Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 1
girlfriday: Yaaay, the halbaes are back! I’m already excited about the new cartoon opening.
javabeans: It’s so cute. And strangely appropriate to see Soon-jae halbae attired as a king. I’m less sure about Seo-jin as… what is that?
girlfriday: I… don’t know.
javabeans: A… nun?
girlfriday: Well now I hope it’s a nun.
javabeans: A friar?
girlfriday: Nun-jinnie is better.
javabeans: The flying nun-jinnie. Make it happen, Na PD.
girlfriday: We go from a happy cartoon opening to a sudden training-montage-esque sequence, where Soon-jae halbae is practicing Spanish phrases, and… is Il-sub halbae… WORKING OUT?
javabeans: It says he lost 2 kg, maybe to ease his leg issues since his halbae buddies said last trip that losing weight would help. Aw, that’s somehow really impressive, since you’d think he would do everything to avoid working out.
girlfriday: Seriously. Lol, Gu halbae shaving his beard feels like a post-prison drama moment or something. Is time for my revenge.
javabeans: I love the bit where we see Soon-jae halbae later on, wrangling the luggage without Seo-jin around, and when he drops a bag Il-sub halbae literally just cackles at him. This must be what Na PD alludes to when he says that this is one step up on the difficulty scale than their previous trips.
girlfriday: Is that a train sleeper car? Because Il-sub halbae doesn’t even fit.
javabeans: I think you mean train sleeper coffin, because that thing is minuscule. Oh, and there’s that police car pulling Seo-jin over, as we were promised.
girlfriday: Hahaha, Seo-jinnie’s dark circles are epic. This preview is great.
javabeans: I know you shouldn’t laugh at someone’s pain… Then again, this is Na PD’s world now. I’m pretty sure using the Dickpunks song “Viva primavera” is meant to be mocking.
javabeans: Don’t you love the staff tattling on Seo-jin? The halbaes all do the I-love-you heart with their hands, and Seo-jin doesn’t, and gets told on. Halbaes: “DO IT!”
girlfriday: Haha, you don’t get to be too cool for school! The preview ends with Seo-jin’s ominous phrase: “Why am I so uneasy?”
javabeans: We reopen in Seoul before the trip, with the halbaes on their way to a meeting. I love how Soon-jae halbae has this huge grin on his face as he’s mobbed by schoolgirls squealing over him. These are lifelong actors but I’m not sure they ever got to be the popular guy at the party, and now they’re just basking in it.
girlfriday: I love it. The halbaes gather at a coffee shop with Na PD, and there’s a bit of shouting to get coffee orders going (Il-sub halbae scowls at the fancy americanos) and Gu halbae says that it’s like getting back together with family.
javabeans: Il-sub halbae barks, “So where we goin’?” And Na PD’s incredulous that he missed the media frenzy: “You didn’t know?” Meanwhile, internet-savvy Geun-hyung halbae was on top of the news.
girlfriday: Na PD: “The whole country knows we’re going to Spain.”
javabeans: Na PD starts by saying Spain is a lot like Korea in that people stay out till 2 am drinking, and Il-sub halbae smiles like a little boy. And then we get a montage of all the tapas they get to eat over the trip, which is drool-inducing.
girlfriday: I’m sorry, did Gu halbae just add soju to sangria??
javabeans: I bet his inner monlogue is: There, I made it better. Then he mashes it up like Korean medicine. I love how Seo-jin’s entrance is glamorous and cool, as befits the star on his home turf, since we know he’s only got a few more minutes of screentime before that all goes poof.
girlfriday: All the halbaes call him “Our Seo-jinnie.” So cute. Il-sub halbae gets asked what he thought about Seung-gi in Noonas, and he says, “He wasn’t as good as our Seo-jinnie!”
javabeans: Awwww. Omo, and then he starts talking about the Spanish ladies and how the very shape of their rear ends is different from Korean lady behinds. It’s hilarious because he’s motioning and explaining thoroughly with a straight face, and the writer is cracking up in front of him.
girlfriday: The hand motions really kill it.
javabeans: Na PD asks Seo-jin about going to Spain and hears that he’s never been there before, saying this ought to be interesting. While I’m thinking, Oh please, like you didn’t check ahead of time and pick from the list of Places I Have Never Been you made Seo-jinnie fill out beforehand.
girlfriday: He then starts naming city after city that they could visit on their trip, and Seo-jin gets increasingly antsy in his seat. I swear you can see the sweat beads building.
javabeans: The halbaes are all, Oooh I hear that’s pretty and II want to see the town Don Quixote is from, but you just know Seo-jin’s thoughts are all about logistics and routes and meal arrangements.
