sam zhang

Why You Should Give Abnormal Summit a Chance

Anyone else watching Abnormal Summit? Disregarding the understandable controversy, JTBC’s relatively new variety program Abnormal Summit is worth giving a shot for a multitude of reasons. I’ll be as brief as possible, but I really do think that despite its flaws and slip ups, it’s doing everything right.


The show is comprised of 3 MCs (Jun Hyun-moo, Sung Si-kyung, and Yoo Se-yoon) as well as the members of G11. It is setup to kind of emulate a model UN. G11 are basically foreigners living in Korea representing their home countries. First half of the show consists of a segment called “Global Culture War”. A topic is presented by the MCs and every member of G11 shares their thoughts on said topic. The segment focuses on highlighting different cultural approaches to the same subject matter and understanding other’s difference in opinion. Typically during the second half of the show. a guest will appear on the show with a problem, either their own or one representing a certain demographic. An initial voting round takes place where G11 members classify the problem as abnormal or normal. The remaining portion of the show is essentially a debate that ends in a final voting round where the guest is declared either abnormal or normal.

1. The Harmonious Link between MCs and Cast Members

Variety shows are often unsuccessful in balancing cast and MCs. However, in Abnormal Summit, the primary focus is always on G11. MCs are there to mediate when necessary, but are often times neglected due to G11’s interactions amongst one another. At the same time, without them the show has no structure and would probably fall apart. During a typical episode of AS, I’d say you’re probably going to hear the MCs talk 25% of the time while the majority is taken up by G11’s opinions and views. The proportion is in my opinion pretty satisfactory.

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2. G11 Members are Beautiful

Have you seen the G11 crew? I swear they’re ordinary people disguised as models. Each one of them has quirks that make them unique, yet because of the fact that they are all foreigners in Korea there is a sense of understanding that serves as a connection between one another. Not only are they physically beautiful, but I truly believe that each one of them is a good person. With a show like AS there are so many opportunities for misunderstanding, but each member conveys their opinion without offending one another for the most part (enes and zhang yuan im looking at u).

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3. Diversity and Dynamics Amongst G11

To simplify, G11 is probably like one big extended family. Enes is like the more traditional elder of the family whose views conflict with the liberal thinkers such as Julian.

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Some are a bit harsh with their words such as Zhang Yuan while others like Gerniel (side note my fav) is more soft spoken.

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All of the members like those four can be likened to a member of your own personal extended family. Just like any other family, they have their differences but at the end of the day they are a family. I’ve never seen a more mature group of people whose views contrasted so much, yet at the end of the day they are able to put them all aside and appreciate each other for their differences.

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4. Bridging the Gap between the General Korean Public and Foreign Countries

On a more serious note, AS has succeeded in getting viewers more in touch with the rest of the world. In no way am I saying the Korean population is ignorant. However, I’d say that regardless of our race, anyone who lives in a country with a homogenous population is more likely to be unaware of cultural differences and foreigners. Not only are viewers getting insight on the way people from other countries think, they also indirectly learn new things while watching the show.

So yeah those are my two cents to anyone who cares. AS has done a phenomenal job, save for the Kimigayo incident and weird firing of Australian Daniel. I’m not sure how the future episodes will progress but the first 17 were gold. I honestly wouldn’t know what to tell you if you asked for a good episode to start with. All of them in my opinion were pretty great, even the pilot which for many variety shows have been synonymous with disaster. Let me know your thoughts if you do give it a shot or if you’re already watching it! 

p.s. none of these images are mine…….just found them on google images and forgot to source them all. let me know if there’s something here that belongs to u and u want credit