-By Soul Sword-
JTBC’s ‘Mari and Me’ (2015) is a reality show where pet parents entrust their pets to 8 celebrities for a couple of days, as they can’t be around due to certain commitments. The show comprises of 17 episodes showcasing about 62 pets in total. It is a light-hearted and entertaining show with a lot of humorous content for pet lovers.
Being an animal lover myself, I was eager to watch what this show had in store. The show was informative and it shows the ideal environment to bring up different types of pets.
The show starts with an interview where the applicants (celebrities- Kang Ho Dong, Kim Min Jae, Seo In Guk, Shim Hyung Tak, Lee Jae Hoon, iKON‘s B.I and Jinhwan, and Eun Ji Won) are interviewed by veterinary doctors. They ask some basic questions about pets to which the applicants give some funny answers. The applicants are then ranked according to how well they answered and the show kicks off.
The celebrities head to the pet’s houses, having absolutely no clue as to which type of pet they will be taking care of. They then meet the pet parent and get information on the pet and the reason they are entrusting the pet with them. Later on, the Mari dads/celebrity pet sitters take the pet/pets to the Mari house.
The Mari house is a pet-friendly enclosure with separate dwellings for each pet. All the celebrities/Mari dads/pet sitters bring their pets to the corresponding house and interact with the pets as they try to create a bond with them, within a short period of time. At times, the Mari dads stay over at the pet’s house too.
The pet parents give the sitters some tasks, which earn paw stamps on accomplishing. Some of these tasks are entertaining as the Mari dads organise birthday parties or weddings for their pets. Other tasks included taking the pets for walks, visits to the vet, shopping, cooking meals, weight management, helping them socialise etc.
The show came to an end with the Mari dad’s taking a quiz on all the pets that had appeared on the show, which was entertaining as well.
This series deserves praise for the variety of pets showcased. We saw dogs, cats, birds, racoons, ferrets, a bunny, baby goat and a pig. Even if the species was repetitive in some cases, the personality of the pet was unique and the show always had something different to offer with every episode.
As the show progressed, it was interesting to see how each species has its own way of interacting and reciprocating with humans. It was amazing to see how the pet sitters/Mari dads were able to develop a bond with the pets in just a single day.
It also showed how pets are not just an adornment but a full-time responsibility and they need tender loving care. The show touched upon the fact as to the expenditure involved in caring for pets; especially medical attention. It also reiterates that pets require their pet-parents to spend quality time with them.
We also get to know the daily routine, temperament, diet, sleeping hours etc of the various types of pets. At the end of the show, one can understand which pet would be ideal for them to raise as an animal companion.
‘Mari and me’ precisely shows in a pleasant way as to why we choose to raise pets despite the challenges one faces as a pet parent and I totally enjoyed watching every moment of it!