EPISODE 414. Broadcast on November 25, 2012.
javabeans: New trip! We start out with black and white footage… of the boys dressed in suits? Performing music? Is this going to be an awesome episode?
girlfriday: It sure looks that way.
javabeans: Aw, the captions say, “Who said that islands were lonely?” against footage of elderly locals. So it looks like they’re heading to give island dwellers their own private concert, which is awesome.
girlfriday: It’s gonna be good. We backtrack a little and open at night at KBS. Tae-hyun is the first to arrive to the meeting, and I love that he just peers in from the window and asks suspiciously, “Why isn’t anyone here?” Uh, because you’re early? Not everything is a trick yunno.
javabeans: I love his suspicion, though. Maybe he woulda just gone in out of curiosity, but when you have a producer telling you to enter the suspicious looking scenario late on a Tuesday night in an empty building, I can see the skepticism. The fear of a “What trap is this?” Bird makes it sound like they’re here on a simple coffee break, which makes it sound stranger.
girlfriday: He even drinks his coffee suspiciously. Finally after a while, Su-geun, Tae-woong, and Joo-won arrive together and each grab a coffee from the center of the table. Suddenly he gets up with a start, “Don’t be like that!” Oh is the coffee bokbulbok, or is he just being suspicious too?
javabeans: I love that Su-geun is just as suspicious, but takes a cautious drink. Then, all of a sudden, Tae-woong leaps up sputtering in disgust. HA! Tae-hyun exclaims, “Really? This was a bokbulbok?!”
girlfriday: Hahahaha. Suspicious of all the wrong things.
javabeans: Apparently one was dosed with a liberal dash of salt. Ew. And just as I’m about to suggest that Tae-woong should just swap his coffee for a regular one, that’s exactly what the boys do. (Caption: “I can’t be the only one who suffers!”) The boys move around the cups so that at least one of the latecomers will get stuck with it.
girlfriday: Seung-woo comes in next and gets the salty coffee, and actually throws it back on the table, all pissed. Hee.
javabeans: Hee, and then they toss it back for a third victim. Lol, that’s what they get for being late. I love how disgruntled Seung-woo is at his terrible coffee, but then he hears that Shi-kyung is on his way and he gets all happy at the idea of someone else’s pain.
girlfriday: I know, it’s instant happy. Shi-kyung saunters in with a snack in his hand, and sits a while before taking a sip.
javabeans: Seung-woo has the best timing, I swear. He makes it sound so natural (though you know everyone’s furtively watching Shi-kyung for the reaction shot) and says, just as he drinks, “Isn’t it weird to be drinking coffee without a bokbulbok?” *Spit take*
girlfriday: It’s so awesome. You can see Seung-woo’s eyes darting sideways, waiting for the perfect moment to say it.
javabeans: And because all the latecomers came separately, they hurry to clean up and reset the joke one last time, for Jong-min. Ha, they’re really getting a lot of mileage out of one salty drink. I think they’re super lucky Jong-min isn’t suspicious, because everyone’s totally giving it away, staring at him with these goofy grins on their faces.
girlfriday: It’s pretty great that all you need to do is put a salty drink on the table in an empty room, and the boys figure out how to turn it into a thing. Kinda like lab rats. For comedy.
javabeans: All right, time to actually start the episode. Hee. Bird tells them where they’re headed for this special, and it’s an island village at the verrrrrry end of the peninsula, in the southwest. It’s tiny. Wow, the current population is… get this… 150. Damn, is the production team going to outnumber the residents?
girlfriday: Yeah, pretty much. That’s crazy. Bird says they’re putting on a concert, and they’ll be covering three genres of performance, each with its own team captain. Ballad leader is Shi-kyung, of course. Dance is Jong-min, and trot is Tae-hyun.
javabeans: Ha, I almost thought for a second Joo-won would be trot leader, since he loves it so much. Though I suppose he’ll be happy enough being trot minion. But he’ll have to work for it: Bird says that the captains will pick their team members… based on an audition. You know, “Since auditions are all the rage.” Ha, you mean because of all the Birth of the Korea’s Got Superstar Talent Pop Stars shows out there?
girlfriday: Pffft, Seung-woo slams his head on the desk and blurts, “I haven’t gone on an audition since ‘89!”
javabeans: Is he having a diva moment? It’s hilarious. So they set up the audition, with the title (hee) “Humble Birth,” a play on the show “Great Birth” as in Birth of a Great Star. Or in this case, not-so-great star?
