Travel show featuring 'grandpas' a hit

Ahjummas are not the only ones who are taking over Korean pop culture.

Celebrity senior citizens are joining in the fun too - on the small screen.

Korean travel reality show, Grandpas Over Flowers, which premiered last year on channel M, has been a huge hit since it aired.

The programme features four veteran actors - Lee Soon Jae, 79, Shin Gu, 77, Park Geun Hyung, 73, and Paek Il-seop, 69 - backpacking through Europe with 42-year-old actor Lee Seo Jin as their porter.

The name of the show is a play on the title of popular Korean idol drama, Boys Over Flowers, starring heart-throb Lee Minho.


Garnering a record-breaking viewership rating of 4 per cent for the pilot, the cast of Grandpas Over Flowers has since attracted fans for their candid and humorous dialogue on the show.

The new season premieres on channel M (StarHub Ch 824/SingTel mio TV Ch 518) on April 14 at 11pm.

Producer Na Young Seok told the Wall Street Journal: "I think the unlikely combination of grandpas and backpacking, and also of old actors in a reality show, accounts for its popularity."

Into its third season now, the show is so well-received that it has even spawned a spin-off, Noonas Over Flowers, which premiered in Korea on channel M last November.

"Noonas" refers to elder sisters in Korean.

A drama version of Grandpas Over Flowers, as well as a Chinese version featuring celebrities from China, are also reportedly in the works.

Noonas Over Flowers sees four of Korea's top actresses - Yoon Yeo Jung, 66, Kim Ja-Ok, 62, Kim Hee-Ae, 46, and Lee Mi-Yeon, 42, with handsome singer-actor Lee Seung Gi, 27, as their porter - embark on a 10-day trip to Croatia, and has also received good reviews.

Mr Na, who also produced this show, said: "You will be able to find the fun in watching Lee Seung Gi's flustered reactions to the noonas' emotions that he cannot understand."

This article was published on April 1 in The New Paper.

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