“Oppas are back”
There has indeed been a dark cloud cast over variety shows in the first half of this year, as variety shows have been experiencing a troubled period due to reasons such as labor strikes and changes to the cast lineup. Viewers’ remote controllers have been just as confused as the confusing state of variety shows.
But now we can finally bid a long overdue farewell to this ‘loneliness’. Because the ‘oppas’ of the viewers are back. From MBC’s ‘Infinity Challenge’ that has finally returned after a 6-month hiatus, to KBS’ ‘1 Night 2 Days’ that has experienced changes to the member lineup, and jTBC’s ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’ starring the original idols themselves. What in particular is there to look out for about these returning oppas? Let’s look at the reasons why viewers simply have no choice but to wait for them.
■ Really! They’ve really appeared! The return of the original idols – jTBC ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’
▲ jTBC ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’ main poster [photo=jTBC]
Really. The real ‘oppas’ have appeared. Even mountains and rivers can change in 10 years, but Shinhwa continue to demonstrate their majestic presence as ‘idol stars’. In the past 14 years, the government has already changed hands three times, rookie singers have already become veteran singers, and original idols have already become fathers. In the midst of the many changes that have taken place, Shinhwa has still returned as ‘Shinhwa’.
Upon their return, Shinhwa has chosen to go with variety programs. ‘Real variety’ that features current programme formats. Disregarding concerns whether they are lifting directly off current programme formats, Shinhwa is creating a new type of ‘real variety’ with their unique sense of variety.
The slipshod and trivial missions assigned to the members are the distinctive features of ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’, and being able to draw the maximum value of laughter with their outstanding variety sense is Shinhwa’s specialty. But what’s the reason behind their success in variety with these seemingly common elements?
The Shinhwa members have been together for 14 years, and the group is the longest-running and oldest idol group. Viewers, while looking at Shinhwa now, are bound to reminisce about past memories too. When the viewers were watching Shinhwa competing against Shinee in a vaulting competition, surely they would have recalled Junjin in ‘Dream Team’ 10 years ago, Kim Dongwan as part of the ‘Embarrassing Brothers’ in ‘Love Mansae’, and ‘Kiwi Prince’ Andy, when they were all around the same age as the Shinee members now.
The Shinhwa members don’t try to forcibly create new characters. They have moved the viewers’ hearts with their own personalities and characters that have naturally been formed over the past 14 years. In this respect, ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’ is just like an old friend. They have used their own ‘dark history’ as a laughter code and to get viewers to think about their memories. This is the best kind of harmony that can only be seen between old friends.
But the interesting part of ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’ does not lie in Shinhwa fulfilling these entertainment missions. They may choose to embarrass themselves without any reservations, but they still retain their unchanging ‘idol-ness’ and their boyish innocence. At the end of the day, what makes ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’ complete is not their mature variety skills, but is perhaps the memories they share with the viewers and their unchanging youthful spirit.