EPISODE 367. Broadcast on January 1, 2012.
javabeans: It’s the Friend Special! The members come out for 5am call on a freezing cold day, and share a few thoughts on their buddies. The guests are: White Tower / Coffee Prince/ Pasta actor Lee Seon-kyun (Tae-woong’s friend-guest-brodude), Yi San / Kye Baek actor Lee Seo-jin (Seung-gi), soccer player Lee Geun-ho (Su-geun), soccer player Lee Dong-gook (Ji-won), and former HOT member turned solo singer Jang Woo-hyuk (Jong-min).
girlfriday: Woot! The Voice AND H.O.T.? Please tell me there’s going to be a 90s idol dance-off.
javabeans: And can it not involve any idols or professional dancers? I want to see Tae-woong, Seon-kyun, and Seo-jin dorking out like weird ajusshis. Na PD instructs the members to pick up their guests and bring them to the opening. As Tae-woong drives, he tells us that Seon-kyun always sends him text messages saying he’s going to be “a hundred times better than you.” He chuckles to himself while saying, “Let’s see how well he does today. Woo, this’ll be fun!”
girlfriday: Seung-gi finds Lee Seo-jin in the salon (wow at 5am?) and the reel introduces his super regal sageuk roles… and then cut to future 1N2D footage of him eating potatoes in the street like a homeless person. Ha. I love the editors on this show.
javabeans: It’s riches to rags. Prince to pauper. Seung-gi prompts Seo-jin with the ever-familiar “1 night…” rally cry, but Seo-jin’s already embarrassed and can’t finish the chant. (“Do I have to do that right off the bat?”) Seung-gi explains that they have a 5-star scale of difficulty for their mission and asks what Seo-jin thinks today will be. He guesses three, and Na PD happily answers, “It’s TWENTY!”
girlfriday: Jong-min arrives outside Jang Woo-hyuk’s new digs (his new agency) and finds the flower arrangement he sent proudly on display. It’s the lone one in the hallway though, to which Jong-min says Woo-hyuk has no friends… until he rounds the corner and finds the rest all grouped together in one mass. Suddenly Jong-min’s like, “it’s like he threw mine away…”
javabeans: Aw. So sad. Why you gotta hurt my heart like that all the time, Jong-min? We also get a “cool” reel of Woo-hyuk in his HOT days, and onstage, being all pop-star and famous. Cut to a teaser clip of later in the day, when he will embarrass himself playing ping-pong badly.
girlfriday: Ji-won goes to pick up Dong-gook, who’s also his brother-in-law or something like that, right?
javabeans: Erm, I had to look it up. Their wives are sisters. Omg, is the professional soccer player mucking up a game of jokgu, really? For shame.
girlfriday: Okay, that’s the best reel-joke so far. HA. Su-geun doesn’t have to drive anywhere because his buddy Geun-ho is sleeping at his house. Aw, are they wearing a couple outfit?
javabeans: That’s so cute. They also seem to be the closest, friend-wise, which is always fun to see. Is it adorable how… gleefully Tae-woong seems to be anticipating Seon-kyun’s imminent image beatdown? He keeps giggling to himself.
girlfriday: I love it. He’s like, “Salon? Hair? Makeup?” and giggles to himself how it’s all fruitless.
javabeans: It’s hilarious how Tae-woong says he couldn’t sleep because he was so excited about Seon-kyun coming today, but the editors add in the caption “…and suffering.”
girlfriday: Kyunie oppa!! Tae-woong interrupts his hair session asking why he’s bothering, and says they have to go. Seon-kyun just sighs and puts his hat on, just like a regular dude.
javabeans: Tae-woong asks after Seon-kyun’s second child, “A daughter, right?” He’s wrong, so he asks, “Wait, you have two sons?” Seon-kyun scoffs at their BFF reputation and bursts out, “This is what we’re really like! Best friends, my foot!”
girlfriday: HA. This is what I love most about Seon-kyun — he really talks this way. It’s delightfully blunt.
javabeans: I love that he has a temper, which you don’t really get from his roles (Pasta notwithstanding). But they do speak in banmal and seem really comfortable around each other, so I’d say the vibe is friendly, even if they’re not like Jung Il-woo and Lee Min-ho, who apparently can’t go a week without seeing each other.
