EPISODE 6. Broadcast on April 11, 2014.
javabeans: Right off the bat as the episode starts, the halbaes and Seo-jin climb into the car to begin their day, only to have Na PD tell Seo-jin that they have to go to the police station. I love how Seo-jin sees the parking ticket on the car and is all, “Huh, okay” and just intends to go on with his day anyway, while Na PD is all, You must take care of this now, immediately.
girlfriday: Na PD asks someone else about the ticket, and gets told that if they don’t pay it now, it’ll be deducted from the credit card used to procure the rental car. Suddenly Na PD lights up. He practically skips back to the car and tells Seo-jinnie that he doesn’t have to pay it: “Only, if you don’t, a huge fine will be charged to your personal credit card that you used to get the rental car.” LOL.
javabeans: Seo-jin is so unruffled that he just says, “That’s fine” and looks like he’s just talking about the weather. We cut to an interview as he starts to say something, then cuts himself off: “No, I can’t talk about illegal stuff like this. Never mind.”
girlfriday: He says he has experience driving around in other countries with an international driver’s license, and that most of the time the red tape involved to get a ticket processed overseas is enough to deter anyone from chasing him down all the way to Korea. So… basically you’ve spent your whole life running away from the law, is what you’re saying.
javabeans: I know, he seems way too well-versed in the ins and outs of evading foreign traffic tickets. Then again, he does also seem to be the type of guy who sits back and waits for the consequences, and then when he gets hit with a penalty, just figures he earned it and pays up. So the opposite of Na PD, the king of nitpickery.
girlfriday: It is pretty funny to see one guy jumping up and down and worrying about going to jail while the other just sits back like it’s all whatever.
javabeans: I bet Na PD is the youngest of like five brothers or something. He just seems the type.
girlfriday: They get going on their drive to Ronda, and the show makes a big point of intercutting the very silent halbae road trip with the super boisterous noona one, with lovely weather, lots of happy conversation, and mood music. In the halbaes’ car, the only voice that can be heard is Navi Lady.
javabeans: Ha, as Seo-jin picks out radio stations, I’m remembering the ridiculous levels of preparation Seung-gi put into his road trip mix. So like him to spend hours of careful, meticulous curating on the listening mix, then get lost at the airport.
girlfriday: Oh I forgot about that! Haha. Man, I really hope the two groups can go on a trip together someday. It’s not enough that Seo-jin makes fun of Seung-gi after the fact. They arrive in Ronda, which is this gorgeous city built into this massive cliffside. It looks fake, like someone painted a fantasy city and built a miniature.
javabeans: Next they head to a “secret location” that the show carefully refrains from showing us. Why the secrecy?
girlfriday: It can’t be that secret if they found it. They get a view of the city from the ravine down below, and it’s like pulling teeth to get Seo-jin to smile in the group photo. Ronda must’ve been a short day trip, because Il-sub halbae is still eating sushi near the hotel where we left him last time.
javabeans: He must be paying for this meal on his personal tab because he buys his staff lunch too, and coffee afterward, which he sips at a sidewalk cafe table. His PD prods him with questions, like whether he wants to go see more cathedrals, but he’s happy as a clam to be sitting here drinking coffee. So then they ask questions like what kind of women he used to like and what his dating style was, lol.
girlfriday: Apparently he married pretty late (for the time) at age 36, and laughs as he says he’s pretty much dated every kind of woman there is. But meeting his wife made him decide to settle down, and before he knew it he was a husband, and father, and then a grandpa. And then it turns out that his wife has been sick during this entire trip, and he’s been putting on a brave face, but running to call and check on her constantly. Aw.
javabeans: He says that he just figured he would be the first to die in his family, and that when he stopped to think about his wife dying first, it didn’t compute because “It’s just wrong that way.” He’s not saying this in a depressed way, but in that matter-of-fact way that the halbaes discuss end-of-life concerns, and I do love the way he sums it up, said with a sunny smile: “In conclusion, I have grown up.”
girlfriday: He’s like the ultimate man-child, which is why I love him.
