EPISODE 406. Broadcast on September 30, 2012.
girlfriday: Aw, everyone’s dressed in hanbok for the Chuseok holiday.
javabeans: Normally our posting schedule doesn’t feel out of sync with reality, but this week it’s a little odd, ‘cause Chuseok is over. But I’m pretty sure this special is gonna make me wanna gorge myself on holiday food anyway. And… did Joo-won just sneak in a “bbyong” there at the end of his scripted bit? What am I asking, of course he did.
girlfriday: Wouldn’t be Joo-won if he didn’t cute-ify everything. The boys gather and have some laughs at the tallest and shortest of them, because the difference really is pronounced when they’re all wearing hanbok. Su-geun looks about three feet tall.
javabeans: I like seeing what styles they each chose. Jong-min’s pants are patterned, for instance, while it looks like Joo-won and Tae-woong went shopping together.
girlfriday: Aw, hand in hand? And skipping?
javabeans: You know there was probably some of both.
girlfriday: I like Tae-hyun’s the best. He also looks perfectly suited for a hanbok, whereas some of the other guys look like they’re in costume.
javabeans: That’s a good sign for Jeon Woo-chi, yeah?
girlfriday: Eeee! I’m so excited for that drama.
javabeans: DUDE. It better not suck.
girlfriday: It can’t! It’s not allowed to suck!
javabeans: Un-jinx! Un-jinx! Hanbok-wise I like Tae-hyun’s front-tie, but Seung-woo’s gold-yellow top is so pretty. And Tae-woong seems like he’s in a grrrrreat mood today, he’s belly-laughing at everything. I hope that mood sticks around after the trip starts. He hasn’t exactly been lucky with trips lately.
girlfriday: Is Seung-woo wearing regular sneakers with his hanbok? That’s so cute.
javabeans: Tae-hyun adds that he didn’t notice as much before, but now that Seung-woo’s in hanbok, “He looks SO OLD.”
girlfriday: Haha. Poor Seung-woo. It IS true though.
javabeans: I was just thinking he looks like those stern grandpas in sageuks, standing with his hands behind his back, going “Oho” and “Ahem.”
girlfriday: Seeing Seung-woo on this show has both absolved me of my ajusshi crush on super badass secret agent man, but made me love him more just as a funny dad type.
javabeans: Bird PD reveals their destination, and the guys start listing things that the region is known for, angling for clues about their trip. Tae-hyun decides the location means seafood is on the menu tonight, and when they hear that there’s a special festival going on there with a type of fish as its theme, they all burst into cheers. Food trips = eating, right?
girlfriday: Yeah, if they win some games. First up: gift-buying relay, at the KBS gift shop. Ha, did you just not have time for a location? The boys have to run in one at a time and buy something, anything, to give as a Chuseok gift, and all seven have to be different things.
javabeans: The PDs seem to like this whole “all seven” or “none of the seven” game.
girlfriday: It seems like an easy concept to apply to almost anything. The problem is, they only have seven minutes total, and Tae-hyun’s in there like he’s actually shopping for a gift, rather than playing a game. Just pick a thing!
javabeans: It takes about 20 seconds to run there, and by the time he’s back he’s used up 2 minutes. I love that Tae-woong runs in and picks the first thing he sees (shoes) to make up time. Shi-kyung pretty much does the same thing on the other side. Uh-oh! Don’t everybody just do that!
girlfriday: And then Joo-won runs in and has a mini freakout trying to decide what to buy, “If I take too long, the hyungs’ll get mad!” So then why are you taking so long? This is actually really funny, because the indecisive ones run around the whole place panicking, while others zoom in and out in ten seconds.
javabeans: Seung-woo’s last to go in and everyone laughs that he looks like a Chinese food deliveryman, dressed as he is and holding that metal box. Thankfully he runs back out with seven seconds to spare, so at least they’re not disqualified on time. They reveal their gifts, one by one, which range from a towel set to a 10kg bag of rice.
girlfriday: I love that Shi-kyung is the only who could carry that bag of rice out, so it was safe. They surprisingly get all the way down the line without any repeats, and Seung-woo is last. He doesn’t look very confident…
javabeans: But thankfully, he picked a box of ginseng tea. Phew! First relay complete.
girlfriday: They finish the opening, and then a grandma walks by and asks the nice boys to help her up the steps to get to the post office. Aw, she doesn’t recognize them, and just treats them like neighborhood boys. How cute.
