SBS “Roomate” – Getting Closer, Little By Little

It’s official, the new variety/reality show “Roomate” on SBS is one of my favorites. I know it’s not doing well in the ratings and netizens are a bit up in arms over forced love-lines but they seem to be missing the warmest moments in these newly formed relationships. (And no, I’m not just talking about Bom crying) Or are the love-lines the only thing interesting to some viewers? If so, I’m disappointed – there’s so much more to this program!

I’ll say one thing about the love-lines and then leave it alone. If you take 5 single, attractive women and throw them in a small, confined space 24/7 with 6 single, attractive men – of course the women will discuss the men! DOH! It’s actually refreshing for me to see that pretty much all women do this, we get together and talk about the men in our lives – co-workers, friends, or acquaintances.

Who is the most attractive? Who are we most drawn to? Who is sweet or funny or a jerk? It’s natural, normal and I’m happy to see celebrity girlfriends are no different from me and my girlfriends. This doesn’t mean any dating happens, it’s girl-talk. It’s more important to note that the close bonds that are forming are not just between the male/female roomies. I think it’s a shame so much attention is focused on who might be dating or flirting with whom and the negative but that’s just me. ‘Nuff said.

(Photo Cr: thepuddang tumblr)ย 

What I’m loving most about this show is the normal, human side of these celebrities and their ability to adapt quickly to situations (a surprise, since I’m not sure I’d be able to myself). Even the few that I initially thought were fairly shy or closed off are opening up to each other, forming bonds and it’s lovely to watch. It’s also quite fascinating how we get used to seeing/talking/interacting with the same people on a daily basis and if we don’t, we do miss them.

This week it was Seo Kang Joon’s turn to narrate, each episode is narrated by a different roommate – which is also fun. He admits to being dazed when he gets recognized, excited about moving into this nice house and getting his own bed, which he couldn’t even imagine. (LOL) He says it’s not easy living with a new family however, they’re all starting to get closer…little by little.

We learn they wake up grumpy, lounge around in sweats and are touched by each others words or actions just like normal people. *shocker* Funny-man Se-ho misses Dong Wook and calls to chat. Chan Yeol goes out to support Sung Woo at a farewell party for work (and bangs his knee coming in – ROFL). He makes hangover soup for Sung Woo the next morning, knowing Sung Woo drank too much. What’s cute is, he took the time to research how to make it the night before. Awww.

The girls chat, So Ra braids Ga Yeon’s hair and then holds an impromptu fashion show. Wow at the transformation in the youngest, Ga Yeon! The girls chat about the men, being lonely and first impressions: So Ra thinks Bom is an angel. This touching moment brings tears to Bom’s eyes and mine. I don’t know much about any of these celebs but it’s obvious Bom has been very hurt in the past. I’m a new fan, she’s adorable. And who knew So Ra, the ice-queen from the first episode could move me to tears?

The next day, Min Woo drives So Ra to her radio gig (these people are very busy) and then takes Ga Yeon to work out. The happiness that shines on Ga Yeon’s face makes Min Woo smile, which is adorable. He realize he should have brought her to her gym sooner, she’s very happy and at home there. But when she kicks his butt, he says he’s never going to work out with her again. LMAO! These guys seem to keep forgetting she’s a professional fighter, with years of training.

We also see Nana worrying about a bee that’s trapped in the house (which scares Chan Yeol, he’s afraid of bugs), Sung Woo cleans the entire kitchen and Bom, dancing and conversing with the cameras before heading out to rehearsals. Se-ho orders lunch bags and he and Nama drive 10 hours to deliver them to Dong Wook on the set of “Hotel King”. They meet Lee Da Hae, who jokingly comforts Se-ho that it must be hard being Dong Wook’s roommate. Dong Wook quickly escorts her away. *snicker* LMAO that Nana falls asleep on the way home, leaving Se-ho alone.

