Sitcoms/Variety Shows
1 Night 2 Days: Episode 399
by | August 17, 2012 | 51 Comments

EPISODE 399. Broadcast on August 12, 2012.

javabeans: So we return to Part 2 of the gyopo trip, and can I just say that already I’m nervous about this episode?

girlfriday: Because of Dokdo?

javabeans: Pretty much. Dokdo as its separate issue is enough of a political lightning rod, but with all the recent additional madness, it’s just… really weird timing.

girlfriday: Yeah, it’s been a weird confluence of events. So to recap: last Saturday, Prez goes to Dokdo, making him the first Korean president to visit the islands, and on the same friggin’ day, Korea beats Japan in soccer for the Olympic bronze and a player grabs a “Dokdo is our land” sign from the stands and runs it around the field, getting him disinvited from the medal ceremony. And then Sunday, this episode of 1Night 2 Days airs, which happens to be a trip taking these guys to Dokdo.

javabeans: Then on Wednesday, Gaksital airs on Korean Independence day and its opening image (the still before the show begins, not a part of the show) is… Dokdo with the Korean flag superimposed on it. For the episode, by the way, where a Korean boxer is forced to compete for Japan and paraded around town for winning the world championships.

girlfriday: So… that’s a lot of Dokdo in five days.

javabeans: I mentioned some of my misgivings in the Gaksital recap, which in the context of that show are because… well, Dokdo isn’t a part of the context of that show. I get that Korea’s running on a high current of patriotism right now, but I felt that Gaksital was doing itself a disservice, muddying the political waters when honestly, its story stands on its own. Dokdo has no place in it.

girlfriday: Yes, I want Gaksital to stay firmly in the past. Whereas here it’s a deliberate thing, taking these gyopos to the islands. Dokdo is a conflict I understand intellectually, but don’t share in my personal experience.

javabeans: I’m with you on that. Because I totally get why Dokdo is important. I understand why Koreans feel passionately about it, even though frankly it’s not because of issues of citizenship in the sense of governing a population. It’s basically uninhabited. People are allowed to visit, but it’s not a home to civilians.

girlfriday: No. It’s pure symbology. It’s a remnant of the scars of the occupation.

javabeans: I even understand and appreciate why Koreans are so fierce on the issue of “Dokdo is our land,” because even though it’s mostly a pile of rocks, it’s where the country has collectively drawn its line in the sand. It’s basically saying, “You’ve taken your last from us, and you will not have this!” It’s totally symbolic. And political.

girlfriday: Yes, to Korea, it was the first of their land that Japan occupied, and the last of their land that they’re not willing to leave. I totally get it. It’s just that as a political thing, Dokdo gets used as, like you said, a lightning rod.

javabeans: It’s also that Koreans… we have this tendency to get really passionate about things and then boil them down to simplified versions. Oversimplified versions. It leads to a lot of amazing national pride moments and shows of solidarity, but it can also turn into mob-and-pitchforks. As we’ve seen, to make this relevant, a lot in the entertainment industry. And when you’re arguing soundbytes, it’s really easy to start conflating issues without really thinking about it, but which is a really dangerous slippery slope. It’s why you get hotheaded athletes making a medal about an island.

girlfriday: Yeah that had no place there. Obviously, the Japan-Korea soccer rivalry is a huge deal. But there’s really no reason to make soccer about Dokdo. Just none.

javabeans: I remember a similar incident in a previous Olympic cycle, when Apolo Ohno won his gold over a South Korean skater who got DQ’d, somewhat controversially. And then in a soccer match a few days later, in a celebratory moment a Korean player made a speed-skating gesture on the field. It was so awkward and mortifying. The sportscaster was basically stunned speechless. I remember him saying, “That’s… bad sportsmanship.” Like he could hardly say it, it was so obvious. How did Apolo (an American) somehow become this target for so much Japan-directed hate? I remember him saying he got so many Korean death threats after the Olympics.

girlfriday: That’s the horrible problem of conflating all these things. And it’s not that I don’t understand where it comes from. My grandmother still asks very pointedly every Olympics if we’re beating Japan. I get it. She lived through the occupation. I can’t argue with that sentiment.

javabeans: Oh, my Dad has the medal counts memorized. He called after the soccer game, which I hadn’t seen, and was proudly recounting it, saying, “Korea has never won an Olympic medal before. But we never lose to Japan. Never in soccer.”

girlfriday: Which is just untrue. But that’s what it’s like, being Korean. So… yeah…

javabeans: It’s just this huge ball of awkward and uncomfortable and vague shame, yet you don’t quite know where all these feelings are directed. It’s like being a teenager all over again.

girlfriday: Yeah, when the soccer debacle hit the international press, I immediately cringed, and then remembered that 1N2D was airing the Dokdo special the next day, and thought, that is the worst timing.

javabeans: With 1N2D, the trip was obviously planned way in advance so it isn’t a deliberate response to, say, the Olympics debacle. Clearly the islands factor in strongly to the Korean identity (one gyopo friend stated in his intro video that he wanted to see Dokdo), but I feel like 1N2D is perhaps becoming a part of a conversation it didn’t intend to be, given the timing of recent events. (OR DID IT? Who knows.)

girlfriday: Right? IS IT A CONSPIRACY? Okay, probably not.