girlfriday: Sigh. Bromance. Everyone gets in their cars with their buddy, and Woo-hyuk is especially hilarious, so nervous about Jong-min’s driving that he keeps a hand on the steering wheel.
javabeans: “I want to live!” Haha. Seung-gi asks what Seo-jin’s people said about doing 1N2D, and he says they were worried about his hot tempered personality, like he might burst out and say something without thinking. Caption from the 1N2D crew: “We LOVE that stuff.” Seung-gi asks if Seo-jin considers it a plus or minus to reveal his real self on camera, and Seo-jin replies, “I’m not fit for TV!”
girlfriday: Su-geun and Geun-ho reminisce about when they met seven years ago, back when he was second-string and Su-geun was a struggling nobody. Aw, they’re so cute, encouraging each other about how far they’ve come since then in their lives. Tae-woong asks Seon-kyun if he likes being married, and he adorably shouts “YES” and giggles. Tae-woong notes that it’s been hard to get him out of the house ever since he became a married man.
javabeans: Seon-kyun explains that his mother died a week after he agreed to do 1N2D, and he thought he wouldn’t be able to make it after all. But then he figured that losing his mother was something he’d feel all his life, not for a set period of time, and she would’ve wanted him to get back to living his life.
girlfriday: He says that Tae-woong is really a good friend, and Tae-woong bolsters the argument, asking who gave him the most money at his wedding. Seon-kyun heartily names him as the big spender.
javabeans: Seon-kyun adds that Tae-woong and Jang Dong-gun gave the most: “Uhm Tae-woong thinks he’s at Jang Dong-gun’s level!”
girlfriday: Hee. All the boys start arriving, and it’s a flurry of activity with bowing and handshakes, as everyone nervously introduces themselves.
javabeans: How funny is it that Lee Seo-jin, arguably the biggest star in the mix, is all bashful and awkward? Seung-gi does the opening spiel and leads them in a “1 night 2 days!” cry, and Seo-jin stands there, eyes shifting, like he’s hoping they don’t notice if he doesn’t do it.
girlfriday: It’s hilarious. How does a guy playing a king in front of hundreds of subjects feel awkward about saying “2 Days!” ?? Goes to show variety is as separate a skill set as heavy-duty acting is. They start making formal introductions, and Tae-woong introduces Seon-kyun as his buddy, saying they’re super close over text messages but really awkward in person. When asked how they became friends, he says they always used to audition for the same roles. Oh how funny. ‘Cause they look alike!
javabeans: I can totally see that being true, but it’s particularly funny when you compare their actual filmographies. So different.
girlfriday: Right? Like even if they auditioned for the same stuff, somehow Seon-kyun got all the funny, while Tae-woong got all the badass roles.
javabeans: Seon-kyun, gentle and swoony. Tae-woong, tough and forceful. Apparently Seon-kyun has been pretty vocal about how he’s gonna kick Tae-woong’s variety-butt, though, and Seung-gi prompts him to answer just how many times better Seon-kyun thinks he’ll be. Tae-woong remembers him saying he’d be 200 times better. Seon-kyun quips, “No, that’s excessive. I’d say a hundred. I’m quite modest, you see.”
girlfriday: I luff him.
javabeans: They ask what one thing he’d most like to avoid today, which seems like just the kind of trap you’d want to avoid answering honestly. But Seon-kyun says — expecting sympathy, I’m sure — that he just filmed a scene for a movie where he had to get dunked in the ocean the other day, and he’s feeling a little under the weather. Cut to: the 1N2D flag, stuck in the beach sand about two feet from the water.
girlfriday: It’s Su-geun’s turn to introduce Geun-ho, and he says he was going to give a super awesome opening about how he’s the nation’s soccer player and the bestest and all that… until Dong-gook arrived, who’s actually an MVP, and Geun-ho felt really awkward being called good in front of the superstar sunbae.
javabeans: So the intro goes: “He’s…. Just a Soccer Player!” Ji-won says that they all brought friends, but he’s gone above and beyond by bringing in family, whom he’ll be connected to forever and ever (since their wives are sisters), “As long as neither of us screws things up!” Haha. It’s kind of morbidly hilarious.
girlfriday: The members ask curiously what Ji-won is like at home, if he’s like a choding in real life. But Dong-gook says he’s actually different, and much more grown up. Did he tell you to say that?
