The Korea Herald


'My name is Gabriel' to showcase top celebs switching lives with individuals abroad

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : June 20, 2024 - 18:49

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"My name is Gabriel," starring Park Bo-gum (JTBC)

"My Name is Gabriel," a new variety show, will feature top celebrities swapping lives with real people living abroad, and will provide compelling and authentic storytelling, according to the producer on Thursday.

The show features comedians Park Myung-soo and Hong Jin-kyung, actors Yeom Hye-ran, Park Bo-gum and Ji Chang-wook, dancer Shin Ga-bee (Gabee), and TV personality Kim Jin-young (Dex).

The seven cast members embark on quests to live under different identities from various countries for 72 hours. For instance, Park Myung-soo takes on the role of living as Uti, a Thai citizen selling papaya salad in Chiang Mai City.

The show generated significant interest as it is helmed by top producer Kim Tae-ho, who is known for directing hits such as MBC's "Infinite Challenge" and "Hangout with Yoo,"

Despite featuring star-studded guests and a renowned director, concerns emerged that the show's format — celebrities experiencing different lives — mirrored other popular shows such as ENA's "When I Opened My Eyes," where cast members live abroad with new occupations.

Addressing the concerns, director Kim stated that "My Name is Gabriel" offers a more authentic storytelling approach.

He mentioned that current entertainment shows increasingly feature celebrities leading the lives of fictional beings. Yet, he added by portraying real individuals, the cast brought a more dramatic and emotive dimension to the show.

"My name is Gabriel," starring Park Myung-soo (JTBC)

"My Name is Gabriel" is airing at the same time as tvN's popular variety show "Jinny's Kitchen 2," directed by the star director Na Young-seok.

Kim said he viewed the simultaneous airing of the two programs not as a disadvantage in the competition, but as an opportunity to draw more viewers to television.

"Nowadays, even if you combine all the ratings from programs that air in the Friday night time slot, it doesn't exceed 30 percent. ... Instead of characterizing it as a competition for the same time slot, I see it more as a collection of quality programs concentrated in a prime commercial space, providing viewers with numerous choices to enjoy on Friday evenings," said Kim, during a press conference held in Mapo-gu, Seoul, Thursday.

The show is set to air its first episode at 8:50 p.m., Friday, on JTBC. The show will be available for streaming on Disney+ and will be live-streamed only on Tving.