Do We Thank Korea or Blame Korea For the Masked Singer?

The Sane Once came across a new tv series which we briefly watched and you could instantly sense an Asian origin to the series. She thought it came from Japan, but I was pretty sure it was a Korean show, and I guess you really can sniff out your own, because King of Mask Singer came out in 2015. It's a goofy show and some of the biggest differences between the Korean and US version is that in the Korean version, the contestants sing the same song in the first round, and there is a Masked King/Queen that can be unseated after each round. Fox has renewed The Masked Singer for a second season, so it looks like this concept has gained enough traction to continue on. This got me thinking about some other crossover things that Americans can appreciate from Korea. The list did not go exactly as I had anticipated, and you're about to see why.

Out of all the interesting and fun elements of Korean society, the very first thing that popped into my head were heated toilet seats. This is the equivalent of naming Great American Politicians and coming up with Martin Van Buren. As MVB is one of the founders of the Democratic Party, he really did pop in my head as the first pick, but I think almost everyone else would scratch their heads in bewilderment. And I'm pretty confident you're wondering why heated toilet seats came to mind first as well. Well, there are two reasons why. First, I really don't know jack shit about Korean culture. I went there twice in 2018, but that hardly makes me an expert on everything (or anything) that is going on. Secondly, HAVE YOU SAT ON A HEATED TOILET SEAT?!?!?! IT'S AMAZING! The heated toilet seat is a strong contender for things that you didn't know you were missing out on, but are really annoyed that you didn't know about it earlier. If you gave me a pillow and blanket, I could probably easily sleep on a heated toilet seat, it's that comfortable. Hell, I live in Texas, I don't really need the blanket. And the toilet paper roll is soft enough to serve as a pillow, so scratch that. I could use the heated toilet seat as my new bed. The heated toilet seat is not a fancy, rich person's commode in Korea. The rich person's toilet has a perfume option, which means that Koreans think about pooping far more intensely than Americans do. I happen to think that heated toilet seats would sell very poorly in the US, because most of us would scoff at it being a ludicrous feature. Before I experienced it, I would have been right there with you. But now, I'm kinda wishing I was writing this blog on a Korean toilet.

The second crossover concept that came to mind was a Korean tv show (you can find it on Netflix) called Chef & My Fridge. I think this show actually has some honest to God potential here in the States The concept of the show is that the refrigerators of two celebrities are removed from their homes and brought into the studio. After making fun of the contents for a while, professional chefs are challenged to make dishes using only ingredients from the fridge. Any jizzblister with a degree from Johnson & Wales can knock your socks off with kobe beef or beluga caviar. It's a little harder when all you have to work with are 2 year old bottles of Yuengling lager, fifteen half empty salad dressing bottles, and a boatload of coffee creamers. This may or may not be what is dominating our fridge at the moment. It's a silly show that I am sure Alton Brown could turn into yet another opportunity to show how smart he is and, even better, another show for Giada De Laurentiis to show off her cleavage. I'm pretty convinced that is now the yardstick that Food Network executives use to determine new content. Would Giada's décolletage be successful in a show about blind people decorating cakes? The answer is, yes, yes it would.

The third item that you could thank Korea for creating is practical gift giving. You know what is a totally normal gift to give at a Korean housewarming party? Toilet paper. Try pulling this off in the US. You'd get a laugh because the host would think you were pulling a gag and patiently wait for their real housewarming gift, a plant that they will promptly kill in about two months. Gift giving in the US has become so warped that I think a lot of us just hope for a gift card because it's not that often that we find ourselves receiving a gift that we really wanted. Everybody uses toilet paper, and it's just one less bulky thing that we have to go out and purchase. While it isn't fancy and decorative, it does happen to bring this blog post back full circle to toilets, which is exactly where my energy is headed at the moment.

I think that if offered a trade of giving The Masked Singer back to Korea in exchange for the three things I listed, it would be a blockbuster trade. It's a silly show that does promote some pretty awesome concepts. Judging people solely on the content of their work versus discriminatory elements like age, sex, appearance, etc. is a wonderful thing. I find it mildly ironic that it comes from one of the most judgmental societies on the planet. This is probably why I am not as enthusiastic about the concept, as it's like saying because we elected Obama as president, racism and discrimination are gone in the US. We clearly know that is not the case, and a heated toilet seat is a much better ambassador of things that Koreans are doing right that can be shared with the world.

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