EPISODE 397. Broadcast on July 29, 2012.
javabeans: We continue with the Straight-Ahead Trip that sends our cast to the eastern shore. Dinnertime rolls around, and we open with a shot of the waves crashing on shore and the cameramen telling each other they should get a shot of this. Is this foreshadowing?
girlfriday: That’s ominous. The PDs tell the boys that it’s a nice night for a stroll on the beach, which is a total lie, but whadduya gonna do? They go with it and head down to the beach. Are Shi-kyung and Joo-won holding hands? Why so cute?
javabeans: Aw, did the competition make them bond? See, I love when the boys are affectionate in a matter-of-fact way, without all the needless aegyo. You’re already cute! Don’t push it by acting cute! So while the boys walk out to a potential clambake, the PDs swoop into motion back at the basecamp, telling each other to hurry and clear it out. Okay, this really can’t be good.
girlfriday: Yeah the beach walk has to be a total decoy if the PDs are being so weird. They set up for bokbulbok and then as soon as the boys arrive on the beach, Seung-woo gets called away alone. That raises red flags everywhere. Isn’t it funny how being singled out always makes them instinctively scared?
javabeans: It’s always the divide-and-conquer mentality that’s scariest. Especially when you’re on an us-versus-them power dynamic with your PD overlords. They have reason to be nervous, because the game rewards (or punishes) based on making a majority choice. The crew has numbered the rooms in the house, and the boys have to pick one. If at least four of them choose the same room, they win dinner for all, and the earlier choosers have to wait in their rooms and not make a peep. Something tells me there will be hunger tonight.
girlfriday: At least Seung-woo has the ease of going first, and after some consideration, he chooses door number 2. Inside is a PD who hands him a pacifier to keep him quiet. And then outside, Bird PD has begun the mind games and put one of each of Seung-woo’s shoes in front of doors 2 and 3.
javabeans: It totally is a psych-out game. I love how Seung-woo reasons out his choice (the other boys won’t pick this room because…) and Bird PD totally just eggs him on, which makes him second-guess his choice. Meanwhile, the boys pass the time on the beach practicing some gag moves, courtesy of Su-geun. Aw, and Shi-kyung’s working hard to get onboard the silly train. It’s hilarious how seriously he takes it, but at the same time it’s nice to see him getting more comfortable in his skin.
girlfriday: Yeah you can tell he thinks about everything way too much, but I love that he’s still going there anyway. Tae-woong gets called away next, and he worriedly asks if they’re getting rid of the ones who’ve lived the longest. Shi-kyung: “Like the grim reaper?”
javabeans: HAHA. Trust this game to turn an ordinary mark of respect into a mindfuck. Ha, so Tae-woong is issued the same task, and you can see Seung-woo just itching to get his attention through the wall. He tries to slyly make little noises, like tapping on the wall or flicking a piece of plastic, all while sucking on his pacifier.
girlfriday: Tae-woong puts a hand on each of the doors to try and feel Seung-woo’s energy, and has decided he knows. He opens a door…
javabeans: Seung-woo bolts upright with wide eyes, anticipating the entry… and cheers! Yay! They’re so cute. I really do wonder if it’s a thing he felt, like sometimes how you can just sense a presence.
girlfriday: But he does say that he announced he’d go into 2, and Bird PD gave an awkward reaction for him to go ahead. Maybe he chose based on that.
javabeans: Haha, it reminds me of that one time they were playing hide and seek and I think it was Seung-gi (?) who guessed he was almost there, based on how awkward the VJs got when he was close to finding his target, like they wouldn’t meet his eyes all of a sudden.
girlfriday: It’s a smart way to play the game, ‘cause those are your only context clues, really.
javabeans: Seung-woo pops his head out to chirp to Bird PD, “Aren’t we awesome?” Bird PD: “Go inside. [shuts door in his face]”
girlfriday: Hee. The boys play a round of games on the beach to pass the time, and Tae-hyun (who really does lose at everything) gets a flick to the forehead from everyone. Su-geun gets called away next. He announces with confidence that he knows how his hyungs will have picked. “They will go with the laziest choice.” Ha. He figures they’ll choose 2, because that’s where they rested earlier. Bird PD points out that it was actually the room next door, but that doesn’t stop Su-geun.
