EPISODE 393. Broadcast on July 1, 2012.
javabeans: So last episode ended with our boys’ threefold dinner mission on the line. Damn, I’m hungry again. This show, I swear. Also, I just ate.
girlfriday: The rest of the boys succeed in their tasks, but Su-geun and Tae-hyun just keep losing at rock-paper-scissors with the island residents.
javabeans: Everyone waits around for word from their team, and with one minute left till deadline, Su-geun walkie-talkies over the situation. Asked for explanation, he sighs that he won’t go into details ‘cause it might make them mad. Ha. Sadly, they miss the 30-minute mark and lose the sushi.
girlfriday: I cannot believe they have to start all over again.
javabeans: I thought they were going to pull a Jong-min and assemble all the villagers in one place so they could do their rock-scissors-papers rounds in superspeed.
girlfriday: They should!
javabeans: I keep wondering why they don’t! The most time-consuming part is running around from villager to villager, even if there only are 20 of them living on the island. Su-geun finds his next opponent and tries to give her signals to make her throw “scissors,” like pinching her arm in a scissor gesture and emphasizing the first syllable of the word for scissors. Tae-hyun doesn’t even try to hide his signals, since he has to re-battle an ajusshi from before; he just says, “Do it like last time!”
girlfriday: Thankfully all three villagers comply this time without throwing any variety twists their way, and they race back to the boys with the final clue: Tae-woong is blank-eldest in a family of blank siblings. They’re not told why all the clues are numbers, but Bird PD gives them a location: three green steps leading to a door. Wait, so they still have to FIND the food, while the clock is still ticking?
javabeans: Did Bird PD go to variety training boot camp over the weekend or something?
girlfriday: Do you suppose that’s what Na PD does now, run the KBS variety boot camp?
javabeans: Now I’m picturing him in a lecture hall, running through mock scenarios with a slideshow and a laser pointer. He’ll teach via Socratic method, asking for answers and cutting down the newbie PDs: “Ddeng! Only let them THINK they came up with the idea!”
girlfriday: Bokbulbok Lesson the First: How to make eel sauce look like an americano.
javabeans: Variety Precept No. 1: The cast members are not your friends. You are not there to be big brother. They are the enemy. Suffering brings entertainment.
girlfriday: Now I just miss Na PD.
javabeans: The boys run off in search of three green-colored steps. I love the image of everyone frantically running and literally zooming right by them. Thankfully Tae-hyun, bringing up the rear, sees them and calls everyone back. The others are way in front and stop in confusion, but Tae-hyun heads to the building, where he finds a combination lock. Ah, that’s what the numbers are for.
girlfriday: Tae-hyun unlocks the door in a few tries and everyone rushes in, but I don’t know if there’s any food left…
javabeans: Sadly, they’re too late because every five minutes a dish was taken away, and now they’re left with ONE dish of kimchi. Damn. That’s mean. The boys hunch on the steps all dejected, till Joo-won points out that there were FOUR green steps, not three as stated in the clue. Dun-da-da-DA! Shi-kyung steps forward as Lawyer Sung to argue.
girlfriday: Haha. Technicalities are their friends. They argue with the PDs for a while, and then Su-geun comes up with the idea that they’ll ask an innocent child how many steps there are, and everyone agrees to abide by that answer without arguing. Fair enough.
javabeans: They all huddle and await the boy’s answer: “Four!” Everybody gives him hugs. Jong-min: “The future of our country is bright!”
girlfriday: Bird PD says that there may have been a slight mistake, and Seung-woo takes issue with his wording — why can’t he admit that he was wrong?
javabeans: Hee. Bird PD keeps saying variations on “As I said, there was a small error,” but Seung-woo cuts him down: “YOU WERE WRONG! Say it!”
girlfriday: He’s totally being scolded like a child!
javabeans: Maybe Na PD didn’t get to that part of the seminar yet: Dealing with cast members on the verge of mutiny.
girlfriday: That’s the advanced class, yo.
javabeans: The boys all start to argue what a huuuuuuge difference there is between the numbers 3 and 4. Like how different lines 3 and 4 are on the subway. Tae-woong: “There’s a huge difference from being in your 30s and 40s!” Seung-woo: “That I know for sure!”
girlfriday: Hahaha. That gets a big laugh from everyone. Bird PD finally relents that he’ll give them the chance to earn back HALF of a dish. You really are stingy today.
javabeans: The game: rock-scissors-paper with the boy who called the four steps. Joo-won goes up against him and wins, which gets the boy another round of adoration. Haha. Somehow I have this concept of the boy being totally confused, like, why are these people all yelling at me to do things? And then hugging me?
girlfriday: For his trouble, they send him back home with the boat full of sushi, and then all drool at it longingly as he walks away.
