EPISODE 388. Broadcast on May 27, 2012.
girlfriday: The boys gather for the opening and congratulate Tae-woong on finishing Equator Man. He does a ceremonial baton pass over to Joo-won for Gaksital, which actually replaced his drama on the same network, same timeslot. Cue teaser, and Joo-won screaming GAKSITAAAAAAAAL! which is already an addiction of mine.
javabeans: It’s adorable now when Joo-won does it, but… how long till you think we get sick of hearing that name, screamed that way? Basically now every time I hear the drama title, I’m doing the Gaksital scream.
girlfriday: I’m still stuck on the way he screamed it last week, with that moisturizing mask on, “GaksitaaaAAA~aaaaAAA~aaL!” It’s gonna take some serious badassery to replace that image in my brain. Though he’s clearly on his way.
javabeans: Seeing Joo-won on 1N2D both ruins his image for me, and makes me appreciate his acting more. Because they’re like two different people, variety Joo-won and actor Joo-won. Just like Tae-woong, whose acting I am starting to think is better than I credited him for. When he runs on film, he’s all speedy and fierce, chasin’ criminals and such as. Now I’m just thinking to myself, “Notice this is a close-up.”
girlfriday: Yes, it’s both more impressive, and another hurdle to overcome to get into character, because it’s hard not to see DogFeet and Scrunchy Hedgehog Boy.
javabeans: Hee, the boys ask the PD where they’re going today, and Tae-woong says it can’t be far because they weren’t called early: “My mother worried because we were starting so late!” Seung-woo steps in: “No, your mother is worried because you aren’t married yet.”
girlfriday: Bird PD tells them that today’s concept is Unity Games. So we get to skip the sightseeing and go straight to the wacky bonding games? Sounds good to me!
javabeans: It’ll make the trip TO their travel destination a lot more funny, which I am all in favor of. The first game is a quiz for lunch money, where all the members have to give the same answer to score cash. They’ll drive to the rest stop and get a chance at ten rounds, so hopefully they can scrounge up enough answers to eat SOMETHING.
girlfriday: They get to the first rest stop and get told that all seven of them have to give the correct answer to the first question to get… 100 won?? Joo-won’s like, “You mean each, right?” Su-geun starts a rebellion (his specialty) and argues that statistically, seven grown men need 78,600 won to eat. They’re like, how do you know this? Su-geun: “That’s what I think.” Hahaha.
javabeans: How is that a prize? They must increase exponentially or something, since 100 won is enough to buy a breathmint, maybe. It’s a dime! A chart explains the increments, which still seem puny: Round 1 is 100 won, Round 2 is 200 won, Round 3 is 400 won, and Round 4 is 800. So if you get them all right, you have a buck-fifty.
girlfriday: Oh so this isn’t an everyone-gives-the-same-answer quiz, but more like Family Feud, where they have to give seven different but correct answers, like seven types of kimchi. At least that’s easier.
javabeans: Oh phew. It’s timed and they have to go in order, but it’s not so impossible to name seven dishes of Chinese cuisine, for instance. The 400 won question is to list actors from the 1980s-90s Hong Kong film boom, and the boys easily name them. But this is always the stuff that trips me up—Koreanized names of Chinese or Hong Kong actors. I have to look them up in Korean, find the hanja, then look up the characters to match them up with their Westernized names, which are totally different from the names they use in the East.
girlfriday: Oh those are the worst. I don’t even know who they’re talking about till I see the pictures, and then I’m like, that’s what you call that guy? Haha, I like the one where they have to name characters from Dooly, and Tae-woong shouts, “Space Trash Monster!” It sounds made up, but I guess it’s real.
javabeans: He’s ready to throw down to defend it, too. He launches into this whole explanation of the character, while the crew literally gets on their smartphones to check.
girlfriday: I love how Tae-woong describes the scene exactly, giving away just how intently he watched (watches?) said cartoon.
javabeans: He gets all mad when they question the exact naming, and when they agree on a re-do round, he glares and names another character instead, just so they can’t argue. HAHA.
girlfriday: He gives another obscure character, just because he can, and then launches into another scene explanation of when the Skull Monster shows up.
javabeans: Yoo PD asks how old he was when he saw all this, and he answers all cutely, “I watched it when I was young, and I watch it these days too.”
girlfriday: Pffft. I knew it! He still watches Saturday morning cartoons. Why is this in no way surprising?
javabeans: I love how he gets so into his explanation that he trips over his words and stuff, like when an excited 5-year-old boy is trying to explain something to you real fast but his thoughts outrun his vocabulary.
girlfriday: The group develops this hilarious habit of huddling after each round to talk amongst themselves, and answers that got a big cheer in front of the PDs get questioned: “What’s that? Is that a real thing? That was a close one, yunno!”
javabeans: It’s adorable. When their teammate gives an answer, you gotta act all confident like it’s a real thing, and then after you pass the round you can question it. Teamwork, yo. Then after Yoo PD lets them slide on one answer, they all cheer her name and praise what a good PD she is, and how she doesn’t stumble over her words, unlike someone they know. Aw.
