An unexpected hitch in the plans creates a delay for the 1N2D team, but they’re not about to stand by and do nothing. Not when this team of producers can turn lemon to lemonade, rain into sunshine, and a long night of nothing into high-stakes competition. So they turn their night of waiting into another round of games, challenges, and rewards. (Or perhaps more accurately, withholding of rewards. This IS 1N2D, after all.)
EPISODE 329. Broadcast on April 10, 2011.
javabeans: This episode is essentially a demonstration of the most basic workings of 1N2D — stripped of excess, no-frills, just the games and the food and the bribery/manipulation at its core.
girlfriday: Bribery and torture: the heart and soul of 1N2D. So the original plan, to go visit a tiny island off the coast of Jeju, is derailed due to bad weather. Na PD informs them that they’ll postpone the trip till the next morning, and need to figure out food and shelter for the night. Su-geun jokes that they should just run away and have some fun, and the caption reads: “These people are totally capable of that…” Haha. Where’s the faith?
girlfriday: Ho-dong confesses that Tae-woong’s adoration adds pressure — like the higher the pedestal, the harder you fall? But Tae-woong just continues to love Ho-dong, in his adorably bashful way.
javabeans: It felt like Ho-dong was offering Tae-woong an out, a graceful way to withdraw the admiration. But Tae-woong just kept declaring how much he liked him anyway.
girlfriday: It’s time for the boys to earn their dinner, and Na PD explains that they’ve done their best to recreate 98% of what the meal was supposed to be. Judging from the dishes that come out, I don’t think Na PD is so good at math.
javabeans: The originally planned dinner took the concept of a “sea palace full-course dinner.” The boys perk up at the word “palace,” and Jong-min whets their appetites by chiming in about how delicious everything was when he tasted it on their scouting trip. Except this time, the dishes are a little…different.
girlfriday: I love when Na PD tells them to reach for the menu board, and they laugh at how they never notice those props until someone calls attention to them. Included on the menu board: beer and soju. Damn, I know it’s not possible, but how much do I want to see a drunk version of 1N2D?
javabeans: I don’t think it would be so bad to have a glass of beer while doing the show — but Ho-dong immediately shuts that idea down, saying no drinky while shooting. Listen to the veteran. I wouldn’t think anything of an American celeb having, say, a glass of wine while hosting a show, but perhaps Koreans’ history with drinking justifies that concern. Best not tempt that beast.
girlfriday: It’s one of those things that maybe crosses the line into “too real.” Though, of course, that’s exactly what we wish we could see — a drunk Seung-gi getting a piggyback ride from Ho-dong hyung.
javabeans: Not if Tae-woong beats him to it.
girlfriday: Are you TRYING to make me faint? Gah. So next to each dish is a game that they have to play to win the accompanying item. Clearly this game was prepared according to the local dishes that were supposed to be at their disposal. But the result is even funnier: same game, snack food version of dish.
javabeans: The producers promise that their makeshift dinner is almost the same as the one on the board, so the guys eagerly pick the seafood platter…and get a platter of fish-shaped ice cream snacks. After realizing that their menu is restricted to what the crew has been able to scrounge up, the guys try to strategize, predicting which of the offerings are most likely to be similar to the original descriptions.
girlfriday: The ice cream was a particular letdown. But so cheeky, because they were fish-shaped. Those PDs are sassypants. So their first game is to name greek gods. Seems easy enough, but apparently not enough for Ho-dong.
javabeans: Madeus? Who’s he, the Greek god of classical musical composition?
girlfriday: Heh. In his defense, it DOES sound like a greek god.
javabeans: They lose this one, and the next game too. It’s not long before I start worrying that they’re on a losing streak. They look worried. I FEEL worried. It’s always so sad when the producer picks up that plate of food and carries it away after they lose. I don’t know if I can stand to watch a whole show of the guys looking hungrily at food they can’t eat. I told you, my variety show would consist of me feeding them tons of food. Period.
girlfriday: You wouldn’t make them trade you anything for the food? ANYTHING? Not even kisses? Lame. In the next game they’re told to write down the first thing they think of when they hear “Jeju,” and everyone chooses various things Jeju is famous for, except Seung-gi, who writes “Island.” HA.