javabeans: Then! The boys spot a group of announcers near the entrance. Immediately Seung-woo and Joo-won grab Tae-woong by the arms and drag him over. Are they really going to ambush the ladies on TV to get bachelor buddy a date? Which, ha. He does NOT seem to mind this at all.
girlfriday: Omg, he’s so happy. Buh… purty girls….
javabeans: The guys just barrel right in there, so there’s not even a moment to be awkward. It turns into a round of “Haaaaaaave you met Tae-woong?” Su-geun is all, “Hey, how about a Chuseok meeting?” And he means meeting in the Korean sense, as in a group blind date: “Are any of you unmarried?” Announcers: “We’re all unmarried.” Cue cheers of “Uhm Tae-woong! Uhm Tae-woong!”
girlfriday: The hilarious part is, it looks like a big group blind date, only it’s like six women for one Tae-woong. Ha.
javabeans: Omg, just as I’m thinking that Shi-kyung could also be part of this date setup (since Jong-min’s taken and Joo-won’s still a baby), one of the announcers asks after Shi-kyung because she’s a fan. Or rather, her friend asks while she’s all embarrassed.
girlfriday: Aw. Where is he? Oh, he’s being a good boy and helping the granny. Drat. Awkward double date opportunity missed.
javabeans: Bummer. What if she was THE ONE? We get a look at the van, decorated with the boys’ faces and banner slapped on all sides that read: “1 Night 2 Days: Will not be pre-empted on Chuseok!” Ha, get your promo in while you can?
girlfriday: They pile into the van, and Su-geun says it’s like a big family trip to go home for Chuseok. “And none of us are married! And we have no jobs!” Cue sad music.
javabeans: I love this running bit of the Seven Brothers. Seung-woo’s caption identifies him as the eldest who squandered the family fortune on gambling with badook. Joo-won is “still young and gentle” as an aspiring celeb, Tae-woong’s been studying for the civil service exam forever, and Jong-min’s still learning hangul. Jong-min’s twin Shi-kyung is a delivery truck driver (former vocal instructor). They all start complaining about how hyung has done nothing for them.
girlfriday: And how they finally scraped together enough money for Shi-kyung to put out an album, and Seung-woo gambled that away too, ha.
javabeans: They tell him to use that mouth to start explaining himself. Tae-woong: “Is eating all you do with that mouth?” Cut to Seung-woo, literally snacking away in the front seat.
girlfriday: Back to real life, and the boys note that they won’t be seeing much of Tae-hyun anymore, since he starts shooting Jeon Woo-chi right after Chuseok. The car divides between singers and actors, each side wishing they could also be the other.
javabeans: Jong-min asks jokingly for a spot on Jeon Woo-chi, after everyone has established that he’s the worst actor among them, and Tae-hyun says no way. Aw, now I want to see the other actors make cameos.
girlfriday: Gaksital and Jeon Woo-chi tag team! Buddy cop movie?
javabeans: But Gaksital fights for Joseon, and Jeon Woo-chi’s from Yuldo, so they have to start out fighting each other. And then fall into brotherly love.
girlfriday: Of course. But then, a rivalry over UEE threatens the bromance… until they work it out over a swordfight and some hugs.
javabeans: Omg, what is Jong-min doing to his camera? He’s mugging, but I can’t decide if he’s trying to be aegyo-cute or scary vampire.
girlfriday: I’m leaning towards the latter.
javabeans: At a rest stop, they come upon Game #2, to win another dish. It’s a game of Bingo where they have to find certain travelers to tick off the boxes—a 20-year-old, a celeb lookalike, students, etc.
girlfriday: One of them says “Tae-hyun-ie”? Oh they mean anyone named Tae-hyun, just not Cha Tae-hyun. That’s oddly specific.
javabeans: They split up. Joo-won isn’t finding his ‘93-er, but Seung-woo gets his mom-and-baby combo right away, and she happens to be a fan of the show too.
girlfriday: Su-geun finds somebody for the celebrity lookalike, while Tae-hyun runs around to get high school students. They’re doing well, but hopefully it adds up to Bingo.
javabeans: Shi-kyung gets one of the performers (for the Westerner box) to come with him, though it takes some translating since they don’t speak English or Korean. Then he spots a tall man off in the distance, to fulfill the 185+ cm requirement.
girlfriday: Tae-woong grabs some guys (he literally grabs them without a word, ha) and discovers someone who makes him come to a screeching halt.