javabeans: Dumbest conspiracy ever! Which isn’t to say that makes it automatically impossible.

girlfriday: Just… a weird place to put conspiratorial efforts. Okay, so back to the episode.

javabeans: Oh right. Is that what we’re doing? Hard to see through all those tangents.

girlfriday: We pick up in the middle of the mission, with each pair separated in different parts of town. Tae-hyun and Jong-myung are doing their reinactment of Heung-bu/Nol-bu.

javabeans: Which was one of the throwaway jokes in Arang this week. (It’s the story about a good brother and a horrible brother, and basically the moral is: you get what’s comin’ to you.) This is one of the hardest, but the funnest. It’s so silly, with the PDs shooting them with Super Soakers when they mess up. Ha, Tae-hyun gave all the embarrassing parts to his Austrian buddy Jong-myung. The dancing, the writing-name-with-butt, the rolling on the ground. All Tae-hyun has to do is complain.

girlfriday: The PDs are, of course, insanely picky. You only turned four times! SPRAY. I love that Tae-hyun, the big movie star, is having trouble remembering his lines.

javabeans: Maybe it’s the strange rule here of NO AD-LIBBING!

girlfriday: Now I wonder how much of Tae-hyun’s funny comes from him not remembering his lines and covering it up with jokes. They finally get through the whole skit and get their clue. It’s not very illuminating: a square over a triangle. Fractions with shapes?

javabeans: So not worth the effort. Although, I guess you don’t go through that and NOT bond. Su-geun and David the French med student puzzle out the clues: so far they have tree and 387 m and square / triangle.

girlfriday: Meanwhile Seung-woo and Ji-hoon are still busy with their top-spinning/kite-flying/jaegi-kicking mission, which… isn’t going well. They’re going to be there all day, aren’t they? Jong-min and Kiril get to their village and their mission is to ride ten different things. Problem is, they can’t afford to rent anything to ride.

javabeans: So there are scooters and pedi-cabs that they can test-drive, but not rent. Does that count? Don’t the rules just say to ride them? Ah, they find a swing and seesaw.  Haha, Jong-min gets in a technicality, because the seesaw is named differently when you sit on it and when you stand. Twofer!

girlfriday: But then the PD uses his own logic against him, asking if the standing version is “riding,” and Jong-min falls for the trap: “It’s jumping!”

javabeans: D’oh! Where’s lawyer Shi-kyung when you need him?  Joo-won and Richard are in a marketplace, where Joo-won has to buy 7 things for his buddy with their quiz money. Lucky for him, ajummas love cute boys and give him extras.

girlfriday: He totally plays it up at the ddukbokki stand: “My entire life savings is 3,300 won!” *aegyo smile* Mission complete with snacks to boot. Tae-woong meanwhile is busy trying to puzzle together the clues. He has this really comical EUREKA moment when he figures out the destination.

javabeans: Shi-kyung and Sasha find out they’ve missed the boat (heh), so they have to hitch a ride in a car. Man, it’s late. I don’t know if they’re all gonna make it. Doggy pile outside tonight?

girlfriday: Pretty much. Unless they lawyer a loophole out of this somehow. Su-geun picks up Tae-hyun and Tae-woong’s teams, and then arrive to get Seung-woo… who’s STILL kicking the jaegi for what has to be hours by now.

javabeans: I’m amazed that they’re able to laugh. They’re drenched in sweat and sort of in incredulous territory now.

girlfriday: The other boys run to their rescue to help them complete the mission, and Seung-woo tells them that Ji-hoon is a master top-spinner by now. It’s so cute how he brags about him to the others.

javabeans: It’s adorable. They even show off how he can do other stuff in between top-spinning, like a “Look Ma, no hands!” moment. The jaegi is the trouble.

girlfriday: Tae-hyun and Su-geun take over for that, only Tae-hyun gets in ONE measly kick (ha) leaving Su-geun to kick it 29 times… and he does it on the first try!

javabeans: That’s hilarious. Kite-flying is next, and either David is really, really good at kite-flying, Seung-woo is really, really bad, or the wind decided to pay a visit. I think there’s equal likelihood for all. Wow, they give us a count, and the team ran with the kite 9 times, spun that top 14… and kicked the jaegi 238 times.

girlfriday: Jong-min and Kiril are still at it, borrowing neighbors’ bikes and wheelbarrows and the like. Lol, he has Kiril climb a ladder because in Korean the word for climbing a ladder is the same as “ride.”

javabeans: I was wondering if they’d play with words! They could technically even make coffee, can’t they? “Ta” the granules? Or (sun)burn their faces?

girlfriday: Haha. It might come to that. There’s piggybacking, then sitting on a boat going nowhere, which gets them up to nine.

javabeans: They make their way through the entire village, then sit down to try to think of what else can get ridden.

girlfriday: Jong-min tries to think of all the things that can be ta-ed, like burning a fire, riding a dog, and then lightbulb! He orders Kiril to take off his hat. He parts his hair! Hahahaha. Oh the puns.

javabeans: “All we had to do was ta it, right? And what am I doing, director?” “….ta…ing your part.” You have to hear the extremely grudging voice in your head.

girlfriday: I love the sea of captions: “You said all we have to do is ta.” “We just have to ta.”