javabeans: Doesn’t Bird PD know that protesting just gives you away?
girlfriday: Sure enough, Su-geun goes right into room 2, and Seung-woo boasts again, “Aren’t we really awesome?” Bird PD hangs his head.
javabeans: Tae-woong and Seung-woo literally await him with open arms. Maybe he should’ve upped the ratio needed for the night.
girlfriday: Haha, what is going on outside? We catch up with the boys as Joo-won is about to receive a flick to the forehead, but all we get is him flinching over and over and over again.
javabeans: That cracks me up. Jong-min’s trying to prepare for the flick, but Joo-won’s going through this whole series of contortions, anticipating the pain. He’s like the boy who screams up a storm before the needle even gets close to his skin.
girlfriday: Jong-min: “Why is Gaksital such a scaredy?”
javabeans: Haha, so now the producers stack ALL the shoes in front of Room 2, to ward off people. Which could just as well backfire on them.
girlfriday: I don’t understand why they feel the need to also mop the floor around the shoes, like they’re going to start inspecting footprints or something.
javabeans: Are we at the portion of the night where they’re resorting to all manner of random superstitious acts? This IS their last chance, after all, if the pattern holds.
girlfriday: As Bird PD explains the game to Tae-hyun, the PDs in rooms 1 and 2 start flicking the lights on and off or banging on the door, just to screw with him even more.
javabeans: It’s to divert him to the one non-crazy room, 3, which he predictably picks. Aw. Well you can’t blame him, since he was just worrying about ghostly presences and those other two rooms were kind of going wild. Although you’d think he’d wonder why, and figure out that they were trying to signal him a particular way.
girlfriday: Ha, he’s joined in room 3 by a PD and he sighs that he should’ve gone with his first instinct, room 1, only to find that it would’ve been the same either way.
javabeans: Okay, now there’s a pair of shoes in front of each room, including the one that’s ineligible. And that accomplishes…?
girlfriday: Er, I can’t think of a way that helps.
javabeans: I love how Bird PD is hurriedly doing some last-minute mind-game hustling when Shi-kyung enters, and he reacts totally guiltily, like he was caught mid-trick. Which makes Shi-kyung doubly wary. He decides it’s either rooms 2 or 3, and inside everyone’s wiggling their fingers like mad, trying to beckon him in.
girlfriday: He approaches 3 for a peek, but Bird PD tells him not to get too close, and Shi-kyung decides that his panicked reaction means it’s room 3.
javabeans: Tae-hyun’s pleased, and the boys still have a good chance since there are two left and only one of them has to join 2 to win. Hilariously, after he picks, Seung-woo and Su-geun grumble and head on over to scold Shi-kyung for picking badly. Meanwhile, on the beach Jong-min and Joo-won are talking about their ideal girls, haha.
girlfriday: Jong-min’s MC skills haven’t improved much over the course of the day. I’m not sure half of what he’s saying are actual words.
javabeans: It sounds like he’s saying something… with all the proper inflections and pauses and such… but it’s like mixed-up syllables.
girlfriday: It’s kind of like Su-geun’s fake Chinese.
javabeans: Yes, like you’re meant to just nod along and say uh-huh. I wonder if Jong-min would actually speak better as an actor, because he has pretty muddled enunciation but at least his words would be written for him.
girlfriday: Which makes it even funnier that Joo-won’s trying to answer his questions very seriously, like a real interview. (Unsurprisingly, he says his ideal girl has a traditional, elders-first mentality. Can you imagine him in a relationship: But that’s not how my mom is!)
javabeans: It’s Jong-min’s turn to pick, and he laughs at the shoes — they’re lined up like an arrow all pointing to Room 2. He reasons it out that people would naturally be drawn to the middle room, and inside Seung-woo lights up, opening his arms wide. Jong-min laughs as he looks around, and I totally think he just said that to read their reactions.
