EPISODE 347. Broadcast on August 14, 2011.
girlfriday: The boys are separated for the night, as they each prepare to drive/hike/trek/schlep up to their designated waterfalls in the morning. They’ve spent their travel time pondering what to write in to the radio show, and now it’s time to put pen to paper. Or fingers to virtual keypads, if you’re Ho-dong. I think he’s prouder of his technical mastery of the smartphone than his words.
javabeans: And then he starts reading it aloud, in radio host voice. But not just any DJ — a late-night DJ, with the total affected intonation and dulcet tones. Heh. It’s funny when you consider how loud and shrill he can be when he’s all excited.
girlfriday: What he writes is actually really sweet — it’s just hard to get past the way he reads it, like This is the greatest thing ever written, I swear. Hee. He apologizes for his betrayal and for setting a bad example as the eldest, and says, “If you had met a better hyung, you might’ve become even better entertainers … But in thinking of and loving my younger brothers, I don’t want to lose to anyone.” And then he finally gets to use that damn adage he’s been repeating all day long: “If you draw it on paper it’s a picture, but if you draw it on your heart, it’s longing.”
javabeans: The PDs voice their approval, and he’s all proud of himself, for managing this without any help.
girlfriday: It’s really adorable how proud he is. Seung-gi seems to be thinking along the same lines as Ho-dong, and decides to write about the Big Betrayal as well. It gets him thinking about his variety career, and he confesses that the stress used to terrify him and keep him up the night before an appearance. Flashback time! Oh, wow, Seung-gi. That hair.
javabeans: He’s still young now, but the flashbacks make him look like such a kid! It totally brings back memories of watching him in Nonstop 5 with Gu Hye-sun. He explains how he used to be in such knots over what to say and perform when he would appear on Heroine 6 or X Man. But after he joined 1N2D, he was the recipient of such consideration by his hyungs that he looked better for it.
girlfriday: It’s so nice to hear him give credit to his hyungs. Being the maknae has its share of short-end-of-the-stick aspects, but in exchange, you receive the most love. The flashbacks to his early episodes make me go awwwwww. And just seeing him in that clock girl getup cracks me up all over again. One of Seung-gi’s finer moments. I think that’s the day he learned to get over being publicly embarrassed for the sake of variety.
javabeans: Ji-won explains what he wants to put in his letter, and the tone is thoughtful (with the peaceful music in the background setting the mood)…until he gets attacked by a moth and flips out. He gets back to writing, and freaks out again. And writes, and freaks. And writes, and freaks. It’s hilarious.
girlfriday: At one point he sees a moth the size of a bird, and he’s like, “It’s a dinosaur!” Hahaha. It really is freakishly large though. Ji-won writes his letter to Su-geun, thinking of the Unfulfilled Lovelines game when Su-geun picked him and was rejected. But he spends a good deal of time in his intro sucking up to the DJ, saying that he’s a good person for listening to people’s problems, while some people like Na PD are the source of others’ problems. HA.
javabeans: I cracked up at that, because the DJ and Na PD share the same first name, which makes it funnier.
girlfriday: Tae-woong ponders what to write, remembering that he used to be quite good at writing love letters in junior high and high school. Thank goodness you were good at something!
javabeans: He has a nice song selection, with Kim Min-woo’s “휴식같은 친구” whose English translation is very clunky, but means friends who feel like a restful vacation. It’s basically a bromance anthem. ”My girlfriends ask me what friendship is like between men… I smile to myself and think of your face and smile again… We didn’t need words between us… You were a friend who was like rest for me, showing me the way when I was in pain…”
girlfriday: God, that really IS the bromance anthem. It appears that typing is not one of Tae-woong’s few talents, as he starts two-finger tapping at the keys to transfer his message at the pace of molasses. Finally maknae writer Daeju has to take over and type for him. Pfffft. I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising, but everyone except Seung-gi needs some sort of technical help to submit their messages online. And here I thought Ho-dong was the only real ajusshi of the group.
javabeans: It’s so adorable, them having such trouble with That Technology Thing. Ho-dong is so amazed at how complicated it is. I think Jong-min may be the only other guy who managed on his own without a PD stepping in. I love that split-screen part, with all these extra heads popping into frame to help the members.
girlfriday: What’s cute is everyone’s excitement over getting comments online (netizens can see their messages as they’re submitted). It’s probably their first time experiencing what we do on a daily basis — write something and then get immediate feedback from people.
javabeans: It’s funny that that’s so weird for them, but I guess it makes sense. They’re the celebs, so they have to stay OFF the internet, while fans like us are always ON it. Haha.
girlfriday: Su-geun is touched as he reads his letter from Ji-won, which goes out on a heartfelt note about their friendship… and then ends with: “And my song request is Kim Gun-mo’s “Wrongful Meeting.”“ HAHAHAHA. Oh, Ji-won.
javabeans: I love that he picked that song! Ji-won reads the others and realizes everyone else went for poignant, when he went for entertaining. But really, I’m glad there’s diversity, and that not everyone did the same thing.