javabeans: It’s basically a screen full of ba-DUM-bum!

girlfriday: It’s all the funnier that they win the mission on that technicality. The rest of the group has been picked up, but Jong-min is out of the way, so they make a plan to pick him up as he heads toward the bridge. They get in a cab and just ask to be taken as far as their money will get them.

javabeans: They have mere minutes to get to the bridge, and the boys start chanting at traffic lights to change color. They give it their best effort, but arrive barely past the deadline. At least there’s a huge crowd cheering on the cast. Bird PD says, “It’s too bad, we hoped you’d make it.” Joo-won: “It’s so obvious [you’re lying].”

girlfriday: They finally make it to basecamp for some down time, where Sasha and Jong-min have another dance battle.

javabeans: Why am I reminded of the walk-off in Zoolander? They’re actually both good, but it’s just so funny. They go move for move, and I’m half-scared Jong-min’s going to break something trying to copy Sasha’s moves.

girlfriday: Right? You’re not an idol anymore! It’s finally time for dinner bokbulbok.

javabeans: The boys do an intro where they all complain in pairs that they’re hungry. Pffff, I literally just snorted water at Shi-kyung’s move. He comes in all serious looking, then launches into that gag-arm-leg sweep that Su-geun taught him in a previous trip. Is that going to be his signature now?

girlfriday: I hope so. As the eldest, Seung-woo speaks up to complain that 12:30 in the morning is not exactly dinnertime. Yikes, that’s mean.

javabeans: Wow, with special guests too. Bird PD calls dinner bokbulbok Olympic-themed—so on top of that you’re gonna make them run around and play for their food?

girlfriday: Of course. The first game is ping-pong, and Seung-woo shouts that he’s REALLY good at this game, which if you’ve ever watched this show before, you can never believe at face-value. They get ready to play, but then Bird PD calls for the boxes to be brought in… and they realize there’s a bokbulbok component to the rackets they have to use. This’ll be good.

javabeans: HA, Seung-woo has to play with FRYING PANS.

girlfriday: Hee, let’s see how good you are with those! Joo-won’s team gets little hand-drums, which are at least close to ping-pong racket size.

javabeans: But… do they have those little ball thingies attached? Is it just distracting fringe?

girlfriday: No, the ball thingies are attached. So yeah… confusing.

javabeans: Whoever thought up this is a genius.

girlfriday: Seriously. It turns out the frying pans are pretty handy… but Seung-woo isn’t exactly the pro he proclaimed himself to be. Why am I not surprised?

javabeans: On the upside, the frying pans totally allow him to save face.

girlfriday: I do love that every time he makes an error, they cut in his refrain: “I’m really good at ping-pong!”

javabeans: Lol, Su-geun and David get items of different size — two gongs. Since the handles are small, they’re basically playing with plates. Really heavy, unwieldy plates.

girlfriday: Haha, and then Tae-woong gets two cymbals. Pfft, at least it’s even percussion against percussion?

javabeans: This is going to be a loud match.

girlfriday: Hur. Su-geun takes advantage: “Wait, I’ll start the game! *gong*”

javabeans: Is Tae-woong actually getting mad? Aw, he looks so surly.

girlfriday: Yeah, he’s pretty much like, Olympics? We’re going hungry tonight…

javabeans: Games continue. Tae-hyun gets washboards, and Jong-min gets those huuuuge serving trays they use in restaurants.

girlfriday: And then just when you think it can’t get more comical, Tae-hyun announces he’ll play as Sharapova. Pffft.

javabeans: And shrieks every time he hits, like she does. Then…. omg, does Shi-kyung have to play ping-pong with a helmet?

girlfriday: That’s officially the worst.

javabeans: Dude, if you were going to be that random, where were the wine bottles and hammers?

girlfriday: I was waiting for the fly swatters.

javabeans: PD, maybe not a genius after all.

girlfriday: The final is Su-geun against Tae-hyun, and Su-geun’s team pretty much wipes the floor with them, but all Tae-hyun really cares about is getting his one clean Sharapova slam. The things you do for a gag. The next event is… dizzy volleyball shotput?

javabeans: I love that Shi-kyung starts them off with one really impressive throw (23m), and then it’s all downhill. Joo-won trips himself on the throw, Tae-woong gets about 2m out, and Seung-woo misses entirely and drops it at his feet.

girlfriday: Okay, that’s like a cartoon. He’s holding the ball, then goes to swing, and misses it… but it was in his hand!

javabeans: Jong-min gets a really nice wind-up…. and pelts his ball into Tae-woong. PWAHAHA. So Seung-woo’s scorecard reads “Kim Seung-woo: 0 meters.” Jong-min’s is: “Kim Jong-min: Uhm Tae-woong.”

girlfriday: Tae-woong comes at him, all you wanna start something, little man? Omg, Su-geun’s turn is killing me–he actually goes backwards, right into the line of cameramen, like he literally cannot control his body.

javabeans: The next game is a relay race, and we speed through to the final round, where Tae-woong (slow) and Su-geun (quick) are running against each other. Thanks to his teammate, Tae-woong ends up in front and starts to wave his arms around, blocking Su-geun like a big dancing octopus.

girlfriday: Which is right when Su-geun speeds past him on the turn. Pfft, the look on Tae-woong’s face is priceless. That’s what you get for celebrating your win before the end of the race!

