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5 soothing Korean variety shows to watch

This story was originally published on July 26, 2021, and last updated on July 31, 2021.

One important thing I’ve taken away from the last year is remembering to rest and find relaxing things to do in my spare time. One of those comfort things I heavily leaned into during the pandemic was watching more Korean variety shows. 

I’m not that big of a fan of Korean dramas, but I tend to look up what’s new with their variety shows. Aside from fun, action-filled shows like Running ManThe Great Escape, and Sixth Sense, I love the comfort of the slow-paced, calm variety shows Korea has to offer, too.

I’m sharing here five of the shows that are perfect for the cold, rainy days we’re having right now. But also, just for any day that you need something soothing in your life.

Little Forest (2019)

Little Forest follows four big Korean celebrities—Lee Seo Jin, Lee Seung Gi, Park Na Rae, and Jung So Min—as they run a daycare center outside the bustling Seoul for adorable little kids who don’t have many opportunities to play and run outdoors. What’s great about Little Forest is even with the big-named celebrities, the true stars of this show are the cute little kids.

Our Little Summer Vacation (2020)

After a year of not being able to leave the house and take a break somewhere else, Our Little Summer Vacation with Train to Busan actors Jung Yu Mi and Choi Woo Shik can make you feel like you’ve gone on vacation with them. The two spend a summer in a small village near the ocean, where you get to watch them cook healthy food, enjoy the outdoors, and hang out with friends. 

Three Meals A Day 5: Fishing Village (2020)

You might be sensing a pattern of shows that feature cooking heavily, but they certainly make for some relaxing entertainment. The long-running Three Meals A Day series adapted to the pandemic and brought actors Cha Seung Won, Yu Hae Jin, and Son Ho Jun to a remote island to feast on fresh seafood they catch themselves and vegetables they harvest. There’s tons of cooking and chats, and they bring on special guests like Lee Seo Jin, Lee Kwang Soo, and Kong Hyo Jin.

Unexpected Business (2021)

What would superstars Cha Tae Hyun and Zo In Sung do if they were left in charge of a general store in a small town in Korea? This show is Zo In Sung’s first time being one of the main cast of a variety show. And in this heartwarming show, we get to learn more about the two actors and the kind locals who welcome them with open arms.

Youn Stay (2021)

Want some more Jung Yu Mi and Choi Woo Shik antics? How about we throw in some Park Seo Joon, Lee Seo Jin, and Oscar-winner Youn Yuh Jung? These big stars of the Korean entertainment industry turn into hosts of a hanok (traditional Korean homes) guesthouse. And since this was shot during the pandemic, their guests were foreigners staying in Korea who can’t travel at the moment. They introduce delicious, traditional Korean cuisine to their foreign guests. One guest aptly described the experience as feeling like they were served a meal by the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt.

You can enjoy all these shows curled up in front of the TV through the Viu app. Samsung owners get an extra treat as the app comes pre-installed on the TVs.

And if you’re on the market for a new television, select models from Samsung’s 2021 Crystal UHD line comes with discounts. Starting this August, you can save up to PHP 35,000 on the Crystal UHD TV. Upgrade to a bigger screen and purchase the 70-inch AU8100 for PHP 69,999 net cash (from SRP PHP 104,999). For your K-drama and K-variety needs, buying the 2021 Crystal UHD TV also gives you a one-year Viu Premium subscription for free!

The 2021 Crystal UHD TV line feature an improved color display with a slimmer profile. These televisions come equipped with Dynamic Crystal Color, promising realistic images through “one billion shades of color born in a pure state with fine crystal.” Enjoy watching the mouthwatering food on these panels.

Viu only supports up to 1080p resolution, but you can enjoy 4K content on the Crystal UHD TVs on other services like Netflix and YouTube. But if you’re watching low-resolution content, its Crystal Processor 4K can analyze low-res videos to adjust and enhance contrast and HDR.

The Crystal UHD line is also sleeker and slimmer than before. Its AirSlim design trims down the TV’s depth to just 25mm, allowing it to just blend into your space. It has a three-sided bezel-less design so that you can enjoy these shows and more without distractions.

The AU8100 model also comes with an adjustable stand so you can easily adjust the height and perfectly fit your soundbar. If you prefer to keep your TVs off the furniture, the Slim Fit wall-mount, sold separately, enables a flush fit to the wall. 

What are you favorite Korean variety shows? Let us know on social media!

UPDATE 1: 2021/07/31 1:31 P.M. GMT+8 BY NICOLE BATAC 

Updated promo information on the Samsung Crystal UHD TVs