Just one week after the actresses have their special, we have a different kind of special in store for us today. It’s funny how something so similar in concept can yield such vastly different results. And while I think it’s made even more hilarious by putting the two specials back-to-back, this one’s hilarious enough to be a stand-out on its own merits.
EPISODE 338. Broadcast on June 12, 2011.
javabeans: Right away you can guess that this is sort of a counterpart to the Actress Special…but different. With the actresses, they made it a point to get stars who are household names, so the fun was in seeing them out of their element. But with these actors, we’re going for a different category of star — they’re in the class often called the “premium supporting character.” You know, the faces you recognize from a zillion dramas and movies, whose names you may or may not recall, who have a tendency to steal the scenes with their sharp comic timing. I LOVE THESE GUYS.
girlfriday: I TOTALLY love these guys. They’re the stable of character actors you know from every drama ever. And they happen to be a collection of the most imposing scary gangster types too, which is so awesome.
javabeans: First to arrive is Kim Jung-tae, who’s played a lot of villains and assholes — you may recognize him most recently as Lee Da-hae’s Japanese pimp Hirayama in Miss Ripley, which is one of a zillion credits he’s got (okay, 32). Sign, Swallow the Sun, Insadong Scandal, HIT, Deulist, The Classic, Mutt Boy, Friend.
girlfriday: He’s great in Miss Ripley these days. He always seems slightly sleepy and surprised, like all the time, which makes him inherently funny to me.
javabeans: Sung Dong-il arrives next. He always plays funny, slightly twisted characters, like unprincipled PI Nakamura in Runaway, Chow Yun-fat lite in My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho, the badass slave hunter in Chuno.
girlfriday: Chow Yun-fat Lite! Sung Dong-il could’ve easily become a gagman had he not chosen to be an actor I think.
javabeans: Sung Dong-il perks up to recognize the next arrival, Ahn Gil-kang — the goofy loan-shark-turned-entertainment-agency-president in Dream High, Eunjung’s doofy dad in Coffee House.
girlfriday: That kiss scene of his in Dream High still makes me chuckle.
javabeans: Next up: Go Chang-seok — the director in Rough Cut, the smoking ghost in Hello Ghost, Yoo Seung-ho’s father in City of Fathers. Phew, just intro-ing everyone is taking a while, but you want to do them justice, you know? LOL, he tells the camera he ate a huge breakfast, because he was warned that you don’t get to eat on the show. The PD points out that he’s holding a mass of rice cakes in his hand, and adorably he asks if it’s okay for him to keep hanging on to them.
girlfriday: He’s so cute! How hilarious is it that the big tough gangster in movies is actually a shy chubby guy with a mousy voice?
javabeans: Then there’s Sung Ji-ru, who I’ve also mostly seen playing assholes. (Such as Choi Ji-woo’s controlling manager in A Star’s Lover.) He’s also from Sunny, Birth of the Rich, Speedy Scandal…
girlfriday: I LOVE Sung Ji-ru. He’s got that perfectly dry delivery combined with hilariously expressive face, he goes from comical to badass on a dime — he’s my favorite, pre-outing. I suppose 1N2D might make me change my mind…
javabeans: You may recognize Jo Sung-ha most from Sungkyunkwan Scandal, where he played King Jeongjo, though he’s also currently in Romance Town.
girlfriday: He’s known for his particularly gentle speech pattern and voice lilt, though it makes me wonder if he’ll just get trampled over on this show. Same goes for Go Chang-seok.
javabeans: At the opening, Ho-dong introduces today’s concept with their guest actors, and Seung-gi pipes up to say that he thinks their Actress Special was a bit of a failure…because it should’ve been 2 Nights, 3 Days. Har har. How long d’you suppose he’d been saving that joke?
girlfriday: Two weeks. Maybe he thought of it while he was buying that trenchcoat from last time.
javabeans: Su-geun worries that their guests will have even stronger personas than the members. I think so too, but it’ll be a good thing — six scene-stealers, all vying for limited camera time? I don’t think they’ll be actively trying to take the spotlight, but they’ve all got such distinct personalities that they’re sure to make an impression.
girlfriday: I’m thinking it’s a good thing that Sung Dong-il is there — everyone else seems really shy, but he seems EXACTLY like his onscreen personas (just toned down and not as evil, but just as goofy). If he weren’t around to introduce all the guys and take the lead, it’d have been way more awkward.
