A nightmarish remote for the Dream TeamLast Sunday evening, I happened to spend two hours at a barbershop in Sinchon, while my pals got a do. My first, and I hope last, visit to a barbershop turned out to be a nightmare that had nothing to do with excess testosterone. It was due to the TV program “Super TV Happy Sunday,” which airs Sundays at 6 p.m. on KBS-TV for two good hours.
There was not much reading material lying around except a men’s mag featuring Christina Aguilera, which failed to interest me. I don’t mind listening to Christina but seeing her with only a shred of clothing on is not terribly enjoyable. So there I was, watching “Super TV Happy Sunday,” to which the eyes of 10 guys waiting in line were also fixed. The owner, an elderly, silver-haired gentleman, had charge of the remote control, so I had no choice but to join the crowd.
“Super TV Happy Sunday,” one of the network’s longest-running entertainment programs, has a section called “Let’s Go, Dream Team,” that consists of alternating groups of celebrities in gym outfits who face off against another plebeian group of athletes. The games may vaguely resemble sports, but events like rolling in a cylinder in a swimming pool practically make fools out of participants. The latest show featured the stars adventuring in Guam. One of the trusty barometers of a show’s popularity on local TV is whether it gets filmed abroad; this was the case for the Dream Team on Sunday.
For the first 15 minutes, four hotshot female entertainers went skydiving, as sappy romantic musical numbers like “Love Is All Around” by Wet Wet Wet and “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men played. Wonderful. While people fell to the desert on the other side of the earth, the Dream Team was frolicking about, and still finding time to complain about a lack of kimchi. Kim Gwang-su, the producer, says, “We tried to show that there’s nothing to fear through skydiving.” Well, one can skydive in places other than Guam.
Mr. Kim responds that “After a long, cold winter, it wouldn’t hurt to see an azure ocean and exotic views. Guam, in this sense, is the perfect place.” Couldn’t be better ― at least for the production staff, leaving viewers bewildered why it must be Guam while people are dying on the other side of the earth. Kim Ji-eun, the show’s scriptwriter, adds this juicy nugget: “The budget is top secret.”
The next 45 minutes went downhill. The Dream Team donned swimsuits, then greeted their competitors from Guam, club mates from a hotel who were these all-American young ladies in bikinis. Under the East-meets-West theme, the emcee Lee Chang-myeong, with no warning, gave a hug to one of the Guam ladies. The Dream Team grumbled, though not necessarily because it found the act offensive; they were just mad at the emcee for cozying up with their enemy. Mr. Lee replied, believe it or not, “Foreign girls love things like this.”
If he had the guts to say it in English, Mr. Lee never would have left Guam alive, having been hurled head-first into the pool. As Mr. Lee’s words were a mystery to the Guam lassies, the games began.
Thus started several stupid games like walking on a row of plastic boards floating on the surface of a pool. After 45 minutes of such games, it’s dancing time to the classic tune “YMCA.”
The saddest thing is that the Guam Special goes on and on next Sunday, when the elderly barber will be tuning in with great pleasure, I’m sure.
I don’t blame the barbershop owner for watching the program. After all, he likely wouldn’t much care for half-naked photos of Leonardo DiCaprio found at the beauty salon.
by Chun Su-jin