Roommate and Reality TV

I’m watching the Korean Reality TV show Roommate while I’m taking a break from posting here at  The break was from posting, but definitely not from watching my KDramas.  It’s been quite a bit of stuff I’ve seen from Big Man, to Cain & Abel, (sooooooooo Good – So Ji Sub good! 😉  ) to AKA Dan, Good Doctor, and I even managed to squeeze in a repeat of Heirs, just because I wanted to see if my slightly improved Korean vocabulary would make watching Heirs again, a better experience for me.  It actually was, and of course it’s always fun to see Kim Woo Bin be a bad boy again.

I was a little curious about Roommate because I wanted to see what a Korean reality show was like and it is totally different from it’s U.S. counterpart.  I’ve been a reality TV fan for a looooong time, since around the time when  MTV started Real World and Road Rules. But the one commonality in American reality TV is the drama, the fighting – either in competition or anger, the backstabbing; there’s always some form of conflict. And the more reality TV became main stream the more drama-filled and vicious they were.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s what keeps me watching, I don’t dislike that, and I recognized that fact all too well when I’m screaming at the TV at someone who I think is being unfair/evil/back-biting/bitchy.  I love the arguments, the scheming, all of it.

So it was to my surprise that I didn’t find Roommate boring.  I actually quite like it.  I’ve learned about a few artists/actors through watching this show, but the overall theme of the Roommate reality show is a group of stars/celebrities who live together in one house and let’s see who gets along and who doesn’t.  The ever gorgeous Kang Joon (Sly and Single again), Bom (2NE1) Jin Ah (Na Na), Sung Woo (Mamma Shin), Chan Yeol of EXO, Ga Yeon, Min Woo, Dong Wook, Soo Hyun, So Ra and Se Ho all live together.  So here’s my assessment of Roommate:


The Roommate House:

Everyone actually gets along.  I mean there’s a few glitches here and there but for the most part they get along.  The Roommate cast members all figured out collectively who needs to do what, and they seem to respect each other, they actually MAKE AN EFFORT to get along.  And if there’s a disagreement, there’s no screaming and dropping of 10 pound words…..absolutely fascinating.


mamma shin

Shin Sung Woo (Mamma Shin):

I don’t know much about Korean music and their artists, but the man who has become Mama Shin of the Roommate house is one sexy character.  What makes him sexy to me? He’s respectful, very thoughtful, artistic, cool, observant, and he appears to be able to cook any damned thing, ……and he’s not married yet????? What’s wrong with you Korean women??? Why has no one gotten their claws in this perfect man?  He’s quiet, humble, and I find that and all the previous qualities I listed very sexy in a man.  He doesn’t seem to lose his cool at all, ever.  And he rides a bike 😉  – mega sexy!


chan yeol

Park Chan Yeol:

When this kid first came into the Roommate house he seemed super shy and awkward.  I looked at him and thought “he’s a celebrity?” Of course my clueless behind had no idea he was 1/12th of a huge group called EXO.  Remember, I don’t keep up with Korean music, K-Pop, none of that.  I’d heard the name before but really paid no attention until my intrigue about Chan Yeol made me search them out on Youtube.  I felt there is no way this shy little kid could be a singer or dancer, I couldn’t imagine it.  Well, Honey, he shut my mouth in those videos.  He’s like another person when he’s on stage.  Like Sasha Fierce is to Beyonce.  I couldn’t believe it.  And their music and videos ARE DAMNED GOOD!! So now, EXO-K, you have a new fan! (my favorite songs so far is Miracles in December & Growl, but I like Wolf, Overdose, & Heart Attack as well )  Funny thing though, to my untrained eye, all the group members with dark hair looked so similar, so I had to look for Chan Yeol’s bow legs to find him ;), but he raps well (love his rap voice) and dances great, and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor ’cause I just couldn’t believe he was the same kid that shared a room with Mamma Shin.  But he’s very talented, respectful, and thoughtful.  I love when he bought a gift for Mamma Shin’s finale show and surprised him at the finale party.  Of all the roommates he impresses me the most.  I like the person he is and his parents should be very proud, because their son carries himself with so much class.


kang Joon

Seo Kang Joon:

Kang Joon is a cutie, no doubt about it, and he made it on my Pretty list of The Good, The Bad and The Pretty – Round 2.  He is coming across as a little bit of an airhead on Roommate sometimes, but I don’t think that’s actually true.  I think Kang Joon lives in his head, and can be comfortable being alone and in his own skin.  His challenge is how to be comfortable around people, and it’s easier for him when the other person can draw him out.  His roommate Min Woo does that easily, and I guess that’s why they get along.  Because Kang Joon is so damned gorgeous, it probably hindered his ability to actually learn how to approach people and draw  them  out because everyone may be attracted to him and does the work for him. But he seems to be a pretty laid back kinda guy, and funny sometimes.