girlfriday: Pfft, the PDs point out how all the halbaes are busy studying their travel guides, and Geun-hyung halbae deadpans that they’re just going through the motions because they all know Seo-jin will do everything anyway.
javabeans: The show points out that Il-sub halbae flips through his travel book in 3 seconds (literally), while Gu halbae has been staring at the first page the whole time. LOL.
girlfriday: And then Na PD announces that their previous trips have been fairly easy on the difficulty scale, so now it’s time to try an intermediate level trip: “We’re going to go backpacking like college students.” Il-sub halbae makes this face that cracks me up.
javabeans: Na PD points out that in their previous trip Seo-jin ended up with extra money on his hands. Seo-jin jumps in to clarify that a few halbaes left early, accounting for the surplus, and the screen splits to say that this is the moment when Seo-jin and Na PD began their clash. Why am I so excited to see this play out?
girlfriday: Cue: best preview montage ever. Na PD and Seo-jin bicker with increasing intensity and name-calling, and at one point they start getting grabby with each other and Seo-jinnie is running away from him.
javabeans: The halbaes balk immediately when they hear that their per-person daily budget is being shrunk 30 percent, not having any of Na PD’s “People should stop eating before they’re full to be healthy.” Seo-jin jumps in to say that this is no small amount, trying to get the halbaes to revolt right away I’m sure.
girlfriday: Gu halbae just stares at Na PD like a gangster.
javabeans: Don’t you love how he’s all, “When you said upgraded trip, I thought you meant nicer!”
girlfriday: I can see how he thought that, since the word sounds better, but also… you don’t know Na PD if you thought that.
javabeans: I actually think Soon-jae halbae is the only one who would actually welcome the challenge. He’s the one who’s sitting by quietly smiling while the others threaten to walk out.
girlfriday: Na PD notices that and asks haltingly for Soon-jae halbae to defend him since he’s the mat-hyung and leader, and Gu halbae cuts in: “Then he can go by himself!” They leave it open-ended for now, with Na PD and the halbaes at a stalemate over money.
javabeans: We move on to each halbae preparing for his trip with his own camera, which is cute because you get to see them thinking they’re presenting this polished, cool appearance full of clever moments and soundbites, only Na PD totally creates a new narrative out of it by leaving in all the outtakes and before-and-after moments.
girlfriday: Gu halbae’s workout video is so funny. At first you’re like, what is this? Because he’s trying to be so ON for the camera as he explains all prettily about his workout routine, only then they include him using each machine for about five seconds and grunting at the camera, “Okay, shut it off.” HA.
javabeans: The soju shopping trip is cracking me up, because you can actually see what Gu halbae wants to show, all CF-like and cute. But his wife (I think is the wife) keeps messing up the recording and he has to do take after take after take, and Na PD just leaves it all in there. Lesson of the day: Never trust Na PD with your weakness.
girlfriday: I’m dying. Il-sub halbae’s segment is really cute, because he has his daughter-in-law filming behind the camera, and he asks, “Why so much underwear? Can’t I just change every other day?” She laughs but insists he has to take enough for one a day.
javabeans: We speed ahead to airport day, and it starts off with everyone arriving and waiting together, then transitions to Na PD casting the shifty eye around and “waiting for the right timing” (the captions tell us). He finds his opening when Il-sub halbae asks to send an underling on a coffee run, and Na PD jumps up to suggest that Soon-jae halbae do it himself, pulling him aside saying that he wants to tell him something. Oh man. That grin on his face does not bode well.
girlfriday: I love that he knows to single him out. It’s so evil mastermindy.
javabeans: He shoves a thick envelope of money into his pocket, saying, “I put a lot in there.” But it’s the REDUCED amount—in ten-dollar bills to be sneaky. So evil!
girlfriday: Pwahaha. OMG, and then he shoves a contract over and asks Soon-jae halbae for his signature. This is drama loan shark levels of sneaky.
javabeans: In confusion, the poor ol’ grandpa signs, then starts reading. Na PD hurriedly exclaims, “See, I just told you Happy New Year!” and points to the last line. Ignoring the clause where Soon-jae halbae just promised not to complain about the allowance.
girlfriday: He actually tries to take the paper away before Soon-jae halbae can read it: “It’s all good content, really. You don’t even have to read it! It’s just like how the banks do it!”
javabeans: Na PD totally just scammed a poor confused senior citizen of money. When they return to the other halbaes, he tells them that he settled the allowance issue with Soon-jae halbae. I’m somewhat glad that the others are immediately suspicious: “It’s not less?” They insist on a check, though Soon-jae halbae good-naturedly figures Seo-jin will figure it all out.
