Jan 28, 2014

[Review] Dad, Where Are We Going? Season 1

Shows come and go. Some air for a couple of years and some for only a few months but, inevitably, it will come to an end. It's the nature of things in showbiz. Whether a show ran for 20 years or for 3 months, I always believe that it is how the viewers connect to the show that makes it immortal more than the ratings or any other aspects. Who else would spread the love around but the viewers, right?

It's almost a year now since I got hooked to this Korean variety show called Dad Where Are We Going? It's a show where five celebrity dads go to a two-day trip with their kids. The trip gave the Dads, who are almost always busy, a chance to have quality bonding time with their sons and daughter. It's a simple concept, really, but the show was a hit right off the bat because of its rawness. It's not scripted. I remember the first episode when everything was so awkward and there's this one kid who is afraid to go on a trip alone with his father. It's so real. Plus the kids are too cute for words. It's like spending an hour a week watching tiny balls of happy energy on your TV computer screen. It feels like your week couldn't get any better!

I've followed the show faithfully and watched the kids grew closer to their dads. They did fun activities all throughout the season but what I really like best in the show is when the father and kid have their couple time together. For example, before they succumb to sleep, they talk about their day and that's where most of the kids open up to their dads. They talk about their dreams, their fears and some random topics about mom, their siblings and school. It doesn't matter how special the topic was but it's the memories they created together that counts.

I specially love the moments with Sung Dong Il and son Sung Joon. Sung Joon was really afraid of his dad even before they filmed the show that he rarely talk, but as they spent more time together he learned to open up to his dad. It's heart tugging when at first he shows this tough side of him to his dad and then halfway through the season he has no qualms in showing his aegyo to dad. So cute! It's those brief moments of genuine filial interactions that makes Dad Where Are we Going? an awesome show.

After twenty-three trips, fifty-five episodes, it's now time to pull the curtains close to the first season of Dad Where Are We Going. Just watching the final episode last night made me tear up. If I had a choice, I don't want it to end but I understand why they had to end it. The kids are now really close with their dads that the initial fish-out-of-water joke that was once the gem of this show has wore off completely. And the kids who had grown up before our eyes are now uber popular that they need a break from all the attention and go back to ordinary living. Sung Joon for example is now attending elementary school and more than the need to focus on his studies, people should also stop harassing the kid when they see him at public places. The same goes for Junsu, Min Gook and Jia. It will not guarantee that the public will stop ogling at them but that should be a start.

Dad Where Are We Going? has become my happy pill for almost a year. It's a show that tugged my heart in a good way and was worth all the eye bags and dark circles. It proved once again that it's not how long a show lasted on air but the way it connects to the audience that makes it everlasting. It's not the complexity but the heart of the people that breaths life into it that makes a great variety show.

Thank you to the awesome teams who subbed the show from the beginning until the end. Goodbye Season 1, Hello Season 2!

I got my wish! Min Yul is back as a regular cast in Season 2! Woot!

P.S. I wish I understand Chinese so I can continue watching Baba Qu Na Er? I'm having a hard time watching the raw files 'cause I don't understand a single word unlike Korean which I learned the basic. As it is, I'm currently stuck with episode 4. From what I've seen so far, the Chinese version of DWAWG inherited the fun and awesomeness of the original.

credits: All images are from imbc.com

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