EPISODE 423. Broadcast on January 27, 2013.
girlfriday: New trip! The boys walk up together, and get told that this trip will be a Winter Break History Special. Dark clouds all around.
javabeans: Jong-min quips that Tae-hyun is bad at history, and for a split second you think he’s gonna get his head bitten off for offending his hyung, only to have Tae-hyun add that he’s beyond bad, that history all but doesn’t exist for him. Said the guy in the currently airing sageuk.
girlfriday: Maybe he only knows comic book history.
javabeans: He should be glad all his sageuk jobs have been fantasy.
girlfriday: But could you imagine Cha Tae-hyun in a straight non-fusiony non-comical one?
javabeans: I’m cringing already at the thought. Awkward, awkward, awkward. Either that or he would somehow turn it into a comedy, just with his delivery.
girlfriday: Yep, that’s what I’m picturing. The director going, Wait, when did this turn into a comedy? Uh, the minute you cast that guy. Anyway, it turns out the boys are walking into a palace for the opening. They start out by congratulating Tae-woong on his wedding (He must’ve just returned from his honeymoon at this point.) and he’s all smiles.
javabeans: He has this air of innocence that’s so adorable as he says that his wife made him breakfast this morning, and he was all, So that’s how the marrieds live, how sad for the rest of you. And Tae-hyun is all, dude, don’t talk, I had to make my own breakfast today!
girlfriday: And then Jong-min asks about their First Night, all wink-wink and er…. pelvic thrusts?
javabeans: Omg. I’m so secondhand-embarrassed for him. Is that his idea of subtle innuendo? I love Tae-woong’s reply, which is the very dry, “Sorry to burst your bubble, but we’ve already got a kid.”
girlfriday: Ha. Su-geun welcomes Tae-woong officially onto the Marrieds Team, and the rest of them all sigh that he’s not really all that helpful, at least for the winning.
javabeans: Jong-min and Tae-hyun mention the bit that ended the last trip, when Tae-hyun betrayed Jong-min to take his train ticket home and earned himself a bunch of anti-fans and angry netizen reactions. So today, he promises to stick right by Jong-min’s side so that he can react specifically to him the whole time. Haha. That’s… actually a pretty good way to make it up to him, if we’re talking in a meta sense about concentrating all your variety energy on one person and giving them extra airtime.
girlfriday: Yeah it’s like Variety Dollars. Laughs are the golden ticket. He also adds that he’ll take one of Jong-min’s punishments in his place, but the offer expires today. So Jong-min basically has to lose something big today for it to be worth it.
javabeans: You can tell how much Jong-min likes this idea, and he promises to try to forgive him. Of course, then Bird wryly points out that he thinks they’d both lose today (making that offer not much of an offer).
girlfriday: Bird says that today they’re going to tour Baekje historical treasures, and promises to keep the learning at their level. Shi-kyung gets all offended, and the boys tell him to look to his left and right — at Jong-min and Joo-won, who look terrified. Hee. It’s gonna be a rough day for the Bachelors.
javabeans: Lol. When Bird tells them where they are right now, Jong-min nods all knowledgeably and pretends to read the hanja on the gate, only to be told that’s not what it says. We haven’t even begun the game yet and he’s digging himself a hole!
girlfriday: Heh, I love that Tae-hyun’s really laughing at Jong-min’s terrible jokes and bad gags even when no one else is. They take a walk inside the palace, and then suddenly Su-geun asks Tae-woong if he could take a time machine back or forward to any time, where would he go? Seung-woo pipes up from behind: “Before his wedding.” Hee, it’s only been two weeks!
javabeans: The other marrieds all joke that they’d say the same (may as well all die together?), but Tae-hyun says he’d choose his first year of high school: “That’s when I met her. I’d go to a different school.” Pwahaha. And also, do you WANT a beating?
javabeans: But also, totally sweet that he married his high school sweetheart.
girlfriday: I know, it’s adorable. He’s often said in interviews though that other people think it’s so cute that he got to marry his first love, but he thinks he was kinda dumb not to date anyone else ever. Ha.
javabeans: Isn’t it one of those things where if you had more experiences, the first is all romantic? But then if you only had the one, you’re like, uh, is this all there is? You can’t know from the other side, which is why the grass is always greener I guess.
