“Money Bragging” variety shows vs “Economic Inequality” dramas: Broadcasters are obsessed with “Money”

In a situation where one side shouts “FLEX” and the other side talks about dirt spoons and golden spoons, the formula of “Entertainment = Reality” and “Drama = Fantasy” is no longer valid.

Celebrities’ real estate matters such as buying a building worth tens of billions of won and selling it at a profit from the market price continue, and celebrities brag about their money daily on TV. Scenes of celebrities going up and down the high stairs in a palace-like mansion, scouring the marble floor, and looking at the Han River through a wide window are already familiar to viewers. On top of that, stories of them using ingredients that cost hundreds of millions of won while cooking, and spending hundreds of millions of won on the interior of their houses are constantly mentioned in the media. 

Little Women

Celebrities who spend hundreds of thousands of won on food materials, props, and clothes have a definite effect on attracting viewers’ attention and raising the topic, but unfortunately, it won’t be well received in the long run as it instills relative deprivation. In particular, the majority of people who are selling their souls to save money to buy houses have been crying in recent years, as soaring interest rates rocket. Some say that whenever they watch those who enjoy luxurious lives in this situation on the TV screen, they are hit with their sad reality. 

In addition to celebrities’ luxurious lives, there have recently been stories about the amount of the assets to some extent of many non-celebrities. The 10th Jung Sook, who appeared on the popular entertainment program “I’m Solo,” was a non-celeb who boasted such a rich life that she earned the nickname “Rich Sister.” Jung Sook said in an interview with the “I’m Solo” production team from the beginning, “My approximate assets are more than 5 billion won.” She also drew attention by boasting about her property, saying, “I have five houses in Daegu,” and complained that she was suffering from being bombarded by DMs asking her to lend them money as a side effect. 

On the other hand, dramas rather focus on the gap between the rich and the poor and reflect the sad reality. The fact that various characters who show their obsession with money are highly supported by viewers reflects the real situation. tvN’s “Little Women,” which recently ended in high buzz, depicts the war between three sisters of a family at the lowest point of society and the highest conglomerate family. In particular, public opinion is divided over the drama’s ending, in which the three sisters shared the money that was involved in corruption. In response, writer Seo Jeong Kyung helped viewers understand in an interview with Sports Chosun, saying, “I think the sisters will discuss how to use that money because they know where it was from and how they got it.”

Golden Spoon

The dramas currently on air are also chasing “money”. From the title, MBC’s “The Golden Spoon” is creating a story by plainly dividing “golden spoon” and “dirt spoon”. It tells the story of Seung-cheon (Yook Sung-jae), a child born in a poor family who changes fate with a friend who was born in a wealthy family through a golden spoon and becomes an acquired gold spoon. The main character has a chance to change his life with his will, and the work is receiving favorable reviews from viewers by closely depicting the cost of this choice. Through the story of the protagonist who changes his parents because of money, it focuses on the relationship between money and filial piety, drawing attention.

TVING’s original series “Bargain” is talking about the meaning of money in a clearer way. Based on the short film “Bargain”, the series further expands the original film’s story to portray the bargainings that unfold around the real ransom. It is characterized by the desire of characters who bargain for their own ransom in a world that has been destroyed by an earthquake. The image of putting a price on all organs of the body seems inhumane in some ways, but the appearance of people who desperately need that price gives a realistic narrative.


The broadcasting stations are broadcasting money-themed programs one after another. It is time to think about which direction these programs will comfort viewers, who are tired of “money fights” amid the emergence of dramas that show how to accumulate money on one side yet realistically depict the gap between the rich and the poor on the other side.

Source: Naver

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