EPISODE 3. Broadcast on July 18, 2013.
javabeans: After the trip to the Arc de Triomphe and the (curtailed) promenade down the Champs-Elysees, the halbaes make it back to their boardinghouse in good spirits. Probably because Na PD sprung for that car ride back, knowing when not to push a good thing.
girlfriday: I think the soju has something to do with it too.
javabeans: Especially Shin Gu halbae, who’s all touchy-feely as he orders Seo-jinnie to sit down with them at the kitchen table and then pats him on the arm like a little boy for a good day’s work shepherding the grandpas along. And then! Smooooooch. Cue Sam-soon love theme, literally.
girlfriday: Hahahaha. Seo-jinnie’s face turns beet red. And then there’s a love montage of the two of them getting closer over the course of the day. Is this a new loveline?
javabeans: Editing, editing, editing. You can make anything entertaining with clever edits. Seo-jin gets his face massaged and patted like he’s partly lover and maybe partly pet cat, and blushes through all the praise. Then the grandpas head up to bed, and he remains behind alone in the kitchen, both relieved and really confused, I think.
girlfriday: There’s just this… SIGH he lets out, like you can feel the what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here in the breath. Also, I think that given enough liquor, Shin Gu halbae will get handsy with just about anyone.
javabeans: In the morning, the halbaes start out with a brief check of their blood pressures. Ha, is this literally a safety measure since they have a cast of elderly men? The halbaes quip that Seo-jin’s will be the highest out of them all, to which I say, Duh, we all saw how his first day went.
girlfriday: Turns out he really does, ha. Poor buddy.
javabeans: So Donghae texts Geun-hyung halbae a cute congratulatory text about the show. Aw, did they work together recently?
girlfriday: That’s adorable. Panda Hedgehog was a terrible drama, but they were SO CUTE as grandson and halbae. He ran around calling him halbae the whole time, so it’s the perfect text.
javabeans: Then Soon-jae halbae mentions how great Seung-gi was to work with on The King 2 Hearts, and seems genuinely fond of him. Are they all gonna bust out their youngun pretty boy connections and brag now? “My pretty boy is prettier than your pretty boy!” “Well mine has a prettier voice!” “Mine has prettier hair!”
girlfriday: That’d be great. I could watch that argument all day. And then Soon-jae halbae totally starts name-dropping, which is hilarious.
javabeans: Don’tcha love how he drops the last names and is all, [Lee] Byung-heonnie, [Kim] Myung-minnie, [Ha] Ji-wonnie… And Seo-jin is all, But I’m right here… He asks Na PD who else he tried to get on the show, and actually looks kinda worried/disappointed over the possibilities. Na PD assures him that he was the First! and Only! celeb he considered to bring along. That is sweet.
javabeans: Also lies.
girlfriday: Seo-jin scoffs that Soon-jae halbae only ever talks about Kim Myung-min… Cut to: Soon-jae halbae montage, “Our Myung-minnie,” “Myung-minnie, “My Myung-minnie is perfect!”
javabeans: Today’s itinerary is to visit Versailles, but it’s lunch that’s on the grandpas’ minds all the way over there. Yes, good luck finding jajangmyun in Paris. Once there, they see the insanely long lines, which wrap up and down the huge courtyard multiple lines like the box office from hell. Wait, it’s not like it, it actually is the ticket line from hell. Poor Seo-jin, who looks seriously stressed out.
girlfriday: More stressful is the fact that the halbaes have to wait in line just to get in, and of course Il-sub halbae is already starting to get cranky. “Can’t we just say we went and go?”
javabeans: The captions point out the stress as seen on Seo-jin’s face, in phases. Ahaha, is his stress patterned so established that we can now identify the stages? He steps out of line when he sees that there’s a shorter line for machine purchases, and heads over there to buy for the cast and crew.
girlfriday: Ha, did he leave the cameraman to hold his spot in line? There’s literally just this wandering footage of the wall…
javabeans: That’s so hilarious… and yet, when he finds Seo-jin in line, Seo-jin looks alarmed and says that he meant for the VJ to stay in that line in case the machines didn’t work out. Oh no…
girlfriday: Eep! He was supposed to stay there! Even I could figure that out from the confusing wall footage. Now they’ve lost their place in line and they have no tickets. Aaaaaaack.
javabeans: *Gasp* I mean this literally. I gasped. In an after-interview, Seo-jin admits, “I wanted to hit him.” If there’s one saving grace it’s that the halbaes didn’t see this line reset, because I think that would have sent them over the edge.
girlfriday: Il-sub halbae would’ve pitched a fit. As Seo-jin waits in line all over again, there’s this hilarious series that shows how often other tourists stop to ask him for help. Caption: “The blind leading the blind.”
javabeans: Thank god he eventually gets tickets and ushers the halbaes inside for a tour. Ah, Versailles is so pretty. We get a short montage of the group making its way through and viewing the palace rooms, and once they’re done the PD asks what they thought. Count on Il-sub halbae to take a look at historical grandeur and essentially shrug.
