[OP-ED] The realest Korean variety show

Danny Cho, July 8, 2016, 6 p.m.

Recently, I saw the realest and most depressing Korean variety show I've ever seen. Most Korean variety shows usually make you feel good and warm inside, but ‘Daddy’s True Colors’ is a variety show that shows a real and depressing depiction of fathers in Korea. The show is a reality show that features Kim Gu Ra, Kim Yeong Ho, and Lee Chang Hoon as fathers in various difficult situations.

Kim Gu Ra is a famous comedian and MC that recently got divorced. He lives with his son, MC GREE. It really showed the effects of the mother leaving the household. With a lot of awkwardness, you see clearly see a son missing his mom, and a father who seems a bit helpless in his current situation. Kim Gu Ra and his son have been on variety shows for years. Over the years, people got to see his son grow. Most recently MC GREE released a hip hop track titled ‘NINETEEN’ that reached the top of the Korean music charts. Even though I was never truly a fan of Kim Gu Ra, I can’t help but feel bad for the guy. He seems to be a decent enough dad who loves his son very much. But there is definitely a big emotional scar left for the son. Hopefully things could be smoothed out a bit in the future episodes.

Out of the three fathers, Kim Yeong Ho’s story line is the least depressing. He is an actor known for his tough macho exterior. He is a known tough guy. However, he is also a father of 3 teenage daughters. The daughters and his wife live abroad like a lot of Korean celebrity families. The children are usually sent abroad for the sake of a better education. It’s been almost 10 years since Kim Yeong Ho sent his wife and daughters to the Philippines. They do see each other from time to time and you see Kim Yeong Ho really trying to be a caring father. But no matter how hard he tries there clearly a lot of things he doesn’t know about his daughters due to their decade long separation.

Finally there is Lee Chang Hoon. To be honest, I don’t know much about Lee Chang Hoon but apparently he used to be the leading man in many dramas in the past, usually starring many of the top actresses at the time. However, he hasn’t acted for the last 3 years because of his daughter. He has a vey young daughter who is in poor health. In order for her to grow up healthy, Lee Chang Hoon decided to move his family outside of the city so that his daughter can get away from all the harmful pollutants in the city air. Here we see Lee Chang Hoon devoting everything to his family, but it seems that his daughter and wife really don’t like him much. I’m pretty sure the editing made it look worse than it did, but you see both females in the family treating Lee Chang Hoon like crap. And all he does is take it. It really is hard to see.

I should probably watch more episodes before I can fully assess the show, but ‘Daddy’s True Colors’ is real tough to watch because it doesn’t give you that warm feeling that most family shows give you. But it is definitely a more realistic portrayal of family life.

Maybe I am not fully onboard with this concept because secretly I prefer the idealistic story lines in my TV experience. I understand that life is more real, but TV is make-believe, and I’d like to believe there is a possibility of happy endings to all stories. I truly believe the search for idealism and happy endings is one of the most important things to make life more fun. Hence I prefer watching it in fictional form in my movies and TV shows. Who knows? Maybe this show can find the happy place, but right now, it starts off pretty depressing. Hopefully within all these difficult situations there is some positive growth between these fathers and their children. With that possibility in mind, I guess I’ve added another Korean variety show to watch. 

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