Roommate: The First ‘Cycle’ – Episodes 1-11

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[Introducing martinabot – my friend and fellow K-drama watcher who is also a competitive ballroom dancer! She’ll be covering the variety shows – and whatever else strikes her fancy – here. I’m super excited to have her writing here and hope you’ll enjoy her reviews as well! -kae]

It’s probably not fair to call me a K-variety addict because I only watch two shows, Running Man and Roommate (I made it through the music festival episodes of Infinity Challenge but gave up afterwards because it was too hard for me to follow the humor…). But. I am also very obsessed with aforementioned two shows. Maybe I’m just an SBS Good Sunday addict?

 

Anyway. I’m calling this the ‘first cycle’ of Roommate because we just got through all 11 cast members’ narrations this past week. I can’t believe it’s already been 11 episodes already – even though that’s nearly 22 hours of viewing! The members are only just now starting to have some conflicts and roommate-y drama, which is the surefire sign that they are finally all settled in now.

While episode 11 was a bit heavy on the air-con issue, overall I have really been enjoying the series. Not sure if this sounds silly, but for an introvert like me it’s kind of soothing to have this feeling of just hanging out with people (who happen to be celebrities) without actually having to contribute to the conversation. I definitely buy into the whole warm family vibe that the producers are going for. For non-Koreans like myself, Roommate is also a more in-depth look into how interpersonal relationships in Korea as they would actually unfold in real life, rather than in a drama. I also have intense home-envy for their gorgeous house. Anyone else have the crazy urge to build one of those cute platform/bench/table that they make in episode 4?

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At the moment, my favorite roommate is probably Mama Shin, followed by Chan Yeol, Dong Wook, and Kang Joon (sorry lady roommates). I love Mama Shin because he’s got this hard rocker vibe, but surprises as the mother hen who cooks for all the roommates and scolds them when the dishes aren’t done. Chan Yeol and Kang Joon are so earnest and adorable, while Dong Wook has a great air of confidence and straight-shooting that make him a solid addition to the cast, even if he’s been away shooting Hotel King a lot.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say Min Woo is not necessarily my favorite on the show. He’s probably a normal guy in real life, and the PDs are trumping up his moody story lines to add some conflict, but it did get a little tiresome to watch him scold Kang Joon when he was jealous about the Inkigayo hosting gig. Not to mention the drowsy driving incident. His redeeming scene for me was his outing with Ga Yeon, when he keeps insisting to her to be less formal with him and playfully slaps her wrist and lets her kick him.

It’s a shame that most of the chatter around Roommate is about Park Bom’s scandal. If the whole situation is what YG chairman Yang Hyun Suk made it out to be, having prescription drugs doesn’t seem like a big deal to Americans, but tabloids are always harsh to celebrities – that’s something everyone around the world can agree with I think. It seems unlikely that Bom will come back to the show, but I hope she does because I think she adds a wonderful kooky but good-humored older sister persona to the show. I love when the other cast members accost her for interviews when she gets home late at night. It’s one of those random things that college roommates would get up to do out of boredom, and Bom is such a good sport about it.

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Scandal aside, it appears that my beloved Good Sunday lineup isn’t doing too well ratings-wise in Korea. Internet chatter seems to bring up some other things like disapproval of Nana, or Min Woo nodding off at the wheel. Sounds like Korean audiences are tuning into other variety shows on Sundays. I’ll keep tuning into SBS though, and hope the Roommate ship keeps sailing for the time being.

That’s all for me today folks! Please check out my blog for more random thoughts on K-dramas, beauty, ballroom dancing, and other assorted topics.

 

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