girlfriday: Soon-jae halbae: “I signed that paper because I trusted in Na PD’s conscience!” Na PD: “Teacher, I’m famous for being a PD without a conscience.”
javabeans: Ha, he is so shameless. Soon-jae halbae adds that if it doesn’t add up to enough, they won’t get on the plane.
girlfriday: And then Na PD says he has more bad news, and it’s about Seo-jin. Il-sub halbae: “Did he die?” Na PD laughs and says it’s a little less dire… Seo-jinnie won’t be joining them until the second day because of his new drama. The halbaes actually look panicked.
javabeans: We cut back to four days prior, with Na PD ambushing Seo-jin on the set of his new drama, shooting the opening scene. He says they’ll have a chat after the shoot, and Seo-jin retorts, “Did you come to work another con?” Ha, then he asks Seo-jin to say he has to film, and Seo-jin is all, “Why are you trying to make ME the bad guy?”
girlfriday: LOL. So he went all the way to the drama set to get him to lie on camera that he’ll be a day late because of drama shoots, when really, Na PD is just thinking up extra obstacles for shits and giggles.
javabeans: Gu halbae interviews that he knew it was a ploy right away: “Inside I was thinking, ‘Damn that bastard, so you’re going to make us old people suffer, is that it?'” That actually makes me feel better, although it doesn’t reduce any of their suffering.
girlfriday: It’s pretty funny how nobody says it, but Soon-jae halbae becomes the new Seo-jinnie by default. They get the address to their lodgings in Spain and the card gets passed to Soon-jae halbae immediately, and then when they stand up, nobody picks up the envelope of money. They all just walk away, and finally Soon-jae halbae has to pick it up because no one else will take responsibility.
javabeans: It’s not until they hit up the currency exchange that they realize just how much less money they have this time—a 25 percent cut. Gu halbae actually starts walking away. They’re not completely serious, but they’re also not entirely joking either. It’s funny how the first trip, it was like everyone was worried about breaking the senior citizens, and now they’re all, More suffering!
girlfriday: The halbaes decide to go on strike and refuse to move, but eventually when Soon-jae halbae heads to the gate they follow. Il-sub halbae makes sure to add: “You take responsibility, hyung-nim!”
javabeans: They reconvene in the lounge, and then the PDs actually fan the flames of discontent, pointing out to the other halbaes that it was Soon-jae halbae’s fault for signing, that he should have read the document. Ack! You conscienceless curs!
girlfriday: It’s so that drama moment of woe when you’re the guy who just signed away the deed to the house or something. Geun-hyung halbae points out that Soon-jae halbae is too trusting and nice to ever be suspicious, whereas that would never fly with the others. Yeah, hence the singling out.
javabeans: Il-sub halbae goes to the duty-free shop to buy soju to take with him, but the cashier tells him that because he has to change flights once, he could get it taken away at the transfer. With a stricken look, Il-sub halbae has to abandon his soju dreams, and there’s this whole sad sequence where he sinks into gloom, only to be told a few minutes later that the rules literally just changed today so he can buy them after all. He lights up like a Christmas tree, I swear. (And then buys ten bottles.)
girlfriday: Lol, and then he interviews about how happy he is. Uh-oh, a quick flash-forward shows that he might encounter a hiccup in recovering said soju, but we’ll have to wait to find out.
javabeans: Ha, it’s cute how annoyed Gu halbae gets that Geun-hyung halbae is faithfully calling his wife, and that’ll get seen in the broadcast, and therefore he’d better call home so he doesn’t look so bad.
girlfriday: HEE. It’s just like him to get mad at someone for that. So then he calls and puts a bunch of effort into being nice: “I know it’s obvious to ask BUT, did you eat?” And then it only takes like twenty seconds for him to get annoyed that she’s nagging him, and he barks that he’s not going to call anymore and hangs up. Hahaha.
javabeans: So then they fly to Paris first, where they’ll transfer to a flight to Barcelona. Aw, and we see that in the darkness of the plane, literally ONE person is awake (Soon-jae halbae), studying his guide books like a maniac all throughout the twelve-hour trip. I feel so sorry for him. He’s 81!
girlfriday: I suddenly have this picture of Seung-gi aging to be exactly Soon-jae halbe.
javabeans: He concludes that taxis are very cheap and the subway is full of pickpockets so they’ll just take a cab. You can hear the writer prodding him, “Really? Not the subway?” but at this point I would figure you want to do the thing the production doesn’t want you to do. The writer throws a wrench into the plans by saying that they can’t fit their luggage into one taxi, and Soon-jae halbae counters, “Then we’ll take a limo taxi.” Lol. And then, “I’m not going on the next trip.”
