EPISODE 353. Broadcast on September 25, 2011.
girlfriday: Last stop on the Viewers’ Tour! Ji-young performs and so does Ji-won (Am I the only one who misses his idol days? I wanna see him dance to happy music!) and Byung-man and Su-geun do a gag routine.
javabeans: The gag is basically Su-geun stealing Byung-man’s spotlight at every turn, which amuses me because isn’t that his basic function on 1N2D? But then Byung-man gets to the real meat of his routine, which is his jump-roping skills…which I suppose doesn’t sound that impressive, until you SEE him doing all his variations. Like shortening the rope to about a foot long and managing to get his entire body through it.
girlfriday: Who eats RAMYUN while jump-roping?
javabeans: He even lies down on the ground and then “jumps” the rope from a horizontal position.
girlfriday: I didn’t expect to be impressed, but I totally am.
javabeans: Seung-gi sings for the group while his teammates get ready for their performance, and he gets the crowd going with what is basically a vacation anthem.
girlfriday: Yeah it’s his 1N2D song, pretty much.
javabeans: Then it’s time for the members to put on their special performance of the twist song. I can’t believe they actually decided to stick with the macarena turning. It’s so anticlimactic and hilarious.
girlfriday: I love the schoolboy gangster theme.
javabeans: How very Jets and Sharks. Not even, it’s more like Grease.
girlfriday: With less rhythm.
javabeans: Omg, so then Ji-young comes out for her big solo moment, twirling her pigtails like a schoolgirl jjang…and challenging her comes “Tae-sook,” aka Tae-woong dressed like a girl, wearing a wig.
javabeans: Wow, he makes an unattractive lady. He may be a good-lookin’ fella, but it’s all rugged masculinity, which does NOT translate well to doll-face blusher and braids. It’s like Fabio dressed as Olive Oyl.
girlfriday: Dude does NOT look like a lady. I love how he spends most of the routine hiding behind the stage and then slays everyone with his entrance.
javabeans: It’s a great choice, though, since it gets everyone twisting and singing along, even Grandpa 93. That man is spry. Don’t you love that the show takes a moment to point out (arrows and captions and all) how Shi-kyung is fumbling on his own in the back row?
girlfriday: Yeah, what happened to the guy who was teaching Hyun-moo how to dance?
javabeans: He DID warn Hyun-moo that that was proof of how dire Hyun-moo’s situation was.
girlfriday: After the show, everyone starts getting ready for bed, and Seung-gi and Shi-kyung come by to play with the babies, because what, they need MORE people to line up to marry them?
javabeans: I love how the little girl is just about the only person Seung-gi would have to ask for a kiss, instead of the other way ‘round. Ji-won gets some praise for his singing from his 70-year-old grandpas, and one pipes up, “Well he was in Sechs Kies…” Ah, a hidden fan?
girlfriday: Wow, that’s impressive. K-pop Grandpa. Over the loudspeaker, Na PD interrupts the festivities to announce tomorrow’s morning mission. In order to get breakfast, people need to group together so that the sum of their ages is a multiple of 100. It doesn’t matter how many people are in each group, but only the first 30 groups get to eat. Oh no, math! Everyone immediately starts scrambling for the complementary team to theirs, thinking in pairs — 55 with 45, etc. But Genius-won does the smart thing and adds up everyone’s ages on his team (745) and then goes looking for 55 to complete the set.
javabeans: I love that he lives up to his nickname yet again. It’s smart AND efficient! Alas, they run into trouble when other teams get involved.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung does the same thing, and it turns out the clincher team is the 50s — everyone needs someone in the 50s to even out their count. Seung-gi, 40s captain, has to defend his alliance with the 50s team against everyone who comes by trying to steal someone new. Shi-kyung tries to pull rank, citing his 100-year old grandmas, and then finally, the fact that he’s Seung-gi’s sunbae.
javabeans: I think it’s the “think of your image” argument that seals the deal — are you really going to be the guy who made 100-year-old grannies starve? Shi-kyung tells him, “Fine, then you tell them that” and Seung-gi buries his head in his hands. He’d been so determined not to let Shi-kyung sway him…
girlfriday: But who could say no to that? Seung-gi caves and gives Shi-kyung the guy he needs, and then goes running to Su-geun’s team to claim someone for his new total. But the 30s and 60s have already teamed up, and refuse to budge. They even have a math teacher on that team who’s got everyone squared away. But then Seung-gi comes up with the second genius idea of the night: “What’s the count if we add up everybody?”
javabeans: Ohh, Na PD is gonna be so pissed if they outsmart him like that! One huuuuumongous team means everybody eats.
girlfriday: Everyone except Ajumma 52, who’s the odd woman out needed to round to the nearest 100. She protests, but then Su-geun offers her a reward for skipping breakfast — tickets to Seung-gi’s next concert. Hahaha.