girlfriday: I think he’d choose 2, except for the row of shoes leading there, which successfully messes with his head. He wonders if it’s a trick, or a trick-within-a-trick, just to make him second-, third-, or fourth-guess.
javabeans: He thinks it’s either 2 or 3, and everyone’s hoping he’ll do 2 to end this quickly. Then Jong-min heads to room 3 where Shi-kyung is, and calls out his name. Ha, the PD starts tapping on the ground and Shi-kyung grabs her hand, and uses his other to try to still the VJs who are totally trying to interfere. D’oh! He chooses 3… then turns around and reaches for Door 2… all while watching Bird PD.
girlfriday: Arg, Jong-min with the fakeout! He ends up in room 3 in the end, so it’s split now, between rooms 2 and 3. It all comes down to the maknae.
javabeans: Dude, I am going to die laughing if Joo-won chooses Room 1, losing everyone dinner and being the lone guy out. Especially after he was just saying how envious he was when Tae-woong joined the show, because of all the brotherhood and bromance. No puppy pile for you tonight!
girlfriday: Oh noes! I think that would make Joo-won sadder than losing out on dinner! After the first few rounds, I’m surprised the game even lasted till the last player, but then they call Joo-won in.
javabeans: Joo-won starts to puzzle it out, wondering why the shoes are arranged thusly (all leading to Room 1). He totally misinterprets, adding his shoes to the end of the arrow and then walking on the trail of shoes. WTF? That’s so random, it’s adorable.
girlfriday: Omg. Is he that naive? Don’t fall for the trick!! Now I’m curious if the PDs were like, Jong-min would second guess the trail of shoes, so let’s put it here, and Joo-won will just follow the trail, so let’s put it there!
javabeans: OH NO! HE PICKED THE BAD ROOM.
girlfriday: I can’t believe he picked the ONE room no one was in!
javabeans: I think a PD was laughing on purpose in that room, but I didn’t think he’d fall for it! Everyone’s like, what the hell? Joo-won actually takes the loss pretty well, saying, “Aw well, I should have gone in Room 3,” until the PD tells him that either 2 or 3 would have won. Then he has this HUGE reaction of “Oh my god what have I dooooooone?!”
girlfriday: Awwwww. Knowing the odds totally makes it worse.
javabeans: Now the boys rally and try to word-play this into a negotiation. “Director, don’t you think it’s too disappointing to end the game here?” “Since the clambake has already been set up…”
girlfriday: They propose a speed round of the same game, where between two rooms, the one with the fewest members wins dinner. Ha, I like the opposite version, where you pick a room and beg the others NOT to come in.
javabeans: So basically, up to three guys can eat. Jong-min announces, “I’m going to pick Room 2!” as part of his psych-out strategy. The thing is, Jong-min loves mind games but I’m not convinced he knows what he’s doing. He just goes crazy in a never-ending circle of reasoning, then seems to pick haphazardly anyway. Ha.
girlfriday: Hilariously, Joo-won, Jong-min, and Shi-kyung all pick room 1, one right after the other. Things are looking bad over here.
javabeans: I love the exchange between the first two. Jong-min: “Why’d you pick this room? I told you to go in Room 2!” Joo-won: “But you said NOT to choose Room 2!” See what happens when you talk out both sides of your mouth? I love Tae-hyun’s reaction to being on the luckier team for once — with five guys in, he’s all alone in Room 2 and does a little dance.
girlfriday: Su-geun chooses Room 1, making them out for sure. They’re just waiting to see if other unlucky guys join them on the losing side.
javabeans: HAHA, so Seung-woo joins everyone in Room 1, meaning that only Tae-hyun and Tae-woong get to eat. Hee!
girlfriday: Before the reaction in Room 1 was like, aw why’d you pick this one? But when Seung-woo enters, they just bust out laughing, like welcome to the losers!
javabeans: They all crow to a devastated Seung-woo, “Tae-woong gets to eat! Tae-woong gets to eat!” Talking about rubbing the salt in. I absolutely love the shot of Tae-hyun gleefully stuffing his face in the foreground, with Seung-woo glumly sitting over his shoulder, head in hand.