javabeans: They must be starving, because they look at their table of rice bowls and kimchi and half a pot of soup with stars in their eyes. Joo-won: “I never knew how delicious gat-kim-chi could be.”
girlfriday: They chow down on the kimchi and rice and all marvel at how delicious it is, and Tae-hyun whines, “Of course it’s delicious when they ran us around like that! The fact that I find it delicious makes me sad.” LOL.
javabeans: Hahahaha. I think it would make me sad too.
girlfriday: I love that you can trust that Tae-hyun will never drink the kool-aid, no matter how dire things get. He’s the kid who points out that the emperor has no clothes; up is up and down is down. As they devour the food, Su-geun wonders what feeding an actual family with seven sons would be like, and then they all take up their roles in this imaginary family: Seung-woo is the mat-hyung who failed in business and came back home, Shi-kyung is an 8-year civil service exam taker… somehow it all fits so well.
javabeans: I love Tae-woong’s quip: “I never had a job to begin with!” and then, “Joo-won is our hope.” Speaking of whom… in the after-dinner dogpile, is Joo-won really playing with Tae-woong’s belly button?
girlfriday: They’re so cute it’s unreal. Sometimes Joo-won looks at Tae-woong with those shiny eyes…
javabeans: Like he’s his hero?
girlfriday: YES. Like Tae-woong is Superman and Batman.
javabeans: Or like Joo-won is a baby golden retriever and Tae-woong is his beloved master. Which… would explain a lot, actually.
girlfriday: Yunno, that does explain a lot. Dog-lover meets puppy boy, and it’s love at first sight.
javabeans: While lazing around in their dogpile, the boys sing this ridiculous nonsense song based on the multiplication table, which is really just wordplay that they string into a little narrative. Then, because they like it so much, they actually perform it together for the cameras, while for some reason huddling on their hands and knees. It makes no sense, and yet it’s adorable.
girlfriday: It’s the kind of bleary-eyed humor that comes from lying around with your friends and saying nonsensical things, but for some reason in the moment, it’s the funniest thing in the world.
javabeans: Also, Seung-woo hasn’t done a lot of these really childish games, so he’s totally loving the discovery of them in his forties, and he gets all into it. Tae-woong, too. So cute.
girlfriday: Bird PD says that for tonight’s sleeping bokbulbok, they’ll all sleep together in one place. They’ll start indoors and play a game, and if they win, they get to sleep there. If not, they move to the next location down the scale and so on.
javabeans: That’s better than their first thought at the explanation of “moving sleeping place,” where Tae-woong wonders if that means they’re sleeping on water, and Shi-kyung adds that it could be in a (moving) truck. This leads to more ribbing about Shi-kyung being slow to understand things, which has been a theme this episode. I love the birth of TV personas like this, when it just picks up steam and becomes a thing. Especially since his image is that he’s smart. So yes, he may be smart, but also dense to common logic.
girlfriday: It works because he seems hung up on it. It plays to an actual insecurity. So every time someone else misunderstands something, he interjects, “I understood!”
javabeans: He also looks totally embarrassed. But you know, this is a good thing for him. On the show, I mean. It makes him way more entertaining, and interesting. Now we just need to find Joo-won’s Achilles heel. Which may actually be similar, given his performance in the trivia quiz.
girlfriday: The first game for indoor sleeping rights: No laughing for five minutes. Oh no. They’re doomed.
javabeans: It’s one of those things that sounds do-able, but is a lot harder in action. Apparently the staff has prepared something, too, and the rule includes no smiling — and you can’t look away or close your eyes, either. What is this, Clockwork Orange: Variety Edition?
girlfriday: Dude, they haven’t even started the game yet and I’m worried. They have each member give a neutral expression. Joo-won and Tae-woong do fine since they’re always doing that for the cameras. Su-geun? He looks like he’s constipated and someone is tickling his feet.
javabeans: I was thinking holding in a fart.
girlfriday: Also that. In any case, I’m putting my money on Su-geun being the weak link. Tae-hyun seems equally iffy.
javabeans: I’ll add Jong-min to the list, who looks like he’s about to cry, but in a smiling way. At least Tae-hyun is an actor, even if he’s always the comedy actor. The stopwatch begins, and then come pre-recorded sounds of laughter to tempt the crew. I’m already worried for Jong-min, even though it’s kind of creepy more than anything.
girlfriday: They manage to get through the recorded laughter without breaking. Next comes video clips of news anchors breaking into laughter, but the boys don’t seem to be ruffled.
javabeans: If they wanted to be really hardcore, they should have just prepared clips of THEM, on the show, cracking up.
girlfriday: With a minute left on the clock, they bust out their “hidden card.” It’s actually a card of some sort that we don’t get to see, and they stick it in each member’s face one at a time. Joo-won passes easily. Jong-min is next, and he struggles a bit, but holds on. The problem is Tae-hyun, who catches a glimpse of it and has to contort his face to keep from laughing.