javabeans: Lol, well Ji-won IS the hyung. And his wife is the elder sister. So he’s got the upper hand on both ends. Jong-min introduces Woo-hyuk, saying they met in training during their military service. Seung-gi points out how funny it is that they were both in the music industry for a decade, but met in the army.
girlfriday: But yunno what they say about bros you meet in the army — they’re pretty much your friends for life. I think it’s the group-suffering.
javabeans: With Woo-hyuk’s HOT background and Ji-won’s old group being Sechs Kies they’ve had similar career patterns. Cut to the giddy staff behind the cameras, which is so cute — if you’re in that mid-twenties to mid-thirties age range, these two probably featured prominently in your top idol daydreams.
girlfriday: I totally had the equivalent of Tiger Beat magazine covers with their faces on them all over my room at some point.
javabeans: They say that they’ve become friendly recently, and Seung-gi quips, “But back in the day you cursed each other?” Hee.
girlfriday: Seung-gi introduces Seo-jin, and Ji-won calls their pairing the most awkward of all.
javabeans: They are totally weird and stiff around each other. It’s definitely true. Seung-gi tries to overcompensate and say they’re all friendly, but it just looks more unnatural. Plus Seung-gi’s totally in his smooth host mode, and Seo-jin is weirdly camera-shy. Dude, you’re an actor!
girlfriday: I just think it’s hilarious that Seung-gi is always friends with much older ajusshi types. ‘Cause dude is already an ajusshi, at twenty-four.
javabeans: Apparently there’s a staff member with the nickname Lee Seo-jin: Na PD himself, and they compare the two, to the embarrassment of both. Haha. You have the PD in charge trying to be unassuming, all, “No no, you’re the star, I don’t think we look alike,” while you have the star trying to be gracious, all, “Oh no, it doesn’t bother me.”
girlfriday: Su-geun says that the fastest way for guys to become friends is to announce their ages and figure out the hierarchy. I was wondering how they went this long without doing this. So Seo-jin is eldest, at 1971, and Tae-woong is next at ‘74.
javabeans: They reach a hiccup when they realize that both Seon-kyun and Su-geun are 1975, yet one of them calls Tae-woong hyung and the other is treated like an equal.
girlfriday: Aha, I knew there was something weird about this! Because Tae-woong is ‘74, and Seon-kyun is ‘75, but they call each other friends, forgoing the hyung-dongseng thing.
javabeans: Apparently when they first met, they did the age thing and Seon-kyun said he was an “early 75,” so it seemed natural that they should be on the same level. But Tae-woong didn’t tell him till later that he’s an early 74. Whereas, when he met the 1N2D crew, they got that cleared up right away and decided that Su-geun would call him hyung. What’s funny is that Su-geun is even older than Seon-kyun.
girlfriday: To beat that, Su-geun’s technical birthdate is December 31st, 1974, making him totally the same age as Tae-woong. Haha. So suddenly Su-geun’s mad at Tae-woong and Tae-woong’s mad at Seon-kyun, and it’s all awkward.
javabeans: This is totally why Koreans like to have relationships very properly addressed, even if it sounds weird at the time. Like, I have cousins who are way older and way younger, and when I was 20, my 35-year-old cousin had a 10-year-old daughter. Daughter felt like she should call me unni, but that doesn’t make sense because we’re not on the same level — it would be like calling her own mother unni. The problem with these boys is that there’s no way to make sense of everyone’s existing relationships without breaking some social rules.
girlfriday: Tae-woong, being Tae-woong, just says that it’s an easy fix — Su-geun can just join the friends club. But then that feels super weird to Su-geun, who’s been calling him hyung for eight months, so he can’t switch out of that all of a sudden. This cracks me up.
javabeans: They decide to do the Korean thing: Make the hyung decide. Everyone turns to Seo-jin to provide the answer, which is just so funny to me. He’s a stranger, but you’re deferring to him ‘cause you don’t want to be responsible. They decide that the two 75-ers will refer to each other with “-sshi” (a bit formal), but then use banmal (friendly). It’s a half-in, half-out solution.
girlfriday: It’s like signing a freaking peace treaty. So funny what a hubbub it causes. That’s what happens when you bend the rules for one friend and not for the other. Messes with the social order. Everyone else lines up accordingly, with one more friend-pair found between Jong-min and Dong-gook who are both ‘79. Seung-gi encourages Jong-min to be friendly, and he nervously handshake-bows.
