Finally, K-drama fans in Singapore can get quicker access to popular entertainment programmes from major South Korean broadcaster Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).
With the launch of new TV channel Oh!K (StarHub TV Channel 816) in October, audiences here now have an easier - and legal - way of catching their favourite dramas and variety shows made by MBC, as the channel has a volume content deal with the broadcaster.
It is a long time coming for many K-drama followers, given that MBC is the last of the three major South Korean broadcasters to get a dedicated TV channel here. Previously, a handful of MBC content was syndicated as and when on channels such as the free-to-air Channel U.
The other two Korean broadcasters have staked their claim here for a while, with Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) programmes shown on KBS World (StarHub TV Channel 115) and Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) content being played on One (StarHub TV Channel 124).
The launch of Oh!K means that viewers can watch the latest episodes of MBC programmes such as the long-running variety show Infinite Challenge, where celebrities take on various games and challenges to comedic effect.
There are also top-rated MBC dramas such as the ongoing procedural-cum-romantic drama Pride And Prejudice starring Choi Jin Hyuk and Baek Jin Hee, and the upcoming Shine Or Go Crazy starring Jang Hyuk, a period drama centred on the arranged marriage between a cursed crown prince and the princess of another land.
Both dramas will be shown here one day after the original Korean telecast.
Other shows such as the hit reality programme Dad, Where Are We Going?, which features celebrity fathers on outings with their kids, will be broadcast here within a week of the Korean premiere. Looks like K-drama fever is here to stay.
HIT PROGRAMMES ON OH!K (STARHUB TV CHANNEL 816)
When: Premieres tonight, 10pm
What: This story follows the lives of three young brothers who grew up apart over two decades without any contact, after their father died and their mother left them. As adults, the brothers cross paths again and find themselves at odds with one another, all the while completely unaware of their blood ties.
The eldest is a detective, the middle child grew up to be a thug and the youngest was adopted by a wealthy family. Other than the compelling tale of mystery and jealousy, K-pop fans will lap up the chance to see heart-throb Kim Jae Joong (left) of boyband JYJ in his first leading role. Also stars Lee Beom Soo and Yim Si Wan.
When: Premieres Dec 23, 11pm
What: Also known as We Got Married, this hyper-reality series pairs popular celebrities in pretend marriages. It is the ultimate fantasy trip for many K-pop and K-drama fans as they watch their favourite idols get all sweet and loving with one another in romantic settings. Popular pairings include Nichkhun of boyband 2PM with Victoria of girl group f(x), and T-ara's Eunjung with actor Lee Jang Woo.
When: Monday, 8.55pm
What: This drama stars heart-throb Lee Dong Wook as a cool-headed hotel manager vowing to seek revenge, so convinced is he that the chairman of the hotel he is working at is his biological father and also the man who abandoned him as a child. Things get complicated when the heiress to the hotel (played by Lee Da Hae) shows up and becomes suspicious of the manager.
When: Saturday, 8pm
What: Celebrities on this comedy variety show play funny games that involve anything from wordplay to physical challenges. It is fun to see which guests will appear on the show. In the past, they included popular boyband BigBang and heart-throb actors So Ji Sub and Lee Dong Wook.
THE REAL MEN
When: Saturday and Sunday, 11pm
What: This variety show features a group of male celebrities undergoing tasks in the Korean military, which is a mandatory rite of passage for Korean men. Many of these celebrities have been discharged from the army for years, so watching them take on the tough challenges all over again is both intriguing and entertaining. Some celebrities will surprise, though: When Jang Hyuk, 37, was on the show, he often outdid the younger and trained enlistees in many physical challenges.
This article was first published on December 18, 2014.
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