I had slowly been growing tired of Our Neighborhood Variety Sports. The ping pong and badminton matches were a bit long and yielded few wins. There must be something in the air in regards to Basketball. After all, the lead in Answer Me 1994 is a basketball fanatic and there’s a drama called Basketball about how the sport got started in Korea and lead to their first Olympic team. But would this also work for Our Neighborhood Variety Sports?
I think that I can confidently say, ‘Yes!’ Instead of breaking off into teams or playing individually, this is the first sport in which all the players must work together to play as one. Also, the producers have been able to cast some great and unexpected basketball players for the YeCheNeung Team. Julian Kang definitely has his height going for him. Suh Ji Suk is incredibly fast and agile. Park Jin Young (aka JYP) backs his team up and provides support. John Park is decent player who seems like he’s played a great deal in his youth.
Lee Hye Jung is a skilled player who plays just as hard, if not better than some of the boys. Oh and did I mention she’s a model?
Not to mention that they some great coaches. Director Choi In Sung who coached the Busan Kia team and brought the team back after 7 consecutive losses. Then there’s Woo Ji Won who famously played for Yonsei University’s basketball team in the 90’s and then graduated to play for many professional teams as well as Korean National Team.
I haven’t watched basketball since the 90’s but found that I’m learning a lot about how they go about practicing and working on their individual skills. However, this is a variety show. I do hate the fact that the matches themselves are edited. I know it has to be done for time but that’s not how you should watch a basketball game.
However, I like that we learn more about the nitty gritty details of this sport and it’s not boring so I feel like I’m being entertained. That’s the important thing.
Although the team has won their first match, the three main hosts of the show aren’t great players and they’ve still got a long way to go. It’s kind of hilarious to watch Kang Ho Dong as he whines and labors through all the practice sessions. However, he’s an athlete too and I think the two coaches have done well to find what he can be good at.
In this past episode, Former Basketball Player Seok Joo Il teaches the members the tricks of fouling without being fouled. We all saw what he did to Max Changmin in the first basketball episode despite the fact that he’s got a lot of fans. They don’t call him a mutt for nothing.
He even goes to hit John Park with a low blow but no one manages to actually see it. All you see is John Park crumple to the ground afterwards. That’s some skill and we’ll see if the team has picked up any new tricks for their next match.
Next week, I’m excited to see Lee Jung Jin join the team and see how good he is at playing basketball. Keep the good looking players coming and keep me laughing.