A Vlog celebrating all things South Korean created by Simon and Martina Stawski. High school teachers in Canada, the Stawskis moved to South Korea in 2008 to teach English. The vlog started as way of reassuring their parents that they were OK and has grown exponentially since.
The Stawskis create videos sharing their discoveries about Korean culture. Topics range from how to light a furnace or use the washing machine, to street food, nightlife, music, and what ever else captures their attention. They started the vlog at a time when very few in South Korea were using blogs or vlogs. They were among the first to seriously discuss Korean popular music (K Pop) artists in a format beyond that of the gossip columns.
After forming a partnership with YouTube they later resigned from their respective schools to devote their full energies to the vlog. The Stawskis have incorporated in South Korea and have made Eat Your Kimchi (EYK) their business. In late 2012 the Stawski's turned to crowdsourcing to see if they could raise the funds to move from Bucheon to Seoul and open a studio there. The original goal of the fundraiser was met within 24 hours and they raised almost three times the amount they originally sought. The Eat Your Kimchi Nasty Studio opened in Hongdae, Seoul and the Stawski's added two new members to their crew. Office manager Soo Zee and Intern/Video Editor Leigh Cooper appear in videos on a semi-regular basis. Their friend Ryan has also made appearances in their videos.
In 2015, the Stawskis shut down their studio and moved to Japan.
Regular offerings include:
- Discussing Interesting Contemporary Korean Slang (DICKS): These segments feature Korean born Soo Zee and American born Intern Leigh teaching Korean and American slang and include some helpful hints on surviving in Korea.
- Food Adventure Program For Awesome People (FAPFAP): These episodes are specifically about Korean cuisine.
- How-To: these videos break down and spell out all of the details of accomplishing the everyday business of living in South Korea.
- K Crunch Indie: explores the independent music scene in Korea. A mix of music that reflects the eclectic Korean music scene.
- K Pop Mondays: an evaluation of a K Pop music video selected by fans.
- Live Chat: Live stream chats with fans. Simon and Martina open fan mail and talk about whatever occurs to them. These are more or less weekly events and will involved Soo Zee and Intern Leigh when they are available.
- Open The Happy: On the Open The Happy channel there are make-up tutorials, videos about Spudgy and Doctor Meemersworth, movie reviews and opinion pieces and stuff that just doesn't fit any where else.
- Special Features: This section includes interviews with K Pop stars and videos of the Stawskis on other programs.
- tl;dr (Too Long; Didn't Read): These videos discuss specific questions about Korea that fans ask. Topics have included a range of topics including: crime, homosexuality, bullying, their most embarrassing moments and fashion.
- Wonderful Adventure Now Korea (WANK=): these short tours of Korea often include competitions between Simon and Martina as they explore different places. The WANK acronym will change depending on where in the world Simon and Martina are. WANC is either Wonderful Adventure Now Canada or California, WANM is Wonderful Adventure Now Mexico, and when Japan Invited Simon and Martina... they went there. In late 2013 the Stawskis went to Australia (WANA) and Europe (WANE).
- Wonderful Treasure Find (WTF): On hiatus for a very long time, they returned in mid 2013. These videos are about the products that the Stawskis found in Korea that they found amazing, wonderful or just plain odd.
- Abnormal Limb Rotation Range - Martina. A result of a genetic disorder called EDSnote
- Adorkable: Simon and Martina, of course!
- Asian Drivers: Mentioned in a few videos and once discussed specifically in a TL;DR video. Turns out the stereotype is (mostly) true.
- Berserk Button: Martina with turtleneck
- Broke the Rating Scale: When rating the use of English in a music video the EYK scale is 1-5 with 5 the highest rating. Simon gave rapper G. Dragon a 37 out of 5 for the English in Get Your Crayon.
- Also, Psy received a "Shut yo face!" out of 5 (which is good) for Gangnam Style, Super Junior got a -37 for Spy, and U-KISS's song Shut Up got a WTF out of 5.
- Lee Hi (who Simon claims is a former student) got a 9423 out of 5.
- Catch-Phrase: There are several.I lost my pants, in rippito fippito sippi slowmotion!
Soy un Dorito!
So what you're saying is...
- Cicadian Rhythm: Did a whole video about it.
- Cosplay: At one point or another, both Simon and Martina have cosplayed at a convention at least once and talked about it/proven it on-video. Rather predictably, Martina - being such a fan - has cosplayed a punk variant of Sailor Moon. As for Simon - despite being 6'5" and often bearded to some degree - his most noteworthy cosplay effort has been as Honey-senpai; blonde wig, stuffed bunny and all.
- Cute Approaches Camera: And it is known as Spudgy. Or Doctor Meemersworth.
- Direct Demographic: Viewers are invited to comment on the videos and to vote for music videos they would like to see reviewed.
- Engrish: Many of the products in WTF have examples that include "Togerder" and "Twonkle Twonkle". There have also been some examples from the K Pop Mondays:Sexy, free and single, I'm ready to bingo...
- Fourth Wall Greeting: This trope is often used when the show switches from Simon and Martina as commentators to Simon and/or Martina as performer in a sketch.
- Food Porn: The FAPFAP episodes often include a short segment of artfully shot close-ups of the food being manipulated with chopsticks or broken open to the same jazzy-ish tune ("sexy food porn shots").
