Koreans might have left on an exodus for their hometowns for the Lunar New Year holiday, or Seollal, before the COVID-19 era. But the growing concerns about the rapid spread of the omicron variant and the upsurge in the number of infections may lead many Koreans, expats and travelers to scratch their heads as to how to spend their Seollal weekend, without leaving their homes.
Though you may not be eating a bowl of tteokguk, or rice-cake soup, or enjoying the Lunar New Year surrdounded by family, you might still be able to keep yourself entertained with movies, TV shows, sports broadcasts and webtoons by simply pressing a button or clicking a mouse.
“Escape From Mogadishu” (Lotte Entertainment)
For those who missed watching two famous films -- “Escape From Mogadishu” and “Hostage: Missing Celebrity” -- in cinemas due to the strict social distancing measures in place against the COVID-19 pandemic, cable channel tvN is providing a chance to catch up with the films during Seollal.
“Escape From Mogadishu,” a film based on true events involving South and North Korean diplomats in Somalia cooperating to escape the country during the 1991 civil war, is scheduled to air Feb. 1 at 6:50 p.m.
“Hostage: Missing Celebrity” (New)
Meanwhile, the action thriller “Hostage: Missing Celebrity,” in which the star Hwang Jung-min is kidnapped by criminals, is set to air Feb. 2 at 10:30 p.m.
The channel is airing “1984 Choi Dong-won” for the first time on a television. The 98-minute documentary, featuring Korea’s legendary baseball pitcher, will air Feb. 2 at 6:00 p.m.
Hip-hop artist Choiza and actor Choi Bool-am star in KBS’ “Korea and Drinking.” (KBS)
Public broadcaster KBS will present “Korea and Drinking,” a spin-off of its famous documentary “Korean Cuisine and Dining.”
Korean hip-hop artist Choiza makes his appearance on the program with the original host Choi Bool-am, hoping to present Korean alcoholic beverages along with Korean dishes.
“Korea and Drinking” will meet the viewers Jan. 30 at 11:25 p.m.
The three episodes of the special Seollal-edition program “Old Restaurant” will air Jan. 31, Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 at 7:20 p.m. on KBS1TV, presenting old restaurants that has been running for more than a decade.
Dance team Lachica’s Gabee becomes a curling player in MBC’s “Curling Queens.” (MBC)
Though the annual holiday program “Idol Star Athletics Championships,” which invites K-pop singers and celebrities to participate in various competitions, including archery, curling and track and field and more, is not being produced this year, the terrestrial broadcaster MBC is scheduled to premiere a pilot program “Curling Queens.”
The show will present celebrities from various fields becoming a team to play in a curling league.
The two-episode pilot curling show will air on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at 8:00 p.m.
Terrestrial broadcaster SBS will air another pilot program “Fantastic Family – DNA Singer,” in which the hosts will guess and identify the name of an anonymous performer’s family member who is a popular Korean celebrity, after watching the face and listening the song.
The celebrity and the family member will entertain the viewers with a duet.
The two-episode music show is scheduled to air Feb. 1 at 8:20 p.m.
Korean League of Legends team T1 (LCK)
Arguably a matchup between the two titans in League of Legends Champions Korea, the match of T1 and Damwon Kia is scheduled Jan. 30 at 5:00 p.m.
Two teams will face each other for the first time in this year’s spring season.
While T1 is firing on all cylinders, ranked at second with a 4-0 record, Damwon Kia seeks to raise its condition and standing from 2-2 record by defeating T1.
The match will begin at 5 p.m. and the broadcast is available via various streaming platforms, including Naver, AfreecaTV, YouTube and Twitch.
The undefeated South Korea will face Syria for the Asian World Cup qualifier match on Feb. 1.
Though South Korea is playing without Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan, Hwang Ui-jo, a 29-year-old forward for FC Girondins de Bordeaux, hopes to resume the World Cup qualifying bid.
South Korea’s Asian World Cup qualifier will be livestreamed via Coupang Play on Feb. 1. (Coupang Play)
The match will be live-streamed Feb. 1 at 10:40 p.m. via cable channel tvN and video streaming service Coupang Play.
Cover image of webtoon “All of Us Are Dead” (Naver Webtoon)
“All of Us Are Dead,” this year’s first Korean original on Netflix, can be read as a webtoon version.
Considered a legendary Korean zombie webtoon, Naver Webtoon’s “All of Us Are Dead” presents students at Hyosan High School turning into flesh-eating monsters infected with the deadly virus.
Trapped in the school facilities, the schoolmates try to find a way out, fighting for survival against their friends and teachers.
“All of Us Are Dead” is serviced in both Korean and English.
By Lee Si-jin (email@example.com