[Variety] Are you ready for the entertainment explosion that is “Youth MT”?

On 9 September, a new type of reality travel program premieres on OTT video streaming platform TVing:  “Youth MT” / (“청춘MT,” also known as “Young Actors’ Retreat”).  The following is a compilation of various news reports to describe the upcoming series in advance of its premiere.

A big part of South Korean culture, “MT” stands for “Membership Training,” and is basically a retreat or small trip with a company team, school club, or church group.  These MTs are intended to have your team or group bond together through a number of events, games, and meals.  An MT is a great chance to get to know your teammates outside of a work setting (or in this case, drama casts getting acquainted with other drama casts).  Memories made on an MT can have a huge impact on future relationships, so everyone tries to have fun with their colleagues.

It is customary for South Korean television to air special programming during the Chuseok Holiday (falling on 10 September this year, but the holiday extends from 9 September-12 September).  The country pretty much shuts down for this 5-day period to allow families to gather at their hometowns to celebrate Korean Thanksgiving.  One of those special programmes broadcast this year is “Youth MT” and will feature 3 different teams made up of cast members from hit dramas “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds” (Park Bo Gum, Kim Yoo Jung, Jung Jin Young, Kwak Dong Yeon, Chae Soo Bin), “Itaewon Class” (Park Seo Joon, Ahn Bo Hyun, Kwon Nara, Ryu Kyung Soo, Lee Joo Young), and “Annarasumanara” (Ji Chang Wook, Choi Sung Eun, Hwang In Yeop, Ji Hye Won, Kim Bo Yoon).  The common denominator between all three of these dramas is also the PD-nim behind “Youth MT”:  Planning Director Kim Sung Yoon.  PD-nim Kim is joined by Director Jung Jong Chan, along with assistance from production companies KeyEast and Studio Flow, in bringing “Youth MT” to our small screens.

First of all, PD-nim Kim said, “When I talked about promotions with various actors for a while during the drama launch, I was often afraid to appear on entertainment shows because I was shy,” adding, “It was a waste for me to see the actors’ individuality and chemistry in private.”

Director Kim Sung Yoon said, “At first, I thought about hosting the drama one by one, but it became a difficult project called ‘Yonhap MT’ because I thought it would be more fun for the viewers to go together with all three drama casts.” “The actors are shy, but I thought they would look good together,” he said, revealing the behind-the-scenes story of the casting. It is a line-up created by the need of drama fans and members that allows the main characters of each drama to gather again to share past memories and make different memories with new friends.

PD-nim Kim said, “As I watched entertainment programs in the process of planning, observational entertainment became a trend. However, I watched a variety program I used to do on YouTube and it was still fun, so I planned this program, he said. “I hope you look forward to the process of entertainment freshmen adjusting to outdoor variety and unintended fun points in it.”

As a result, the atmosphere of “Youth MT” where these young actors are gathered is also curious.  PD-nim Kim said, “At first, the actors were awkward, but they started to get closer little by little while playing games,” and added, “They are usually simple and unpretentious actors, so I became closer to the staff while filming.  After filming, we were having a get-together, and some actors said, ‘Time flew so fast. I want to do it again’,” giving viewers an idea of the tight filming atmosphere.

Above all, PD-nim Kim personally explained the chemistry of the “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds,” “Itaewon Class” and “Annarasumanara” teams, drawing keen attention.  The “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds” team was described as ‘cute and cuter,’ adding, “Maybe because the actors were gathered, I couldn’t stop laughing all the time I was with them.”  First, Kim Yoo Jung from the “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds” team shared, “It’s been a long time since we last met, but we hit it off like we met yesterday.”  She then added, “We made new friends while having a blast playing games together, so you can look forward to seeing new and refreshing combinations of cast members.”  Park Bo Gum also raised expectations, saying, “I want to invite the fans who loved the drama on a trip with fellow actors I haven’t seen in a long time.”

PD-nim Kim then said, “The ‘Itaewon Class’ team boasts fantastic teamwork that seems to have brought a team that feels as if it is running a real store somewhere in Itaewon.”  “Itaewon Class” star Park Seo Joon stated, “We had such a great time on ‘Youth MT’ with the teamwork that we built while running Danbam together.”  He added, “If you think that the members of Danban from ‘Itaewon Class’ went on a trip together with other friends, you’ll enjoy the show even more.  I’m sure there will be laughter that you can’t find in other variety shows.”  Kwon Nara chimed in, “All 15 actors really enjoyed every moment of filming the show.  I hope our energetic alliance trip can reach many people in a fun way.”

Regarding the “Annarasumanara” team, PD-nim Kim replied, “It’s a warm chemistry of baby bird juniors who followed their mother bird, Ji Chang Wook.”  The “Annarasumanara” team with many new faces was led by Ji Chang Wook who stated, “If I were to express our teamwork in a word, it would be great.  I’m also thankful that my team members follow me so well, and we make up for each other’s lackings.  We may seem quiet, but we’re having a lot of fun ourselves.”  He then added, “Both the team members and I have no experience in variety shows, so the process of us trying to adapt to this new thing will be quite fun.  Also, I hope you look forward to the chemistry with other actors we met through ‘Youth MT’.”  Choi Sung Eun continued, saying, “You’ll get to see the soft, simple, innocent cuteness of the ‘Annarasumanara’ team. I think it’ll be fun to watch the teams that were awkward around each other growing on each other.”

As teams with such diverse personalities have gathered, you can also see the actors’ unexpected entertainment skills in “Youth MT.”  PD-nim Kim said, “There are actors who find appearing in entertainment programs difficult because of the difference in the image of the role and the appearance of the actual actors.  Among them, there were two actors who were particularly worried about, and their performance was the most prominent.  Please check who they are through the first episode,” signaling the birth of an ‘entertainment sprout’ through “Youth MT.”

On the other hand, the teaser videos, in which PD-nim Kim’s points of observation were completely melted, is drawing attention. The awkwardness is also captured by the hidden sense of entertainment and real tension of the actors who enjoy the game together for a while. Therefore, we are all looking forward to the combined MT that exceeds the laughter decibel limit of young actors who boldly challenged outdoor variety.

The original TVing program “Youth MT” will premiere its first 2 episodes on its streaming site at 4:00pm on Friday, 9 September.  Successive episodes will be released individually for the next 7 weeks thereafter, for a total of 8 episodes in all.

Streaming Links (may require VPN depending on your geographic location):

TVing (premieres 9 September):  https://www.tving.com/contents/P001635511
TvN Express (premieres 9 September):  TBA
Viu (premieres 10 September): https://www.viu.com/ott/sg/en-us/vod/450922/Trailer-Young-Actors-Retreat
Viki (premieres 10 September): https://www.viki.com/tv/38780c

Credits:  OSEN; KBS KStar; Sports Donga; BNT.com; Breaknews.com; MK.co.kr; videos courtesy of Zapzee.com

3 thoughts on “[Variety] Are you ready for the entertainment explosion that is “Youth MT”?

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