EPISODE 402. Broadcast on September 2, 2012.
javabeans: Time for another episode of 1N2D, or as I think of it, Gaksital chaser. ‘Cause I don’t know about you, but I’m still a little wrung out from yesterday’s finale. I’m gonna need a healthy dose of brotherly love to pick me back up.
girlfriday: Yes please. With extra hugs.
javabeans: So we open on a rainy morning in a quiet park, as the members drive up still groggy and yawning. And then… they hold hands and sing a kiddie song?
girlfriday: Is Shi-kyung trying to sound bad? Because what happened to his voice?
javabeans: He does manage one pretty falsetto note, which makes everything sound even weirder. Ha. Let’s just chalk it up to the early morning wake-up call.
girlfriday: Su-geun says the mood is really good today. He doesn’t say exactly why, but obviously a reference to ratings means they beat Running Man. How apropos after Kim Nam-joo’s insistence that they win.
javabeans: Then he lists everyone’s individual good news: Tae-hyun’s movie (Gone With the Wind) broke the 4 million ticket mark, Gaksital broke 20% ratings, Jong-min took a trip to Hong Kong, while Shi-kyung “…um, has lots of good things going on.”
girlfriday: Haha, I love when Su-geun asks if anyone’s seen Bird PD outside KBS lately, and mock-skips and jumps around.
javabeans: The best part of that impersonation is the pan over to Bird PD afterward, who’s grinning sheepishly, like, “Yeah, that’s true.”
girlfriday: Out of nowhere, Jong-min decides that the best way to deal with the rain is to be one with it, and suggests one person should go get wet, just because.
javabeans: Don’t you love the stream of thought that follows? It’s all, Why? WTF? Okay let’s do it.
girlfriday: They pinpoint one stream of rain coming off the roof and rock-paper-scissors for the loser who’ll stand under it for no apparent reason… and Jong-min totally loses! HAHA.
javabeans: There’s an adage for this, I’m sure. Other than “Neener neener,” I mean.
girlfriday: He who thinks up weird punishment will endure said weirdness himself?
javabeans: Bird PD announces that today’s trip is all about health (their destination is called a city of health), which brings huuuuge smiles to everyone’s faces. Compared to the starvation/work/discomfort specials, health seems like as good a theme as any, and Bird PD adds that the location is called a term meaning unlimited. (The word is a play on the name of the region.)
girlfriday: He says of course that they can’t ALL eat well, and they sigh that they didn’t even expect it. Today there will be a king. Heh, doesn’t that automatically mean that the other six will end up his slaves?
javabeans: The captions point out how Shi-kyung is sooooper excited about the idea of unlimited food, and then completely deflated at the qualifier. I wonder if the winner will be able to eat his dinner with six glaring sets of eyes staring.
girlfriday: Bird PD says that three teams of six will go to different regions and bring back dishes for the king’s health. The king gets to eat all, and chooses one team to eat with him. Shi-kyung: “Do the rest get exiled?”
javabeans: Tae-woong: “Royal poisoning!” Seung-woo: “Execution?” Either they’re extra bloodthirsty today, or they’ve all been watching too much sageuk. They’ll play games, natch, and Tae-woong hears “survival multiplication tables” and knows he’s doomed. Shi-kyung and Joo-won are gonna win this whole thing, aren’t they?
girlfriday: Pretty much. It’ll be a young prince battle for the throne. They start, and immediately, Tae-woong gets ousted on the first round. Oy. I thought we were practicing multiplication tables!
javabeans: I love how he hears the prompt (eight times seven) and replies, “Fifty-damn.”
girlfriday: So as soon as he’s out, he tells Tae-hyun he’ll see him in the disqualified box… and then Tae-hyun loses, on the same damn eight times seven!
javabeans: Jong-min and Seung-woo are out in the second game (a round of 3-6-9), which leaves three in the third and final game. I love that the order of elimination is pretty much what we all would have predicted.
girlfriday: Also, the teams get formed in the order they lose, and I really like the pairings.
javabeans: Aw, it’s the return of the Seung-woo and Jong-min couple!
girlfriday: I love them.