javabeans: They meet back to see how they scored, and Su-geun interviews the tall man: “How long have you been so tall?” Ha. Is that what you wonder when you’ve spent your life as a shortie?
girlfriday: They’re almost there, and try for the last square: celebrity lookalikes. Tae-woong strikes out with a guy he thinks looks like Shi-kyung (he totally doesn’t), a second guy who kinda looks like an athlete, and then his hidden card, who he says looks like Bird PD. Lol.
javabeans: I love any excuse to drag Bird PD up there in front of the cameras, just because he’s so awkward about it. They get the square, and complete Bingo.
girlfriday: As they head to their next destination, Jong-min excitedly points out every place they pass by. Tae-hyun laughs that all he’s doing is naming cities but saying everything in that super excited tone for no reason. Suddenly it’s funny, when you point it out that way.
javabeans: You know, Tae-hyun has this way of making fun of somebody that’s funny but not mean-spirited. I’ve noticed this before, and it’s a good thing to have in a group like this because it’s a really hard balance to strike. Like, I don’t feel sorry for Jong-min when Tae-hyun teases him because it’s not hard-edged.
girlfriday: Yeah he’s got a Yoo Jae-suk vibe about him.
javabeans: I remember having a hard time warming to Kang Ho-dong for that reason. I’d started out watching a bunch of Yoo Jae-suk variety programs, and the change was jarring.
girlfriday: I think both are brilliant, but yeah, have completely different styles.
javabeans: I totally get Ho-dong now, but if I’d never seen him on this show I might not have.
girlfriday: I’m happy he’s coming back to varietyland.
javabeans: I think the industry really needs both Kang Ho-dong and Yoo Jae-suk. As archetypes, but also those two specific people.
girlfriday: Complete agreement. They’re like salt ‘n’ pepper.
javabeans: Or, in Koreaspeak, salt and garlic. ‘Cause I could do without pepper. Doing without the other two, though, would make life dreary and meaningless. Um, back to the show. They disembark again, and I’m wondering if they’re chafing in their hanboks yet. I remember when we were kids and used to wear hanbok for New Year’s, the girls would keep ‘em on all day but the boys would wriggle out one piece at a time until they could get away with sneaking back into street clothes.
girlfriday: Tae-woong’s already halfway there. They’ve reached the ocean, and it’s time for the last of their lunch games.
javabeans: Thank goodness. You can feel the energy flagging ‘cause they’re hungry, and so am I for that matter. I’ve snuck off twice already to go eat while writing this recap.
girlfriday: Would it be funny if we imposed a recappers-can’t-eat-unless-the-boys-eat rule?
javabeans: NO. That would be pointless and mean. We do not recap by Method!
girlfriday: But it might be funny if you cried.
javabeans: Or maybe you can do it for solidarity and whatever. All your comments would be cranky, and I’d remain sane. Bird PD explains this is a reverse round of rock-scissors-paper: You must lose. Tae-woong perks up noticeably.
girlfriday: Only it’s not as easy as it seems. Because your brain is wired to WIN this game. So even if you’re given the chance to see what the other guy throws out and you get to play after him, there’s no forcing your hand to make the losing play.
javabeans: Plus, Tae-woong loses when he’s trying to win. If he’s trying to lose, he’ll probably just lose… at losing.
girlfriday: Aaaaand, yup. Tae-woong keeps winning, over and over. But so do most of the guys.
javabeans: You have to win three (er, lose three) in a row within a minute, and with 10 seconds left it’s not looking good. But somehow they manage with just two seconds left.
girlfriday: So they win the big lunch, but then Shi-kyung points out that the PDs look too happy—there’s something wrong here.
javabeans: Uh-oh. Bird PD has to be mad or depressed for them to eat safely. Shi-kyung: “Is the fish rotten?”
girlfriday: That would be a new kind of bad. It likely means that whatever comes after lunch is the bad thing. Like boat trip for six hours kinda bad. Or maybe digging for ark shells?
javabeans: Cut to: preview interstitial. Seven boys, knee-deep in mud. Bird PD laughing his head off.
javabeans: Su-geun advises them to just accept it and eat, since it’s Chuseok and all. I’m thinking, better to eat without knowing what’s to come, so as to ward off indigestion. How cute, Joo-won doesn’t know how to eat this fish ‘cause he’s never had it before. He holds it up tentatively and watches his hyungs eating, then takes a hesitant bite. Cue Gaksital action music and a montage of him shoveling his face with fish.
