EPISODE 355. Broadcast on October 9, 2011.
javabeans: I love Ji-won. It’s time for the five guys to reveal the item they bought at their separate markets, which Na PD introduces as “a test of whether you five will be able to do this together…” and Ji-won calls him on the exaggerated sentiment: “Or we all break up?” Ha.
girlfriday: Ji-won is the first to bust out his puffy rice crackers, and immediately Jong-min and Tae-woong follow suit — the three of them are screaming in excitement. It’s good for them, but it’s telling that there’s only three guys jumping about, and not five…
javabeans: Su-geun’s reaction is funny enough that they dedicate a replay to it: When the first person produces his bag, he looks blankly at it. Then Jong-min jumps up in excitement, showing his bag, and Su-geun is surprised, like “Huh. So they both thought that?” And then Tae-woong jumps up to show his bag of the same snack, and Su-geun’s amazed, since he was clearly off the mark.
girlfriday: And then Seung-gi jumps up saying, “Me too, me too!” and takes out his… ajumma flower pants. Wah~ waaaaah.
javabeans: I don’t know why Su-geun gave him lip about “Of course it should’ve been edible” because his is even more odd, a serving of stew. Sure, all markets sell that, but it’s like taking home…a horse from a carousel since all carnivals have that. Instead of, say, a corn dog or cotton candy.
girlfriday: It was odd, given that he was eyeing flower pants earlier at the market. There could’ve at least been a 3:2 debate between pants and crackers.
javabeans: Then, Na PD declares that although three have successfully telepathied each other, two haven’t, and Ji-won says, totally deadpan, “So those two will be leaving now…”
javabeans: Hee. So Tae-woong takes his moment in the center to MC the dinner menu part, except he’s so excitable that it’s like he’s hopped up on speed. But they’ve got to work for it (surprise, surprise) and Na PD rolls out a spread of ingredients. They’ll get their shot at dinner after performing a test.
girlfriday: I love that they see the array of raw ingredients and are like, “We have to COOK it?”
javabeans: OMG they’re adorable. Na PD uses the word “keukbok” (conquer, as in “conquer your weakness!”) and the boys do the Dokko Jin hand gesture, replete with his nasally delivery. So y’all did watch Best Love, huh?
girlfriday: Well it’d be wrong if Seung-gi didn’t watch it, after all. I love it. It’s like grown-man peek-a-boo, Dokko-Jin style. And meanwhile, Ji-won argues that his weaknesses “don’t really affect my daily life.” Heh. Whereas Seung-gi thinks it must’ve been hard for Na PD, to zero in on just ONE weakness for each of them.
javabeans: Jong-min is first, and his weakness is his verbal skills. So his test: “Read something straight through without any errors.” The boys crack up, probably because they know this is a losing proposition, and Ji-won quips, “Let’s just give up one ingredient now and have a laugh!”
girlfriday: Hahaha. Aw, poor Jong-min. The guys are already dying, and he hasn’t even started yet. They give him a test phrase, not even to read but to repeat what they say, and he can’t even get that right.
javabeans: It’s supposed to be “To all our viewers, hello, this is 1N2D’s Kim Jong-min.” Instead, he says, “Hello! Viewers!”
girlfriday: It’s hysterical. Tae-woong’s weakness, Na PD says, is confidence. So his task: a debate with one of the PDs, on any given subject pulled at random. To win, he has to not stumble over his words, concede any points, or even look away. Any loss of direct eye contact will be construed as losing your ground. Damn. That’s hard.
javabeans: Next up is the twin set of Ji-won and Su-geun. Na PD concedes that they are both quite good at everything, but their weakness? Common sense. HA!
girlfriday: What’s funny is that they have lots of common sense in the way we use it. But Na PD means more like knowledge, as in, they’re always the worst at the trivia quiz games.
javabeans: It’s more like common knowledge. Like, what would most people answer?
girlfriday: Yeah, yeah. Because Ji-won always pulls out some crazy alien answers for everything.
javabeans: They get to work together to answer three questions correctly, and it’s such an easy-sounding proposition that Su-geun grumps, “This hurts my pride.” Oh yeah? What if you LOSE?
girlfriday: Right? Then you’re the doofus who couldn’t even get three questions right, with a partner no less.
javabeans: I was wondering what Seung-gi’s fault would be, and the others are curious to know it, too. Na PD decrees: “Cooking.” Cue montage!
