Yoo Jae-suk up to reunite with X-Man, Family Outing PDs for Netflix variety show
Well, this is interesting: It looks like dramas aren’t the only Korean medium Netflix has taken an interest in. The online streaming service is currently planning a Korean variety show for its platform, and is in negotiations with “national MC” Yoo Jae-suk to join as part of its lineup. Netflix has already recruited veteran PDs Jo Hyo-jin and Jang Hyuk-jae to lead production on the show, the concept of which is described as mystery, as in a whodunnit kind of format.
If you look at the two PDs’ credits, it’s easy to see why Yoo Jae-suk was approached to take part in the project. Aside from being one of the top comedians and MCs in Korea, Yoo Jae-suk has worked with both PDs on SBS variety programs X-Man and Family Outing, and Jo PD was also part of the Running Man crew until late 2014. I wouldn’t necessarily say that rapport between the cast and crew is essential to a good variety program, but it’s always fun to see them interact comfortably onscreen. Na PD is probably the best example of that, but I do remember some cute scenes between Jo PD and the Running Man cast before he left the show, and I think he even had his own fan base, hilariously. Hopefully, that dynamic can be replicated and helps make this newest project a successful one.
We also have some cast members up to potentially join Yoo Jae-suk, and it’s an interesting mix of old and new faces to variety. First, we have Big Bang’s Daesung and Lee Kwang-soo, which would be a lot of different reunions at once. Daesung was a cast member of Family Outing, where he was one half of the Dumb and Dumber brothers with Yoo Jae-suk. They were one of my favorite combos of that show, both a little timid in front of stronger “family members” like Lee Hyo-ri, but also good-naturedly passive aggressive and easily swayed. And Lee Kwang-soo, of course, has been the giraffe to MC Yoo’s grasshopper for the past 7 years on Running Man. Dang, I can’t believe it’s been that long already.
Daesung, Lee Kwang-soo, Park Min-young, Ahn Jae-wook
The other two candidates are a bigger variety question mark. Park Min-young (Seven Day Queen) and Ahn Jae-wook (Five Children) have both been approached to join the new Netflix show, and while both are pretty well-established in dramaland, I haven’t really seen them do much variety so I’m not sure what to expect. I know Park Min-young recently participated in the tvN reality show Candy In My Ear, which paired her with Lee Jun-ki, but I think that was more of a single-concept series where they basically just talked to each other over the phone. Similarly, I’ve seen Ahn Jae-wook on panel shows like Abnormal Summit and My Ugly Duckling, so it’s hard to see whether he’d be a good fit in a more dynamic variety setting. I’m always down for new blood in variety, though, so I’m being optimistic that they’ll develop a distinct variety persona and some cute and funny relationships with their castmates.
To be honest, it’s a little comforting to see some familiar faces and talent behind the production for this project, since it’ll be Netflix’s first venture into Korean variety. I’ll be interested to see whether the platform will have a direct tonal impact on the show itself, or if we’ll get something more akin to what we’re used to seeing in Korean variety. Above all, though, I’m just excited for the potential reunion-palooza between the PDs, Yoo Jae-suk, Daesung, and Lee Kwang-soo, ‘cause X-Man, Family Outing, and Running Man (especially the early years) were some of my favorite shows ever, and to have them all come together like this is bringing out the high-schooler in me.
Negotiations with the potential cast members are ongoing, and Netflix is planning on releasing the as-yet-untitled show sometime next year. Now, off to watch some old Family Outing clips!
Via Star News
- Lee Kwang-soo up for reunion with writer Noh Hee-kyung in Live
- Seven Day Queen: Episode 1
- Cha Tae-hyun brings in several high-class cameos for The Best Hit
- Running Man loses two more cast members, plans reset with Kang Ho-dong
- MBC extends Mon-Tues leader Light & Shadow
- What’s Up: Episodes 1-2
- Introducing Running Man: Episode 50