EPISODE 409. Broadcast on October 21, 2012.
javabeans: We resume the trip with the Matched Team versus the Unmatched. Unsurprisingly, the team of five beats out the team of two and they head over to basecamp for the night where there are two dinner tables, hidden under a white covering. One of those white mounds is much flatter than the other. We start with the reaction shots of rapture, and Seung-woo complaining that the winners got too much food.
girlfriday: Am I just hungry, or does that look extra delicious today?
javabeans: I AM STARVING. I can’t tell the difference either.
girlfriday: They don’t even wait for the go-ahead or the other team’s dinner to be revealed, and just start chowing down. Finally they remember to give the other team their dinner, and lift the sheet… dude, there are two bowls of white rice and an empty plate. That’s officially the worst dinner ever on this show, short of starving. Then Bird PD tells them that the empty plate is for their side dishes, which they have to get from the winning team. Oh noes.
javabeans: You know, I was just about to say that at least they get rice. But the begging aspect really takes it up (or down?) a notch. Well played, Bird.
girlfriday: So at first they try to keep some semblance of pride and Seung-woo nudges Jong-min to go get their plate filled. Su-geun obliges with the teensiest taste of a few side dishes placed artfully around the plate to look extra sparse and sad.
javabeans: This has got to be easier for Seung-woo, right? Because at the end of the day he’s their mat-hyung?
girlfriday: But that also means he has the most pride to lose too. That’s the beauty of it. They quickly go through the first few tastes and want more, so then Seung-woo starts sneeze-asking for things by name, which cracks everyone up. It’s like the only way to save face while still begging. And it’s extra hilarious, because it’s so specific.
javabeans: It’s awesome, because these words are not easy to sneak into a cough. Imagine saying, “barbecue pork” in one coughed gasp. I do have to say this show is making me a huge fan of Seung-woo, because despite always getting the worst conditions he’s remarkably good-natured about it.
girlfriday: And he always finds the laugh, somehow. He does such a good job cracking everyone up that the boys end up giving him whatever he asks for, and at the end, he even coughs a “Thanks!” Hee.
javabeans: They lounge around after dinner to await the sleep bokbulbok, and are directed by a writer to pick “one ugly guy” amongst them. Ha, Su-geun immediately goes into defense mode (which cracks me up), saying that he’s really not that ugly. It’s like the “I’m just big boned” excuse.
girlfriday: His kneejerk reaction is so funny. All they said was to decide the ugliest among them, and he’s like, “Don’t look at me!”
javabeans: Then he points out Shi-kyung for being tall, but only tall. As in, you assume he’s good looking because he’s got the build, but he’s not really handsome. (To which I say, piffle!)
girlfriday: But even Shi-kyung himself admits that he’s mostly his glasses, and says that when he was shooting a drama once, he took them off in a scene when he was supposed to be angsting, and the PD yelled out in the middle of the scene, “Put ‘em on!” Ha.
javabeans: It cracks everyone up. It’s like Arrested Development with the crazy secretary, who’s right on the border of hot and freaky, and you have a seduction scene where Will Arnett is shouting, “Hair down! Glasses off! No, glasses on! Hair up, glasses on! Hair down!” There is a delicate alchemy with the trademark specs look, I guess.
girlfriday: Yeah it’s the Yoo Jae-suk effect. Shi-kyung’s a much milder case though. Then talk turns to who is the dumbest among them. Are the PDs just feeling extra sadistic today?
javabeans: Turns out they’re doing a quiz, which perks Tae-woong right up. Sure enough he wins the first question and chuckles his head off in satisfaction, while Shi-kyung worries about falling behind, since he misses the second one which is about pop culture (H.O.T, to be specific).
girlfriday: This is hilarious. So even though it’s a trivia game for everyone, it’s really this weird sequence of watching Shi-kyung lose his confidence minute by minute.
javabeans: Yeah, it’s funny and sad. Question 3 asks who said “Knowledge is power,” and the boys just start naming random people like Socrates and Aristotle and Steve Jobs (heh, Jong-min). Though you can’t blame him since my first thought was G.I. Joe. But I suppose to them knowledge was just half-power. HA, then Joo-won says he can picture the quote-originator’s face but not the name, and the others all laugh at him. I’m wondering if he’s just making that up, until he guesses, “Rodin!” HA, did he just conflate the Thinker with the quote about thinking? That’s so cute, and dim.
girlfriday: Yeah he did. It’s kinda perfectly wrong.
