Another Variety Roulette! This time, we check in with the A-dols on Shinhwa Broadcast. Who knew that six men in their thirties would be the perfect formula for laugh out loud entertainment? So without further ado…
SONG OF THE DAY
Shinhwa – “Perfect Man” [ Download ]
EPISODE 33. Broadcast on October 28, 2012.
We’ve talked about A-dols (ajusshi idols) here at Dramabeans before and I caught this show when it premiered back in March. I found it absolutely hilarious and meant to keep up, but did a “I’ll-catch-it-next-week”… for about 6 months and here we are.
From the little I know, the show initially started out with zany games and missions, and brought on some guests. Today, they’ll be exploring the phenomenon of the hit mobile game, AniPang. Basically, you can think of it as Bejeweled but with cute little animals instead. It’s cute aka Korea will love it.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s introduce our cast listed by age: leader Eric Mun (33), Lee Min-woo (33), Kim Dong-wan (32), Shin Hye-sung (32), Jun Jin (32), and maknae Andy (31).
I wonder if Andy feels weird being a maknae now that he’s in his thirties…
Something must be said about a group that has stayed together through thick and thin for the past 14 years. It’s something you don’t see very often in the K-pop world and their dynamics show that yes, they do know each other’s quirks and mannerisms to the teensiest detail.
We open in a conference room where Eric comments that it’s been over six months since they started filming. Gosh, don’t make me feel bad about not tuning in more often.
So what better time is there than now to present a semi-annual performance report on their variety skills? He whips it open… and then assigns Hye-sung to read it aloud. Ha. Are you too lazy to read your own report?
Hye-sung starts with his own progress, a slow steady incline, and Jun Jin quips, “At this rate, he’ll hit 100 in 15 years!”
Min-woo’s line looks like a rollercoaster and his highlights include an episode where he shared his secret to induce… farting? This is a prime example of “ruining” that pretty-boy idol image for the sake of variety.
It looks like Jun Jin’s got all the one-liners today as he comments again on his straight line on the chart, “Does that mean it doesn’t matter if I’m here or not?”
How much do I love that the reasons for Eric’s jumps in popularity are all episodes that involve him cross-dressing as a woman?
I’ve noticed he’s got this paradox of a 4D personality where he’s both willing to go that extra mile for variety and also dead serious about it which turns into joke fodder for the other boys.
Undeterred, he introduces today’s episode as a “Covert Tutoring” session with this super serious expression on his face. He then leads his group through the secret entrance… which is a doggie door.
Hye-sung: “…There’s a door [right next to you].” Ssh! Remember this is a covert operation!
They all crawl through (’cause hey, you gotta follow the leader) to a studio audience. I love how this actually throws them off for a second and Eric smooths out his jacket. An animation pops on screen (Hye-sung: “Hey, that’s Eric [I drew]!”) who identifies himself as Leader.
Leader explains that they’ll be learning tips from a master on today’s theme. They’ll be given time to practice before an ultimate showdown where one of them will be declared the best pupil (aejaeja). Jun Jin gets confused at the term and asks: “Is it like Eric’s pupil [jaeja]?” HA.
A hint on today’s theme: “We’ve neglected one another, but thanks to you I heard about it.” They throw out random answers, “I love school!” “Post office!” “Shinhwa Broadcast!” until Hye-sung figures it out, “AniPang!”
The above seems to be from a collection of poems by author Ha Sang-wook who’s garnered some attention on the web. The fact that there’s a poem about a hit mobile game cracks me up.
They seem excited to learn some tips and tricks about the game and Min-woo jokes that he ‘quit’ AniPang. Gah, that game really is strangely addicting.
So we meet today’s ‘masters’ who are two young ladies whose top scores are over 720,000 and 660,000 respectively. Damn, that’s high. Why am I not surprised that there are official tournaments in Korea for this game? It’s like if there was a tournament for Angry Birds. And first prize gets you $1,000? *packs bags*
The boys comment on the game’s enormous popularity and I’m inclined to believe that statistic that there are 20 million people playing in Korea (Though there’s the likelihood that one person could have more than one device.)