Warning: This song is addictive. (Cr: Uploader)

I really like all of these people, they each bring something different and interesting to the group. I love how energetic and goofy Nana can be, I love how selfless and caring both Sung Woo and Chan Yeol are and I love how insecure Ga Yeon is (being the youngest). I love how they all find a way to express these new feelings of friendship they’re feeling – with Soo-hyun even writing individual notes for everyone. They are becoming a family who give each other support and strength and cannot be torn apart. And that’s the heartwarming charm of this program. Love, love, love this show.

It looks like next week some of his roomies visit Chan Yeol for an EXO concert. Woot!

ย Sources: Roomate Facebook
SBS Official Roomate Site


  • mary says:

    I love this show too! Been following faithfully since the 1st episode. I thought you were gonna post the part where Nana and Se Ho lip-syncing to the song, they are so cute! I love Se Ho, he’s really a natural comedian, I just smile whenever he comes out. Though there’s so many love lines in the house, the one I really like is the pairing of So Hyun and Min Woo. They just seem so perfect for each other.

    • tessieroo says:

      Hey Mary!
      I decided to just include the YouTube of the song since I knew people would ask about it. *kekeke* It’s very addictive, I played it over and over. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • hipployta says:

    I started watching for Bom, 2NE1 fan here, and I like all the housemates but it is KILLING ME that this show is 2 hours long

    • tessieroo says:

      I have no idea what Bom has been through but she’s certainly touched my heart, I’m a new fan!

  • Fayeabell says:

    I love this show as well!! I just saw this show in kshowonline when the first episode came out and I’m glad I watched it. After watching the 1st episode, I got hooked and looked forward to it every week. I totally agree with all that you said about this show. I love it!! I like the song that Seho and Nana lip synced in the car, may I know the title of it?? Thanks

    • tessieroo says:

      I think it’s called “Some” by Soyou (Kim Ji Hyun) and JungGiGo – I posted the video above with English subs. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Fayeabell says:

        Oh It didn’t see it earlier since I first checked through my phone but saw it now!!! Great! Thanks a lot!

  • klove says:

    I am loving this show since it premiered. The interaction between each person is warm and nice…i just like how they try to get along with each other and how they talk things out before people become mad at each other for little things , as it can be that way when living with people you aren’t familiar with.
    sure they are also trying to form a love line, but I’m glad that that is not the premise of the show. Yea its funny/cute when they talk about who they like or don’t like…but watching their interactions/body language can say alot about a person rather than them actually saying it out loud. For instance, nana and seho during their trip…yea nana keeps saying no…no….but her body language might be no..but she continues to get fascinated by his as well…hehehe…so yea the girls who talk about boys like all GIRLS DO….might be going for obvious choice, but when everyone listens to each other stories and are bonding, feelings change and people begin to see others in different light. Oh I’m not implying that nana does like just saying it as an obeservation/example…
    in all, I like the oddity of the family they are making as each and everyone have quirks that is admirable and sooo easy go relate to.

    sry for random essay. Hehehe…i just agree with your thoughts as well. Heheh

    • tessieroo says:

      klove –
      Don’t worry, I love reading what others think! I love the warm interactions between all of them too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m definitely hooked.

  • keike says:

    I really hope they’ll get good ratings soon. I really love your recap and take on the show so far because EVERYBODY agrees, yet, people aren’t taking a chance on this show. How ironic? ….Let’s all pray that Roommate will do well in the ratings game <3

    • tessieroo says:

      I’m trying not to worry about the ratings and just spread the word about how entertaining the show is. *hee* I’m hoping they do another season!

  • Juliesean says:

    Hey I love this too. I love watching their real life personalities and interactions with one another.

    The multiple love lines just made it fun. Come on, living in close quarters with hot guys, how can one not entertain any thoughts of a hookup? Although chanyeol’s rabid fans will scream bloody murder so no gals dared to.

