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Manjaedo Island welcomes back 'Three Meals a Day' for season 2

Following winter setting in season 1, returning cast tries self-sufficient life in summer

Actors Cha Seung-won, Yoo Hae-jin and Son Ho-jun are back at Manjaedo Island in the far waters off the southwest corner of Korea for the second season of “Three Meals a Day -- Fishing Village.”

The first season of “Fishing Village,“ which aired in January, was a spin-off of the original “Three Meals a Day,” starring actor Lee Seo-jin and singer-actor Ock Taecyeon. On the show, stars try to maintain a self-sufficient life in the countryside by preparing their meals from scratch. 

Official poster for
Official poster for "Three Meals a Day -- Fishing Village 2" (tvN)

“We finished our second filming session and came back yesterday,” said producer Na Young-suk at a press conference at Digital Magic Space in Sangam-dong, Seoul on Wednesday. “We film three times for ‘Fishing Village,’ so we have one more trip left.”

At the press conference, producers Na and Shin Hyo-jung, as well as writer Kim Dae-joo said that although the second season will have the same fixed cast and the same location as the first season, the content will feel different because of the changing seasons.

“It‘s not the harsh winter environment anymore. It’s very beautiful, and the things that happen are very different from the wintertime,” said Kim. 

“Just because it‘s summer doesn’t mean that everything is perfect,” said Shin. “There are difficulties that are just as harsh as in the winter.” As an example, Shin said that it was agonizing for the cast to see the waters full of fish, but be unable to catch them.

Na Young-suk (tvN)
Na Young-suk (tvN)

When asked about the aspects of the show that have been upgraded for the second season, Na said that the appeal of the second season was the continuity from the first.

“We thought about it a lot,” he said. “But the more we talked about what our viewers really want, we came to realize that Season 2 didn‘t have to be really different.”

“We thought our viewers wanted to see these ordinary people living in this ordinary place, day by day, like a daily drama,” he said. “Even if it’s a little less fun, it has stability.”

This everyday concept is magnified by the lack of specific direction or missions given to the cast by the staff. Na, who is known for his difficult and sometimes ridiculous missions on his various programs, such as “1 Night 2 Days” and the more recent “New Journey to the West,” said that was more out of necessity than planning.

“Being on Manjaedo Island means that there are a lot of things out of our control,” he said. “If we tell the cast they need to serve us octopus that night, it‘s impossible because there are no octopuses in the water. We don’t know what they‘ll catch that day, so eventually we gave up on the missions.”

Na said that Cha, Yoo and Son were left to their own devices, free to cook what they wanted or even to skip meals -- and that allowed them to enjoy their island life even more.

“Cha Seung-won has become very ‘Yoo Hae-jin-ified’ in the second season,” Na said, explaining that in the first season Cha had been driven to create great dishes from the limited ingredients while Yoo had been the laid-back, “que sera, sera” character.

“In this season, the dishes are a lot simpler,” Na said. “(Cha) used ingredients if they were available, and let it go if they weren’t. That freed up a lot of time for him to wander around the island, and you can see him really beginning to enjoy his time there.”

“(The show) may seem boring to some, but you can really see the cast being self-sufficient and having fun on this season,” Na said. 

“While the first season was heavily influenced by nature, the second episode is more swayed by the relationships between the cast members, and between them and the village,” said Shin. “It may seem uneventful, but I think it’ll be easier to relate to for our viewers.”

The first episode of “Three Meals a Day -- Fishing Village 2” airs Friday, featuring singer and actor Park Hyung-sik as the first guest. The show airs every Friday at 9:45 p.m. on tvN.

By Won Ho-jung (
Korea Herald Youtube