Dong-wan’s story cracks me up: He saw a patient in the hospital, smoking and playing AniPang. His added sound effects pretty much has me in a fit of laughter.
Then they talk about how even their parents are in on the rage. Hye-sung: “My dad sends me a text [to brag] whenever he levels up!”
They go through a round of sharing their average scores and it’s Andy who comes out on top with his best score at over 520,000. Today’s Dong-wan’s first time playing and Eric shares that his worst score hangs around 8,000, which gets a big laugh from the audience.
Ah, and then Min-woo shares that he likes playing while doing his business and Dong-wan retorts: “Do we have to hear you talk about your Number Twos?” HA.
All this talk may sound confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the game but don’t worry; Dong-wan’s just as confused with all the jargon. But it is cute how he tries to get in on the conversation anyway.
Hye-sung complains that he sends ‘hearts’ (think of ‘lives’ in a game) to the other members all the time but he doesn’t get much of a return. He shuts Eric down when he says otherwise: “You’re not even on the scoreboard!”
Omg, and then you actually paid money for hearts, Hye-sung?! You couldn’t just wait the 8 minutes for them to reload? Just goes to show how addicting this game can be.
Eric shares that one time, he sent hearts to everyone he knew and sent one to actor Park Geun-hyung by accident. Dong-wan: “Did you get a response?” Eric: *shakes head*
It’s time to test their AniPang skills and Andy wasn’t kidding when he said he was good – he crushes Hye-sung. The masters acknowledge Andy’s skills and when Hye-sung fishes for a compliment, Master No. 2 is like, “…Is [60,000] your average?”
Aw, Dong-wan really is a noob when it comes to this game and as his fingers hover over the screen, hesitant, it’s more frustrating for Eric who’s watching next to him. It’s more like a battle against himself while Min-woo yells at his screen, “Give me a hint!”
When we look at the scoreboard, it’s Andy and Min-woo who claim first and second with lonely Dong-wan in last place. No wonder your nickname is Dong-gu-mong. (‘gu-mong’ means hole, but it doesn’t translate well in English… ’cause yunno.)
Now the masters share their first hint: Don’t watch the animals as they blast. Master No. 1 cites that they’ll shave off time that way and the boys marvel as they watch her demonstrate her tips in action.
Eric tests it out and he’s all, “I’ll blast it from the left and then look to the right and I won’t look!” But… he totally looks anyway. Hehe.
Then Jun Jin hilariously opens his eyes wider until they’re bulging out of their sockets in order to see the screen better.
Andy say what? You can get a high score by not looking at the screen? So they stack him up against newbie Dong-wan to see if he’s for real. But what’s hilarious is that they both exit out of the game unknowingly and Min-woo cries, “What are you doing Dong-wan?! You’re looking at the screen!”
Omg, and his blind-at-random method actually works and he creams Dong-wan. Impressive.
The masters reveal their second hint: an internal rhythm of three beats. They combine that with their first hint to look at the entire scope of the screen and soon, they’re dancing, “Bang, two, three! Bang, two, three!”
After another demonstration, it’s the boys’ turn to try it out. Hye-sung, you are so adorable. He dances the rhythm like a waltz in this singsongy voice, “Choong, Pang, Choong! Pang, Choong, Choong! Choong Pang, Bomb!”
As for their third hint: Compose yourself as you get faster. Jun Jin interrupts in a slightly serious tone that not only will these hints help him in AniPang; they’re like golden nugget life lessons.
They get caught up in the life metaphors until Dong-wan cuts in: “I’ve found that this isn’t the path for my life.” Fighting, Dong-wan!
The masters finally get to show off their skills and the members pour on the compliments as they play. The sound effects sure sound markedly different – a barrage of continuous screams as the animated animals disappear.
They’re understandably nervous but pull off impressive scores anyway. That is, when the boys aren’t adding in their own commentary. Master No. 1 gets so nervous at one point that she stops and says to Jun Jin: “It’s because you keep talking to me!”