girlfriday: He essentially compares it to a furniture shopping district. Pffft.
javabeans: Then they head outside to the extravagant gardens… and he calls it “like the Garden Expo.” Hahaha. He is cracking me up.
girlfriday: Basically Il-sub halbae is the guy who travels the world and compares everything to the stuff in his backyard in Seoul, and wonders why they had to leave in the first place.
javabeans: In his eyes, the emperor has no clothes, bad hair, and is full of shit. I kind of love that about him. Takes the bombast out of everything. They take the tram ride around the grounds, and immediately as they disembark, Seo-jinnie (or today, he’s Seo Genie per the caption) guides them to the bathrooms. He is getting really efficient at this. Also, these halbaes have got it made — no thinking, no planning, no stressing needed. That’s all Seo-jin.
girlfriday: Makes you wonder how on earth they scored him for a second trip. As they halbaes rest in the park, Na PD points out all the couples together, and Soon-jae halbae says all that stuff is natural in Korea now too, all, I’ve seen porn. LOL. I just love this halbae and his running gag with porn since High Kick.
javabeans: So the halbaes are out lounging on the lawn, waxing philosophical about the beauty of youth and feeling vicarious joy in watching young lovers. Cut to: Seo-jin, busily making lunch happen. Aw, he works so hard. He brings them food and serves them like a diligent waiter boy.
girlfriday: Over lunch, Shin Gu halbae talks to his wife on the phone, and Geun-hyung halbae overhears him saying that he’s not drinking too much, and totally tattles on him: “Hyungsoonim! That’s a lie! He’s drinking all day!”
javabeans: In a spare moment, Geun-hyung halbae advises Seo-jin to get married this year, asking if he doesn’t get that lonely feeling. Seo-jin half-jokes that he’s past that age already (like, so far gone that he’s past lonely and into…?) and then, in a stroke of perfect timing, he notices two young ladies trying to casually make their approach with cameras out. They’re Korean tourists, and halbae totally flags them down and shoves them at Seo-jin, who is trying to sneak away before getting caught up in this embarrassment. Thankfully for us, he totally gets caught up in this embarrassment and dragged in for a photo.
girlfriday: Haha Geun-hyung halbae basically bullies him into a love connection right there on the spot. Later in an interview Seo-jin gapes at this side of Geun-hyung halbae, whom he was always most afraid of.
javabeans: They eat their last dinner in Paris at the boardinghouse, because tomorrow they move on to the next leg of their trip. While the Gu & Sub duo (Shin Gu, Baek Il-sub) sit back and drink and relax, Seo-jin is inside studying his guide book with intense concentration. Haha, the motion sensor literally cuts out the light on him several times and he’s left waving around in the dark for lighting.
girlfriday: They wake up the next morning and we just watch them get ready, which for some reason is entertaining. Mostly because Shin Gu halbae and Geun-hyung halbae have this adorable bickering friendship that kind of kills me. There’s this whole montage of Geun-hyung halbae’s sometimes-gruff, sometimes-sweet bits where he’s just being cute with the hyungs.
javabeans: Or like the bit where the two older halbaes are walking along and he totally runs between them like a 5-year-old? You half-expect him to crow, “Neener neener!”
girlfriday: I just never knew he’d have aegyo. Il-sub halbae, sure, but not scary chaebol boss, mobster boss, bossypants boss man Geun-hyung halbae.
javabeans: On to Strasbourg, near the Swiss border, which starts with a metro ride. While Seo-jin is buying tickets, Soon-jae halbae hovers around and totally finds money in the machine next to him, and cackles like this hilarious man-witch. For some strange reason it’s hilarious.
girlfriday: Seo-jiinie’s becoming a travel expert already, with his efficient ticket-buying and navigating. And he’s certainly earning his keep as luggage boy. On the train ride, Shin Gu halbae downloads episodes of his drama Hundred Year Inheritance to catch up on.
javabeans: Once in Strasbourg, Seo-jin leads the group as they walk along looking for their next step — transport, I think. And then Na PD actually pipes up from the back, all complainy-like, that the crew is totally struggling just following him around. WHAT. You SO do not get to complain about this!
girlfriday: OMG. You did not just complain to the man you duped into coming here with promises of girl groups! Seo-jinnie just has this look of WTF on his face, and says, “Let’s break up!” He just starts to walk away, and Na PD TOTALLY baits him on purpose, following on his heels with a whiny, “So, what do we do? Should I follow you? What do I do?”
javabeans: It’s extra baity because Na PD has that reedy younger brother tone to his voice, all whiny and annoying. “Do you want me to just stay here then? Really? You want me to stop? Are you going to be okay? Where are you going? You know where you’re going?”
girlfriday: He’s cracking me UP. He’s like the kid in the zoo, poking the bear.
javabeans: It’s hilarious for us, and he’s pushing Seo-jin’s buttons in all the funniest ways, but he is so walking that tightrope. One question too many and this could end very badly.
