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Yes!!! I've been waiting for someone to sub Real Men forever! Only saw first episode that was sub.

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Me too! So much to learn about everyday Korea. The celebs interacting with the regular soldiers is a resource of knowledge for us foreigners.

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I have been watching the show faithfully cause thank goodness I can read chinese and the chinese sub comes out pretty quickly.

It's a really good show in my opinion! I was actually surprised that the Korea military would agree to do this variety show long term given that they are well known for their strictness and sensitive issues.

Overall, it's a well executed show, just that I found myself skipping some parts due to the repetitive editing for some episodes.

Haha hope it gets subbed soon in english :)

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I started watching this when Ji-won joined the cast, and it's funny to see his rapport with Ho-dong and his elementary taste buds. I actually enjoyed the home-cooking bits, because that's when I discover various yummy Korean foods and seasonings (I didn't know spinach powder is a type of seasoning). A lot of people have been complaining because it turned into a Ho-dong Show with his eating habits and all while compromising the airtimes of fellow castmates like Yoon Shi-yoon. That said, I'm kinda sad to see it go (my weekly Ji-won fix) but I can understand why it's gonna be axed. So long, Barefoot Friends.

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same!!!

i'll miss my EJW fix. was good seeing my eunjiwon and kanghodong comb

please do another show together! :O

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Well not suprised...but still am sad for Kang Ho Dong....

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The home-cooking concept they totally stole from Shinhwa Broadcast. Then the show kinda redeemed itself by visiting SHin Hye Sung's house with Minwoo as special guest. But next they visited the same family that Shinhwa visited for home cooking! Total BS. And wasn't the swimming competition concept also stolen from another show? Glad it's cancelled. The sad part is, KHJ fangirls will think it's because their oppa announced leaving the show last week.

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That's what I thought, too about stealing from SB. And SB has actually changed its concept several times and has been more successful with the changes.

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what is wrong with us thinking it's being cancelled because KHJ is leaving lol?? people like me started watching it for him and the show could have been cancelled ages ago but surprisingly it waited till KHJ decides to leave.

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Lol typical fangirling, proved the point of the previous comment precisely

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I'm sad the show is ending, this was the only Korean show my boyfriend would watch with and without me!

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sad for the celebs...but maybe some relief for them as well. Time to move on and stop the struggle.

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I have to say, I'm not surprised... The show had no aim from the begging to end... But the saddest part was that when I like it most was when the friends were in Korea just facing their fears and writing their stories in song.. They had such a good cast but they did not know how to use it. I used to love Ho Dong, but I found him so annoying now, and such a camera hog, but not in a good way... And the same goes with Jong Shin (who I loved in other things) but they will soon be forgotten in Variety History (hopefully because I want Si Yoon, UEE, Eun Hyuk, Hyung Joong back in reality world soon!)

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I agree! I feel so sorry for the cast.

It was sad to see a show start with essentially the same premise as GOF and flounder so badly. While Na PD has a good spidey sense for what an audience will find interesting, the PDs for BF didn't. They seemed to lack confidence in what would be interesting, so they just showed everything... interesting or not. And then when the audience did find something interesting, they way over used it in the following episodes.

For this reason I can't blame Ho Dong. For instance, he did tone down the loudness when that wasn't working. But then the PD replaced his 'loud' bit with another that was funny once, but annoying when used endlessly (the thing about Ho Dong putting massive amounts of food into his mouth).

To me, Ho Dong came across as a good guy, and smart. He had to know that they were stretching his gags thin. The fact that he was willing to go along with it said to me that he was willing to put himself on the line professionally for the sake of fulfilling his contract with the show.

Meanwhile, the other cast members had this recurring look on their faces that said "why am I even here?" Some bailed out early (EH was the only one who seemed to disappear quietly without making up an excuse). Others endured to the bitter end.

I respect them all for that. It couldn't have been easy.

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I agree with you somewhat, but you cant put a contract before your carrier. If you know people will easily get tired of you (especially since hes still jumping back into the fray) you cant be like that, all in people's faces that way. I've visited quite a few forums of people talking about BF and a lot of people felt the same about Ho Dong and Jong SHin, which is a shame because out of THIS show they both do well. And I missed EH wayyyy too much, but I cant blame him... I would have done the same! LOL

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Kang Ho-dong seems to have a bigger than life style in MCing rather than just guiding the action he seem to feel he has to at the centre all the time, I think he dose better with a wingman to balance him, otherwise, at for me he just gets on my nerves

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Re: "you cant put a contract before your carrier"

But aren't the entertainers really at the mercy of the PDs? I mean, who would hire him in the future if he wasn't willing to follow the PD's guidance about what types of things they wanted to see?

