EPISODE 386. Broadcast on May 13, 2012.
javabeans: And 1N2D is back! Thanks to the union strike, we’ve had about a month off from new episodes, with some filler broadcasts in the interim, but this is the first episode back. Ratings for 1N2D and Happy Sunday were cut in half from their usual numbers, but we’ll see if new material helps bring the show back to fighting form.
girlfriday: The boys arrive and greet each other like it’s been forever, and Su-geun jokes that it’s awkward again between him and Tae-hyun. It does seem like the new cast has been apart equally as long as they’ve been together.
javabeans: The caption tells us the cast has gone six weeks without fiming, and they’ve gone on… three trips? So yeah, that’s about right.
girlfriday: It’s 4am when they gather for the opening. And wait, where’s Joo-won? Has it been so long he forgot he was on this show?
javabeans: Huh. The guys proceed like it’s normal, though, so he must have an excuse. Although, I say, drama shooting is no excuse since Tae-woong’s here and his show is currently airing! Speaking of whom, he’s picked up another of Ho-dong’s moves by bowing all the way to the ground when they give their intro greeting, forcing everyone else to kneel with him. Hehe. Tae-hyun’s left standing there confused, and Su-geun points out that he can’t NOT do it now.
girlfriday: ‘Cause then you’re the insolent guy who’s got no manners, when really you were just standing there.
javabeans: It’s the equivalent of the “Volunteers, step forward!” maneuver when everyone else then takes a step back, leaving you high and dry.
girlfriday: They pick on Shi-kyung (partly because he’s the last to arrive) because he shows up wearing an olympic tracksuit all of a sudden, and when he says it was a gift from an athlete, Tae-woong perks up, “What kind of relationship do you have that you’re exchanging clothes?” This guy needs a girlfriend, stat.
javabeans: Shi-kyung, for the clothes, or Tae-woong, for making everything about a girlfriend?
girlfriday: Tae-woong, who turns everything into a boy-girl “thing.”
javabeans: I love that when he started on 1N2D I was like, how come he doesn’t date more? And now, it’s like, Oy, somebody step in and help marry him off!
girlfriday: He’s gonna be the next Jung Jun-ha, with the entire Korean population acting as his matchmaker ajumma.
javabeans: Tae-woong’s face lights up at the talk of dramas, though, since he’s currently got first place in the ratings. (Joo-won is apparently heading up to join them after finishing a shoot for Bridal Mask.) Both Jong-min and Su-geun chime in that they’ve been watching, and quote a line from a recent episode. Where he kissed Lee Bo-young, of course. They comment on how long the kiss scene went, and Tae-woong admits that he asked the director to make it long. HA.
girlfriday: Hee. It’s adorable how giddy he is about the show. But I still hate his drama hair.
javabeans: They ask how the guys like Tae-hyun and Jong-min have been doing in the long break, since they don’t have other show commitments. Tae-hyun says he was so bored he called up Kim Jong-gook to ask if he could come out to Running Man. Caption: Absolutely not!
girlfriday: Ha. Variety foul.
javabeans: Jong-min has a new single out, but sadly, he says he had nowhere to promote it! Is it ‘cause the music shows were on strike?
girlfriday: He says he pushed the release till he could be on 1N2D, which is, as with all things Jong-min, simultaneously funny and sad.
javabeans: The guys ask for a live rendition, and he says he can’t do it live, and then asks Shi-kyung to sing it! His own song! Oh, Jong-min.
javabeans: Jong-min does end up singing a bit, with Su-geun chiming in. Tae-woong comments that the song is pretty catchy, and sticks in your head easily: “Is it plagiarized?” Hee. Tae-woong’s gotten so much better at the comic timing. At first you could tell he prepared all these jokes, but now he’s just tossing them out there.
girlfriday: Maybe being the ratings king has given him a boost of confidence. Su-geun says they even met up when they were supposed to shoot. They cut in footage of the boys hanging out and playing soccer together. That’s just so cute.
javabeans: The PD announces a special guest, and out comes somebody with his face covered, wearing a black cape. They wonder if it’s Joo-won, but it turns out to be… comedian Kim Joon-hyun? Huh? That’s random. Even more random is the long spiel he goes into, which is like a one-man Gag Concert skit.
girlfriday: Oh, I know why they called him. He finally gets through the spiel and announces the title: Dolphin, [dol-go-rae], and he does this bit on Gag Concert that he’s famous for with the catchphrase go-rae (whale). It’s not funny in translation.
