What’s On TV – Infinite Challenge

List Item:  Watch half of the 1001 TV Series You Must Watch Before You Die
Progress: 215/501
Title: Infinite Challenge
Episodes Aired: 563
Year(s): 2005-2018
Country: South Korea

I really want to go to South Korea. I mean I really want to go to South Korea. It’s been on the wish list for a long time, but now I’ve gotten an extra dose of Korean culture with a mix of Kpop and this amazing show the yearning has increased about a thousand fold.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve ever come across a show like Infinite Challenge – but I guess that the closest would be Top Gear. However, unlike Top Gear, there has yet to be an occasion where Infinite Challenge has sent me to sleep. In fact, I don’t think I have come across an episode of this where I have not been laughing out loud.

In essence, Infinite Challenge is (or was) a weekly show where the hosts take part in various challenges or extended comedy bits. Sometimes there are themed episodes (such as the well received Saturday Singers episodes) which fall outside of this, but for the most part it is a show where you can laugh at lovable hosts doing weird things.

Given the huge number of episodes (and that most of the early ones can’t be found on video sites with English subtitles) I watched a smattering of episodes from 2014 and 2015. This episodes with extreme part time jobs, cheerleading, daycare centres, a bonus-themed chase and their annual lunar festival celebrations. I am already looking forward to devouring plenty more of these in the future, especially to see how far the cheerleading goes.

The producers of this show deserve so much praise for getting the concepts together to make this as interesting as it is, but it wouldn’t have been funny if it wasn’t for the hosts.

Over 10 years there have been a number of hosts, but there has been a central six (pictured) who were with the show for over 9 years (with three being hosts for 13+ years). As with all things, the chemistry between the hosts is incredibly important – and this group have it in spades. The quickness of the wit and the ability to ad-lib in frequently ridiculous situations just makes this show a joy to watch.

Of course I have favourites to watch (Jun-ha being the host in particular who always steals my attention), but they work so well together. Watching this you do feel that you are watching a bunch of friends hanging out and taking part in challenges together. Episodes like the one where host-in-chief Yoo Jae-suk tries to catch-out the other hosts by seeing if they would go out drinking the night before recording – well it helps to reinforce that, once the cameras are off, they might hang out occasionally.

Infinite Challenge may be on of the most pleasant surprises to come from the TV shows list. I went in expecting something entertaining, but ultimately disposal. Instead I have found something that is the ultimate cure for the blues and helped me to cross off a certain item off my bucket list:

List item: Cry with laughter
Status: Completed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.