People love watching other people eat

It was around the mid to late-2000s that meokbang videos first began to emerge on the Internet. It all began when some food enthusiasts decided to live stream videos of themselves devouring mountains of food to entertain viewers who were strangely fascinated by these online personalities, often dubbed “food fighters.” More than 10 years later, people still can’t seem to get enough of it. Nowadays, meokbang are not just available via online platforms but have penetrated into the world of K-dramas and variety shows. The popularity of meokbang shows have soared in recent years, especially due to the rise of the so-called honbap culture in Korea. So, if you’re not hooked on it yet, here are a few meokbang-themed shows to get you started.

‘Let’s Eat’

After two successful seasons, tvN’s hit mukbang drama series “Let’s Eat”

(식샤를 합시다) is back for a third run. The series revolves around the character Goo Dae-young (Yoon Doo-joon), an outgoing insurance salesman who has made a name for himself online as a food blogger known as “Siksha-nim” (식샤님).

In season three, Dae-young finds himself stuck in a rut and feeling unmotivated. However, as luck would have it, he bumps into a friend he hasn’t seen in 14 years — Lee Ji-woo (Baek Jin-hee). As young 20-year-olds, they were incredibly passionate about food and it was Ji-woo who helped Dae-young realize the satisfaction and comfort that comes from a great meal. Check out the new season to see how their fateful encounter helps the two turn their lives around.

‘Bob Bless You’

“Bob Bless You” (밥블레스유) is a meokbang talk show that centers on food therapy. The cast consists of four beloved TV personalities, Choi Hwa-jung, Lee Young-ja, Song Eun-yi and Kim Sook, who not only introduce great dishes but entertain viewers with hilarious quips about life in general. What viewers love more than the food, it seems, is the interesting conversation that these women have during their meals. Each episode is filled with quirky remarks like “that tart tasted like the first time I saw Daniel Henney,” as well as insightful advice about the perfect meal to share with a friend to ease awkward tension.

That’s not to say the food doesn’t look delicious. Watching them feast on a mouthwatering dish of marinated crabs or a savory bowl of beef and radish soup will surely whet your appetite. But unlike other meokbang shows that focus more on what and how much to eat, Bob Bless You is more about the art of enjoying a great meal. The show reminds us that achieving that much-needed peace of mind is all about sharing good food and conversation with people we love and care about.

Written by Miruh Jeon