girlfriday: Haha. They make it all the way to the last round, but this question is insanely hard. In the third week of January 1996, what were the top ten songs on Inkigayo? What the?
javabeans: HA, I recognize those songs! I’m wondering if it’s (1) impossible on purpose, or (2) a special date for one of them?
girlfriday: I love that they all start going back — how old was I then? What was I listening to?
javabeans: And then Su-geun has a brain flash: He remembers going to a music festival at that time, and tries to think who was popular then. Clon, Park Jin-young… but he gets it wrong on the first try anyway, haha. Then everyone just starts tossing out famous songs from the nineties. That’s it for this round, but the game’s far from over. At the next stop they get a chance to go double or half, and at a third stop it’s triple, etc. The boys are more concerned with the part where they lose money than the opportunity to score more, since they have just enough for a comfortable cheap lunch now, but Yoo PD says they have to go along with the itinerary. Grumbles all ‘round.
girlfriday: They sing on their way to the next stop, and Su-geun remembers that when he was young, if anyone could sing Kim Gun-mo’s “Unfortunate Meeting” they were jjang. Who can do that? Besides Kim Gun-mo, I mean.
javabeans: That song is impossible. I remember doing it at noraebangs and basically it’s one of those songs where you just sing the first syllable of each line and mumble the rest till you run out of breath.
girlfriday: Strangely enough, I think I can still mumble my way through 50% of it, so I guess it’s as memorable as it is hard.
javabeans: Can you imagine dancing around onstage while singing, though? Your lungs would get a workout. In any case, this brings up mention of a generation gap with Seung-woo, who was already acting then, and they compare ages: Joo-won was born in 1987, which is the year Seung-woo went to college.
girlfriday: Wow, Class of ‘87 and born in ‘87?
javabeans: Then they start all singing along to a Koyote song, and I swear, Jong-min’s about to cry from the warm fuzzies. Aw. He’s such a softie.
girlfriday: They get to the next rest stop, where they have the chance to double their money, or halve it. Well, not a chance so much as forced play, but hopefully they can double it. The game is simple: group jumprope, twenty times.
javabeans: I always enjoy the player scorecards, and this time we get: Tae-woong’s strength as muscular build, but weakness is that that’s all he’s got. Seung-woo used to be an athletics major… 20 years ago. Jong-min used to be a gymnast and has no weaknesses. Joo-won is young and agile and is filming an action drama. His only weakness? A lack of experience. Shi-kyung is quick on the uptake, but “body cannot follow brain.” Tae-hyun’s shortness is both his strength and weakness, while Su-geun’s is “even shorter” and “extremely short.”
girlfriday: HA. They seem to have a good strategy though, in that they send Jong-min and Joo-won in first, who both jump super high. Shi-kyung is the weak link and only clears a few inches with each jump, but is at the lowest part of the jumprope. Then Tae-hyun and Su-geun come last but can also jump high. They get sooo close, but Shi-kyung gets caught in the rope at 16. Dude! You have the least amount of rope to clear!
javabeans: I think I actually like seeing Shi-kyung mess up at stuff, because he gets so sorry that it makes him upset, and then he argues with PDs. Which we don’t normally see from him when he’s being all mild-mannered and smart. And in the car ride to the next stop, he’s so obviously sorry that everyone chimes in to make him feel better. Tae-woong says that manning the jumprope was hard enough, and Seung-woo’s all, “No no, I almost lost my grip on the rope anyway.” It’s so sweet. Totally transparent, but aww-worthy.
girlfriday: They get to their next stop, where they have the chance to triple their money, and they’re presented with 100 little yogurts. Okay, I would rock this game. I don’t even know what it is, but if it’s drinking a hundred yogurts, I would rule!
javabeans: OR IS IT VINEGAR? Still confident?
girlfriday: Oh WHAT?
javabeans: It’s a game of chance, and the boys try to rationalize which ones are safe. They get pretty lucky, though we do get a bunch of fake-outs. After all seven clear the task, they attack the yogurt table to fill their bellies, since they’re starving. HAHA, afterward the crew clears up the 10 x 10 grid of yogurts, revealing the pattern underneath marking which ones were safe and which were vinegar: The dots spell out “DUMMY.”
girlfriday: Hahaha. The writers’ petty revenge.
javabeans: That gives them a total lunch budget of just under 40 bucks, which is enough for each guy to buy noodles. But Su-geun wants more money (or is just stirring up more variety material) and says they barely have enough, and wants a bonus round. Name a game.
girlfriday: What they really want is another chance at jumprope but the rope’s back at the last stop. The PD suggests the Human Zero game, which I think is a bad idea. Too easy to lose. Sure enough, they lose, and half their lunch money goes down the drain. They decide to just buy packets of ramyun and get some kimchi and rice to fill their tummies.
javabeans: So sad. Even with attempted cheating, which failed when they forgot to stick to the plan. But I guess it’s more interesting than seeing them always winning everything and eating comfortably. (Okay, that makes me sound sadistic.) But that’s what happens when your soft-hearted main PD steps aside and the younger PDs are all hardass about the rules, not letting you practice too much or catching you cheating.
