Variety shows are a staple part of the Korean entertainment industry. Almost every popular K-Pop group has variety shows of their own. BTS themselves have a long-running variety show named BTS Run that is widely popular among ARMYs worldwide. Recently, their new nature-themed reality show 'In the Soop' started airing on JTBC for Korean fans and has been available as paid content on Weverse for International fans. The show is set to have 8 one-hour-long episodes exploring the leisurely everyday life of the BTS members on a green getaway to modern-day paradise.
Fans were overjoyed when the news was first released about 'In The Soop,' most of them celebrating the fact that the BTS boys were finally going to get some well-deserved rest away from their scheduled activities and business. The house is set up deep in the forest (soop being the Korean word for forest) in between the hills and a lazy flowing water body. The main building, set up in middle ground is where most of the rooms are, an Upper House on higher ground is the gaming room, a floating house on top of the water is where the boys can go fishing as well as set up their rooms and a camping car with all required amenities is also up for takes. The first thing that is noticeable is the fact that the production team completely allows BTS to take the wheel. They’re asked what kinds of activities they’d like on their vacation and the production team complies with most, if not all of them. Right from Jin’s request for a fishing tank to Jungkook’s sandbag and a 2m x 2m canvas for Suga, the team arranges for everything BTS could want, giving their needs the first priority. This makes the boys feel comfortable as they open up about what they would like their experience to be. Even when they reach the house, they’re not hogged with cameramen and are allowed to explore the space in their own comfort.
Whenever the members are in their own zone, it is never surprising that fans get to see a snippet of their creation process. Even on vacation, artists cannot help but contemplate music. We get teaser clips of KTH1 – Taehyung’s potential first mixtape when Taehyung plays a part of his song for the first time in the car. RM sneaks into a room to read books while the other members are busy playing games or cooking. Jungkook takes time out in the day to practice his guitar as he is determined to get good at playing the instrument.
Overall, it is refreshing to see the boys carry on with their regular lives just as they would at a normal vacation without the pressure to living up to variety show expectations. None of the members is aiming at creating “content” for viewers. Instead, they’re simply being themselves, taking in the scenery, fishing if they want to, and playing music if they want to.
J-Hope and V are excited to see remote control gliders and boats and that’s what they silently work on for half the day. Suga spends his time painting or reading by himself. The boys are not worried about being entertaining at all and yet it is so incredibly enjoyable and even therapeutic and healing to watch them be themselves. The mood of the show is relaxed and soft and there is no interference from producers, unlike other variety observational shows.
It is no surprise that something that has BTS’ name on it is going to be top tier, be it music or variety content and the same goes for 'In The Soop.' If you’d like to escape from the mundane humdrum of society but can’t, this show will be your best friend as you unwind and let go of the day’s stress. You can watch 'In The Soop' every Wednesday at 11 PM KST on JTBC or on Weverse at 12 AM KST.