girlfriday: DJ Yoo Young-seok announces that Jong-min’s message has arrived, and as expected, it’s not very good. Heh, and aw. He describes it as grade-school level, and it’s apparently so confusing that they don’t know what to make of it.
javabeans: Aw, I felt so bad for him in that moment. It must be a wonder inside that brain of his — it’s like he has so many thoughts fighting to get out at the same time that they don’t organize themselves in an easily recognizable pattern. His response is cute: He gets on the computer and asks, “Should I leave a negative comment?”
girlfriday: It’s cute that all of the boys fidget nervously while they wait, as they confess how much they want to be chosen. I think it goes beyond wanting to win the trip abroad; once you pour your heart out into words, you can’t help but anticipate the reaction. Both Su-geun and Tae-woong liken it to waiting for the results of a big test. As they all wait nervously by the radio, it strikes me that this is such a great idea — to separate the boys but then have them think about each other, write to each other, and then listen to a live broadcast at the same time.
javabeans: It’s like the game where they have to pick their closest friend all over again, except on the internet, which makes the anticipation greater — you have to wait till the rest of the country finds out, like a normal person. Hee.
girlfriday: It’s finally time, and the DJ begins to read the winner’s message: “Hello, this is 1N2D’s Lee Seung-gi…” What’s great is that every single guy reacts the same way: Is it me? Drat, it’s Seung-gi! Grumble, grumble, wail. Oh wait, I’d better listen…
javabeans: Isn’t it hysterical how everybody perks up excitedly at the salutation, like, “That’s mine!” But all he said was “Hello.” That cracked me up so hard. I love the montage of disappointment that follows.
girlfriday: Seung-gi starts out by complimenting the DJ’s music selections (he played one of Seung-gi’s songs earlier in the program, heh) and then describes Team Babo’s betrayal earlier that day.
But I think it bothered Ho-dong hyung all day. He kept saying, ‘Always maintaining an honest image and being kind on a variety show is not fulfilling our duty as entertainers.’ As I listened to his words, it stirred something in my heart. What my hyungs do for the sake of variety — playing the bad guy or arguing to win — is really their heart for the program, and for their younger brothers. And that maybe, the one who benefits the most from their sacrifices… is me.
I’ve only ever tried my best and kept my place. But even if I did something even slightly well, my hyungs would say, ‘Our maknae does so well. Seung-gi-ya, you did a good job. You’re the best.’ Because of those words, I realize now that compared to what little I’ve done, I have received overwhelming love.
So through this letter and these words, to my hyungs who have been with me for five years, I want to say thank you. I want to say proudly that I’m the lucky one because I’ve met you. Whether in the near or distant future, I don’t know, but this love that I have received from you — I want to pass it on to a lovable hoobae as I’m the one making sacrifices for a program. I want to become that kind of sunbae and friend, a match to light someone’s candle. I have a long way to go to become like my hyungs, but please cheer me on until then. Thank you.
javabeans: It’s a really well-written letter, exactly what you’d expect of well-mannered, modest, everybody’s favorite boy next door. About halfway through, each member who’s coming down from the anticipation-and-disappointment arc realizes that Seung-gi’s letter is really good, and they all admit that he won fair and square. On top of that, it’s poignant since he’s basically saying, “Yes I know I’m most popular, but I didn’t really think about how you hyungs purposely helped me get here by valuing your work above your image, while here I was not even thinking about that and just enjoying the benefit of your work.”
girlfriday: And it’s the biggest compliment he could make, to say that all he wants is to grow up and be like them. He closes the letter with an encouragement to Ho-dong, who’s got the biggest climb ahead, and requests Verandah Project’s “To the Mountain.”
Verandah Project (Kim Dong-ryul, Lee Sang-soon) – “산행” [ Download ]
javabeans: He could’ve won based on that song alone. It’s pretty. But it’s sweet that he chose it thinking of Ho-dong.
girlfriday: Everyone wells up with tears at Seung-gi’s words, and Ho-dong cries. Awwwww. They all acknowledge that their letters don’t even compare. Ji-won jokes that he’s now the DJ’s anti-fan, but praises Seung-gi’s letter proudly, saying that it’s got the mark of a student body president.
javabeans: It’s super diplomatic and well-stated, too, like a politician. While listening to the wrap-up, Su-geun takes out a pad of paper and goes all Love, Actually on us (well, Seung-gi) by writing signs that read, “Seung-gi jjang!” and “You’re my dongsaeng [younger sibling], but you’re a support to me.” Followed by “I love you ♥ Seung-gi-ya” and “1N2D fighting” and “Good night.” Capped off by “Our publishing house is ruined!” (He’d joked that with a success, he could set one up.)
girlfriday: Seung-gi wins the trip abroad, and also the choice take along another member. And right on cue, Su-geun sends him a text: “It’s such an honor to go on this trip with you. I love you Seung-gi-ya ♥”
javabeans: The caption points out that his lobbying has begun. Ha.
girlfriday: Seung-gi decides to play late-night radio DJ, and pretends to do his own program, “Lee Seung-gi’s Sleepless Night.” He begins by reading Jong-min’s letter aloud, and can’t even get past the greeting without busting a gut. He introduces himself as Koyote’s leader, and Seung-gi cracks up, “Why is this funny? How did a late-addition member become the leader?”
