EPISODE 419. Broadcast on December 30, 2012.
girlfriday: New trip! The captions tell us it’s the last trip of 2012, and the staff is buzzing as they prepare to start. What, did they cook up some new form of torture for entertainment?
javabeans: Isn’t it amazing how DRAMATIC they can make simple things seem, by virtue of editing? Also, this also works in reverse — with bad editing, all the drama in your drama goes Wah-wah.
girlfriday: Ain’t that the truth.
javabeans: Maybe they just need to send the Faith team (and the Dr. Jin team) to variety boot camp.
girlfriday: EVERYONE should go to variety boot camp. It should be the law.
javabeans: Or, you know, just a prerequisite. But okay, I’ll let you have your DRAMA.
girlfriday: There’s a nervous frenzy in the air, and the boys begin their opening in front of KBS so early it’s still dark.
javabeans: And then we cut to images of food. Crap. Now I’m hungry, which you’d think I’d be used to by now. Anyway, the members do their introduction, replete with built-in joke about bowing to Seung-woo (a new-year ritual) for being so old.
girlfriday: I love how quickly he bows lower, because if you’re old and bowed to in the new year, you have to give money. It’s a double whammy. Su-geun says they’ve actually been through a lot this year, like launching the show’s second season and wondering if it would last. Jong-min butts in, “Like Shi-kyung! When he first started, he got cursed at!”
javabeans: Oh, Jong-min. Even when he’s trying to give a compliment, it’s really more of an insult. It’s the opposite of “negging,” where douchebags insult a girl on purpose to get her feeling vulnerable, while Jong-min’s aim is to be nice but it comes out accidentally offensive. He means to say Shi-kyung has improved, only his words come out more like “He used to suck!”
girlfriday: I love Shi-kyung’s very obvious inner monologue: Stay calm. Smile. You can beat him up later when the cameras are off.
javabeans: Then they do their round of imaginary award reactions, congratulating Seung-woo for winning a variety Daesang and asking Jong-min if he’s bummed to have lost his. Since this must’ve been taped before, and aired afterward.
girlfriday: Hee. Turns out they’re pretty damn accurate, since Seung-woo wins an award, as do Tae-hyun and Joo-won. Aw, it’s so fun to see them all dressed up in their huddle at the awards ceremony.
javabeans: Bird begins today’s proceedings by calling for a “bak,” which must be a play on the show’s title. Did he go through all this effort to word-game a sadistic PUNishment? Go Bird.
girlfriday: He totally did. But the funny part is, when the boys hear “bak,” all they can think is, “Are we starting off the trip by breaking gourds on our heads?” They turn out to be entirely ceremonial gourds though, as they contain banners announcing the trip’s theme.
javabeans: I love how paranoid the boys are as they pull the string to open them, assuming they’re going to be attacked by something.
girlfriday: So all the fanfare is just to say that it’s the trip to mark the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. Su-geun’s like, “Yeah, that just means we’re shooting all night, right?” Lol.
javabeans: Bird: “For a special episode ushering out the old year, where would one go?” Tae-woong: “A buffet!” Ha. Well he tried.
girlfriday: Bird says they’re going to go on a special trip with the family they’ve spent the year with. Su-geun takes it literally, wondering if his wife and kids are hidden away somewhere. Turns out he means the staff, and says the boys will be paired with staff members in a big race that ends in a year-end banquet. Looks like Tae-woong gets his wish after all.
javabeans: That’s such a cute idea — each member gets matched with a staff team. And, uh, the loser must pay the tab for Teams 1, 2, and 3.
girlfriday: DUDE. And it’s not just the teams playing, but the entire staff sections they represent — so if Team 1 has reps from the lighting team, the entire lighting team eats on Loser’s dime.
javabeans: 1N2D: The show that sends YOU the bill for being on it.
girlfriday: I know, right? That’s crazy. Someone’s going to foot the bill for at least half the staff. Immediately the boys start to parse which teams might have the advantage, like speedy VJs or PDs who know where everything is.
javabeans: The teams are assigned via the ladder game, and shake out thusly: Jong-min gets the sound team, Joo-won is with producers, Tae-hyun with cameramen, Seung-woo with the managers, Shi-kyung with the VJs, Su-geun with lighting, Tae-woong with directors. Ha, some of these teams have decided advantages. Who else thinks Seung-woo’s gonna have a big bill to pay today? Managers are the outsiders of the bunch, who don’t usually have to participate.
girlfriday: Some of the teams, like Tae-hyun’s cameramen and Su-geun’s lighting guys, are faces we’ve seen around forever, but they’re also the oldest guys on staff. It could work against them, depending on what kind of games they have to play. Tae-woong has PDs, but they’re newbies, so I don’t think it’s much of an advantage. Lol, Shi-kyung’s team has to be told to put down their cameras, because they don’t know how to just stand there and not shoot.
