Monday, April 6, 2015

Annyeong, Roomate!

Season 1 Roommate Cast from left to right: Park Bom, Jo Se Ho, Seo Kang Jun, Park Chan Yeol, Lee So Ra, Nana, Lee Dong Wook, Song Ga Yeon, Hong Soo Hyun, Park Min Woo, Mama Shin (Shin Sung Woo)

Sad news arrived today in the form of an announcement that the fan-favorite Korean variety show, Roommate, has been cancelled. For those unfamiliar with the show, it centers around a group of 12 celebrities in Korea (11 in the first season) who all live together and the journey they go through becoming family and sharing their day-to-day lives with each other.  There is something about watching this show that makes you feel like the cast of Roommate is part of your own family. I even got my Korean culture-resistant parents to watch a couple episodes and agree that it was a good show. 

I was absolutely in love with the first season.  I was enraptured for 20 episodes with the eleven celebrities that I considered family. I watched them laugh together, cry together, and experience all-new things together each week. The day a new episode hit DramaFever was the best day of the week for me.  I laughed so hard during each episode that my stomach ached afterward.  I even found myself becoming a fan of stars that I normally would not have. The show really embodied how people with vastly different personalities could become close to one another and that is something that I have always been a big proponent of.

When the first season ended and it was announced that more than half of the cast was leaving I was devastated.  I was losing the family I had grown so close to. Sure, some of the family would remain, but I knew it wouldn't be the same with many of my favorites gone.  It took me some time to recover from the news.

I placed hope in the second season, that the feeling I had would continue and that I would grow close to the new cast members as well. While I did find the new additions to the cast charming, as I feared it was not the same.  The problem was that  in the episodes I watched they hadn't become family yet and I was still riding the high of the closeness of the first cast. Not only that but they didn't spend enough time showcasing the cast, especially the members that had been on the first season (Park Min Woo was missing for the majority of the episodes to my horror). Instead, a lot of the focus was the guests that would visit the house. As many others have said, it became almost a contest to see who could bring the most famous friend over to visit. The guests were enjoyable in moderation, but I found myself knowing more about the guests than the actual castmates. Because of this I didn't make it past episode 11 of the second season.

Still, I thought that when I had fully recovered I would return to Roommate with a fresh set of eyes and enjoy it once more, even though it was a different kind of show now. The promise of a third season gave me hope. Maybe I would get that feeling back, maybe they would focus on the cast more. 

The hope was short-lived. This morning I discovered it has been cancelled. Viewership dropped since the first season. I guess a lot of the viewers felt the same as I did.  What was enjoyable about the show in the first season is what they changed in the second and because of that a great Television treasure was destroyed. Even though I haven't been watching recently it still was sad news to hear, because it represents the official end of something that I loved.

At least it was fun while it lasted, a lot of fun. Roommate will always hold a special place in my heart and I will continue to follow the careers of each member of my Roommate family from the first season. Because of Roommate EXO and Orange Caramel are new Kpop favorites of mine. I've discovered a cache of new movies starring the oh-so-lovely Hong Soo Hyun and the unbelievably charming Lee Dong Wook. I immediately sign-up for new series alerts for anything with the absolutely perfect Park Min Woo or incredibly cute Seo Kang Jun. I started watching cheesy yet incredibly amazing videos from the 80s starring the beautiful silver fox "Mama Shin" and for the first time in my life I watched an MMA match featuring the ridiculously hard-core Song Ga Yeon.

So in summation,  thank you Roommate cast for giving me so much joy and so many laughs. I wish all 18 of you good luck in your future endeavors!

If you've never seen Roommate you can stream the entire first and second seasons on DramaFever.

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