EPISODE 389. Broadcast on June 3, 2012.
javabeans: We resume for the evening portion of the Variety Group Bonding Games. Last week, the boys earned lunch allowance, played a round of group jump rope, drank yogurt-or-vinegar, and white water rafted for water-slap punishment rights. Now it’s time for dinner bokbulbok, with Seung-woo the mat-hyung taking the position as leader/MC. He squints at the folder given to him saying he can’t see well, and Tae-hyun pokes his finger through his glasses, saying it’s ‘cause he’s missing his lenses. HA! Did he just call out the hyung for wearing vanity glasses?
girlfriday: Hahaha. I love it! They’re ajusshi glasses, on top of it all. Why would you wear those for vanity?
javabeans: Dude, I can’t get over Joo-won the aegyo machine, wearing his ridiculous hats and joking and acting like a big kid. It was a bit strange last week when the drama was brand-new, but now that we’ve seen four episodes of Gaksital, it’s downright jarring. I guess it means he’s a good actor, since knowing of his 1N2D personality doesn’t make me hate his Kang-to character any less.
girlfriday: I was just thinking how weird he looks now. It’s starting to break my brain. Omg, is he making hand-hearts?
javabeans: Wearing a “Joyful” cap, no less. How… Joo-won… Kang-to… ?? Okay, this next matter of business cracks me up, because it’s a hilarious pun. It’s the raising of the flag: There are three flagpoles, each bearing a letter that spells out Viewership Ratings. Cue the call: “Raise the viewership ratings!” HAHA.
girlfriday: Pfft, I love that they stop halfway. Message! The dinner games will be Cast vs. Staff, and right away Su-geun points out how unfair it is that they have dinner on the line, while the staff has no stakes in winning or losing. So… you want to give them MORE motivation to beat you?
javabeans: Ha, did he think that one through? At least if the crew is half-assing it, you’ve got a better shot. Shi-kyung speaks up for his team and the caption calls him the team lawyer. Then Shi-kyung stutters and Tae-hyun quips, “He was the cheapest lawyer we could find.”
girlfriday: Su-geun suggests that if the staff team loses, they ought to jump into the nice convenient river near camp in the morning.
javabeans: The thing about playing jokgu or soccer with the staff is, you’ve got a fixed number of cast members. And some of them suck. Whereas you have an entire crew of young, athletic guys with various different skills, who can swap in and out depending on the game.
girlfriday: That must be why they call out Bird PD to be on the team. It’s just enough heckling that he can’t NOT do it now.
javabeans: Yay, the lighting director’s back as ref. He’s so reliably terrible, but in the best way. You can’t even force that kind of awkward refereeing; it’s just the way he is, as a person.
girlfriday: I love it when he refs the game. Doesn’t matter what it is.
javabeans: Ref runs through the rules, then adds that he’ll let them bend some rules “if you do it entertainingly.” Because these are the Variety Games, don’tcha know.
girlfriday: Haha. I like these rules. Follow the rules, but if it’s funny, you don’t have to follow the rules.
javabeans: Does that apply retroactively? Can I break a rule boringly, and then argue it entertainingly, and win the point anyway? Loophole!
girlfriday: I’m thinking no one’s going to win this game on skill. Haha, already Su-geun’s figured out the staff’s weak spot: Bird PD. But… you guys have DogFeet. It might be even.
javabeans: I’m wondering if the added stakes (the water dunking) are a liability for the cast, in that the crew has to be dreading the prospect of showing their bodies and dripping wet when they never do that. At least the boys are used to stripping and getting wet. Wait, I didn’t mean it that way.
girlfriday: Well, it’s true! Haha, Tae-woong gets subbed out pretty fast, and the ref blows his whistle, “Don’t sub without my permission! I’m sensitive and I’ll get mad!”