girlfriday: Omg Shi-kyung’s badass judge bit has me rolling on the floor.
javabeans: I love that the three judges are totally getting into this. As well they should. I’d totally love wielding that power too, since all great hilarity on this show comes from imbalance of power. Seung-woo gets called in first, to his chagrin (he tried to send Tae-woong first, but the judges weren’t having it and called his name instead), and outside he hears the other boys cackling. He’s all, “Is that okay for them to be that noisy?” and the judges say, “Yes, that’s fine.” HEE.
girlfriday: Seung-woo says his first choice is dance, except then he sings a trot song for his audition. Tae-hyun points it out in the middle of the song (HA) so then he’s asked to show off his dance moves.
javabeans: Apparently he wrote down that he has breaking moves, and he demonstrates… and he’s actually got some style. I’m picturing him as a kid, practicing his best Michael Jackson moves. Now I want him to be on the dance team.
girlfriday: But sadly, the judges unanimously disqualify him. But… doesn’t he have to be on someone’s team?
javabeans: Maybe one can sit out, because there are four non-judges. I wonder. Aw, he looked so nervous while he was awaiting his fate.
girlfriday: I think they just did it to make him re-audition. He goes back outside and says with a straight face, “I can do a wave from the right side, but they asked for the left.” They all nod, “Ahhh…”
javabeans: So then it’s Tae-woong’s turn, and he goes in with a straight face and says he wants to be a star, and he considers this his last chance before turning forty. Then Shi-kyung goes, “Wait! His noona’s Uhm Jung-hwa!” Hahaha. I wonder if this is bringing back flashbacks from Tae-woong’s early career. He says he’s hoping to make either ballad or trot. Ha, not so much with the dancing, this one. As we’ve seen.
girlfriday: He gets his wish, and Shi-kyung picks him for the ballad team. Though we’ll never know if it was because of his noona.
javabeans: Don’t you love the moment where Shi-kyung’s trying to be a hardass Simon Cowell type, and Tae-hyun just cuts him down to size? “Take off those glasses, willya?” Shi-kyung almost breaks character laughing, and mumbles that it’s his concept. Hehe.
girlfriday: They’re having so much fun with it. Joo-won gets called in next and only has to sing one line before he gets voted in. He gets his choice of teams, and he picks… dance? But what about trot?
javabeans: Aw, it’s hilarious that he sings all of five syllables. But maybe he’s been working on his moves and wants to show them off? Su-geun’s last to go, and comes in with his face all magic-markered-up with mustache and goatee. ‘Cause his persona is a rapper, ha.
girlfriday: A rapper from LA. Hahaha. He’s purposely slurring his syllables to sound American, and he’s doing this spastic dance, all “Don’t mind me, it’s just habit.”
javabeans: LOL. He gets his three X’s just as fast as Joo-won got his three passes. But they keep going, and he adds to his story (he really does ad-lib so smoothly), saying he grew up in LA and graduated from elementary school, but speaks no English ‘cause of the friends he hung out with. “I love doing dance, ballad, and trot all together.” Pffft.
girlfriday: HAHAHAHA, his demonstration… I’m dying. I can’t breathe.
javabeans: OMG. It’s a famous Shin Seung-hoon song from the ‘90s, only… warbly and crazy. How crazy is it that he really IS doing dance, ballad, and trot all together?
girlfriday: It’s so funny that even he cracks up while doing it. This is the best thing ever.
javabeans: He gets picked for trot, and like everyone else before him, he can’t resist asking, “What’re you gonna do about that old guy outside?”
girlfriday: Seung-woo shuffles back in to re-audition, and sings another song. They’re just having a field day messing with him, and ask if he can do an idol dance. Seung-woo: “Idol? I… have i-dool [two kids].” Lol.
javabeans: So after all that… he wins WITH A PUN. Tae-hyun picks him for his team, saying, “We’re the two-children team!”
girlfriday: Then we zoom forward to the morning of the trip, as the boys arrive super early in the morning way down south (meaning they probably drove all night to get there). After some sleepy and huggy greetings, they gather for the opening.
javabeans: It was a six-hour drive, and they wonder why they didn’t meet at the port since they’ll have to take a boat to the village. Bird says there’s one more important thing to do first (Shi-kyung, eagerly: “Breakfast?”), and introduces guests to beef up the lineup. Jong-min: “SNSD!” Why is SNSD the first guest they always clamor for?
girlfriday: Maybe they’re the only group big enough to even the score?