javabeans: They play Go-Back-Jump next. HA, is nobody taking issue to Joo-won just getting saying “Back” every turn while the others have to, you know, actually think? They must be too intent on thinking to even notice, which is why it’s so cute to see Joo-won dissolving into giggles off on his own. Rewind, replay! Predictably Su-geun is out and Joo-won and Shi-kyung are the last two. We be psychic! Or… this was just really predictable. Oh man, I love that the boys are getting all into character with this whole king bid’ness.
girlfriday: I know, it’s cracking me up.
javabeans: I’m dying here. I guess it’s all the little things, not necessarily one big joke. Like Shi-kyung facing off against Joo-won (King Sung vs. King Joo), and saying that if he wins he’s gonna behead Joo-won right away, and Tae-hyun steps up to mime the executioner dude who always sprays his sword with water. Then Seung-woo steps in to argue that a good king’s gotta act with wisdom and not just go a-killin’. (Which in this case means more and more games.) Shi-kyung’s response? “I must definitely chop off Kim Seung-woo’s head.”
girlfriday: Omg the bloodthirsty talk is just so funny. Just that Shi-kyung, as prince and heir to the throne, is suddenly calling him by name as Kim Seung-woo is funny too.
javabeans: Then Seung-woo sides with Joo-won, haha.
girlfriday: Okay, I don’t even understand Go Back Jump on a normal day, but with two people it’s so confusing.
javabeans: You know it’s a crazy game when the show has to literally freeze frame each turn, caption what’s going on, and explain what it means to the audience. Ha. But… Shi-kyung prevails! Off with their heads! I feel like Shi-kyung came alive at the idea of tons of food and REALLY put on his game face.
girlfriday: Yeah he was like, imma WIN. He even does a victory lap in the rain.
javabeans: I’m getting all discombobulated with all the metaphors flying around. There’s kingly battles, and Olympics theme songs, and just random cues everywhere. It’s hilarious, but weird. So now you have the boys chanting “King! King!” like he’s… you know, a sports star.
girlfriday: Pffffft, Tae-hyun jabs, “Today’s mood will be great on set!”
javabeans: Since Shi-kyung won’t be hungry? Which, dude. SO TRUE. We have videographic proof!
girlfriday: Hee, it’s clearly so bad that they all cheer, like Shi-kyung eats, we all survive.
javabeans: This is a hilarious premise: Bird PD informs Shi-kyung that his subjects will bring back food for his table, and he gets to choose the person who brought his favorite dish to eat with him. What about the other dishes? He can eat them too — just, those guys don’t get to eat. Shi-kyung is awash in bliss. He’s all, “I’m so happy! This is fantastic!”
girlfriday: It’s so cute! He’s so genuinely beaming.
javabeans: The teams ask what types of food he wants, and now they’re all just talking sageuk-speak. So cute.
girlfriday: They taste from little samples and each team chooses which dish/region they’ll go to for their mystery food.
javabeans: While the teams prepare to leave, Shi-kyung sits in a chair like it’s a throne, TOTALLY getting into the spirit of things. Oh man, he’s hilarious, sitting there cackling to himself and issuing kingly demands, like, Bring the producer to me. He’d totally be a drunk-on-power king.
girlfriday: It’s hilarious that the PDs were like, he’s the king of the guys, and he’s like, I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD.
javabeans: He even makes Bird PD carry an umbrella for him! Bird PD is like, Damn, I made these rules didn’t I? They even have a king’s costume prepared for him, which he’s happy to wear since he’s in the best mood ever… and then he does a Kangnam Style dance in them. HA.
girlfriday: Meanwhile each pair heads off in different directions, and Tae-hyun and Tae-woong spend their ride complaining of hunger. Their PD tells them they get to taste to know what to cook, and Tae-hyun gets the bright idea to just keep tasting and insist they don’t know what it is. Jong-min asks what health foods Seung-woo’s wife prepares for him, and that gives him the chance to be like, “What about you~?”
javabeans: Haha, and he’s like, “Oh, you mean my ‘mom’? She does too.” They wink-wink, nod-nod about Jong-min’s “mom.”
girlfriday: I think Shi-kyung’s happy mood is already wearing off, because he starts to complain about the king costume, which Bird PD says he’s not allowed to take off.
javabeans: So petty. That’s the ONE thing he can order him around on, so he sticks to it like a dog with a bone. It’s not gonna be a great day for Bird PD, is it?