javabeans: Yeah, I do too. I know there have been comments (and complaints) about Il-sub halbae from the readers, and I think the dissatisfaction is understandable since he isn’t the kind of tourist who is eager to do all your usual tourist things. But maybe this is a culture clash issue, because he certainly isn’t reviled for his attitude in Korea, and I wouldn’t say this show has been a hit to his image. If anything it’s made him more appealing in my book, because he’s a giant teddy bear with the id of a six-year-old.
girlfriday: Yeah I’m actually happy to know that he’s exactly the way I imagined him, because he tends to play these types of dad in dramaland, but you never know what actors are really like. But he’s so childish and cuddly, and pretty much as grumpy as any dad/grandpa you’d meet on the street, so it makes for a funny combination. And as for the tourist stuff, I’d say Seo-jin cares even less than Il-sub halbae about going anywhere or seeing anything. Doesn’t make me love him any less. It could also just be that my idea of a good time is good coffee and good wine.
javabeans: I also think the purpose of this show isn’t purely “let’s sightsee in Europe,” but “let’s put these people together, put them on a trip, enforce restrictions, and see what happens as they try to navigate on their own.” So being a “bad tourist” doesn’t fit into my catalog of possible complaints for this show. Granted, if I had to travel with him on a personal trip it might be a different story.
girlfriday: And nothing beats Gu & Sub.
javabeans: Except maybe Gangsta Gu & Sub. Takin’ down famously conscience-less Na PD. Suddenly I have visions of the cast turning Na PD upside-down and shaking him by the ankles to get a few more coins out of him.
girlfriday: That should be the theme of their music video. Yunno, for the rap album they put out someday.
javabeans: Il-sub halbae uses most of his remaining allowance money to buy himself and his staffers a horse-and-carriage ride around the city, and he jokes that by the time they get to Madrid he’ll be penniless.
girlfriday: Seo-jin and the rest of the halbaes eat a fancy meal that looks delicious, and Gu halbae spends the whole time feeding everyone else, while Soon-jae halbae wonders if Helicam ate, talking about the camera like it’s his pet dog. When Geun-hyung halbae asks for toothpicks and a staffer shows up with some that he prepared, Na PD doesn’t waste the opportunity to needle Seo-jin: “Shouldn’t you have prepared that stuff? Are you just not gonna try anymore? You’re just gonna do whatever now, is that it?”
javabeans: You know Seo-jin’s doing a good job when that is all Na PD has to complain about. I can see his point about Seo-jin being so good at things that he just wants to showcase his mistakes, only since Seo-jin doesn’t really make them (or not in big showy fashion), he has to go around digging them up.
girlfriday: It’s pretty funny because Seung-gi’s mistakes are entertaining on their own (he needs no help being a heo-dang), but Na PD nagging Seo-jin is the funnier part of this relationship, because his desire to see Seo-jin fail is so apparent. And the more stoic Seo-jin is about it, the more desperate and flaily Na PD gets.
javabeans: It’s a win-win, honestly. If Seo-jin goofs up, great. If he doesn’t, Na PD gets whiny and that’s great. If Il-sub halbae is like a child who’s all id, Na PD is like a genius child who is all id, and yet also really really smart so it’s at conflict with himself.
girlfriday: They call and find out that Il-sub halbae is having a grand ol’ time taking horse carriage rides around the city, and Soon-jae halbae mentions off-hand that the last time he rode in one was in some ancient pre-war city.
javabeans: Lol, when Korea was a different shape, you mean?
girlfriday: Yeah, yunno, stuff that was named other stuff. And Seo-jin laughs, calling Soon-jae halbae Do Min-joon.
javabeans: Caption: “Halbae from Another Star.”
girlfriday: Il-sub halbae makes it back to the apartment first and waits for the hyungs to return.
javabeans: They make the drive back to their apartment in Seville, giving us a whole background score to the navi-lady’s endless stream of “Recalculating…” and “Make a U-turn” directions. By this point Seo-jin is just ignoring her directions wholesale, which makes me wonder why he bothers.
girlfriday: He drops the halbaes off first, and there’s this whole sequence of each of them walking in and the first thing they do is drop their pants.
javabeans: Like that’s not the first thing everyone does?