javabeans: Time to unveil the theme of today’s trip: Cold weather battle. Everyone’s like, “…the fuck?” It’s supposed to be a guest special! With celebrity guests! The editors add captions like “But I’m cold” and “The PD’s really shameless.”
girlfriday: That’s so mean. The severe winter training camps are the worst. They have to make tents out of plastic sheeting or sleep in cardboard boxes.
javabeans: The 1N2D crack legal team makes its appearance, with the boys arguing that injuring their top soccer players could cause economic downturn, and have lasting consequences, and so forth. Woo-hyuk stutters, “But why… why…. why… do we have to do this?” The answer (“Because you’re friends!”) doesn’t seem so compelling right now, and he jokes, “What if we break up right now?”
girlfriday: Na PD says the first game is a race to the ocean, and the losing team takes an icy dip. It’s two teams, 5:5, which means that one BFF pair will have to be broken up. The game to decide the teams: in each of their cars is a set of clothes for each member. They have to race to change and run back, and the last place pair is the one they’ll consider “out of sync” with each other, and their punishment will be to go to separate teams.
javabeans: I like how the clothes have their faces pinned on the front. Oh man, it’s chaos. Geun-ho is in such a rush he just puts on his turtleneck over his puffy jacket. Pffft. But on the other hand, Seon-kyun and Tae-woong don’t even notice the turtlenecks until they think they’re done, and have to put them back on. No, you can’t split them up!
girlfriday: Oh noes! They’re totally going to lose! Sad, they’re my favorite pair, though on the flipside, Seon-kyun’s the least friend-dependent to do a good job on the show, so at least there’s that.
javabeans: That’s true, he’s a crack-up in any case.
girlfriday: Su-geun and Seung-gi’s pairs win the race, getting to take the bigger car and leave first. And then Ji-won stops the proceedings to ask everyone if they managed to actually put all their clothes on right… revealing that he’s only wearing his turtleneck from the neck-up. HA. Okay, that was the sight-gag of the day.
javabeans: I was wondering if that would disqualify him, but nope, Seon-kyun joins the Seung-gi & Su-geun team, while Tae-woong joins Jong-min & Ji-won. Na PD asks if Seon-kyun’s sad to be parted from his friend, and he cheerfully replies, “Not in the least.” Hee. You’re right in that I think he’d do totally well anywhere. The two separated friends are designated the drivers of their respective cars, and the winning team gets a head start.
girlfriday: Seon-kyun zooms out quickly enough that Na PD radios them to slow down ‘cause the bus has to keep up with them, and Seo-jin shows a little of that side he was talking about: “Just ignore him.” Ha.
javabeans: The cars approach their first destination, a rest stop, and Na PD instructs the team to select one guest-friend, the smartest one, to be the only one to leave the car for their first mission. Seon-kyun immediately waves no, “Not me.”
girlfriday: They assume it’s a quiz and Seo-jin exits first. Na PD whispers something in his ear, and then… Na PD gets in their car. What the? And then from outside the car, Seo-jin starts acting things out. It’s car charades!
javabeans: They realize it’s a quiz that has just started, and start guessing. The goal: get 5 right in 100 seconds. If they fail, they have to wait 10 minutes before trying again. He breezes through the first three (kiss, King Kong, sleepwalking), but then motions “Pass” on the fourth. Except, this is 1N2D, and you get no passes. Go on, Cinderella.
girlfriday: Okay, he’s terrible at this, mostly because he’s super self-conscious, but somehow, Seon-kyun puts together shoe-time-girl and guesses Cinderella.
javabeans: Phew, they succeed with only 4 seconds to spare. They congratulate Seon-kyun for getting the hard one, and he says in that delightfully dry voice, “I’m not only good for driving, you know.”
girlfriday: The other team sends out Dong-gook, and he’s way better at this.
javabeans: I do love how he’s momentarily stumped at Cinderella and scratches his head, and the guys guess, “Idiot?”
girlfriday: Ha. They get back on the road, and Tae-woong marvels at how one game can make them all so close and feel like one team. Ji-won counters that he ended up enemies with his bestie as a result though. Sad.
