EPISODE 383. Broadcast on April 22, 2012.
javabeans: So the boys wrap up their feasts and punishments, with the latter group coming back after a long, muddy day of digging for shellfish. Only to hear that they have more WORK to do, because they’re putting on a show for the residents. The PD describes it as “a simple dinner show,” which brings to mind images of singing waiters in tuxedos. Or maybe a few magic tricks with the guests in black tie, like in The King, only without the wild-eyed Rumplestiltzkin.
girlfriday: And with pants.
javabeans: Yes. Because even villainous masterminds don’t get to claim evil street cred when they’re running around in public in their boxers.
girlfriday: Dunno what you mean.
javabeans: The boys split up, with one team heading out to buy some food for the dinner. As Tae-hyun, Joo-won, and Tae-woong head out in the bus, they wonder what to do for the dinner show.
girlfriday: I love that this trio has bonded since the race earlier that day. Tae-hyun searches for songs that are more appropriate for older crowds, and right away Joo-won sings along, knowing all the lyrics.
javabeans: Do you love how their reaction is, “Oh, you know this song?” I’m trying to think of a comparison… like a 1995 baby singing along to Duran Duran?
girlfriday: But knowing trot is even more disparate than just knowing pop songs from a previous generation.
javabeans: I wonder if trot is so out it’s in again. Is that what all the Korean hipsters listen to for cool points? That would be hilarious.
girlfriday: It doesn’t count if it’s ironic.
javabeans: Haha, I was just wondering when Korea would get to the irony-for-irony’s sake point. Is that when you know you’ve officially become a first-world nation? When your children are running around being contrary just because it’s cool?
girlfriday: When your biggest problem is the hipsterization of everything? Yeah, pretty much.
javabeans: When people ask if you’re [some negative condition, like sad or angry or unshowered], and your answer is, “No, I’m just a hipster”?
girlfriday: Call me unhip, but people should shower.
javabeans: People should also be okay with unqualified cheerfulness. I know that’s strange coming from the Old Grouch, but hey, I get the principle of it. Heh, I love the synchronized head-shakes as both Joo-won and Tae-hyun sing along.
girlfriday: Joo-won must actually love this song unironically, because Tae-woong calls it his 18, aka his favorite song to belt out at noraebangs and stuff. And now I’m just picturing Joo-won and Tae-woong hanging out at noraebangs and being a couple of dorks.
javabeans: Aw, so have they already had their extracurricular bonding sessions? That’s so cute.
girlfriday: Maybe their movie went out on crew drinking parties or something. Plus he seems super friendly with both the Uhm siblings.
javabeans: Oh, right, I forgot their cop movie. Heh. Back at basecamp, the others start preparing food and ask Food Truck Ajumma how it feels to be in her hometown. She answers, “It’s awesome!” Hee. They find out that Food Truck Ajusshi is also from here, and ask if they dated while they were still living here. Aw, he’s all shy and nods yes.
girlfriday: Then they break up into pairs to walk around the town and invite people to the party, and why is Shi-kyung holding Su-geun’s wrist? Just for adorable points?
javabeans: My heart is warmed. They run across people and remind them to come to the dinner, and a five-year-old boy seems to recognize them, so Su-geun asks where he’s seen him, and if he knows who he is. The boy answers, “Lee Seung-gi!” Hahaha.
girlfriday: Ha. Close enough. The market crew picks up food and a whole bunch of makgulli, and suddenly I want to be invited to this party.
javabeans: That makgulli looks damn good. Not like the thin stuff you buy at the supermarket. The basecamp team goes ahead and gets started, greeting the village residents and giving them a “great bow,” aka the kind where your whole body lowers and your head touches the ground. Aw, it’s sweet that some residents give a similar bow back, though they don’t have to since they’re the elders in this situation. They pull out the eldest villager, age 81, for special recognition.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung sings, and then they introduce a surprise guest, singer Kang Jin, who they brought entirely because his name is the same as the name of this town. Ha.
javabeans: I approve this pun. Lol, he gets a bigger reaction than the cast. This really is trot night.
girlfriday: Omg, Joo-won, why so cute? It’s his turn to sing, and he totally belts it out.
javabeans: With hip-swivel and all. I’m starting to think Joo-won just loves trot. And those pipes were used to the musical stage, weren’t they?
girlfriday: You think he’s going to be totally shy, but then he starts singing and dancing and clearly this kid’s a performer.