javabeans: Shi-kyung’s better than I thought he’d be, since he seems to dislike athletic challenges. I can see why they started with Tae-woong in the game and Seung-woo out (can’t have both black holes on the field at the same time) but I’m wondering why they’re not playing Joo-won. I’m probably just assuming he’s good, but don’t you want to play all your good people up front so you win faster?
girlfriday: Well… he was hilariously bad at jaegi, like nothing-but-air bad.
javabeans: That’s true. But jaegi while spinning doesn’t feel like an accurate showing of foot-talents.
girlfriday: Maybe he Gaksitaaaal’ed himself out.
javabeans: Haha, Bird PD is really our boys’ only hope. He’s not actually terrible, but he’s always the one making the unforced errors.
girlfriday: Maybe HE’s gonna be the new Heodang.
javabeans: I like how even the boys call him Bird PD. Does nobody remember he has a real name?
girlfriday: It’s actually an interesting dynamic because he’s probably younger than most of the cast. Everyone used to call Na PD “Director” no matter what, but this guy just gets called “Bird PD.”
javabeans: Plus he’s also getting the new-guy hazing ritual as the butt of all jokes. Bird PD makes a particularly funny blunder with a heading attempt, and Tae-hyun does a “real life replay” by mimicking his move. Ref actually blows his whistle to say, “That was funny!” like it’s an official announcement.
girlfriday: HA. He has the best awkward timing ever.
javabeans: The editors also make it a point to indicate everytime Ref calls it “dooce” instead of “deuce.” Heh. They sub out Jong-min for Tae-woong, and Su-geun advises him to stay out of the way: “You can even sit down off to the side.” Ha.
girlfriday: Somehow (I think because of Bird PD) the cast team wins the first set after a bunch of deuces.
javabeans: In Round 2 we have Seung-woo and Joo-won in the game, and Seung-woo is hilariously short-tempered. He doesn’t actually get angry, but with Jong-min chirping “Hyung! Hyung! Hyung!” like an excited parrot, Seung-woo barks crankily, “WHAT?” I love their friendship. The cast wins, though, and then it’s on to the finals.
girlfriday: Then they start the next set and win the first point, and the ref’s like, “I didn’t blow my whistle!” To start the game? So it doesn’t count?
javabeans: Ha, it does not. He’s all, “I guess that was practice.” Su-geun’s victory dance was for nothing.
girlfriday: They get to deuce again, and Su-geun points out that it would be their first jokgu victory over the staff… ever. Man, that’s a lot of years of losing to the same guys.
javabeans: Haha, Bird PD really is heo-dang. The crew gets the advantage point, and when they huddle, everyone else cheers with their hands flinging upward, and he flings downward. Seung-woo is a terrible commentator. The whole time from the sidelines, he’s calling out, “Whoa, look at that! Look! Just look! Look at that! Look!”
girlfriday: There’s a long volley back and forth for the last point, and there’s a moment where the ref raises his hand and puts his whistle in his mouth to call out of bounds on the staff team… but then doesn’t blow.
javabeans: HA, it looks super suspicious in replay. The boys ask why he raised his hand, and he explains, “It appeared to me… it was… A TINY BIT…” What, OUT?
girlfriday: Hee! Oh, so it was just a TEENSY bit out? So… not out? Worst ref ever. But so funny.
javabeans: The boys forgot to argue funnily, he might’ve given it to them. Oh well, the staff ends up winning, which takes us to Battle #2: Tug of war.
girlfriday: How could they possibly win over guys who lug those giant ass cameras everywhere they go??
javabeans: Is Tae-woong eavesdropping on the crew strategy huddle? He’s listening intently, then mumbles, “Ah, that’s true” and goes running back to his team.
girlfriday: Oh they actually put up a good fight and the tug-of-war lasts a while. But the camera guys win in the end, leaving the boys huffing and puffing with jelly legs. Aw, no dinner for them?
javabeans: Yoo PD tells them that they won’t go entirely without, but they’ll all have to share one dish. Let’s hope it’s the world’s largest rice bowl.
