How far would you go to find true love? And how much are you willing to compromise to keep that romance alive? On Pink Lie, the newly-launched South Korean dating reality television series on Disney+, contestants are willing to share their deepest, darkest secrets to a global audience, all for a chance of finding the one.
Hosted by Super Junior’s Kim Heechul, Lee Sunbin (Work Later, Drink Now, Air Murder), Song Wonseok (Business Proposal, One the Woman), and YouTube influencer Ralral, the premise of the series is simple: Seven strangers (four men and three women) from different walks of life live under the same roof while getting to know and date each other—not unlike Japanese reality television series Terrace House. The catch? They all have a secret that they’re not allowed to divulge. Essentially, each contestant will tell a lie about themselves.
Related article: The Ultimate ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Glossary Ahead Of Season 5
Related article: ‘The Crown’ Season 6 Isn’t Happening Anytime Soon
As the show progresses, participants are given special privileges in the form of a “pink moon,” which will allow them to find out another contestant’s lie. They’ll be able to use this information to decide whether they want to continue the relationship or not. But they’re not allowed to share this information with the rest. And unlike other reality television shows where secrets are revealed much later in the series, Pink Lie starts off with a major revelation from one of its female contestants.
Ahead, Kim Heechul, Lee Sunbin, Song Wonseok, and Ralral share their take on this series, the one thing they think people should never lie about on a first date, and more.
What drew you to this show?
Wonseok: I’ve watched a lot of dating reality shows like Pink Lie. I love observing other people and felt confident that I would be able to catch all the nuances in the exchanges between the participants. That is why I decided to take on the project.
Sunbin: I am the opposite of Wonseok because I rarely ever watch dating reality shows, because I get easily immersed in what goes on in these shows. But when I read the proposal on the concept of the show, it felt very new.
Each of these participants would come on board with a secret they want to keep from others while exploring relationships with other participants, which could later cause emotional changes. I was very sure that this was going to be very different from all the dating reality shows and thought it would be very fun to watch. And even before the show started, I was very curious about what the lies would be.
Related article: Bridgerton Is Getting a Prequel Series About Young Queen Charlotte
Heechul: We’re all familiar with so many popular dating reality shows. And initially, I didn’t feel the need to watch other people date when I have my own romantic life to figure out. But the creator said to me: ‘Heechul, this is going to be different. Each participant will tell a lie. Everyone will.’
And while watching the show, I realised that I was prejudiced against certain occupations even though we all grew up learning that every profession has value and that we should not judge people based on their job. I thought it would be easy to watch how the show develops because I think of myself as fairly bias-free when it comes to occupations, but I never realised how seriously prejudiced I actually was.
Ralral: To be honest, I thought the show would be too obvious and predictable. But watching the participants, I often found myself very moved and getting emotional. We all have the desire to be accepted as who we are rather than being judged based on what we can show to the world. I think this show manages to capture these diverse aspects of human nature and offers meaningful messages and lessons to the world.
What shocked you the most about the contestants?
Heechul: The shock didn’t actually come front the contestants themselves per se, but rather the arguments amongst us. A pleasant surprise was that young people nowadays are so expressive, frank and straightforward.
Related article: Inside Ana de Armas’s Stunning Transformation Into Marilyn Monroe
Having watched all the episodes, what stood out to you the most and what has that experience been like?
Wonseok: Once the lies begin to unravel, relationships start to get strained and people start to feel awkward around each other. Some would try to sound people out while some would start to get a little jealous of the rest. We could observe all of that, which was very interesting.
Heechul: We were completely into it. What we discussed among the four of us is something that the press would understand—I told the other three that if the interaction between the participants was too contrived, we wouldn’t be able to respond honestly. But they were all so charming and fascinating to watch—I’m not even kidding. So, I would root for one participant one minute and then fall for another one the next.
Related article: How The Elaborate Costumes Of House Of The Dragon Came To Be
Ralral: I tried to stay as rational as possible, but I couldn’t help myself and sympathised with the participants. I tried to watch the show from the viewers’ point of view, but I found myself getting emotionally attached to a particular participant and tried putting myself in their shoes. But you know what’s so cruel? As a viewer, I would think, ‘I can understand everything. He must have his reasons. Something must have happened in the past.’ But then the moment I asked myself: ‘What if he was my boyfriend?’
Once we started asking ourselves that question, we couldn’t give a confident yes. The participants would say that they could be friends, but they were pretty honest [about their concerns when it comes to dating], and it was so relatable.
In your opinion, what is one thing people should never lie about on a first date?
Ralral: I have experience in this field, so I would say age.
Heechul: If you’re an ex-convict. But actually, that’s bad for a second or third date, too.
Sunbin: I would also say age.
Wonseok: I would say occupation.
What would you say sets Pink Lie apart from other shows within the same genre?
Ralral: I’d say the biggest difference that sets this show apart from the others would be the amazing cinematography. It is cinematic and so beautifully shot that it almost feels like a fairy tale. Another differentiating factor would be the dramatic developments in the story that are just as engaging as any scripted work. And the camera work and the accompanying music made it very engaging.
Heechul: I kept thinking about what made me so emotionally involved in the story, and I realised that Pink Lie was shot from the first-person point of view rather than a third-person perspective. I’m not sure if it was intentionally edited that way, but whatever the reason was, I could really picture myself in the shoes of the participants.
I’d ask myself: ‘If I were to lie about one thing about myself, what should I lie about?’ As an avid gamer, it felt to me almost like playing a romance simulation game. It’s very engaging because it gives you that first-person perspective.
Sunbin: There was not a single moment that felt boring. The amount of suspense really makes you anticipate the next episode. If you’re naturally a curious type, you would relate to this so much.
Wonseok: As I mentioned earlier, you’ll find yourself constantly wondering: ‘What is this person’s lie? What kind of story does this person have?’ These questions will help you relate to the feelings of each participant. And as Sunbin mentioned, Pink Lie constantly triggers your curiosity.
Do you truly think that it’s possible to find true love on a reality TV show?
Wonseok: I think you definitely can find true love through a reality show.
Heechul: If all the contestants are entertainers or celebrities, maybe it would be difficult. But our contestants are not entertainers, so I’m sure that they can find true love. And if a couple from Pink Lie gets married, I’ll be the emcee at their wedding.
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.