girlfriday: Hahaha! It’s so TRUE! This one time, he insisted that he was going to cook an entire raw chicken on top of beer cans. He spent this entire day obsessed — seriously, crazy-eyes OBSESSED — and the other guys couldn’t even stop him from spending their grocery money on his project that literally took him all day, and in the end, he had to stick the chicken on top of the barbeque anyway. I’ll never forget Ho-dong’s face as he realized that Seung-gi had a legitimately crazy side.
javabeans: Was it (1) disllusionment that my hero isn’t perfect or (2) glee that the perfect boy has a flaw after all?
girlfriday: Omg, it was totally both! That’s exactly what passed across his face. Can’t you just see it, in your mind?
javabeans: YES. It’s probably the same as my own reaction would be. “Aw…..yay!….aw….”
girlfriday: Now the boys know better, and the second Seung-gi goes near a frying pan, they all try to stop him.
javabeans: Even not knowing the history, I love that everyone knows this about him but HIM. He seems like he’s always about to defend himself, and everyone else is like, “Dude, let it go, man. Let it go.”
girlfriday: I don’t even think he’s obsessed with cooking so much as the fact that it’s something people tell him he’s bad at. It’s like his one blind spot, because he can’t get over NOT being good at something.
javabeans: Seung-gi is to go last, after the other four have won/lost ingredients for dinner, then use the remaining ingredients to cook. Do you love the look of “Oh, fuck” on Ji-won’s face?
girlfriday: He’s like, Even if we win… we lose. HA.
javabeans: Hee! Su-geun gives his vote of confidence, and so does Ji-won…who adds the caveat, “Just don’t mess with the stuff that’s already done.” HAHA. The common knowledge quiz is first (three correct answers in a minute), and Ji-won is able to get the first answer (he’s asked to identify a common proverb). But No. 2 gives them trouble — the author of the famous Joseon-era book Hong Gil Dong Chronicle. An answer that the others are all itching to say.
girlfriday: They lose that round and lose a pumpkin, and then try again. This time it’s: what does KBS stand for? Right away, Su-geun answers: “Korean Broadcasting System.”
javabeans: The follow-up is, what does MBC stand for? Ji-won: “Pass!”
girlfriday: Hahaha. I laughed, but then yunno what? I dunno either! (Oh, duh, this one’s in Korean, that’s why. It’s Munhwa. I knew that!)
javabeans: Ji-won guesses correctly on the question of who determined that the earth revolves around the sun, but can’t decide if it’s Galileo Galilei or the opposite. They pick wrong. However, there’s such confusion (they keep saying those two names over and over in various combination) that when they settle on the right one, Na PD gives it to them. Tae-woong is next for his one-minute debate, and their PD Yoo Jung-ah is selected as his opponent — whatever topic he picks out of a random draw, she’ll argue against. Seung-gi reveals the topic, and stops for a moment to laugh before reading it: “Why must we all follow Na PD’s dictates?”
girlfriday: Tae-woong gets nervous, but then Ji-won steps in with the genius move: “You have to take Na PD’s side! That way she has nothing to say!” Brilliant.
javabeans: Too bad she’s a smooth debater, and Jong-min is all, “Wow, she’s good!” She argues that it’s up to him as a participant to state his opinion when the producers are wrong, and Tae-woong returns, “Na PD isn’t someone who’s likely to be wrong!”
girlfriday: Suddenly Na PD finds himself rooting for Tae-woong, all smiles. Hee. Tae-woong asks her to give concrete evidence of a time when Na PD was wrong (nice move), and she offers up that he never goes to the highest mountain/farthest trek. Tae-woong smoothly replies that a general doesn’t fight the battle himself; he stays back and gives orders to lead the troops.
javabeans: I love how he’s all, “He’s in charge of the show! He can’t risk himself in dangerous situations!” (Choking on my giggles, by the way.)
girlfriday: It’s friggin’ hilarious. Even Na PD is dying. But Tae-woong’s on a roll.
javabeans: What cracks me up is how Jong-min is swayed over to each side every time. Flippity-floppity. Haha. PD Yoo argues that a leader should take the initiative, but Tae-woong argues that Na PD was once in lower positions, has paid his dues, climbed the ladder, and earned his position now. Na PD grins widely, and cheerily declares time. Tae-woong wins!
girlfriday: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if that entire cup of debate topics was filled with Na PD-related arguments? God, I hope so.
javabeans: D’you suppose it’ll make things uncomfortable for Yoo PD? Hee. Everyone cheers on Tae-woong, and Ji-won wonders, “How did you hold back on all the things you wanted to say thus far?”