girlfriday: And at the very end, he’s like, “It’s tasty, but the bones are hard to chew,” like a tiny tiny baby. Aaaah, why so cute?
javabeans: Meanwhile his hero Tae-woong is piling it on to take a monster bite, head and tail and all. Ha, and then Su-geun encourages Seung-woo to eat up, talking to him like he’s senile.
girlfriday: After they fill their bellies full of fish, it’s back to nervous questions about where they’re going, because Bird PD is all smiles. Two minutes later… they’re all standing on a boat. Oh noes.
javabeans: They’re like, Food, then boat? That’s just bad manners. Curiously, none of the PDs or cameramen join them on the boat. Bird PD builds up the moment, leading to sick faces on all our boys, then finally adds that they’re not all going sailing. Only ONE person will be so unlucky.
girlfriday: Uh-oh, I think I know who that might be… They play the game where you all squat down and jump up one at a time (jumping up at the same time as anyone else means you’re both out)… and Tae-woong is left still sitting by the end, with this expression on his face like, When did the game even start? Recap of his epic losing streak over the last few weeks, as the boys wave goodbye from the shore.
javabeans: Aw. They’re so happy not to be It that there’s little room for sympathy. They send him off in Seven Brothers mode: “Earn lots of money, hyung!” “Listen to your mother!”
girlfriday: Bird PD says the rest of them will be playing games to win ingredients for dinner, and they ask what about Tae-woong? Will he get to eat? Bird PD: “Oh, I don’t think he’ll be back by then.” Ha, he says it so nonchalantly, like that’s just normal.
javabeans: I love that on the boat, Tae-woong is having this mini existential crisis, in super speed. “Well, it’s refreshing on the ocean.” “But I was all alone at home!” “Eh, if the others had come it would’ve just been noisy.” “I”m going to be forty next year, have I lived my life right?”
girlfriday: The editing makes it bipolar, but hilarious.
javabeans: The six others change into sweats and take a bus to their destination, thinking happily of dinner ingredients. Ohhh. Now I’m recalling that preview clip with the mud. Maybe Tae-woong didn’t get the rawest deal. It’s even better, seeing them so bubbly and cheerful now, knowing what’s in store for them right around the bend. This is what it must feel like to be a PD. You sort of feel like God, but not the benevolent kind.
girlfriday: Yeah the benevolent kind’s no fun. They get to the mud beach, and the first game is holding hands in a circle and running around ten times. Uh… about five steps into the practice round, Shi-kyung’s knee-deep in mud and stuck there.
javabeans: You’re basically running on top of quicksand. Seung-woo falls over, and takes down Joo-won and Jong-min with him. Soon there is mud everywhere.
girlfriday: Ha, did Seung-woo lose his shoes down there? He’s screaming at the PDs to give him back his shoes, but I don’t think they can do anything about that.
javabeans: Next it’s timed relay leapfrog. It sounds pretty hard, with about one second per jump each, but they beat the time almost by half. They win mussels and clams for their seafood soup, then move on to beach ball volleyball to play for vegetables.
girlfriday: Is it because they’re in water that they’re so bad at this? It’s pretty hilarious. Everyone’s making these dramatic dives to save the ball, but it’s mostly because nobody can aim. They demand another chance without their mics on, and then add their own catch: The person who makes the losing play gets thrown in the water.
javabeans: Dude, they’d better hurry. That tide is no joke. Soon they’ll be playing water polo.
girlfriday: I love that the crew has to retreat after every game. They manage to keep the ball in the air for 30 seconds this time, and then gang up on Shi-kyung who messed up the last play.
javabeans: He’s all, “But we WON!” A deal’s a deal, and they grab him by the arms and legs to swing him into the water. But he’s so heavy, they end up just sort of loosening their grip on him and he slides into the water with a plop. Cracks me up.
javabeans: Back to the boat, where Tae-woong has taken his complaining to the ship captain. HAHA. I love this. The captain’s just driving along, enduring the chitchat while Tae-woong sighs, “I’m gonna be forty soon… I should get married…” He asks the ajusshi about his marriage and if he’s happy and if he still loves his wife. Omg, he’s totally one-track-minded about this. Tae-woong asks suspiciously, “Why did you just sigh?” Maybe ‘cause you’re pestering him all Mrs. Bennett-like?
girlfriday: I do wonder how much Tae-woong actually wants to get married, versus just feeling like he ought to.