javabeans: Making this harder, the teams don’t all get to start at the same time. The guys play a game to determine start order, with five-minute increments separating their mission starts. Su-geun’s lighting team gets the worst end of the deal, going last with a 30-minute delayed start. Joo-won’s team of younguns goes first.
girlfriday: Meanwhile the losers congregate inside, and Su-geun decides the team leaders should play another game to pick one person to buy everyone coffee. People, isn’t lunch for fifty enough?
javabeans: Jong-min loses 3-6-9 and has to buy. And while they’re looking around, Tae-hyun goes charging across the lobby calling out, “HEY!” Haha, it’s Hwang Jung-min! They must be friends, because Tae-hyun totally just butts into the conversation he’s having with a group of ladies, like he belongs there. Hwang Jung-min is all huggy and friendly and Su-geun suggests, “Why don’t you come along and do [the episode] with us?” This is how they suck you in! They’re all, “He’s coming with us!” and Hwang Jung-min laughs with this half-afraid look on his face, saying he didn’t even wear his long underwear today, as though they really would just drag him off.
girlfriday: They bring him out to say hi to Seung-woo, who immediately laughs and calls him ugly, referring to his invitation to Infinity Challenge’s Ugly Friends Special. Hwang Jung-min starts swearing up a storm in response. LOL.
javabeans: I love how they bleep his mouth with happy faces.
girlfriday: Joo-won is the first to take off with his team, and the hyungs get all huffy, He didn’t even say goodbye, that young whippersnapper! I love that each team has its idiosyncracies — Shi-kyung’s team of VJs is adjusting cameras, Jong-min’s sound team is all sensitive to little noises.
javabeans: Tae-hyun’s team actually puzzles over how to open the car, ‘cause the back door handle is camouflaged into the rear window. Haha, when they find it at last, it’s pretty hilarious. Like, “How do I get IN this thing?!” And since they’re the cameramen, the head guy looks at the one dangling in the car in his face and goes, “I can just turn this thing off if I want.” HA. It’s different on the other side, isn’t it?
girlfriday: Their first challenge will be a rest stop quiz, where they’ll earn lunch money if all four members can answer correctly. Joo-won’s team is the first to arrive, but he totally burns his lead with one wrong answer after another.
javabeans: LOL. I’m wondering if he really didn’t know Sherlock Holmes’ name or if he knee-jerked the answer, but he goes back to his car for a 5-minute wait before he can retry, telling his team, “I must be a dummy.” He misses his second question and has to go back to wait 5 more minutes.
girlfriday: Pffft, one of Tae-hyun’s cameramen at one point takes his mounted car camera off to start shooting with it. Dude, that thing’s supposed to shoot YOU. They’re cracking me up.
javabeans: I love it. The guys on the crew are so used to adjusting stuff to their liking, and they just aren’t in the mode of being the subjects. Must… have… control. Joo-won goes up for Round 3, embarrassedly pouting, “Don’t wanna go!”
girlfriday: So cute. He finally gets one right, and thankfully the rest of his team doesn’t have his quiz affliction. They get about ten bucks to spend on lunch, and have to spend all of it in order to leave.
javabeans: Meanwhile I’m feeling nervous for Jong-min’s team, who are busily going over country capitals in the car. This does not inspire confidence. They say that Canada’s capital is Vancouver, or Manitoba, and Jong-min cuts in with a knowing sigh, all let-ME-answer-this-one: “It’s Canberra.” Greece’s capital, they figure, is Rome.
girlfriday: Sure enough, they get to the rest stop, and Jong-min goes out, and they cut right to Jong-min getting back in. Ha.
javabeans: Tae-hyun pulls in at about the same time, and his team passes the quiz fairly quickly—enough to spot Joo-won’s team in the distance, who see the arrivals and hurry toward their car, still munching on lunch. That spurs Tae-hyun to hurry, upon realizing they’re almost even with first place. Tae-hyun sees Jong-min’s car as he passes and pauses to rub his face in it. Hee.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung and Tae-woong’s teams pass the quizzes easily enough and head out, and Tae-hyun stops to make fun of Su-geun’s team, stuck waiting. You’re wasting your lead time on gloating! Get in the car!
javabeans: Seung-woo’s team passes on a repeat try, while in the car Tae-hyun’s team is feeling pretty good. They figure they only need to come in third place to feast, and already they’ve moved up from sixth to fourth place in the race.
