A girl comedy group spends 30 days planning their big comedy special.
This review of Celeb Five: Behind the Curtain is spoiler-free.
Netflix has released something I have not seen in a while, a mockumentary. This play on a documentary will see jokes and improv taking the centre stage, as the comedian girl group “Celeb Five” create new material for their comedy special. Starring Kim Shin-young, Song Eun-i, Shin Bong-seon, and An Young-mi, this mockumentary is a different kind of fun. We get to see the behind-the-scenes of what comedians go through when brainstorming new ideas and jokes.
Comedy is very subjective, a sometimes-difficult topic to critique as what I may find funny, others won’t, and vice versa. There are comedians who can showcase to a worldwide audience and there are others who appeal to a certain demographic. Hearing about a comedy troupe from South Korea, I was more intrigued, rather than thinking I was going to get a good laugh out of this, I thought I meant to learn something in the 55 minutes. Celeb Five: Behind the Curtain is the latest in a line-up of South Korean originals from Netflix for 2022. Some popular shows which have already premiered on Netflix in recent months include All of Us Are Dead, Twenty-Five Twenty-One (Kim Tae-ri, Nam Joo-hyuk), Forecasting Love and Weather (Song Kang, Park Min-young), and Squid Game. So, there is a demand for South Korean productions.
Personally, I don’t think groups work as a comedy stand-up routine, they work better as an improv troupe and pod-casters. Although, this was a quirky watch. A bit of in-your-face comedy, very cheesy and silly. I didn’t really laugh at anything. A lot of them were talking in a group or on face-time, discussing ideas, which felt very passive and isn’t that fun to watch. The more I watched, the more I didn’t understand why this has been made/the point of it? They spend thirty days planning their stand-up comedy show, and at the end all we see is them walking out onto the stage, such an anti-climax. They looked far too serious and corporate, it just didn’t gel well for me.
Unlike series such as Staged and other comedians’ behind the scene footage such as Russell Howard’s Good News Behind the Scenes, this show didn’t seem to have a purpose or even an educational value to it. It felt weird, forced, and at times was just boring to watch.
Overall Celeb Five: Behind the Curtain is colorful, kooky, and at times weirdly insane. The fly on the wall style is interesting but it could have been better to have some interviews to learn more about them and have some personal interaction. It wasn’t as interesting or as funny as I thought, but this might be a cultural barrier. The girls seemed to be having a fun time and enjoying themselves, which is a good thing! I’d recommend it if you’re a fan of Korean cinema and comedy, and want something new and bizarre to watch.