In Search of the Ultimate Korean Variety Show: Busted

Netflix is jumping into the Korean variety game and producing Busted.  A mix of actors and variety performers come together to give us a live version of the game of Clue as they solve a new mystery every week.  Is this show going to be our next big Korean variety show crush?  Come find our thoughts and see if this program is your cup of tea.

Our Quest:

This segment began when The Fangirls viewed the teaser for upcoming variety program Busted and realized that it has been a while since we have been openly invested in a variety show.  But where do we start in finding something new? This made us think there might be others out there who are just overwhelmed by how many options there are now.  Hence, the search for the ultimate variety program was created.  We hope you enjoy checking out these shows with us each week.  Be sure to suggest possible shows for us to watch in the comments and I promise we will eventually try to get to them all and share our thoughts.

Kmuse: I went into this with high hopes. I love Yoo Jae Suk and most of his variety shows, so I was expecting to enjoy this one as well. Not to mention Lee Kwang Soo and Park Min Young are always delightful in variety. What could go wrong? I won’t go into great detail until the cons section of the post…but I will say that I hate scripted murder mystery games with a passion now.

Karie the Maknae: I had no idea what to expect. I really don’t watch a lot in the way of reality shows/variety shows, except in passing with my family. That one 10-minute segment I watched of Running Man I watched once was funny. The first ep of Master in the House had me scratching my head. I keep meaning to get back to that…..

Kdrama Jen: I love variety shows. I love how they let us peek behind the curtain a bit and see a different side of idols and actors. I enjoy escape rooms and mysteries and I was excited by the cast. It’s always fun to see “The Giraffe” and I am always happy to see Chilbongie back on my screen. (He will always be my Chilbongie.)


Kmuse: Surprisingly it wasn’t Yoo Jae Suk that stood out to me in this show but Park Min Young, followed by Lee Kwang Soo.  They both were so energetic and naturally funny.  While everyone else felt like they were going word by word on a script, it was these two that brought some fresh and natural laughs to the process.

Karie the Maknae: I freakin’ loved Park Min Young in this. She was the most dedicated to figuring out the mystery, and definitely the cleverest of the crew. Absolutely a delight to watch. Kwang Soo was funny, and Yeon Seok was pretty. Yes, I am that shallow.

Kmuse: I also enjoyed any of the moments they went from scripted mystery to challenge activities. That was by far the best moments and I was always sad to see it switch back. I should also clarify that the challenges where they had to actually do something to win the clue were the best. Anytime there was an “intelligence challenge” the heavy scripting reappeared. The Math Door Quiz was especially annoying…..oops. I rambled into the cons again. Sorry.

Kdrama Jen: It’s on Netflix, so it’s easy to access… Hey, I am looking for a pro!

Karie the Maknae: Those challenge segments that had me laughing out loud, HARD. The water balloon hallway with Kwang Soo and Yeon Seok cracked me up. Zipping my lips about the intelligence challenges.


Kmuse: UGH.  100% the worst thing about this variety program is the lack of natural interaction between the competitors.  This was so scripted it killed any chemistry and I was so bored.  There were small glimpses of hope whenever they started doing a fun challenge.  But within five minutes we were back to the blank looks and awkward dialogue again.  Such a shame that they ruined what could have been a fun game show program and made it into a brainless paint by numbers.

Karie the Maknae: I’m with Kmuse on this one. Have y’all ever done an Escape Room? I’m talking in real life or as a game on your mobile device. Anyway, in those games, you get hints when you’re struggling to figure out a puzzle. I would have LOVED to have seen the competitors get hints, instead of suddenly coming up with an answer after the camera has cut away and come back to them again. It was way too obvious.

Kdrama Jen: This experience taught me that I watch variety shows because I want to get to know my Kdrama and Kpop favorites in a different way. This was a scripted show with a bunch of people playing their roles. I could have been watching strangers because there were no fun insights into their character or hidden talents.

Would We Recommend?

Kmuse: I am so sad to say that I would not recommend this program. It was even too simplified for my ten-year-old who asked why they kept talking weird. I will have to continue my search for a new variety program obsession.

Karie the Maknae: Due to my lack of experience with variety programs, and my general enthusiasm for Kwang Soo, How to Host a Murder dinner parties, and escape rooms, I’ll be giving this show another couple of episodes before I drop it. If it takes a drama 4 episodes to find its feet, then maybe it’ll be the same for Busted!

Kdrama Jen: For me, Busted was a bust!

Current Ranking:

Kmuse: I suspect that this one is going to remain low on my ranked list.  Since we have so far only watched and reviewed two shows, my ranking is as follows:

  1.  Running Man
  2.  Busted

Karie the Maknae: I have no list. I should be reading these posts instead of writing them!!

Kdrama Jen: This is at the bottom for me right now, but Chilbongie is still pretty…

To check out our past variety reviews click HERE!  We will hopefully be releasing a new review weekly so if you have a favorite Korean (or Asian) variety program send us a note in the comments.  We will happily add it to our list.

Til next time,

The Fangirls – Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

4 thoughts on “In Search of the Ultimate Korean Variety Show: Busted

  1. Oh, I just am loving this show – don’t see the problems with it at ALL. Of course, there’s the pretty (Sehun OMG) & Park Min Young is so good here. But both episodes had me just rolling – very funny! Plus the cameos 😀 I happen to love Ahn Jae Wook as well.
    So I have every intention of keeping on watching this.

  2. Respectfully, the whole point of the mystery genre is to try to figure out the mystery YOURSELF, not sit back and watch someone else solve the mystery. Of COURSE it’s scripted in some areas, the audience has to be given certain clues in order to solve the riddle. It’s not very interesting to watch people standing around scratching their heads! I think only the important information was scripted, and usually it was given by one of the “guests”.
    I think you should watch another episode, and try not to compare with other comedic reality shows like RUNING MAN. This show is much more cerebral. Although there were some unscripted laugh out loud moments that I LOVED!
    I love a good laugh, but I also love a good mystery, and this show has both! I’ll definitely be tuning in again!

  3. Admission.- I am not a fan of any reality tv of any type. I know they give lots of opportunities to see idols and actors in amusing situations but – they are not for me.

  4. I watched Busted! because I see Lee Kwang Soo and YJS as part of the member and the PD is PD of running man in the past. It remember me of old running man with lot’s of joy and happy

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