javabeans: I thought they were all hilarious. The question leaves a lot of room for interpretation, and they were trying to get on the same page about what type of answer to give to get six matching responses. I cracked up when Ji-won revealed his, because it’s what I would have written: honeymoons. And then Tae-woong showed his, which is another one I might’ve said: tangerines.
girlfriday: I think I would’ve gone with tangerines too. Maybe Ji-won went there on his honeymoon.
javabeans: Doesn’t everyone go there on their honeymoon? It’s pretty much Hawaii or Jeju.
girlfriday: Tae-woong gets to choose the next menu item, and Ho-dong asks what his noona would choose. Tae-woong: “Soju?” Hee hee.
javabeans: Lol for Uhm Jung-hwa, embarrassed by her little bro on television.
girlfriday: The next game is a picture quiz, and everyone does fine, until Tae-woong gets Pororo, and answers: “Penguin!” LOL. Who doesn’t know who Pororo is?
javabeans: I…don’t? What’s a Pororo?
girlfriday: Haha. Omg, you don’t know who Pororo is either?
javabeans: I have no idea.
girlfriday: You must not have any young cousins. I’ve spent many a babysitting stint relying solely on the powers of Pororo.
javabeans: So like Pikachu?
girlfriday: No, like educational. Think: Big Bird and Elmo. The Korean version. They learn words, the multiplication table, how sharing is caring, and whatnot.
javabeans: Ahh… That explains it!
girlfriday: Why Tae-woong is so bad at math? Because he doesn’t know Pororo?
javabeans: He’s bad at math…and I’M BAD AT MATH… It all makes sense now!
girlfriday: And Su-geun’s picture-question was his wife! I thought it would have been funnier if one of the other guys had that one, because people always look so different in their glamour photos than in real life. Seung-gi was like, “Oh, I was thinking, she looks really familiar…”
javabeans: At this point, the guys have lost four or five games in a row and I’m getting nervous that they won’t win a thing for dinner.
girlfriday: Yeah, it was getting desperate. They decide, to hell with it, and order beer. The question is out of a law text (think: LSAT question, or the like).
javabeans: The gist: It’s asking about the penalty for abusing fair trade laws to secure a monopoly. On the upside, at least it’s multiple-choice. Seung-gi’s the only one who gets into it, trying to reason through the logic, and it’s absolutely hilarious how the others stare at him blankly as he tries to argue his position. In the end, they’re all like, “Uh, what Seung-gi said.”
girlfriday: It was a question designed for them to fail (Na PD cracks up just reciting the question, knowing it’s ridiculous), but Seung-gi gets it right! How awesome would it be if they got to drink the beer? I mean, they earned it fair and square!
javabeans: At least they win the rock-scissors-paper battle. It’s a puny food prize, but does a lot for morale.
girlfriday: That instant ramen disappears in about ten seconds. But the final menu item is the big one. Since the original menu entry can’t be “replicated” here, Na PD offers them a ticket to order anything they want from the Chinese takeout place.
javabeans: All of a sudden, everyone’s fer serious. Shit just got REAL.
girlfriday: It’s all fun and games until jajangmyun is on the line. The game: Emotion Charades.
javabeans: They do well at first — the task is to match five emotions in 100 seconds. The words are things like “longing” and “full of confidence.” Not bad… until Su-geun draws the emotion “terrifying.” The guys guess scared, frightened, etc., but he can’t get them to say the specific word for terrified. So he resorts to syllables. Man, this is a stressful game. I want them to eat dinner SO BAD.
girlfriday: I was getting worried they were taking too long, but yay, they win! Relief. And then they went into an ordering frenzy, trying to figure out what each person should get. Na PD totally cracked up at their insanely detailed discussion of what to order.
javabeans: Caption: “It’s just ordering dinner… but feels like a matter of national importance.”
girlfriday: Seriously, it was like planning the invasion of Normandy or something. And then they FINALLY call….but the place is closed! Luckily they find another one that’s willing to take their order, and kill some time watching soccer while they wait.
javabeans: How funny was it when the ajusshi came to deliver dinner and was grumpily starting to complain about them ordering past normal hours…until he recognizes the guys and realizes he’s part of a 1N2D outing, and suddenly he’s shyly wanting to shake hands with Ho-dong.
girlfriday: That was super cute. I also like how he told Jong-min that he was ordering strangely.
javabeans: I love how in every single drama/show/instance involving jajangmyun, they always play the G.O.D. song. Always! It’s like the jajangmyun anthem.