javabeans: The actors gather at the same coffee shop that the actresses had gathered at, and wait for their turn to make their grand entrances. Omg, it’s so cute when Na PD asks Go Chang-seok, who’d heard about the 1N2D tradition of starving and brought his own snacks, “Did you also hear about getting things stolen from you [on the show]?” Go Chang-seok laughs and admits he hasn’t, and opens up his bundle of rice cakes to eat now. He’s so cuuuute. I think I luff him.
girlfriday: Who knew gangsters could be so adorable?
javabeans: Na PD asks, If you six were to shoot a movie together, what kind of movie would that be? Sung Dong-il: “Not a warm movie.” Haha. Not likely, with this collection of badasses, weirdos, and villains. Jo Sung-ha: “Not a very light movie.”
girlfriday: I love when Na PD first approaches them: “You’re not on your way to collect a debt, are you?” Hahahaha. That would be one scary scene. Sung Dong-il laughs and then puts his arms around Kim Jung-tae and Ahn Gil-kang: “With these two you could have a big bonds company in Korea.” [as in gangster front company in every drama ever] LOL.
javabeans: Aw, these boys also go through the age rigamarole, even though they’re mostly in their forties. Kim Jung-tae is the youngest, at 38. Caption: “A scary maknae.”
girlfriday: Haha. Being the maknae in this group means something different, that’s for sure. And then, Sung Ji-ru arrives.
javabeans: Wait, Sung Ji-ru and Sung Dong-il are related??? Dong-il greets Ji-ru as his grandfather, which sounds like a joke but turns out to be true, genealogically speaking. Crazy, since they’re only a year apart, but that happens in big families. For instance, in my family there are kids who are older than their “aunts” (once removed, or whatever) because of the age spread of the parents.
girlfriday: That’s just nuts. How can those two actors be from the same family? Is awesome in their genes? Ji-ru explains that he’s the grandfather by family tree, and Dong-il teases putting his arm around his shoulders, “And by appearance too.” Ji-ru just gives a sidelong imposing glance, “Will you lower it? That arm?” HA. Love him.
javabeans: Seung-gi drops by to greet the actors, and he looks like a bobblehead, bouncing up and down with all the bowing he does. He gives a hug to his former co-star Sung Dong-il, who says crankily that Seung-gi never called him after their drama ended. Aw.
girlfriday: But he still calls him “Our Seung-gi,” like a proud uncle or something. I think it says something that they sent Seung-gi, the obvious maknae who is in no way going to threaten the power balance.
javabeans: The members are nervous as they await their guests, but contrary to the actress special when they were giddy-nervous, this time they’re scared-nervous. Ji-won points out that the weather makes it look like nighttime, further adding a doom-n-gloom feel to the proceedings.
girlfriday: Back at the coffee shop, Seung-gi just waits nervously as the hyungs leisurely drink their morning coffee. Na PD takes away Ji-ru’s breakfast, and Dong-il dies laughing, “It’s probably the first time he’s ever had his food stolen.” Seriously, who’s gonna steal something from that guy?
javabeans: I love the captions as the guests are doing their Reservoir Dogs strut down the street. Sung Ji-ru’s caption: ”1 Night 2 Days…?” Jo Sung-ha: “That piece of crap…” Kim Jung-tae: “I’ll just do it, okay?” Big caption: “Where are the children?” Cowering in fear, actually. Hee.
girlfriday: Ho-dong: “I don’t know why, but I’m scared.” And Jong-min points out, “If YOU’re scared, how do you think WE feel?”
javabeans: Isn’t this the funny thing about Korean relationships? When the guests are girls, the boys can act like shy little dorks and sort of slide, based on their hilarious awkwardness. But when the guests are men, there’s an immediate reshuffling of the pecking order, the relationship of power between them. Our boys know better than to posture, and they choose the roll-over-on-your-back-and-hope-they’ll-find-us-harmless strategy used by beta dogs the world over, bowing profusely. I wonder how the dynamics will change once the games get started….
girlfriday: It’s SO amusing to see our boys looking so small and meek, and young. Even Ho-dong seems young and average-sized next to these big hyungs.
