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Monday, 3 December 2012

Reality Show "The Romantic" Sends South Koreans To Croatia To Fall In Love

A new South Korean reality show will send a bunch of singles to Croatia to fall in love.

(Note- I decided to throw in some observational humour after doing this post and watching the trailers. I couldn't help myself)

So anyway, I just came back from having to pick up something from the local Walmart. It was close, I was in a hurry and it was bloody horrible. I had to quickly find something to put the experience and visuals out of my mind. (But then I realized lots of times they don't just hang around Walmart, they actually travel around moving in amongst the rest of humanity, the malls, the stores, the schools, work places, sporting events, coffee shops etc, which explains my schooling and co-workers experience from the last few years...  truly appalling, and it wasn't even Midnight Madness)

So... what do you get when send a bunch of single Koreans on a plane to Croatia?.....why a reality show about falling in love naturally. Joking aside, at least we know that South Koreans will know where Croatia is now. Good promotion for the country, that's for sure.

Will they fall in love?...Won't they fall in love?...What kind of flowers will he get her? Which hat is she going to wear with which top? Red lipstick or just gloss?  Will he or won't he go for a last minute facial? (Yes facial, watch the trailers) Will he use hair product to go for the punk look, or go for the messy punkish natural straight out of bed look or perhaps even a hat? What style of hat? Newspaperboy? gangsta sideway tipped hat? Maybe even a toque or cowboy hat?  What kind of chocolates will she get him? (Will they have almonds in them? Some people are allergic to nuts) What if their footwear clashes? or worse...match. What if they both wear the exact same brand and style of jeans, sneakers or hat?  What if one of them gets a huge red puss-filled zit on their nose or forehead overnight that turns all scabby and oozy just before the important falling in love date?  What if she forgets her cellphone?.. or worse, the flash on his cellphone stops working because he forgot to charge it? (No photograms, how dreadful) Will it affect her falling in love with him because it will make him seem like a forgetful sloppy oaf?.....

.....What if he spontaneously starts to serenade her under her window at night like in the movies? Will she call the cops on him? Dump water on him? What if they both wear red scarves? Would that be ultra-cheesy or a good thing...romantic even? You'll have to wait until the first episode airs on South Korean television on February 11th for these answers and other possible scenarios. (Conveniently timed just before the South Korean Valentine's Day, a very complicated holiday over there it seems btw, I found doing CSS codes was easier to figure out. Many people have fallen in and out of love by the time the guy is supposed to send the 3 times more presents to his love to get his peck on the cheek) I think their chocolate, flower and confectionary/lingerie companies just may be behind the idea of the series)  If worse comes to worse and some of the couples get their hopes smashed, I hope they knew that the Museum of Broken Relationships was just a hop and a skip away. The perfect spot.

The few vids I added are highlights from the upcoming Croatia episodes. I personally don't watch programs like this because I find the whole planned love thing quite stupid. (That's what arranged marriages are for, aren't they? ) I'm a rebel type, I like the old fashioned meeting a woman and talking to see if there are any similarities, a connection of some sort, a physical attraction on the part of both, any kind of attraction first before tying the knot. The few vids I added are highlights from the upcoming Croatia episodes. (I noticed though, that the guys are having a swell time hanging out and strolling around together a lot, shopping, laughing, skip in their step, doing facials and stuff. Do they need or even want a girl friend? I'm confused. What is going on here anyway? )... and there's no English or Croatian subtitles in the promos either, so I don't have a clue what the hell they're talking about) I have to say though, the filming perspective and birds eye view angle panning of Zagreb, SplitDubrovnik and the Plitvice Lakes National Park during the holidays look really good, like a top notch tourism spot. One doesn't usually see that view.  It makes you feel like your a bird, flying and gliding around and looking around.  Very professional.

Some good footage of downtown Zagreb decorated and all lit up at night during the holidays as well, (I just wish I knew what the hell they were talking about)  There were parts in the promo videos where I felt like I was watching a Folger's coffee, Wrigleys gum, JC Penny commercial, or even a music video sometimes though. (The part where he's walking around looking lost carrying flowers and no females are paying attention to him in downtown Zagreb, almost avoiding him. (Probably people were wondering what the girl will look like that he's waiting for or will show up at all. Well, you can't blame them, he's just standing and looking around with flowers in his hand after all)