girlfriday: Haha, it’s a child’s lunch tray. But Shi-kyung says confidently that he can make it work, so the hyungs send him and Joo-won to bring back whatever they can.
javabeans: Now I’m remembering Ji-won’s gravity-defying mountain of rice where the mound was about four times the size of the bowl given.
girlfriday: That was the biggest scoop of rice EVER.
javabeans: The boys send Shi-kyung off with all the gravitas of sending a spy into enemy territory to win the war. “I’m trusting in you, Shi-kyung-ah.” “I’ll do my very best.”
girlfriday: You get the feeling he might not walk away with his life if he doesn’t do a good job.
javabeans: Oh man, he starts by filling in the tray with rice, and pressing it so tight it’s well on its way to becoming rice cake. He smashes a good layer on the tray and flattens it out, then adds more layers. Oh man.
girlfriday: This is turning out to be more of an architectural piece than food.
javabeans: It’s like a rice cake, but in the Western sense. A full on sheet cake. Made of rice.
girlfriday: He then creates a wall of peppers on top, and fills the middle with meat. He’s thought this through.
javabeans: This is actually hilarious. They made the right decision, sending in the methodical brain of the group.
girlfriday: He piles other side dishes above that layer, and then it gets a kimchi hat on top.
javabeans: The other boys wait for his return, and a VJ tells them, “Will you give a clap?” He must mean for the slate, but Tae-woong never missed a ssullung joke opportunity and quips, “Did we do something right?” Yes you did, you sent Shi-kyung to get dinner, and for that he deserves a golf clap.
girlfriday: Ha, he walks the tray over singing “Happy Birthday.” The hyungs are sufficiently impressed by the tower of food, and they scrape every last bite off that tray.
javabeans: After dinner is sleeping bokbulbok. On the bright side, everyone’ s sleeping indoors tonight. There’s a catch, of course, and that’s that the seven sleeping tent/structures that have been erected have been ranked in order of amenities.
girlfriday: Wait, Bird PD called them to each come up with their own game? Did the writers go on vacation or something? This is what we call being creatively lazy.
javabeans: The thing that makes it smart (though yes, lazy) is that it forces the boys into strategy mode. Tae-hyun, for instance, chooses the dizzying elephant-nose twirly game, because he can count on Su-geun and Jong-min immediately being eliminated. If each boy has picked something strategically, it’ll make the point tallies interesting because you have to play all seven. They’d just better not end up with a seven-way tie.
girlfriday: Tae-hyun’s game: elephant nose, then THREAD A NEEDLE?
javabeans: Okay, now I want to see the practice tapes of him doing this at home.
girlfriday: Right? You know he did.
javabeans: At least they picked a super-large needle without a pinpoint end. Phew. I was just about to worry for everybody’s safety.
girlfriday: Tae-hyun is predictably fast. He’d better be, if this is his game. I love that after his turn, he goes up to the table and scrunches up the thread so it’s harder for the next person. Ha.
javabeans: This is a pretty hilarious game after all. Seung-woo drags Tae-woong along with him as a stabilizing force, and sways like he’s on a boat. I’m impressed that he can fall FROM a fall.
girlfriday: Oh, damn, Joo-won and Shi-kyung both break Tae-hyun’s record. It’s bad news if you lose your own game!
javabeans: I can’t be the only one thinking of how many times that string got licked, can I?
girlfriday: But really, it’s pretty low on the intimacy meter after Suck n’ Blow.
javabeans: This game isn’t as hard as it looks—at least not the needle part. It’s really the dizzy part that makes it funny; I think doing a silly gesture after the dizzying would be funnier than making them concentrate. (Such as: kicking a jaegi, or marking your toeprint on a wall.) Something they can note for future reference.
girlfriday: So Joo-won wins the elephant needle, and then it’s Shi-kyung’s turn to introduce his game: a triple jump… backwards. Huh? Are his long legs even going to help him on this?
