EPISODE 434. Broadcast on April 14, 2013.
javabeans: We resume with the second half of the introduction to our new member and mat-hyung Yoo Hae-jin, the movie actor who’s totally not competitive about anything, except maybe when he’s competing. We also need a nickname for the new PD, otherwise we’ll be three years out and still calling him New PD. Then again, it is kind of funny that New PD and Bird PD are the same word.
girlfriday: Yeah that worked out nicely for Bird. We’ll have to wait and see what sticks with the new guy. We catch up to the boys after their dip in the ocean, where they tell their newbie that they have to assess his game skills. They decide to teach some classes to get him up to speed, and Tae-hyun perks up, asking if he can sit in on the lectures too.
javabeans: Then they literally sit him down in a school desk (don’t you love how it’s the only desk in the room, making him stick out that much more?) while Su-geun goes up to the chalkboard to play teacher.
girlfriday: Haha, he makes Hae-jin bow to teacher, all proper-like.
javabeans: Even though first period is “how to kick a jaegi.”
girlfriday: He does this elaborate breakdown of the rules, the way to fold up your pants, and adages for what to do if things are going well, and then has Tae-woong demonstrate as an example of a Bad Kid. He only kicks three and then cries in defense: “I never got these lectures when I came!”
javabeans: Haha, that’s so cute. They’re taking this so seriously that it’s losing the satirical humor though. I think it needs to either be more wacky, or way more deadpan. Also, shorter.
girlfriday: Yes, to both. Turns out it’s all moot though, because Hae-jin’s already awesome at jaegi.
javabeans: Now I wonder if he’s just modest, or totally hustling them all. “I’m not good at anything! None of these suit me!”
girlfriday: And then of course Shi-kyung gets up to teach the perfect pitch game, and Hae-jin nails it on his first try.
javabeans: Tae-hyun gets up for his lesson, and Hae-jin knocks him down a peg even before starting: “Is there even anything I can learn from you?” Poor Tae-hyun. His lesson is bokbulbok, and I suppose it’s as good a topic as any, since we can learn from cautionary tales as well as how-to lessons. Put another way, bokbulbok means “luck, no luck” and we can say that he’s an expert at one of those things.
girlfriday: He lines up green tea and bitter tea, and Hae-jin picks green tea in one try, and Tae-hyun picks the bitter one. Pffft, the student is schooling the teachers one after another.
javabeans: Jong-min gets up to give his tips on how he always beats the smarties (the ones with prestigious educations) by writing out three factors: information, common knowledge, and experience. “I have no use for any of them!”
girlfriday: Is that…something he’s proud of?
javabeans: Hilariously, yes. He says he’s all about winning with ‘tude, which makes sense since he’s always the one going on about psyching out your opponent in everything, even something as simple as rock-scissors-paper.
girlfriday: It is true, in that Shi-kyung won’t even ring the buzzer unless he’s sure, while Jong-min wins these trivia things because he’s not afraid of being wrong. Of course it doesn’t matter, since Hae-jin beats Jong-min anyway.
javabeans: LOL, this is cracking me up. This is a case of pure serendipity, where the dryness of the lectures is made worth it by the fact that Hae-jin is kicking everyone’s ass today.
girlfriday: By now he’s the one directing the class: “Next lecturer, step up.” Ha.
javabeans: I wonder if Joo-won finally has him beat, because his lecture is… wait for it… aegyo. He goes through this whole round of cutesy bits, and Hae-jin buries his head in his hands, embarrassed.
girlfriday: Pwahaha. Finally a thing the new hyung can’t do? Also, is this the only thing Joo-won can teach?
javabeans: I know, right? What else is he going to teach, fast running? But I actually fully expect Hae-jin to master the aegyo once he decides to go for it. This isn’t a case of something he can’t do, but that he hasn’t tried yet.