girlfriday: Shi-kyung orders him to prepare a snack for the king, and gets a sausage out of it, while Bird PD eats a sad lonely triangle kimbap. He does look extra pathetic today.
javabeans: Tae-hyun and Tae-woong are the first who arrive to find out what they’ll be presenting, which turns out to be pheasant. It’ll be prepared a few different ways, and the boys are instructed by their guide about the history of the food.
girlfriday: The guy is super serious, talking about how it was prepared for the king, and Tae-hyun’s like, “Yup. We have a king waiting too.”
javabeans: Shi-kyung walks along the street with Bird PD as umbrella-holder, and starts waving at totally random people who are like, WTF? I love Shi-kyung being so goofy. I guess you have to feed him a lot for that side to emerge, which means he picked a tough show. Bird PD gets a bit of revenge (?) by arriving at a bus terminal — the king will have to rub elbows with the common folk today by riding it in full costume.
girlfriday: There is something so strange and amusing about a guy in a king costume waiting for the bus.
javabeans: Jong-min and Seung-woo arrive at their location to find a farm with lots of black goats. Su-geun and Joo-won, meanwhile, are dealing with a freshwater fish. Ha, the petty back-and-forth continues: Bird PD asks Shi-kyung if he has any intention of carrying the umbrella himself. Well, that’s a dumb question. The editors snarkily point out that Shi-kyung’s walking with the back of his robe caught in his waistband, oblivious to how silly he looks. And then Shi-kyung demotes (?) Bird PD to eunuch, haha.
girlfriday: That’s quite the demotion, on many levels.
javabeans: I mean, there are always the arguments about how eunuchs possessed quite a lot of influence and had unprecedented access to the king… but I’m pretty sure those arguments are all said by people in possession of all their parts.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung commands Bird Eunuch to tell him what flowers are growing ahead, and when someone names them, Bird PD insists that’s impossible, only to be contradicted seconds later. It amuses the king greatly.
javabeans: The pheasant tasting goes well, with all the dishes looking yummy and Tae-woong cracking his usual corny jokes. On to the goat, which, eek. I can’t stomach goat so this whole section is just gonna be unappetizing in my eyes.
girlfriday: I’ve never tried goat, so I don’t know what it tastes like.
javabeans: I’m good with strange foods, but there’s this gamey quality that makes me nauseous. Literally can’t swallow it.
girlfriday: It at least seems to be going over well with Seung-woo and Jong-min, who get warned that their tasting is turning into a meal.
javabeans: Haha, then they’re doing better than Tae-hyun and Tae-woong, who tried to ask for more and got denied. Seung-woo’s smart, though, not asking for permission and just shoveling it in. Hee.
girlfriday: Over with Joo-won and Su-geun, they get started stripping the fish for the porridge, and their ajumma takes a liking to Joo-won. Su-geun asks about her children, and she says her daughter is already gone, and the room gets somber, thinking she meant death. A minute later she’s like, no, marriage! Not death!
javabeans: LOL. Clearly that’s where the questioning was going, right? Ajumma’s looking starry-eyed at Joo-won, you ask if she has daughters…
javabeans: They ask if she knows the show and the ajumma of course says yes. So Su-geun puts her on the spot (oh no) and she starts naming Running Man cast members.
girlfriday: Just after he tooted his horn about winning. Pffft. Su-geun decides he’d rather play with his food than cook it, and makes a gaksital. Aw, I’m gonna miss all these jokes.
javabeans: You know what’s the best thing about today’s game concept? It’s that the true battle ends up being between King Sung and Bird/Eunuch PD. Shi-kyung’s getting increasingly annoyed at the costume, but that’s Bird PD’s only remaining bit of power over him and he refuses to allow him to take off the hat or shoes. At least, not without a price: He can, if he takes one turn with the millstone. Shi-kyung’s like, Sure why not. Cut to: giant millstone hooked up to harness, looking enormous and unmovable.
girlfriday: What, it’s stone-on-stone! Is that thing even intended to be moved by one human being?
