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Running Man SBS
Running Man/SBS

6 hilarious Korean variety shows you should be watching

Keep the K-wave going with these

By Jenny Leung
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From K-pop to K-grub to K-beauty, there are tons of reasons why Korea is loved by many. Now that we're staying at home all the time, a good Korean drama will certainly keep your bums on the couch. But if you're looking for something light and fun to watch, Korean variety shows are the way to go. Don't believe us? Scroll down and see for yourself.

RECOMMENDED: Want to stick to local movies instead? Then it's a good thing we've put together this list of the 100 best movies in Hong Kong.

Best Korean variety shows to watch

Running Man

Not to be confused with the cringey 80s dance move of the same name, this 90-minute game show involves all sorts of crazy missions for the MCs, along with guests, to complete and win the 'race'. From a daring mission on the infamous Nevis Swing in New Zealand (it's a giant swing on the edge of a cliff) to hilarious, nonsensical games, this show will have you in fits of laughter even if you don't understand the language. Having welcomed some of the world's biggest stars to the show, including Ryan Reynolds, Stephen Curry, and even Tom Cruise, Running Man is the perfect entertainment for any day of the week.

Two Days and One Night

Since the show started in 2007, there has been scandal after scandal involving different members of the cast. The show eventually took a short nine-month break in 2019, and now, it's back with a whole new cast of MCs (with the exception of Kim Jong-min who is one of the OG members). Just like how it started, the show takes its members around the country for two days and one night to explore beautiful towns, villages, and sights under a different theme each week. But not without some cruel, but hilarious games, of course. Most famous for its 'lucky or unlucky' games that, should the members fail, would leave them unfed, jumping into frozen lakes, and sleeping in cardboard boxes in the middle of winter. If you love travelling, getting to know local culture and flavours, and the great outdoors, this is the one for you.

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Knowing Bros

For those who love everything there is about K-pop and K-drama, you're going to love Knowing Bros. Set in a (fake) school classroom, different guests would appear each week as new transfer 'students', to which the MCs would welcome with quizzes and games. The show is different from others in this list as everything happens within the classroom, but the MCs' undeniable chemistry and savage wits are the main attraction here. Plus, you'll get to see all your favourite K-stars singing, dancing, and just looking downright ridiculous. What's not to love?

The Return of Superman

Starring a handful of celebrity dads and their kids, the show documents the everyday lives of these families, and essentially, what happens when mum's not home. Whether you're a parent, aunt or uncle, grandparent, or you just enjoy watching adorable children get up to no good, we guarantee you'll fall in love with this show.

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Master in the House

What happens when four hilarious, adventurous, and highly competitive people meet with some of the most acclaimed stars and heroes in Korea? Well, you get a great show like this one. Each week, the MCs spend two days with people like firefighters, award-winning actors, Olympic champions, and even a Buddhist monk, and learn all there is to know about their 'masters'. At the end of the second day, there is usually a large showcase or challenge that the MCs will have to complete. Apart from the amusing fact that these MCs are given less than 24 hours to learn a completely new skill every week, the show's insight into the country's different jobs and industries also make it pretty entertaining. 

My Little Old Boy

A reality show that documents the lives of celebrities who are still single and living alone, despite being well above the 'appropriate' age to marry. Similar to The Return of Superman, but without all the screaming children, this is a lighthearted show that gives its audience comfort in knowing that even celebrities go through the same daily struggles that we do. Like trying to find a clean shirt underneath a mountain of clothes, finding mouldy food you've forgotten about in the back of your fridge, arguing with your siblings, or even just deciding what to watch on Netflix.

Don't forget to fill up your stomach while you're at it

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