If you do something with heart and intelligence, it transcends its genre and pulls in more than the usual suspects. I normally never watching Korean variety shows since I barely have enough time to watch dramas let alone expand my plate. But the hit new cable variety show Grandpas Over Flowers is pure crack magic. This thing is better than most dramas out there because its got love, bickering, great location shoots, genuine tension here and there, and lots and lots of laughter and fun. I’ve only heard great things about PD Na who used to work on 1D2N and has now created yet another runaway hit variety show that really is the first of its kind. He takes four famous harabojis (grandpas or halbaes) from Korean entertainment and sends them on a overseas backpacking type of trip. But in truth he’s roped in unsuspecting A-list actor Lee Seo Jin to be their guide and luggage boy, and the rest is history as hijinks and genuinely bonding ensues. The four halbaes are Lee Soon Jae, Shin Goo, Park Geun Hyung, and Baek Il Sub, and it’s be hard to wrangle up four more different grandpas who share only one thing in common, their relative high age count. The show premiered to great reception and ratings have only continued to climb. The first trip to France and Switzerland wrapped up in 7-episodes, and for the 8th episode and on the motley crew to traveling to Taiwan to explore the beautiful island.
I already love this show to pieces but to know its visiting Taiwan I literally shrieked in glee. But I do think this trip won’t have nearly a tenth of the anxiety of the first one since Lee Seo Jin knows what to expect now, and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau is assisting in planning in trip, and overall Taiwan is much more similar to South Korea than France is so there is less of a cultural shock. Lee Seo Jin also won’t need to worry about finding Korean restaurants since there is so much food of any cuisine in Taiwan one can literally spend every waking second eating and still not sample all the variety. It’s a testament to how popular this show is right off the bat because it was still airing the France trip when it was announced the next stop is Taiwan and the cast and crew went there for a week to film, and when the first three halbaes landed at Taoyuan airport they were mobbed by over 200 shrieking fans. The first to arrive was Park Geun Hyung, Shin Goo, and Baek Il Sub, and all three were quite taken aback to being greeted with screams like they were idol boys. Lee Seo Jin wasn’t with them but apparently the fangirls helped the halbaes get tickets for the MRT to Taipei from the airport so that was useful. The Taipei trip starts airing this Friday and Sunny of SNSD is also along for this leg of the trip. For reals this time.
Preview for Grandpas Over Flowers “Taiwan Edition”: