SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – MBC every1’s hit show Welcome, First Time in Korea?’s ratings hit a record high with the latest episodes featuring Finnish panel members, and viewers are expressing interest in the Nordic country following the program’s success.
The latest episode of the variety show garnered an audience of 5 percent, according to Total National Multimedia Statistics, the highest to date since the show began airing in June.
As the title suggests, the show depicts a group of visitors from foreign countries enjoying different cultures and visiting various places in South Korea, and the latest episodes featuring a group of three Finnish guys have brought MBC every1 its highest ratings since the network was established a decade ago.
TV critics say the honest and genuine portrait of South Korea through the lens of down to earth guys from Finland, and the growing interest in the European country rather unfamiliar to the South Korean audience has won the hearts of millions of viewers.
Following the episodes which aired in November and December, viewers left online comments expressing praise and approval of the show.
“They (the Finnish panel members) seemed very down to earth, and I really enjoyed watching it,” one user said in a comment left on Naver.
“Finland is unfamiliar and all I know is the Santa town, but watching the show made me want to visit the country,” another wrote.
One user said the Finnish episodes were the best to date from the show, while another thought highly of the episodes’ honest portrait of South Korea.
Scenes of the Finnish panel members jumping into the sea despite cold weather or enjoying baseball for the first time with local sports fans were well-received.
‘Welcome, First Time in Korea?’ is bucking the trend of star-dusted reality shows on cable TV channels by depicting South Korea with regular people from different countries visiting the country for the first time.
The show has been praised for portraying South Korea from a refreshing perspective, boosting interest in domestic tourism among viewers.
The next episode featuring visitors from France will air next Wednesday.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)