Words by Soyeon Kimberly Yoon
With Its New “Tailored” Style, Sbs’s Revamped Healing Camp Leads Korea’s Top Stars To Openly Discuss Their Personal Lives.
When I first watched Healing Camp last summer, I thought the show was whiny. It featured Korea’s top stars discussing how they are unhappy and unfulfilled even with the money and fame they possess. The celebrities would invite hosts Lee Kyung-Kyu, Kim Jae-Dong, and Han Hye-Jin into their homes and cry about their lonely lives. The show’s full name “Healing Camp: Are You Happy?” seemed to ironically question the celebrities.
However, I recently tuned back into Healing Camp, as the show has since established itself as one of Monday night’s top variety shows and received a moderate viewer rating simply because of its guests. From its very first episode, Healing Camp has successfully featured Korea’s most beloved celebrities, including musicians, artists, politicians, athletes, and authors. Now the show is not only praised for its amazing cast, but also for its unique concept, where the hosts create perfectly tailored interview atmospheres for each guest.
During an episode with Korean professional golfer Choi Kyung-Ju, Healing Camp’s three hosts prepared a small golf game for the athlete, who is known for being uncomfortable with variety shows. In another episode featuring Korea’s most lovable actress Lee Min-Jung, the staff set the show at an outdoor pojangmaja snack bar to induce the star, who is known for her fondness for pojangmaja drinking, to casually chat with the hosts.
In such a “tailored” talk show, guests feel comfortable enough to discuss their personal lives and even come clean by dealing with vicious rumors. As a result, Healing Camp’s topics can be rather scandalous compared to how conservative Korean talk shows have been in the past.
With new guests and a new concept in every episode, Healing Camp has successfully transformed into a unique variety show that never bores its viewers. By allowing Korea’s top figures to talk openly about their lives, problems, and rumors, the show has survived among newer broadcasts and become one of Monday night’s favorite shows. Listen to celebrities’ untold stories every Monday night at 11:15 on SBS.