javabeans: Meanwhile in the other car, Su-geun says that now he and Seon-kyun are just gonna be friends (never mind all that stuff earlier about proper age whatnot), and adds, “We can hang out with each other now, and leave out Uhm Tae-woong!” To further cement this change, he says he’s gonna call him “Uhm Tae-woong-sshi” from now on.
girlfriday: Yeah, when he’s not around? Heh. Su-geun decides he’s outsmarted the PDs, guessing that at the next rest stop, they’re going to ask for the most athletic member to step out, when they’re really going to give him a trivia quiz or something. Like clockwork, they ask for the most athletic guy.
javabeans: So instead of sending out pro athlete Geun-ho, they get Seon-kyun to take this mission. He’s asked how much money he wants for lunch, and Seon-kyun answers 50,000 won, which is about 10 bucks a person. So now he has to go in and buy food for his team, use up all his money, and do this in 5 minutes.
girlfriday: Oh that’s sneaky to ask a guest this question, because they don’t know that the more money you ask for, the more you have to pay for it with tears.
javabeans: Seon-kyun’s one of the more well-known faces, so you hear immediate squeals from bystanders. He madly buys food from the snack stand while his team worriedly watches and criticizes his buying technique, hehe.
girlfriday: Here I am, thinking he’ll never blow all 50,000 won at a snack stand, but he comes back in three minutes, food in hand and money all spent. Crazy.
javabeans: Now they have to sit there and EAT everything before they’re allowed to move on. Seon-kyun didn’t buy drinks and Na PD won’t give them any, but he will stir the pot. He asks with feigned innocence, “But you had money. Why did you not buy drinks?” *evil glare at Na PD*
girlfriday: The other team arrives while they eat, and Woo-hyuk gets out for his team.
javabeans: They’re prodded by the same thought, that this isn’t really about athletics. Except… OH SHIT. Did he actually ask for a thousand bucks? (1 million won.)
javabeans: I think they could argue that this isn’t exactly fair, because when he asks how much he can request, the PD tells him, “Anything up to 1 million won.” Woo-hyuk senses something’s weird, but he’s sent on his way.
girlfriday: Ji-won’s genius radar is on, and he guesses the game from inside the car, and then they go over to the other team to see what they’re eating. When Geun-ho offers a bite and Na PD stops him, Ji-won jumps to the correct conclusion that they have to eat every last bite before they’re allowed to leave.
javabeans: Woo-hyuk tears through the place asking for the most expensive stuff. He can’t do it, and comes out empty-handed — well, except for the cash. Jong-min half-jokingly suggests they eat the money. The PD cuts a little slack for the next round, and says they have to spend 100,000 won. Woo-hyuk comes back from Round 2… with a basket of expensive ginseng tonic drinks. HAHAHAHA. He really is just like Ji-won, even if they aren’t the besties on this outing.
girlfriday: Omg, that’s hilarious. They’re like, screw lunch, we wanna WIN.
javabeans: I know, right? Yeah they’re gonna be hungry, but at least they’ll get to leave before sundown.
girlfriday: Meanwhile, the other team is so bloated and tired and playing endless rounds of rock-paper-scissors for the losers to eat more food.
javabeans: How funny that the first team is struggling to eat without any drinks, and the second team is all drinks. Team 1 is feeling pretty smug, and they’ve been teasing their rivals all this time, while working their way through their massive mound of corn dogs, sweet potatoes, and other foodstuffs. They’re so full that they’re just trying to get through the food, chewing slowly. Seung-gi starts to tease the other team some more, until he realizes that crap, it’s not going to take them much time to drink all that. Oh man, are they actually going to catch up?
girlfriday: It’s totally tortoise-hare reversal, but with ginseng drinks.
javabeans: This is awesome. The second team is pretty close now… except I’m thinking they’re going to need a massive pee break soon. Team Food groans at their stuffed bellies as they drive on, and Seung-gi guesses that their next task is going to be physical, so as to give them all indigestion. Seo-jin muses that the guys in charge must love ordering them around, and says, “I was about to grab Na Young-seok by the throat earlier.”
girlfriday: I love how he just blurts it out, all calm and collected like a gangster.
javabeans: I love how he says Na PD was laughing evilly.
girlfriday: It’s so true! It has an evil glee undertone.
