Scene from "Seungseungjanggu" [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
First, there was rumor it would be the "Kim Seung-woo show". But viewers began to wonder what role Kim would play on show when the names of the supporting show hosts were revealed -- namely TV personality Choi Hwa-jung, comedienne Kim Shin-young, 2PM member Woo Young and Girls' Generation member Taeyeon. But people then started taking interesting in the talk show "Win Win" when it became known that Kim Seung-woo played the traditional jjanggu in the middle of downtown Myeong-dong one day to 'keep the promise' he made with viewers. Then when it premiered on February 2, the show left a not-so-bad impression, showing promise of becoming competition for other shows aired in the same time slot. Below are exercpts from a joint press conference attended by the cast of the show and producer Yoon Hyun-jun.
Q: How does it feel becoming part of this show?
Kim Seung-woo: It's true that I was approached several times before to host a talk show but I spent quite a bit of time in making a decision. I prepared myself in every way I could since I hadn't done entertainment shows before but after watching the first episode, I realized not everyone can and should do variety shows. Every time I go to the studio, I feel excited like a little child going out on a picnic and I worry that it might end because it isn't fun. I want to be remembered as a host who was quite good.
Woo Young: I felt honored to be taking part in a show under Kim Seung-woo's name. I was worried whether I would do a good job on the first show, but my members encouraged me as much as I had been worried about it.
Choi Hwa-jung: I wondered if being on a talk show would be right for me. However, I was close with Kim Seung-woo when we starred in MBC's "Hotelier" in 2001, I knew Woo Young and Taeyeon from hosting SBS's radio show "Power Time" and I have always had trust in Shin-young. Teamwork is important but we didn't have to worry about that since we're already close.
Q: How did you feel after watching the first episode?
Woo Young: I was so nervous during the recording for the first episode that afterwards, I couldn't remember what I did. I know I goofed around a lot but Kim Seung-woo accepted it. I have to admit I was scared of him at first because of his charisma but he treats me like he's my older brother now. So I think I might have been to bold for the first shoot and I'm glad there's such a thing as editing.
Taeyeon: I've been so busy that I haven't seen it on air yet. I did catch a glimpse of it on DMB though and I have a good feeling about it because I felt the subtitles and editing brightened up the show.
Kim: I think there was more positive reaction from viewers than negative. I don't think it means that we did a good job but are rather telling us to try harder since we did okay. After recording the first show, I went to the editing room at 3 A.M. That is the kind of determination that I have for the show and I'm willing to learn more. I think I've come to realize a tad more about variety shows after watching the first episode and called the producer to thank him. I told him that I like it because it has warmth and coziness but he reminded me that we've only shot one episode so far. (laugh)
Q: What do people around you say about the show? I'm really curious about how your wife Kim Nam-joo felt.
Kim: My close friends thought it was about time I did a variety program. After the first show, I received so many phone calls that my battery was dying out. I worked hard because I didn't want to disappoint the people around me. My wife Kim Nam-joo liked everything about it and during the recording she told Choi Hwa-jung that I looked at ease. To be honest, I was nervous at first but it became increasingly fun and felt that I could really give it a shot.
Choi: I think the reason he was nervous in the first place was because of Kim Nam-joo. (laugh) Kim Seung-woo is the type of person who doesn't get nervous while talking to people. That probably helps a lot for talk shows. He has several strengths he is born with, such as laughing really loud when he gets flustered which makes the other person feel more comfortable.
Q: Whose idea was it to invite Kim Nam-joo as the first guest?
Kim: I was adamantly against the idea. From the start, I had told the writers that I didn't want to be involved in inviting guests for the show. I don't think it's good to have a guest star who is close to the host, because then they will only talk about things that they already know amongst themselves and that isn't good for the show. I wanted stars to think "Oh, I want to go on that show", based solely on the attractiveness of the show itself. Till the very last moment, I opposed the idea of Kim Nam-joo being on the show but I ended up giving in because the producers said they wanted to introduce me too in the first episode.
Emcees Kim Shin-young and Woo Young [Choi Ki-won/10Asia]
Q: You used to appear on variety show "Sang Sang Plus" which was the show that used to air in this time slot. How do you feel about this?
Kim Shin-young: I had fun on "Sang Sang Plus" but " Win Win" feels a bit different because Kim Seung-woo makes people feel comfortable with his hearty laugh. Before the show I was close with Woo Young, Taeyeon and Choi Hwa-jung but I hadn't seen Kim Seung-woo on any variety programs before so I was worried whether he would be able to put up with my slightly offensive jokes. But he put up with them much better than I expected.
Q: You're the only real entertainer amongst the hosts. Did you feel any burden in having to keep the flow of the show going?
