EPISODE 437. Broadcast on May 5, 2013.
javabeans: Cool, we start out this episode at home—Tae-woong’s home, that is to say. I like when we get to see inside their lives, even if it’s just briefly. There’s a dog lazing around (of course) and his wife (who still calls him oppa) is watching him pack for his trip. Wife: “Do you know how to fold that parka flat?” Tae-woong: “I can just crumple in it there.” Boys.
girlfriday: And then we hear her groooooaaaan when he takes out an old vest that she hates. Ha. This is cute. He ignores her fashion advice and tries to get the puppy’s attention, and the puppy ignores him. Karma?
javabeans: I guess there are no VJs here, which probably adds to the cute factor. It looks like each guy has a camera that a friend or relative is shooting themselves.
girlfriday: Whoa, Hae-jin has a messy kitchen. Also, why are you packing in the kitchen?
javabeans: Jong-min goofs off with his camera, staging these “candid” moments with his manager to either look cool or pull a gag. I legit can’t tell which.
girlfriday: And then Joo-won says that he’s invited a friend along on this trip, which is so… attempting to be random and spontaneous but totally not. But we’ll get to that reveal later I guess.
javabeans: Ohhh right, I heard about this. Anyway, Tae-hyun’s kids are freaking adorable. His daughter is this silent ball of cuteness, and his son is this whirlwind of gabbiness, just like him. I love Tae-hyun just on his own, but can you imagine how cool he would be as your dad?
girlfriday: He’s SO CUTE with his kids. I can’t stand it.
javabeans: He’s so cool, in the way that he doesn’t try to be cool. Not trendy or fashionable or hip, just awesome and natural and cool. Not just with his kids, either, which explains the universal adoration. Okay, the boys show up at the train station and Joo-won links arms with Tae-woong and Shi-kyung and skips his way across the floor. They’ve all packed like they’re gonna backpack through Europe for months or something.
girlfriday: They say goodbye to their managers and stylists because they’re on their own this weekend, so I guess the backpacking was literal. New PD hands them train tickets and they get all excited about the things to eat in the town where they’re going.
javabeans: Su-geun practically giggles as he announces some good news: Tae-hyun is expecting his third child. Awww.
javabeans: Jong-min cracks a joke about being son- and father-in-law with Tae-hyun, which is too icky to even entertain as a joke and Tae-hyun shoots him this look. Oh Jong-min, always game to try for that joke, but never knowing where the line is.
girlfriday: Oh but wouldn’t it be cute if Tae-hyun ended up in-laws with Tae-woong?
javabeans: Their babies? Awww. The board the train, and then Joo-won announces that he brought along a guest. Huh, so the boys really didn’t know? That’s so weird. They pick up on his weird language and guess it’s a woman, and get super excited about it. It’s totally like when the baby goes to his first dance, or something.
girlfriday: I know. Like the little baby’s all grown up. “Is it…a person?” “Not a dog?” “A woman?!” “Is it your girlfriend?”
javabeans: They all guess that it’s “Kang-hee-sshi,” and I wonder if it’s because he just shot a drama with her or because they Know Things. Is he really dating her then? I’m super suspicious, and when he calls her it’s all banmal.
girlfriday: No. Stop that. It’s totally because she has a movie coming out. The strange thing is, why did they set it up this way? It’s so unnatural.
javabeans: Yeah it’s a really weird reveal and setup and build-up. I mean, I know who it is but I’m not the least bit anticipating the big announcement, because they’re presenting it so weirdly.
girlfriday: They’re trying to make it seem like it was Joo-won’s idea, which is just not believable in any way shape or form.
javabeans: Like he spontaneously came up with the idea, invited her, didn’t let anybody know, and gave us all this huge surprise gift. Yeah, the baby did that.
girlfriday: Yeah. What? Like is New PD trying to turn 1N2D into Running Man? Are we going to have guests come regularly to promote their latest show/movie/album?
