Friday, January 13, 2023

Disney+ Review: In the Soop Friendcation

In the Soop means a lot to me. My friend shared the first season of the show during one of my low points in the pandemic and I enjoyed it so much that I ended up watching the second season as well. While I did not watch the season that featured the K-Pop band Seventeen, I did take the time to watch the one that featured BTS’ V and his friends, In the Soop: Friendcation.

This four-episode special was the idea of V aka Kim Taehyung. He wanted to go on a trip with his celebrity friends with cameras in tow. The Wooga Squad, as his friend group is popularly known, is Park Seojoon (actor - What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Hwarang), Choi Wooshik (actor -Parasite, Train to Busan), Park Hyungsik (actor - Hwarang, Strong Girl Bong Soon), Peakboy (singer), and V (singer - BTS, actor - Hwarang). I have always been curious about the Wooga Squad because they are a close-knit group, and this show was on my list of Disney+ shows to watch. 

It was nice to be able to see the friendship dynamic between these guys. It feels that they are not just friends, but they are also family. Park Seojoon seems like a father figure to all of them. Being the oldest in the group, it was natural for him to fill that role. Plus, from what I gathered as to how their friend group started, it was Seojoon who was instrumental in getting all these guys together.

I have been familiar with all these guys before watching the show. Before being a BTS fan and knowing who V was, I was already watching shows featuring Park Seojoon. I knew Peakboy because I was a fan of V’s song Snow Flower, which featured Peakboy. I had also been familiar with Choi Wooshik because of his roles in Parasite and Train to Busan. I only knew of Park Hyungsik because my friends have always talked about him from seeing his shows, but I have never seen any of his work before this one. It was disappointing for me that I did not get to know him as well as the others in the show since he joined the group late in the vacation and left earlier than everyone else. 

It was nice to get to know the different personalities behind the popular names and faces. I am often annoyed with Park Seojoon because of the roles he has been playing in rom-com K-Dramas but seeing him in this show has put him in a whole new light for me. He is a natural leader and a good brother to the rest of the guys in their group. I also found Peakboy to be adorable, his personality just screams nice guy to me. Choi Wooshik, on the other hand, feels a little mysterious to me. He messes around with everyone else, but he seems like the type who likes to fly under the radar. It feels like there is more to him than what he shows other people. 

I am familiar with V and his personality, so it was not that much of a big deal for me to watch him in this show. As with being around the rest of BTS, V has the role of the baby of this family. If Wooshik seemed mysterious to me, V has always had this image of a sensitive guy who you just want to protect from everyone else who may not understand his unusual ways. 

Seeing these celebrities separate from their careers, watching them not as their roles or specific images but just being themselves, helped me to see them not just as public figures but as people too. I liked hearing them talk about their careers, their hopes, and fears, and having what was as close to ordinary life as they can get while in front of cameras. 

As much as I enjoyed the show, I felt that having just four episodes felt too short. Given that Park Hyungsik was only there for a limited period meant viewers were not having the full group dynamic the entire time. I thought that what the viewers got was just an introduction to these guys. If the viewer was only familiar with V (the most popular of the group), the four episodes were not enough to get to know everyone else better.

With BTS having two seasons of In the Soop, I hope that this Friendcation can happen again with more episodes. I would enjoy seeing these guys more, hopefully in a different setting where they can do more activities together. As a K-Drama fan and a BTS fan, this was a must-see show for me. Any similar fan would also agree that the quick watch is worth it. 


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