javabeans: I don’t really find it funny in Korean either, but I’m not really a Gag Concert type of person. Still, I don’t get why he’s on this show. It makes me think there was a behind-the-scenes bet and some PD lost and had to cough up a 1N2D appearance or something. “Eh, just stick him in the opening.”
girlfriday: I get that he’s popular right now, but that’s a lot of hoops for one forced pun.
javabeans: To make it somewhat relevant, the writer tells them they’re going to go dolphin-watching as part of today’s Exploring Nature trip. The PD tells them it’s Part 1, and Tae-woong deadpans, “And how many parts are there?” I guess it’s funnier in his delivery. Shi-kyung wonders if it’ll be hard to meet up with the dolphins, and Tae-woong quips, “You’ll have to make an appointment.” He’s like on fire with the quick one-liners. I know they don’t seem that funny in writing, but it’s all in his droll delivery.
girlfriday: His jokes are still embarrassing, but his timing is much better.
javabeans: Plus, he’s gotten the hang of the delivery. He used to practically giggle as he said the jokes, but now he waits like two seconds before laughing, which makes it so much funnier. If he could keep the deadpan all the way through, it would be even better. He has one last joke, when they wonder what happens if they can’t see the dolphins. Tae-woong sneaks in with, “If we don’t see a dolphin [dol-go-rae], at least we’ll get to see a sool-go-rae [a big drinker]!” And then points to Seung-woo. Keh.
girlfriday: Morning comes and Joo-won joins them at the airport. Aw, he must be dead tired. As they wait in the ticketing line, Su-geun marvels at the actors’ ID photos. Okay, Tae-woong’s is impressive. Jong-min and Su-geun look like kids in theirs.
javabeans: Are they playing “Chariots of Fire” purely to tease Shi-kyung for his athlete’s jacket? He does a whole mock-Olympic-departure bit, promising to do his best to bring home a medal, and Su-geun plays the part of coach, telling him not to talk to the press: “You won’t get a medal anyway, so don’t talk to them.” Ha/aw.
girlfriday: They arrive in Jeju and two marine wildlife professors meet them to introduce the dolphins that they’ll be looking for. There are only 114 of them and they all live off the coast of Jeju. The boys ask what the odds are that they’ll spot some today, and he says 50-50. Hm, chances of sleeping outside with no dinner are looking high.
javabeans: Okay, so their first task is terrible, in that I think enforced tickling is more like a punishment than a game. Jong-min just about dies, but manages to hang in there for 24 seconds. I’m thinking that’s pretty impressive, but then Seung-woo goes and he’s like, “I’m not ticklish so this won’t be entertaining.” Sure enough, he just stands there still while everyone’s molesting him, absolutely no reaction.
girlfriday: Okay, that’s freakish. How is he just standing there?
javabeans: I love that everyone else is having giggle fits with their tickling attempts, but he’s just like, Ho-hum. Su-geun quips that after 40 you lose all feeling.
girlfriday: Su-geun insists that there HAS to be a ticklish spot somewhere, and they literally search his whole body. They finally call it quits and his time is infinity. Ha.
javabeans: Then it’s Tae-woong’s turn, and he says he’s not ticklish either. But he’s already giggling, and everyone pulls out all the stops to get him to surrender, pulling off his shoes and going for his bare feet, underarms, nostrils. He’s laughing the whole time, but Jong-min guesses, “I think he’s enjoying it!” Bingo. Tae-woong says he’s really not ticklish, and the PD asks why he’s laughing so much. Tae-woong: “Because I like it!” Ha.
girlfriday: Wut? Hahaha. The bro-force, it is strong with this one.
javabeans: Tae-hyun gives up in 5 seconds, literally. Joo-won lasts 9, and Shi-kyung… 2.9 seconds, HAHA. But then it’s Su-geun’s turn, and he starts by boasting of his mind control powers. Which means he’s about to get schooled, no? And…. 2.1 seconds it is.
girlfriday: So the winners get their choice of transportation for the dolphin mission: a jeep, two boats, and a helicopter.
javabeans: How is it that nobody’s clamoring for the helicopter? It actually goes to Shi-kyung, who has practically last pick.
girlfriday: I know, right? That would be my first choice. And he only takes it because Su-geun is deathly afraid. I would purposely fly to Jeju to take that helicopter tour. Bird PD gives each member a 5000 won allowance, and tells them that if they find dolphins today, they will have no morning mission (meaning they get breakfast free and clear) and if they fail, they all go into the ocean.