girlfriday: Wow, that looks like so much deliciousness. It’s bad enough watching on the tv. It must be torture to sit there and watch.
javabeans: They irritatedly ask the PD to bring their dinner out too, because at least they’ll be getting a simple spread. Joo-won: “We’re human too!” But I’m sure the PDs are going to enjoy drawing this out for a while yet.
girlfriday: Bird PD: “Joo-won, are you crying?”
javabeans: I think he might be. Right on the verge. He looks like his puppy ran away. And then got run over.
girlfriday: Well we wondered what would happen if he finally lost the right to eat. Turns out crying was an accurate guess.
javabeans: I sort of love it. Shi-kyung bursts out, “Give us our food! Why are you just torturing us?!” Then the PD adds, “Don’t just assume that rice is a given.” Derp! You know, I’m pretty sure sadists aren’t born, they’re made.
girlfriday: In PD school?
javabeans: No, not even in PD school, but in the line of duty. Because remember Episode 1 when Bird PD was so easy-going it was no fun at all? And now you see that gleam in his eye when he’s on to something, and hear that lilt in his voice.
girlfriday: It’s true. It’s a tried and true formula. Evil PD leads to suffering boys, which results in entertainment.
javabeans: See, though, my argument precedes even that. Nice PD given assignment requiring suffering boys leads to sadistic god complex, which leads to Evil PD.
girlfriday: Tae-hyun and Tae-woong feel so bad that they decide to share one clam for each of them, two with a bonus abalone.
javabeans: Do you think they actually feel bad? I’m thinking Tae-hyun is having way too much fun with his abalone Bokbulbok.
girlfriday: I think they’re full because it’s a lot of food, because I didn’t see them offering any early on. It’s basically a we’ve-eaten-our-share-bokbulbok.
javabeans: They do a spin-the-clamshell for an additional piece, which Joo-won wins and then eats slooowly by cutting it into several bites. Ha. Seung-woo laughs, “I think Shi-kyung’s about to get mad.” Jong-min: “He’s already mad.” Oh my god, he really does look angry — like, hardcore pissed off. All silent and simmering — it’s kind of scary.
girlfriday: How funny to see two straight episodes of Shi-kyung getting mad FOR REALS.
javabeans: We’re not going to get a press release about Shi-kyung suddenly quitting the show, are we? Shi-kyung did say in a previous episode that he used to have to eat constantly, which makes sense given his size.
girlfriday: Though really, compared to how pissy the boys (namely Ho-dong and Ji-won) used to get on this show, his outbursts are nothing.
javabeans: Finally the PDs bring out the other boys’ dinners, which are small bowls of the noodles Tae-hyun and Tae-woong get in huge ones. But they dig in, and the captions point out that Shi-kyung starts smiling again for the first time since dinner. Jong-min motions Tae-hyun over, pointing to his empty teeny bowl, asking for a refill from Tae-hyun’s gigantic one. Tae-hyun transfers a big stack of noodles over… and then eats from the small bowl while Jong-min watches. I love how he then gives Jong-min his leftovers, and Jong-min is thrilled at the two strands he has left.
girlfriday: That’s sad.
javabeans: Tae-hyun tries the same move when Seung-woo slides over his bowl, but somehow you can’t quite fuck with the hyung the same way. Seung-woo at least gets a half-full bowl.
girlfriday: Time for sleepytime bokbulbok, where the last-place loser from each of three games will sleep outside.
javabeans: The first is one of those rhythm-word games, and Seung-woo loses (though Jong-min narrowly escapes).
girlfriday: Next is bottle-cap flicking, where Tae-woong lands his in the safe zone, and watches as everyone tries to attack his piece.
javabeans: Joo-won loses on his turn, and looks like he’s about to cry again. Am I wrong in thinking that it won’t take much to make him cry after all? Just take away his food and his bed, and he’s there. Maybe that’s what he was thinking about the other time when he cried in a minute’s time.
girlfriday: Ha, who needs complex Gaksital emotions when basic human needs aren’t being met? Is it wrong that we totally want Shi-kyung to go apeshit and Joo-won to cry?