Also, why are they traveling all the way to Croatia to find another South Korean to fall in love with...they live in South Korea surrounded by millions of South Koreans who speak Korean for gosh darn geewillickers sake tell you what. South Koreans on every floor of every building you go to, South Koreans at the library, in the coffee shops, in the facial spas and hair salons, parks and malls filled with South Koreans all speaking South Korean. That would almost be like me going to Calgary during Stampede manure and donut burger week to fall in love with a Vogue magazine cover fashion model.  (Am I the only one who notices these things?) Anyway, I guess this series is good exposure, so a job well done in letting people know where and what Croatia is and for all the cool birds eye views that make you really feel like you're a bird flying and gliding around the rooftops of the various locations looking down below. The chime sounds effect really make it feel magical too I must admit, like a Disney film, Cinderella, Snow White, Mickey Mouse or Peter Pan, or some kind of magic wand or something, making magical things happen. Really great stuff. (I hope the Croatian Tourism commercial people are reading this and learning something, If so there are some magic chime/wand sounds we can use HERE. I personally recommend the 'musical harp windchime effect' option, although the 'magic wand 3' option would be good for when they're strolling around and see a cool cafe to go to and suddenly spot some new tasty sounding flavour at some ice-cream/pastry shop, or they'e somewhere along the coast and spot a funky new beach towel or something in a shop window)  Anyway, more information is at the links, and a rundown of how the reality show rules work HERE......

More info:

VIDEO: Croatia Becomes South Korea’s Gateway to Love


When reality kicks in, it is not often that one finds reasons to exult. But what happens when the pursuit of love and adventure leads to the introduction of a great nation to a tiny country on the opposite end of the globe? In the case of South Korea and Croatia, it is a match made in heaven…and a job well done.

Thanks to shows like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, HBO’s Game of Thrones and Discovery Channel’s Man, Woman, Wild, exotic images of Croatia traveled the globe this year and enticed the imagination of millions of viewers worldwide. The Croatian tourism industry is rubbing their hands in contempt, speculating on the number of western tourists who are about to invade the sunny Croatian beaches and cities next summer in search of their own adventures.

Meanwhile, amid the financial crisis that continues to shake the West, the Croatian Tourist Board is working hard at trying to tap into the huge and rapidly developing market in the East. However, when it comes to South Korea, and to everyone’s surprise, it turns out that Croatia has already penetrated this market in Gangnam Style. Again, the formula to this remarkable success proved to be the universal denominator – pop culture. Mixed in with a healthy dose of romance.

To Croatia, the first result of this successful pairing presented itself in the peculiar form of a group of young Korean women swarming the Zagreb Tourist Board stand in Seoul like it was the backstage exit of a rock-star concert.

It was hardly the scene the Croatian hosts were expecting to experience while attempting to promote what they thought was a little known destination to the South Korean market during the 25th Korea World Travel Fair held in Seoul in June 2012.

They soon learned that the reason behind this astonishing rise of Zagreb to Korean stardom was The Romantic in Croatia. A new reality show produced by the same creators of Korea’s no.1 reality show “2 Days & 1 Night” that aired on tvN (home to Saturday Night Live, Korea). Narrated by a Korean multi-talent star Lee Seung Gi, who has topped numerous lists such as ‘most romantic looking male singer’, ‘celebrity’s voice most wanted to be heard on your navigation system’, and ‘star most wanted to go on an ocean voyage with’ and featuring original music by popular Korean artists such as the up-and-coming Korean Superstar K3 finalists Two Months, the show was scheduled to become an instant favourite among reality fans in South Korea. And as a consequence, Croatia is likely to become the next big travel destination for many young Koreans.

In this first season of the Romantic, which some sources describe as “a more elegant and sophisticated version of the American “Bachelorette” with beautiful cinematography”, 5 men and 5 women in their 20’s and 30’s embark on a 10 day adventure-packed, matchmaking and heart-breaking emotional rollercoaster ride from Zagreb to Dubrovnik in hopes of finding their true love amongst team members.

Producer Lee Myung Han said about the shoot, “I’ve seen many sights as a PD, but it was the first time I had seen such a beautiful place as Croatia. No matter where I pointed the camera, I got a beautiful setting. It was a great filming site for The Romantic, which will be showing a love trip even more romantic than those in movies. You can’t help but fall in love there. I’ll bring to you an experience like a weekend movie with sweet romcom-like relationships between the contestants along with exotic scenery that will make your hearts beat, so please look forward to it.”

And while we certainly hope that some of the show’s participants did indeed find true love during their trip to Croatia, we are sure that the Croatian Tourist Board looks forward to cashing in on its country’s many recent TV appearances by welcoming a whole new wave of unexpected tourists – love seekers, gourmets and adventurers from around the globe whose desire to visit Croatia was inspired by stunning location images and ravings of cast and crew members from some of the most popular shows today.

Anna Tucker

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