DRAMA CLUB: Roommate Episode 7 (1/2)
Hi Everyone! Welcome back to this week's episode of Roommate. You know those moments in variety shows where your favorite stars have to do that ridiculous impression of someone that makes your hand curl and they have to do whatever they can to get a minute of airtime. Yeah, you guys know what I'm talking about. Luckily for us, Roommate doesn't force a lot of these moments. But sometimes in this show, it's hard to get airtime when you're not in the house a lot. With this being the case, it feels like the show is missing something.
Lore: It is evident which roommates are hanging around the house more than their counterparts (heck- an episode pretty much makes it clear). Soo Hyun, Se Ho, Min Woo, Sung Woo, Ga Yeon, and to an extent So Ra and Kang Joon appear on camera more often than the oft missing Bom, Chan Yeol, Nana, and Dong Wook. Obviously some of the roommates are in the middle of promotions or filming and some are in between projects and have a lot of free time.
While some of the roommates are “bigger celebrities” at the moment than others I feel that the cast works well with this dynamic. A mix of the famous and the kind of famous and the non-working famous makes for an interesting world. I guess this really hit me when Soo Hyun saw Bom off to her Philippines concert. It was so…so…family like. Have a nice day, do well, and be healthy. I will be waiting when you get back. That was the vibe I got from this interaction. And nothing about it screamed “This does not work – you are gone for X number of days and I am home.”
After seven episodes I get the impression that the more “homebound” roommates are like the foundation for the super busy roomies, and the entire operation is just like a family. You come home late and your parents – or Kang Dash Man and the Se Ho / Dong Wook interview team are waiting for you. You are hungry after a long day of work, never fear because Mama Shin is ready to whip you up a meal.
I am a huge fan of the family dynamic this show is promoting, mostly because I truly feel that it works well alongside the expected variety/comedy overtones. Even if I have to remind myself this is a variety show (and in and of itself scripted to an extent) I want to aww and laugh at the same time, while appreciating the cast members regardless of their screen time. Can I get a collective d’awwww?
Qisti: With the roommates coming from different backgrounds, it’s obvious that some are going to be busy at certain times while others have the freedom to lounge around all day at the home. Truthfully, it’s going to be a given because that’s the way the show has been set-up. The show obviously wants a couple to come out from it (I would totally be surprised if one did), but what I sincerely want from it is a family.
Right now, it’s hard for me to call them a family. Every time I write about this show, I just can’t say “Oh the family did this”, but rather “The roommates did that”. Part of the reason why I’m holding back is that fact that not everybody is always home and it’s hard to see them interact with each other. A family would know when it’s someone’s birthday, right?
Now there are glimpses and moments of a family emerging. Like Lore mentioned, when Soo Hyun walked Bom out or when Sora dresses Bom to look fashionable at the airport. My favorite is in the morning when Chan Yeol was in Se Ho’s room after playing and falling asleep there. Once Sung Woo called for him, he instantly woke up. It’s nice to see that they can go into each other’s rooms without feeling embarrassed or restricted. It shows that they’re really bonding.
On the other hand, with the split between the homebound roommates and the ones that are always out, it does give the show itself a variety of happenings. The show is a variety show, it doesn’t hurt to see what happens outside the house. We get to see Sung Woo and Se Ho visit (and fanboy) Chan Yeol with his EXO-K members. We got to see Se Ho and Nana visit Dong Wook at his filming site. Soo Hyun learning the Catallena dance with Nana and they have that moment together. It seems like every week they’re rooting for one of their roommates to win number one on Inkigayo. We only see them together at home so it’s fun to see them interact at their workplaces. Plus, it allows us to see more of the members who aren’t always at the house.
Rosie: In a sense, I really like how the show’s ‘reality’ nature comes out by seeing the celebrities go about their daily lives and their daily careers, but like Qisti I still don’t get the sense that they’re becoming a ‘family’ like the show would like us to believe. I think some of them are closer to others, sure (for instance Sung Woo and Chan Yeol are pretty close and they probably don’t even see each other all too often), but for the most part it really does feel like a share house where the members come and go and if they get the chance to interact, that’s cool. But there are those cuts though when they don’t really have the time, but being on camera forces them to interact in ways they probably wouldn’t normally.
Take Dong Wook arriving after a day of filming with the Se Ho/Kang Dash reporter team. We haven’t even seen or heard about Dong Wook once in this episode and with under 15 minutes of showtime to air, he shows up tired and exhausted, clearly wanting to crash, but he needs to complete his ‘interview’ and socialize with the others. Park Bom has similar reactions to her late night interviews though she always manages to pull out a smile, or else just whine cutely until she can go to sleep. On the other end of the spectrum though, there’s Chan Yeol. The burden of always appearing cheerful on camera must definitely be maturing him well! Haha.
Overall, I think there’s still a healthy mix of roommates interacting as naturally as possible within the constraints of their camera-sees-all home. And it certainly is fun when we suddenly see a different pairing of people who aren’t always on screen together (Nana and Ga Yeon for instance), but it makes me question just how long the show can keep up these ‘variety’ antics with such a routinely fluxuating cast of members? Because some scenes are golden - at least the first few minutes of the driving-challenged Nana and Ga Yeon adventure.
But some scenes are just repetitious - the rest of the girls driving trip, and the flower brothers’ interactions after visiting Min Woo’s parents where they just drive and sing or sleep. My only hope is that we’ll keep getting more consistently entertaining bits, and less scenes that feel like fillers.
Read more about Roommate:
Wonder who your Drama Club members are?
Rosie: Shine a Light Rose
Lore: Lore in Stone Cities