girlfriday: He goes to Na PD to discuss it, and Na PD has seriously adopted a different attitude on this third trip because he simply says taxis are off-limits. Soon-jae halbae’s answer: “Then we’ll just wait in the airport till Seo-jinnie arrives tomorrow.” They first arrive in Paris and have to transfer planes, and there’s a big build to the security check and the fate of Il-sub halbae’s soju.
javabeans: Soon-jae and Gu halbae go on first and wait, wondering if they’ll make their flight—there’s only an hour left. Finally we see the other two halbaes appear at the end of the hall, and there’s a big tense moment when you’re wondering if we’re gonna get happy Il-sub or angry Il-sub. Thankfully, he’s laughing and relieved, his soju having made it safely through. Phew. I fear for what the trip would’ve been like if he got it taken away.
girlfriday: It would’ve been a grumpy first day. They arrive in Barcelona and Soon-jae halbae for some reason can’t manage to recognize his suitcase because he insists that the ribbon his wife put on this morning was different.
javabeans: Na PD offers to carry the soju because it may get in Il-sub halbae’s way, but that triggers Il-sub halbae’s protective reflex and he grabs at it: “My soju!” Haha, you actually get the sense Na PD is trying to be thoughtful for once but Il-sub halbae insists on carrying it.
girlfriday: Ha, Na PD must be thinking of the beef incident in Paris, but Il-sub halbae just hugs it close, not wanting to be tricked.
javabeans: Soon-jae halbae beelines for a shop to buy a map and ask for directions… and in his preoccupation he totally leaves his suitcase behind! Just standing there in the middle of the airport!
girlfriday: Oh noes! This is why we need a luggage boy! Thankfully Na PD notices and points it out, and even when Geun-hyung halbae finds and retrieves the bag, Soon-jae halbae seems so fixated on the bus tickets that he can’t process what’s going on.
javabeans: We get this whole montage comparing Seung-gi to Soon-jae halbae, capped off with an interview of Seo-jin laughing that they’re similar and should travel together.
girlfriday: Dude, I so agree. No wonder they get along too.
javabeans: The halbaes take a bus, and the three others are kind of serious when they say that if they can’t find the hotel, they’ll just walk into a nice one and spend the night there, and wait for Seo-jin to arrive. Soon-jae halbae is determined to find their destination but the others are honestly content to give up and play time-out.
girlfriday: They arrive at the center of the city and now they have to find their hotel on foot. Eek.
javabeans: They get some directions from a group of ladies, and find that they’re about a 10-minute walk away. How perverse is it that the writer and Na PD very concernedly insist on zipping Soon-jae halbae up in his jacket because of this cold, while being the ones to force the scenario in the first place? (“Don’t take taxis!”)
girlfriday: Aw. They’re evil, but still, aw.
javabeans: It’s almost midnight and they’re worried that places might close so they stop to eat at a restaurant, which is probably a good thing to cut the grumpiness too. Although I hear them ordering sangria and busting out the soju and worry if they’ll make it in one piece with all that luggage to cart around.
girlfriday: I don’t know why, but Geun-hyung halbae seems extra cheeky on this trip. I feel like if they don’t keep watch, he’ll order one of everything and blow all their money in three days.
javabeans: I sort of want them to just get to that point and do that. I mean, what will Na PD do if they’re out of money, can’t pay for lodgings, and there are four nights left? (His genius has always been knowing just how much to squeeze without making you break.) Geun-hyung halbae “suggests” that Il-sub halbae take the lead now that he’s fed and watered, and Il-sub halbae just fires back, “I’ll go back to Korea, I will!”
girlfriday: Ever the child. Soon-jae checks and re-checks the street with anyone he comes across, and they totally find the hotel without any wrong turns. It feels so triumphant.
javabeans: There’s a totally tear-inducing final montage of interviews where they all say they trust their big bro to lead them through, and Soon-jae halbae says it was a lot of pressure but he made it through ’cause they were all there together. We close with funny, cute clips from the upcoming days of the little moments between the group, and Soon-jae halbae says life is about putting your mind to things and doing them, all optimistic. So easy to say, before the days of suffering?
- Na PD on grandpas, money, and Seo-jinnie the con artist
- Seo-jin gets cookin’ for Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain
- First teaser for Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain
- Grandpas Over Flowers heads to Spain for Season 3
- Lee Soon-jae courted for drama version of Grandpas Over Flowers
- Noonas Over Flowers: Episode 1
- Grandpas Over Flowers (and Seo-jinnie) head to Taiwan next
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 1