javabeans: Like it’s his ‘thing’ on the show? I dunno, I kinda can see him really wanting to be married. It’s maybe more like he really wants a girlfriend, and he’s at the age where everyone he knows is married and starting to have kids, so it’s like a natural combination wish.
girlfriday: I also wonder if doing this show has exposed him to more married friends. Maybe that and getting close to forty is what did it. He’s always been super goofy about girls to begin with, but lately he talks about marriage a lot.
javabeans: The next game is… relay face-washing. Ha. You have to wash the face of the guy behind you, and the boys counter that they’ve already washed. Enter: bowl of mud. They literally have to dirty their faces in order to clean them again. This is to win assorted seasonings, so they’d really better do a good job.
girlfriday: Omg how cute, once the other guy washes them, they have to stick their faces into the camera and ask the PD, “Am I pretty?”
javabeans: Each person only has about 10 seconds to wash, which seems like there’s gonna be a lot of water up noses and down shirts.
girlfriday: They take turns hosing each other down, and Su-geun is the last dirty face. Tae-hyun skips the hose altogether and just WHAPS a bucket of water into his face. Pffft, it’s hilarious, but his face is still dirty!
javabeans: So Tae-hyun slaps more buckets of water into his face. I could watch this all day. It totally takes longer than just sticking with the hose, but it gets the job done.
girlfriday: I just keep rewinding to watch the water slap. Finally, Su-geun asks, “Am I pretty?” and gets the okay… after which Jong-min dumps the ENTIRE giant bucket of water over Su-geun’s head. Hee!
javabeans: After they confirm that they win, Su-geun asks Tae-hyun how he managed to get so much water out of that little hose. Tae-hyun: “I started with the bucket. I didn’t bother with the hose!” Meanwhile, Tae-woong’s on his boat, taking selcas and surfing the net. Man, it’s a good thing he’s still got reception out there. He really is an internet addict. I remember last week they showed him sticking the phone in his waistband during scarecrow duty, even though he couldn’t use his arms.
girlfriday: I know, what, is he gonna google with his feet? After the face washing, the boys get to their final ingredient game: relay bowling. And this is for the main ingredient, the delicious crab. Mmmm. Each of them has to take a turn, and the only rule is that they have to clear all the pins by the last turn, and no sooner.
javabeans: It actually leads to the weird situation of trying to miss, because if they clear ‘em too early it’s a loss.
girlfriday: Jong-min and Joo-won clear seven pins on the first two turns, so then the middle guys just try to do tricks. Seung-woo’s playing pool more than bowling, I think.
javabeans: Isn’t this really stressful for the last guy, who has the burden of knocking down all the pins? Shi-kyung goes… and totally misses. At least they have one more round to try.
girlfriday: This time Shi-kyung goes first, and… gets a strike!
javabeans: OH NOES. No crab for their crab stew?
girlfriday: It’s a pretty impressive way to lose though.
javabeans: The boys try to bargain for one more attempt, offering up the mussels they earned earlier. Bird PD wants both mussels AND clams, but if they lose that leaves them with just vegetables and sauce! So now in Round 3, the boys all purposely miss by a mile, leaving Shi-kyung feeling pressure to hit a strike in the final pass.
girlfriday: Geez, the pressure is stressing ME out.
javabeans: Why do I feel like they’re gonna be dining on spicy vegetable water?
girlfriday: But then the Last Match theme song plays, and I’m getting excited… was Shi-kyung’s strike a fluke, or is he awesome at street bowling? Will he wiiiiiiiin?
javabeans: Omona! He pulls out the win! I was totally scared it was going to go wide—he caught the lead pin, but just barely. The boys dance and fall on Shi-kyung, dogpiling him to the ground. I sort of think he just narrowly escaped a nervous breakdown.
girlfriday: I love that they have the peanut gallery of managers to do the group head-turn on cue as the ball goes by. And Joo-won chases it down the line too, willing it along. It’s probably so dramatic because it IS Shi-kyung, who would’ve had an actual breakdown if he missed.
javabeans: I know, right? He would’ve been drowning in embarrassment, and also starving. That might have been TOO pathetic to find entertaining.
girlfriday: Now I get why anyone would invent a game with such weird rules. It builds that pressure into the last person artificially, but it totally works.
javabeans: I just hope the seventh brother is gonna get to eat something while he’s out there working to support his poor family. Those slackers.