Postechian’s Pick : Blown Away
Postechian’s Pick : Blown Away
  • reporter Park Jee-won
  • 승인 2021.02.27 23:15
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▲ Blown AwayRelease DateFirst season: Feb. 20, 2019Second season: Jan. 22, 2021
▲ Blown AwayRelease DateFirst season: Feb. 20, 2019Second season: Jan. 22, 2021



TV shows always evolve to become more stimulating. A reality program that borrows an audition format is probably the peak of stimulation. Watching malicious editing and unnecessary tension that nearly all reality shows have, viewers may feel emotionally drained.
Here is a reality competition TV series for those who need a mild show: Blown Away. 
Blown Away is a reality show that features glassblowers competing to be the world’s best. The series is structured similarly to former competition TV shows: 10 contestants engage in a different challenge each episode, with the least successful dropping out after each challenge, until a champion is named in the finale. However, the unfamiliar theme of “glassblowing” is enough to differentiate the program from other reality TV shows.
Blown Away will be like a magic show to Postechians who have not been introduced to the world of glassblowing. The things that can be done with glass, especially when it is hot and malleable, are mesmerizing to watch. The contestants stretch the glass-like huge bubble gum or blow into punties (rods used for sculpting glass, also called blowpipes) to enlarge the bubbles of glass. The contestants shape and press lumps of glass and eventually harden them into vases, plates, and unimaginable artworks.
There is no malicious editing in this contest at North America’s largest hot shop. Participants use dangerous tools such as 1000 degrees celsius furnaces, torches, and punties. Furthermore, glass is so fragile that even if a contestant has finished shaping his or her work, the finished work can be broken while moving it to a cooler. In such situations, the contestants focus on completing their work within the given time of four hours rather than keeping an eye on other competitors. The short running time of the program also makes malicious editing impossible. The running time for each episode is only 23 minutes, from introducing the topic to selecting the dropout. There is no room for malicious editing to interrupt the participants’ enthusiasm.
Another thing to note about Blown Away is that the cast is suitably diverse. Although the glasswork industry is male-dominated, the proportion of female participants in the show is relatively high. From gender to race, sexual orientation, and age, the show covers a wide range of people. Breaking stereotypes about such characteristics through concentrating on the participants themselves, Blown Away goes beyond the comfort zone and gives hope to viewers.
Just because Blown Away is a mild show, that does not mean that the show is boring. Sensuous props and video editing also add charm to this program. Each episode is divided into three parts; design, create, and present. During the design part, the contestants sketch ideas on factory floors with chalk or on transparent blackboards with colored markers. During the create part, the audience can watch sweaty participants fight the heat of the factory. The fire that burns brightly in the dark hot shop attracts attention. The present part is done at an exhibition hall set up in the factory. The white, formal setting contrasts with the comparatively informal factory where the participants sweat in comfortable working clothes. The camera captures all these processes from various angles. The lively camera walk makes the viewer feel as if he or she is visiting the hot shop in person. If Postechians watch Blown Away and feel the heat of the scene vividly, there will be no way not to fall into the charm of glassblowing.