javabeans: Oh no, they’re gonna lose, aren’t they? Even stone-faced Joo-won says (after his turn) that the photo was pretty excessive. And we see Su-geun and Tae-hyun both struggling to frown in the background. And with four seconds left, Su-geun breaks.
girlfriday: Oh man, he really breaks. Like purple-faced uncontrollable gigglefest.
javabeans: Okay, that was an awesome photo. It’s Bird PD, the drag version.
girlfriday: HAHAHAHA. Okay, PD deserves the win on that one.
javabeans: Sacrificing your dignity for the win? I give him props.
girlfriday: Next location: front yard. Joo-won: “I just like it when we all sleep together.” You kill me.
javabeans: Yeah, I could tell from all the puppy pileups. Notice how he’s always in the center, sprawled over at least two other hyungs? The front-yard mission is to make everybody cry within three minutes. This seems more doable to me. Half of them are acting professionals, and the other half can either cry-laugh, or, yunno, punch each other.
girlfriday: Yeah the odds are stacked in their favor for this one. Hopefully it won’t come to violence.
javabeans: Jong-min tries to force sadness and basically cracks them all up right away. Although it looks like Joo-won turns on the tears right away — they’re right there, puddling in his eyes.
girlfriday: How does he do that?? Jong-min keeps trying to squeeze the tears out like that’s possible, which pretty much keeps everyone else from being able to go to a sad place. Except for Joo-won. He’s somehow immune.
javabeans: Even as Jong-min is giggling-shouting, “GAKSITAAAL!” next to him, Joo-won is totally focused on his emotions. It’s impressive.
girlfriday: How can he focus so intently while everyone around him is cracking up?
javabeans: Pretend they’re the circus. They can have fun. But you, you’re Gaksital, and you’ve just killed your brother. Your best friend hates you and you lost the girl. The mission depends on you. Ignore the clowns.
girlfriday: Dude, Joo-won cries in under a minute, with all that going on next to him. That’s crazy!
javabeans: Jong-min actually succeeds by laughing himself to tears, and Shi-kyung barely manages to eke one out. But the others aren’t even close; Tae-hyun is too busy giggling, and Tae-woong looks like something out of Gag Concert. Mission fail! Su-geun: “Man, I just made myself sad for no reason.”
girlfriday: They’re all impressed with Joo-won, and Seung-woo’s whines, “He’s doing a project! He just killed his hyung!” Ha.
javabeans: They say how it’s easier to get in the mood with dialogue, and Joo-won says there’s a line that works for him. Seung-woo agrees. Tae-woong: “What, young dialogue?” I don’t think making fun of his age is ever going to get old. (Hur hur.)
girlfriday: They move to the next location, a gazebo right by the ocean. The hyungs complain of the cold, while the maknae squirms from the proximity to the dinosaurs. Really?
javabeans: The others are more concerned about the sea breeze, which is pretty strong. Even so, they’ve got a roof, and the PD confirms that there are worse locations prepared should they fail this one. This round is a word-chain game, which they end up losing. But then they pull out their smartphone to challenge Bird PD’s call, excited to find the word online after all… but marked as incorrect nonetheless.
girlfriday: Haha, the google results are: “Please check the spelling.” So, not a word after all. Next location: the sidewalk. They vow not to lose this round.
javabeans: And then they lose it. Each member has to beat or tie Bird PD in rock-scissors-paper, one-on-one, and they lose on the second guy (Shi-kyung).
girlfriday: Where could they possibly go from here?
javabeans: I’m wondering that too. In a tree? They can’t take away all blankets or something, can they? That would just be inhumane.
girlfriday: Okay, I’m cracking up. They play rock-paper-scissors down the line anyway, just to see if they could have won, and everyone else beats Bird PD. Then Shi-kyung goes again… and loses again. Why is his sadness so funny?
javabeans: Next they move to the wet, rocky beach. Oww. Damn, if they lose this round, they lose sleeping bags. The guys fake-worry over Joo-won’s “fever,” wondering if he’ll be all right with his drama and all. They sigh, Oh well, I guess the drama will just have to fail. Shi-kyung: “They can just cast a new Gaksital.” Su-geun asks if Seung-woo will be okay with his bad back, and he replies, “I guess I’ll just die then.”
girlfriday: HA. He really does have to win at every little thing.
javabeans: The mission is the sit-up race, but they have to do it on the rocks. Yeesh! Shi-kyung points out that they should just do as the producers say, and show them what happens when you mess with them this badly: “Once they see Gaksital falling to ruins, they’ll see their mistake.”
girlfriday: Shi-kyung actually seems like he’s stubborn enough to be that kind of kid. I’ll fail in school! That’ll show them they were wrong!
javabeans: I’m totally like him, so I’m nodding along here.