javabeans: In the other car, the guys are starting to feel the effects of all those energy drinks. Ji-won asks Dong-gook about how he imagined this trip would shake out, and Woo-hyuk tells Jong-min that he should be asking him questions too, like Jong-min’s not taking proper care of his guest. So Jong-min asks, “Do you have a girlfriend?” HAHA. Woo-hyuk’s all, “Not THAT kind of question!”
girlfriday: I’m thinking even if they were close before this trip, they’re not going to be after it.
javabeans: Dude, Na PD is wearing his Evil Underpants today. Next mission: They have to ditch one guest at the next rest stop, and make him hitchhike. They gear up for a debate, but then Seon-kyun just offers right away, to speed this up.
girlfriday: I love it. He’s so confident, like eh, I could probably get a ride.
javabeans: I’m probably making some of this up in my head, but when Tae-woong joined the show, I bet Seon-kyun watched him do that first hitchhiking mission and was thinking (as we all do), “How would I do that?”
girlfriday: I don’t think that’s a stretch. He totally made public statements declaring that he could do better, right when Tae-woong started. Plus, you gotta figure, he’s not wrong in thinking he’s the most recognizable on his team.
javabeans: Team 2 drives in and is made to wait a couple minutes, while Team 1 heads out. Seon-kyun immediately hits up travelers in the parking lot, looking for someone headed in his direction (he’s not allowed to say where he needs to go). He finds a car and the driver’s reluctant, but he pleads and gets on his knees and says, “I have to go into the ocean if I don’t win!” He’s really good at this, because he’s not afraid of being a little pushy, but isn’t so pushy that it’s offensive.
girlfriday: I love his real-life comic timing. He gets in the car and is all smiles as he explains the mission, and then adds quietly, “…But we need to hurry…” Ha. Meanwhile, Team 2 gets told they have to leave someone behind, and then in that crucial moment, Woo-hyuk has to go to the bathroom. Oh no! Never leave your team when they’re debating who to ditch!
javabeans: Oh no! Are they actually ditching him before he knows that ditching is part of the mission? He runs into the parking lot and finds them already pulling away, which is SO MEAN. Woo-hyuk runs after the car and Jong-min sticks his head out his window, just saying, “Sorry, hyung!” You’re right, their friendship is totally gonna be on the rocks after this show.
girlfriday: Jong-min knows it too. He’s like, I’m gonna pay for this with a beating…
javabeans: Now I’m picturing Seon-kyun being a fixed member of this show, and I’m sad he’s not. He chats easily with the driver and passenger in his car, who are a couple… of one month. The man is reserved but the woman is enjoying the company (well, duh) and laughs at everything, and confesses that she likes Tae-woong. Seon-kyun: “Would you like his phone number?”
girlfriday: Way to get ditched on the side of the road, eh?
javabeans: Hee. Woo-hyuk is sort of adorably flustered, and stammers to a driver, “Um… can I… car… also…?” Turns out they’re headed in his direction so he gets in, and gets a call from Jong-min. Woo-hyuk’s first words, said very calmly, “Jong-min-ah. I’m going to kill you.”
girlfriday: Omg, he’d make a great killer, yunno, on tv. He smiles peacefully, as he paints the mental picture of throttling Jong-min. Seon-kyun meanwhile is making fast friends with his couple, showing off his baby pictures. He calls it, “My most precious two-shot.” Awwwwww.
javabeans: He’s so good at this! I’ve probably said that a ton already, but he is. They arrive at the ocean, and he’s asked for a rendition of his famous song. You know, “Ocean Voyage,” from Coffee Prince. Swoon.
girlfriday: I couldn’t possibly love him more. GAH. He fumbles over the start adorably, and laughs, “I really did sing this, I swear,” and then finally sings along with the song playing in the background.
javabeans: Woo-hyuk’s car also approaches the ocean and he keeps muttering to himself, “Kim Jong-min. I will kill you. I will crush you.” *Chilly smile* Seon-kyun’s teammates make it to the flag location first, but there’s a final mission: They have to find the abandoned teammate before claiming the flag.
girlfriday: Dude! What’s with all the extra sadistic twists today?
javabeans: Even Seung-gi says, amazed, “What’s with this mission, director?”
girlfriday: Oh no, they realize that they don’t even have Seon-kyun’s phone number, because his bestie’s on the other team!