javabeans: And yet, when the ultimate winner of the whole Olympics is announced (“a huge surprise”), it’s Tae-hyun, who placed in all events and ended up with a higher overall score. They get the yummy beef dinner.

girlfriday: Su-geun gets the second-place dinner, and then Shi-kyung gets third, which is also a surprise. Must’ve been the shotput.

javabeans: The rest get bowls of rice with grilled fish. Aw.

girlfriday: Two fish for eight guys is not a lot. But the hyungs take care to put fish on their dongsengs’ bowls, which is really sweet. Soon everyone is sharing. After dinner Bird PD says they have to pack up for their next trip. The guys are like, whaaaaaa?

javabeans: There’s no outdoor sleepytime tonight… Is it because they’re not sleeping? Oy. He informs them of the Dokdo plans, but logistically speaking, that is a LONG trip and two boat rides. It’s a pretty unreasonable itinerary, but they start reasoning that all the guests do want to go, even if that means no sleep.

girlfriday: They pile onto a bus for the all-night drive, and Seung-woo teaches them the “Dokdo is our land” song. Of course there’s a song about this.

javabeans: There are a bunch of them. I think the one that plays is DJ Doc’s version, and apparently Eun Ji-won has one too. It’s like an anthem; everyone’s recorded their rendition. The hip-hop version, the melodic rock version… Korea is crazy about Dokdo. At least the insane schedule means they get breakfast on the boat without little strings attached. So there’s still a little humanity left in the PD.

girlfriday: I love that Tae-hyun makes little jam sandwiches for everyone like a dad. Though the lecture from Professor Jong-min on why Dokdo is Korea’s land, I could do without. He’s very sweet, but I don’t want him giving lessons on anything.

javabeans: Ugh, are we entering the uncomfortable part of this trip?

girlfriday: Yes, yes we are. I can tell by my discomfort.

javabeans: I can tell by the way I’m auto-cringing, without even knowing it. They have each gyopo guest share a little about their feelings on seeing Dokdo, and this whole scene is emceed by Su-geun in faux presenter mode. I think that’s making it worse, because he’s got his variety joke-hat on, but he’s pretending to be very serious about this really political issue, and it’s just a weird mix of mockery-flattery-jokery.

girlfriday: Here’s what I don’t like about the whole sequence, from a show point of view. It’s not organic. They’re like: This Is Important. You can feel the show putting on someone else’s clothes.

javabeans: Yeah, it’s 1N2D but they’re not doing this trip as part of the show, really. It’s like a drama telephone-CF moment. But sort of preachy.

girlfriday: It’s not totally new for 1N2D to do this. They do these kinds of specials once in a while. I just tend to always feel this way when they do these sequences.

javabeans: I guess every show needs its one afterschool special episode. Yunno, for sweeps week and Emmy counts.

girlfriday: Exactly. The we’re-going-for-tears-and-the-little-gold-statue moment.

javabeans: Also from a purely show point of view, I’m a little uncomfortable with making these guys talk about this big deal in the hot seat and with their language skills. Some of the guys are fluent, but even they struggle to find the right vocabulary. It’s hard enough to express yourself when you’re at home with the language, but when you’re not equipped…

girlfriday: And I can only speak from my own cultural perspective, but as a Korean living outside of Korea, I have no deep-seated emotional feelings about Dokdo. I wasn’t raised with the songs and the constant awareness, so I don’t know what they’re expecting the gyopos to feel and/or say.

javabeans: There’s clearly an “acceptable script” in this moment, and there’s only one right opinion to have. Yet it’s couched in this generous, open, “Tell us how you feel” format. You wonder what would happen if anyone really did say, “Eh. Land is land.”  But maybe this one-script mentality is what it means to live in Korea and have an opinion on Dokdo. Oh thank god Bird PD interrupts to hand out uniforms (T-shirts), since they’re almost there.

girlfriday: At least the arrival feels more organically 1N2D. The sweeping helicopter shots, the pretty island–that stuff is what the show does well. They get off the boat and immediately Seung-woo starts to well up with tears. At least this reaction I understand–it’s how my father would react. I just hope they don’t, I dunno… expect all the guys to be that way.

javabeans: Yeah, I can see being swept up in the emotion. I might feel that way as well — it’s such a loaded place and image, that a strong reaction is inevitable. I do think there’s a time and place, though, and Koreans seem to ignore that with matters relating to Dokdo.

girlfriday: Joo-won starts to cry too, and he and Seung-woo cry for a while, which makes sense since it’s their first time there. But Su-geun is narrating about their crying as they’re crying, and getting speechy. I wish he’d let the emotion speak for itself.

javabeans: Right, it’s pushing you there when you could get there naturally, but because you’re being pushed, you feel a compulsion to resist. Or is that just me?

girlfriday: No, not just you. If it were just un-narrated reactions without comment, I might be swept up in the emotion too. But I feel like I’m being told I should cry.

javabeans: Uh-oh, we get a glimpse of the T-shirt backs, and I’m pretty sure I know what phrase they’ll spell out… Yeesh. Can’t you just let the trip speak for itself?

girlfriday: Sigh. They get into formation and reveal their shirts that spell out: “Dokdo is our land; we are Korean.”

javabeans: They pose with a flag and repeat the chant. The song is sort of overkill. It reminds me of that time when “Proud to be an American” was everywhere, with its swagger and posturing. Are we done yet?

girlfriday: Almost there. Closing interviews with the guests as they leave, mostly thanking their hyungs. That’s sweet. I sort of wish this had just stayed a gyopo special about them, but I think it got away from that, which is too bad. It’s not the message about Dokdo that rubs me the wrong way; it’s the methods.

javabeans: Yes, yes. I don’t disagree with the stance on Dokdo, or decry Korea’s claim to it. I wish the message could be delivered with diplomacy and grace. ‘Cause it’s a powerful message.


