EPISODE 415. Broadcast on December 2, 2012.
girlfriday: We continue with the Island Song Festival trip, and the boys finally make it to basecamp after Jong-shin’s little dip in the ocean. Tae-hyun practices his trot number, which apparently includes a comedy routine where one of them plays It Doesn’t Hurt and It’s Not Cold. He pauses… “Wait, that’s me.” Well that doesn’t sound pleasant.
javabeans: The guys file into the room and start to turn their attention to preparing the performance. Jong-shin grabs his guitar and starts ordering Hee-yeol around, which is hilarious for me and also for the cast members, who find it amusing to see guest songwriting star Hee-yeol getting the maknae treatment.
girlfriday: I love it. He hates it but can’t say a word. I guess being the maknae is the same whether you’re five or forty.
javabeans: We take a step backward to before the trip, when the guests met for the first official practice of Yoo Hee-yeol and the Lighthouse Keepers (that name still cracks me up), and Hee-yeol appears dressed in a suit and tie. He’s first there, and Bird asks how his wife responded to his 1N2D stint. Hee-yeol: “She was worried I wouldn’t keep up [physically]. Because my family knows my body condition.” Ha, is he seriously that weak?
girlfriday: He must be. His only saving grace was when he heard Yoon Sang was coming along. Hee.
javabeans: Jong-shin arrives next, and immediately starts ribbing Hee-yeol about his suit (black, with skinny tie and emo glasses). I love this dynamic, and the way Hee-yeol just has to take it. Hee-yeol says he’s wearing black because his friend’s mother died, and Jong-shin asks, “…so you dressed up as a Beatle?”
girlfriday: HA. Now I just want a reality show following these two guys around. It just keeps going, as Jong-shin worries about the other two, who’ve never done variety shows outside the studio. “Hee-yeol doesn’t even stand for long periods of time [on Sketchbook]. He’s a chair-MC.”
javabeans: Sang joins them as Jong-shin is joking about how they should make Hee-yeol and Sang wrestle each other (which, HA, since they’re apparently evenly matched in the lack-of-muscle department), and Sang asks, “Is this a weakling special episode?”
girlfriday: It’s in this meeting where Jong-shin tells Hee-yeol to be the band leader and therefore take responsibility if it fails (and even if ratings tank, ha). Bird PD fills them in on where they’re going, and the boys’ auditions from the night before. So then we flashback again to the members after they’ve been selected by their judges. Is 1N2D going all Memento on us now?
javabeans: I’m just barely managing to keep the timeline straight. Ha. It’s song selection time, and the teams break up to brainstorm. The ballad team is led by Shi-kyung, who’s back to his mad blinking of confusion. Heh. And the dance team of Jong-min and Joo-won pick a girl group dance, because… it’s funny?
girlfriday: Because it’s all they know? I’m not sure, but the funnier part is that without even rehearsing, they already know the steps. This is going to be really embarrassing, isn’t it?
javabeans: With any luck, yes. I’m more impressed with the musicians, who yes I KNOW are professional musicians, but the way they just pick up instruments and start playing and tweaking on the fly is so cool.
girlfriday: Yeah, it’s impressive. And also funny, because they’re playing really simple music (accompaniment to trot) and Hee-yeol has to tell Sang to play less impressively.
javabeans: Which is doubly funny because Sang has his diva moment where he insists the camera shoot him from above, not below. Ajusshi knows his uljjang angles.
girlfriday: I love the moment when Hee-yeol gets the idea to add super cheesy keyboard sounds in the intro, and then DIES of mortification. It’s adorable. But Jong-shin eggs him on, saying he’s gotta commit if he’s gonna do it at all, so he starts to get into it. And then we fast-forward (I think) to the members practicing their songs during the week — Tae-woong with his dogs and Tae-hyun with his kids.
javabeans: Omg so cute. Tae-hyun must be funnest dad ever.
girlfriday: Right? And his son has his super-giggly laugh.
javabeans: He totally inherited Dad’s laugh! I love how he writes 1N2D on Dad’s foot, then giggles himself out of the room because he’s embarrassed he made a spelling mistake.
girlfriday: He must’ve inherited Dad’s sense of humor too, ‘cause he runs out yelling, “Also… it’s in permanent marker!”
javabeans: Joo-won sits down with coffee and pen to study his idol dance routine, and by study I mean STUDY. It’s so hilarious. He looks like he’s a serious college student settling in for a hardcore cram session, and you flip the camera over and it’s like a performance of Music Bank or something.
girlfriday: Whereas Jong-min just does it once and he’s already got it memorized.
javabeans: At long last his professional dancing skills come in handy!
girlfriday: So then we flash-forward AGAIN, back to basecamp. Now that everyone is gathered, they get to work on choreographing the closing number.