javabeans: Introduction time. Ho-dong asks what the actors each thought when first getting the offer to come on. Sung Ji-ru admits that he thought he might be a hindrance since he’s not a funny person, describing himself as quite serious. Oh, I have a feeling someone’s image is in for a shakeup today.
girlfriday: I love that the boys are like, you look like you just came here straight from a 3-cha bender, and he’s like, “I matched my outfit today.” Red shoes, red jacket. Ha. So cute!
javabeans: Sung Dong-il’s immediate thought: “How much will they pay me?”
girlfriday: He’s a crack-up. Seung-gi tells them Dong-il’s motto: “You must earn as much as you work.”
javabeans: Dude, Tae-woong is friends with ALL of these guys! I guess that’s not a surprise, since he’s the actor of the show, and he’s had a chance to be in lots of movies and dramas with the guests. But maybe it’s just a little funny to see him being the most… well, the most anything on this show. Hehe. Since he’s the newb and all.
girlfriday: Yeah, it turns out he’s even shooting Special Investigation Unit with both Jung-tae and Dong-il right now. Ho-dong jokes that Jung-tae seems awkward, like he’s only focusing on what he’s supposed to say when it’s his turn. Dong-il cracks, “Yeah, when we shoot movies, he’s only thinking about his own lines there too.” Keh. It really is such a different feel to have twelve guys all lined up like that. Na PD basically introduces today’s trip as a Bromance Special, about loyalty and friendship.
javabeans: Whoa, what now? Today’s mission…has no destination?
girlfriday: Immediately Dong-il tosses out: “Then let’s just go to my house!” as he mimes downing a shot of soju.
javabeans: Na PD explains to his stunned group that they can go wherever they want today — mountains, ocean, whatever — and only have one rule to abide by. At 5pm, wherever they find themselves will be their basecamp for the night. The rules are clear, and yet…entirely confusing. Ho-dong urges Jung-tae to ask Na PD what he’s talking about, because (1) they love making the guests do it, to make Na PD feel the pressure, and (2) Jung-tae’s scary! He complies, and the effect is sufficiently threatening. And then Gil-kang joins in, and suddenly it’s like we’re in a gangster movie. This is hilarious.
girlfriday: It’s impressive how they can turn it on like that. And equally impressive how Ho-dong sets them up to appear funny and cool. He’s so good at that.
javabeans: Asked if he’s traveled a lot, Jung-tae says no. Ho-dong says he’s done a lot of movies, though, and Jung-tae answers that his movies are all shot in abandoned factories, loading docks, warehouses: “I’ve shot in refrigerated warehouses about three times. Shut-down factories about ten times.”
girlfriday: Pwahaha, this guy is actually hilarious! I’m glad he’s coming out of his shell. I have a new name for this group: The Dry Delivery Guys.
javabeans: Man, these men are brutal, particularly Dong-il. It’s so entertaining. When Ahn Gil-kang says affably that he’ll be fine not eating if he’s not fed, Dong-il asks, “Why, how much is he getting paid?!” Jung-tae checks with Na PD to make sure they’re not getting paid on a monthly installment plan, which is a thought that makes me giggle. (1N2D may be low-budget, no-frills entertainment, but it’d be hilarious if they really were that strapped.) And then Dong-il busts out with a winner, since they’re on the topic of money, “How the heck does Uhm Tae-woong get paid for not saying a word?” HAHAHA.
girlfriday: Oh. My. God. I’m dying. He adds, “1N2D is a sushi house, to Uhm Tae-woong! He eats it raw!” [Double meaning on “eating it raw” — like sucking something dry, for free.] He’s pun-happy AND he’s a badass! They’re given their first mission: they get to take out whatever supplies (tents, sleeping bags, food, water) from the prop car that they can in 30 seconds, and that’s all they get for the whole weekend.
javabeans: Gil-kang: “Do we have to do what they tell us to?” Ha, I love that this special has guests who have clearly never seen the show.
girlfriday: These guys are already my favorite guest stars ever.
javabeans: Gah, I love that the writers have basically gone wild and crazy on this episode, ‘cause these captions are cracking my shizz up. Almost every one is a threatening sentiment, like the kind of provocations that roughnecks toss back and forth while a fight gets brewing. As the guests look at the prop car, Jung-tae glares at something (presumably some pipsqueak offscreen) and the caption reads, “What’s up with you?” and Gil-kang’s adds, “You too.”