girlfriday: Aw, Shi-kyung turns up the radio on his drive, and it turns out to be Yoon Sang’s radio show, and he says that Shi-kyung called in to say that he’s shooting 1N2D and wanted his teammates’ names called out.
javabeans: That is ADORABLE. But ack for Seung-woo’s team, who gets a flat. Eep! On the upside, there’s one manager who’s all, “Move aside, let me at it.” And he just rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.
girlfriday: That’s pretty cool. It sucks to get a flat, but I guess it couldn’t have happened to a better team. He changes it super fast. The PDs radio each team to tell them the next game involves winning time to use as an attack against another team — if you win 5 minutes, you can freeze another team for 5 minutes, wherever they are.
javabeans: The boys get on the phone to call each other and strategize. Seung-woo: “Don’t attack us, we’re in last place. I have to feed our manager boys.” Tae-hyun: “You can’t attack us! Our enemies are Joo-won and Tae-woong’s teams [first and second].” Tae-hyun pulls in to a rest stop… and gets told Joo-won slammed him with 2 minutes.
girlfriday: Ha, did he find out somehow he was plotting against them? Joo-won doesn’t even answer his phone when Tae-hyun calls, which seems like a deliberate move.
javabeans: Tae-woong wins 2 minutes, and his team tries to figure who was just behind them, thinking Jong-min. Tae-woong gets this sorry look on his face—’cause earlier today he was adorably swearing his loyalty to stick with Jong-min. Cut to: Jong-min being told of Tae-woong’s betrayal. Ooh, he just stirred revenge-fire in Jong-min’s heart. “I clearly warned him that if he betrays our alliance, I would cause a riot at his wedding.” LOL.
girlfriday: I love it. Fractured bromances everywhere!
javabeans: When Tae-hyun gets Joo-won on the phone, he’s totally in hyung mode, of, “What the heck did you think you were doing, messing with US?” Joo-won plays innocent, and the head cameraman vows to shoot Joo-won so his face comes out all dark from now on. HAHA.
girlfriday: Wow, I totally didn’t expect Joo-won to lie straight to Tae-hyun (and he totally smirks at his own camera while doing it).
javabeans: Dude. He is totally using his acting skills because he sounds completely credible, lying that he hasn’t even arrived yet. The team actually buys it, until they confirm with the PDs and marvel that they almost got hoodwinked.
girlfriday: Tae-hyun’s wearing the face of a dad who’s been lied to by his son for the first time ever. He wouldn’t… Not MY boy… NOooooo!
javabeans: When the toll operator confirms that Joo-won passed by, Tae-hyun’s team erupts into this furor of amazement and exasperation. It’s a betrayal, but they’re also impressed. Then Joo-won totally lies to Shi-kyung too, saying he’s NOT first place and that Tae-woong is.
girlfriday: Omg. Lying liar!
javabeans: Okay, so I have learned a few things: Joo-won is going to win, and Joo-won is going to get his ass beat after the trip. Hilariously, Joo-won had passed by Tae-hyun’s car on the road earlier, and now he passes by Shi-kyung’s, AS he’s lying on the phone. Shi-kyung’s actually stunned at the lying, saying that Joo-won changed the most in the year they’ve been on the show. Tae-hyun arrives at the next stop and says basically the same thing, complaining to the PD that the show has ruined a good kid.
girlfriday: He talks about him like the kid joined a gang and got a bunch of tattoos, and he’s on the road to prison any day now. Ha, and before the big betrayal, they had decided not to bother with first place since it doesn’t help them out as much, but now they’re like, “We don’t care! Even if we go down, we’re taking Joo-won with us!”
javabeans: I feel like the need to get revenge is fueling them, because they earn ten whole minutes in the game. Asked whom to attack, Tae-hyun says forcefully, “Joo-won of course! That punk! You HAVE to make sure to tell them it was our team!” Joo-won has this guilty “I expected as much” face when he’s pulled over, but he’s surprised it’s so much time. He laughs, “We gave 2 minutes and got back 10.” Well, there was the whole lying part too. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Shi-kyung also attacked Joo-won, for lying to him too?
girlfriday: It’s gonna be awesome if he ends up in last place because of it. Maybe if he pays for dinner, the hyungs won’t beat him up?
javabeans: Aw, Shi-kyung chooses to attack Tae-hyun though. Man, now I don’t care about anything except I want Tae-hyun to win. Or at least get in the top 3. OMG. And then… another betrayal. During the game Shi-kyung debated whether to use his attack on a team ahead of him, or the one right behind (Su-geun). Su-geun promised that he wouldn’t use his attack on him and urged Shi-kyung to go after another team. Su-geun lied.
girlfriday: Haha. So many alliances, so many ways to betray. At this rate, Seung-woo (who’s in last place because of his flat tire) will zoom right past them. No one’s bothering to attack him.