javabeans: Tae-hyun busts a gut, and wheezes out (through his gasps), “He’s the dumbest, I told you!” Shi-kyung ventures a guess with the clue that the name is similar to a food, and asks, “Bacon?” But he didn’t ask it in the proper format, and Tae-hyun swoops in to steal the answer. Haha, I love that.
girlfriday: What cracks me up is that Joo-won and Jong-min, despite not knowing any answers, have enough confidence to just shout the wrong ones, but Shi-kyung can’t bring himself to play unless he’s sure. You can actually see him struggling because his pride is taking such a blow.
javabeans: Oh, Joo-won. He’s warier with the next question (Who said, “Life is short, art is long?”), because he says he doesn’t want to be mocked if he’s wrong, but he’s prodded to answer. And then… everyone cracks up again because he says Hamlet. And seeing how he gets teased, Shi-kyung is then unwilling to venture a guess on the next question even though he says he knows it: “I’m just not totally positive.”
girlfriday: It’s gonna crack me up if Shi-kyung loses this because he’s so scared of being wrong. Seung-woo gets one right, and then even Joo-won does too (about international film festivals, much more his genre), so now it’s down to Tae-hyun, Shi-kyung, and Jong-min.
javabeans: Omg, Shi-kyung’s in the final two. I love that they tease him, saying he lost to Rodin (Joo-won), and that if he comes in last he’s both the dumbest and the ugliest. Aw.
girlfriday: The look on his face when he loses to Jong-min of all people is priceless.
javabeans: And then he loses to Tae-hyun, to be in last place. They dub him sungchoongi, to rhyme with mungchungi (dummy).
girlfriday: Awwwww. In twenty minutes, he ended up ugliest AND dumbest?
javabeans: LOL. I don’t feel too bad for him though, because this time he was last through his own pride (of not wanting to answer questions badly).
girlfriday: Oh totally. That’s why it’s funny. And it makes it even better that Jong-min is rubbing his nose in it every chance he gets.
javabeans: In other circumstances I might feel sorry for him, but today it’s hilarious. At least it’s not an automatic last-place finish, though, because this is only part of the bokbulbok process. Bird PD explains that they have games planned, and if they pass them all everybody sleeps inside. For every round they fail, they eject somebody outdoors.
girlfriday: The first round is a word game where they get two consonants and have to come up with different words that start with those letters. They do a practice round, and Shi-kyung must just be in a foul mood, because his word is gae-nom, aka dog-bastard. Ha.
javabeans: He actually looks shocked: “I said genome!” all, “I wouldn’t swear!” That’s so like him, to go for the smarty sciency word and then get mistaken for cursing.
girlfriday: They manage to pass that round easily on the first try, and without any swearing this time. The second game is ping-pong in a paper cup.
javabeans: Are they really just playing beer pong without beer?
girlfriday: Yeah and like the long-distance version too, with only three cups.
javabeans: It’s pretty hard, and hardly any of the guys even gets close, much less in to the cup. Until… the maknae steps up and scores in their last ditch effort. My favorite part of this is the astonishment on the faces of the producers, who were SO SURE they had the round marked as a failure. Joo-won gets hugged from every which way, and you’d think he just saved the country.
girlfriday: Joo-won, is this why you fail the knowledge quizzes — because you spent college playing beer pong?
javabeans: And then Su-geun leads them in a cheer: “Rodin! Rodin! Rodin!” Aw, that’s the best sarcastic nickname ever.
girlfriday: That was the best round of slo-mo reaction shots I’ve seen in a while. It was like olympic-level excitement. The next game is bokbulbok drinking, which puts a damper on the good mood. The PDs bring out a table of little cups labeled Water and Salt Water, and then while the boys spin around in a circle, two guys move the cups back and forth and back and forth. There’s no way to keep an eye on what goes where — this is a scam!
javabeans: The boys start getting ansty and complainy: “Stop moving them!” “On a basic human level, that’s too much!” They have to pick a cup and drink, and while Shi-kyung gets a water cup, Joo-won goes next and has to spit his out. Aw, mission failed. So the question now is who to force to sleep outside. I guess normally Joo-won would be a shoo-in since he spat the water out, but they all argue that he was their beer pong MVP. Time to put it to a private vote.
girlfriday: So they go in one by one and say their picks into the camera, but they’re not exactly secretive about it. Ha, Tae-hyun shouts his so they can all hear: “KIM JONG-MIIIIIIN!” But in the end it’s Tae-woong who gets the most votes, so then he jumps ship to the PD side, and they dub him Bird PD’s assistant, Dog PD.