girlfriday: It IS kind of amazing to see Tae-woong talk that much. Now it’s Jong-min’s turn to seal the deal. They give him a highlighted passage to read aloud, and he has to both say it all under one minute, and not get anything wrong. Oh, we’re doomed.
javabeans: Especially since “It has words I don’t even know!” Like Ben Bernanke. Uh-oh.
girlfriday: Wow, I haven’t done a reading test in Korean since like the fifth grade, but I could do better than him with a mouth full of marbles. It’s bad.
javabeans: He’s so — scared — of making — mistakes — that he recites — like this — thewholewaythrough.
girlfriday: Then it’s back to the beginning with the trivia.
javabeans: Wait, they have to do this AGAIN? They barely got through the first time! Oh man, Ji-won is cracking me up. The first question (father of music) he gets easily, Bach. Or, in Korean, Ba-hu. The father of medicine (Hippocrates), not so much: “Eu-hu?” Then the question of who founded Balhae (Kingdom), which would be King Dae Jo-young, but he tosses out Seo Taiji! (Because he wrote a song called “Dreaming of Balhae.” HAHA.)
girlfriday: HAHAHAHA. They crack themselves up. They’re like, yeah, that sounds right! Seo Taiji!
javabeans: Heh. That was my first thought too. Clearly I suck at Korean history. The next question is who wrote “A Farewell to Arms,” and both Ji-won and Su-geun turn to each other to say in unison (clearly knowing this is wrong), Park Sang-min? You know, the singer who wrote that song.
girlfriday: They are SO CUTE, pointing to each other and then cracking up at their own doppelganger moment. They clearly do share a brain, to come up with the exact same joke at the same time. They get another with a hint from Seung-gi, and then manage to get “litmus paper” right, though with no help from Ji-won, who called it “cellophane.”
javabeans: I love Seung-gi’s nickname for them (which may only work in Korean), “noe-clear”! Sounds like nuclear, means brain-clear (aka empty).
girlfriday: Keh. It’s time for Debate #2: “Should you tell your parents if you’re going on a 1N2D trip with a significant other?”
javabeans: Oh man, I’m embarrassed already. Especially when his argument for keeping the overnight shindig private is, “You can’t tell your parents because they’ll worry” and “If you don’t tell them, they won’t find out.”
girlfriday: Yoo PD: “Why? What would you do that would worry them?” Tae-woong: “Because you would go on the trip and…” End of debate. HAHAHAHA. He can’t say SEX! Omg, I’m dying.
javabeans: I think he was actually relieved that Na PD called an end to it with the failure buzzer.
girlfriday: I love that he really lives up to his innocent nickname. He’s tripped up by the IDEA of sex before he can even get the words out.
javabeans: Don’t you love that Ji-won is tripped up by a question about Russian literature (Dostoyevsky), but gets the manhwa question right away? Omg, I love Tae-woong’s next debate topic: “Who’s more dumb, Eun Ji-won or Lee Su-geun?” How apropos. He takes the Ji-won stance, and his first salvo: “You just saw why.”
girlfriday: Hee. I love that he’s just trying to win the argument, but by default, he’s calling Ji-won a moron over, and over, and over.
javabeans: He argues that Su-geun is pretending for entertainment value, but Ji-won doesn’t. He makes it through the minute, and Ji-won says, “I’m not sure I should be happy about this.”
girlfriday: Jong-min’s up again, and this time instead of a news article, he gets drama dialogue. Well that’s a relief. Seung-gi: “Hyung, don’t try to understand the words. Just read them aloud.” LOL. He starts, and Ji-won nearly suffocates on his own laughter. Ji-won: “Is that Korean?” He nearly gets through it, but stumbles on the last line. Oh no. Back to the beginning again?
javabeans: Ji-won laughs that if he talked to a real-life patient that way, they’d die of anger. Basically, Jong-min has read a doctor’s dialogue with a sportscaster’s voice. But instead of “GOOOOOAAAAL!” he’s talking about your illness.
girlfriday: The Brain-Clear Twins get through another round of quiz questions with another hint from Seung-gi about the oldest university in Korea: “They have lots of scandals there!” Ji-won: “Sungkyunkwan!” Heh. Isn’t that why that school argued against the drama taking their name? The “scandal” association?
javabeans: Uh-oh. Next debate: Why is seawater salty? Omg, Tae-woong starts with the folktale of the magical, never-ending salt mill that got tossed overboard. Yoo PD says he’s referring to a folktale, and he retorts, “Those stories don’t come from nowhere, you know!”
