South Korea has had a diverse array of survival series, spanning everything from K-pop idol auditions to Korean cookery battles and grueling physical challenges.
You might be forgiven for thinking there are no new survival ideas, Tving is set to add a touch of freshness with a dessert-making competition.
“Dessert-related programs are not new in overseas countries but I found that South Korea did not have such programs yet. I simply wanted to take the first step to produce this type of program, before anyone else,” Kim Na-hyun, who will direct "The Dessert" said during a press conference held at CGV Yongsan in central Seoul, Monday.
“I have talked with many applicants and wanted to show those people, who were putting their utmost efforts to become patissiers, aiming to launch their own brands. They looked so young, bright, charming and sincere with their goals. That’s how I started to think about the show,” Kim added.
Several previous survival series featuring non-celebrities have been associated with scandals, and the director, who was behind Netflix’s hit dating reality show “Single’s Inferno,” is not without concerns.
“There is certainly a limit, when learning about the individual contestants, because such information is very personal. But the staff members, including myself, tried to spend a lot of time with the final 10 cast of ‘The Dessert,’ trying to reduce the possibility of controversies, including over school bullying,” Kim told The Korea Herald.
Kim added that some applicants were not able to star in the show, because of possible accusations about their past.
Co-director Jung Jong-chan shared that his cooking competition had a different appeal to existing cooking shows.
“It was my first time to see the whole process of creating the sweets. Unlike other cooking shows, in which the chefs can adjust the taste and how the final dish looks in the middle, ‘The Dessert’ presents the highly sensitive cooks, who naturally show many sides of themselves while preparing for the food,” Jung said.
“I felt that the patissiers inevitably become sensitive, because even a small mistake is not allowed for them. This might be some new scenes for the viewers, who watched many cooking reality shows in the past,” the director continued.
Singer Sung Si-kyung, who stars the show as a host, believed that it will be a huge success if “The Dessert” brought something new to entertain the viewers.
“I actually told the directors that our show will not become a smash hit series like ‘The Glory,’” Sung jokingly said.
“But, the desserts are also important in how they look and their presentation, so I felt that the show will definitely be exciting. I think the viewers can easily empathize with the young patissiers, who are trying their best to chase their dreams,” the singer added.
“The Dessert” presents the story of 10 patissiers, who are spending their time together in a dormitory for 10 days.
The contestants are competing in various cooking quests to win 100 million won ($75,000) in prize money.
The first two episodes of eight–part series will release on Wednesday on Tving.