Animals on Screen

TV pet shows help us understand the world from a non-human perspective

TV networks seem to have found their newfound obsession – pets. Even until just a few years ago, “TV Animal Farm” was nearly the only show focusing entirely on animals. Now, however, there’s an abundance of such programs. Considering that the number of pet owners in Korea has reached 10 million in recent years, it’s no surprise that both national and cable TV networks are jumping on the bandwagon to target this growing demographic.
Animal psychology is a common theme in many of the new shows, indicating that people are taking the topic more seriously. In September, both tvN and TV Chosun launched reality programs that take a close look at the relationships between people and their companion animals. tvN’s new show “Dear My Human” (대화가 필요한 개냥) provides an up-close look at celebrities and their pets. Actress Lee Soo-kyung and rappers Dok2 and Din Din are among the show’s regular cast and, with the help of animal experts, they learn to connect deeper with their furry best friends.
TV Chosun’s “Patrasche” focuses mainly on dogs, examining the dynamic between various canines and their owners. “Patrasche” urges viewers to consider the possibility that dogs are making sacrifices to help humans, not the other way around. The production team urges people to look at every situation from the animal’s perspective and to think hard about how their definition of happiness might differ from ours.
Another show that premiered this year is MBC’s “Haha Land,” which resembles “TV Animal Farm” in that it runs the gamut from inspiring rescue stories that make you cry to adorable clips of animal antics that put a smile on your face. It also sheds light on adoption, veterinary care and other pressing issues related to animal welfare. Plus, the show features a segment called “Haha Land Community Service Center,” which actively addresses animal-related concerns brought up by viewers.
Some existing shows have returned for a second season. One of them is Channel A’s reality show “Dog Papa” (개밥 주는 남자), which features a panel of male celebrities and their dogs. The program is popular among fans who enjoy observing how these stars interact with their companion animals. Another show that returned for a second season is EBS’s “There Is No Such Thing as a Bad Dog” (세상에 나쁜 개는 없다). This dog training program features the famous trainer Kang Hyung-wook, who shares practical tips on how to approach unruly canines.
Although these shows do provide insight into animal psychology, some critics are concerned that these programs are simply encouraging viewers to adopt pets instead of focusing more on the specifics of animal welfare. It seems that the key to long-term success is in achieving a balance between entertainment value and information value. TV networks seem to have found their newfound obsession – pets. Even until just a few years ago, “TV Animal Farm” was nearly the only show focusing entirely on animals. Now, however, there’s an abundance of such programs. Considering that the number of pet owners in Korea has reached 10 million in recent years, it’s no surprise that both national and cable TV networks are jumping on the bandwagon to target this growing demographic.
Animal psychology is a common theme in many of the new shows, indicating that people are taking the topic more seriously. In September, both tvN and TV Chosun launched reality programs that take a close look at the relationships between people and their companion animals. tvN’s new show “Dear My Human” (대화가 필요한 개냥) provides an up-close look at celebrities and their pets. Actress Lee Soo-kyung and rappers Dok2 and Din Din are among the show’s regular cast and, with the help of animal experts, they learn to connect deeper with their furry best friends.
TV Chosun’s “Patrasche” focuses mainly on dogs, examining the dynamic between various canines and their owners. “Patrasche” urges viewers to consider the possibility that dogs are making sacrifices to help humans, not the other way around. The production team urges people to look at every situation from the animal’s perspective and to think hard about how their definition of happiness might differ from ours.
Another show that premiered this year is MBC’s “Haha Land,” which resembles “TV Animal Farm” in that it runs the gamut from inspiring rescue stories that make you cry to adorable clips of animal antics that put a smile on your face. It also sheds light on adoption, veterinary care and other pressing issues related to animal welfare. Plus, the show features a segment called “Haha Land Community Service Center,” which actively addresses animal-related concerns brought up by viewers.
Some existing shows have returned for a second season. One of them is Channel A’s reality show “Dog Papa” (개밥 주는 남자), which features a panel of male celebrities and their dogs. The program is popular among fans who enjoy observing how these stars interact with their companion animals. Another show that returned for a second season is EBS’s “There Is No Such Thing as a Bad Dog” (세상에 나쁜 개는 없다). This dog training program features the famous trainer Kang Hyung-wook, who shares practical tips on how to approach unruly canines.
Although these shows do provide insight into animal psychology, some critics are concerned that these programs are simply encouraging viewers to adopt pets instead of focusing more on the specifics of animal welfare. It seems that the key to long-term success is in achieving a balance between entertainment value and information value.

 

Written by Miruh Jeon