G.O.D – “어머님께” (To My Mother) [ Download ]
(Song lyrics are about how when he was a kid, they were really poor and ate instant ramyun every night until he got sick of it. Finally his mother scraped together enough cash to order jajangmyun, but when the order came, there was only one dish. She told her son it’s because she dislikes jajangmyun, which he now realizes was a lie, so jajangmyun represents his mother’s sacrifice and her love for him, because she wanted him to eat it all. *tear*)
girlfriday: That song and 1N2D are one and the same, in that they turn a simple bowl of jajangmyun into something worth crying over. Literally. After their nectar-of-the-gods jajangmyun dinner, they play a round of Find-the-Staff (each guy draws a staff member’s name and the first three who bring their people back win the right to sleep inside.)
javabeans: Like we were saying in the previous recap, there’s a crap-ton of people who work on this show.
girlfriday: Friggin’ army. So off they go, running around shouting people’s names. Ji-won the chun-jae peeks at Tae-woong’s ticket which has the name of the PD standing right next to him, and totally baits him to switch names, pretending not to know.
javabeans: Some were way easier than others. Seung-gi gets a nice guy who hears him mentioning his name and voluntarily puts on his jacket, ready to go out before he’s even asked. The others come readily when found. On the other hand, Ji-won’s PD has gotten miffed and decides she’ll make it tough on him by running away.
girlfriday: He sees that Tae-woong is nearby so he pretends not to know who she is, which ends up hurting her feelings. Ha. Playing it cool backfires on him.
javabeans: He gets miffed too, asking indignantly, “Is it fair if they actively hide?!” But he wouldn’t have had this issue if he weren’t trying to pull one over on Tae-woong in the first place. I notice there’s a lot of petard-hoisting on 1N2D.
girlfriday: There’s gotta be, in order to keep rooting for boys whose entire M.O. is to cheat. Poor Tae-woong’s face when he realizes he’s been had. Again. But the higher road apparently IS worth it, because he ends up winning anyway.
javabeans: At least his extensive search in Round 1 helped him in Round 2, because he knows exactly where to find his second target and beelines for him.
girlfriday: In Round 2, Ji-won finds his staff member in two seconds, and then pretends to search, giving Ho-dong ample time to tell her to run away, leaving Ji-won empty-handed. You know what they say about karma…
javabeans: Hee. Especially since the guy he lost to was Tae-woong. And again, he would’ve won if he hadn’t been trying to be sneaky to trick the others.
girlfriday: And then Na PD yells at him for making two women cry in one night. Heh.
javabeans: Crying…from laughter! I wonder if he was upset when the broadcast showed Ho-dong urging his staffer to run. Though I laughed when Ho-dong said, “He’s a genius, but he’s lacking that last little…”
girlfriday: Haha. Like just a hair short of genius. He doesn’t have the right to get mad. Ji-won’s the guy who, if given the opportunity, steals all the flags in a race, and then hides them in new places, just to drive the other guys crazy. He’s the cheatiest cheater there ever was.
javabeans: This is another case where you can see Ji-won’s real emotions (peevishness) coming through. He doesn’t even try to hide that he’s annoyed at the game, and that he feels indignant that he should’ve won.
girlfriday: It’s why he’s called sup-sup-ee (another of his many nicknames).
javabeans: ‘Cause he’s a sore loser?
javabeans: To be honest, I don’t love that about him on a personal level (in a friend, it would be something that wore on my nerves), but his transparency is refreshing on a TV-personality level. It’s like that with Jong-min, too — I can see how he gets on people’s nerves, and if I were constantly around him, I might get tired of him too. I loved him on X-Man because he was so wacky and funny, but he does have a tendency to try really (too) hard on 1N2D. But I still think he’s a sweetie, so I sympathize with him and root him on anyway.
girlfriday: Yeah, I always feel bad when the guys tease him, but then he’s one of those people you can see is trying to go for the laugh. So I don’t actually feel so bad laughing AT him, because it’s what he wants. Also, I can’t help it. The guy’s a hopeless mess, but always in an endearing way. I felt bad ‘cause the guys were teasing him all day about his intensity levels on hyperdrive, but then when his eyes almost popped out of his sockets during the accent/emphasis game, I died.