girlfriday: I suppose you could be that one particularly lucky bastard who left your first love to date a bunch of other people, and then your first love takes you back in the end? Eh, grass is grass, that’s what I say.
javabeans: Jong-min says a few random boring things about history (like how it’s important) just to make Tae-hyun have to react to them, which basically proves the point that Tae-hyun can make anything sound interesting. Even if it’s literally, “You’re quite right, history IS important!”
girlfriday: They finally reach the end of their walk and Bird explains their lunch bokbulbok game: a war between Silla and Baekje, kind of like capture the flag except each side has to protect its king from… getting his beard taken? I don’t know what that means, but they bring out cards for everyone to random-draw their teams. It’ll be 3:3 with one player who can swing either way, based on either team finding the hidden trigger to bring him onto their side. Tae-hyun grumbles at the random draw, saying that if Su-geun, Shi-kyung, and Joo-won end up on the same team, they might as well not even play.
javabeans: So, the result of the card draw: On Team Baekje are Shi-kyung, Su-geun, and Joo-won. LOL. Tae-woong is the free radical and Team Silla is Seung-woo, Jong-min, and Tae-hyun. Seung-woo complains at Tae-hyun for saying something that became true, ha.
girlfriday: Hahaha. He did totally jinx it.
javabeans: I love that this game requires ALL the members (playing generals and kings) to attach fake beards.
girlfriday: Oh so THAT’s what they meant. Literal beards. Ha. And ow.
javabeans: LOL. Way to be literal. Now I’m picturing Neanderthals running around claiming supremacy by pulling each others’ facial hair. The guys are all equipped with chest-cams, to make sure we get our clear shot of the beard-grabs.
girlfriday: They start by staying in their respective corners, busy searching for the radishes to claim Tae-woong for their team.
javabeans: It cracks me up how literal that is. The word “kkagdugi” means radish kimchi cut into cubes, but it’s also the word to denote the random third/fifth wheel, the unmatched person. So to claim Tae-woong the kkagdugi, they have to find the kkagdugi.
girlfriday: It’s hilarious. Also that the decoy boxes are filled with OTHER kinds of radishes. Ha. Shi-kyung finds the real kkagdugi first, and he and Joo-won each take a bite before claiming Tae-woong. Man, could this team get any stronger? I feel like they should get some kind of handicap or something.
javabeans: Except this game was totally randomly set up so it’s just their lucky day, huh? Sadly (?) I think Tae-hyun’s punishment pinch-hit is just gonna go to waste. Team Silla just isn’t competitive enough, whereas Team Baekje is totally competitive in everything. Figures they’d get arranged this way.
girlfriday: But then, Team Silla gets a lucky break. Seung-woo and Jong-min discover the Baekje king stuck in a well, all by himself without his generals.
javabeans: Attack, attack! Jong-min climbs on top of Su-geun in the well, and Su-geun huddles to himself shouting for rescue. Jong-min reaches around to grab the beard… and is suddenly yelping in pain. Ha, did he get bitten?
girlfriday: Ow. And also, how is he sitting on top of Su-geun and yet somehow still losing?
javabeans: Ha, they all but have Su-geun handed over on a silver platter, yet they decide they’ll have to wait for Su-geun’s reinforcements to come, and THEN grab his beard. What? Why can’t you just overpower him now? He is a tiny, tiny man. I know he’s nimble like a monkey but you can take him.
girlfriday: I think they’re planning to use him as bait, but that doesn’t seem like the best idea, against Joo-won and Shi-kyung.
javabeans: Watching Jong-min continue to try to grab Su-geun in his tiny prison and failing repeatedly actually reminds me a lot of myself on Cat Vet Day. Silla king Tae-hyun hides himself in a small room, while Joo-won dashes by and sees the shenaniganery going on in the well. He joins in and reaches in to try to grab Jong-min’s beard, so Seung-woo is left to try to come and save Jong-min, and then Tae-woong attacks Seung-woo from behind… It’s the craziest game of cat-mouse-cat-mouse-cat. Or is it cat-mouse-mouse-mouse-mouse?