51 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire

    Thank you!

    • 1.1 Ivoire

      I am off to read now, thank you for explaining what happened and for your comments. They help me understand better what was going on.

      • 1.1.1 Rainerust

        Whoa, Ivoire do you constantly camp out at DB? You’re almost always first to comment!

        Also yes great thanks to GF and JB, I love reading your recaps and insights – not to mention your oh so witty commentary! It’s half what makes the show!

        • Ivoire

          Hello Rainerust, good to hear from you…

          “Whoa, Ivoire do you constantly camp out at DB? You’re almost always first to comment!”
          LOL, is that OK? How long do you think that will last?… (You don’t need to answer that, it was a rhetorical and somewhat sarcastic question).

        • Ivoire

          Hello Rainerust again,

          It’s not as if I am committing a crime, right? (Me “almost always being the 1st to comment”). I’m just saying… 🙂

      • 1.1.2 Ivoire

        I just wanted to add that reading your comments (and analysis) often gives me a different perspective, and that I appreciate your hard work and dedication to your blog.

  2. Rainerust

    I really wished Dokdo had not gotten mixed up in this – I kinda understand why they would do this but like you said the timing is just unfortunate and just makes it seem more of an issue than it is. It does seem over the top and preachy and I just feel sad that it seemed like towards the end the show was more on Dokdo than it was on the guest-friends.

    That said, this show really does have its heartwarming moments e.g. Seung woo and Ji Hoon. How sweet!! They really were like father and son.

    I actually rather hope they will do a guest special where OVERSEAS fans get to join in the fun and games! I know they’ve done a couple before with the old gang, so come on! I would totally sign up for it!

  3. Oc-ca

    Dokdo controversy is finally getting press in mainstream US media bc it’s not just Korea upping the tiff on territorial dispute- china is as well. And it’s political fallout is actual- Japanese embassador being recalled, refusal to sign treaties, etc. that aside as a Korean American I take interest in this but really a nonkorean even these gypos are thinking exactly what you said- land is land what’s the big deal fighting over few rocks where 3 people live?

    But Koreans still want validation from outside what they are feeling and this segment reflects that.

    Anyhow- you summarized very clearly how I feel about dokdo: we get the political and historical importance of the island but Korean media please don’t use entertainment vehicles to push a political message.

  4. Kdrama fan

    Thanks for the recap. I agree with both of you in regards to the Dokdo matter. I love to learn about Korean history since like you I am a Korean/American living in the States. Like you, I can sympathize with the Korean belief of retaining Dokdo for themselves and the patriotism that they feel. I’m not sure if everyone in Korea have this patriotism/craze mentality going on but with all due respect it’s just not part of my everyday world. If I was a Korean visiting Korea for the first time, I would have like to have visited historical sites without it being the current hot political topic. Again as a “foreign” Korean visiting Korea, I would feel disconnected with societies feelings and then having to be interviewed about it is very awkward and could potentially put the guests into the hot seat. Just saying…

  5. Oc-ca

    Oh and JB & GF- you may like to know Korea hasn’t been the only country mortifying people with their political territory fighting agenda during Olympics. Argentina had an ad that said “to compete in British soil, we train on argentine soil” which was filmed in falkand islands where Britain and argentine have been fighting over for last 30 yrs. that ad may have been popular n Argentina but got panned by others.

  6. crazedlu


    let’s just say.. this ep doesn’t make it on my faves list.

  7. Noelle

    Now I wish I saw that soccer match but I wouldn’t have gotten the meaning. This is really the first time ever, well since Gaksital, I heard about the Japan occupation. It came as a surprise. Korea was never really on my radar until I started watching kdramas and then the world got bigger, ya know? If you don’t learn about something and your family has no connection to it, it’s all very foreign. I can’t really comment about the episode because I don’t feel I have a right to, if that makes sense. It’s all very political and I don’t want to say something that might offend without meaning to.

    Thank you for the recap.

  8. kat

    I wasn’t really aware of the histotical-emotional reasons over the Dokdo claims. My parents just explained it to me in completely economical terms: Dokdo is situated between Japan and Korea, technically at the center of the sea. Whoever gets Dokdo gets fishing rights all around the islands/ more sea. They basically sigh at all the conflict when Dokdo comes up and actually, so does my grandparents who were at the center of the conflict. Maybe its just my family but its just to say that not all Koreans have the same sentiments towards Dokdo.

  9. UJ

    My Joo Wonie cried TT_TT

  10. 10 DB5K

    Actually, there was one more recent Dokdo-related event. Japanese viewers strongly protested against the airing of Song Il Gook’s drama A Man Called God, because he participated in a celebrity swim-athon to Dokdo on Korea’s Independence Day. Coincidentally, I think his drama was supposed to air on Independence Day. I believe the Japanese station aired a re-run of another drama instead and that the drama air date has been suspended indefinitely.