javabeans: Then Tae-hyun comes out wearing a mask, which I guess is a nod to his movie Highway Star, where he played a singer, but I just keep thinking Nacho Libre. He sings a song, and behind him Su-geun and Jong-min hold hands and start dancing.
girlfriday: I know, the whole time I’m like, why is Nacho Libre singing a ballad?
javabeans: This cast has a lot of singers, when you consider that Tae-hyun and Tae-woong and Joo-won aren’t primarily singers; it sure comes in handy for events like this. Although, I sort of have it in my mind as Shi-kyung being the resident singer workhorse, where he’ll just show up places and be told to sing for entertainment while everyone else is doing other stuff.
girlfriday: Yeah everyone else is some qualified version, like actor-singer, dancer-singer, but Shi-kyung’s the singer-singer.
javabeans: And I still have the image in my mind from last episode—same trip—where he got left behind and ended up having a mini-concert, just randomly.
girlfriday: They finish up the party with a big group picture, and then it’s back to basecamp for sleeping games. With no warning, Bird PD just turns on music, and the boys stare in confusion, until they finally figure out that this is some kind of game.
javabeans: Ha, I love that they lulled them into a false sense of security, because the PD had told them earlier that they wouldn’t have sleep bokbulbok. Why, ‘cause they’re ALL sleeping outside? I love their confusion, because even though they know it’s a game, they’re like, WHAT is the game? They follow the lyrics, which occasionally tell them to stop. Then the last time, PD calls out, “THREE!” And Shi-kyung is left out of the group as everyone else grabs for each other.
girlfriday: They get told that this was the game to determine teams. But what about Shi-kyung?
javabeans: The two teams of three will play a game of rock-scissors-paper, and the winner gets to choose whether to take or leave Shi-kyung.
girlfriday: Aw, poor Shi-kyung. Su-geun’s team wins and decides not to take him, so he joins the other team. I like that they have to make the choice not knowing whether having an extra member is a good thing or a bad thing.
javabeans: Yes. They decide that since there are three cans of oxygen spray on the blankets, they’re better off with three people. But you never know…
girlfriday: The game will be an elephant nose olympics of sorts, and the oxygen sprays are there in case they get dizzy. Hee.
javabeans: Pwahaha. They’re all, “Did we make the wrong choice?!” Tae-hyun says that since it’s 4 versus 3, one of them has to twirl (with the elephant nose of dizziness) one extra turn. “We’re going to end up using them all!” Muahaha. The captions given to Shi-kyung basically all say some form of “Neener neener.”
girlfriday: I love it when the winners lose. Round 1. Two members from each team are called forward, and one is given a permanent marker. Pfft. I already like where this is going. They both have to twirl ten times, and then the guy with the marker has to draw a dot on his partner’s forehead.
javabeans: Tae-hyun will be the canvas for his team, with Tae-woong twirling and dotting. They do a simulation round, and Tae-woong goes at him with the marker like it’s a freaking dart out to kill something. Tae-hyun’s actually shocked, and he’s all, “You can’t hit me that hard!”
girlfriday: The PDs draw a bullseye on Tae-hyun’s forehead (even better) and then they twirl…
javabeans: Omg, are you dying? I’m dying. It’s like something out of a cartoon, with both guys struggling to stay upright, like drunk sailors in the middle of a hurricane.
girlfriday: Hahahaha. Tae-woong looks like a drunk bird, all flappy wings and wobbly legs. He finally GRABS Tae-hyun by the hair to make contact. This is awesome.
javabeans: Everyone’s in stitches. They log 28 seconds for the whole shebang, and then it’s the other team’s turn. Joo-won will twirl, and Shi-kyung will get his forehead dotted. He says he’ll just kneel, so it’s Joo-won’s job to find him. I love how bloodthirsty Seung-woo gets in these competitions; he tells Joo-won just to go straight at him, holding the marker like a knife.
girlfriday: Ha. So they twirl, and they end up pretty far apart, but Shi-kyung’s strategy of kneeling right away works, because Joo-won beelines right for him, and they manage to beat the other team by ten seconds.
javabeans: But then Tae-hyun argues that Shi-kyung only twirled 9 times (he was counting), and goes to the camera for an instant replay. They watched… and Shi-kyung actually twirled 11 times. Haha. Tae-hyun’s all, “Man, that thing really is accurate.” OH, really? You think?
girlfriday: Round 2 is the elephant-nose high-five. Seung-woo and Jong-min step up for their team and Seung-woo worries about dizziness, so Jong-min demonstrates his resilience (as a gymnast, ha) by doing ballet twirls… and then getting dizzy. HA.
