From cars to food, stars put their real selves forward in reality TV shows, Latest TV News - The New Paper

From cars to food, stars put their real selves forward in reality TV shows

Hollywood and South Korean stars are showing viewers their real selves while sharing their love for cars and food in a slew of reality shows. Here are the latest ones to hit the small screen.

Downey’s Dream Cars

mewatch, HBO Go and Discovery Channel (Singtel TV Channel 202 or StarHub TV Channel 422 on Thursdays at 9pm)

Hollywood megastar Robert Downey Jr channels his inner Tony Stark in this series, where the self-proclaimed gearhead converts petrol-powered classic cars into electric vehicles.

Inspired by FootPrint Coalition, the American actor’s venture capital organisation that works to mitigate climate change, Downey’s Dream Cars follows the Iron Man (2003 to 2013) star as he seeks to decarbonise his fleet of vintage cars and make them eco-friendly.

At the show’s Los Angeles premiere in May, Downey told American entertainment outlet Variety: “Hopefully, some people will be inspired to say, ‘Maybe I don’t have to get rid of this old family car because it’s such a gas guzzler. I could just put a more efficient internal-combustion engine.’”


Why it is worth the watch: While Downey has said this series is not a case of life imitating art, all that talk about hydrogen fuel, photovoltaic electricity and biodiesel technology may remind viewers of Stark’s garage from the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. It will also hook motor heads who fancy classic cars and Downey’s fans who want a glimpse of his car collection, which includes a purple 1972 Chevy pickup named The Thanos Thumper.

Unexpected Business In California


K-drama actors Cha Tae-hyun (left) and Zo In-sung in Unexpected Business In California. PHOTO: DISNEY

Unexpected Business, an unscripted series fronted by South Korean actors Cha Tae-hyun and Zo In-sung, started in 2021 when they were tasked to man a small rural grocery store in Woncheon village in Gangwon province for 10 days. Apart from managing sales and stocking up inventory, the duo also had to serve simple meals and snacks to customers.

After their stint in Season 2 as butchers and chefs in another countryside supermarket in Gongsan-myeon, a town in South Jeolla province, the stakes are higher now as they find themselves in Monterey, California, where they have to operate a huge suburban Asian supermarket.

Not only do they face challenges interacting with the customers in English and sometimes Japanese, but they also have to make gimbap (Korean rice rolls) non-stop to cater to the endless demand.

Zo is again in charge of the supermarket’s cafe, but he now has the added responsibility of introducing classic Korean dishes to American customers.


Why it is worth the watch: Like previous seasons, the fun comes from watching the fumbling K-actors’ deer-in-headlights moments. Those who miss the pairing of Zo and actress Han Hyo-joo from Disney+’s hit science-fiction series Moving can catch them together again when she shows up to help. Han also impresses with her linguistic prowess, as she fluently converses with locals in English and Japanese.

Jinny’s Kitchen: Team Building

Prime Video

(From left to right) K-stars Park Seo-joon, Choi Woo-shik, V, Jung Yu-mi and Lee Seo-jin in Jinny's Kitchen: Team Building. PHOTO: PRIME VIDEO

Jinny’s Kitchen, which aired in February, follows South Korean celebrities – including K-drama star Park Seo-joon and V from K-pop boy band BTS – as they attempt to run a Korean restaurant serving up gimbap, corn dogs and fried chicken in Bacalar, Mexico.

Parasite (2019) star Choi Woo-shik and veteran actors Lee Seo-jin and Jung Yu-mi complete the cast.

In Team Building, the show’s spin-off, the stars play games and take on challenges in a bid to improve their teamwork – possibly a result of V’s constant lamenting in Jinny’s Kitchen about the communication barrier and generation gap between Lee, boss of the eatery, and his workers Park, Choi, Jung and V.


Why it is worth the watch: Jinny’s Kitchen was a global hit because of the camaraderie among Park, Choi and V, who are friends in real life. And with pranksters V and Choi reunited for Team Building, you can expect to be thoroughly entertained again.

What Am I Eating? With Zooey Deschanel

mewatch, HBO Go and TLC (Singtel TV Channel 254 on Tuesdays at 8pm)



Actress Zooey Deschanel in What Am I Eating? With Zooey Deschanel. PHOTO: TLC

American actress Zooey Deschanel is on a mission to solve everyday food dilemmas by asking the tough questions of what goes into the food people eat.

In each episode, the star of the sitcom New Girl (2011 to 2018) – along with food experts, scientists, chefs and nutritionists – deep-dive into food groups such as organic fruit and vegetables, oils, chocolate and cereals.

Deschanel said in the show that she is “all about sharing knowledge and is not trying to scare anyone or make people feel bad about how they eat”.


Why it is worth the watch: With whimsically titled episodes such as Is Chocolate The Lover You’ve Been Neglecting?, this informative yet fun series debunks food myths and inspires people to eat healthily. Using animation and catchy graphics, the show is one parents can also watch with their children and perhaps prevent them from becoming picky eaters.

Selena + Chef: Home For The Holidays

Premieres on TLC (Singtel TV Channel 254) on Dec 13 at 9pm

Pop superstar Selena Gomez in Selena Chef: Home For The Holidays. PHOTO: TLC

A spin-off of Selena Gomez’s popular Selena + Chef cooking show that started in 2020 and has since spawned four seasons, these festive special episodes feature the American actress-singer inviting top chefs Eric Adjepong, Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Symon and Claudette Zepeda to her home to help her put together indulgent holiday feasts for her friends and family.

The experts show Gomez and her best friend, producer-host Raquelle Stevens, how to prepare the perfect roast beef and mashed potatoes, and the quintessential surf-and-turf – steak and lobster.

In a nod to Gomez’s heritage, she plans a Mexican feast with a traditional Latin Christmas dish of tamales.

Why it is worth the watch: Gomez’s televised culinary adventures have earned her the title of Hollywood’s favourite amateur chef. And now that Instagram’s most followed woman has taken an indefinite social media hiatus, fans can hear from her again in Home For The Holidays, where Gomez dishes about the holidays that are special to her.