girlfriday: Right? And meanwhile Seo-jin goes back out to park the car, which means he’ll probably be gone for another hour. This time Na PD is with them in the backseat, and they circle around in the rain for a while. Suddenly there’s a yelp from behind: “OH! What’s that?” I’m totally expecting an emergency, but it turns out to be a free 24-hour parking garage. Ha.
javabeans: Dude. And after all the stress of imagining he’d have to go and feed the meters hourly that first day. He so deserves that, for just being all, I’ll just park here, push a few buttons, and let the chips fall where they may the first time.
girlfriday: I love how in both cases, it’s totally accidental. The captions point out that Seo-jin finally discovered this on the last day, but hey, a day of free parking is nothing to scoff at.
javabeans: Seo-jin parks and heads back with a grin on his face. And then… the camera looks back to point out that he left his lights on. Ack! Can you imagine being that VJ, noticing the mistake and getting it on camera, and not being able to say anything? This is why I’d be a horrible documentarian. I’d just want to save the animals.
girlfriday: I know! Eep, Seo-jin has encountered everything that could possibly go wrong with one car, save for maybe running out of gas in the middle of a highway. Un-jinx! Un-jinx!
javabeans: Seo-jin returns to find a kitchen full of dishes, and the producers triumphantly produce some dishwashing soap and a sponge to help him in his chore. Seo-jin’s immediate excuse is to say he can’t use those products (because he endorses a different brand, hahaha).
girlfriday: Lol, that’s a pretty handy excuse. While Seo-jin sighs over having to cook dinner and starts searching for Chinese restaurants in desperation, the halbaes have this really funny fight over a handful of coins found in Geun-hyung halbae’s pants pocket. Il-sub halbae claims they’re his, and they argue about it like children.
javabeans: I guess dinner will be cooked, despite Seo-jin’s protests (or maybe because of them), and he reluctantly gets to work. Even though Seo-jin has stated outright that he doesn’t cook and hates cooking, Na PD does that sarcastic thing of fake-marveling, “Hyung, how is it that you know NOTHING?” When Seo-jin fries his kimchi, the VJ audibly snorts at the pathetic visual. It cracks me up that the VJ would in any other situation be the clueless cook, but in THIS situation he is somehow the know-it-all because the others know so little.
girlfriday: Na PD sneaks by to taste the jjigae, and does this hilarious double take. Caption: “This is not a commercial.” Seo-jin must have a knack for getting flavor right, because even if he doesn’t know what to do, nobody complains about the way his food tastes.
javabeans: I know, his face is like the exaggerated CF “Omg, mmmm!” face even though you know he’s the most grudging judge of Seo-jin’s abilities. I believe him when he says he doesn’t cook except for on this show, but he must have a sense for what works, and a flashback to that first Paris night with ramyun and hot pot shows how much he’s improved. In only a handful of overall attempts.
girlfriday: There’s something that’s always entertaining about this guerilla cooking in random hotel rooms and such, like that time on 1N2D when they made noodles on the beach.
javabeans: Although that weird egg-sugar-bread mush thing still makes my stomach turn. Na PD makes a comment about the taste being a little mild, and Seo-jin says authoritatively that it’s not reduced down yet. Na PD backs off, his caption saying, “All right, Jang-geum, I’ll go now.”
girlfriday: The halbaes are SO excited about kimchi jjigae, and I’m a little jealous because it actually does look good.
javabeans: I love that little bit with Gu halbae rummaging in their empty kitchen sadly, and then Seo-jin popping in (he cooked in the staff apartment next door) to deliver the food, and Gu halbae lights up with this huge smile. And then Seo-jin actually hovers around while they eat like an anxious chef.
girlfriday: It’s just really cute because you know in real life he’s a fortysomething bachelor who’s never had to cook a day in his life. But he’s so pleased when they say it’s tasty. Gu halbae and Geun-hyung halbae stay up chatting about how the hardships on this trip (like the tiny train car and getting lost) will make it memorable, and then it’s lights out. Suddenly Il-sub halbae comes to the kitchen at four in the morning and starts boiling water. What’s he doing?
