Thursday, May 6, 2010

Is ‘Misuda’ still relevant?

One thing that surprised me during my first days in Korea was the show that featured a panel of expat women who speak Korean "fluently." The show is called "Chitchat of Beautiful Ladies" or Misuda. Of course, at that time I couldn't speak, read nor write Korean so I thought they were really good. An article from the Korean Herald by Song last May 4th questioned Misuda if it is still a relevant show. Imust be noted that when the show first aired in 2006, it was a big hit. It was something very unique that many Koreans would be amazed. Just like what I experienced but it seems to be loosing its popularity and as what the article says, the relevance is questionable.

Is watching a group of foreigners talk about Korea still a novelty for most Koreans?

The novelty of seeing foreign women talk about Korea attracted much viewership, consistently winning its Monday night timeslot. The program became so popular that some of its guests became overnight celebrities. Their faces began popping up on subway banners and even in television advertisements.

One key factor that did much for its success ironically had nothing to do with the show’s original motivation. Its immense popularity had much to do with the appearances of the show’s panelists than anything else.

Most were young, made to come across as comic fodder and more importantly, attractive -- hence the name of the show. With each successive season, producers and writers were running out of topics to cover and soon it devolved into a circus-like atmosphere relegating its guests to the statuses of punchlines and caricatures. New panelists seeing an opportunity to get their 15 minutes of fame were seen dancing, singing and spouting controversial comments to stir the media pot -- most of which were scripted by the show’s writers.

Plus the issues that arose due to some statements made by some people in the show. Talking about the loser nyeo and German woman who penned a tell-all book of her life in Korea. That one according to the article attracted thousands of hate e-mails because the things she wrote in the book had contradicted her generally positive disposition toward Korea and its people when she was a guest on the show.

To be honest, I just want the show to live with its name. It says chatting with beauties but not everyone's

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