Still Lovin’ The Hilarious Hijinks & Bonding Sessions in Kvariety Newbie, Roommate.

Roommate (2014)
Roommate (2014)

So dmohican14 and I have been exchanging thoughts about Roommate since I last pimped it in my most recent Kvariety write-up and that thread of ours is getting pretty lengthy haha that I figured it’s worth dedicating another entry to this show. Consider this a hub-of-sorts to chat about the show if you want to, because I actually really enjoy watching and talking about this show. It’s now my weekly dose of Kvariety and while I don’t like everyone (okay, just one), I love the easy camaraderie and bonding between eleven distinct personalities.

Here’s a list of (things and) people who I really like:

  • Song Ga Yeon – girl’s my favorite, she’s awesome. I love how different she looks when she’s at the gym, and how extremely buddy buddy she is with all the guys there. She is both badass and adorable, and best of all unpretentious.
  • Song Ga Yeon & Park Min Woo – if I was indifferent about them in episodes 1-3 and liked the budding friendship in episode 4, yo in episode 5 I’m am totally loving their budding friendship slash growing relationship. There may or may not be romantic feelings there and I mean, I’m not gonna go delusional i.e. shipping two real people because their private lives are their business, but damn they sure make a cute couple. She’s reserved around people she’s not comfortable with and incredibly polite to everyone because of her background, but don’t be fooled – I love how badass and firm she is as a person, the kind of girl who’d beat the heck out of a guy, thanks very much, while his attentiveness and quiet confidence are two traits of his that I really dig. I really like that he’s the sort of person who takes the initiative to get closer to others; the one to make the first move to make the other person feel at ease. He did this to not just Ga Yeon, but others too.
  • Song Ga Yeon & Park Min Woo in the kitchen – oh my god I am enjoying their interactions way too much… but I love how bossy he is with her, like “Ya! Do this.” and how obliging she is to him in this totally flustered way, cos she’s trying to be polite and useful in the kitchen.
  • Song Ga Yeon & Park Min Woo and their little game – that beat-your-wrist-if-you-speak-formally and kick-you-if-you’re-recognized game. Can’t believe they decided to keep at it. Cute! It’s like a secret just between them. I hope he continues to get kicked, haha. It’s too awesome.
  • Song Ga Yeon & Park Min Woo at the gym – where she basically whipped him, ha. Love it.
  • Park Chan Yeol & Shin Sung Woo – next in line for favorites of mine. They are so compatible as roommates ha, balancing each other so well! Chan Yeol is like the most polite youngster ever, and it’s adorably hilarious how he’s always saying “I’ve matured another level-“ when he experiences something new, or someone cared for him. Shin Sung Woo is the coolest hyung to have around I think, cos he’s such a guy’s guy and also attentive momma. Love the way he cares for the others with the cooking, cleaning and just being really encouraging and patient.
  • Lee Dong Wook – his deadpan humor, I can’t. I love it so much that he is like this really cool older brother everyone wishes they have, cos he’s cool with both guys and girls. I like how he treats everyone casually and with ease, not worrying about keeping an image or fake-flirting or whatever. I can tell that he’s just being himself and sigh, as if I’m not already in love with you.
  • Lee Dong Wook & Jo Se Ho – the bromance is hilarious haha. That phone call in episode 5? Love it. That lip-sync video recording? Oh my god, I died at the hilariousness of it all.

Bits and people I could do without – or in smaller doses, really:

  • Nana – imma just accept the fact that I don’t like her. Girl just doesn’t gel with me and oh dear god, she’s annoying. The thing I can’t stand the most about her is how she’s obviously playing it for the camera, how it’s all about how to look good, attractive and pretty for the cameras. It’s all about this perceived image she thinks people have of her. I’ve tried, honest I’ve tried – but I can’t fucking stand it.
  • Nana – another thing I really can’t stand is how she fishes for compliments about her supposed beauty, or my god how narcissistic can you get thinking that all the guys automatically likes you? How many times is it now, that’s made commentaries implying that someone is into her, i.e. along the lines of “just admit it that you can’t resist me!” Oh my god girl please stop the attention-seeking, it’s embarrassing. I gotta say though, that the rest needs to stop feeding her ego too. Like no, not everything she does is cute – like not knowing how to use a rice cooker?! The forced love lines – I’m impartial towards this whole yes-to-dating rule, but I can’t stand it when some folks are deliberately paired to create a story, or to have a plot. Yes I get it that this is entertainment and the PDs need materials to have people tuning in, but please don’t turn this into We Got Married. It’s painful and embarrassing to watch because it’s obvious they’re playing it up for the rolling camera. I don’t really care who dates who (okay, as long as Lee Dong Wook and Park Min Woo don’t pair up with Nana…) if they so want to, but I hope the PDs won’t try to make a mountain out of a mole for certain budding friendships. This includes the Park Bom and Lee Dong Wook pairing – if something’s gonna happen, then it will… stop shoving it in our face or trying to build up hype and oooh-look-what-we-have-here moments when they’re really not anything to begin with.
  • Creating ‘twists’ with Park Bom – I mean, stop using her to bait us to watch the next episode… the tears turned out to be over nothing big, and I bet next week’s reveal of that message or whatever will be another one of those anticlimactic discovery.
  • Nana on my screen – I can’t.

