25 Moments From 2017 Variety Shows That Made Us Laugh, Cry, And Everything In Between

2017 has brought us new observational-type variety shows such as “Hyori’s Homestay” and “It’s Dangerous Beyond The Blankets,” whereas shows such as “Ask Us Anything” and “Weekly Idol” continue to get bigger and better. And though long running shows “Infinite Challenge,” “2 Days & 1 Night,” and “I Live Alone” were affected by the labor strike that hit both KBS and MBC, they were still able to end the year with new episodes.

In general, we saw strong entries from variety shows of different types, catering to people with different tastes and moods. It’s not going to be easy voting for your favorite variety show, but good luck! Here are the 10 nominees for best variety:

2 Days & 1 Night

2 Days & 1 Night” had a year of ups and downs. Cast member Jung Joon Young rejoined the show early in January after his temporary hiatus, much to the delight of both his fans and fans of the show in general. 2017 was also the 10th year of the show, and a series of episodes dedicated to this was planned, including episodes where they made theme songs for the show. Unfortunately, the aforementioned KBS strike caused a delay in other celebratory episodes.

Also, previous cast member Kim Joo Hyuk tragically passed away in October, and the hiatus was wisely put on hold to air a special (and beautifully-done) episode dedicated to him. But before all these events, “2 Days & 1 Night” still delivered its usual strong episodes filled with laughter, heart, and Korean culture.

Tae Hyun‘s laughter makes everything 10 times funnier

Here are some highlights from 2017:

The fans who joined this trip were scene-stealers themselves, but the MVP of this clip is Kim Jong Min and his English skills.

This whole clip is a must watch. Joon Young becomes so scared that he regrets ever becoming a celebrity and Tae Hyun gets pranked.

KBS did the respectable thing by airing this special episode dedicated to the beloved Kim Joo Hyuk, even amidst their labor strike.

Ask Us Anything

After a year of finding its footing in 2016, “Ask Us Anything” proved to be a show to watch in 2017. Each of the cast members play a part in bringing the laughter, whether it is dissing themselves or conning their guests into doing things. The formula of the show is straightforward enough to watch casually, and viewers are always eager to learn something new about their celebrities. 2017 has attracted some big names such as Rain, PSY, Kim Hee Sun, TVXQ, Super Junior, and SECHSKIES. The oft-accompanying skits in the second half of the show are also wonderfully silly and outrageous.

Here are some highlights from 2017:

Super Junior members give Heechul a taste of his own savage medicine.

Baekhyun reveals that Sehun has a large….nose, a comment the proud Sehun adamantly asks the production crew to air.

The EXO episode also gave us these beautiful, beautiful screen-caps of D.O.

Girls’ Generation celebrated their 10 years of teamwork by…roasting each other on the show.

Hyori’s Homestay

“Hyori’s Homestay” was a definite gem of 2017. Viewers who tuned in to see old-school-variety-Hyori instead found something very unexpected, but just as appealing. There weren’t many laugh-out-loud moments, but instead we got a quiet but captivating show that focused on the people and their relationships. Viewers loved this type of show, which focused on healing and simplicity, so much so that Hyori, her husband Lee Sang Soon, their part-timer IU, and even their dogs drew a great deal love and attention. Hyori and IU’s fashion choices were often emulated, and there was even a “IU disease” going around.

Here are some highlights from Season 1:

The interactions between the celebrities, lodgers, and even pets are what made the show so endearing.

No one can understand IU’s fashion choices. Not Hyori, nor IU’s own stylist. But we still love her anyway!

I Live Alone

I Live Alone” really found it’s groove in 2017 with a group of people who seemingly don’t have a lot in common, yet have wonderful chemistry. And through this show, we really got to enjoy their real, somewhat dorky selves, and the friendships they’ve established. We also got a glimpse into the lives of the guest celebrities. From being homebodies, to running mundane chores, to catching up with friends, to hogging too many pairs of shoes, this show helped us realize that celebrities are just like us!

Here are some highlights from 2017:

Henry’s cleaning method of using a hoverboard, is just so Henry – quirky but genius!

Taeyang’s episode drew in huge ratings, thanks to Daesung, Seungri, and his intense love for pajamas.

Infinite Challenge

Infinite Challenge” had an on-and-off year as the show went on hiatus on two separate occasions: one that was self-inflicted and one due to the MBC labor strike. 2017 also saw the departure of Kwanghee, who had to enlist in the military, and the official addition of Yang Se Hyung, leaving the cast with only five regular members for most of the year. These often uncontrollable circumstances resulted in the absence of regular projects just as the bi-annual song festival, but instead, we were treated to guest appearances from Stephen Curry and Manny Pacquiao. The cast also continually challenged themselves by flying to Hollywood to audition for U.S TV shows, and doing their own version of “Real Men”.

Here are some highlights from 2017:

The Curry brothers, Stephen and Seth, drop by for some basketball fun. And by fun, we mean weird contraptions to “even the playing field.”