javabeans: LOL, I was just thinking that. Nobody gets left out? The boys get all smiley, saying of couuuurse they’ll be ladies to balance out the group. Are they in for a disappointment on that score.
girlfriday: Bird says they’re all pros with at least 20 years experience, and all their faces fall.
javabeans: Instant deflation. Bah. Never mind, they’ll all be old then. They get a little excited when the guests are called “music gods,” and Jong-min’s all, “Is it Lee Seung-chul?!” Shi-kyung’s all, “He wouldn’t come on this show.” But the guests pretty big names after all, and we get a shot of the three of them waiting their introduction. Their faces are blurred out except Yoo Hee-yeol, whom I love for his melodic songwriting style. The boys are busily trying to guess what kind of (mid-level) stars could be their guests, and recognize, “It’s Hee-yeol hyung!” Aw, they’re so impressed.
girlfriday: That’s cute. They’re like, “He doesn’t do these kind of shows!” Shi-kyung runs out ahead to greet him, and they all mill about for handshakes. Tae-hyun… hugs his armpits? Ha, they must be friends.
javabeans: Okay, Shi-kyung must really be friendly with Hee-yeol because right away he starts ragging on him (for being so thin), and Hee-yeol rags on him back (for his big feet). Ha, and then Jong-min cracks them all up by asking in genuine amazement, “Wait, that’s YOUR song? You wrote all those?!” like he thought Hee-yeol was just the guy who sang stuff, instead of creating everything himself.
girlfriday: Su-geun complains about a song that Hee-yeol wrote for him that tanked while another he wrote that year for someone else got a Daesang. Shi-kyung: “Was it a girl? Of course it was a girl.” HA.
javabeans: How cute, the producers of Hee-yeol’s music show (Sketchbook) sent a gift to the show, with a “Yoo Hee-yeol Operation Manual” attached. Adorable. His key trait: (physical) weakness. In event of outdoor sleeping or dunking into frigid waters, “He could die.”
girlfriday: That’s hilarious. Once they have Hee-yeol, their expectations must be set differently, because they’re not as surprised when Yoon Jong-shin arrives next. They’re just screaming, “Jong-shin hyuuuuung!”
javabeans: Aw, I love him too. I used to listen to his albums on endless repeat. They kind of made me sad, but you know, adolescent moping needs its soundtrack.
girlfriday: Dude, did he really write over 300 songs?
javabeans: Must be. I think he’s more prolific as a songwriter than as a singer.
girlfriday: Yeah clearly, ‘cause Jong-min’s biography of him amounts to two hit songs and then variety. Hee.
javabeans: These guys say they don’t do this kind of variety, but they’re actually good at it.
girlfriday: Jong-shin was a variety mainstay for a good long while. Mostly Yoo Jae-suk shows, like Family Outing.
javabeans: Ha, and then Hee-yeol and Jong-shin insult each other back and forth too.
girlfriday: Aw, they’re actually here together as a little band.
javabeans: That’s cute — it’s that concept that got them on the show, ‘cause they liked that idea of working together.
girlfriday: Which means they got together beforehand to write new music just for this. Again, crazy.
javabeans: DUDE. I feel like Tae-hyun, bouncing up and down. Last to join them is… Yoon Sang. They greet him with more excitement, and then Yoon Sang actually apologizes to the cast, for being three male guests, haha.
girlfriday: His personality already makes me laugh. He seems super sensitive and earnest, but in a funny way. Once they have three male guests, they have to rearrange the age hierarchy, and find that Yoon Sang is eldest, but Seung-woo entered university the same year he did, so he says they’re friends. Su-geun shouts, “That’s right! Our hyung doesn’t lose when it comes to age!” Haha.
javabeans: Su-geun says the rest of the cast will just call them hyungnim, unless there’s a different form of address they’d prefer. Jong-shin chimes in about Yoon Sang, “He likes being called professor.” Ha. He protests, but they’re like, “That’s perfect! Professor Yoon!”
girlfriday: Their band name features Hee-yeol as the headliner, which he explains is because the hyungs didn’t want to take responsibility if the music sounded bad.
javabeans: How cute. It’s Yoo Hee-yeol and the Lighthouse Keeper(s), which means that Yoo Hee-yeol is the only name they’ll remember. Ha. Sly.
girlfriday: All ten guys squeeze into a van and chatter away about when they’ll get to sleep tonight (followed by gasps of horror). Maknae Joo-won takes the wheel and says like a fanboy, “I’ve seen all of Sketchbook from the beginning!” Jong-shin actually laughs at himself, saying that he didn’t even realize it, but as soon as he was back on variety he was doing those over-the-top reactions to everything. Just like riding a bike.