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Im sorry, but who would hire him in the future if no one wants to see him??? He's stuck in the old days of variety mc-ing... Things have changed since he left the variety world, which is not to sat that he should ignore the pd, but I doubt the PD tells him "act over the top and get on people's nerves..."

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I agree with this 100%! And since Hodong is in SM now.. and SM is actually part of the producers of the show aside from SBS.. well...

I feel so bad for him because he had such a good run with 1N2D, no show is yet to beat the awesomeness that was season 1. And this is what SBS gives him.

The writers and pds are SO AWFUL. They're the ones I blame the most for this. :/ There can't be no way they didn't know their flaws and yet they didn't even bother to work it out. What on Earth?

This show had it coming.. and I'm so sad. because once again I'll be missing my Papa Bear and Baby Bear. :(

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Not surprised, as most of the cast are heading off to dramas shortly. I actually enjoyed the show, and more so when they got to the cooking part. It introduced me to Korean food, which looks pretty yummy. Have to admit though, I only began watching for Kim Hyun Joong, and don't know how much of it I would have continued to view once he left the show.

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I still think the show had potential to be a refreshing variety show, but too bad. This is Kang Ho Dong's 2nd variety show that got canceled since his comeback; remember there was that midnight prince or something...

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That's too bad because I really liked the chemistry of the cast. Every I would drop in and it would be another food episode which got old fast. I wish the PDs had been able to put a concept together that worked rather than cobbling together old ideas. Oh well, I wish the cast members better luck in thejr next projects.

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I really really want Ho-Dong to be in variety show where he's used well. BF didn't have a concept to begin with so no matter how good the cast is, it's bound to fail.

I know it's far fetched but I hope Na PD can reunite Ho Dong and Seung gi for something. I miss those two together, along with the whole 1N2D cast. Here's hoping Ho-dong tea back to being the most successful MC and having the highest rated and received variety shows.

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THIS!!! 100% THIS!!!!!

PD Na and PD Lee with all the old members of 1N2D Season 1!

Bring in all the crews they had back then! The PD who got pranked, Daeju and the managers and the camera director best at mujikba and all the other people behind the scene!

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I'm actually disappointed, but I really only watched the show for Kim Hyun Joong. I really liked the food section and my hubby and I kept saying we had to try and make some of the dishes presented. I think all the personalities and how they interacted with each other were really funny. Oh well, but with three of them moving on to other projects, how long would it have lasted.

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I haven't watched the last couple of episodes, but it seemed KHJ was just starting to figure out how he could contribute his unique brand of 4Dness to the show. Like the bit about him spontaneously picking up food off the floor and eating it.

And the episode that had the 'lonely single celebrity' from Japan... she was hilarious. To see a woman so totally dominate the cast dynamic, and keep it from falling into its predictable pattern, was a thing to behold. Didn't KHJ even say she was too 4D? ...and the next thing we see is them standing in her closet, wearing funny hats and seeing who could strike the best sumo wrestler pose? LOL.

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Can someone tell me what happened to Eunhyuk in the last couple of episodes. Was he not free any more due to Super Show 5 but still technically apart of the show, or had he already quit (since face it we have seen this cancellation coming for a while).

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I think Super Show 5 had too many dates too close to each other, as well as the few SM Town concerts in between.

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I heard that BF shooting were done every weekend, and we know Super Junior has Super Show 5 almost every weekends. I think he was able to join because at first the shooting were every Wednesday, but then it changed to almost everyday for Diving themes and then to weekend. He never left officially tho.

Im just glad he quit quietly since the show was a sinking ship.

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Dear Show,
You tried, but you committed the heinous crime of being unfocused and BORING. Thus, the death penalty has arrived on your doorstep. Be brave and R.I.P!
:-)

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I think they wanted to give the show all its chances. I'm forever grateful they didn't pull the plug on Running Man when it wasn't doing well in the beginning. The show when through a few different concept before finding what worked for them and the audience.

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This doesn't surprise me at all. I've been more or less waiting for this. I had hoped a new fun variety show would come instead though.

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Can someone please translate this? I love Han Suk Kyu and it looks like casting news but I can't speak Korean so I can tell if it's in consideration or what it is. news.naver.com/main/ranking/read.nhn?mid=etc&sid1=111&rankingType=popular_day&oid=079&aid=0002528142&date=20131104&type=1&rankingSectionId=000&rankingSeq=5

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At first, I was really interested in this show when they traveled to different countries, but after that the show went downhill. There was no point to what they did (eating at other people's houses?!) and I'm actually really happy this show got cancelled. I can't wait for K-pop Star 3!