girlfriday: Then they get it in their heads that they have to find a picturesque spot at which to eat said ramyun, and Seung-woo starts getting grumpy. He’s like, what about there? That spot was perfectly good! And there!
javabeans: I’m wondering how they’d cook the ramyun, though I suppose they could have a portable range or something.
girlfriday: Yeah that’s a given on this show. I’ve seen Ho-dong eat ramyun crouched in the middle of a street more times than I can count.
javabeans: They find a spot by a pretty road, and stop to ask the farmer ajusshi if they can borrow the roadside bench at the side of his field. He’s all, “If I knew you were coming I’d have cleaned it,” which is so cute. They all sit down and wait for water to boil, but Seung-woo is REALLY HUNGRY and suggests they all have one spoonful of rice first. The boys do, just plain rice with no kimchi or anything, and I swear they’ve got these blissful faces like this is the best thing in the world.
girlfriday: How they manage to make the plainest food look so delicious is beyond me. Even as they scarf down the ramyun, Seung-woo says, “I really dislike ramyun!” *scarf scarf scarf* *nom nom nom*
javabeans: Su-geun’s all, “Director, have some too” (while everyone’s inhaling the ramyun), and the PD retorts, “Don’t say things you don’t mean.” They joke at what a funny sight they’d be if they were residents here. Seung-woo calls Jong-min the village babo, and Shi-kyung gets labeled the civil exam student while Joo-won’s the aspiring celebrity. Tae-woong’s the laborer, Tae-hyun the young master. They don’t name Seung-woo anything, but I’m seeing him as the village chieftain. Or, as they call him when the analogy turns to cars, he’s the broken-down car. I’m laughing my head off as everyone joins in on the Seung-woo pile-on: He’s old, guzzles lots of gas, and “was once a good car.”
girlfriday: Hahaha. After lunch they go rafting, which I guess is a race since they split up into OB and YB.
javabeans: When you see OB, do you keep thinking they ought to be pictured with beer? If they’re gonna be the old boys, they may as well get the OB beer to go with it.
girlfriday: I think that would make Tae-woong happy. I dunno if he actually drinks the most, but he always talks about it.
javabeans: I bet Seung-woo’s the big drinker. He’s made enough little asides about it. The rafting looks super fun, but it also makes me bloodthirsty ‘cause I feel like anything less than half the crew falling overboard will be a disappointment.
girlfriday: I know! No one capsizes, but Su-geun does a backflip off of his raft, just for fun. They get to a resting point, and Su-geun suggests a race–water-slap for the losers, and “pies made of choco” for the winners. Ha. Nice way around the product placement.
javabeans: The OBs win, so they all flip into the water, which gives us the image of Gramps Seung-woo having to be guided by the arm to the edge of his raft so then he can somersault into the water. Such strange dichotomy. Then, it’s the water slap, where basically a teammate flings a bucket of water into their faces. Are they just doing this for fun?
girlfriday: They’re just practicing for how they’ll bucket the YBs. After getting in a couple of whopping slaps, Su-geun’s like, “Maybe we don’t need to be hitting each other…” Ha.
javabeans: When the YBs come in, they get their selection from the punishment menu: the bowling slap, the warrior, the baseball. Joo-won kneels for his water-slap and everyone comments how cool he looks; he’s like a sageuk hero, and they’re all, he should’ve picked warrior. So Shi-kyung goes next and picks warrior, which is the most painful slap based on the practice round, and the OBs all do that scary thing where they’re like, “Are you sure? Really sure?” So he changes it to bowling, where Su-geun slaps him pretending his bucket is a bowling ball.
javabeans: Jong-min gets the warrior pick, and kneels in full acting mode, sneering at his “executioner” Tae-woong, who holds his bucket like a sword. Jong-min’s all, “Go ahead, kill me!” But then Tae-woong wields his bucket menacingly and he’s all, “No no, I change my mind! Save me!” Why is it so entertaining watching grown men just wailing on each other for fun?
girlfriday: Seriously. The more juvenile, the better. Hahaha, the one Su-geun does through the legs like he’s hiking a football at Jong-min’s face is awesome.
javabeans: Afterward, Su-geun washes up at an outdoor fountain, and Jong-min wonders if they should join him, topless. Tae-woong looks at him blankly so he asks, “Why, are you not confident in your physique?” Ha, Tae-woong just gives him this look, like, you kidding me? Then they join Su-geun in the topless washing session, and a writer jokes, “Jong-min, move out of the way” (as in, you’re blocking Tae-woong?). They totally all soap each other up, all shivering from the cold and giggling ‘cause it’s silly.
javabeans: Then a water fight breaks out, and the captions tell us helpfully, “Altogether, 111 years old.”
girlfriday: Some boys grow old, but never grow up.
javabeans: Looks like the evening portion of the episode brings more games, and more jokgu. And uh-oh, I’m not sure this is going to end well for anyone…