Star Korean producer Na Young-seok is back with a new season of his travel reality series “Grandpas over Flowers” after a three-year hiatus.
The show stars five veteran actors in their 70s and 80s. This time, Lee Soon-jae, Shin Goo, Park Geun-hyung, Baek Il-seob and new cast member Kim Yong-gun go on backpacking tours abroad with actor Lee Seo-jin as their travel guide.
Its previous seasons, which were filmed in Spain, Greece, Taiwan and other stops, received high ratings and spawned spinoffs and remakes.
Riding on the success of “Grandpas over Flowers,” Na has produced follow-up series “Sisters over Flowers” and “Youth over Flowers” that also became big hits in Korea for their heartwarming cultural experiences and lesser-known but spectacular sightseeing spots. Moreover, the show was remade in the U.S. under the title “Better Late than Never.”
“To be honest, I wasn’t planning on producing a new season until Lee (Soon-jae) suggested we should go on a trip again,” said Na during a press conference at a cafe in western Seoul, Wednesday. “His words and passion spurred me on to planning a new trip to Germany and Eastern Europe.”
Na said he chose their first destination as Germany because it holds historic significance. “With the recent rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula, we thought visiting Germany, a country that shares a similar experience of division, would be meaningful,” he said.
Regarding new cast member Kim Yong-gun, Na said that Kim would be a mediator between the original cast members and the younger Lee. Kim is the father of well-known actor Ha Jung-woo, who has starred in many Korean blockbusters, including “The Chaser,” “The Handmaiden” and “Along with the Gods”
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“Lee (Seo-jin) is the youngest among the cast, but he’s 47, a middle-aged man, and he has lost physical strength over the three years,” Na said teasingly.
Meanwhile, Na praised Lee for his contribution by saying: “It’s a huge privilege for us to have Lee in our show. He’s been very helpful and enthusiastic about the show throughout the seasons.” Lee has starred in Na’s other reality shows, including “Three Meals a Day” and “Yoon’s Kitchen.”
The megahit producer shared his wish to make “Grandpas over Flowers” into a steady seller. “It’s neither the high rating nor the concept of the show that makes it special,” he said. “The viewers are touched by the grandpas’ sympathetic words and wisdom.”
Na said the veteran actors’ passion and adventurous spirit always take production staff by surprise. “The viewers would be able to see how the elderly cast members make humble efforts to take in everything as it is and enjoy traveling,” he said.
The first episode of the new season will air at 9:50 p.m. Friday on tvN.
Source: THE KOREA TIMES