    I don’t think it was coincidental on the Korean part, though. I’m pretty sure several of these events were planned around Korea’s Independence Day (Gaksital’s episode storyline for the week, 1N2D’s Dokdo’s theme, President Lee’s visit to Dokdo, etc).

    I think Dokdo is important and I understand why it is (symbolically, emotionally). However, I think there are other more important issues Korea should be fired up about, particularly N. Korea. And I think there’s a reason most Koreans have an oversimplified view of Dokdo. The truth is complicated (esp. since so many documents have been burned/hidden) and the Korean government inundated the masses with propaganda since the 50s.

    The thing that worries is me is that I’ve never seen two (advanced-industrialized) countries hate each other like Japan and Korea. Obviously the majority of Koreans and Japanese don’t hate each other. But a significant minority of each population do. Even on the gyopo side. I’d be watching a kpop video and it’d get hijacked by random J-netizens commenting that Koreans are inferior monkeys or something… no comment.

    I enjoyed this episode except for, yeah, the ending. It felt like the guests were peer pressured to come up with a load of b.s. about how this experience changed them, etc. And what’s with the certificates they all received, like this was an official training course on how to be patriotic -_-” What was supposed to be a trip to one’s roots ended up being like a boot camp on “how to be a good Korean.” They were all like indoctrinated to become good ambassadors and to evangelize to the world about Dokdo.

    This sort of blatant phoniness would never have happened with the original 1N2D crew and cast. I misssssss them soooo much ;~; I get that the new 1N2D crew did something nationalistic to curry the favor of viewers, but I think everyone felt the fakeness of some parts of it.

    • 10.1 Ananke

      Actually I’ve yet to see two countries, sharing a violent past not hate each other or at least a major part of their population do. In Europe only there’s plenty of examples. My dad gets fired up every time somebody criticizes the USA and (dad) starts calling people communists, which is the most vile insult for him.

      • 10.1.1 ladida

        Yeah, it doesn’t really have anything to do with industrialization or anything.

  11. 11 Arhazivory

    Hmmm…Dokdo. I have no thoughts on it all. -_-“

  12. 12 chaloner

    Anyone know the actual link to the english sub for this?

    • 12.1 ~Feather~

      I watch on

  13. 13 sofagamja

    I never did pay much attention to the Dokdo controversy…
    But one of the main reason’s Korea is so determined to claim Dokdo as theirs is territory.
    Having Dokdo enables whatever country to claim more naval territory…
    Yes there is the thing with Japanese imperialism and hard feelings all around.
    Things are a little sensitive and things get riled up at least once a year.
    There is always some controversy with people saying wrong things and someones sensitivities getting stepped on.
    As a Korean-American it hasn’t really concerned me…
    but I’m the chick that gets irritated at the Olympics and World Cup because it messes up with my K-TV schedule.
    When shows go all pseudo-political and patriotic…
    I kinda skip through the episode because my interest level on stuff like that is pretty low…

  14. 14 Susan

    This whole Dokdo conflict makes me cringe. But then again, any overt show of nationalism makes me very uncomfortable. My dad completely loses all sense of reason when it comes to the Japan, or even the China, but I’ve gotten into enough shouting matches with him to know that he’ll never change. Unfortunately, it seems to be that way with a lot of Koreans. I can’t even watch a fuckin’ Youtube video about a Korean soccer player without reading the most disgusting, vile comments about the Japanese when the video has absolutely nothing to do with Japan.
    I think I’ll pass on this episode.

  15. 15 Maru

    I think sports event take a political meaning between two countries because is competition but not war. In sports you can actually say, “I beat you up, I’m better than you” without any political consecuence.

    I am Puertorrican and, my Island being a territory of the USA but actually not part of the USA, many people believes we are treated like thrid class American citizens (for example, we are not allowed to vote for the USA president). Without trying to go into detail about the political issues and my stan in it, I can see a similar patter when Puerto Rico and USA have a match.

    When Puerto Rico basketball team won a match against USA team in a past Olympics, people here reacted in a very nationalistic way and a image of one of the players waving his shirt with the name of the island to the other team is an iconic one that, up until this days, is shown from time to time in CFs, it became a symbol.

    Another example could be soccer. When the World Cup starts, people here, except for a few ones, refuse to identify themselves with the American team. Instead, the choose different Latinamericans or European teams to cheer on.

    Of course, the political situation in my Islan can’t be compare to Japan-Korea history, because they are very different. But, I have always seen how sports and politics collide from time to time. It is a very interesting thing, for sure.

  16. 16 Jemigirl

    I totally agree with the sentiment.. but I think it’s kind of sad how most of us Koreans ( outside of Korea ) don’t know or care about this issue ..
    as someone who spent some of my childhood in Korea.. and hearing first hand from the elders their experience of Japanese occupation is enough to understand why dokdo means so much.. and if you are of Korean decent it would be good to be informed about the issue..and I think for our parents and grandparents their feeling of helplessness and years of frustration comes off overtly passionate..that being said I do agree with an earlier comment that north Korea is a bigger issue ..i mean the whole country is friggin divided and there are children dying of’s weird to me that I read more about north Korea through media outlets here in US and all I get from korean media is tiaras break up story..Anyways getting back to 1n2d..
    I was feeling a little sorry for Sasha ( the dancer ) he looked so bored !!
    And I was little bored myself with the games….i kept thinking about the old foreigner special that ended w family reunion which had me crying like a lil baby ..but I guess that is alot to live up to..