- Fun with Acronyms: Wonderful Treasure Find; Wonderful Adventure Now Korea; Food Adventure Program For Awesome People and finally; Discussing Interesting Contemporary Korean Slang.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The language in the show is kept pretty clean most of the time. And, unless they miss it in post-production (or it's sufficiently quiet/off-screen; there've been instances of both), F-Strikes (precision or otherwise) are bleeped out with animal noises.
- Hair Flip: Spoofed in this K Pop Mondays episode.
- Halloween Episode: Or what happpens when two people with vivid imaginations get lost in the woods on a mountain on Halloween.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Simon is the best part of 6'5", compared to Martina's 5'7.5". It's even necessitated the use of a Scully Box in some cases. Though, this being Simon and Martina, said box is a super-cute pig stool!
- K Pop: The music and culture they, at one point, reviewed and became known for.
- Lens Flare: These are kind of a thing with Simon and Martina. They are very aware of lens flares and how they look in the music videos they review.
- Loads and Loads of Roles: Most of the time all characters are played by Simon and Martina. They will occasionally rope in a friend to help out. It very frequently features Simon playing a woman.
- Long List: The list of foods Simon eats ranch dressing with is very long.
- Mid-Review Sketch Show: During the Music Monday videos there are usually short sketches based on something from the video that Simon and Martina noticed, or questioned, or think odd.
- Milestone Celebration: The 200th video was A Day in the Life and the 100th Music Monday had an 18 minute "best of" compilation video.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Since Simon has to buy custom made clothes in Korea, he has some "cool" touches added like the word "SHAZAM!" stiched somewhere. Usually involves him invoking the trope's old name almost word-for-word, "What do you mean it's not awesome?"
- Old Shame: They're embarrassed by their old videos intended for their friends and family.
- Opening Monologue: All of the videos start with Simon and/or Martina introducing the subject.Simon/Martina (in unison): Welcome to WONDERFUL ADVENTURE NOOWWW, KOREA!
Simon: ...the <something vaguely related> Edition!
- Phrase-Catcher: Soo ZeeSooooo Zeeeeee
- Please Subscribe to Our Channel: This occurs at the end of every installment.
- P.O.V. Cam: "The Spudgy cam" when taking the dog for a walk. As a kitten Dr. Meemersworth was too small for a "Meemers cam", so they tied the camera to a string and dangled it in front of him. No longer a problem, Meemers is huge.
- Put on a Bus: The WTF videos.
- The Bus Came Back: WTF returned in July 2013. No word yet on whether the return is permanent.
- Review Blog: In the early years of their channel, the Stawskis were most known for (and, for many, still are)- and got the largest portion of their viewership from - reviewing K-Pop music. However, as they became more and more aware of both the backlash from various K-Pop fan camps and the way in which the bands themselves are treated as part of contractual obligation, they grew more and more distant from the subject and eventually stopped covering it entirely.
- Running Gag: Used during K-Pop Music Mondays. Many stem from bad English lines, and some overlap with Catch-Phrase.
- Kiseop (from U-KISS)'s manly hands/strength
- Mordney with the "This is Mordney present" line (also from U-KISS)
- And again for U-KISS, the members being homeless.
- Simon losing his pants and singing to EXO's "What is Love" whenever a spoken phrase can be manipulated to sound like "I lost my pants"
- Simon likes to say "BONARAMA" instead of "BONAMANA" when referring to the Super Junior song.
- Mr. Brohoho's studio.
- "AYYY GIRL, CAN I BUY YOU A DRANK"
- "Judo chop!"
- "SOY UN DORITO"
- "Look at all them white people!"
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Simon.
- Scully Box: Used by Martina so they don't have to constantly adjust the camera.
- Shockingly Expensive Bill: A few of their videos have dealt with hilariously expensive fruit, due to Japan's love of so-called "gift fruit" whenever the growing seasons roll around. 150-dollar grapes, anyone?Simon: I have some bad news for you. So... the $200 grapes were actually sold out.
Martina: Uh-huh..? Which makes no sense. Continue.
Simon: Sooo... I had to get the $400 ones.
Martina: NOOO!! YOU'RE JOKING! There are not $400 grapes! You're joking! We could've gone to a hotel with this money! Are you serious?!
Simon: I didn't wanna. [beat] Nah, I'm joking, girl. They're not $400. They're only $150. See? They're totally cheap.
- Silent Movie: When Martina lost her voice after being sick, the couple made a FAPFAP entirely in the style of old-timey silent films (including appropriate vocabulary).
- Title Drop: On the occasion.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Simon loves ranch.
- Travelogue Show: As the years have gone on, and they've relegated K-Pop to little more than references to their earlier work, their channel has effectively evolved into this (though, from conversations during streams and the like, travelling was one of their big post-teaching intentions). Many of their videos have been on the subject of the places they've visited or, in the cases of South Korea and Japan, places they live in; taking in culture, noteworthy sights/tourism destinations and, by far the most prominently of all, food. Even if FAPFAP as an entity has largely been phased out as part of their channel's evolution, FAPFAP is largely still there in spirit as they eat their way across eastern/southern Asia.Simon (in Melbourne): All the other Youtubers've gone off to do team-building exercises. Martina and I're gonna go do some stomach-building exercises!
- Unsettling Gender Reveal / Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: After a few weeks, Simon and Martina discovered that Meemers is actually male. Thankfully, Dr. Meemersworth is a pretty gender-neutral name.
- Video Collage: These occur whenever they get a new camera or to document some of their travels.
- Wimp Fight: In their TL;DR video explaining that they don't fight Simon and Martina fake a slap fight.