javabeans: Then it’s on to the boat, which is a relief since that van looked cramped. They have to wait, so Su-geun starts the clamor for food, using their guests as the excuse. Bird says they’ve prepared lunchboxes that they’ll hand out, free of “charge,” because they’ll have a busy day ahead of them. Yay! Except, the boys point out that it doesn’t mean it’s free of strings, and start getting suspicious. Like why are they packed into black bags that you can’t see into?
girlfriday: Bird PD actually scoffs, like it’s CRAZY that they’d doubt him.
javabeans: Says the guy who spiked their coffee. How CRAZY indeed.
girlfriday: This time it turns out to be real food, no weirdness, but that doesn’t stop the boys from wanting ramyun anyway. They get him to agree to 3 packs, and decide that if they play a game five on five, one team can have enough ramyun to go around.
javabeans: Ha, they form the teams and begin the trash-talking. It’s a round of jaegi-kicking (hackeysack) and Tae-woong goes up first on his team to start the cumulative count. The comments range from “Be sure to film this right, it’ll go fast” and “His all-time high is four” and “He might not even get one.”
girlfriday: True to form, he gets one. Joo-won goes next and manages four for his team, but mostly ‘cause his legs are long, not ‘cause he’s any better at the game. Tae-hyun barely gets three, which means he really ought to stop trash-talking Tae-woong.
javabeans: When it’s Jong-min’s turn, his jeans are so tight that he actually takes them off. Whoa. They’re like, hey you’re wearing long underwear, it’s all good. But the fact remains: He depantsed. If he gets two kicks after all this, imma laugh.
girlfriday: Pffffft. He gets two kicks.
javabeans: HAHAHA. And I was mostly joking. That’s after he promised 100. Seung-woo really pulls up the count for his side, getting 9, and halfway through it’s 6 versus 17. It’s mostly the Can team (with Seung-woo and Yoon Sang), and I think they’re eating ramyun today. I love how Jong-shin says that if he does well, it’ll ruin his “character” persona. Ha, is that to lower our expectations? Though Su-geun quips that they have plenty of characters who suck at this, so he needn’t stick to that concept.
girlfriday: It doesn’t seem to be a concept, so much as a physical limitation. He clocks out at one. Yoon Sang takes his turn and gets two, but his team is way ahead so it doesn’t matter.
javabeans: Su-geun goes last for his team, which is so far ahead that it hardly needs him to anchor. He gets in a really long chain, and Hee-yeol—who has to anchor for the Cannot team—starts getting in his face to mess him up. But not before Su-geun gets in 21 kicks, which means Hee-yeol would need to score 34 alone to beat him.
girlfriday: But wait! Just when you think it’s impossible, Hee-yeol does a light demonstration, complete with back-side kicks!
javabeans: WHAT. Man, I shoulda guessed something was up when he took off his outer layers and got his game face on. He looks like a soccer player.
girlfriday: It’s just, with all the the he’s-so-frail and he’ll-die-in-the-cold talk, I didn’t figure him for the sporty type. To make the game a little closer, Su-geun gives him two turns and jaegi-grabbing rights, which he makes full use of to close the gap 32:40.
javabeans: Then Hee-yeol all but collapses from the exertion and they’re like, “I think he may have to go home now.” Hee-yeol looks sadly at the team eating ramyun, but then Su-geun offers him a chance at a bite if he manages ten kicks, and Hee-yeol jumps right up all excited. He’s so cute. He tries over and over and over… and finally gets ten. He’s all, to his team, Move aside bitchez! and goes for the ramyun.
girlfriday: Ha, he earned it, literally. The boat finally arrives, and then they do a greatest hits parade noraebang on the way to the island. I love the chorus of “You wrote that one?!” “And that one too?!”
javabeans: For a singer, isn’t Jong-min’s handle on pop-music history hilariously sparse? It’s so cute Hee-yeol joke-yells to Yoon Sang, “Oppa~!” Tae-hyun points out that the songs Hee-yeol gave to other singers hit it big (suggesting the ones he kept for himself didn’t). Ha. Reminds me of JYP.
girlfriday: They say even still, Tae-hyun’s the one who’s probably spent the longest time at the top of the charts.
javabeans: Jong-min bursts out, “NOOOO! It’s Koyote!” Haha. He’s all, Don’t forget about meeeeeee.
