bh6I juz started on this variety show, cos it has the mix of stuff that I like. Quasi-reality, cute stars (and same cute stars undergoing torture tough training) and of course, drama. Loads of drama. Cos the cast is sent packing to train with Busan’s Centum 911 Fire Station crew. Imagine them sweating in fear under the station’s commander…and later sweating it out in a real fire. But only after being steamed alive in their fire fighting suits. (evil cackles)

Cast (aka the poor things):

  • Lee Won-jong: from Vampire Prosecutor. The oldest in the group, so as early as ep1, responsibility is placed on him. But doesn’t mean you get a discount in training cos of age.
  • Jo Dong-hyuk: from Brain. The fittest possibly (?). But regimental training doesn’t sit well with him.
  • Park Ki-woong: from Gaksital. His first attempt at variety and you can see he looks a bit lost (and scared) at times.
  • Jeon Hye-bin: from Queen of the Office. The only female in the group, and although she has participated in more physically demanding varieties such as Law of the Jungle, the fire fighter training is still tough on her.
  • Choi Woo-shik: from Ten 1/2. The maknae of the group…and well, basically still quite a baby.

The 5 of them will undergo formal training as fire fighters for about a week, staying in-camp. After which, they will join the firemen/women during “live” situations. In fact, ep 1 opens with the cast entering a building which has caught fire. Of course they are not on the frontline, but tagging behind the professionals.


bh3My first impression of the opening scene with the burning building is…you sure this isn’t a set up??? Actually, I wasn’t so worried about the cast (they are supposedly trained plus they got the real guys shielding them in front), but if any camera crew went in with them (supposing they were not filming the shoot themselves), were the crew trained? Even if it was a fake-out situation, the fire WAS real. And so was the chance of getting hurt (and for those pretty boys and girl…a possibility of disfiguration).

Then again, since this is juz entertainment, I won’t be questioning about authenticity. The training is fun to watch though. We’d guess that a firefighter’s training won’t be easy (the equipment are heavy!!), but to peek into how actual training is carried out is quite an eye-opener.

bh1For example, the instructor tests them on retrieving, putting on and placing back their firefighting suit and gears …within 15 sec. Hye-bin, being a girl, has difficulties lifting and carrying the heavy stuff in and out of her locker. Only Won-jong and Ki-woong have the presence of mind (and chivalrous enough) to help her. The other 2 guys, they were too  busy struggling to bother…and the result is, the non-helpers are punished with doing squats. Reason being, they are supposed to be a TEAM and you don’t let a member lag behind juz because s/he’s slower.

bh4There are super funny moments too. Like Won-jong trying to struggle into the fire fighting suit. Being the largest sized (and probably not the fittest person around), it’s rather like seeing a grizzly bear dress himself. (lol) Other funnies include how the firefighters treat the cast — they are basically ignored. Poor Ki-woong was even reprimanded for using his mobile phone while waiting for the other cast members to appear. (aww) But I’d take this cool treatment with a pinch of salt. It could juz be for the camera. Maybe once the cam is off, the cast will be asked for autographs?

Whatever the case, Heart Beats (Beating Hearts) is fairly watchable, and gives a glimpse into the daily life of a fire fighter.

3/5 stars