girlfriday: HA. He’s taking the senseless angry approach. She asks if he knows exactly how salty the ocean water is, and he blurts, “Do you have to know the exact amount to know that it’s salty?” He mimes sticking his finger in the ocean and tasting it, like soup.
javabeans: Yoo PD can have no answer to that, and Seung-gi counts, “One…two…three…You lose!”
girlfriday: Why is it so hysterical watching Tae-woong be angry?
javabeans: Jong-min fails at another round of read-along (although, to be fair, who picked the poetic tongue-twister?) and now it’s Tae-woong’s turn to argue…about whether you should continue to date someone who opposes your raising a dog. Everyone’s all, “Think of Baek-tong” (aw, is he still lost?) and “A minute won’t be enough.” He knows his stance right away: “Break up.” Yoo PD argues, “What if there’s no issue with the girlfriend other than the dog?” Tae-woong: “What, and you didn’t know this about me before? You knew I raised dogs, why are you arguing now?!”
girlfriday: I love that he’s talking to her like she’s the girlfriend. She says that the girlfriend sacrificed everything for him, but why can’t he do the same? Tae-woong: “I find that level of sacrifice burdensome.” Pffft.
javabeans: Su-geun: “How long have you two been dating?”
girlfriday: He wins the debate handily. Note to future girlfriends: Be dog-friendly. Jong-min garbles another round of the reading test, and this time they’re down to their last few ingredients. They ask Na PD if they can switch around everyone’s roles, because there’s no way they’ll get to eat if they continue this way. So they change the lineup: Ji-won debates, Tae-woong reads, Su-geun and Jong-min get quizzed. They rest assured that Ji-won will win the debate no matter what: “Words can’t get through to this man.”
javabeans: Ji-won’s first argument: “Was Shim Chung really a filial daughter?” (Shim Chung is the famous folkoric goody-two-shoes, who sacrificed herself to the sea god so her father could regain his sight. She’s one of Korea’s most famous folkloric characters, and for a fun drama-centric look at her, you can refer to the parodic Story of Hyang Dan.)
girlfriday: He takes the Ji-won-esque approach, arguing that if she were really a filial daughter, she’d stay behind and take care of her dad. Yoo PD tries to argue for Shim Chung’s pure intentions, but Ji-won cuts her off: “You can’t even get to heaven if you die that way!” Hahaha.
javabeans: I’m dying. I love how Seung-gi can barely catch his breath, and clings to Ji-won in hysterical laughter. Yoo PD argues, “So are you saying she and her father should starve to death together, then?” and Ji-won pulls the ol’ parental line, “Why do you think that way? She should just work harder!”
girlfriday: I love that he talks like a 90-year old grandpa, all that’s no way for a youngun’ to think!
javabeans: Tae-woong is given drama dialogue to recite, which comes from the sageuk Dae Jo Young. He takes a serious moment to prepare, and once he starts, he’s all sageuk gravitas and the others kneel down before the great king, uttering, “Your highness.”
girlfriday: Oh man, he’s suddenly so awesome. I guess this is why he’s a good actor — he can just turn on a dime.
javabeans: I love it — Jong-min was struggling just to say the syllables out loud, but Tae-woong’s actually acting. He finishes to great effect, and Su-geun cries, “Your eminent greatness!”
girlfriday: He did it all in under 30 seconds, no less. And then I love how he immediately reverts to giggly boyish Tae-woong, all “Hee hee, heh heh.” Jong-min and Su-geun manage to get 3 questions right, and they finally win ingredients for dinner. But the biggest challenge is ahead: Will Seung-gi be able to make something edible out of them? He heads to the kitchen and immediately starts shouting for Na PD in a demandy tone. Flashback: earlier that day, Seung-gi made a bet with Na PD that he could do the game from last episode (the chest-pounding one), and won all-day Na PD slave rights. HA.
javabeans: I love that they made a bet, sort of off-the-record. “NA CHEF! CHEF NA~!!” Oh Seung-gi, why are you boiling the veggies with water? I’m not getting a good feeling here… He takes advantage of his slave rights, though: “You washed the rice? Okay, now silently count to 600.”
girlfriday: HEE. I love watching Seung-gi order Na PD around.
javabeans: The thing I love about Seung-gi’s cooking isn’t that he’s a bad cook. It’s that he THINKS he’s a good cook, and has all these little tips and tricks up his sleeve…that don’t work.
