When it comes to Hallyu or the Korean Wave (expansion of Korean content and culture internationally), most international fans claim they became such fans through either K-pop or K-dramas. However, there are many international fans who initially became fans through Korean variety shows.

For those unfamiliar on what Korean variety shows (often stylized as K-variety) are, they are part game show, part contest, and sometimes part comedy show. The most popular concepts often have well-known Korean celebrities take on ridiculous tasks.

In South Korea, the most popular K-Variety Show is "Infinite Challenge." It has grown so much in popularity, it is one of the first shows to expand outside of South Korea along with "Running Man." Now "Infinite Challenge" is looking to break into the U.S.

drama scene as the main cast travel to the United States to audition for shows.

'Infinite Challenge' auditioning for U.S. dramas is their current challenge on the show!

The cast of "Infinite Challenge" consisting of Yoo Jae Suk, Park Myeong Su, Jeong Jun Ha, Haha, and Yang Se Hyung are auditioning for U.S dramas because it was all part of a challenge put up on their show.

To help prepare for the auditions, they talked to Bae Doona. Though currently known for her role in the popular suspense K-drama "Forest of Secrets," Doona is better known to U.S. audiences for her roles in both the U.S. small and silver screen. She is one of the main characters in the popular Netflix drama "Sense8" and was in the movie "Cloud Atlas." She gave the "Infinite Challenge" cast advice on auditioning for a U.S.


The main cast left Incheon International Airport on Sunday, August 6, 2017. The show's staff claims they will "audition for a handful of shows and return on Thursday." The experience will be part of the show's "2017 Jung Joon Ha Grand Prize Project" as cast member Joon Ha was nominated for the Grand Prize at the 106 MBC Entertainment Awards but did not win.

The main cast have a far better chance scoring a role in U.S. dramas right now!

Some South Korean stars are from the U.S. Using Girls' Generation for example, Tiffany, Sunny, and former member Jessica are from the U.S. Generally the reason on why talented Asian singers and actors go sing and act in the country their family comes from is because Asians are not given a chance in the U.S.

entertainment industry.

With that in mind, the odds of the main cast of "Infinite Challenge" landing a role in any of their auditions would be zero. However, they have a far better chance scoring a role in a U.S. drama right now.

For starters, the U.S. is in the midst of a fight for diversity in its entertainment industry. Though some arguments are ridiculous on the matter, the fight has given more Asians a chance to make it in said industry with real roles, not just caricatures of the Asian stereotype.

Next, many U.S. stars know of "Infinite Challenge." Last week, NBA star Stephen Curry made a guest appearance on the show. Other U.S. stars to appear includes Maria Sharapova, Michelle Wie, Paris Hilton, MC Hammer, and Ryan Seacrest.

Jack Black made an appearance on the show as part of Asia promotions for Kung Fu Panda 3." He participated in many of the games they have. His episode was one of the highest rated shows for "Infinite Challenge" both domestically and internationally.

The fact many U.S. stars know both the show and cast may be a benefit for when the main cast auditions. Also, the fact the cast is popular on an international scale could be of leverage too.

Ultimately, this endeavor on "Infinite Challenge" may help it in both the short and long term. The variety show is in danger of cancellation as the ratings continue to plummet. With being on the air for more than a decade, it needs something fresh to keep it alive.

Collaborations outside of South Korea and having the cast travel more is a start.

"Infinite Challenge" airs on the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). For those who do not have access to Korean networks, it can be watched legally on DramaFever, Rakatuen Viki, and OnDemandKorea.