girlfriday: They start circling the prop car like a couple of sharks, ready for a brawl. I love that Na PD ineffectually tells them not to get too close, and they just walk closer. HA.
javabeans: The guests try to wrangle some more time, extending their 30 seconds to 1 minute. Na PD resists, and Jung-tae offers to send him a little cash to grease the wheels. And also, since he’s established himself as the specialist: “If you ever need a factory, I’m your man.”
girlfriday: Gil-kang finally cracks down: “One minute! That’s what we’re doing! I’m ten years older than you!” He’s pulling rank on Na PD!
javabeans: I love how giddy our regulars are to see Na PD get yelled at by these scary, scary men. Seung-gi’s jumping up and down, cracking up. Caption: “Vicarious satisfaction.” That applies for us at home, too, right?
girlfriday: Even Na PD can only stutter in agreement.
javabeans: Oh man, the minute ticks away, and it’s basically a disaster zone. The proceedings pause while the producers take stock, and Ji-ru oh-so-casually takes a peek inside the prop truck. Discovering a box of potatoes, he and Chang-seok quietly, unobtrusively carry it back and add it to their stash. I LOVE THAT THEY’RE CHEATERS.
girlfriday: And so casual about it, because they’re badasses, yo.
javabeans: Na PD stops the narration of items to ask about the thing Ho-dong quickly glossed over, and Ho-dong plays dumb. “This?” “No, the thing right by it.” “This water?” “No, the thing next to the thing next to the water.” Aw, they lose the potatoes.
girlfriday: At least they managed to get some camping equipment amongst the chaos. Though the food consists mostly of sauces to cook with, and nothing to cook. Should be interesting.
javabeans: HEE. The 12 guys load their yellow bus with their items, and Chang-seok tries to slip in the box of potatoes. Alas, a sharp-eyed PD catches him. HA, and then Ji-ru sneaks it back on the bus! I love where this is going. Caption points to Jung-tae and Ji-won standing in front of the doors: “Impenetrable defense.”
girlfriday: Pfft, Ji-ru’s obsession with the potatoes is killing me.
javabeans: Man, that bus is packed. OH NO, Na PD spies the potatoes!
girlfriday: He takes them away, to the tune of “Gangster’s Paradise,” as Ji-ru grumbles that he ought to leave them. I feel like that isn’t the last we’re going to hear about the potatoes.
javabeans: God, I hope not.
girlfriday: They decide to head to the ocean, and try to get situated with the banmal/jondaemal business of having the hyungs lower their speech, to be more comfortable. Problem is, Gil-kang, the mat-hyung, is more comfortable with jondae. Ji-won: “But then we’re uncomfortable.” (Being spoken to in jondae when you’re the younger one keeps a certain distance.) Gil-kang: “I would like ME to be comfortable.” HA!
javabeans: Best comeback ever.
girlfriday: Sung-ha: “Sober… grown men meeting… it’s not an easy thing to lower your speech.” Man, Korean social hierarchy / soju… it’s like a chicken/egg quandary. Ho-dong asks the guys about their most memorable scenes, and Dong-il recounts a drama where he was inexperienced and kept using theater inflection, overacting and getting cursed at by the director. “And then, my character was killed off early! I couldn’t get work for seven years after that.” Oh, man, it’s hilarious, and also so evocative of the years of experience these guys have as actors. They’ve been through the worst of it.
javabeans: Yeah, they’re the newbies on this show but they’re by far the veterans of the industry. It introduces a really interesting dynamic, which is different from the actress trip.
girlfriday: They start to whine that they’re hungry, and Dong-il says they have to get ramen from the PDs, even if they have to beat it out of them. The caption: “Fists over rules.”
javabeans: How cute that Jo Sung-ha brought candies for the group. Although no, it’s not going to sate anyone’s hunger.
girlfriday: It actually made me think of how in dramas they use lollipops instead of cigarettes now.
javabeans: Oh, ‘cause they’re all gangstas here? Haha. The lollipop/cigarette thing totally cracks me up. It’s interesting from a cinematic device standpoint too, like how Hollywood went Code back in the day and filmmakers basically went out of their way to use innuendo and symbolism to suggest what they really meant, since they couldn’t show it directly.