    • tessieroo says:

      Hey juliesean! *hugs*

      LMAO, exactly – I KNOW fo’ sure that I’d be talking to the other girls about these hotties. It most likely would never happen but it’s fun to think about. *hehehe*

  • Jermaine says:

    OMG I’m so glad there are other people who love this show as well. At first I watched it for Chanyeol, but even though he’s not shown that much (poor baby’s so busy) I’ve really grown to love all the other roommates of the house. I love all their interactions so much, especially SungYeol roommate line, and MinYeon :3 Out of all the love lines I definitely ship Ga Yeon and Min Woo together the most. Their interactions are just so cute, and you can tell that she’s so genuine about everything. I can totally see her developing a serious crush on Min Woo. I just hope he doesn’t hurt her feelings. TBH I don’t really like the Soo Hyun/Min Woo couple everyone keeps going on about. I haven’t really seen any genuine interaction between those two, and Min Woo only seems to like her because she seems like she’d be his ideal type and he can look after her. But even though Ga Yeon can take care of herself physically, it’d be good if someone would look out for her and like her for who she really is, rather than just looking at all the typically feminine women in the house. Definitely looking forward to how this whole thing pans out. (Seriously shipping)

    • tessieroo says:

      I’m not really shipping anyone but I do love getting to know these kids. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love Sung Woo and Chanyeol’s interactions the most.

  • Swee says:

    This is definitely my newest weekly crack. Watched it initially for LDW as I did not know anyone else but now, I am a fan of Park Bom, absolutely loves MW being kicked on very eps (poor guy), MW and GY look adorable together esp the height difference, checking EXO’s MV just to look at CY, oh he is a rapper, now I know! CY is super likeable with his nerdy glasses, plays the guitar and piano…. Wow, I bet he has lots of fans…yes, a whole concert hall of them.
    I am missing LDW in the house, his lip synching act with Seho was perfectly synced…. Second goes to Seho and Nana’s act.
    Sad to know the ratings aren’t good for this show, anyway, I can see there are lots of international fans, that’s very good.
    Thanks for this post.

    • tessieroo says:

      Who knew that Wookie had such a great sense of humor? LOL, he’s hilarious! I did know Soo-hyun before this show, she’s pretty crazy too but a total sweetheart.
      You’re very welcome, thanks for the encouraging comment! I’m happy so many people do like this show! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • sally_b says:

    Hi Tess ~ (waves hello and HUGS) Sorry to have dropped off the planet.

    Actually, I got a bid on a project (cha-ching$) that requires me to ….UGH, UGH, UGH…go into an office everyday. (I got spoiled working from home) You can email at any time of day and no one knows if you’re not wearing pants ~but I digress ~

    Roommate is such an addiction! I don’t care if they do nothing but show them cooking and eating together ~there’s so much subtlety and interplay and warmth. It’s certainly got it’s contrived/scripted bits…but the cast seem to genuinely be easing into each other’s comfort zones.

    Don’t know about you, but one of the many fascinating things about Korean culture for me has always been the *Senior / Junior* hierarchy. It seems so rigid from a Western viewpoint — starting from something as simple as how you end your words – yo! ….to how to buy a cake that *adults* like. (ChanYeol, I’m looking at you, cutie pie) Yet, it seems to be sort of an ‘in-joke’ to the actual people living in the culture.

    They appear to treat it as a structure to be nudged around in an effort to become….close.

    I may not be verbalizing it well —> In the West, if someone intrigues you, no matter what age or status…you say, “Hey, what up?” and if they respond favorably, you connect and you hang out. Both accepting that somewhere in the course of life experiences, you have a common bond.

    But watching this show, it’s revealing that the Confucian boundaries of birth-age and social placement (<— in heavy BOLD) are forever set in stone and the players …dance around the rules, reveling in "getting closer against the social norm".

    An example is how many times the show has mentioned the age gaps between…um…pretty much everyone, and especially SungWoo and ChanYeol. C'mon…they're both musicians and stage performers — why should they not BOND? (aren't they awesome together?)