javabeans: He’s actually really good at the spinny part, just not the coming out of the spin part. Seung-woo is, as predicted, super slow, and when Jong-min finishes his 10 twirls he looks around for a hand to high-five, and ends up swatting at air while Seung-woo’s still going. It’s hilarious.
girlfriday: And then Seung-woo does the same, and then they finally find each other… and jump up for the high-five… and get nothing but air. HAHAHAHAHA.
javabeans: Omg, dying. It’s extra hilarious because they both swat with BOTH hands, and they’re both doing it AS they’re falling.
girlfriday: It’s the best thing ever.
javabeans: Rewinds, replays.
girlfriday: It’s so funny that Tae-hyun actually throws a fit about having to go after them, like how could you possibly follow that act?
javabeans: Su-geun is up for his team, and he’s aware of his weakness in this game so he asks Tae-hyun to follow him ‘cause he has a tendency to travel. Then he falls over on his second turn, and actually is so embarrassed he asks for a do-over, all while Tae-hyun keeps spinning. Then since Su-geun has literally stopped the game, they tap Tae-hyun to stop, and he’s all, “Is it time already? HI FIVE!”
girlfriday: And then they make him spin all over again! That’s mean. Su-geun really does travel like he said, and he ends up falling all over the crew. Tae-hyun stumbles over, and they high-five about three times, because they can’t manage to make that smacking sound.
javabeans: Ha, and then after he’s done he heads for the oxygen. The other team says they didn’t satisfy the sound requirement (Lol), while they argue that they did. So Seung-woo generously offers them another go—why not, right? It (1) took them 52 seconds that first time, and (2) they’re already dizzy. Hehe. This time they manage 21 seconds, which is a lot better, while Seung-woo points out that they were lucky to both fall over in the same place.
girlfriday: Round 3. Elephant-nose hackey sack. Do you think the writers just sit in a room and think, what can we come up with to make the boys look like idiots?
javabeans: HAHAHA. I wonder if even the producers overestimated this game by a long shot. Tae-woong’s all, “I can’t do this normally!”
girlfriday: Joo-won goes first, and Tae-hyun is in super-petty mode, deciding that the wings on his sneakers are an unfair advantage. Hee.
javabeans: It’s hysterical because Tae-hyun is both super competitive and lazy. And also: Why does Joo-won wear winged sneakers like a 5-year-old??
girlfriday: Because he’s five? Joo-won spins and spins and then tosses the jaegi in the air… and OMIGOD I’m dying… he does this flying air kick that lands him flat on his ass with zero contact. Tae-hyun dies laughing so hard, and grabs Joo-won’s face, like in laugh-adoration.
javabeans: I think Tae-woong’s is even more hilarious, because he does exactly the same thing, but you can tell that he’s trying SO HARD to kick straight, and he still falls on his ass. This means both boys have to try again, and Bird PD disallows substituting members so Shi-kyung can’t take over.
girlfriday: So Joo-won has to go again… and does the same exact thing. Pffft. I think Tae-hyun has a new love, and it’s Joo-won’s gag comedy. He has another giggle fit and the caption calls him a “Joo-won-holic.” I think he’s crying.
javabeans: Tae-woong is up for his re-do, and does a bunch of test attempts, simulating dizziness. Ha, I’m pretty sure that doesn’t work. But he gets the tip to toss the jaegi in the direction of his fall (spinning left means you stagger left)… and it works! You can see him come out of his spin and concentrate REALLY HARD to drop the jaegi into his kick, and manages contact!
girlfriday: Did Tae-woong just succeed at doing something with his feet?
javabeans: I think he’s been secretly practicing. Seung-woo praises Tae-woong’s powers of concentration. Even they could see it.
girlfriday: Su-geun offers the other team a chance to reverse the results, and they let Shi-kyung try to beat Tae-woong’s record. He can only get in one kick though.
javabeans: Aw, he almost made the second one just by virtue of his long legs. Seung-woo quips that it’s like watching a building collapse.
girlfriday: They offer the same chance to anyone else, and Jong-min steps up to say he can do it. Su-geun says they’ll reduce it to one kick if he spins 12 times, and Jong-min’s like hey, I’ll do 15. And then Tae-woong’s like, how about 20? Jong-min’s like, Sure! Hahaha. Two things I’m learning from this exchange — Jong-min is really confident in his former-gymnastic abilities, and never take Jong-min to an auction. He might end up buying an island.