girlfriday: Tae-woong teaches a class on knee-wrestling? Is that even a thing? I guess it’s just using brute force, which is his specialty. And then for some reason we fast-forward through most of dinner bokbulbok, which feels really strange. Is the new PD trying to do new things?
javabeans: Huh. At first I assumed we were just getting our usual preview, but it looks like we’re just not going to see the full games.
girlfriday: I know. I totally watched it going, “This is a really long preview. Wait, what the?”
javabeans: I guess I’m all for trying new things… IF it works well in the end. I’m okay with less games and more interaction, for instance. Or maybe there’s a big event later on that takes more time? Dunno.
girlfriday: Maaaaybe. *raises skeptical brow* But like…we’re spending all this time watching them eat dinner, and we didn’t watch them earn dinner. It’s ALL WRONG.
javabeans: I’m… wondering if the intent is to be more focused on the locale and its specialities, like the show was originally meant to do? I do admit that in the time I’ve been watching the show, it has felt verrrrry game-centric and not at all about the travel. I may be overthinking this. But why else would you focus on what they’re eating and less on how they got to eat it?
girlfriday: Perhaps. At one point in the middle of dinner the boys ask for a chance to win some kimchi, and the PD says he’ll hand it over if Hae-jin does the aegyo song Joo-won taught him in class. Ha.
javabeans: Hae-jin just has this “HELL NO” look on his face as he keeps eating, and the other guys start commenting all reverse-psychologically: “A man who says no should mean no… even though he should also understand how to sacrifice.” “Let’s not pressure him. We don’t want to get our food that way.” “Let’s not force someone to be cute when he’s totally not cute at all.”
girlfriday: Heehee. It works like a charm and soon he’s sing-songing with hand motions and everything. After dinner, the PD suggests that Shi-kyung keep his promise about doing that radio show, so they all head down to the little booth they discovered when they first arrived. Is it just me? Why is Shi-kyung so swoony when he does radio?
javabeans: It’s because he’s so good at it. Confident and gentle, with that smooth midnight-radio demeanor. Also, he’s just swoony. The PDs have been busily collecting comments and stories from the townspeople to have things for Shi-kyung to talk about on the show, and then they go on air. They play a song (…though was it necessary for us to hear the whole thing?) and then Shi-kyung introduces Hae-jin as the interview guest.
girlfriday: He says again that he isn’t very competitive, just that if he’s going to play, he might as well win. Caption: “Isn’t that being competitive?”
javabeans: A small crowd of villagers has assembled outside, so then we start reading the requests. Tae-hyun reads the market grandpa’s letter, which leads into his request, and the members do this impromptu dance for the people outside.
girlfriday: Ha, so the market grandpa had put a line in his letter about giving the boys snacks if they come to visit, so straight after the performance Tae-hyun and Jong-min go to the market to collect on their cookies. Like they’re five.
javabeans: Proving once again that bribery works. Grandpa feeds them all cookies personally, while at the station it’s Hae-jin’s turn to read a letter. Aw, it’s written by a widow to her husband, who died some months ago, saying that she misses him and will live on as best she can.
girlfriday: It’s so sweet and sad, and has everyone teary-eyed by the end. She mentions at the end that she liked Baker King Kim Tak-gu very much and that she’ll feed Joo-won if he comes to visit, so the DJs run with it and offer Joo-won up as a present to her.
javabeans: That’s the cute thing about doing a radio show in a tiny town like this. Immediate gratification. Joo-won arrives at her house and it’s a little awkward as they get to know each other since what is he supposed to say? But I think in this case it’s the thought that counts, and he decides to give her a hand massage since she’s a diver with worn hands.
girlfriday: Aw, that’s so cute.
javabeans: The last letter is from a Vietnamese woman who is married to a Korean man here, and her letter is written to her mother back in Vietnam. Ha, she lives so close by that while he’s reading her letter she comes out with her baby to say hi to the guys. She’s only been in Korea two years and she’s already that fluent? Shi-kyung offers up a live performance as their last song to lull the baby to sleep, and they all sing.