javabeans: I’m thinking no way. Shi-kyung tries, but it doesn’t budge. So then he summons his strength and shouts (to himself, as encouragement), “JANG MI-RAN!” Ha. Who knew that she’d become something of a meme for him on this show? (She’s the Olympic gold medalist weightlifter whose workout jacket he wore on the show in an earlier episode, and her name’s popped up a few times since. She’s been on his radio show and I think they appeared on the same variety program once or twice.) Omg, those must be magic words because then he shoves that mutha around like it’s nothing.
girlfriday: So he gets to take off three layers, and I love the moment he gets down to the inner hanbok, and he’s like, “I want to take off my pants.” There’s just something inherently funny about that. Off with the pants!
javabeans: Shi-kyung proposes one last game to take off the rest. And wins it in one quick, final blow to Bird PD’s pride.
girlfriday: I’m pretty sure Bird Eunuch ought to just hang up his dibidibidib hat, ‘cause that’s just not his game.
javabeans: Each team of two finishes up their dish tastings and wraps up their offerings to take back to King Sung. Jong-min and Seung-woo present their goat dish and talk it up, all enthusiastic and nervous and “Dost the dish pleaseth the king?” They’re so cute, like they’re actual subjects trying to curry favor.
girlfriday: And Shi-kyung is living it up as the king, getting to taste everything and choosing solely based on his royal taste buds.
javabeans: Then when Su-geun and Joo-won present their fish dish, Seung-woo challenges, “How do you know that’s even healthy?” Joo-won: “But goat meat is expensive. This is the people’s dish!” As King Sung takes a bite, the other teams spot a stray bone and exclaim, “A BONE! How dare you serve a bone in the king’s food?” like that somehow disqualifies them. You know, this show should just role-play a lot more often.
girlfriday: But not too much. I don’t want Infinity Challenge every week. I just like this sageuk act, and love Shi-kyung as the king. I sort of wish he kept the outfit on longer too.
javabeans: Time for the king’s judgment. Shi-kyung starts by announcing third place is the pheasant (Tae-woong and Tae-hyun), which has everyone else cheering. Tae-hyun says they expected that, though, knowing it wasn’t Shi-kyung’s taste preference. Then it’s time for the winner: the fish! Joo-won and Su-geun hug each other and do a little happy dance.
girlfriday: How funny that whenever Joo-won and Su-geun pair up, they get to eat. Lots.
javabeans: Joo-won just gets lucky with food. Which is why I want to see him hungry more. That one episode was priceless. But sadistic streak aside, I think it’s about seeing everyone’s various sides, and how they react in different situations, which we just haven’t gotten from Joo-won as much.
girlfriday: Yeah my favorite moments for sure are when Joo-won cried and Shi-kyung pitched a fit, both over food.
javabeans: Right? It’s funny seeing them in contrast. Joo-won’s such a ball of aegyo that I think he’d just get sad when things don’t go his way, like a lost little boy — as if you thought he could get any more childlike! Whereas apparently Shi-kyung turns into grumpy puppy. Plus, Joo-won doesn’t taunt as much when he’s on the winning team. So basically: More entertainment when he’s on the losing side. Oh no, did I just prescribe more suffering for Gaksital?
girlfriday: He can’t handle any more paaaaaaain!
javabeans: I just want Park Ki-woong to come on the show so they can feed each other and cuddle up together, just to give us all a chance to heal.
girlfriday: They should do a Frenemy Special, where they bring drama enemies on the show.
javabeans: Ooh, totally. Tae-woong can bring Lee Jun-hyuk (or I guess Joo Ji-hoon) and Seung-woo can bring… so many people.
girlfriday: Yeah he’s got a lot of drama foes. Or… he’s the foe, really.
javabeans: After eating (or watching people eat), they all take a walk and look out at the picturesque scenery. Seung-woo sighs in appreciation that he should live in a place like this when he’s old. Tae-woong: “You’re plenty old now.” Keke.
girlfriday: They take a group picture and then get some down time. Less of a puppy pile, though of course Joo-won finds his way to Tae-woong to be his pillow.
javabeans: Of course! Now I want to see an episode that’s missing just Tae-woong, just to see what Joo-won would do. Would he be lost? Would he find a replacement hyung? There’s something odd going on, with the producers climbing around them to set up cameras. One tiny room, and sixteen angles? What are they thinking up?
girlfriday: It feels spooky, but I don’t know what they’d do, other than… abandon them?
