EPISODE 361. Broadcast on November 20, 2011.
girlfriday: It’s Part 2 of the Kimchi Special, and the boys have gathered at basecamp… except for Jong-min, who’s got the farthest distance to travel.
javabeans: I love how they call come in carrying big parcels of kimchi. Tae-woong announces, as though he’s the mom, “Mom brought kimchi for you!”
girlfriday: They get hungry while waiting, and so they offer up a deal: two packs of ramyun for a 2:2 game. At first I thought they were saying the winners get the ramyun, but no, they mean they’ll play for the airtime in exchange for food. I love that when people are hungry, all pretenses get stripped down — we entertain, you feed us. Will work for food.
javabeans: I know, right? Su-geun frames it as, “You know you want to give us this deal, because we’d be soooo entertaining. If you don’t, it’s really your loss, not ours.”
girlfriday: The PDs stir with interest, but Na PD holds out for a while, and Su-geun asks if he was a thug in his youth, what with that kind of confidence. Now that he mentions it, can’t you picture Na PD as that mastermind kid who never really had to do any fighting (a true leader needn’t get his hands dirty) but won all fights anyway?
javabeans: Because he’s evil genius mastermind!
girlfriday: They settle on the payment of one bowl of rice (tough economy ‘round here) and then the boys discuss what game to play. The teams are already split: Seung-gi/Ji-won vs. Tae-woong/Su-geun. Su-geun boldy suggests jokgu. What? Have you forgotten about Dog Feet? They give a leisurely chuckle and Tae-woong says he’s spent every night playing jokgu with Su-geun. Oh man, is this gonna be like Ji-won’s infamous ping-pong con of, when is that — ‘08? ‘09?
javabeans: Oh man that was epic. All that build-up, and then… fizzle so flat the flatness was epic.
girlfriday: And let’s not forget the epic head-shaving that followed.
javabeans: Maybe Ji-won’s like, I’m already rocking the shaved head, so… The thing is, Su-geun is way better than Seung-gi in jokgu, but Tae-woong is way worse than Ji-won. And when Tae-woong mentions spending every night with Su-geun, Su-geun mimes downing shots, so maybe jokgu wasn’t really so much the focus of that.
girlfriday: Perhaps to everyone’s benefit, they decide on badminton, and Su-geun suggests the prize/punishment: the losers get slapped with a bucket of water.
javabeans: Who carries around the equipment for a full badminton court anyway? It’s so random and therefore hilarious. “You could play rock-scissors-paper with your hands…or hey, we’ve got this badminton setup.”
girlfriday: The lighting director comes out as the referee (I love that it’s just assumed that this is his unofficial side job on set.) and he seems more concerned with sportsmanship than the rules of the game. “Shake hands!” “No taunting allowed!”
javabeans: He’s so cute. I love that the whole humor of him being the ref is that he’s the antithesis of ref-dom. He’s nice and soft-spoken and basically ineffectual. I love that the game basically amounts to Seung-gi and Ji-won giving it away to the other team through their own errors, not because the other guys are good. I love the slo-mo Ji-won roar of frustration.
girlfriday: Su-geun and Tae-woong win the five-point game in no time, and then Ji-won turns to Seung-gi: “Do we BOTH need to be slapped with water?” Suddenly it’s 1:1 for the ultimate loser title. The caption: “Yesterday’s brothers… today’s rivals.” Heh.
javabeans: They start the play, and Su-geun shouts out from the sidelines, encouraging the players like a coach. Except he’s totally advising both players, so I’d be wary of that advice, just sayin’.
girlfriday: Now THIS is a good game. Suddenly they’re both playing better, tensions are high, and Ji-won starts out losing, but manages to tie the score 2:2. The ref calls deuce, and Su-geun joins Ji-won on the field for the Deux dance. Aw, this is really starting to feel like an old-school 1N2D.
javabeans: Is that really that old Deux song? My ears totally perked up — old school kpop song! Do they know that deuce and deux mean different things?