She stops mid-game again after Dong-wan sneezes and the boys are like, Why did you have to do that?! Andy: “She had 22 combos!”
The boys get increasingly silent as her score climbs, dumbfounded. Aw, she even beats her own record when they take a break from filming.
Leader reveals the last hint: team play. For this, they bring in some more guests: twin comedians Lee Sang-ho and Lee Sang-min. They explain that communication is the key to success and admit that they’ve got an advantage as twins.
What’s funnier is the answer to Min-woo’s question (“What if you don’t have a bomb to use?”): “You start over!” Then when Andy offers a suggestion to improve their method, Sang-ho just shuts him down.
Min-woo notes that team play can be dangerous if they don’t do well since it can ruin relationships (like when you play Monopoly? Or Risk?) but they’ve both got high individual scores to make up for it. Before they start, Sang-min declares, “This is more nerve-wracking than Gag Concert!”
The boys propose a theory: would similar blood types lead to higher scores? It’s a legitimate question since Korea has blurbs of personality traits attributed to blood types.
Andy (Type O) is hesitant at being paired with Dong-wan (also Type O): “We’re complete opposites!” Dong-wan: “There’s a reason why opposites attract.”
So the Matched goes against the Unmatched Blood Type Team. The Lee Twins bark their commentary, utterly frustrated. Sang-min: “Kim Dong-wan! Play the game!” Sang-ho:”[Use the] bomb!” Suffice it to say, the blood type theory doesn’t work.
Question time for the masters and Eric asks what their favorite animated animal is. Andy notes that he can see all of the colors easily but he can’t put them together, to which Sang-ho responds, “Then you can’t see them!”
Hye-sung asks if they play so much that the game appears in their dreams. The masters admit they do and the Lee Twins add in a few more jokes, “The guys in the army imagine an AniPang bomb!” “I think of another one of us to get a combo!”
Hye-sung sets up another situation: They’ve got less than 10 seconds left, with a low score (for them), and then Andy falls in front of her. Does she save him or go for another 10,000 points?
Without hesitation, she answers: “Get the 10,000 points.” Fangirl or not, a girl’s got a game to play!
He sets up a similar elaborate situation for the other master and gets so caught up in the tragic details that Min-woo interrupts: “What kind of example are you coming up with?!”
She chooses to save Oppa and Hye-sung clarifies, “So in this situation, Jun Jin lives and Andy dies.”
They get a short break to practice and how cute is Hye-sung trying out his “1,2,3” method? Master No. 1 tutors Dong-wan and asks, “Can’t you see [them]?” Dong-wan: “No.” Hee.
Afterward, they walk back to the set, as if they’re entering the arena for an ultimate battle of the ages, dramatic music notwithstanding.
They’ve even got a gamecaster to supervise their tournament who reminds them that the best pupil will be determined on their degree of improvement, not just a high score.
Eric and Dong-wan face each other in Round 1 and as expected, Dong-wan freezes: “I can’t see anything!” Eric wins it.
It looks like Min-woo was the one who got Hye-sung into the AniPang craze. (an addict fed the addict?) The epicness of the question, ‘Will the pupil best the teacher?’ gets hilariously undercut by the happy music in the game.
The constant commentary of the gamecaster doesn’t help and Min-woo yells, “Ah, you’re so noisy!”
The gamecaster asks Jun Jin who he doesn’t want to lose against the most. Answer: “Myself!” Hahaha.
Andy pretty much dominates by the half minute mark, piling on the combos. It’s no surprise that he wins.
They declare the results and the boys let out a laugh of disbelief when their final score is lower than their initial ones. Jun Jin and Hye-sung are the only ones with markedly improved scores
… and it’s Hye-sung who’s declared the best pupil – his first win on Shinhwa Broadcast.
I… can’t believe I just watched a bunch of grown men playing a mobile game for an hour. His prize: 1000 hearts.
A few days later, the numerous hearts arrive on his phone and Hye-sung brags about his winnings to the other members. You’ve won 1000 hearts… and mine.