  17. 17 adette

    this… makes me uncomfortable. just a bit.

  18. 18 leddik

    Not being Korean, I had no real understanding about the whole Dokdo thing until the headlines from the Olympics. I do understand patriotism and national pride however. I think the thing that made this episode a little icky was the fact that they had the guests as part of it. I remember with the original cast, they had an episode where they visited a lake? and brought along water from all parts of Korea to put into the lake. I believe the land had belonged to Korea at one time and China had taken it over. That episode was great in the fact that everyone there understood the gravity of what they were doing. Their feelings were genuine because it was something that was relevant in their lives. With this episode though, it seemed like it was hard for them to be sincere because not everyone was on the same page or had the same feelings for such a politically charged matter. Also what was great with Kang Ho Dong, which is what is lacking with Sugeun, is that he was a really great MC so he knew how to convey his feelings as well as highlight the feelings of those around them. Whether it was with him explaining why it was such a touchy subject or by letting the scene flow naturally. I think this episode tried to much. They really should have seperated the Dokdo episode and made the gyopos another episode entirely because I doubt those guys took away what the cast and crew took away from this. That’s too bad.

    • 18.1 Kang Hodong is back!

      ***Also what was great with Kang Ho Dong, which is what is lacking with Sugeun, is that he was a really great MC so he knew how to convey his feelings as well as highlight the feelings of those around them.***

      I was glad to read that Kang Hodong will soon be back. He has signed with a management company to return to MC-ing! 😀

  19. 19 Chloe

    I caught a few snippets of 1N2D yesterday on KBS world. I switched channel after a few minutes because I just could not feel for the new members. Miss the old members so much. Also, I miss PD Na’s voice !! On the other hand, I love watching QM. It would be great if DB could do a recap of QM.

  20. 20 edge

    I wish they would stop this Dokdo controversy… Even my dad wants me to announce that Dokdo is Korean in my Japanese class at school and I’m an Australian Korean teen D: I can sympathise with the patriotism but I have never even been to Korea before and it’s just so uncomfortable to be expected to stand up for something I just don’t take that strongly to heart

  21. 21 Mumu

    As a Korean living in Seoul for 24 years, i DO feel uncomfortable for the way this episode treats for Dokdo issue like many people here. I have to say that maybe i’m not the typical Korean, but there are lots of korean with me for sure.
    We’re all aware of the historical and territorial importance of Dokdo well (because Japan’s claiming to be the owner of the island means justifying imperialism, and that would be a nightmare for Korean), but it doesn’t mean that all of the korean agree with the strong expression for Dokdo as described in this 1N2D episode, because it’s weird as like Amerecan says “Hawaii is our land”. I just hope that government treats this issue well on their OWN hands so that we don’t have to see political slogan on the TV screen especially for the entertainment program.

    • 21.1 Mumu

      + and it was also uncomfortable for me to see guest gyopo to be forced to be a Dokdo lover or a “TRUE” Korean. I could see some of their face became stiff and i felt sorry for them.

      But, i understand why Joo Won cried there. I think Dokdo means a lot for him as Gaksital…. (The island was the first annexed territory of Korea in 1905 and the Korean Peninsula was annexed to Japanese imperialism 5 years later. Now Japan insists that the sovereignty was returned to Korea except for Dokdo. So, it’s also a historical issue closely related to the Drama he’s playing in.)

      +I’m not good at English writing yet. sorry for that T.T

    • 21.2 narae

      I’m just curious (because I am from Hawaii), what did you mean by “because it’s weird as like Amerecan says “Hawaii is our land””?

      • 21.2.1 Mumu

        I’m not sure that it’s okay to say my political opinion too much, but as you asked…
        Hawaii is obviously U.S territory, so there’s no reason that American claims furiously that it’s their land. I think Dokdo is the same case, and insisting ‘we’re the owner of the island’ over and over just makes it look like a territory in real dispute which is the purpose of Japan government who’s not administering the land currently.

  22. 22 Ashley

    I’m not Korean and I’m not personally invested, but I must say, if my country had been under brutal occupation and then gained independence, but some of our territory (even if it were just some rocks in the sea) stayed in the hands of the occupiers… I’d be mad as hell about it. I don’t think loving your country like that is wrong. I didn’t see the episode, so maybe it just wasn’t that entertaining, but I don’t think they were wrong for having something to say about an issue that is so clearly very important to many Koreans.

  23. 23 bishbash

    I guess it’s also because well, KBS is the oldest broadcasting station around in South Korea? I’m not sure about SBS and MBC, but it seems like only KBS came up with all these nationalism and what not the previous week (ie Gaksitaaaaaaal and this 1N2D episode).

    I can understand the nationalism and patriotism because I came from somewhere which suffered from the Japanese Imperialism eons ago, but I agree with everyone here that incorporating Dokdo into entertainment is too blatant and uncalled for. We get the message, please don’t rub it in.