girlfriday: Ji-won wins the next point, exclaiming that he’s won the match, but everyone points out that he needs another point because it’s deuce. Ji-won: “Since when is there deuce?” Su-geun: “You just danced the dance. Everyone saw.” Hahaha.
javabeans: That’s hysterical. Like, you can’t back out of that one, dude.
girlfriday: Ji-won actually manages to win, and Seung-gi lies on the ground in defeat, while Su-geun practices his water-bucket-tossing form. Hee. How does this guy manage to turn everything into a physical gag? It must just be ingrained. Seung-gi kneels and awaits his punishment… Su-geun winds up… and delivers the most awesome water-bitch-slap ever.
javabeans: Well, you know how practice makes perfect. Is it wrong of me that as soon as Seung-gi lost, I felt a flash of nervousness for a return of Seung-mi and the pervy director?
girlfriday: I hope for Seung-mi’s sake she’s retired from the biz for good.
javabeans: I think I’m loving the giggle fits over from Tae-woong and Ji-won even more. They totally lose it, and then Tae-woong adds to the moment by dumping his bucket directly over Seung-gi’s head and puts it on him, like a cap. The boys get their snack reward, and Seung-gi does his usual CF reaction, but it’s got a little extra pep today so I’m guessing the crab kimchi Ji-won brought really is that awesome. Tae-woong tastes his and he makes the same “Wow!” exclamation, only he’s sorta copying Seung-gi teasingly — although the joke’s on him because the out-of-character outburst has him more embarrassed than anything.
girlfriday: Jong-min finally arrives bearing tubs of kimchi, and it’s time to share with the class what everyone made today. He gives Seung-gi a taste of the same kind of kimchi his grandma makes, and Seung-gi sighs, “This is better. My grandma learned it wrong.” Oh no you d’in’t just tell your grandma that her kimchi is wrong!
javabeans: I think somebody’s going to be doing a lot of bowing and scraping in the near future!
girlfriday: Right? Perfect son, my ass!
javabeans: Does granny like diamonds, Seung-gi? ‘Cause you might have to buy her diamonds.
girlfriday: They taste kimchi after kimchi, and Ji-won keeps pushing Su-geun to try things first, always wary of weird new tastes. Su-geun asks why he’s always gotta be the first, and Ji-won’s defense? “You always pick up stuff off the ground and put it in your mouth!” Haha.
javabeans: I think he’s also wary of Seung-gi’s tastebuds, because he wonders, “Why does Seung-gi have the most mature palate out of all of us?” And when Seung-gi assures him it’s good, he eyes it suspiciously. Heh.
girlfriday: Then it’s time for Ji-won to bring out his crab kimchi dish, and the rest of the boys go as crazy as he did when he first tried it. There’s this hilarious moment where he’s holding up a mouthful to feed to Su-geun, and then keeps pulling away to explain the dish, as Su-geun waits with his mouth hanging open like a dog. It’s like a totally unintentional comedy routine.
javabeans: I love how Seung-gi sits there perplexed, trying to find the appropriate words to describe how delicious this is, and on either side of him are Su-geun and Ji-won frantically stuffing their faces like they can’t get enough, fast enough.
girlfriday: The boys get so carried away that they end up devouring it like animals. Suddenly there’s panicked shouting from the PDs: “What are you doing? Stop eating!” and the boys practically growl back at them. It’s not unlike trying to interrupt a pack of hyenas in the middle of dinner. You might lose an arm.
javabeans: Right? They start out “tasting” kimchi, which really should only be a mouthful here, a bite there. Only, this is special magic kimchi, all stuffed full of goodies like fish and crab and protein, and they’re downing it like a meal.
girlfriday: They all agree that Su-geun’s kimchi is the best as far as traditional straight-up kimchi goes, and there’s something I love about the way Seung-gi says to the plate of kimchi: “You’re first place,” like he’s slightly angry about it. Also, I talk at things too, so maybe it makes me feel less crazy?
javabeans: It’s so cute, like he means it. Like it has feelings.