girlfriday: While Seo-jin gets the rental car (a manual, by the way, which he swears he knows how to drive), the halbaes wait outside the train station and Geun-hyung halbae goes hunting for sweets like always. He returns with bags of gummy bears for all.
javabeans: The PD leads them into a conversation about their next trip possibly being in China (the show has since confirmed Taiwan as the second trip), and the halbaes joke about taking along 60-year-old kiddos. The PD asks when they became adults then, and they all go, “You’ve gotta at least hit seventy!” Then we get a brief collage of faces of famous 60-year-old kiddo actors, who are but children in the eyes of our H4.
girlfriday: And then our 70-and-up halbaes, being very “adult” with their cookies and candies and adorable childlike expressions. Hee.
javabeans: Seo-jin gets the car, sets up the GPS, and starts acquainting himself with the controls. All while Na PD needles him from the passenger seat, asking him about the dials and the volume and the stick shift and just armchair driving in general. It’s great.
girlfriday: He’s so not helping. Na PD: “Car car car! Straight! Straight! Bus bus bus! Person! Person!”
javabeans: Seo-jin starts to get a little nervous when he finds himself stuck in bus lanes, though he keeps his cool despite taking some wrong turns and ending up in scary alleys. The halbaes sit comfortably and wonder where their driver went, and Seo-jin can only laugh and wonder if maybe they should’ve stuck to buses. The one consolation is that Seo-jin had thought ahead to try finding the hotel without the halbaes first, because wandering the city with them in the car would have been way worse. I agree. it’s bad enough with Little Bro harping at you every second, you don’t need the full chorus line.
girlfriday: No kidding. There’s this fantastic panic sequence of Seo-jin’s thought process that’s so great — just flashes of halbaes waiting, and Seo-jin’s face growing increasingly more harrowed. Close-up. Close-up. CLOSE-UP. It ends with a flashback to Il-sub halbae kicking that beef away, like a threat looming overhead.
javabeans: A cautionary tale? Haha. Finally Seo-jin pulls in to the train station parking lot, and I heave a huge sigh of relief. He parks and jumps out to usher the halbaes in — SO MUCH WORK and they’ll never know the half of it. Well, not till they’re back home and watching this broadcast, I mean. I hope they all send him a nice fruit basket or something. Or maybe four blind dates with top actresses.
girlfriday: I can’t believe how much effort it took to bring the car thirty feet back to the train station. You could SEE it from the rental car place… you just couldn’t drive there. I felt so much vicarious pressure. The halbaes finally get to join him in the car, and on the upside, that means there’s no more room for Na PD. Sad for us, of course.
javabeans: The drive is this really long, tense, nerve-racking sequence where Seo-jin drives nervously, the halbaes look stone-faced and comment that the drive is feeling strange and long, and Seo-jin just shoots these agitated glances all around. He makes these really sheepish excuses for the trip being not so smooth sailing, like how it’s been a while since he drove stick, and how the streets around here are known for being hard to drive, and I’m just dying for him.
girlfriday: Dude, I’M about to cave under the pressure, and I’m just watching! The worst part is, the halbaes are so stoic and unimpressed, and they’re just saying nothing. Not one word to ease the tension, and it just starts to feel like a ticking bomb.
javabeans: They arrive at a hotel and the show points out all its shabby details, which does not give me a good feeling. Seo-jin checks out the room first, and they’re so tiny that he worries that the halbaes won’t be happy about it. Soon-jae halbae has this very matter-of-fact “No problem” attitude that makes me feel relieved, but I’m not sure all the halbaes will have the same opinion. Ha, then Na PD totally goes around picking at scabs, asking the halbaes if they think Seo-jin made bad decisions. Stop goading! It’s bad enough already!
girlfriday: Worst little brother ever. Na PD actually has this shit-eating grin on his face as he watches Seo-jin suffer. He just dogs Seo-jin’s every step, asking annoyingly witty questions like: “You came here with hopes of rainbows in your heart…” (There are rainbows on the hotel’s signs, named Hotel Rainbow. HA.)
javabeans: Seo-jin sweats his butt off carrying in the luggage himself — it’s the only thing he can do right now to make up for how sorry he feels about this tiny cramped hotel. In the end he leaves his own suitcase in the car, I’m guessing because he doesn’t want to clutter up his room with extra baggage (he had worried that it wouldn’t all fit in their rooms), and Na PD needles, “You’re not going to drive off for the border, are you? You have to tell us where you’re going at all times!”
girlfriday: Why is he so awesome in this episode?
javabeans: Next episode: Seo-jin tasked with cooking Korean food in the hotel room. Uh-oh. And this oughtta be good.
- Grandpas Over Flowers (and Seo-jinnie) head to Taiwan next
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 2
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 1
- More crackling wit from Grandpas Over Flowers
- Grandpas Over Flowers goes to Paris
- Na PD launches new travel variety show on tvN