javabeans: Omg, Jong-min’s letter really is at a little kid’s writing level. “My childhood dream was to fly. That’s why I always jumped. Whenever I did that, I felt happy. One day, I jumped from the roof of my house. That day I hurt my leg, my chin, and my head. From that day, I was scared of flying. My dream came to me as horror, and became frightening. The dream of flying in the sky that made me so happy became pain. So as many of you know, now I’m afraid of heights.”
girlfriday: Omg, I’m DYING…. It’s like trying to follow a stream of consciousness down a really windy rabbit hole.
javabeans: The thing is, I can totally feel Jong-min’s earnestness in it, so it’s not a joke letter or anything. But it’s so hilarious because it’s just…so…confusing.
girlfriday: Seung-gi wraps it up in DJ-mode, saying, “That was a letter from Kim Jong-min. First of all, I think he needs to get some treatment…” Hahahaha!
javabeans: He goes all radio psychiatrist on him, about childhood fears and adult phobias and so on. It’s so cute how Jong-min calls him, and plays the part of a caller on Seung-gi’s radio show.
girlfriday: Seung-gi guesses that he didn’t really get to express his thoughts properly in the letter, and Jong-min lights up in agreement. So he starts retelling the tale of how he wanted to fly and so he jumped off the roof. Seung-gi: “You didn’t perhaps fall on your head, did you?” LOL. Jong-min: “How did you know?” Well that explains a LOT.
javabeans: I love how Seung-gi knows the whole story (of Jong-min’s letter), but even he’s confused by Jong-min’s answers during the faux radio show.
girlfriday: Jong-min congratulates Seung-gi on his well-written letter, and Seung-gi says modestly, “Well I spent a lot of time on it, like an hour.” Jong-min’s jaw drops: “I spent six hours on mine!”
javabeans: There’s just no way to answer that. HAHAHA.
girlfriday: It’s like AW. HA. AW. HAHAHA.
javabeans: Now it’s time for Seung-gi to pick his travel partner, and he chooses Su-geun, who’s never gone abroad before.
girlfriday: It’s cute in light of their offscreen friendship and also their Unfulfilled Loveline from before.
javabeans: And Su-geun’s recent betrayal. Time for the hiking. Each guy takes to his mountain hike, which is very scenic. Seung-gi: “I expect a dragon to pop out.”
girlfriday: It’s funny how each of the guys reacts differently to going solo. Ho-dong, Su-geun and Seung-gi just start talking at the camera non-stop. They’re the silence-fillers. But Tae-woong, Jong-min and Ji-won get quieter when left alone.
javabeans: Whenever they’re solo, Tae-woong has that sheepish look and says, “Aw man, alone again” in that nervous tone because he knows he’s not good at just coming up with commentary. I remember in the beginning he didn’t even know to speak to his VJ, but now he knows he should…but has trouble doing it…so there’s that awareness of “Damn. What do I say?” He’s getting better, though. If the show lasts that long, I’d be really curious to see how far he gets in a year’s time.
girlfriday: Whereas Ho-dong has the opposite problem. He even stops to talk to the chipmunks. Tae-woong climbs so fast that his crew has to ask him to slow down, and he muses that this must be why people climb mountains when they have worries, because using your body clears your mind. Hey, Seung-gi finds the Fairy Bathing Pool, from the fable!
javabeans: Warning, Seung-gi: Don’t bathe there.
girlfriday: Someone is likely to steal your clothes so you can’t fly away.
javabeans: You could try jumping, like Jong-min.
girlfriday: But then you’d end up with the same uh… head trauma.
javabeans: I think I’d pick head trauma over being kidnapped by a crazy hunter who insists that a magical deer told him to keep me, but it was okay because the magical deer was God.
girlfriday: What’s hilarious is that Ji-won’s waterfall is the most impressive, and you can literally see it from the car. HA.
javabeans: He worked the least, for the greatest reward?
girlfriday: Just the way he likes it. Jong-min has a similar journey, a one-minute trek from his door to the waterfall.
javabeans: I feel like I’ve seen Jong-min’s waterfall in like a half-dozen sageuks. Kye Baek? Return of Iljimae?
girlfriday: Yeah it must be a common location, especially if there’s no climbing involved to get a crew there. Meanwhile Ho-dong and Tae-woong face the steepest parts of their climbs, always at the very end.
javabeans: Wow, Tae-woong’s introduction skills have really improved. He gets to his waterfall and is actually a lot more talkative and cheery than usual.
girlfriday: You like how he introduces his waterfall to everyone including… aliens?
javabeans: He’s weird, but funny. I swear, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to see him as a complete badass again. I’ll just keep seeing him tripping over his own feet and fumbling for words and being confused about girls.
girlfriday: And failing all games with that adorably sheepish grin. At least his waterfall is the prettiest. He wins there. Everyone completes their treks and shows off their waterfalls, and then we see Seung-gi and Su-geun go on their trip to Osaka, Japan, along with Na PD. How much you wanna bet that wasn’t just any old vacation?
javabeans: Oh, now you’re giving me Ideas…