Why I’m Obsessed With ‘Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast’ — & Why You Should Be, Too
More than a reality show, Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast is a salve for our times — a reminder that being kind and open-minded are virtues and that the simple life can be your life IRL. Here, why you need to binge-watch Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast.
I don’t binge-watch a lot of TV. I always feel a twinge of guilt about sitting for hours on end watching TV, especially since I work from home. Anytime I have free time, I’m at the gym, at a cafe reading, or hanging out with my boyfriend.
But last month, I wrote a story about some new Korean shows I’d been casually watching on Netflix and YouTube and became completely enamored with one show in particular — a show that I definitely didn’t think I’d like as much as I do, and that’s Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast on Netflix (or Hyori’s Homestay in Korea).
Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast is a Korean reality TV show featuring K-pop superstar, singer, songwriter, and animal activist Hyori Lee and her husband Sang Soon Lee from the rock band Roller Coaster. They live on Jeju Island and decided to open up their house as a bed and breakfast — and that’s literally the premise of the show. It sounds boring on paper, but really, it’s so much more.
At one point in time, Hyori was the highest paid Korean entertainer (man or woman) and is pretty much K-pop royalty. It’s kind of like if Britney Spears or Rihanna decided to be like, “Hey I’m gonna give this all up and live in Bali and open up a B&B and I’m gonna film the whole thing,” and we got to watch all of her private moments with her family. CRAZY fascinating, right? Right. I literally cannot stop watching it. Each episode is an hour and a half long, and I’ve watched three episodes in a row once. Yes. It’s that good.
I wasn’t that familiar with Hyori before I started watching the show. I mean, I saw her picture EVERYWHERE while I lived in Korea and saw a few music videos, but I wasn’t googling her life or anything. But honestly, she is everything. EVERYTHING. She’s so funny, warm, and down to earth. Guests constantly talk about how she feels like she’s their big sister or a long-lost friend. I honestly wish she were my friend! She is always making sure people have eaten and always tries hard to make a good impression on everyone. Currently, Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast is one of the top rated variety/reality shows in Korea, proving that Hyori is still THAT bitch, OK.
Why do I like the show so much? Well, in a world of seemingly never-ending chaos and bad news and just general hot mess, Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast is a huge breath of fresh air. The best part about the show is that honestly, nothing really happens at all. There’s no plot. In each episode, the Lee couple (along with their staff, K-pop superstar IU in the first season, and Yoona from Girls’ Generation and K-drama star Park Bo Gum in the second season) welcome new guests to their home-slash-B&B.
They cook breakfast, Hyori gives yoga classes, they have bonfires and eat dinner with the guests at night … and that’s kinda it. There’s no drama. There aren’t any gotcha moments. There’s just a lot of love, friendships, Hyori being amazing, DOGS, yoga, and tea drinking.
At least three times an episode I am ready to give up my current life, sell everything I own, and buy a house on an island and turn it into a B&B. The Lee couple just make it seem so appealing and charming!
The show showcases Koreans from all backgrounds. There are same sex couples, a deaf model, older couples, younger couples on a honeymoon, groups of college friends, three siblings who are coping with the loss of their mother … the list goes on. Mental health, loving relationships, and real-life portrayals of real-life people is what makes the show so entertaining and what keeps me coming back episode after episode.
And Hyori, of course, drops a ton of beauty tips that I always pause and take notes on because homegirl is 39 and looks like she’s 29. In one episode, she has Sang Soon cut up raw cucumbers and place them all over her face to help hydrate and soothe her skin. In another episode, she makes another homemade face mask (ingredients were unknown), and shares her concoction with a group of young women who were staying as guests.
Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast currently has two seasons that are available on Netflix. Unfortunately, the popularity of the show also resulted in a lot of trespassers and loitering around Hyori’s home, according to reports. As a result, Hyori and Sang Soon sold their beloved Jeju home last month, so the fate of the show is up in the air.
Have you watched Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast? What Korean TV shows are you obsessed with? Let me know about them in the comments!