girlfriday: Then they gather back at basecamp after the radio show to do sleepytime games.
javabeans: Ha, is Hae-jin out-bad-punning even Tae-woong?
girlfriday: Yeah he’s been doing it all day and the boys keep laughing out of courtesy and telling him it’s his last one, heh.
javabeans: That doesn’t stop Tae-woong. Maybe they can be pun pals. (…badum-ching)
girlfriday: Ha. New PD tells them there are three classrooms inside and they have to go in one at a time and choose a room. The one with the most members wins indoor sleeping rights. If there are two rooms with equal numbers, the room with the highest combined weight wins.
javabeans: They’re all, “Shi-kyung’s in!” They comment how Tae-hyun is up for his ninth straight week of sleeping outside, and New PD offers him a wish if he hits ten. Tae-hyun declines: “No thanks.” Hae-jin says he might actually want to sleep outside, until New PD adds that outside sleepers get an extra mission, and then he quickly retracts.
girlfriday: Shi-kyung goes in first and doesn’t waste any time overthinking it, and just goes into Room 1. Okay, this made me laugh out loud: Su-geun asks Hae-jin if he likes fancy rooms, and Hae-jin says no, so Su-geun declares with confidence that he’ll find Hae-jin right away. Hae-jin: “I… have no idea what you’re talking about.”
javabeans: LOL. You’re trying to be all poetic or whatever, and he’s like, “Dude, huh?” Tae-woong goes next, and as he walks past Shi-kyung’s door, you see Shi-kyung on the other side of it, beckoning him closer with his fingers and telepathy. Tae-woong continues on, but turns around… and picks the same room. yay! I love their mutual looks of glee. Bro-hug!
girlfriday: Joo-won goes in next, and scans all the rooms. You can’t tell from the outside because there are staff members in each room to throw you off, but he takes one look and runs right over to Room 1. Woot! I love the silent party going on in there. They’re all, “We’ll win by weight no matter what!”
javabeans: Su-geun TALKS a good game (“Don’t overthink. Just go into the closest room”) and the boys in Room 1 get all excited. But Su-geun always goes back and forth and he takes forever (“I’m going! For real! This time I’m going!”) before finally sealing the deal. The producers look pretty stone-faced by this point. Their misery has been thwarted.
girlfriday: They’re like, we gotta DO something.
javabeans: So when Jong-min goes in, a PD offers, “Want me to tell you where Shi-kyung is? He’s in Room 1.” Commence psyching out. He chooses Room 2, refusing to be tricked… which was the trick.
girlfriday: Haha. They know him so well. It’s Tae-hyun’s turn next, and he says he likes Room 1… but chooses Room 2. Oh noes.
javabeans: But it was Tae-hyun. He can’t fight Fate. Hae-jin is last, and he actually goes in trying to get the empty room because he decides he wants to sleep outside. He’s totally overthinking it, but it must work because he chooses Room 3. The other boys all look up in chagrin, but he actually cheers, “Yoohoo!” Tae-hyun actually thinks from Hae-jin’s reaction that everybody else chose Room 3.
girlfriday: Once they all file out, Tae-hyun gets all nicey-nice with the PD: “So that wish you were offering…”
javabeans: Su-geun tells Hae-jin, “I told you to choose simply.” Hae-jin: “I did. It’s one night [plus] two days, which is Room 3.” Su-geun: “…that was thinking simple?”
girlfriday: The outside sleepers (Tae-hyun, Jong-min, Hae-jin) head out to do their extra mission: spot an otter.
javabeans: Told they come out at night, the guys sit glumly with cameras in hand, waiting for some sign of life. Can’t sleep till they get it.
girlfriday: At some point the PD just lets them off the hook because it’s past 3am and they haven’t seen a single otter, so they go to bed.
javabeans: HAHA, in the middle of the night a bell starts ringing in town (or from a boat?) and Hae-jin immediately JUMPS UP, wild-eyed and jerky feet, thinking this is the morning wake-up mission.