javabeans: Aw, I love that Joo-won and Tae-woong voted for themselves.
girlfriday: I know, so cute. Tae-woong takes to his new job with a smile, and explains the next game: sock-undressing-with-water-balancing? I’m gonna need a visual on that.
javabeans: It makes way more sense in motion. Well, more sense in the sense of understanding it. Not more sense in the way of being a sensical task to make six grown men perform.
girlfriday: So they all put on those toe-socks (I don’t know why — harder to take off?) and then balance a basin full of water on top of six socked feet. And then one by one, the guy next to you has to take your sock off, while the rest keep the water in the tub. It looks really difficult, but they seem to get the hang of it.
javabeans: They do pretty well, only spilling a bit here and there when a foot has to get taken off… and then after the last one completes, the bowl flips! Ack, it pours all over Jong-min and the PD calls the game a failure.
girlfriday: The boys argue that they succeeded in getting Shi-kyung’s sock off and his foot back on the basin before it went down, and Shi-kyung shouts, “It’s my foot! I may be ugly and dumb, but I know my own foot!” Haha, and aw.
javabeans: They demand a video replay, with Su-geun insisting that they’re so certain they’ll put 2 men on the line (for outside sleeping) if they’re wrong. Tae-woong goes with the PDs to review… and has to deliver the bad news that it looks like the second the foot hit the bowl it tipped it over. But now he’s caught between his two sides, because the boys are so adamant. “And what about Jong-min’s sacrifice? WHAT OF IT?”
girlfriday: Ha, I love the low-rent CG effect of Tae-woong’s soul flying away as he’s stuck between the two sides.
javabeans: Tae-woong really wasn’t joking when he quipped that he’s much more comfortable mediating the games than playing them. As the PD in charge of this judgment, he says in a very PD-like voice that it was “our” fault (as PDs) for not specifying the rules to state how long they had to hold their pose. Then he scampers off to Bird PD, saying, “Help ne, sunbaenim.” HA.
girlfriday: Oh noes, he’s drunk the Kool-Aid!
javabeans: The PD team confers, then Tae-woong hops back to deliver his sunbaenim’s decision: “Success!” Aw, everyone cheers. And then Tae-woong just keeps working the PD line. He should really think about proposing a new role on the show. You know, in the way that Na PD was like the extra member. And it would make Bird PD less mortified every time he was forced on camera. Though I would miss his mortification.
girlfriday: Yeah that’s the best part. They relocate inside for the next game, and Tae-woong’s already stuck to Bird PD’s side like they’re bestest buddies now. He explains the game, a relay pictionary. And then he turns to Bird PD: “When do we get paid?” Haha.
javabeans: Whoa, this is a hard prompt. Only 10 seconds! Seung-woo reads, then starts drawing, and basically gets his marker snatched out of his hand. It looks like a bee with its abdomen cut off. I have no idea how the next guy is going to draw his picture from this. The adage it’s supposed to depict sort of makes sense after we hear it, but it’s not helpful as a drawing alone. (The phrase: When a tiger dies it leaves its pelt behind. When a person dies he leaves his name.)
girlfriday: The key would be to draw a dead tiger and a dead person, and let the rest (hopefully) come from memory of the adage, but yeah… it looks like a bee.
javabeans: He sort of has the stripey skin and the x-ed out eyes, but you only get that in retrospect. Joo-won goes next. AH, so he gets to see the phrase too? Well then, not as impossible! I was all worried for a second.
girlfriday: Oh I see, they build on the drawing, as a group. Well then there’s a chance they’ll get it. Draw ears! Ears on the bee!
javabeans: And whiskers! Shi-kyung confirms that he’ll get to read the adage before his 10 seconds of drawing begins. Tae-woong counters that the clock starts the moment they start reading, and the boys loudly protest. Shi-kyung reminds him, “Hyung, we’re all cast members.” Seung-woo: “You’re not acting like yourself.” I love that there’s this moment in Tae-woong’s eyes when he’s all, “Oh right. I forgot.”
girlfriday: And then he looks back at Bird PD, like he doesn’t know what to do. But I guess he really does like the power of being a PD, because he says to hell with it and continues the game with his hardass rules. They complain that he’s being so mean, and he just cackles, “This suits my personality!”