girlfriday: It’s the most comical area in which his obstinate bull-head clashes with actual skill… or lack thereof. I wish Ji-won were in here, because he’s the most outspoken when Seung-gi goes down this road. He’s the first to say, “Why are you doing that to FOOD?!” Na PD points out that his knife skills have improved, and Seung-gi says his mom saw how bad he was on tv, and decided she had to teach him. Aw, how cute.
javabeans: “This is scientific, measured cooking.” Oh, Seung-gi. Did you learn nothing from food truck ajumma’s sohn-mat home cooking? You go eat your science, I’ll go eat my food. I think his science rice needs more water. After two hours, he presents his spread to the boys. I love the reactions. There’s a bit of silence, then Tae-woong says, “It’s good.” Su-geun chews a long while, then says, “I can’t chew it all.” Ji-won says, “It’s not bad,” and Jong-min asks, “What did you put in it?” Haha. They all go around and praise Seung-gi for his efforts, but then Ji-won jokes, “This is great! What would we have done without this stew?” (Referring to the stuff Su-geun bought at the market.)
girlfriday: He acknowledges that it’s tasty though, which sends Seung-gi over the moon, because Ji-won wouldn’t lie about food. They scrape the bottom of the rice pot, and then Seung-gi admits that the recipe was only four servings. Pffft. So you couldn’t do the math to figure out how to turn it into five? There goes your science.
javabeans: Na PD tells them their morning task, which correlates to which market they’ll have to go to. They range from nearby locales to one allllll the way down on Jeju Island, requiring a plan ride. And the task? A competition versus staff in the high jump. Su-geun is confident in his skills, saying he did this on Dream Team, while Tae-woong sighs, “I guess I’m going to Jeju.”
girlfriday: Jong-min actually has a concert near one of the locations later that day, so it’d work to his advantage to be farther from Seoul. They go to bed, squeezed on that tiny platform like sardines, and wake up for their morning high jump olympics.
javabeans: The first round goes thusly: Ji-won fails, Jong-min does a cool somersault and passes, Tae-woong does a slightly less cool somersault and skates by, Su-geun displays impressive form and passes, and Seung-gi…trips on the mat and face-plants. Hee!
girlfriday: Hahaha. He is such a huh-dang. I love how that name is never NOT apt. And the soundtrack as he goes in slow motion: “I believe I can flyyyyyyyyyy~”
javabeans: Do you love the dozen replays? He totally overthought it. Jong-min wins, and gets his first pick. It’s funny to everyone that he picks Namwon (where he has a gig), because that’s second-farthest and typically least desirable, other than Jeju.
girlfriday: Jong-min’s really impressive when he does stuff like this. Stuff that doesn’t involve… reading.
javabeans: So off to Jeju goes Ji-won, where he gets an enthusiastic response. I love the ajumma who bogarts the arm from another ajumma to get in her lovin’. Jong-min beelines for the popped rice, and Su-geun happens upon an empty market because everyone’s off at a festival. He gets talked into taking the stage to sing a song, ha, not that you have to do much convincing to get him up there. Seung-gi decides to buy some knives, thinking of his burgeoning cooking career. He picks a pair (“But that’s expensive!” — about $15 together) and a spatula, saying he’s going to give the newlywed PD a wedding gift. And then he hands over the $1 spatula. Ha. Tae-woong goes around sampling everything and buying nothing.
girlfriday: I love that they catch Tae-woong in this trance, where he stops to watch a guy sharpening knives, and then before you know it, his wallet’s open and he’s buying two of them. It’s all in the editing, like he got totally sucked in by some voodoo. The boys each buy lunch for themselves and their attendant staff members, which is always cute to see. We rarely get to see the boys spending their own money on anything.
javabeans: It’s fun seeing them spend money like normal people, rather than trying to scrimp and calculate based on a game.
girlfriday: And then suddenly, Seung-gi runs into someone else he knows — that’s two in two days! It’s Ajusshi 63, from the viewer’s tour, who lives in that town.
javabeans: Crazy! He naturally integrates the ajusshi into his market tour, asking for tips on what’s good to eat and so on.
girlfriday: They have lunch, and then when Seung-gi comes out of the restaurant, he’s floored. There’s this sea of people, just waiting for him to come out.
javabeans: It’s kind of incredible. Everyone attracts a crowd, but I’m always amazed at how insane Seung-gi’s is, even though I know by now to expect it.
girlfriday: Ji-won and Su-geun each have their own mobs, and they sign off with help from the crowd. That concludes the market tour — a whopping 10 markets in 2 days. All I know now is that I want every episode to include a debate between Tae-woong and Ji-won.
javabeans: Also more hugging and fist-bumps.