javabeans: But it’s effective! What’s one skipped breakfast compared to VIP treatment for a celebrity event? Seung-gi calls all the respective team captains for a powwow, but curiously, Ho-dong and his group of 20-somethings are weirdly complacent. They’re like, “Eh, I’m not going to them — make them come to us!” Little do they know that the other captains are all too ready to drop that decade altogether and continue their computations without them…leaving the 20-somethings sitting in their room by themselves, wondering why it’s so quiet. Ha! There’s a saying about hubris, isn’t there?
girlfriday: I love that basically, Ho-dong is just feeling lazy and doesn’t feel like getting his ass up.
javabeans: This is the definition of backfire, no? Because this is just a math problem to the rest now, who can include or exclude in a variety of combinations. The only hiccup is that without the 20s in the count, the total age becomes 4907 so the one person who needs to skip breakfast is the 7-year-old, and everyone’s agreed in their desire not to starve either the youngest or oldest groups. I don’t know why they don’t just move on to excluding TWO ages, because then you have so many options.
girlfriday: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking — you can exclude 50 and 57 or whatever combination, and the 7-year old still gets to eat.
javabeans: This is where the “minus 2%” comes with Ji-won’s genius. The idea occurs to Shi-kyung, so maybe he’s the real genius.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung decides that the 20s group can starve and Ho-dong needs to starve (heh) so the rest of the captains join forces without them.
javabeans: Not knowing this, Ho-dong sets out to sway Mr. 55, the age his team needs to get to the next 100. It helps that this is the man who loves Ho-dong, and he’s happy to sit down with his team…but then Mr. 55 mentions the big plan, which floors Ho-dong into stuttering, “I-I…couldn’t make the team captain meeting.” As though he were held up by some actual emergency, not just his laziness. Ho-dong’s pleased as punch to hear the all-inclusive new plan…until Su-geun tells him they’ve been cut out of that one.
girlfriday: I can’t believe it didn’t occur to the captain of betrayal that everyone else might betray HIM.
javabeans: Well, he’s also captain of Team Babo… The amendment means that they no longer need Ajumma 52 to skip breakfast, which means no Seung-gi concert tickets for her. Oh noes! Then she argues to let Ho-dong’s team in again. Hahaha. Seung-gi > breakfast, any day.
girlfriday: You don’t need to tell me that!
javabeans: So now Ho-dong uses that as his new strategy (I just love when there’s all this strategy flying around, when it’s really masking selfishness) and argues with each captain in turn that it’s better to make Ajumma 52 starve than poor wee little Girl 7, and that Ajumma 52 now has her heart set on concert tickets.
girlfriday: I love how predictable Ho-dong is. He gets Su-geun on his side first, because he’s the easiest go-to, who will ditch anyone for his hyung, as we’ve seen many a time.
javabeans: Ji-young and Tae-woong readily agree, but he runs into trouble with Ji-won and Shi-kyung…
girlfriday: Those two are not about to budge, for pure stubbornness alone.
javabeans: I actually think Ji-won is really enjoying that Shi-kyung is putting up more resistance than him, so that he gets to sit back and watch Ho-dong pleading, and Shi-kyung answering — in his polite, diplomatic way — “You met the wrong team captain today.” Meaning: I’m not budging.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung has this hilarious strategy of talking over Ho-dong’s head on purpose. He flies numbers at him in rapid fire, knowing that it’s confusing the hell out of him.
javabeans: I think I luff him. No, I do luff him. He’s my new hero. He sticks to his plan but doesn’t seem mean or bitchy at all — he’s entirely logical and reasonable. He should be a diplomat. He’s also the only one who points out, “Then why didn’t you come to the team captain meeting?” He literally stuns Ho-dong speechless with that.
girlfriday: I think Ho-dong gets his revenge on Shi-kyung much later, on Strong Heart, which is kinda funny in light of this argument here.
javabeans: I still have to watch that! I’m gonna watch it right after this. You can’t call Shi-kyung cold, but he’s really stern in a gentle way, which is hilarious to me — like when Ho-dong gets down on his knees, and the 20s team follows, and Shi-kyung is totally unmoved.
girlfriday: Is it wrong if I find that hot?
javabeans: Dude, it’s totally hot. I love that it takes like an hour (okay, maybe 15 minutes) for them to understand Shi-kyung’s argument. It boils down to this: Shi-kyung wants his elderly group to eat first, as a matter of respect, right? So to ensure that, he needs Mr. 53 to bring his team to the next 100, so he voluntarily excludes himself from the pack. And that doesn’t screw the remainder, because the math shows that the remainder is in the same situation with or without him.
girlfriday: Finally Seung-gi comes in and defends Shi-kyung’s logic, and then he takes up the mantle of keeping Ho-dong out. Haha.