javabeans: Everybody does a rough run-through, with particular emphasis given to Tae-woong’s mounting stress over doing a good job with his ballad. I think Tae-woong is best suited for ballad of the three categories, but it’s also the one you can’t joke your way out of or cover with personality and performance. You either hit that note or you don’t, you sound good or you don’t.
girlfriday: I don’t know if it’s just the editing, but he seems really stressed about it.
javabeans: I love the part when they’re all coming up with choreo for the big group number, and Su-geun suggests a series of well-timed pelvic thrusts, to be capped off with Seung-woo’s EPIC pelvic thrust. HA. So perfect. So embarrassing. So perfectly embarrassing.
girlfriday: All because some PD suggested a butt-wrestling game once, uncovering Seung-woo’s signature move. Like Fate… but different.
javabeans: I like to think of it as serendipity.
girlfriday: They bus over to the field where the stage is being set up, and it’s already starting to rain. Oh noes.
javabeans: Eek, they begin rehearsals in the rain, though at least the musicians get a tent. Soon enough everybody’s under that tent. I sure hope they manage some kind of provisions for all the elderly folks they’ve invited.
girlfriday: After rehearsals the members head out on the town to hand out flyers (the flyer itself is hilarious, filled with ancient pictures of each of the guys) while the crew scrambles to pitch more tents.
javabeans: Don’t you love the ajumma who lights up to recognize Tae-woong and says how much more recognizable his face is now, then turns to Shi-kyung and says, “Yours is a little less recognizable.” Hee.
girlfriday: Poor Shi-kyung.
javabeans: As showtime nears, we see little snippets of the preparations: the gradually filling audience seats, the guys drawing on thick eyebrows and running through last-minute practices and… pulling on women’s clothing? Wha?
girlfriday: Oh my goodness, those are some hairy legs going into those bright neon stockings. Hahaha, Jong-min: “Which is the front?”
javabeans: That must mean the other set of stockings must belong to Joo-won. HA.I still chuckle to remember “Tae-sook” from the last concert episode, with Tae-woong’s pigtails and schoolgirl uniform. Which was less Britney Spears and more, oh, Groucho Marx.
girlfriday: OH that’s right. Maybe he should’ve joined the dance team after all then. Tae-sook was hilarious. It’s finally time for the show to start. Yay! I love that MC Su-geun calls Hee-yeol and the Lighthouse Keepers a flower boy band.
javabeans: Hee, because they’re delicate and frail? It’s really on occasions like this that you’re glad for Su-geun, who’s a seamless MC and introduces the first number. It’s the ballad and he throws in the bit about how Tae-woong never properly proposed to his bride (pfft) and will now give it a proper go with this performance. Way to simultaneously rib him and add to the pressure.
girlfriday: Eek, his nervousness is palpable.
javabeans: I know! We’ve heard him sing ballads before, and while he’s not a strong singer, he’s got enough ability to power through a ballad when he’s feeling confident. Today it’s all shakiness and hesitance, and I’m extra nervous because the caption tells us, “No mistakes… YET.” He hits that part that’s been giving him trouble and gets a little off (though not as badly as in rehearsal clips), and Shi-kyung softly starts to sing to help him through. Aw. I think that’s so sweet.
girlfriday: The little cuts to the band are funny, ‘cause you can see the little tics as Tae-woong misses a note. They don’t make it obvious, but it must be involuntary.
javabeans: Tae-hyun: “Is he crying? It sounds like he’s crying up there.”
girlfriday: It’s adorable how Shi-kyung puts his hand on Tae-woong’s back to calm him down, and he makes it through his verse in one piece. Of course, the second Shi-kyung starts to sing I’ve forgotten all about the first verse. Swoon.
javabeans: Then it’s time for the trot trio of Seung-woo, Su-geun, and Tae-hyun. Oh my. Is their concept… a band of traveling thuggish crazy people? They’re wearing trench coats (already suspsicious), fedoras, and red feather boas. They have a fun energy but I’m like, WTF? And that’s even before it starts getting really weird and twisted, breaking gourds over Seung-woo’s head and hitting him with sticks and strippping Tae-hyun down to his skivvies. Ha. Okay, it DOES have a concept (it’s the This Doesn’t Hurt Show, featuring all manner of 1N2D punishments), but it’s just so hilariously random.
girlfriday: It’s more like a gag routine than a song, but basically it’s a their-pain-is-our-entertainment routine. Eeee, they decide that buckets of cold water aren’t enough, so then they pour ice into a giant tank and take turns getting dunked. In the freezing rain?
javabeans: By now they’re all dripping wet and some of the magic marker face paint is melting off their faces and running in rivulets and it’s a bit ol’ sloppy mess, but it’s hilarious and fun and the audience is definitely laughing. A win! Then it’s time for the dance team, and oh my. Oh my.
girlfriday: OH MY GOD.