    Rather clever of the PD to place the eldest (by far) man with an Idol, whose fans would lose their *stuff* if he got romantically paired. It's the BRO-factor that allows them to shine. (I ship myself with Chef Shin…hummuna, humuuna) Manes of Glory…does it for me every time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I'm a *wee* bit cheesed by the Se-Ho / Nana thing because it's a given that there would NEVER be a talented, smart, multi-lingual female counterpart to Se-Ho on a Korean show…and by that I mean — a not physically fit girl.

    Yeah…I'm going with a non-popular tangent. I was lucky to get my Mama's lean structure and I WORK to keep it …but not everyone can, or wants(!) to adhere to ultra-slim, culturally mandated beauty standards for women…and though it's a global thing — Korean media takes it to a public shaming level that stuns me. My point is: where is the slightly pudgy, wise-cracking female book-end for Se-Ho? not. gonna. happen.

    Because her entire *show story* would be about working out and dieting to become 'pretty' ….I will be stunned…STUNNED! I say… if the PD directs Se-Ho to *catch* Nana by becoming more physically attractive to her. (who/where can I write? …haha!)

    OK…clearly, I have too much time on my hands tonight ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm going to go back and watch ChanYeol cooking sausages in ketchup (yum?) That clip is toooo cute — with the kids in the kitchen and Sung Woo all, "WHAT are they doing?"…but not getting up from the couch. (so Dad. much Dad.)

  • tessieroo says:


    You actually have to go INTO the office now? Ugh, but yay for the bucks. *heh* YES, exactly! I wrote about that in the first post I did about this show – how much fun it would be to have a Korean version of BB because of the whole hierarchy thing! It would certainly bring a whole new set of issues. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But this isn’t BB.

    The slightly pudgy, wise-cracking female is what I miss most about Strong Heart – LOVED Jung Joo Ri. Also love Bong Sun. Funny when you google Korean comedians, it’s all men that come up. O_O

    No way Nana is gonna go for Se-ho but I am happy that they’ve formed a friendship – it’s sweet. I love that she’s not one of those shy female artists who won’t talk to any of the guys or looks away when they speak to her. Good for her, I think that’s the main reason I like her.

    Agree, it’s much easier to get to know someone in the West. I’d be terrified to talk to anyone if I visited Korea, afraid I’d offend everyone by not calling them by the proper title.

    I’m really enjoying this show and hoping they have a Season 2!

  • lemondrop says:

    Totally loving this show. First started it because heard some positive reviews and then found out that Lee dong wook was on. I started it and now am a fan of chan yeol and park bom. Chan yeol is so cute and super sweet dork/nerd. Can’t wait for the next episodes. Surprised at how much I enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anvesha says:

    I love this show too but at the same time I can see why someone would think it’s not variety material. I love the mundane-ness of this show and a peek in their (crazy) daily lives, CY gets 3-4 hours of sleep, same with Bom. I think we know there isn’t gonna be a real couple but love lines are fun and like you said ‘talking about boys’ is common girl talk and so is the flip side of ‘who’s the most popular’ talk among boys.

    On a side note, I always am a little amazed at how nice Seung Woo is to everyone and CY is like the poster child for a proper boy (so cute). They are matched perfectly.

  • abbie says:

    I like this show and watch it every week, but after episode 7 i find Nana is really useless. I don’t hate Nana or something, i like every single person when this show started but sometimes Nana is too much for me. She acts cute, being innocent and overall doesn’t know to do anything. Cannot cook rice? really? even my 12 years old brother can do that ( c’mon it’s a rice cooker and she’s an adult, also not a westerner ). Cannot follow a GPS navigation? cannot even read the alarm sign in the car? only has 60,000won and intended to buy many stuffs from the supermarket and doesn’t even know to get ice cubes from the fridge? and when she cried, it was so fake to look at. I love Sora unnie, Ga Yoeun-shi, Bom unnie, Soo Huyn unnie….but Nana….I’ve heard so many good things about Nana but so far I see nothing from her. I hope she can find something better to do in the upcoming episodes. Just my opinion, I don’t hate her, it’s just so annoying sometimes.

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