javabeans: Ji-won starts to get confused with all these different scenarios and declares that Ho-dong’s inclusion just mucks everything up, so he’s better of being left out. Do you love how this whole group is taken down by math? That’s what I’ve been saying all these years!
girlfriday: That math is bad?
javabeans: Maybe not intrinsically, no. But math used to tear people apart? Eeevil. And yes, our feeble brains makes that way too easy sometimes. Finally Ho-dong strikes upon a deal that might work: His team is fine skipping breakfast, so Ho-dong will give his own meal up to Ajumma 52 to compensate for the loss of her Seung-gi concert. Ji-won actually accepts right away — because he knows what a big deal it is for Ho-dong to willingly give up food. In fact, he quips that the best-case scenario of all would be if everybody got to eat, minus Ho-dong. Hahaha.
girlfriday: Ho-dong immediately regrets saying he’ll starve, and tries to backtrack, thinking that maybe his 20s team won’t stand for him taking the fall. But without hesitation, they’re like, ‘s cool with us!
javabeans: Everyone claps upon reaching a resolution, Ho-dong looks abashed, and the caption tells us: “Do not skip out on important meetings.”
girlfriday: Hahaha. I love that this is the lesson we’re to learn in all this.
javabeans: It’s like a big ol’ slumber party as everyone settles down for the night, and like a flash it’s morning again. It’s always hilarious to me when the older folks are awake way before morning call, while the younguns are dead asleep.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung wakes up to a room full of fully dressed and awake elders, like it’s noon or something, when it’s only 7:30 in the morning.
javabeans: The 40-something ajummas murmur, “I feel so bad waking him up,” and then proceed to very unapologetically get Seung-gi up, which I find hysterical. Oh, it was SUCH a trial, I’m sure, the way they’re drooling over him and hugging him while he’s blinking confusedly with his hair sticking straight up.
girlfriday: It’s Attack of the Ajummas!
javabeans: I love it. No other age group (except maybe 50-year-old ajummas?) would dare to be so handsy and proprietary with him, and it’s great. Talk about serious manhandling. Don’tcha wish you were an ajumma now?
girlfriday: There’s no need to be an ajumma to get handsy.
javabeans: But it’s less inappropriate. (Note: I do not say it’s NOT inappropriate.)
girlfriday: Oh ‘cause I’m afraid of being inappropriate?
javabeans: Touché. How cute, the morning trumpet call is the Twist of Love song. Shi-kyung escorts his team to the front first, presenting his age total of 1200, and Na PD announces their task completed. Oh, but he’s not gonna be so cheery with the next group, is he?
girlfriday: I love seeing his annoyed face. The only thing better is his gambling addict face. Seung-gi starts to explain, and Na PD starts to space out (maybe he hates math too!) but he manages to follow the logic… barely.
javabeans: I totally thought Na PD would get angry or pissy about losing control of his crafty breakfast mission, but as it turns out, Seung-gi goes on to explain the whole thing about Ho-dong giving up his own meal so that all the guests can eat (“Not willingly — we had to force him a little”), and it’s such a well-known fact that Ho-dong loves to eat that Na PD gets into the spirit of it, needling, “Ah, so then Kang Ho-dong-sshi has no need to even step foot inside the cafeteria, does he?” I think it’s a pretty good sacrifice — it’s one that Ho-dong feels, and therefore it works. Hyun-moo: “It looks like he’s about to cry.” Honestly, in situations like this I think the entertainment value of the mission comes more from the strategery than from the outcome, and I’m sure Na PD knows this and probably had 100 meals planned anyway. It’s what makes him uber-genius.
girlfriday: It helps that Ho-dong is SO SAD about missing breakfast, which somehow makes the food seem more precious. While Ho-dong starves, Shi-kyung goes into garbage disposal mode, eating up all the leftovers from his team. You know it’s the thing that grandmas love the most — children who eat well.
javabeans: I’m not sure if he’s eating because he’s hungry or if it’s really because (as the captions suggest) he’s intentionally eating leftovers because his elderly teammates hate seeing food go to waste and he wants to alleviate their guilt. I mean, it could be true and he’s sensitive that way, but that would just make him too good to be true, wouldn’t it?
girlfriday: Well you gotta figure a guy his size eats a good amount anyway.
javabeans: Granny’s all apologetic, like, “I’m sorry you’re eating food that us old people left behind,” and he’s all, “What’s wrong with that?”
girlfriday: I think that’s what I like about it — not that he’s trying not to waste food, but that he doesn’t care and eats off their plates like they’re his real grandparents. There’s something very familial about it that I love.
javabeans: The morning agenda involves a chartered boat, so the teams split up into buses again, and along the way the team captains pass out souvenir gifts. Aw, Seung-gi finds his boisterous ajumma in tears, “Because soon I’ll have to leave.”