I’m sad that this show isn’t receiving much love from its domestic audience because we know what this means – it’ll be cut the moment the opportunity arrives (i.e. when KPop Star returns for its fourth season in November), but it’s unsurprising really. It’s even more unsurprising that the international audience is enjoying this a lot more, because for one, I think the idea of cohabitation (platonic and practical like this share house concept or romantically involved couples) is more of a norm these days, whether you’re for or against it. Second, correct me if I’m wrong but I find that Koreans have a more hierarchical social interaction system, which makes some people come off as rude or lacking manners especially to people they’ve just met. This also makes it harder for those with larger age gaps to bond – at least not immediately. It makes for interesting relationship dynamics, which I appreciate, but I totally understand why to many, sitting through a 2-hour show to watch people bond sounds… nonsensical.

For me at least, overall I definitely really like Roommate. Episode 5 sans all the Nana scenes (way too much for my patience), I really enjoyed it. The interactions between my faves Song Ga Yeon and Park Min Woo, Lee Dong Wook being his awesome self and that short cameo by Lee Da Hae, the chemistry between these two co-stars! (I’m not watching Hotel King), Chan Yeol being his adorable bumbling self, So Ra stepping up to unni role with elegance, Soo Hyun and her good rapport with everyone … my list goes on and on.

Have a glimpse of the budding interactions and have a listen to the show’s official soundtrack, sung by Mystic89’s Eddy Kim and Kim Ye Rim:

Watch Roommate if you haven’t, and sound off below if you’ve been itching to chat about this show!

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11 thoughts on “Still Lovin’ The Hilarious Hijinks & Bonding Sessions in Kvariety Newbie, Roommate.

  1. I seriously lub this show. It may not be a winner for the Korean audience but who cares? I think it’s my current favourite Korean variety show at the moment despite lasting for 2 hours because I really loved seeing them slowly becoming more and more like a family from strangers (it’s also a bond that I’ve sort of always wished for with my housemates).

    My favourite’s got to be Min-woo. I know how Kang-joon is supposedly the more popular one but I’ve always liked Min-woo a lot right from the beginning based on my gut instinct. Guy’s really likeable. :) Also love the rapport between Sung-woo and Chan-yeol because they’ve got this kind of timeless bond which I’m kind of a sucker for too.

    The show’s probably not got the more refreshing concept out there and plus it’s quite obviously scripted but I believe that the bond that the members that’ve actually made and the friendship forged isn’t really something that they can fake so I think blatant scripting is okay as long as they don’t try to force/impose any love lines to try to get audience because I would be really pissed off if they did that. I mean, it’s not impossible for a guy to not have romantic feelings for a girl and vice versa no? It’s not like…oh because we’ve got guys and girls we’ve got to make sure that they’re all paired up y’know? Platonic relationships do exist in RL anyways. *shrugs*
    I’m probably distressing from the main point heh I’m just glad that I can rest assured in knowing that there’ll be more episodes instead of worrying whether it’ll get cut halfway through due to its dismal ratings.

    1. You said it all! Ratings etc and yup, the platonic relationships though obviously they are trying to milk it cos this equals to broadcast material. Sighhh I hope it is not too heavily scripted too, but yup I think the interactions are for the most part them being themselves. Glad you’re watching this show too and glad to know you’re done with your exams! Enjoy he summerrrr. I can’t wait for my break to kick off haha.

  2. The only K-variety show I ever liked was “We Got Married”. And only the first season!

    There’s just something about these fake reality shows that turns me off. Everything scripted and every interaction rehearsed. Hmmmm not my cup of tea.

    1. Roommate thankfully isn’t scripted as much as WGM is :) the interactions are not rehearsed, that’s for sure. It’s more like when they let two people hang out, that’s probably not a random thing. It’s definitely not everyone’s cuppa cos sometimes it’s basically just watching people hang out and haha that is not too exciting. But if you’re curious about the show or have time and interest to spare aha, I do think it’s worth checking out!

  3. I’ve only finished ep 3 – But skimming through everything you’ve written here, yup – I agree with it all (Especially Nana omg). I’ll get on to eps 4 and 5 eventually. These 2ish hour long eps are killing me because I seriously can’t watch a single episode of anything unless it’s in 3-4 sittings.

  4. Haha, I was about to tell you we need a new post to talk about Roommate. Thank you!

    I feel like the PD heard us whining about how little screen time Ga Yeon gets because she got a lot in episode five and thankfully a lot of fans seem to like her so woot, more Ga Yeon please. She really opened up in this episode, I think she really needed to go the gym and get recharged. I didn’t realize she’s only nineteen, so I guess it must be really awkward to be living with so many celebs and be the youngest one in the house.

    Min Woo and Ga Yeon have officially become my favorite pairing, they’re just hilarious together, especially when Min Woo failed at Ga Yeon’s workout and when they were bickering about washing dishes.