ga yeon

Song Ga Yeon:

I LOVE Ga Yeon.  She’s a deep thinker, keeps her emotions to herself, very mellow, and a little scary.  Even the guys are scared of her….haha, I love it! But underneath all that is a very sensitive, tough, and intensely disciplined person.  There’s a lot that can be said about that.  She’s the one that is always quiet in the room and observes.  There’s strength in that.  I say watch out for her when she gets more mature and confident about herself and her sexuality. She’s gonna make one heck of a woman!


se ho

Jo Se Ho:

I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Se Ho. Not just because he can make me laugh, but because he’s a guy that can comfortably wear his heart on his sleeves.  He is crazy about Na Na, and he’s not afraid to show it, even though she doesn’t give him a millimeter (but she is warming up to him a teensy bit).  When his parents came over and his mother shared his story, and he cried….it just touched me.  If I were given a choice to meet anyone in the Roommate house, it would definitely be Se Ho, along with Mamma Shin and Chan Yeol.  Se Ho is the life of any party, and he shows you always what he feels.  I like that…..a lot!


lee dong wook

Lee Dong Wook:

When Roommate first started and they did the intro on all the actors, and showed Dong Wook still living at home with “mamma”, I thought “mamma’s boy, here comes trouble“.  Even though we don’t see a lot of Dong Wook because he’s always working, he is growing on me (maybe because he’s a true “babe”?! ).  He seems really mature, perceptive and open, like you can come to him with any problem and he’s willing to hear it and give you sensible advice.  He is the one that surprised me in terms of how he would behave on the show (after Chan Yeol, of course).  I have to admit I thought he’d behave like a little brat, and that has been the furthest from the truth, but that was my expectation based on my cultural difference.  I’m realizing that living at home with mom at his age is not unusual in Korea, and probably not frowned upon there either.



Park Bom:

Bom is quirky, and at first I thought weird, with the tape on her ear and all.  But I’ve grown to like her a lot.  She’s unpredictable, I love her cute collection of hippo dolls, and I laugh my head off when she sprays her face at any given moment as if her life depended on it. And she can sing her bum off too, very talented indeedy.  She’s the kind of girl everyone would want to have as a friend ’cause she’s just fun, way too easy to tease or play jokes on, and appears to be great to be around.



Im Jin Ah (Na Na):

I don’t have much to say about Na Na except that Mamma Shin was right when he said Na Na can light up a room. Well, she totally lights up the Roommate house.  She has a “Joi de Vivre” that is really contagious, it comes out like a light aura.  And it has nothing to do with the fact that she is very pretty, it’s all in her personality.

so ra

Lee So Ra:

So Ra was very quiet in the beginning, but she’s grown to be the female Mamma Shin of the house (They should call her “Pappa Lee”).  She can sniff out the truth like a hound dog searching for meat.  The rest of the “kids” respect her, respects her style tips, and she’s come to be a strong force in the house for the girls.


soo hyun

Hong Soo Hyun:

Soo Hyun is a pretty calm girl, she goes with the flow, but nice, down to earth, like a regular “girl from the block”.  She makes you forget entirely that she’s a celebrity, which I think for any celebrity, is very good.


min woo

Park Min Woo:

Min Woo with the million watt smile and the cute dimples turned out to be the brat-ish one of the house.  I’m not calling him a brat, just saying that he has a small amount of brat tendencies.  I don’t know why when Kang Joon’s friends came over he made a big deal of being personally introduced by Kang Joon to his friends, and really, I didn’t think that was a big deal, but when Kang Joon got that job hosting a show, Min Woo showed his little green-eyed monster, and I thought that was incredibly selfish of him to think that way.  Just my opinion, not going to change it.  I understand he was frustrated ’cause he wasn’t working as much as others in the house, but I’m not going to be totally judgmental.  He does redeem himself in a lot of other ways, and he does say that he’s realizing that he bottles things up inside, which is never good.  The positive here is that being on the show is showing him things about himself, and he’s actually learning and taking heed. By talking to his roommates about his challenges, he’s learning from their criticisms.  At least he’s not walking around in a clueless fog, and that’s good.  When he’s not misbehaving he really has a fun personality, and I like that in him.  I must admit that I wanted him and Na Na to get together, but it doesn’t look like that is happening.

Overall I like the feel good aspect of the show, the way they’ve adopted everyone as their family, the camaraderie they’ve created amongst themselves, and how they tease each other mercilessly.  It’s nice to see celebrities behave themselves.  I’m sure an american version of this would have had chairs flying, tears falling, and 10 pound words being bleepiddy, bleep, bleep, bleeped out.

Watch Roommate on,,

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