javabeans: Omg, the split screens are hilarious as we see today versus yesterday, and the show captions this as Sub & Sub’s Coffee Time. He does exactly the same thing on both days, pose for pose, like it’s something in a movie.
girlfriday: Lol it’s like a Marx Brothers mirror gag but it’s exactly 24 hours apart. Also, I can’t wrap my head around waking up at 4am and making coffee. That’s bedtime.
javabeans: Maybe you’ll read this post in forty years and understand. Or maybe in forty years you’ll finally be on normal people time, so your earlybird dinner is when everyone else is eating. Morning No. 7 begins as Seo-jin leads them all to a nearby cafe for breakfast, where he orders for the halbaes and then heads out to retrieve the car. Um. I hope that happens.
girlfriday: Ack, I forgot all about that. He walks to the garage in a great mood, but then lets out a yelp when he finds the car with the lights still on. He holds his breath and turns the key… but of course the car won’t start.
javabeans: Gahhh, I hate that clicky ignition sound, it just makes my insides shrivel. Of course, now that they make cars for stupid people like me the lights won’t drain the battery, but Seo-jin now has to figure out what to do. He tries asking a passing gentleman for help, but the man can’t help him. An employee suggests that he call the rental company.
girlfriday: Seo-jin sighs in a later interview that he must’ve been spoiled by only driving cars that don’t die when you leave the lights on.
javabeans: It’s hilarious, his “It’s all my fault, I’m sorry for being so spoiled” way of framing it. It’s backhanded, like when someone says, “It’s not your fault, it’s mine for trusting you.”
girlfriday: Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful and dimpled and have nice cars.
javabeans: But then the employee finds some jumper cables in the office and Seo-jin lights up. Caption: “Dimples resurrected.”
girlfriday: And then we go into this whole medical drama sequence where Seo-jin is the car surgeon reviving his patient.
javabeans: You know, it’s funny—Seo-jin may have wrinkled his image a little by leaving the lights on in the first place, but he’s totally getting the awesome hero edit with his handling of the car as he gets the jump going. It takes some finessing, but finally the ignition catches.
girlfriday: Yaaaaaay! That was harrowing.
javabeans: Hahaha, then as he’s driving out of the parking garage, Na PD comes up to the car, saying, “I heard your battery went out.” How much do I love that Na PD missed the whole thing?
girlfriday: I know, and then it’s extra funny the way Seo-jinnie gets to play it all cool, like he’s the hyung who already took care of it, eeeeons ago.
javabeans: “What do you mean, what did I do? I just jumped the battery. Where’d I get the cables? I borrowed them of course.”
girlfriday: And then for no apparent reason other than he can, Na PD sneaks a hundred euros about of Seo-jin’s wallet.
javabeans: IS HE STEALING FROM HIM. It’s all on video!
girlfriday: This cracks me up. It’s almost like he can’t resist when the wallet is just sitting there in plain sight.
javabeans: And how he invents the reasoning after the fact, that it’s for entrance fees (from the palace) that he’ll be taking retroactively. Na PD complains that Seo-jin has sooooo much money (like that’s a bad thing that must be corrected), while Seo-jin argues that he hasn’t even paid for the room yet. When he arrives and helps with the halbaes’ luggage, the PD on that side says the staff already paid for the rooms and he just grins at that, hee.
girlfriday: Hahaha. After all that, Na PD still loses money in the deal? Oh nooooo, but then when Seo-jin drops off the rental car, Na PD comes by to ask about the room fee and when Seo-jin says the staff paid for it, he finds out that what she meant was they paid for breakfast (“bbang” = bread, “bang” = room). Ack!
javabeans: Omg. They didn’t pay and just left?!
girlfriday: He’s like running all over Spain breaking all kinds of laws! And yet, I’m still laughing at the pun-mistake.
javabeans: It’s sooooo elementary. But I guess it happens! It’s kind of amazing how cool Seo-jin is in the face of stress, though, because he isn’t freaking out on the outside even though you know he’s cursing on the inside. He points out that they put down a card when they made the reservations over the phone, and a flashback takes us to the phone call he made with Na PD… when Seo-jin got a staffer to give him the production credit card, HAHA.