Jack Black uses his second appearance to prank the members.

What scares the cast more than zombies? English-speaking zombies!

It’s Dangerous Beyond The Blankets

It’s Dangerous Beyond The Blankets” is strangely addictive, even with only five cast members who are arguably not variety-dols. The intense awkwardness of five extremely shy and introverted people being forced to interact with (and sometimes avoid) each other is unintentionally amusing; something many viewers found highly relatable. From hiding in the room, to taking forever to introduce themselves, or even awkwardly going grocery shopping together, this is another show that embraces the silence, simplicity, and a little bit of awkwardness.

Here are some highlights from 2017:

EXO’s Xiumin is so involved in his VR game that he doesn’t realize the people around him.

Watching Junhyung, you’d think there was a burglar ransacking the house instead of a flatmate moving in.

New Journey To The West

“New Journey To The West” welcomed 2017 with a bang (literally, as the first episode of the third season aired on January 1) with the introduction of two new cast members – Super Junior’s Kyuhyun and WINNER’s Song Mino. If “Hyori’s Homestay” is all about relaxing and healing, then this show is the complete opposite. It’s chaotic, loud, and nauseatingly funny. The overall construct of the show, coupled with the amusing cast members, the onscreen comments, and genius editing make for a ridiculously good time. The fourth season aired during the second half of the year, and made viewers forever grateful for “Song Finger,” which resulted in a deeply regretful production team and two spin-offs (“Kang’s Kitchen” and “Youth Over Flowers: WINNER Edition”).

The cosplay gets more and more ridiculous, and we love it!

Mino with long hair and Mino with a bob, equally adorable.

Here are some highlights from Season 3 and 4:

The gang trying to play “Mafia Game,” but hilariously not quite understanding the rules.

The infamous “Zombie Game.” So simple, yet so hilarious!

Each time Kang Ho Dong says a name, that person will have a point deducted. Spoiler: someone’s name is called 198(!) times.

Please Take Care Of My Refrigerator

The year of 2017 will be remembered as the year Gordon Ramsay guested on “Please Take Care Of My Refrigerator,” his episode coinciding with the show’s third anniversary and achieving one of the shows highest viewership ratings. Other notable guests for the year included Rain, Akdong Musician, Lee Kyung Kyu, and Kim Joon Ho. There was even an episode with H.O.T’s Tony An, SECHSKIES’ Kim Jae Duk, and BTS’s Jin and Jimin all in one episode!

Here are some highlights from 2017:

Gordon Ramsay invited the chefs to England to have a second challenge, and even asked to join again to defend his title.

Members of BTS, H.O.T, and SECHSKIES dancing together!

Running Man

Running Man” started 2017 with a bittersweet vibe. We had just gone through a month or so of less-than-pleasant press, starting with cast members Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo allegedly leaving the show (they were more-or-less fired), and eventually arriving to the conclusion that “Running Man” would end early in the year after a series of “Members’ Week” episodes.

The show even managed to bring back previous member, Gary, for his own episode, before announcing that it would continue on, but with two new members – Yang Se Chan and Jun So Min. With them and a new PD at the helm, a new breath of life was breathed into “Running Man,” and the once struggling ratings rose stably. Viewers were once again treated to the sometimes heart-thumping, sometimes silly, but always delightful episodes.

Here are some highlights from 2017:

Jong Kook and Ji Hyo doing the Nevis Swing upside down! This is one of the highest rated segments of the year.

So Min has a magnetic personality, literally. That, coupled with her outrageous personality, brings about this funny moment.

Weekly Idol

2017 was an amazing year for “Weekly Idol”! It kicked off the year with appearances from legends BIGBANG and Shinhwa, and ended the year with Super Junior, Rain, and Uhm Jung Hwa. We also had guests of amazing caliber scattered throughout the year, including Wanna One, celebrities from Mystic89 (including Yoon Jong Shin, Park Jae Jung, and Kim Young Chul), Turbo, “Produce 101” graduates (from both seasons), and also the “Weekly Idol” regulars such as Apink, Highlight, GFRIEND, GOT7, and EXID. Basically, something for everyone, and funniness all around!

Here are some highlights from 2017:

Super Junior are variety-dols for a reason. Be sure to watch their (chaotic) episodes and their appearance for the year-end awards.

BIGBANG’s 2x speed dance is the stuff of legends, which includes a super-hyper TOP and a killing part by Daesung.

Shinhwa’s episodes are loud, disaster-filled, and hilarious!

Having trouble deciding which variety show you enjoyed the most? Let us know which ones you’re currently watching below! 

Also check out the nominees for Best Variety Show in the 13th Annual Soompi Awards (introduced by Oh My Girl’s Binnie and Arin), and vote!

Belinda_C really enjoys watching all kinds of variety shows, and realizes now just how much she watches. Aiks.