javabeans: Ugh. Please no. I mean, I’m totally fine with it on Running Man, but I don’t want 1N2D to be that.
girlfriday: I can barely handle it when it happens on Running Man. More importantly, it’s just not 1N2D.
javabeans: Isn’t that why their specials are so special? Because they’re not indiscriminate about their guests? All the guests I’ve seen have said how honored they feel to be invited, because the show is so sparing on that front. Please don’t turn into promo-machine!
girlfriday: Yeah when I first saw the announcement that Choi Kang-hee was going to be a guest, I naturally assumed it would be for a Friend Special, where everybody brings a friend. Maybe even all girls, or all noonas, or something. But this is just out of nowhere. Not her, but the why of it all.
javabeans: Haha, Jong-min gets all excited and starts yelling, but here’s what he actually says: “AHHHH! Omigod! AHHH! Who is it! ….I can’t see anything.”
girlfriday: Tae-hyun: “Is it a man? If it’s a man, tell him to go.”
javabeans: When Choi Kang-hee finally appears, Jong-min actually blurts, “It’s a GIRL!” He is such a spaz.
girlfriday: She does actually just appear on a moving train, so they flashback to show us that she boarded before the boys did, to surprise them. The boys are all over the place when she first arrives, but they finally settle down for introductions, and ask if she knows anyone besides Joo-won. She points to Tae-hyun: “Oppa was my first kiss.” Wut. Crazy.
javabeans: Dude, they look exactly the same in that ancient short drama. The only thing different is the nineties hair. So they ask Kang-hee about who she’d like to travel with, and she diplomatically chooses her friend Joo-won, so then they revise the rules and ask her to rank them based on appeal. Ha, they need their validation! Hae-jin pipes up: “This isn’t just based on looks, right?” Then she picks him, to his surprise, and she adds that “Women celebrities really like him.” Hae-jin positively blushes; it’s adorable. Are you gonna cry? Wait, but then she says she likes men who are pretty-ugly. Uh… thanks?
girlfriday: Ha. It’s amusingly honest, at least. Tae-woong and Shi-kyung get picked as second and third, and Su-geun quips, “I can’t figure out this woman’s tastes at all.”
javabeans: They figure they don’t care about the middle rankings, so just skip to last place. Who would she hate to go on a trip with? Jong-min: “Who would you HATE? Of all the men in the world, not him! He’s not even a man! He’s trash!” Dude, digging your own grave here.
girlfriday: Er? She picks Tae-hyun? That is insane. Must’ve been one really bad first kiss.
javabeans: Ha, I wonder if that was the most diplomatic choice since she knows him? Either that or she has really weird taste, as the boys note.
girlfriday: She says she was really nervous around him, but he never once treated her as a woman (just as a friend right away), and the guys all joke that it may have been her first kiss, but Tae-hyun had had SO MANY by then.
javabeans: When they arrive, New PD offers up to the cast the question of how to divide the teams into four versus four. The boys decide that Joo-won and Kang-hee should be on opposite teams, and tell her to choose three teammates. Jong-min: “With a back hug!” But they choose the opposite tactic ultimately, and tell her to kick over the guys she doesn’t want. HA.
girlfriday: Ha, that’s far more amusing. She kicks Tae-hyun out first, and Jong-min quickly follows. I like that the losers pile up like carcasses.
javabeans: Wait, I thought she couldn’t pick Joo-won. But the final team ends up: Hae-jin, Joo-won, Su-geun, and Kang-hee. The boys land on a cute naming convention for their teams, Hobulho, which follows the construction of Bokbulbok to mean Liked, Not Liked. Shi-kyung (of the rejected team) declares that they’ll be Cha Tae-hyun Ho team (not Choi Kang-hee Bulho) and pipes up that today will be the day his fellow reject teammate Tae-hyun reverses his fortunes, since Kang-hee will have to starve and work and sleep outside. Ha, I’d say that’s wishful thinking, but I’ll be rooting on Team Bulho anyway. (What, you have to root for the rejects! It’s like a rule!)