girlfriday: I dunno, but there’s a whole lot of grabby beard-pulling and painful screams. Joo-won actually yanks Jong-min by the hair, and when that doesn’t work, they get Su-geun to climb out of the well by stepping on top of Jong-min. Ha. And then once they get their king out, Tae-woong covers up the well with Jong-min still inside. He thinks they’ve left him like that, but it turns out Joo-won is hanging back, waiting for him to peek out… and he nabs Jong-min’s beard from behind.
javabeans: Tae-woong spots a glimpse of the Silla king’s robes peeking around the corner and giddily catches up to Tae-hyun….’s VJ, wearing his outfit. HA. He’s actually around the corner wearing his regular clothing, leaving his VJ out as the bait. Too bad for him that Shi-kyung is right there to chase him down.
girlfriday: He manages to pull his towel for a timeout, and the teams gather for another bokbulbok where the kings have to take turns cracking eggs on their foreheads. Only two out of the ten eggs are raw, so the odds are pretty good that you won’t get egged. But of course Tae-hyun gets a raw one on the first try. They can’t believe his (bad) luck, and offer him the chance to revive both his generals if he can manage to find the other raw one. He picks one… and it’s raw! Dude, he really does have the most predictable bad luck.
javabeans: I wonder if that means he was trying to pick the raw one, or the cooked one that time. Because it’s only bad luck if it screws you over! Still, at least this gets the Silla team another chance at the game, and the chase resumes. Jong-min separates from his team to draw the others in, and he starts taunting Shi-kyung like a little kid at recess, sticking out his tongue and challenging him to a one-on-one fight. Nearby, his teammates lie in wait as Shi-kyung gets separated from his pack. But Shi-kyung’s smart enough to suspect the ambush and calls in his team, so now everyone’s there, all “Uh… now how do we do this?”
girlfriday: Suddenly Tae-hyun jumps out from his hiding spot and grabs Tae-woong from behind. Ha, I love that his line of defense is to suck on his own beard, while grabbing at Tae-woong’s. He’s out, and then all hell breaks loose.
javabeans: All of a sudden there are beards flying everywhere, ha. Joo-won gets out, and so does Jong-min, leaving two on each team still alive. It’s hilarious: You have Shi-kyung, Tae-hyun, Seung-woo, and Su-geun basically in a circle, running around trying to get each other. It’s like a dinky video game.
girlfriday: It’s even more hilarious that Tae-hyun’s costume makes him look like a boxer, and he’s jumping around and swishing back and forth all by himself, like a loon.
javabeans: Finally Tae-hyun gets his beard pulled, which means it’s time to eat. Aw, that lunch table is so sad. One is laden with steaming bowls of soup and kimchi dishes, and the other… has one plate with three balls of rice.
girlfriday: That is truly the saddest lunch ever.
javabeans: You know, it would have been bad enough if they gave them three bowls of rice. But to see them shaped as these plain lumps makes it even more pathetic. Maybe it is just that sad that Bird offers them the prop kimchi as a side dish.
girlfriday: Prop kimchi is better than nuthin’. After lunch the boys board the bus and Bird PD hands them history books to study on the way. Hm, this does not bode well.
javabeans: Heh, we get captions describing the types of students here. Shi-kyung is the focused and studious model student. Su-geun is the one who looks over at what you’re doing instead of studying his own stuff. Jong-min is the one who has no idea how to study even with the materials in front of him. And Tae-woong is the one who falls asleep as soon as he’s got the book in hand.
girlfriday: Heh, it’s fun to imagine what these guys were like in high school. They reach their first stop and after looking around, Bird offers them a chance to grab anything they want from the snack box for each quiz question they get right. What the… Tae-hyun gets both of them right? What happened to Mr. I’m So Weak at History?
javabeans: They’re all surprised, but Tae-hyun whines that Bird was too insulting with his exclamation of “What gives?” Ha.
girlfriday: They go to a museum next, and look around on their own. Tae-hyun sees a funny looking urinal and giggles to himself as he tells Jong-min it’s for drinking.
javabeans: Lol, I love that it comes up on the quiz too. After more time to study the exhibits, Bird administers another round of questions… and Tae-hyun wins again! Three in a row! Whaaaa?