(Brief explanation of the game: Take a six-syllable phrase and emphasize each syllable in turn. Example: ONE-two-three-four-five-six, one-TWO-three-four-five-six, etc.)
javabeans: That was one of my favorite things — the reactions of the others to Jong-min’s intensity. Ji-won basically collapsed in hysteria, and the others were pretty close behind.
girlfriday: And it was all the funnier because he’s legitimately TERRIBLE at that game. My god.
javabeans: That’s a damn hard game. Especially since all six guys have to succeed, and if one messes up you have to start all over. Even when they shortened it to five syllables, it was almost impossible.
girlfriday: I can’t even say one of those tongue-twistery phrases ONCE, let alone six times with different syllables emphasized. But it’s a guaranteed laugh, this game.
javabeans: It’s lucky that nobody’s tongue has gotten twisted into swear words by accident! I know mine would, totally inadvertently.
girlfriday: Sure. Inadvertently. So the two losers have to sleep outdoors, but since they’ve had to relocate last minute, the outdoor sleeping area is… the teeny tiny hotel balcony. Ji-won asks how they’re going to fit a tent out there, to which Na PD informs them that they can’t. Cue the Ya-Ya Song. (ya-ya means out-out, essentially what 1N2D calls their out-of-tent outdoors sleeping arrangement, often times something that the members put down as a wager to take another stab at a game, etc.) Su-geun: “But I have claustrophobia.” Pfft.
javabeans: Watching the men wash up before bed is where you really see how 1N2D can turn the most mundane activity into something entertaining. And how you can create a narrative out of very little with a few clever captions and cheeky editing.
girlfriday: Like the fact that you can construct a narrative about Tae-woong being a very urbane city man by the way he washes and grooms himself… constructed purely in contrast to Su-geun, the Everyman.
javabeans: I know! I’m watching Tae-woong wash his face, completely uneventfully and in this dry, long sequence — but somehow it’s hilarious because of the way they’ve edited it alongside Su-geun, who’s like *wash pat dry all done.*
girlfriday: Next time they should do Tae-woong vs. Seung-gi: The Metrosexual Battle.
javabeans: This is the week Tae-woong learns, if you give them footage, they will use it.
girlfriday: The boys settle into bed, and Ji-won bides his time watching tv.
javabeans: He’s so obvious about being mad that he has to sleep outside — no attempts to fake good humor or anything. He totally drags his feet and stalls, which is oddly amusing.
girlfriday: He’s finally ousted, but when Ho-dong wants to turn off the tv and go to sleep, Ji-won sneaks the remote control and watches from the balcony, like a little kid who doesn’t want to go to bed.
javabeans: Oh man, that silent sequence is priceless, with Ji-won clicking through the channels through the glass door and Ho-dong looking around confusedly, thinking, “WTF?”
girlfriday: That was classic. I love their Daddy-Son dynamic So. Much. ‘Cause they’re both childish to varying degrees, but Ji-won’s petulance takes the cake. This episode is a perfect example of what we’ve mentioned before about the unplanned twists being far more interesting than when things just go according to plan. When the original plan gets delayed, the PDs actually get an extra episode’s worth of footage in what is essentially just a series of games to pass the time.
javabeans: This episode is really just proof that 1N2D is sustained by the six members, the diabolical PDs, and their very basic survival-game premise. All the other stuff — scenic locales, remote islands, elaborate mission itineraries — adds to the fun, but it’s nice to see that the show can still be entertaining on a much more barebones level. Once in a while, at least.