javabeans: Jong-min and Joo-won come out for their Orange Caramel number in full-on fluorescent wigs and shiny dresses with huge doll-like bows in their fake hair, and it’s hysterical. Don’t you love the way Sang actually stops mid-clap, mouth agape, like he’s frozen in horror?
girlfriday: It’s exactly how I feel, in real time.
javabeans: I actually think they both look really cute, but it’s also terrible.
girlfriday: Joo-won actually looks pretty, but I still want to un-see what I saw.
javabeans: He does look pretty, but his dance totally still has that awkward masculine gait so it’s hilariously discordant. At least they aren’t singing along to make this hot mess even more hot-messy? Who ever thought I’d be thankful for lip-syncing?
girlfriday: Seriously. Thankfully the grandmas and grandpas love it, though when they head out to the audience to shake hands and give kisses, the little boy in front is like, gedditaway gedditaway!
javabeans: After they finish the number, Jong-min says how his attempted kiss ended with his throat getting grabbed.
girlfriday: Next is the audience singing contest portion, which is a crack-up. So first of all, you’ve got three famous songwriters as your session musicians, which is already totally crazy. But then the singers actually give them a challenge because they have to keep up, no matter how off-beat, off-key, and backwards they’re singing the song.
javabeans: The reaction shots crack me up. Like when the ajumma skips ahead, they all squint and hunch forward over their instruments, like, Where is she now? Jong-shin asks her afterward, “Why do you hate us?”
girlfriday: They finally get one ajumma up there who can sing, and you can see their faces relax.
javabeans: She’s a hoot, too, all boisterous and funny. They joke that she should come up to Seoul with them (to pursue her singing) and she’s all, “I’m there!” and tells her husband buh-bye honey!
girlfriday: Ha, afterwards she’s all, “I was better than Uhm Tae-woong, right?” All the boys die laughing.
javabeans: The ajusshi after her throws them a challenge, though, because he picks a song where all the lines start on the offbeat, only he misses his cue every single time, and it’s throwing everyone off. You can hear Su-geun chiming in a bit here and there to get him on-track, and of all of the musicians it’s Hee-yeol who gets most frustrated. He must be Type A. Finally he joins in on a latter verse as “guide track” because he just can’t take it any more.
girlfriday: It’s freaking hysterical. I’m DYING. With this guy they can’t even mask it, and Jong-shin is just outright laughing, and Hee-yeol looks like his soul is elsewhere.
javabeans: There’s a children’s number, which is cute, and then finally Yoon Sang gets a solo. Oh thank you—it would be such a crying shame to have these guys here and then just use them for karaoke backup. Jong-shin sings next. I love their song selections.
girlfriday: I know, I love those songs! And it’s extra impressive after being the live karaoke band. So Su-geun hands out the singing awards, and then it’s time for the closing number. The boys file onto the stage looking slick in their black suits.
javabeans: It’s a fun selection that gets the audience dancing along. But it’s over pretty quickly, and makes me wish we had more chances to see the boys singing for real. Like Tae-hyun (who did a comic number) and Joo-won (who didn’t sing).
girlfriday: Yeah I want more song in this song festival.
javabeans: After the show’s over, everyone’s hanging out in a back room and Su-geun half-jokingly says it would be nice to let their guests go home now (and end their suffering). Seung-woo says there are no boats, and Jong-shin says he wouldn’t mind leaving in an ambulance. HEE.
girlfriday: They’re like, do we at least get food? We earned food, right?
javabeans: Yoo PD says that as a special bonus and because their guests have gone through a lot… they’ll generously give them ramyun.
girlfriday: Dude. They look at her with dagger eyes, but then hunger quickly overtakes anger, and they start to argue over how many packs they’ll get. Did they seriously bring these guys all the way here to give them ramyun for lunch and ramyun for dinner?
javabeans: Totally, and as they wait, they entertain themselves with a thrilling round of Jenga. They actually get really into it, all intent and competitive.
girlfriday: Oh no, Hee-yeol loses, and Joo-won bravely forehead-flicks him, full-force. The sound actually has an echo, it’s so loud. He goes down clutching his head, but then he’s right back up and back in the game, all serious and in it to WIN.
javabeans: They get so into the game that they actually pay no heed to the entrance of the huge pot of ramyun, at least not till it’s dished out because then skinny frail Hee-yeol puts away five bowls. Tiny bowls, yes, but still. After the snack, we get a glimpse of the worsening weather outside, and the suggestion that perhaps it’s too stormy to sleep outdoors. Wishful thinking or a boon for the boys?
girlfriday: From the cuts of a few boys trudging out into the rain with sleeping bags, it looks like wishful thinking. And… is that… Hee-yeol playing the butt-wrestling game??
javabeans: We’ll have to wait a week to get the goods on THAT. And they’re bound to be good.