girlfriday: Aw, she starts this whole wave of tears on her team, until Seung-gi’s crying too and they’re sharing a towel to wipe their tears.
javabeans: Oh man, it’s like the last day of sixth grade all over again.
girlfriday: They arrive on their boat named Tiffany, and the teens joke that it’s Lunch at Tiffany’s.
javabeans: Is it weird that everyone’s ooh-ing over the fancy lunch spread and I’m just worried about that poor car/plane/bus-sick kid? Although it’s amusing to watch Ho-dong licking his chops at the sight of the lavish buffet.
girlfriday: People start exchanging more life stories over lunch, and Grandpa 102 tells the story of how his older brother got married off at the ripe old age of NINE, to a 13-year old girl. He wet the bed on his wedding night, and his 13-year old wife covered it up for him and told the family that she spilled water. Dude, that is a crazy story.
javabeans: He’s all, “That’s how we rolled, old-school!” And I’m like, *jaw on floor.* Aw, a PD asks Granny 98 what she liked best, and she leans in and says, “Meeting celebrities.” HAHA. Asked about her captain, she says, “I liked him best.” Me too, honey.
girlfriday: It was so cute how she was holding his hand and leaning on him the whole bus ride over. It’s time to start saying goodbye, and Seung-gi stops by to see the kids, totally stealing Hyun-moo’s thunder. He’s like, “Guys, over here. I’m the one who took care of you for 1 night and 2 days! Guys?”
javabeans: You can’t argue with kids, who can’t be convinced. They just know what they like, and they like Seung-gi. Hyun-moo sends off his group with a thanks and a confession that he hadn’t wanted to marry before, but after spending the time with these kids he wants to get hitched right away. I do think he had the hardest group, but I think he had fun with them playing uncle. There’s something (scary) about kids that keeps you honest; you can’t slap on a smile and rely on your image. Either you try to get along, or you don’t. He did good.
girlfriday: There’s tears and heartfelt goodbyes all around, and then Shi-kyung starts to say goodbye to his team, one by one. He gets to Kim Sam-soon Grandma, and says that they’ll see each other again, but she says, “I won’t see you again before I die. When would we see each other again?”
girlfriday: It’s just… you can’t argue with that. It’s the simple truth, and you can see the change in Shi-kyung’s face, when it dawns on him what that means. He leaves them with a smile, but he starts to cry as soon as he’s off the bus.
javabeans: Yeah, there’s something so final in their send-off. Ji-young, for instance, has a no less emotional parting with her teenagers, but at least she can invite them all to her concert in December and keep up relationships. They give her their goodbye letters, written on their bus ride, and pretty soon they’re all crying too.
girlfriday: There’s something so moving about that moment when they all hand her their letters at the same time.
javabeans: Omg, how cute is it when the 5-year-old girl starts sobbing because Hyun-moo leaves, and her 4-year-old admirer comes barreling up to check on her? Total noona crush, we called it!
girlfriday: It’s so cute. And the way she cries so sorrowfully after Hyun-moo? AW.
javabeans: It makes him all emotional too. I think he was doing fine until the girls run off the bus after him to say goodbye again, and then he’s all in tears himself. He tries to explain amid the tears that it’s partly because he’s sad to part with the kids, but also because “It’s been so long since I’ve felt someone’s sincerity.”
girlfriday: It’s a surprisingly sincere moment from him, because he’s usually so guarded in that funnyman way.
javabeans: That’s probably why the camera stays on him for so long, in this really extended uncut moment that makes it feel really raw. After all the goodbyes, we skip to a few days later, and like the actress and actor specials, the show catches up with some of its guests. Not all of them, of course, since that would be an entire episode on its own, but a few of them like the boisterous 40s ajumma at work in a toll booth.
girlfriday: Is Grandpa 102 on a freaking treadmill??
javabeans: IN A HANBOK. WEARING HIS PIMP DADDY HAT. Of course. In true grandpa fashion, he insists on foisting off a handful of cash as spending money…to the show’s writer.
girlfriday: We end with 3-year old Ha-eun and her 97-year old great-great-grandpa back at home, and big group photos of everyone, just like the end of summer camp. I can’t believe this is the last we’ll see of Ho-dong on 1N2D. I don’t know if I’m happy or sad about not getting a send-off episode for him, which would’ve turned me into a puddle of tears.
javabeans: On one hand, it was a nice note to go out on. On the other hand, surely he deserved more.
girlfriday: I selfishly wanted the whole tearful goodbye episode where all the guys got to tell him how much they love him and everybody cried and fell asleep hugging him.
javabeans: I think we’ll see him back. Won’t we? We have to. He may be taking an extended break because it’s about time he had one, but you’re not that loved and that good at what you do for no reason. He’ll be back.
girlfriday: And we’ll be waiting.