girlfriday: It’s Tae-woong’s turn to bring out his kimchi, which happens to be the fishiest. The smell alone sends Ji-won shrinking back in fear, and even Su-geun starts making faces, and the two of them trade wary looks behind Tae-woong’s back. It’s so very grade-school. They egg Seung-gi on to try it, since he’s got the most ajusshi taste buds, so he bravely gives it a try.
javabeans: It’s hilarious, because it’s just kimchi. What are you afraid of? Hee. And yet Seung-gi’s so careful and wary, like it might hurt him.
girlfriday: Seung-gi swears it’s not that fishy, and even Su-geun doesn’t believe him. Ji-won: “What you call ‘not that fishy’ has nearly killed me on more than one occasion!” Heh. And then… comes the big one — the whole-fish kimchi made with Tae-woong’s kissing fish. Ji-won and Su-geun hear the name and practically start to cry from fear. Tae-woong gamely tells everyone to close their eyes as he plates the kimchi with the whole fishies.
javabeans: He totally builds up the moment, too, saying that he’s confident this one will have all the others beat visually, making you think it’s this gorgeous dish.
girlfriday: Then he counts one-two-three, open! The reactions are priceless. Everyone freaks out, and Ji-won physically moves away, whining, “It made eye contact with me!” HA.
javabeans: They all recoil in horror. Question: Who’s more childish, the grown man who shudders at the sight of a fish, or the grown man who tricks his teammates into looking at it, and then cackles at their reactions?
girlfriday: Tough call. If you add in the kissing fishies, it might be evenly matched.
javabeans: They resume filming with the dinner and sleeping bokbulbok, and hand over main MC duties to Jong-min. We know he’s not going to be anywhere near smooth, and yes, he does sound like the joke version of a bad teleprompter reader, but he manages to get through it. Man, this just makes me realize how good Ho-dong was, because aside from being smooth in his delivery, he actually made me think that he was coming up with the words, not that he was reading intros prepared by writers.
girlfriday: Seriously. He’s the only one to ever make intro prompts sound like words out of his own mouth. Na PD announces that the dinner game will be a series of analog games, and asks them to divide into two teams. Su-geun jokes that everyone will want to be on Tae-woong’s team, and Seung-gi jumps in to say that they can be a team then. Aw, poor Tae-woong.
javabeans: Heh, Su-geun’s joke backfires on him and he protests, but you can’t back out now.
girlfriday: Na PD tells them today’s game is Go-Back-Jump, and all the boys slouch and sigh. They’re like, we watched that episode on tv, and we STILL don’t fully understand that game!
javabeans: I totally get confused too. I’m playing along with them, and sometimes I think they’re wrong but I don’t hear the PDs call error and figure I don’t know the rules correctly yet. Na PD ups the ante with a game upgrade. The game basically requires you to count, and on multiples of 3, you have to shout either Go, Back, or Jump (and the game reverses or skips accordingly). Now they’re adding in yet another number to keep track of, with multiples of 10. Jeezus, like my brain wasn’t already at capacity trying to keep up.
girlfriday: The best is when Tae-woong gets stuck on 10, and then has this momentary blackout for what he’s supposed to do (a cutesy poshong-poshong!) and screeches: “kwarang-kwarang!” instead. It sends everyone to the ground in laughter.
javabeans: He’s thinking madly, “What nonsense word was it?” and shouts out whatever comes to mind. It’s funny because it’s so completely wrong. Not even close. But when it counts (for a pot of ramyun), it’s Tae-woong’s team that wins again, and he tells the others to apologize to him for doubting his game skills. Hee. You know what might work, Tae-woong? Make ‘em do it for food.
girlfriday: But Seung-gi’s team makes up for it when it’s a pot of ramyun plus a bowl of rice on the line, with two mistakes from Su-geun back-to-back. This game has a hiliarious way of making the players seem like doofuses, because nobody fully understands the rules at any given point.