javabeans: Tae-hyun is the last to draw and has this half-assed drawing to complete, and just sort of stares dumbly at it, not knowing how to fix it. Finally he just draws some legs and a weird thing on the head that looks like a rooster. Still, when Su-geun comes up to guess everybody assures him he can figure it out, that it’s a really famous saying, that it’s workable.
girlfriday: The rooster thing seems out of nowhere, but I wonder if he confused lion for tiger. In any case, there’s just no way Su-geun can get that adage out of this mess.
javabeans: It’s definitely a thing that you get in hindsight, but only in hindsight. And so they lose, and it’s time to vote their next outside sleeper.
girlfriday: Tae-woong admits that he actually felt like he wanted them to lose. Tae-hyun: “Hyung, you’ve changed!”
javabeans: Jong-min is voted out, which means he’s on his second two-man losing team of the trip. Aw. The five others get to sleep all nice and cozy indoors.
girlfriday: They go to bed, and then the wake-up song gets them all running out in a sleepy stupor first thing in the morning, for their breakfast mission: ping-pong against the staff’s ace. I don’t even know if they can do this with all their faculties intact.
javabeans: Yeah, they’re all so out of it that they’re firing on half cylinders and don’t even care when they lose. I guess that’s the upside to losing the morning game. Lack of investment means lack of pain when you fail.
girlfriday: They all fail the first time around, but Su-geun and Tae-hyun manage to win. And the last to join them for breakfast is… Tae-woong?! He won? At ping-pong?
javabeans: I’m pretty sure that was a freak accident. His ball caught the net, and the pole shot the ball in the other direction. But he’ll take it!
girlfriday: The winners get a huge chicken stew, while the losers get plain porridge — literally just boiled rice. Omg Joo-won looks like he’s gonna cry.
javabeans: It’s great. He’s sitting closest to the winners’ elevated table, looking over like some poor Dickensian chimney sweep peering in through the window at Christmas dinner.
girlfriday: Seriously. You can practically see the chicken dancing in his eyeballs. They learned something from last night’s dinner though, and soon the losers are all cough-asking for chicken parts, ha.
javabeans: After breakfast, the boys pile into the bus for their morning mission up a mountain. Are you really going to make them hike? Once there a tram-car pulls up… only, there are six seats.
girlfriday: OH that’s mean. Bird PD says one loser will have to hike up to the top, which takes an hour each way.
javabeans: It’ll be a trivia quiz, and Shi-kyung has this “URG!” look on his face. I think Joo-won should be more worried, really.
girlfriday: Yeah I wouldn’t normally be worried for Shi-kyung, except that his confidence is in the crapper, so who knows. And Joo-won should just tie his shoelaces in preparation for the climb. Su-geun gets the first seat on the tram, and Seung-woo joins him next. I just now noticed, but when Tae-hyun shouts his name, he calls himself “Hyunnie!” So cute.
javabeans: Shi-kyung just keeps getting answers wrong, ha. Again, both funny and sad. For a moment I really think he’s about to go crazy, till he lands on the right answer and earns his berth on the tram.
girlfriday: I just love the moment when they’re asking about Michelangelo, and when Shi-kyung tosses out Da Vinci and Raphael, suddenly the boys are like, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?” And that actually gets them to the right answer.
javabeans: So it comes down to this: Jong-min or Joo-won. Either works for me, actually. I like when Joo-won loses, but not alone — it’s best when there are others there too. But Jong-min’s had a pretty crap trip.
girlfriday: Oh this last question is kinda hard. It’s word math, like asking them to add time in words (like a fortnight and two score or something like that).
javabeans: It’s one that takes a few seconds to think, though the clues are right there. Equivalent to asking, for example, the number you get if you add up the month-numbers of August, November, and May. Joo-won gets it, and Jong-min has to hike. Aw. He’s a good sport, but there’s sort of this glazed look in his eyes.
girlfriday: Aw, his poor VJ looks sadder, actually. The tram takes off, with the boys understandably grinning from ear to ear.
javabeans: So the tram gets to the top and the boys wait around, just kicking back, till Jong-min arrives. At least they don’t leave; I was half-expecting that it would be another trip that strands the last guy.
girlfriday: They pretend to do the closing without him just to pull his leg, even though… it kinda ends up being the closing anyway. Not the most well-thought-out prank. They greet Jong-min when he arrives, and then we get a little montage of the trip and some of the things the guys wrote in the time capsule. Aw they’re sweet — Tae-hyun: “I don’t know why, but I just like Jong-min.”