It has honestly been a slow entertainment week for me so I wasn’t sure what to post about until this morning. I had wanted to previously highlight this show but perhaps waiting until Father’s Day might be too far away. Following recent successes of highlighting fathers and their children, Please Look After Father showcases 4 celebrity fathers and their relationship with their daughters.
The really interesting thing about this show is that the daughters are all grown up. This idea of hands-on parenting, at least on the father’s side, is a fairly modern concept in Korea. It’s that old mindset of leaving it to the mothers to raise the children while fathers go out and work. However, I think many young adults will find that they can relate to this show.
The celebrities are split between the warm dads and the cold and distant dads. Actors Kang Suk Woo and Jo Min Ki come off as warm and affectionate while MC Lee Kyung Kyu and Actor Jo Jae Hyun are a bit distant with their daughters. Being distant doesn’t automatically make Lee Kyung Kyu and Jo Jae Hyun bad fathers as every household is different but I like that the four men can watch each other’s’ segments and compare.
When I first saw the pilot episodes which aired around Lunar New Year, I was really taken by Kang Suk Woo and Jo Min Ki. They were willing to help out at the home and cook for their daughters. Their families were comfortable being touchy feely with each other such as putting their arms around their daughter or hugging them. However, it was the daughters who came off as a bit aloof. They don’t have as much aegyo as their dads.
It’s nice to see that their daughters, Da Eun and Youn Kyung, respectively, are now making the effort to do various activities with their father. Whether it’s Kang Suk Woo trying to build a canopy bed for her or Da Eun dying her father’s hair. As for Youn Kyung, it was funny to see her become annoyed at her dad as she was trying to learn how to drive or teach her how to fold properly.
Perhaps because I’m so used to seeing Jo Min Ki play a lot of antagonistic characters these days, I was so not prepared to see that he is actually very OCD at home, especially when it comes to cleaning. Apparently, the robot vacuum cleaner in Korea is voiced by Actor Yoo Joon Sang and it occurred to me how funny it would sound if he did the voice as his Heard it Through the Grapevine character, Han Jung Ho.
Lee Kyung Kyu is actually how I imagined he would be with his daughter. He spends all day talking to people and being interested in their stories that I predicted he would be quiet at home. His daughter, Ye Rim, is a lot like him in that she’s sharp and doesn’t come across as gentle as the other daughters. And yet, it’s interesting to see how she reverts back to being a little girl as she watches her father getting checked out at the hospital. They may not say a lot to each other but it’s clear that they do think of each other.
Which brings us to Jo Jae Hyun. Sigh, he’s got a lot of work ahead of him. It was maybe in the last two weeks that I started to feel sorry for Jo Jae Hyun. After the first few episodes went out, I was clearly felt bad for his daughter, Hye Jung. She’s the oldest out of all the daughters at the age of 24 but seems like the youngest because of her aegyo. She has a very awkward relationship with her dad. He got married at a very young age and was always out working as she was growing up. He’s missed her childhood, they never ate out as a family or really did any father-daughter activities with each other. When it came to family vacations, it was always the mom taking the kids somewhere. She even mentioned in an interview that she would turn on the other dad programs to show her dad the kind of relationship she wanted to have with him.
It’s so shocking and sad to hear and I admit that I criticized him as a father. However, you get to eventually see that he does love his daughter even though he feels uncomfortable about expressing it. He doesn’t have that innate ability to express his emotions very well. I know that sounds weird for someone who works as an actor but it’s not an unusual thing to find in the industry. Perhaps they use their jobs to express their fake emotions all day that they are unable to do express real emotions at home. People on the street certainly don’t hold back their criticisms about him. He just doesn’t understand her. Yet.
Most recently, we got to see the two bonding over K-Pop Star. According to Hye Jung, because Jo Jae Hyun cannot sing, he is envious of those who can sing. So he decides to get tickets to a taping so they could cheer on this season’s contestants. For someone who can’t sing, Jo Jae Hyun is really good at picking the winners. As soon as he hears them sing, he can tell which way the judges will vote.
Out of all of the father-daughter pairings, I’m rooting for Jo Jae Hyun and Hye Jung’s relationship to improve the most. It’s a little sad to see both of them trying to read each other instead of opting to talk or open a dialogue. They look uncomfortable even when they’re at home. However, I think there’s a lot of heartwarming moments to discover with this show and I hope this show will bridge the gap between the older and younger generations.