girlfriday: Ow, ow, ow. Those situps look so painful.
javabeans: They’re all like, “…two, ow!, three, augh!, four….”
girlfriday: Thank goodness they win at that, so they get to use their sleeping bags. What on earth would they have done if they lost?
javabeans: The cameras give us a pan of the rock marks on everyone’s rear ends, but basically what I’m taking from this is: closeup of Joo-won’s ass.
girlfriday: Happy birthday to us? The boys clear out whatever rocks they can and huddle together adorably, taking pictures and bonding.
javabeans: At least they manage to fall asleep, based on the snoring. I wasn’t sure they’d be able to. There’s a morning mission but the PD hasn’t notified them ahead of time; twenty minutes before the morning bell, Bird PD quietly wakes three members and pulls them aside. Seung-woo, Tae-woong, and Jong-min are instructed to hide for the next thirty minutes. If they’re caught, the other team eats. If they aren’t, they eat.
girlfriday: The hiders have the whole village at their disposal, so I’m thinking they’re likely going to be the winners. Seung-woo is hilariously sensitive and indecisive, going back and forth and back and forth looking for the perfect hiding spot.
javabeans: Ha, I fully expect his picky nature to rule out certain spots, but I didn’t expect him to give up others because they’re too scary.
girlfriday: Pfft, Tae-woong chuckles and takes up a spot using a board to cover his front… while his back is totally exposed. The cameraman has to point it out before he moves. So he ends up circling the one yard over and over again to find a spot.
javabeans: Jong-min does this hilarious indecisive walk back and forth and back and forth in one strip of the yard, wanting to take the hiding spot behind a portapotty, but being too repulsed by the spiders that live there. Shudder.
girlfriday: Are all three of them going to be caught going back and forth before they even decide?
javabeans: They’re just going in circles, which cracks me up. Especially when the cartoon map shows us their movements, and they look like the Pac-Man ghosts on an endless loop.
girlfriday: Then the seekers get woken up and are given 15 minutes to find the others.
javabeans: I actually think this is pretty even on both sides. I don’t think anyone’s hiding spot is particularly great, and they can’t go indoors, but the area they’re allowed to cover is pretty wide. It’ll be a matter of whether the seekers think to head in that area, or whether they miss it. Like Seung-woo, who’s sort of huddling in the open, only he picked a spot way out in a deserted area, behind a house.
girlfriday: The seekers do the smart thing and start out on the rooftops to scan the ground below, but that doesn’t yield much.
javabeans: Hee, Su-geun starts calling out, “Okay I see you, come out” to the open space. Meanwhile Tae-hyun is on the phone with Tae-woong, and tells him he can see his head. “He’ll move now, right?” Meanwhile, Tae-woong passes the time making cutesy faces into the camera. Jong-min, on the other hand, has a much rougher time of it: He has to (1) battle spiders, (2) deal with the smell of the toilet, and (3) fight a leg cramp.
girlfriday: The captions tell us that Joo-won is in Gaksital mode, and sure enough, he tracks Jong-min down behind his portapotty. He mostly seems grateful to be found. Meanwhile Tae-woong isn’t that interested in breakfast anyway and gets so bored that he calls Su-geun. Ha. What kind of hider calls a seeker? Do you know the rules to this game?
javabeans: I know, and he even drops the board he’s hiding behind and stands up, and offers to shout once as a clue. It does the trick. But nobody finds Seung-woo despite coming close, and the hiders win.
girlfriday: Hee, the game is long over, but Seung-woo is still hiding. I’m pretty sure he’s the only one who took this game seriously.
javabeans: Hey, breakfast is serious stuff to Seung-woo. Who, by the way, is adorably pleased with himself for winning.
girlfriday: And they get a nice spread too. The losers, not so much. They get rice and chili paste.
javabeans: The losers are basically left drooling. Shi-kyung asks for a taste, and gets… a fish spine that’s been picked clean. All he gets to do is suck on it.
girlfriday: Well, he did swear at Jong-min to get it. Which I find adorable. I do enjoy that there are dong-gaps in this group of boys.
javabeans: After breakfast it’s a hike to tour the dinosaur prints in the rocky ground. I enjoy the cut when Su-geun says, “It’d be fun to bring kids here,” and the camera switches to a closeup of Joo-won.
girlfriday: Well, if the shoe fits. These islands are pretty cool. There’s a strip of rocks that connects them, but it only shows up a few times a year depending on the tide, like a secret bridge. They get to the final destination, a tiny crevice between two massive cliffs that opens out onto the ocean. Pretty.
javabeans: They stand there and marvel at the rock formations and how they date back 100 million years, and then it’s time for photo ops with the tourists.
girlfriday: Joo-won shows off a flag that his hyungs signed with well-wishes for Gaksital, and back to the grid they go.