girlfriday: I do like the running theme of Tae-hyun vs. Kang-hee, because they’re comfortable enough to turn it into a rivalry, and they get all petty. We didn’t get picked? Well then screw you!
javabeans: Tae-hyun wins the initial game and gets first pick between the keywords “youth” and “memory.” They pick memory, thinking that youth suggests harder missions.
girlfriday: The two teams head to their first mission location, and Kang-hee gets behind the wheel to drive her team. Su-geun and Hae-jin immediately start joking around and pretending she’s their tour guide, and she gets so flustered that she asks Joo-won what to do in this kind of situation. I actually feel bad for her if she’s looking to Joo-won for help here. Have you seen the show?
javabeans: Ha, in the Rejects’ car, Tae-woong says that although he was dismissed the sting is mitigated by the fact that he’s married. Turns to Shi-kyung: “So how do YOU feel?” Lol.
girlfriday: Poor Reject Boys. Team Kang-hee arrives at the lake where they’re told they have to ride an inflatable banana boat and not fall off in order to win lunch, while Team Tae-hyun goes to a kids’ amusement park to play rock-paper-scissors against kids. Well that sounds a lot easier than trying not to fall into a lake.
javabeans: Their lunch will be a local specialty, chicken galbi, and Tae-hyun jokes that they’ll get chicken-shaped crackers. It’s cute how Shi-kyung steps up as pep squad-slash-drill sergeant, saying they’ve gotta break his bad luck streak: “I’m gonna feed Cha Tae-hyun!”
girlfriday: Well someone needs to. I’m worried for this team though, because they keep losing against the kids, and well, historically luck is not on their side.
javabeans: I love how they think they’ve found the ticket with that one baby girl who only does paper, but then she gets scared with all the attention and it’s another failed round because they didn’t get their four straight wins.
girlfriday: The other team gets changed and gets ready for their banana boat ride. I didn’t know it was possible for Joo-won’s voice to get any more baby-like, but it does around noona.
javabeans: They get one practice round on the inflatable raft thingy, and then it’s showtime, and OH MY GOD they’re totally playing the theme song from Neukkim, which is exactly the show I was thinking of when they presented the mission. Do you remember that? Ah, “youth” really is the perfect theme.
girlfriday: It’s perfect. Also, why aren’t there more campus dramas? Good ones, I mean.
javabeans: I know. It’s like Korea’s all in a big rush to grow up. Where else do you get 20-year-olds consistently playing 30, and not the other way around? Judging from how long I’ve been watching without having anything to comment on, I’d say this sequence of rock-scissors-paper and boating is too long.
girlfriday: Yeah I’ll say. The two teams are doing two very different things, but in the end they’re each repeating the same thing over and over and over… so yeah, not much going on. Anyway, after a while Team Kang-hee wins lunch, and Team Tae-hyun gets down to their last chance. They end up losing, which is quite sad.
javabeans: Ha, so both teams get an extra round of games, but for opposite reasons. I suspect Team Kang-hee won too easily because we don’t even see it happen, and the PD is the one to propose the game for a second dish. On the other hand, Team Tae-hyun wants something to eat and suggests a shorter game for less food.
girlfriday: So Tae-hyun goes out to try and win some food for his team with another round of rock-paper-scissors… and loses. Again. They arrive at the lake just as the other team is about to play for noodles, and they come in shouting that they want to play, whatever it is.
javabeans: This game is more amusing than the boating—they have to make their way across these floating rafts without falling into the water—though it does seem fairly easy if you adopt Hae-jin’s approach of jumping one at a time and sprawling like a frog.
girlfriday: Except then you look like a frog.
javabeans: But you’ll be a well-fed frog. Then the PD offers the same game to the losing team, and Tae-hyun immediately whips off his jacket. The team suits up right away and tries to win lunch. They should’ve just made this the game and put a time limit on it, or something.