javabeans: Six scheming rabbits, one plodding tortoise. Jong-min pulls in next and decides to hold Shi-kyung, who’s two cars in front of him. Because if they hold him, they can move up two spots instead of just one.
girlfriday: Hee, poor Shi-kyung doesn’t even have a chance to get back on the road from the first attack before Jong-min’s second attack comes in. He does have one advantage though — the next mission is to get all four members into the same clothes for a picture, and Shi-kyung happens to have parked at a factory where they’re bound to have uniforms. Score.
javabeans: Tae-woong’s team wonders why they haven’t gotten any calls, but figure no news is good news. They get their photo, and move into first place. Is this because they didn’t attack anybody, and therefore become nobody’s target? Wait, did they win any minutes?
girlfriday: They attacked somebody, but no one attacked them. They just lucked out and didn’t get caught in the betray-go-round.
javabeans: I guess when you’re outshined by the big betrayal, you tend to slip under the radar.
girlfriday: Jong-min and Joo-won’s teams have more trouble finding identical outfits. Shi-kyung was right, and the factory has uniforms, so they get their shot faster than if they had wandered around in the city.
javabeans: Shi-kyung totally reminds me of the Hulk, about to burst the seams of the tiny uniform. Ha, they manage to overtake Joo-won too, moving into second.
girlfriday: So do Su-geun and Tae-hyun, who’re neck and neck for third, while Joo-won moves down to fifth place. Karma!
javabeans: MUAHAHA. As Tae-hyun’s driving on, they pass Seung-woo’s car, which is JUST NOW coming into their attack game. They worry that since they were spotted they’ll get attacked, so Tae-hyun thinks fast to propose a deal. Omg, is he going to tell him to get Joo-won?
girlfriday: Hahaha. Who’s the evil genius now?
javabeans: Seung-woo’s team wins 11 minutes and uses it on… Shi-kyung? Flashback shows Tae-hyun calling Seung-woo to help him, tipping him off about the tasks ahead of time, including the photo mission AND how to find the factory uniforms.
girlfriday: AH. To knock Shi-kyung out of second place? That IS evil genius. I thought he was gonna go for petty.
javabeans: I wish! While Shi-kyung is stopped AGAIN, Su-geun’s car passes by and that is just salt rubbing into the wound, after being attacked by them. Then Tae-hyun overtakes them too, so now Tae-hyun’s in third and Shi-kyung’s in fourth.
girlfriday: That whiny cry in unison from Shi-kyung’s team is so cute. And then just when I was thinking Tae-woong really lucked out, he takes a wrong turn somewhere and ends up lost. There goes his lead.
javabeans: Su-geun and Tae-hyun’s team both arrive at the final location, and from then it’s a foot race to the flags. There’s running every which way, pulling back, blocking of bodies… and Tae-hyun gets first! WOO! Talk about reversal. Su-geun pulls second.
girlfriday: Whooooo! I love their moment afterwards, “Wait, we’re first? And second? Why are we fighting?”
javabeans: Tae-woong finally finds his way back on the right path, in time to pull the third-place flag. Aw, I like these results. Although I fear for Shi-kyung’s ire at not getting top feasting honors. Especially since he got attacked three times without really doing much to earn it.
girlfriday: I think he gets to eat (thank goodness, otherwise he’d be super cranky) but no one picks up his tab.
javabeans: Is dinner not given some sort of hierarchy? That’s no fun. So Shi-kyung is fourth, and Joo-won fifth. Shi-kyung goes off on this (half-good-natured) rant about how the game was unfair to begin with, and then Tae-hyun points to Joo-won as the Original Instigator.
girlfriday: Lol, the Lie That Begat All Lies.
javabeans: Omo, did Seung-woo really pull sixth place? His team doesn’t even believe it, assuming they were last place, and think the others are all pulling their leg until the PD confirms it. Ha, so Jong-min has to buy breakfast coffees for everyone AND the dinner banquet?
girlfriday: Wow, when it’s not your day, it’s just not your day.
javabeans: LOL, Su-geun points out an indignity suffered by one particular team member today, and recounts how their team was in the middle of stripping down to their long johns when Bird stopped them to say they failed to meet the requirements of the uniform task. What an affront to be a venerated professional, literally caught with your pants down and yelled at, “Failure!”
girlfriday: Hee. The race just gave the chance for the boys to win more staff members over to their side against Bird.
javabeans: I guess we’re not gonna see the feast this episode, which is probably a good thing for the midnight cravings this show inspires. Next week: The boys ring in the new year with—what else?—games and humiliation and physical labor.
girlfriday: Just the way we like it. Happy new year!