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I loved the last episodes on food and more food! I have fallen in love with Korean food. Luckily I live in a city where is a burgeoning Korean community and lots of korean stores so I can buy all the ingredients to try making some of their dishes! Yummy!!!!

I won't miss the cast because these guys are everywhere! and so many variety shows they put out, you are bound to meet the same celebs.
Thanks, it was fun!
I really love Kim Hyung Jun - he is a real good young man! These celebs really work hard at their job.

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oooops I meant Kim Hyung Joong, not Kim Hyung Jun -

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Am sad. i really like the show,it shows the other side of the actors. My fav was the time they try to conquer their weaknesses ,it's actually an inspiration. I got to know Kim Hyung Jun better.I think he's an honest person.Down to earth and hard working. I learned a lot of korean food thru the show,i wish to eat one of this day an "authentic" korean food. The show is very entertaining so i don't know why it's axed.Good luck to all the cast.Looking to another good show.

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I'm happy it is ending. I was glad BF introduced me to Korean variety. I liked seeing a bit more personal side of KJH and YSY. I learned who kang Ho-Dong was, which led me to enjoy him in first season 1N2D. Still, overall it was good ingredients that never made a grew stew.

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Bummer, I like that show. It's the only variety type show I could stand.

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Same here.

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The axe that had for long hung at BF's head finally dropped. Was it mercy killing? But might as well let it go after all, the major celebs would be leaving one by one.

Yes,we saw the softer side of the celebrities,their team work and how they tried very hard to make the show work in their favor even during perilous activities.

BF should have continued with its international travel and cultural immersion and the interaction with the local people. Though it was expensive due to so many stars and staff they could have gotten the sponsorship of the local governments of each country visited for its golden tourism value due to the media exposure. They should have prepared better and explored these possibilities. BF could have contributed in other areas other than entertainment alone.

I hope the stars who had good rapport with each other find better shows next time and as most said here where their talents are put to good use. As for the MC's they shouldn't dominate the show. They are supposed to be facilitators not show stealers. Besides don't these MC's have many shows already,why show their big faces being stuffed with a lot of food?

Well bye bye BF. In spite of the criticisms everybody still learned something.

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I am a little sad even though I fully understand why this happened and am also surprised it lasted this long.
the diving and song writing episodes were actually very interesting and hilarious to me - and the food episdoes were also not too bad when it was more about the games and interaction between cast members.

too bad won't be seeing this cast together again everyweek, but I am sure they will be cast in other shows.

oh wells, adieu barefoot friends! thanks for the memories!

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I'm gonna miss Eun Jiwon and Kang Hodong.. :(( My Papa Bear and Baby Bear.... T_T

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I only watched like half of the first episode, but it was so terrible I couldn't continue, even though I love Shi Yoon oppa. :'(

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Kim Hyun Joong was leaving the show due to his schedule...Shi Yoon and Uee also have busy schedule due to their drama...it is no surprise it is going to cancel.

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some people said it was better than running man :/ here is to them salud

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I personally liked it one it turned home cooking show, combing two of my favorite things, seeing celebrities homes, and watching people eat.

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its about the time.

i wonder why BFF show could survive for a long time due the lowest rating . SBS is really nice, atleast gave a lot time for BFF to survive until now. not many TV station like SBS can gave a long time for a show who got awful rating.

and yeahh time to move on new show, seriously this BFF show has a so-so (tend to bad) storyline. the writer nim for that show (especially cooking episode) showed me that writer nim did not has any desire to elevate this show.

goodbye BFF.

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one more .

can i say >> kang Ho dong is lost his charm and luck for a variety show now ???

before the scandal and retirement thing >>> all his variety show are success and major hit

but now after he cameback >> most his variety show got awful rating and little luck to sruvive , example : Moonlight Prince (KBS , and with that stupid peter pan costume ever), Knee drop Guru (MBC , CMIIW) , and now Barefoot friend.

so, basically , i felt KHD is annoying on BFF show because he tend to dominate the show only by himself . sometimes i wish he can control himself and give other member a chance to have their screen time too.

so KHD , this 2013 is not good year for you since 3 variety show of yours got axed.

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and yeah to all Subbing Team on BFF >> please consider to make eng sub for Real Man (MBC) >> that variety show is awesome and very unique .

lots of fans outside are willing to see Eng Sub for Real Man.

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