If you spend much time on Youtube, especially watching contents related to Korean pop-culture, you may have encountered Mukbang before. Mukbang (먹방), which literally means “eating broadcast,” first gained its popularity as an online broadcast through a webcast in which a host eats a large amount of food while interacting with audiences in real time. With its increased popularity, mukbang now refers to any food-porn scene that shows one eating something deliciously, occasionally adapted into TV shows like K-Drama series Let’s Eat starring Beast’s Yoon Doo-joon.
Most mukbangs, including TV shows on mainstream media, engages much talking (For instance, Happy Together, a popular entertainment show hosted by Yoo Jae-suk, had a segment where celebrity guests introduce their favorite dishes and share stories related to the dishes). However, this new TV show from O’live, a Korean TV channel for food, is presenting something different – a series of wordless mukbangs.
Quiet Dining, first aired on July 29, is a TV show that invites a celebrity and documents him or her eating – without words. While reactions and expressions of the taste, especially on televised shows, are much highlighted in mukbangs, this show denies any kind of enforced and thus artificial reactions.
“What words do we need when eating,” exclaims its description. “We know without words! Let’s just eat now.” As the description says, this 5 to 10 minutes long show just displays a guest dining alone. Well, the show is pretty much self-explanatory, so why don’t we watch an episode starring 2AM’s Jung Jinwoon?
After watching the show, you may think that the show is oddly quiet, considering that it’s a show designed to be televised. At the same time, however, it’s hard to deny that the show surely has an appeal that makes you feel good and want to keep watching.
Thinking that one of the biggest characteristics of mukbang’s is the interaction with audiences, Quiet Dining seems to lack the interaction as its guests don’t speak to the audience.
Yet, these quite eating scenes don’t lack the interaction. Actually, guests on the show continuously tell you how good the dishes are by not saying anything, by literally going speechless.
As watching Quiet Dinging stimulates appetite as well, it serves as the perfect example of mukbang, the best show to watch while dining alone.
By Heewon Kim