girlfriday: And then when Su-geun asks him for a Koyote greatest hits parade, he shrinks back, “I don’t sing without Shinji.” HA.
javabeans: They finally arrive on the island, and find their car awaiting. Or should I say, pickup truck—room for three up front, with the rest piled in the back like cattle. Moooo.
girlfriday: They figure the three eldest should get to sit up front, but Jong-shin actually gives his seat up, and Hee-yeol makes this hilarious silent gesture, like Let’s get the hell in there before he changes his mind!
javabeans: He totally gives no regard to the age order that dictates his hyung gets the seat. Then again, he’s the one who might die of cold. And on the hike up the hillside afterward, Hee-yeol’s the one gasping that he’s already taxing himself.
girlfriday: Seung-woo points out that with these guests, the age cut-off for OB is at Tae-woong, making Su-geun one of the younguns. They continue the tour down to a little beach. Hm, winter… beach… this can only end in tears.
javabeans: Or death. Though Hee-yeol says that he specifically told BIrd that he didn’t want to go in the water.
girlfriday: Jong-shin: “I’ve seen 1 Night 2 Days. You go to nice places and do terrible things.” That about sums it up.
javabeans: Su-geun says that all Hee-yeol has to do is assume he’s not going in the water—he’s only one out of ten, so his odds are good. Then Yoon Sang pipes up that the PDs are totally not saying a word, and yet, why are we in this line of thinking? As in: You are making your own punishment! Su-geun answers that this is how they work: “If it’s there, we go in.” Ha.
girlfriday: So they decide to split up into OB/YB, and do a chicken fight within each team to pick one representative loser to be in the final battle.
javabeans: So only one loser has to go in, but Yoon Sang is particularly worried and keeps protesting. Though I like how the assumption is that on the OB team, it’s definitely gonna be Tae-woong. He’s all, Aw, why you gotta pick me?, and yet he can’t argue.
girlfriday: The YBs go first, and they hop around trying to argue their way out of not being ganged up on. They start to close in on Jong-min, only Su-geun suddenly loses his footing all on his own, and Tae-hyun sees him wobble.
javabeans: I love that Tae-hyun goes in for the kill, even as he was angling for Jong-min instead. Then it’s the OB’s turn, and HA, it’s over super-quick. Jong-shin actually goes on the attack right off the bat and takes Sang-hyung by surprise… and then trips over himself. This is hilarious.
girlfriday: After he swore up and down that he never loses these things? His self-inflicted fall is so funny.
javabeans: I love that in the end it’s Su-geun versus Jong-shin, because they were the two who were most enthusiastic about this game (and also two of the most confident that they wouldn’t get caught). The victory hug between a supremely relieved Sang and Hee-yeol is a pretty great moment too. Like, they really might’ve just died to go in, but now they don’t have to.
girlfriday: They let Jong-shin pick the game, and he chooses wrestling. That’s a surprise. But apparently he’s good, and they’re pretty evenly matched as far as height and weight, so it should be good.
javabeans: They both look pretty strong, but apparently Jong-shin has technique. It’s a surprisingly tense match. Finally Jong-shin goes for a leg, and Su-geun counters, sending Jong-shin into the sand. And also the water, shortly. My favorite thing is all the cackles of glee from everybody else.
girlfriday: He starts to protest, but Seung-woo is already stripping him of his outer layers.
javabeans: Haha. And Seung-woo was the one arguing how Jong-shin is a guest. “He’s our guest! We can’t do too much to him!” [Removes Jong-shin’s mic pack.] “Raise your arms.” [Pulls off sweater]
girlfriday: He inches into the water ever so slowly, and stops when he’s waist-high. And then he does something that sends the rest of the guys rolling in laughter. Hahaha, he shouts “1N2D!” and then balls up his fists… and gently lowers himself in like he’s taking a bath, but in the wimpiest way possible.
javabeans: It’s the most anticlimactic “dive” ever. Like a grandpa taking a dip.
girlfriday: It’s hysterical.
javabeans: As they walk back, Hee-yeol admits that in the chicken leg fight, “I was determined to win it or die trying.” Ha, he got so lucky.
girlfriday: They go back to basecamp for some down time and Jong-min plays the guitar for them… which is really him playing air-guitar while Hee-yeol plays in the background, heh. Looks like we’ll get to the concert next week, when they have to deal with a sudden downpour. Man, it always rains every time they put on a show, without fail.
javabeans: Wouldn’t be 1N2D without embarrassing your guests and some inclement weather, would it?