I’ve seen a couple of clips and an episode or two of various Korean variety shows, but Barefoot Friends is the first that I’ve watched every episode so far. I was drawn to the show after seeing a clip of Yoo Si Yoon, Kim Hyun Joong and Eun Hyuk of Super Junior doing their version of the Harlem Shake which was pretty hilarious.
Eleven episodes in the best thing about Barefoot Friends is when they traveled to other countries and had to live and interact with the native people. It was fun watching them try to earn a living and communicate in English or the native language of the country. Even funnier was watching the eight cast members interact with each other. The cast ranges in age from 20s to 40s and are a combination of top Korean comedians, singers, and actors including:
- Kang Ho-dong
- Yoon Jong-shin
- Yoo Se-yoon
- Kim Bum-soo
- Kim Hyun-joong
- Yoon Si-yoon
- Uee (the only girl in the group)
Guest celebrity Lee Hyori’s cool sassiness was a great addition for several episodes. Getting a sneak peek into their homes was also nice. By American celebrity standards it’s amazing how modestly some of them live.
I guess it wouldn’t be a Korean show if there wasn’t some drama. One cast member, comedian Yoon Se Yoon, was charged with DUI after he drunkenly drove himself to a police station. For real. No joke. And now he’s off the show. Singer Kim Bum Soo hurt a knee while training for the diving competition, so he and his “bum” leg are out for now. Eun Ji-Won, leader of 90s boy band Sech Kies, takes Yoo Se Yoon’s place on the cast. If he is as funny as he was in the show Reply 1997, he’ll be a good addition.
Right now the show is dragging a bit with the swiming and diving training and the cast changes, but billions of fangirls everywhere surely loved the 2 mins of Kim Hyun Joong literally swimming out of his trunks during a relay race. I’m sure this isn’t a spoiler since any KHJ fangirl worth her salt has probably already played that on repeat or made an animated gif of it. Nope, that wasn’t an earthquake you felt, it was all the sighing and cussing reverberating around the globe at the sad realization he was wearing briefs underneath his swimsuit. Damn.
Comedy is the hardest genre to watch in another language because much of the humor does get lost in translation unless the subber includes explanations in the subtitles or if you’re willing to do some Internet research. But then a comedy becomes a tragedy with that much work!
I hope they go back on the road again. It would make the show more enjoyable.