javabeans: It’s all in the name of entertainment! Who needs nice when you can have interesting?
girlfriday: Su-geun succeeds in ousting Tae-woong’s piece in one shot, wowing everybody.
javabeans: After a couple rounds, the loser of the bottle-cap game is Shi-kyung, who joins Seung-woo outside tonight.
girlfriday: Haha, who came up with the final game? It’s five whistles frozen inside blocks of ice. Simple: melt ice, blow whistle. Laughs for all.
javabeans: This looks hilarious. Whoever came up with this is brilliant and a little cracked. What’s up with everyone rubbing their ice cubes in Jong-min’s shorts?
girlfriday: I… um… have nothing to say that doesn’t involve dirty jokes.
javabeans: Or the invention of new pickup lines?
girlfriday: Everybody just take a step back and take your hands out of Jong-min’s pants!
javabeans: Everyone’s madly, um, rubbing themselves with their ice cubes, on whatever body surface they can find. Tae-hyun tries to lick, Joo-won’s using the soles of his feet, Tae-woong uses first his arm and then Su-geun’s face. After five minutes, Joo-won blows his whistle for success. Ha, the rest of his whistle is still in the ice cube, but he managed to free the part you blow into. Smart, or lucky.
girlfriday: Soon Jong-min, then Tae-woong blow their whistles, and Tae-hyun is the last one to make the cut. Su-geun is the loser of the ice round. Why does his ice cube still look whole by the end of the game?
javabeans: The boys are given T-shirt gifts from Shi-kyung’s fan club, which bear their faces in cartoon drawings. Cute. Then they settle in for sleepytime, where Tae-hyun can’t even remember the last time he slept indoors, it’s been so long. And Joo-won… is sitting ON Tae-woong to give him back massages? I’ve never seen such a pure, unadulterated hero complex in my life, ever.
girlfriday: Seriously. Real brothers couldn’t even be that close, because they’d be fighting or something.
javabeans: It’s almost like father and 5-year-old son. The level of adoration is that intense.
girlfriday: And equally loving the other way, from Tae-woong.
javabeans: But like in an indulgent sense, like isn’t my boy so cute? There there. You’re my favorite too. A little to the right.
girlfriday: Like if Superman had a puppy. That gave back massages.
javabeans: The outdoor group sets up their tent right outside the window, and while the others drop off to sleep, Jong-min furtively texts his mystery woman. They aren’t given any advance clues about the morning mission, so in the morning they all bolt awake when music suddenly blares.
girlfriday: Suddenly sportscasters are announcing a triathlon. Oh dear. First thing in the morning?
javabeans: My morning triathlon: Stumble out of bed, make coffee, drink.
girlfriday: Sounds about right. The boys stumble out in a daze to find themselves the athletes in a sushi-rice-bowl olympics. With no warning, Bird PD fires the starter pistol. Wha? Huh? But what are the rules?
javabeans: I love how they just stand there dully. Like, the game has started, but whatever. There are cards laid on a table, and more than anything I think it’s the narration from the sportscasters that tell them what to do. Su-geun picks a card, which assigns his mode of transportation in a race: a cart. Not bad, considering that he could have picked a horsey on wheels, or, HA, a suitcase.
girlfriday: Joo-won gets suitcase, Tae-hyun gets tricycle, and HAHA Seung-woo gets the horsey.
javabeans: That’s nothing compared to Tae-woong (whom the sportscasters announce, more humiliatingly given the situation, as Uhmforce), who gets a rolling seat. It’s basically a frisbee with wheels, and you have to scoot along with butt and feet.
girlfriday: Or Shi-kyung, who you’d think would be fine with a bicycle on training wheels, but (a) he’s waaay too big for it and (b) it’s got a flat tire.
javabeans: Su-geun is breezing along on his cart, and Jong-min whooshes by on his razor scooter, and even Joo-won is (painfully) managing on his suitcase (which has the stipulation that chest must remain in contact with the suitcase at all times, owww).
girlfriday: The second leg involves choosing a box at random that contains a pair of shoes. Jong-min continues his good luck streak and gets a pair of slippers, while Tae-hyun gets two plastic bags.