girlfriday: Yeah they really only needed this one game, maybe with a non-froggy rule. Tae-woong goes first and makes it to the third raft, even though he gets his butt stuck along the way, but then stops when he finds a weird gap that’s wider than normal. Flashback to Su-geun just minutes before, while the boys are changing. He asks if they can’t widen the gap in the middle of the course, and then they rig it that way. Hee.
javabeans: It causes Tae-woong to go flying into the water, and then it’s Tae-hyun’s turn. You can practically see his will to eat as a tangible force here. He barely makes it to safety and wins lunch. Thank goodness for small miracles. Shi-kyung joins him, thankfully, since I don’t like to think of grumpy Shi-kyung suffering unduly.
girlfriday: Jong-min fails, so he and Tae-woong linger, wishing for another chance. With some prodding, they get the PD to agree to let everyone eat together if even one of the boys can make it halfway across running, with no hands. Whee, this is gonna be fun.
javabeans: It’s funnier to see the boys beg with the producers every step of the way when they fail, as Tae-woong does. Then it turns into “just the first three, no hands” and a “we’ll share lunch with all” dealio. At this point the losers are just dying for something.
girlfriday: Tae-hyun alllllmost succeeds, and it gets him all wound up, so he sends the other team to go eat, and asks for just two VJs to stay out here because he’s determined to win this. Ha.
javabeans: I love the shot in the background of the winners’ lunch—they’re sitting down eating, and behind their heads in the window you can see wetsuited boys running by. After a bunch of tries and a tape change, Tae-hyun finally succeeds, yay!
girlfriday: Yaaaaay! Why does it feel like he won the Olympics? I’m just glad it didn’t last for hours and go to a depressing place. Everybody gets to eat, and then both teams drive to their next mission.
javabeans: This is a really long car ride. I think New PD needs to brush up on Editing 101.
girlfriday: Yeah he’s big on the long sequences that go nowhere.
javabeans: And creating lovelines that don’t exist? I feel like they’re hinting at a Hae-jin thing, and then Joo-won gets his little moments, but they’re clearly just stuck in there like filler.
girlfriday: At least they finally stop and get to wherever they were going. That took forever. Jong-min decides to play paparazzi trying to get shots of Joo-wong and Kang-hee together, declaring that it’s love. Cut to: the two of them sitting in the backseat of the car, playing video games.
javabeans: Then there’s a happy-go-lucky off-roading sequence, and it’s cut with upbeat music and everyone looks like they’re having a ball, but I just don’t care about any of it. There’s a lack of connection to the audience, I think. Showing us people laughing means nothing if there’s no point to it.
girlfriday: Yeah there’s no context and no point. They finally arrive in the middle of nowhere, which will be basecamp for the night.
javabeans: They’re told they’ll get a chance to win their camping equipment, and the Reject team quips that they want a player swap. So New PD offers the guest the choice to swap, and she says she wants Tae-hyun now, and gives up Su-geun for it. Su-geun puts on his disgruntled face and starts calling her Ms. Choi, haha.
girlfriday: The first game is for sleeping bags. Wait, sleeping bags aren’t a given?
javabeans: The boys all react to that, wondering if it’s okay to subject the guest to this kind of treatment. Kang-hee says sheepishly that she thinks she’s the cause, because she specifically told them she wanted to rough it for real. Ha, well it’s nice to know they’re not offending her, but the boys also can’t use her for an excuse anymore.
girlfriday: I’m pretty sure she wasn’t expecting trash bags instead of sleeping bags though, when she asked to rough it. New PD says the winners of this first game get the sleeping bags, while the losers have to make do with trash bags for the night.
javabeans: The game is a relay, with members forced to roll across the rocky ground in their sleeping bags. Kang-hee’s team takes an early lead, and Jong-min’s pathetic turn puts the Rejects even farther behind. He actually gets lapped, heh. So Kang-hee’s team wins, though I guess the small victory is that Tae-hyun’s on the winning team for once.