javabeans: Oh, I like the looks of this, because it’s so silly. You think it’s going to be an athletic round, till you see what going backwards entails, and then it’s all flailing.
girlfriday: Hahaha, Shi-kyung goes first, and he’s like, “Wait, how do you do this?” You didn’t even try it??
javabeans: I like this game just because it makes everyone look ridiculous. I love the long explanation Jong-min gives, teaching the others the principles of jumping long distances like he’s the expert, which always makes me think he’s going to fail. He sounds so knowing and wise, and then… he gives three puny hops, HA. He jumped mostly upward, not back, so he barely moves at all. And then when Joo-won jumps, he yells, “Gak! Si! Tal!” He’s so adorable, and yet, he’s Gaksital Hunter. I can’t… brain not compute.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung actually wins his own game, which is surprising since he didn’t know how to play it. Omg, Seung-woo’s game has to win for Funniest. It’s jaegi, but you put your right shoe on your right hand, and then you kick simultaneously with your right hand and your right foot. It… makes no sense. But IT IS AWESOME.
javabeans: What?! So like… your foot is on a string connected to your hand, which holds your shoe, which has to hit the jaegi?
girlfriday: It’s like he sat at home and thought, what would look the most ridiculous, and magically came up with this.
javabeans: I actually think your biggest hindrance in this game is giggling yourself out of commission.
girlfriday: I’m still laughing from his demonstration.
javabeans: Everyone cracks up at Tae-woong, who rolls up his pant leg, so he can hit with his hand. But then they all do it too.
girlfriday: It becomes the game uniform, and then they start competing for funniest presentation, like its gag concert. Somehow, Tae-woong actually beats everyone.
javabeans: See, when you leave the games to the boys what they actually come up with is pretty damn creative. The next games include kicking off your shoe as far as you can and then catching it, and then doing a duck-walk race slalom. Or is it just a musical-chairs flag grab? It’s hard to tell because it just devolves, as these things do.
girlfriday: And then Jong-min’s game is the last one–a variety classic. Someone brings out seven square frames, wrapped with that crazy triple-duty saran wrap. Tae-hyun (who’s in last place) complains that even if he got first place in this game, he wouldn’t move up in rank, so they agree that first place in this last game gets double the points. Commence face-squishing.
javabeans: Wait, I don’t get this game. Are they… shoving their faces through it?
girlfriday: Yeah. Have you never seen this game before?
javabeans: I’m a variety baby, where would I have seen it? This is totally new to me.
girlfriday: Right. Um, they play it a lot. I think I saw it most on Family Outing.
javabeans: Okay, why am I not surprised that while everyone else looks like he’s trying to win, Tae-woong looks like he’s making out with his?
girlfriday: HA. He leads with his lips? It actually turns out that variety newbies Joo-won and Seung-woo have the hardest time, and Seung-woo’s screaming, “Is this even possible?”
javabeans: With the double-point winner’s bonus, Jong-min leapfrogs over Joo-won (third place) to tie with Shi-kyung for first. Wow, so Shi-kyung must’ve been killing it, to be tied for first with regular point totals. They decide to do one round of their simplest, funniest game to decide who gets the grandest suite for the night: arm-shoe-foot-jaegi.
girlfriday: The new gold standard of variety games. Shi-kyung makes a big show but only gets two kicks? hits? arm-shoe-thingys in, and Jong-min ends up the big winner. They check out his first place room… with rose petals on the bed??
javabeans: Damn. They went all out. Silk robe, mini fridge, laptop computer, karaoke machine…
girlfriday: Is he gonna be entertaining a lady friend?
javabeans: Second place (Shi-kyung) isn’t so bad either, since it’s got a bed and a few beverages. Third place (Joo-won) is similar, with only one beverage. Fourth place (Tae-woong) gets an air mattress, blankets, and pillow. So far, we’re doing better than a standard 1N2D outing, so they can’t complain. Fifth place (Su-geun) gets an air mattress and blanket, but no pillow.