javabeans: Seung-woo steps in to be all, “Whoa now, buddy. Cool it.” I think they should’ve gone the other way, since Jong-min’s actually really good at hackeysack — 10 spins, but two kicks. But in any case, he starts staggering around at about 15, and by the time he’s at 20 he can barely stand. He aims the jaegi for his foot, and totally misses. Ha! I think Tae-hyun might pee himself, he’s laughing so hard.
girlfriday: It cracks me up how hard he threw that thing, like a projectile missile.
javabeans: Round 4: Elephant-nose whack-a-mole? I love this. You have to twirl, then grap those plastic hammers and be first to whack your opponent on the head. This is Tae-hyun versus Seung-woo, which should be hilarious. Seung-woo is so bloodthirsty in games like this, but he’s terrible at spinning.
girlfriday: They come out of the spin and Seung-woo falls, but manages to grab a hammer. Tae-hyun is upright, but goes in the wrong direction, so Seung-woo grabs the other hammer and chucks it like a mile away. HAHAHAHA.
javabeans: Hee! I love how he thinks so deviously. Tae-hyun scrambles by after the hammer, but Seung-woo grabs him by the jacket and thwacks.
girlfriday: His little victory hand-raise while flinging his hammer into the air is so cute.
javabeans: But wait! Tae-hyun got hit on the hand, not the head, and the PD confirms it. So Tae-hyun agrees to go again, if he can pick his competitor: Jong-min. By now it’s his catchphrase: “I did gymnastics!” And again, they suggest 20 spins. Oh, this should be good.
girlfriday: They look like they’re swimming. But there’s no water. They spin and flail and fall all over the place, but this time Tae-hyun is the bloodthirsty one.
javabeans: Tae-hyun gets him on the ground and gets in a thwack. And another. And another. HAHA. Is he getting out his earlier car-chase aggression?
girlfriday: It totally devolves into whack-a-mole. I love Su-geun’s idea of therapy: he just spins Tae-hyun the other way, to neutralize the dizzy.
javabeans: Inside, they’re briefed on morning mission, which is one of their simpler ones. They all get rice… but depending on when you arrive at breakfast, you might not get ingredients to make bibimbap. They ask how many people it’ll feed, and the PD answers, “It’s a little lacking.” Ha. Be prepared to race, boys.
girlfriday: Tae-hyun gets a birthday present from his fans, and that starts them on a discussion of what their fanclubs are called. Seung-woo: “Mine’s called Milky Boy.” Pwahahahaha. Even he acknowledges how funny it is, but it got started when he was much younger, and had pretty boy skin.
javabeans: Hahaha. This is such a weird star thing to do: “What’s your fan club named?” Tae-woong’s is the coolest, and gets a murmur of appreciation: PremiUM. When they get to Shi-kyung, he prefaces it by saying his isn’t that funny: “Purple Ocean.” Seung-woo immediately quips, “Time for bed.” Like it puts him to sleep? Aw.
girlfriday: Haha, Milky Boy’s got good timing.
javabeans: In the morning, most of the guys are up early—looks like they really want breakfast. They cradle their rice bowls, shoes on, and wait for the song, to set them off on the race. We get to see the tiny, tiny dishes at the breakfast table, which look pretty pathetic.
girlfriday: There’s two eggs. I’d go straight for those, and the sauces. The music starts, and off they go. Tae-hyun is first, but then Shi-kyung catches up and pulls him back into second. Ha. Along with Joo-won in third, the three of them get most of the ingredients off the table, while Jong-min and Seung-woo trail behind to scrape the plates.
javabeans: Are Tae-woong and Su-geun just going to be eating cold white rice?
girlfriday: Pretty much. Tae-woong finally arrives in a sleepy stupor, and starts eating his plain rice. Tae-hyun sweetly gives him some egg, which he mixes in happily. And then Su-geun trails in last and munches on his cold rice with a sigh.
javabeans: Breakfast is followed by a hike up a mountain trail, ending at a house where poet-scholar Jung Yak-yong once taught. (He’s one of the area’s famous historical figures; Jong-min’s tea-shop task was also connected to him.)
girlfriday: They end in a grove of camellia trees, and sit around making whistles out of blades of grass, like little kids.
javabeans: Seems appropriate, given I think they all regressed about two decades (and in some cases, three) for this episode.
girlfriday: Which is how we like it. Note: the next two weeks won’t have new episodes due to the strike, so we’ll play it by ear as far as recaps go, depending on what they air.