girlfriday: Totally. Korean broadcasters are so Hays Code with their blurry knives and lollys-as-cigs.
javabeans: Except they’re lazy about it. Dude, rather than just pixelating the knives or whatnot, how about you actually get clever with your shots, and let the restriction spur your creativity? Like the murder in Psycho that showed nothing but was creepy as all get-out.
girlfriday: Eventually Dong-il resorts to sucking out a raw egg, and now all of a sudden I’m seeing them all as my dad and it’s weirding me out. And then, as if on cue, shop talk turns to dad talk, and they start showing off pictures of their kids. It’s adorable.
javabeans: It’s like they turned on the family talk on cue. Jo Sung-ha shows pics of his daughter, then Go Chang-seok worries cutely that his daughter is resembling him more and more these days. “She should look like my wife…” Ji-ru gets on the phone with his son. It must be weird for the members, most of whom are childless.
girlfriday: They stop for a lunch break, and Seung-gi decides to cook… OH, NO. Don’t do it! Don’t let him cook! The other boys know better and take over the proceedings. Su-geun: “We don’t have time for that! When Seung-gi fixates on something, he has to see it through.” I love that they know each other so well.
javabeans: Yikes, looks like the only thing they have to eat for their whole trip is bread and eggs. Now, I love me some bread and eggs, but for twelve hungry men, over 24 hours? Eep!
girlfriday: Both sides actually end up making the same thing — french toast, but Ho-dong’s is the no-frills Man Version. It somehow goes from looking grotesque to somewhat edible, but the best part is, the boys don’t give a shit what it looks like. They’re just dudes and they’re hungry. Na PD marvels at the hardcore wilderness man display.
javabeans: HAHA, I love the Queen Seon-deok shout-out with the scary theme song as the guys look at the grotesque egg display, captions reading, “What the heck is this?” They’re basically making bread pudding, except all backwards. And then Ho-dong asks, “Is there kimchi?” HA, and EW (there’s sugar in that thing!). This reminds me of when I’m starving and have nothing ready to eat, when I’m just dying and am basically ready to start sucking down ingredients, rather than actually waiting for them to turn into something edible.
girlfriday: The music throughout this episode is cracking me UP. Ji-ru reluctantly takes a bite, and his face is priceless. Chang-seok: “The Actress Special was really refined, huh? Not like this?” Yeah, you could say that.
javabeans: Compounding the urgency of their hunger is the urgency of their time limit, since they don’t want to get stuck in any ole random place for their basecamp. They scarf their food down, then get back on the road.
girlfriday: They stop close to their destination to ask for directions, and Ho-dong sends Jung-tae out (as the maknae of the guests) to ask. He gets a flutter of response from the small crowd, which amuses Dong-il, so then Ho-dong breaks out the big guns: “Do you want to see a real reaction? Seung-gi, go!” Cue screams of adoration. Dong-il then adorably defends Jung-tae: “You should’ve sent Seung-gi from the beginning! How does it make [Jung-tae] look?” Hahaha. So cute.
javabeans: I KNOW Seung-gi is crazy popular, but it still gets me every time I see him mobbed like that.
girlfriday: They arrive at the beach and of course, the first order of business in true 1N2D fashion: rock-paper-scissors, and one goes in the ocean. They all agree that the one who loses, with these odds… is inarguably the unluckiest guy ever.
javabeans: Especially since this isn’t even PD-dictated. Ho-dong totally just came up with it on his own.
girlfriday: And then, like a lie, it’s one rock against eleven papers, and maknae Seung-gi loses to all eleven of his hyungs in one blow.
javabeans: You couldn’t have planned it better, though it’s even more hilarious ‘cause we see it unfolding in front of our eyes. Somehow I don’t think these guests would be as accommodating about the water immersion as they were about the prop scramble OR the egg scramble…
girlfriday: Then for kicks they go two more rounds, and Ji-ru and Chang-seok end up joining him for a dip.
javabeans: Hee. Dong-il says, “When Go Chang-seok comes out of the water, he’s gonna look like someone who entered the country illegally. He looks like a stowaway.” Poor guy. But it’s true.
girlfriday: Pfffft! Dong-il, master of the one-liners. O__O Puppy… in a wet shirt… Imma need a moment…