javabeans: Then it’s the strawberry game, only with kimchi names this time instead of fruits. Tae-woong looks deeply chagrined at this, his kryptonite. Well, that and multiplication. And soccer. And running.
girlfriday: So… all things?
javabeans: He’s a flawed superhero. Maybe just hero.
girlfriday: They start and Jong-min somehow manages to get through two turns flawlessly, and everyone oohs and aahs. He’s so happy that he made it… that he forgets to call out the next person’s kimchi name and just flashes a huge smile as the moment passes him by. It’s hilarious.
javabeans: Omg, that’s so cute and giggle-worthy. He looks soooo proud of himself and totally forgets. Seung-gi: “You can’t praise him, because then he forgets to continue!” The guys are surprisingly improved from the last time. And yet…the weak links are still Jong-min and Tae-woong. They’re on opposite teams, so they naturally receive a lot of the calls, from the opposing team. The team with Tae-woong, Su-geun, and Ji-won wins a big prize — MEAT — and Su-geun cackles as he eats, while Seung-gi and Jong-min look by sadly. The screen literally fills up with HA-HA-HAs and Tae-woong joins him, and then it’s this total Austin Powers moment. Then Na PD raises the stakes by putting the rest of dinner on the line, and they guys change their game monikers from kimchi to fish. I love that Ji-won raises an objection to Seung-gi and Jong-min for choosing whale and squid, which aren’t fish.
girlfriday: And that he surprises everyone by picking a one-syllable name, which he never does. When it’s anyone else, it’s just a choice, but when it’s Ji-won, you know he’s got a whole strategy planned. It means he’s going on the offensive.
javabeans: They actually get pretty into it, with a monster 17-chain round replete with sped-up footage, chimpunk voices and all, and they change names again to animals. They introduce their names in the intro round — stuff like “I am anaconda” and “I am Tyrannosaurus” (ambitious there, Seung-gi) — but then it gets to Jong-min and he goes, “I am I am!” Everyone busts a gut and Su-geun argues that he’s lost if he can’t even introduce himself properly before the game begins.
girlfriday: They point out that Su-geun basically spends the entire game not getting called on once. Replay shows it’s really true — he just goes back and forth, back and forth, watching everyone else play. But then as soon as it’s pointed out, Jong-min calls on him and he flubs immediately. Turns out anaconda’s not such a good choice for a tongue-twister game, eh?
javabeans: I love that they call Seung-gi repeatedly, and he practically chokes on his tongue saying Tyrannosaurus eight times fast, but he manages. Ji-won: “He’s tough.” After dinner, the crew heads outside where it’s raining and they’ve got some kind of elaborate mat-vault-padding setup planned. It’s not ideal to film in the rain but Na PD wants to use it somehow, for some kind of game, “Because it cost a lot.” Ha.
girlfriday: Haha. Such a dad. I paid for it! It must get used!
javabeans: Jong-min does a bunch of fancy vaults, but Su-geun can’t even clear the apparatus so that won’t do. Seung-gi says he wants to do something physical, and takes a running start…to use it as a Slip N Slide.
girlfriday: And… now I’m jealous.
javabeans: They decide on an utterly ridiculous game, where you run and slide on your stomach across the pad, then shout, “Roll!” At which point Na PD rolls this huge trash can, and you have to slide into the can. They dub it the cabbage-rolling game.
girlfriday: It amazes me the stuff they come up with on the fly. They soap up the runway for extra sliding power, and then proceed to launch themselves into a trash can in the pouring rain.
javabeans: They make it to three rounds, and finally Su-geun fits into the trash can. But clearly he’s taller than the can so part of his body is still sticking out of it, and the members proceed to argue about whether it counts or not while Su-geun lays there in the trash can. The other boys take their shot and fail, so he’s declared the winner. And everybody gets busy sucking up to him, trying to grease the wheels for their next mission.
girlfriday: It turns out that the kimchi special is over, and they’ll be spending tomorrow in an autumn leaves special. Su-geun gets to decide everyone’s destination, including one lucky winner’s 1500-meter trek up a mountain. Happy trails.