javabeans: It’s cute that Jong-min and Seung-woo take the same car together, since they can continue their bonding. Although I worry for them, since they run into hiccups from the start. Seung-woo: “This is your first time reading a map, isn’t it?” They have trouble even just getting the car started (Jong-min thinks it’s broken, when he just hasn’t put the key in).
girlfriday: Ha. I love these two together. Such an unexpected pair to come out of the new cast, but they’re strangely good and funnier when they’re with each other.
javabeans: Aw, Joo-won gets seasick and lies down with his head in Su-geun’s lap. Shortly thereafter Su-geun’s also looking a little green. And they’ve got six more hours to go! Eeep.
girlfriday: It’s a good thing there are two boat teams, ‘cause they’re down for the count. Tae-woong and Tae-hyun, meanwhile, chatter on to keep from going crazy, or perhaps because they’ve already gone insane. Tae-woong’s calling out to the dolphins as if they can hear him, and then he suddenly stops like he sees something, “It’s… the ocean!” Wah, waaaaah.
javabeans: Still landbound, Shi-kyung is waiting for the weather to clear before he can get into his ‘copter. Seung-woo and Jong-min decide they’ll use their allowance money on some breakfast, and go on a mini-runaround trying to find a place with meals for 5,000 won. And in the boats, the teams are told they can buy meals from the yacht that the crew is on nearby, getting a basket of sandwiches and milk in return. Ha, I love that Su-geun automatically hands out the food to the crew, since there’s enough for everyone, but then Tae-woong looks at the food and gets a genius idea. Instead of sharing, he asks, “Director… would you like to buy lunch?” HAHAHA. They jack up the price, too.
girlfriday: Hey, fair’s fair. And then over lunch, the weather thankfully clears. It goes from nothing but gray fog to blue skies.
javabeans: That means Shi-kyung can finally get in the air. Meanwhile, Jong-min and Seung-woo arrive at the shore, and excitable Jong-min immediately starts thinking everything is a dolphin. He mistakes some floats for sea life, and then starts seeing stuff out of nothing. Seung-woo: “I think you’re making things up.” How cute, both Jong-min and Tae-woong have the same idea to… um… psychically communicate with the dolphins. Jong-min does this high-pitched thing like the whale-talk in Finding Nemo, which is so strange. Credit to Seung-woo for not mocking him for it.
girlfriday: He’s mocking him in his mind. The boat teams are seriously starting to go a little nuts. Su-geun and Joo-won start doing this call-and-answer like a pair of zombies, and then in the next boat over, Tae-woong’s jumping up and down like a loon. After waiting forever (and passing the time playing KBS newscaster), Shi-kyung finally starts his helicopter tour. Seung-woo and Jong-min stop at a good spot to take in the view, and it strikes me that while everyone else is searching for dolphins, these two are just having a nice day.
javabeans: It’s adorable. Finally there’s action on the boat side, which we get from the point of view of a cameraman hurriedly turning on his camera while someone shouts offscreen that they’ve spotted something. The VJ rushes to join Tae-woong and Tae-hyun, who have seen a dolphin jumping, but which is no longer visible. We barely see the blurry outline of a dolphin in the waves going by, but we’re operating on broadcast rules here: If you didn’t get it on camera, it didn’t happen. At least it gives them the tip to go to that area, so Jong-min and Seung-woo start driving thataway.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung lands to refuel and then goes back up for one last round.
javabeans: And then, the dolphins come! At first you see one or two and it’s sort of normal, but then they all leap into the air at once and it’s crazy. There must be at least fifty of them. Damn, that’s an impressive sight.
girlfriday: Wow. It’s totally goosebump-inducing, Planet Earth-style. And it’s totally dramatic that he spots them with five minutes of gas left to spare.
javabeans: The other guys call it a day and head back to land, disappointed to have missed out on the big movie moment. But it looks like they go out again the next day, and chances are good that the view is better the second time around.
girlfriday: I think this episode got a lot of criticism as the big comeback episode, for being more docu than variety. It was definitely lighter on the laughs, but I love nature documentaries, and the payoff was worth it.
javabeans: I do wish there were more moments of interaction between all the members, but I figure all trips tend to follow a similar format; if dinnertime is where we get the funny, I’m willing to wait.