  24. 24 ck1Oz

    Thank you for the recap. I enjoyed it and am enlightened about the Dokdo issue. Like other better not to comment in case I said the wrong thing. As it is have heard quite a bit about the Japanese Occupation.

    I do wish though that the interactions were more heart tugging. Did the guests enjoy themselves?

  25. 25 Eeefu

    I am not Korean. I support 1N2D and the crew (including actors) taking a clear stance on the Dokdu issue.


    South Korean soccer Park Jong-woo should not be barred from receiving his Bronze medal.

  26. 26 kaye

    I think it’s okay to have a Dokdo Special but what was the relevance of the gyopos to Dokdo? It would have been better to have a separate of episode for the gyopos and Dokdo. Also, they could’ve toned down on the preachiness and the appeal to emotion. Not so classy. 😐

    This is not to say that I am belittling South Korea’s feelings for Dokdo. It’s just that it could’ve been handled with a tad bit more subtlety. My country is having territorial issues against a superpower as well but we keep the discussion in the news, over SNS, not in variety shows.

    • 26.1 satsuki92

      well said!

  27. 27 Arviana123

    I was thinking while watching it… With filming gaksital, this would probably be hitting Joo Won all the harder, no? That is what I thought when I saw him cry. Well that, and aww he is crying… *leans in for hug through the screen*

  28. 28 Eeefu

    KBS is 100% government-owned.

  29. 29 DHP

    Just wanted to let everyone know that Dokdo is not just a bunch of rocks. It was investigated by a group of scientists and there is a huge reserve of natural gas and other natural resources. Also, there is a similar situation occurring with Japan and Russia over the Kuril Islands.

  30. 30 satsuki92

    i was looking forward to a fun and crazy episode with the non-natives koreans….but….

    i am an absolute cripple at politics to have any intelligent opinions about them BUT
    i really really feel that whatever the intentions of the 2D1N production team were for the Dokdo special, they should not have included the gyopos in them. it was so awkward, cringe-worthy but i think those words still fail to describe how i felt watching the scene where the gyopos had to share a few words about Dokdo.

    political issues and variety shows should never be mixed together. the lines need to be drawn!! *shakes fist*


  31. 31 sygm

    i know you did not grew up in korea but its not just politics its patriotism which obviously you dont feel because you are now americanized im not korean by i feel for them because like korea we are also colonized by the japanese which is a sad story of our history..

  32. 32 george

    thanks girls,for the recap,for always.

    i do understand about patriotism.its great to know what yours and to defend it even if it means your life no matter how small or insignificant that is. i am from a place where i’ts been colonized for hundreds of years to a point that we get confused on who we are.i know something about japanese occupation.sometimes it’s a sensitive issue for japanese of today’s generation coz they are the one paying for their past’s generations mistakes.i love korean’s patriotism but i agree w/ everyone’s sentiments that variety shows and politics shouldn’t gets awkward and confusing.this episode is giving me dejavu from season 1 w/ the mt. baekdu episode but it was done in a way that its much more believable so u feel that it was all part of the show and nothing political.

  33. 33 Falcsers

    KBS isn’t government-owned in the likes of China’s CCTV (btw worst news channel name ever). It was one of the many start-up industries paid and pumped up by the new republic.

    • 33.1 Eeefu

      When it’s the tax payers’ $$ funding KBS 100%, it is not difficult to imagine the degree of presidential influence over this station. Tho MBC is also prone, KBS is the least surprised station to have expressed the view and interests of Koreans on the Dukdo issue in a variety show, esp those in favour & in alignment of the LMB administration.

  34. 34 Pistachione

    Such a very sensitive t0pic 2 be discussed in a variety show. It defeats it’s purpose of being a variety.

  35. 35 K

    This is all such crazy stuff. I’m pretty much removed from these conflicts down here in Australia, but when I read this, I thought immediately of the Japan-China pow-wow over some fishing islands that I’d recently heard of in passing. Knowing nothing of either topic I wondered for a moment if they were about the same thing haha evidently not.

  36. 36 SL

    Man am I disappointed with this ep. So disappointed that I have just taken this show off my permanent recording schedule. I thought only I felt this way but I’m glad that I’m not the only one who felt uncomfortable at the blatant agenda.

    Since when has our fav travelogue taken on such political overtones, so overtly? Yes, the series had eps like Baekdu before, but even the feel for that was different. This one looks and feels like the executives of KBS stepped all over this, not sure if it was the PD’s call but damn it. Disclaimer: I’m not Korean or Japanese so I’m pretty neutral about the issue. What angers me is the way the show is used as a platform, especially to try to influence the many fans of the show around the world about the issue, in such an obvious manner. This sucks.

  37. 37 Akari

    Just watched this and I could feel the awkwardness about the whole Dokdo issue. I wish they had taken into account of the feelings of all the guests, some of them obviously didn’t care (e.g. Sasha).

    I felt like the PDs were trying to brainwash the guests and the viewers with all the “Dokdo is ours, we are Koreans”. Seriously, it’s a variety show, stay variety.

    I get the patriotism, but do it in a better, not so in-your-face way. Shikyung actually said some sensible words in this ep, when he told the guest to read up about the issue if he wants to inform others about it.

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