girlfriday: Lol, and then he saved that credit card number in his phone so that he could make all the rest of the hotel reservations on it.
javabeans: Seo-jin has been referring to his life abroad (at NYU) for some of the tips he picked up, like how to jumpstart a car. So now the show has this thriller-like sequence where they make it sound like that’s how he picked up his “card embezzlement know-how.”
girlfriday: Thankfully the staff goes through their receipts and finds that they were charged for the room after all. So phew, one less law they’re breaking.
javabeans: I’m also thinking, if you came as a huge group, obviously it makes sense that the owner would charge you for the huge group, not the one part of the huge group that you’re trying to communicate in broken English.
girlfriday: So then Na PD asks for the 250 euros from Seo-jin, who opens his wallet and hands him 150 euros, because Na PD already stole the first hundred in the car. HA.
javabeans: So great. That’s what Na PD gets for stealing without even a plan in place.
girlfriday: And then they actually start this hilarious chase, getting all grabby and running to the halbaes to tattle on each other. Pwahahaha.
javabeans: Hold on, need to rewind and replay about a dozen times.
girlfriday: I love it. So much.
javabeans: And then because this happens in front of Soon-jae halbae, Seo-jin goes running to him like he’s their teacher. “He keeps demanding money from me!”
girlfriday: This is so funny. They both take turns whining to the halbaes like fighting brothers, trying so hard to appear angelic while calling the other one a criminal.
javabeans: Has someone else gotten into the editing room to take over the caption-writing? Ever since the parking garage, the tone has been decidedly pro-Seo-jinnie, writing captions about how Na PD is “rambling to himself” about this and that. Na PD goes to Gu halbae next to complain, and Gu halbae just says, “I wouldn’t know the circumstances of that.”
girlfriday: Na PD finds that Gu halbae is clearly on Seo-jinnie’s side, so he moves onto Soon-jae halbae next.
javabeans: It’s hilarious how Seo-jinnie takes a seat on the bench between the halbaes, which leaves Na PD to loom over him like a bully. When he leans in, Seo-jin automatically cradles his bag like it’s about to be threatened. Na PD points at Seo-jin and whines to Soon-jae halbae, “Please say something! He’s a scammer!” Soon-jae halbae: “Why would you call a perfectly normal person a scammer?”
girlfriday: Seo-jin decides that splitting the difference is a fair way to handle it, and suggests 50 euros. This kind of negotiating cracks me up because all he does is make it sound super reasonable that he’s cutting it in half, and gets the halbaes to agree with him that going halfsies is totally fair. Na PD actually gets so pissed that he looks like he might stomp off and have a good cry.
javabeans: Na PD really has the best facial expressions—if he were acting you’d say he was exaggerating, but in the real moment he looks like a cartoon character. The captions “translating” the halbaes’ thoughts are the best. Out loud, the halbaes say diplomatic things that sound neutral, but the captions say stuff like “I’m on Seo-jinnie’s side, you punk” and “Our Seo-jinnie has let you off easy.” Na PD tries to raise the compromise to 75 euros, and is on the verge of skulking off “pissy, with his feelings hurt” (more caption wizardry).
girlfriday: When Na PD gets nitpicky about adding the breakfast tab to the total, Seo-jin starts to paint the picture that Na PD is trying to give the halbaes a hard time (making sure to stop for approval from either side). Na PD assures them that they’re going to take care of the teachers, “But I’m going to ruin your credit rating!”
javabeans: Na PD insists with a seriously dark face that he needs 70 euros total and Seo-jin gives in, and then the INSTANT he rips that cash from Seo-jin’s hands he taunts, “The ticket fees were only 14 euros” and walks off with a shit-eating grin.
girlfriday: HAHAHA. The lesson: He who has less shame wins. Next week: Madrid!
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 5
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 4
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 3
- Chinese version of Grandpas Over Flowers gets green light
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 2
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 1
- Na PD on grandpas, money, and Seo-jinnie the con artist
- Seo-jin gets cookin’ for Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain
- Noonas Over Flowers: Episode 1
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 1