    Oh gosh, Nana, She was working my nerve in this episode. Reel it in girl, you’re not the queen of the universe. At least we got Lee Da Hae’s funny cameo out of her trip with Se Ho (I hated My Girl but I can’t deny the chemistry between her and Dong Wook).

    Also annoyed with the Bom-baiting thing. Please stop PD-nim, you’re just pissing people off.

    Chanyeol…this kid is too adorable. Failing at cooking (while Min Woo and Ga Yeon laugh at him), being the perfect roommate for Sung Woo, dancing around with Bom, mistaking bees for fairies. Okay, that last one is iffy, but he’s cute so I’ll let it pass.

    Yeah, I’m like 90% sure this show is getting cancelled since ratings drop every episode and I get it since that first episode wasn’t very interesting so why keep tuning in? Ugh, I’ll be so sad, what will I do without Ga Yeon?

    1. Noooo thank youuuu for keeping the thread and convo about this show alive! I love it :D

      HAHAHA yes you’re right about the PD probably hearing us, and did you read about how she apparently trended #1 at Naver for a while last weekend cos of the photo she uploaded of herself at the gym? Showing her abs apparently. All I can say is – damn girl, those abs. As if she’s not already kick ass, gahhh I love this girl so much. About her being 19 – omg me too! I actually thought she was 21… so when I looked up and realized she’s 19 I was like omg no wonder she’s super polite and super awkward (apart from being a non-celebrity). When he failed at her workout I was like, laughing like a maniac. He’s gotta give himself some credit though – cos I mean, just tryna keep up with her? I mean the fact that he’s trying to keep up with a professional athlete … respect aha. I loveeee that look he had when he watched her train though. How the grin on his face grew wider by the hour. Super cute.

      YES that’s exactlyyyy my issue with Nana. Like girl, please my god the universe doesn’t just revolve around you. I read netizenbuzz (haha, I know…) and apparently the Korean viewers have the most issue with her about being “disrespectful” i.e. talking informally to those who are older? Of course this is lost on me since I don’t understand Korean, but ha I’m not surprised. Lee Da Hae and Dong Wook are like super chummy and comfortable with each other, super cuteeee. I am not watching Hotel King and while I did try (I watched bits of episode 12) omg her cutesy act, with the voice and all… and I love him but all the gifs and images I have seen of him from the show – he looks… constipated. Like for reals the angst or doom and gloom. I love him and I love them together but I don’t think I can sit through the drama o.o her brief cameo was super duper cute though and really says a lot about their friendship I think.

      They’re totally baiting with Bom and I just read the news that she’s narrating this week – cue more baiting. Ugh. I think the next episode they will reveal that date or whatever with Min Woo.

      The ratings are declining sooooo fast and so significantly I really feel for them – and us! I’m 90% sure it’s gonna get canceled too which is such a shameeee. You asked the right Q: what am I gonna do without Ga Yeon (and Min Woo) on my screen?!

      1. Lol, we’re probably going to be the only viewers this show has left when it ends judging by how many netizens don’t like it, not even the hardcore idol fans. I understand viewer’s frustration though, a lot really doesn’t happen and the PD doesn’t seem to have a clue about what to do. I just ask that they don’t cancel the show until September so then I have enough time to prepare to say good-bye.

        Nana really isn’t winning any fans is she? I guess even if you can’t understand the language, she just comes off as…rude.

        Yeah, I saw that news about Ga Yeon’s picture, she’s definitely got a legion of fanboys now.

        You said exactly what I think about Dong Wook every time I see clips of Hotel King. I just can’t take him seriously with that face. Plus that drama just looks like too much crazy for me to handle right now so I’ll just be content knowing that Dong Wook and Da Hae still click so many years after My Girl.

        I just saw the preview for the next episode and it’s definitely Bom-Min Woo centered (and maybe one of the 2NE1 girls is coming?), though I’m pretty sure this is a fake-out again.

        1. Aish, they’re doing a fake-out again with Bom, I’m sure of it. I wishhhh they’d stop trying to force the love lines, like for realssss. I get it that some initiatives are necessary, but I thought the pairings in episode 5 were mostly forced. Did you read those comments (inetz in the Disqus) about Nana and Se Ho? I kinda agree… about both. Nana putting him down because he’s not good looking, and him being annoying at times like when he woke her up and claiming he’s her boyfriend. I dunno haha, it’s like entertaining but at the same time annoying? I think you’re right though that Nana isn’t winning anyone, period. Maybe international audience (some comments about her I came across on other sites and Tumblr are mostly positive) but definitely not this particular international audience :p

          1. Argh, Nana and Seho was the most annoying thing about the last episode, I think I was trying to block it out. Seho’s drumming was a big no, I would’ve killed him if I was Nana and I know Seho was joking about being her boyfriend so I also thought Nana was overreacting, but at the same time I understood why she was mad. No one wants a guy they don’t like calling her his girlfriend. But then she was mad when Seho started paying attention to Lee Da Hae! These two don’t annoy me as much when they’re not trying to force a love line, so I hope the show drops that angle.

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