girlfriday: Hahaha, Sixth place (Seung-woo) gets an air mattress… that isn’t inflated! He gets a sad little air pump to make his own bed. Last place (Tae-hyun) gets nothing but a floor, next to two staff members known for snoring. Pffft, the first thing Jong-min does is change into his golden silk robe and visit everyone. Stop that!
javabeans: Everyone gets ready for bed, and Joo-won looks askance at a buzzy insect in his room and immediately says in his little-boy voice, “Bee!” You’re Gaksital Hunter! You beat people up and get beat up and you do it with a glare in your eye and a growl in your voice!
girlfriday: Omg. Squee! He’s Eun Ji-won the Second. He runs to Shi-kyung like a tiny boy, “A bee in my roooom! A king beeee!” How can we possibly take you seriously after this??
javabeans: I love how Shi-kyung’s like, “Dude, just kill it.” And Joo-won hides behind the door while Shi-kyung goes in, trying to reason with the bee (ha, he would): “I don’t want to kill you.” Hee, Tae-hyun goes to sleep in the middle of a room of staffers, and says that he has to fall asleep first so he won’t be bothered by their snoring, and then he pokes and jabs at the guys around them so they can’t fall asleep. So petty.
girlfriday: Dude, their snoring is no joke. Aw, poor Tae-hyun can’t get a wink.
javabeans: Omg, so we get sleeping shots of the guys, and Jong-min’s all sprawled out in his short, short robe, and an image of his FACE is used as a modesty blur. LOL. The caption makes sure to tell us, “Don’t misunderstand, he’s still wearing underwear.”
girlfriday: Then why are we getting Little Jong-min blurred out, huh?
javabeans: The morning song plays, and the guys find the picture depicting their group mission: Human pyramid.
girlfriday: They scramble around and for some reason, Tae-hyun’s the only one who thinks to go wake up the other members. They get everyone and then realize they’re still missing Jong-min, so he goes to fetch him. And… HAHAHAHAHAHA… I can’t… even…
javabeans: Um… It’s… um.
girlfriday: Well… uhhhh… Little Jong-min makes a reappearance… do you think they’re rethinking that golden robe by now? I know in my BRAIN that he’s wearing underwear… but… but…
javabeans: They run out of time and the special breakfast mission fails, which makes everybody super grumpy as they sit around in one of the rooms. Jong-min comes by apologetically (clothed, thankfully) and offers them his fruit basket, which was part of his prize. It’s enough to thaw a bit of the chill in the room, but it’s all pineapples and melons and the producers won’t give them a knife. Tae-hyun grabs a stone, hacks into the rind, and literally tears apart the melon with his bare hands. Don’t get in the hungry man’s way.
girlfriday: The PDs must feel bad after the caveman fruit peeling, ‘cause they give the boys one bowl of bibimbap to share.
javabeans: When they call Seung-woo to join them, Su-geun hushes them because Seung-woo eats so much. He ends up joining the table and does indeed take monstrous bites, and earns looks of disbelief when he says, “Since it’s morning, I don’t have much of an appetite.” He’s such the dad. The boys complain for one more bowl since it’s tiny split seven ways, but I guess they’re not in any frame of mind to propose variety games, so off they go to the birch forest for the actual travel part of this travel show.
girlfriday: Oh right, that stuff. They find a little play area after a while, and Su-geun tries to sit on a standing swing, which… is not a good idea. They take some cutesy pictures, and then suddenly Shi-kyung’s posing like it’s an album cover or something.
javabeans: Ha, he still needs variety lessons. I like how normal he is, but since he’s so normal, that’s all you ever see. I guess that’s the point of being normal. He’s still got too much shame at embarrassing himself on national TV. Maybe in a few months he’ll have that beaten out of him.
girlfriday: We can only hope. He should take a cue from Tae-woong. The more he messes up his image, the more everybody loves him.
javabeans: Yup. Cool and collected makes for awesome eye candy, but it’s the adorkable ones that make you want to squish them.