javabeans: Oh no for the poor guy who has to run the race with flippers.
girlfriday: Su-geun gets combat boots (lots of laces) and Seung-woo picks the fisherman’s overalls that have to go from foot to shoulder.
javabeans: Omg, Joo-won has to run in heels! With cheetah-print insoles!
javabeans: They could have at least gotten a big enough size to be WORN! The George Michael music cue is a nice touch. “Guilty feet have got no rhythm…”
girlfriday: Omg, I’m dying. He crazily RUNS in them, even though he can only squeeze half his foot in there!
javabeans: So while the leaders make it to the watermelon table to eat a huge slice apiece, the caption returns to remind us of “our forgotten athletes,” aka Tae-woong still scooting along on his butt-roller, and Shi-kyung who has basically given up and is staring off into the sea, seated on his flat bike.
girlfriday: Surprisingly, Tae-woong manages to catch up to Seung-woo and Su-geun, who have trouble with their shoes. He reaches in and grabs… giant red cartoon feet. Silly, but adorable!
javabeans: Third and final leg of the race is the beach portion to a finish line in the water, so the accoutrements are appropriately aquatic. Woe to the guy who has to put on that full-body wetsuit! Otherwise, there’s an inner tube, a life vest, a raft, etc.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung finally arrives at the shoe station, and gets the flippers. Man, he and Jong-min are having very different mornings. The casters are like, “Well, they don’t seem that much bigger than his actual feet…”
javabeans: There’s a group stuck at the watermelon table, stuffing their faces as fast as they can, when a PD asks, “Is it tasty?” I feel like their internal response is, “Do you want to die?” At some point you’ve gotta figure that whatever the damn breakfast is, it’s just not worth it. For dinner, maybe.
girlfriday: Jong-min, Tae-hyun, and Joo-won get the three winning spots, while everyone else trails behind. Seung-woo looks especially awesome in his wetsuit. And Shi-kyung looks like he might punch someone at the finish line.
javabeans: I’m just impressed Tae-woong made up the deep handicap from the start to end up in the middle of the pack.
girlfriday: I love that even after the race, everyone still looks like they’re sleepwalking.
javabeans: Better than what I’m thinking, which is, So not worth it.
girlfriday: They change their minds at the breakfast table though, when faced with the vast difference between the winners: giant bowls of rice covered in mounds of sushi and vegetables with side dishes, and the losers: one spoon of rice, covered in one piece of fish.
javabeans: Well, now that’s just insulting. Which I’m sure was the point. Seung-woo grumps, “Why are we being punished? What did we do wrong?” Shi-kyung: “The one who gets to hand out punishments is GOD.”
girlfriday: Haha, and the existential crisis continues.
javabeans: Su-geun tries the “But you’re just going to throw away the leftovers” argument, and Jong-min quips, “So we’ll just throw it away then.” Su-geun says sadly, “Just tell us where you threw it away.”
girlfriday: And while he chatters on, Seung-woo sneaks his piece of fish. HA.
javabeans: Omg, did Seung-woo just steal everyone’s fish?
girlfriday: You snooze… you starve?
javabeans: He’s so shameless about stealing his dongsaengs’ breakfasts, it’s awesome
girlfriday: They gather for pictures on the beach, but then the episode’s not over. Sometime later, Joo-won shows up to fulfill his punishment from the last trip, to paraglide down a mountain. Just when you thought you dodged that bullet…
javabeans: Seems like he’s more eager to give it a try this time, and he suits up. They wait for the right moment, then he literally jumps off the cliff shouting, “1 Night! 2 Days!” There’s even a super-close-up camera angle to show us footage in flight.
girlfriday: That’s so cool.
javabeans: It doesn’t seem scary at all, just 100% cool. See, if I have an instructor strapped to my back I’ll do anything.
girlfriday: Right? If the ajusshi is steering, you’re pretty much just flying with no worries. If I had to rely on landing myself, I’d just be thinking about that the whole time. By the time they start their descent, Joo-won already wants to go again.