Shin-young: There were a few times where I did feel that but it's an instinct that I gotten from doing radio. I've been a radio show host for about a year and a half now so I kept throwing in remarks because I didn't want the atmosphere to be awkward. Before going into recording, I was worried about conversation getting cut off and that I would have to keep the show moving. But everyone played their part well and we've found a flow to it Now, I think everyone has found their rhythm and we have to work on our teamwork.
Q: For the sake of teamwork, has the emcees have a get-together yet?
Kim: After we shot the poster for the show, the director suggested that we have a get-together but everyone had a busy schedule and left. The only people remaining were Woo Young and me. We all decided to grab a drink after the first show but once again, Woo Young and I were the only ones left. (laughs) I feel like I only meet with Woo Young.
Q: The casting for the five emcees seemed unexpected, is there a reason for that?
Yoon Hyun-Jun: We cast Kim Seung-woo and the other members because we thought they would bring up various questions and thoughts for the show. We wanted to fill the show with fresh faces. The show is targeted towards viewers in their 20s-50s so we brought five emcees in different age group.
Q: What was the reason for Kim Seung-woo to be the main emcee?
Yoon: The writers were talking about how Kim has this talent of drawing people in. For example, he has the gift of gab with the ladies.
Kim: Oh no! You were complimenting me and now you say that. It'll be the headline for the day! (laughs)
Yoon: When I actually met him, I thought he was a good guy. He is considerate to others and that was when I knew he would make a good host for a talk show.
Emcee Taeyeon [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
Q: The show is criticized on the 'introducing questions' segment for being ambiguous.
Yoon: We made this part to let the audience know about the questions that we have been receiving, but since we can't deliver all the answers the audience is having doubts. The segment has meaning which is to bring joy to the person who asked the question and that is what we are enforcing for this week's show.
Q: You caused quite a stir when you played the Korean traditional drum; I wonder how you felt at that moment. Also, will the other members be doing the same?
Kim: Ah, during my 20 years in the business that was the hardest day of my life. (laughs) I am still new to the variety show business. The show feels like another project to me and I'm the star.
Woo Young: I did the fan dance but I couldn't concentrate because it was so cold. From the start, Kim Seung-woo was kind and when I saw him keep his promise and played the drums, I knew that I had to do the same. I felt that we built trust with our viewers.
Taeyeon: I'm thinking of what to do when it's my turn and I'm a bit worried since the weather is not getting better. (laughs) I'm thinking about a traditional Korean dance or give a small concert.
Q: Most of your segments are focusing on the audience, is that the main point of the show? I felt that the show didn't really concentrate much on the guest star.
Yoon: In order to explain that, we had eight hours of film but the actual show is only 70 minutes. If we take out one or two proportions of the show, we can't handle the timing. It is a waste to shorten the time and there were a lot of unused. We also had to cut footage from the interview with Kim Nam-joo. To be frank, I was being greedy but it was for the show and I wanted the audience to grab the concept of what the program is about. It was pointed out that there is no flow to program so we rearranged a few things for the second show. We are working on trying to make the show feel more comfortable.
Q: What do you think the feature of "Seungseungjanggu" will be?
Kim: I don't know if it is suitable for the audience but I wish the show would be louder, have more in-depth conversations and if the guest doesn't want to talk about it we don't have to listen. I want the show to be like that. When people watch variety shows they have fun for that moment but afterwards, they usually don't re-watch it. But I want people to want to re-watch our show.
Q: Who are some of the future guest stars you have in mind for "Seungseungjanggu?"
Kim: My personal connections are not wide. I'm very shy in front of people. I think the people should know that Kim Seung-woo doesn't have many connections. (laughs)
Yoon: That was why I felt disappointed. (laughs)
Kim: I feel this will give me an opportunity to broaden my relationship with people. It would be great if I met people that I never got a chance to meet before. Next week's guest is 2PM, so I was asking Woo Young the names of the members. I feel like I'm doing my homework to get to know the guest beforehand but at the same time I'm excited about it. But if would have been better if the guest were Girls' Generation...(laughs).
Choi Hwa-jung: Go Soo! I've been watching his drama and I think he is handsome.
Taeyeon: I wish Gang Dong-won would come. He just released a new movie and he has lots of female fans who have many questions and I want to be that person to deliver the answers to the audience.
Woo Young: Actor Ahn Sung-ki. He has this benevolence that is just great.
Choi Hwa-jung: That's the problem with Korean idols, they tell the truth.
Taeyeon: How about a female star?
Woo Young: Then Jun Won-joo? I really like benevolent people.
Reporter : Yoon Hee-Seong firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer : Chae ki-won email@example.com
Editor : Jang Kyung-Jin firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor : Lucia Hong email@example.com
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