With all the international formats of Big Brother all over the world, Korea stands among one of the countries without the show. I’d like to say I don’t know why Korea doesn’t have its own version of Big Brother but I actually have an educated guess as to why they don’t.
Obviously the Korea I refer to is South Korea. As a Korean I don’t walk around differentiating it myself. I’m Korean. Occasionally when I’m asked if I’m “from North or South,” I answer kindly that I was born in South Korea.
Historically, and through bloodlines still, Korea as a country is not keen on seeing what’s real and beneath the surface all laid out. I’m just an anomaly. Nobody needs to air their dirty laundry like that in Korea and mental health is still hush-hush to disastrous effects but contained, and hidden away, again. I cherish my upbringing built on respect and honor and meticulousness but I’m aware of all the veils of secrecy. Sometimes I just want to break secrets.
I’d rather see a Big Brother format in North Korea and not to exploit North Koreans more than they already have been, but to show the world just how fucked up it is over there.
If we ever had a Big Brother format in South Korea, which we never would (I’m jinxing myself purposely), then we’d see lots of what I’ve described growing up Korean to be. If I picture my mother in a Big Brother house with a bunch of other Koreans young and old I almost pee at the scenario. I could just picture her in there with a bunch of random Koreans, but not random to me. If I had a fantasy Big Brother: South Korea season in my head I’d put my mother in the Big Brother house.
I’d put her in there with:
– Jee’s mom or sister, but just one of them. After Jee ended up on Big Brother with me I did what I had to do to win, with or without his help, but I did use him. I did apologize. It was a game, right? I’d love to see how momz does with another Choe family twist.
– My old piano teacher Ms. Han because Ms. Han always had a way of putting my mother in her place with almost no words.
– Margaret Cho because she made me laugh a lot when I was younger and I thought it was cool as hell that she was Korean. Plus, my mother always said I looked like Margaret during my fat years.
– Sandra Oh because she makes me laugh now.
– Psy for obvious reasons like watching my mother’s diary room sessions about him.
– My one and only ever Korean lady neighbor growing up, who’d also happened to be married to an African-American GI from New York. She’d left Korea for a better life in America way before my parents ever dreamt of moving to New York, and a lot of people had judged my neighbor lady for that. Times of war sometimes called for extreme measures yet people will always judge. I’d always felt bad and I sometimes wonder how she’s doing now. I do remember her daughter’s name, Eunice. Eunice had a very beautiful soul and her smile held grace even when we were young girls growing up in Masaryk Towers. She was one of the naturally prettiest and kind-hearted Korean girls I’d ever know in my life.
– Maybe I’d put Eunice in the house instead of her mom…
You can add to the cast if you want.
Only Korean would be allowed to be spoken of course, since the show’s in Korea. My ex Jee and I weren’t allowed to speak in Korean to each other during our season of Big Brother. The good news is if a Big Brother: South Korea ever happened, you’d all have me to translate and watch along with.
This is my fantasy blog and that’s how it would work. And it would have to be calaled BIg Brother: South Korea because “brother” in Korean has multiple translations depending on whether a sibling is older or younger or sister or brother to the brother. Then there’s rank and age and seniority to consider. See? Complicated.