girlfriday: Omg that’s hilarious. That was like army-fast. He sticks his head out of the tent… and it’s still the middle of the night. The other two have to call him back inside: “Hyung! Come back! It’s only 4 in the morning!” They die laughing.
javabeans: He’s still the first up in the morning, awake before the morning song comes on. The guys wake up and begin the mission, a capture-the-flag course up the hillside, with five eligible flags winning those guys breakfast. The two losers… have to get on a fishing boat.
girlfriday: Ouch they’re upping the breakfast stakes.
javabeans: One more clip reminds us of Hae-jin having “no competitive spirit,” and then racing up the trail, huffing along the way, to grab the first flag.
girlfriday: Thanks to him though, Jong-min and Tae-hyun get the next two, and then Su-geun finds the fourth. Meanwhile Tae-woong does what is normal for him and just heads off in the wrong direction altogether. You wonder if his VJ is always like, Not again…
javabeans: It’s Shi-kyung and Joo-won who are up for the last flag, and it’s made tougher by the fact that they keep finding flagpoles, only they’ve already been emptied by the other guys. Neither, I think, will take losing well. On the one hand, I think Shi-kyung needs breakfast more. But Joo-won gets seasick and might be no good on a fishing boat. Tae-woong, on the other hand, just realizes, “Ah, I’m screwed. Guess I’m going fishing.”
girlfriday: But then! Tae-woong is actually far enough away from the hill that he can see the flag from the distance, while Shi-kyung and Joo-won are too close to see it.
javabeans: That is hysterical. Talk about seeing the forest for the trees. He actually gets there first, despite being the last one to join the race. Joo-won and Shi-kyung just crouch down together in gloom.
girlfriday: Heeeeee, have these two ever lost together before? I think this is an epic first.
javabeans: My mistake in assuming it would be either/or, not both! Off they go to the dock, and Shi-kyung sighs, “Manual labor is enjoyable.” Then why do you sound so miserable?
girlfriday: Is it wrong that I’m a little sad they don’t have to watch the hyungs eat the delicious food?
javabeans: I was both relieved and disappointed. The ajumma offers them a fish right off the boat to eat, though she adds that it won’t be for free. Just as I’m expecting some big physical challenge, she asks for a song. Joo-won launches into “This is the Moment” from the musical Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a popular choice by musical lovers, and belts it out. Dude, fresh sashimi that you just caught? This is not a loser’s breakfast.
girlfriday: I know, my mouth is watering. They are totally the winners. Gah, these boys. Even when they lose they win. The rest of the boys start work on painting a mural, as requested by the town’s mayor in last night’s radio broadcast.
javabeans: At least they thought to bring in an expert, since I’m not sure a mural that these guys whip up out of nowhere will amount to much artistically. But they shipped in a muralist in the morning, who helps direct them, and then they all start painting. Shi-kyung and Joo-won join them, and when Jong-min directs Joo-won to sing, Joo-won points out that Jong-min’s the singer. Jong-min: “I’m the [pro] singer, but you’re the better singer.” That’s both sad and true.
girlfriday: Haha. They finish painting the mural, which turns out really well. The artist drew everything so the guys just had to color, which is safe, and then they each added a personal drawing.
javabeans: It’s very sweet. They got to populate the sea with various creatures, which we can see were influenced by things they saw on their trip today and yesterday. Jong-min drew a diver, the first thing he saw when arriving here, and manages to explain away her hugeness by saying her welcome seemed bigger than the sea. Tae-woong painted one whale, then Tae-hyun drew its mate (and Jong-min jokes that when they come back there oughtta be a third baby in the picture). Joo-won drew clouds, Shi-kyung drew a slightly drunk-looking octopus that might look like it’s attacking the village, Hae-jin a seagull they joke looks like him, and Su-geun a swimmer in the distance whose potentially hostile intentions they wonder about. Then the mayor comes out to thank them, and it’s a wrap!