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'180 Minutes' Offers Experimental Show

2008/09/07 Source

By Han Sang-hee
Staff Reporter

Korea boasts a number of variety shows in both network and cable channels. The longest, and hopefully entertaining, one will greet fans every Saturday night with cable channel tvN's "180 Minutes". The three-hour show will bring three colorful sections: "My Wife Got Married", "The Phone" and "I Am a Producer" with 11 hosts.

"My Wife Got Married" is for the family, as two mothers switch places. Celebrity couples Hong Seo-bum and Jo Gap-kyeong along with Lee Se-chang and Kim Ji-young will appear and share their thoughts and experiences as the wives move into each other's homes.

"This program will be an experiment where you can experience another family environment and learn to appreciate your own. It will help viewers realize the importance of caring and loving their own family as it is", said Jo at a press conference.

"When you live as a couple for a long time, there are times when you wonder `Why did I choose this man to be my husband? What would have been different if I had chosen somebody else?' I have learned a lot from the program and I hope the viewers will too", Kim added.

Similar to the UK production "Wife Swap", the two wives will join each other's family and learn how others confront and solve problems and hopefully realize how special their own family is in the end.

"The Phone" is an extension of the prank phone call format. Hosted by three former singers Ko Young-wook, Shin Dong-wook and Sung Dae-hyun, this section will present true reality with a hint of humor. The hosts have a task: they call someone and make ridiculous requests.

In one episode shown during the press conference, one of the hosts called a kindergarten teacher and ask if he, 39 years old and a business man, could attend kindergarten, just to obtain his kindergarten "diploma". The teacher seemed puzzled for a while, but when the man said that he was failing in promotion because he didn't have a kindergarten diploma, she said that she would tell the head of the kindergarten and try to find a way to accept the man as a student.

Peeps of laughter did emerge from reporters, but many expressed their concern about the show.

When asked if whether they thought it was a bit rude to call up people and ask for strange things, the hosts agreed that they too were worried at first.

"That was the main problem, to be frank. We were afraid the people would get mad or just hang up on us, but they were actually quite nice and understood the concept (of the show) better than we expected", Seong said.

After the call, the team calls them back and explains what happened, asking for permission to use their conversations.

A television producer is one of the most wanted, yet one of the most gruesome jobs here and through "I Am a Producer", viewers can get a closer glimpse of how producers work and how some programs come to life.

Comedians Lee Young-ja, Lee Yoon-suk, Kim Kyung-min and actor Lee Chan will work on their own individual works and show the whole progress of making a show from deciding on a concept to shooting and editing.

This part of the show is special for Lee, as it is his first appearance after his messy scandal with his former wife actress Lee Min-young.

"I'm prepared for any criticism. I simply wanted to join the show. I don't think I've had the chance to show the real me, but this time, I'll try to show the real me, 100 percent real", said Lee.

"180 Minutes" will air every Saturday at 11 p.m. on cable channel tvN.

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