ENTERTAINMENT

‘Big sisters’ to show where ‘Strong My Way’ is

By Im Eun-byel

SBS’ Mobidic becomes big player in video-streaming market after launch in 2016

  • Published : Apr 19, 2018 - 14:41
  • Updated : Apr 19, 2018 - 14:41
Rapper Cheetah and JeA of Brown Eyed Girls are to be “big sisters” to young Korean women, returning in the second season of “Strong My Way,” which kicked off Thursday.

The show’s first season, created by SBS’ mobile entertainment division Mobidic, was well received, recording 12 million views in its 13-episode run last year.

Cheetah and JeA, known for their bold manner of speaking, read stories submitted by viewers and dished out harsh yet realistic advice. While the first season focused mainly on romance and relationships, the second season is to deal with a wider variety of issues, including political and social issues. 

Cheetah and JeA of Brown Eyed Girls pose for photos at a media briefing Wednesday at SBS headquarters in Mok-dong, western Seoul. (SBS)

“Online content made by major broadcasting stations should have an in-depth perspective with philosophy,” producer Ock Jung-ah said at a media briefing held Wednesday at the network’s headquarters in Seoul.

“When I started to work, I had many questions concerning life but I didn’t know whom to ask. It would have been nice if there had been a mentor, a big sister,” she added, explaining her motivation in launching the show.

The two stars revealed they had been close even before hosting the show together. They visit each other’s houses regularly and hang out often. Their close relationship makes the show better, they said.

The two also claimed to informally be like life counselors for people around them, listening to others’ worries and giving practical advice. The production team dubbed them “strong big sisters.”

“Many younger women (in the K-pop industry) consult me. As I like to listen to others, I was glad to feature in the show,” JeA said.

“One of my goals is to share people’s worries. It’s my dream to represent my peers,” Cheetah agreed, revealing she did not hesitate to say yes when she was cast. “It would be better if we deal with more serious subjects, such as discrimination, including gender discrimination.”

Scriptwriter Kwak Min-ji thought it was unfortunate that female stars are usually only given the opportunity to speak about beauty tips and outer appearance. She wanted to take a different approach.

“As the videos are not restricted by broadcasting regulations, we can do more (than TV shows),” she said. “The goal is to make clips that can make people giggle, but may change their lives.”

Major Korean networks entered the mobile video market in 2016, fearing viewers’ migration to mobile platforms. SBS’ Mobidic solely produces mobile-focused entertainment contents while others create news-related clips.

With around 210,000 subscribers and 666 million views, the mobile entertainment media outlet remains one of the big players in the local video-streaming market.

“Staff members from the entertainment section suggested the idea to go mobile. It was their will,” Stella Lee from the New Media Production team of SBS told The Korea Herald. “Mobidic collaborates with various other mobile media outlets, such as Pikicast and Oksusu.”

Contrary to others, Mobidic refrains from the use of vulgar language and violence. Kwak said, to compete in the “sensation-addicted market” without being vulgar, Mobidic uses its casting ability -- thanks to links to major network SBS -- as a strength.

“People are addicted to sensations. Some clips are poor in content, but are just rough and harsh,” Cheetah said. “It’s important to keep values and a sense of mission when making contents.”

The second season of “Strong My Way” is to be released every Thursday through various online platforms including Facebook and YouTube at 5 p.m.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)