The talk/talent show is a familiar genre on the giant flat-screen TVs that seem to twitter from every branch in South Korea. Sprinkled liberally with canned laughter, sound effects too cutesy for Western ears, and snarky commentary delivered by subtitles in egregious typefaces, the shows seem odd to a Westerner, but are popular fare on public TVs in restaurants, coffee shops, and spa locker rooms.
A new iteration called “Now On My Way To Meet You” (이제 만나러 갑니다) puts North Koreans on the screen, seeking to offer grounds for common connection between South Korean audiences and the North Koreans living among them as defectors.
Participants Shin Eun-Hee and Shin Eun-Ha smile on the set of “Now On My Way To Meet You”. Photo credit CHANNEL A @ tv.ichannela.com.
There is a new show on Korea’s Channel A called “On My Way to See You”. The show invites female North Korean refugees to talk about the experiences they had as teenagers and young adults in the North. Some of the ladies were performers at North Korea’s national performing arts group in Pyongyang, while others had less privileged lives and witnessed their family members’ deaths to diseases that modern technology could have easily prevent. Kim Jieun, from Youngwon, Pyeongannamdo, had a particularly heartbreaking story about her grandmother.
A popular Korean reality TV show called “Zzak” (meaning ‘partner’) takes place in what can only be called a “love camp” where men and women who are looking for a significant other come together. Each of these men and women are identified by numbers, and they get to find out more about each other through various ordeals and tasks. At the end, they choose who they want to be with, and the lucky ones become a pair. Continue reading →
In the News – Broadcasting official in North Korea for talks on providing Olympics TV and radio coverage
PYONGYANG, North Korea — The chief of Asia’s broadcasting union is visiting North Korea for talks on providing the country with TV and radio coverage of the London Olympics.
Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union President Kim In-kyu arrived Tuesday in Pyongyang for a three-day trip.
Kim is a South Korean national and also serves as head of South Korean public broadcaster KBS.
An ABU official said earlier this month that his agency is expected to provide North Korea’s state broadcaster with Olympic coverage for only a “nominal” fee. The official declined to be named citing the sensitivity of negotiations and didn’t elaborate.
Three South Korean television networks holding Olympic broadcasting rights for the Koreas have entrusted ABU to handle North Korean broadcasting issues.
In the News – North Korea TV shows ‘Rocky’ clips, plays ‘My Way’
PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea is tapping into some American-style movie inspiration by showing the film icon Rocky Balboa [trailer] pounding his Soviet rival.
State TV on Wednesday ran taped footage of young leader Kim Jong Un at a concert that played a rendition of the famous “Rocky” theme song and showed clips of the pumped-up American film character boxing against his Cold War rival Ivan Drago.
Appearing to glorify a popular American entertainment icon is an unusual move for Pyongyang, which regularly unleashes invective at its former wartime enemy.
The band also played “My Way” popularized by Frank Sinatra.
The concert last week also featured Disney characters in a performance not authorized by the Walt Disney Co.
Kim was accompanied at the concert by a woman who has not been identified.