javabeans: Bird PD tells them to pick one person. What, to die? It feels like he’s requesting the one sacrifice or something. Okay, so maybe the pickee just has to be dinner bokbulbok MC, but why the horror-movie music?
girlfriday: Seriously. He says the MC gets dinner free and clear so that sounds like a good thing… but it doesn’t SEEM like a good thing.
javabeans: OR IT’S A TRAP.
girlfriday: Guess we won’t know till someone gets singled out. They leave the boys alone, and they decide to do a game olympics.
javabeans: Omg, Seung-woo loses the group rock-scissors-paper game, and puts on this adorable pout.
girlfriday: Ajusshi aegyo for the win.
javabeans: Joo-won wins, so he gets a free pass in the first round of the “tournament.” Ha, the production’s rendering of his tournament tree is decorated with little gaksital masks and doodles (“I will never forgive you!” and “I’m cool”).
girlfriday: It is so cute. So childish… and perfect.
javabeans: Okay, Kleenex badminton is cute. Who thought that up?
girlfriday: I’d venture that Su-geun thinks up the games.
javabeans: And then loses them. Tae-woong has much stronger lungs to blow his kleenex over the “net” and wins.
girlfriday: Seung-woo is hilariously petty and competitive. Not surprising, of course, but so funny. He spit-serves his kleenex to make it go down faster.
javabeans: He gets a warning on that, heh, although apparently they’re allowed to, uh, suck the kleenex and then blow. There’s no good way to say that, is there? Seung-woo and Shi-kyung are actually good at this game — well, considering they can manage a rally. Wow, Joo-won gets really acrobatic chasing that kleenex around, until he’s in a final match against… his beloved hyung. Don’t kill him!
girlfriday: They’re both really good. And why is this game so exciting? It’s all tense and stuff.
javabeans: Don’t you love Seung-woo’s comment: “This is the first time Tae-woong’s been in the final of anything.”
girlfriday: ‘Cause it doesn’t involve feet? It is nice to see him happy and not losing for once.
javabeans: Joo-won wins. Next is handball against the wall, using a tennis ball and a cup. You bounce the ball against the wall, then have to catch it in the cup. Does that make it more like tennis-ball-cup-pong?
girlfriday: I love that Tae-woong is the first to tank, and they all die laughing, like That’s more like it. That’s the hyung I know. Then they move on to hot potato, where you have to act like the potato is actually hot in order to stay in the game. They get down to Joo-won vs. Su-geun, and Joo-won lets out this hilarious grandpa voice out of nowhere that cracks me up.
javabeans: Su-geun wins hot potato, and also MC-ing rights. He gives an energetic intro with full host intonation and body gags, and just as I’m thinking these exact words, Tae-hyun laughs, “What would we have done if he hadn’t been MC?”
girlfriday: I know, right? It might’ve killed him not to get to MC this thing, dinner or not. The game itself is a Buzzer Quiz, where the questions will ask for a list of things, like name five members of a girl group, etc.
javabeans: And what is said buzzer? A tub of ballons, floating in water, which you have to pop with the spiked headband on your head. Who comes up with this stuff?
girlfriday: A band of sadistic PD elves? The statue of liberty headbands are a nice touch.
javabeans: The best thing is that the balloons won’t even pop easily, so they’re slammmming these balloons onto their heads and twisting them all around to get them to burst.
girlfriday: The water balloon buzzer is so hard to pop on cue that by the time they get to answer the question, they lose their train of thought and have to start all over again. It’s pretty funny to watch though.
javabeans: Second round buzzers: Ring a gong with your head. HARD. The question isn’t that hard — celebs who married celebs — but you have to say the names quickly, without a gap between them, which is why Tae-woong and Joo-won are banging their heads a dozen times, trying to get the names out without hesitating.
girlfriday: And clearly, they’re losing brain cells every time they have to ring the damn buzzer, right? You can practically see the stars swirling around them.
javabeans: I actually think they’re ringing their heads harder every time — it’s the panic and the excitement.
girlfriday: It’s the sheer repetition of the thing that makes this hilarious, because between them, they’ve named like ten couples already, but they can’t spit out five in a row, so it’s endless head-gonging.
javabeans: Let’s just hope they have enough brainpower for the rest of the games… which we’ll get to next week.