girlfriday: Is it opposite day? At their last stop, Bird PD offers up the entire snack box for one final winner… of a story contest? He gives them a list of words they have to include, like a few artifacts and sights from today, “Bird PD,” “bokbulbok,” and in English: “Put your hands up.” Er?
javabeans: I guess it IS a lot of prize to give for an easy question. There’s quite a lot of good stuff in there, lots of chocolates and sausage sticks and such. They all take their papers and settle down to write, furrowed eyebrows and game faces on. Why do I feel like Jong-min’s is just going to be a string of keywords linked by prepositions?
girlfriday: Surrounded by “Wow~” and exclamation points? Yeah. Shi-kyung, on the other hand, gets all into it, deciding his is going to be a masterpiece. This is going to be embarrassing for everyone, isn’t it?
javabeans: We can only hope. And you know how competitive he gets with food on the line. On the other hand, Tae-hyun’s starts out, “The soju I drank yesterday…” Hahaha. So then they gather to read theirs aloud, to be judged by each other, with high and low scores thrown out. Joo-won goes first, and… omg. He’s actually challenging Bird. It’s in letter format, all forceful and declarative: What’s with all these Specials? Are we some quiz program? It’s actually a really good incorporation of all the terms.
girlfriday: Not bad. It incorporates all the words pretty naturally, and has the added bonus of getting on Bird’s bad side.
javabeans: They all lowball the scoring and he averages 4s, with a total score of 23, but maybe the others will be equally low. LOL. Jong-min’s starts out, “WOW~!” Did you call it or what?
girlfriday: Hahahaha. His turns into this nonsensical dialogue, for some unknown reason.
javabeans: Jong-min’s written assignments always make me giggle, and yet also make me feel vaguely worried for him. Like we’re getting a raw glimpse inside his head, and it’s concerning. It’s this stream-of-consciousness narrative, written in present tense: “I come to the shoot. Wow! It’s Joo-won! Wow! Put your hands up! Joo-won gets into the car! I try to follow! He’s too fast!” It’s hilarious and really sad.
girlfriday: But omg, I think Shi-kyung actually has it worse, in that he’s taken the assignment TOO seriously, and the hyungs all die laughing even though he’s trying to be poetic and sincere.
javabeans: My skin is crawling. It’s actually good and literary sounding, but it’s ALL WRONG. I can’t listen. Make it stop.
girlfriday: Why is it that there’s nothing more embarrassing than someone being too sincere on a variety show?
javabeans: Tae-hyun’s is really funny, in exactly the right way. It’s a cute, witty story about a day in the life of 1N2D. It’s good because you can’t quite pick out all the keywords: “The soju I drank yesterday and the radish kimchi / Today without fail churn in my insides / If only I hadn’t lost at bokbulbok / I could have eaten that meat / Upon hearing the words ‘Put your hands up’ / Why did I listen? / Is my head truly made of stone? / No, it’s a stone pagoda head / I drank with Bird PD and Princess Sunhwa / But where have they gone? / They have left me all alone / Those traitors / If I catch them I will burn incense / on that burner / Ah, today again I am screwed”
girlfriday: Dude, Su-geun’s is hilarious. He purposely uses the expectation that he’d write something silly, and turns it around to write a sincere-sounding love letter to Princess Sunhwa. Only, his delivery is still Su-geun, so it’s a crack-up. He gives this theatrical reading of the love letter, ending in a hip-hop refrain, “Everybody put your hands up! When I say Sun-hwa! You say Princess!” Hahaha.
javabeans: Tae-woong starts off with another corny pun about Buddha putting his hands up in the air (like he just don’t care?). So cheesy. But he works in some sweet praise about his beautiful wife, which wins him a few points.
girlfriday: The pun is definitely that story’s crowning achievement.
javabeans: The scoring is totally wonky since it’s kinda random and given on a whim, but under these scores Tae-woong wins rights to the snack box. Though they’re all sharing, right? So was that a pointless exercise? (Other than the humiliation, I mean, which I guess makes it not quite pointless.)
girlfriday: Humiliation is never pointless.
javabeans: That’s it for the day, as they head over to their basecamp for the night. They’ll be staying at the generations-old house of a famous family (whose lineage includes Queen Inhyun and Empress Myungsung)… where they’ll play ridiculous games for silly prizes, of course. Way to keep everything in perspective.