Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 2
EPISODE 2. Broadcast on July 12, 2013.
javabeans: We resume late on the first night of this trip to Paris, aka Seo-jin’s Trip From Hell, as he is the group’s unsuspecting guest-victim-celebrity-guide who somehow found himself in charge of managing the itinerary. It’s cute how he has to park himself in front of the computer to make ticket purchases and reservations, and the halbaes are happily preparing for bed in their pajamas, all, “Oh he’ll take care of it.” It’s like they’re his children or something.
girlfriday: Can you imagine suddenly having four grandpas just hanging on your every move? The scrutiny alone would make me sweat, but being responsible for them is just so stressful.
javabeans: They’re all carefree and cheery, and here Seo-jin is, stressing on his own. One of the PDs adds that Seo-jin is still over 40, but grandpa just retorts, “He’s only lived half as long as us!” Haha, then Geun-hyung halbae totters in wearing a cowboy hat (with his plaid PJs), and they point out that he has a pedicure (which his daughter painted). Seo-jin’s all, “Whoa, that’s a kind of risque color,” and halbae’s all, “Nah, it’s okay.”
girlfriday: OMG. That’s just blowing my mind. I just never expected Park Geun-hyung to be sporting a gold pedicure. And then Il-sub halbae comes out in a t-shirt and boxers, and they run with the whole sexy theme. Pfft.
javabeans: Seo-jin comments that today’s walking around is probably nothing compared to what they have in store for them in the coming trip, and Il-sub halbae’s eyes literally widen and the camera zooms in on his shocked face, all, DUN DUN DUN!
girlfriday: The halbaes get up at the crack of dawn. Dude, I know grandparents do this, but it’s still crazy.
javabeans: Eeeeek. Up before 5am, voluntarily? Is this what old age has in store for me? Don’t want!
girlfriday: Seriously. They start getting up one by one, and then notice that Il-sub halbae isn’t around. Cut to: him resting his head on the counter in the kitchen, waiting for breakfast to be made like a tiny child.
javabeans: He’s so adorable.
girlfriday: It’s so cute. And then grandpa Soon-jae wakes up with the most epic bedhead, which of course they have to compare in split-screen to his drama kings.
javabeans: Finally people other than the halbaes start getting up at around 6:30, at which point Il-sub halbae has been up almost 2 hours. The first thing he does? Ask a staffer to fill his water bottle with soju. HA. HA. HA.
javabeans: I don’t even know why he bothers with the transfer, but he has this fierce concentration on his face as he does.
girlfriday: I know, what is the point of moving the soju from two smaller bottles to one big one? Maybe he’s planning on spiking everyone’s drinks later, or drinking it on the sly?
javabeans: Then the grandpas gather round the kitchen table to STARE at the boardinghouse owner while he cooks breakfast. Na PD asks if he ever gets travelers up this early, and the guy is all, “Nope. Never. I’m all scattered right now.”
girlfriday: Aw, and then when Soon-jae halbae arrives, Il-sub halbae jumps up to make him coffee. How quickly the maknaes get trained.
javabeans: I love that beat. “How many sugars, hyungnim?”
girlfriday: Omg, and then Seo-jinnie wakes up and shuffles into the kitchen first thing, and grabs the nearest water bottle he sees… and it’s totally Il-sub halbae’s soju! LOL.
javabeans: He’s all, “No no no no, that’s my soju!” Seo-jin has just woken up and I swear, he’s just in a perpetual state of half-confusion.
girlfriday: Yeah he just kinda stares blankly and nods, still trying to open the bottle and drink it, and it has to be pried from his hands before he downs it thinking it’s water.
javabeans: There’s a new face at the table today, a solo traveler. She’s only 23 but she’s on a 50-day trip, and the halbaes just stare in amazement. Shin Gu halbae in particular is awed, saying he wouldn’t know which way was up if he were left to navigate alone.
girlfriday: It’s pretty cool that he calls her brave and says that he respects her. Then the grandpas come out one by one and everyone oohs and aahs over their various (and adorable) travel outfits, and the group heads out to the Louvre.
javabeans: Ha. Seo-jin gets stuck walking allllllllllllllll the way to the end of the ticket-buying line, while the halbaes pose for pictures and eat cookies. Finally they get inside and start looking around. I’m so jealous. God, I love the Louvre.
girlfriday: Me too. That’s one place I think I could spend a year exploring and never run out of things to see.
javabeans: Totally. When I went to Paris, I think I went three days in a row and I still feel like I saw only a tiny fraction of it.
girlfriday: Soon-jae halbae in particular gets totally engrossed in all the art, and looks like he’s having the time of his life. And then there’s Il-sub halbae, who kinda doesn’t get why they’re in there so long. Ha.
javabeans: He is the group’s id, I swear. He’s all, let’s grab some tea and call it a day. He reminds me of me on the ski slopes, where I just want to ski as far as the lodge and drink hot cocoa there all day. He’s just, “Let’s see the Mona Lisa and go.”
girlfriday: The middle hyungs have to coax him into seeing this or that, and Geun-hyung halbae asks if he’s got places to be in Paris, since he’s so anxious to get the hell out. They head out to the streets for lunch, and Seo-jin stakes out an outdoor cafe, which he tells Na PD he picked solely because it’s cheap.
javabeans: Seo-jin gives them menus and explains them while they read, but you get the sense they’d really rather he just ordered for them. Ha. I’m totally getting flashbacks to my dad mis-ordering based on the ONE word he understood and getting, like, a plate of beets.
girlfriday: They manage to successfully get sandwiches, and then open up the bottle of soju. Ha. With lunch. These grandpas are cracking me up.
javabeans: After lunch, there’s this whole sequence focusing on Soon-jae halbae getting all revved up now that his batteries are charged, and while the other grandpas are resting, he goes charging on alone to browse some shops, walk around the neighborhood, etc. He really is super energetic. While the maknae halbae is the least.
girlfriday: He comes back and tells the others to get up already, and they try to get him to sit back down. No go — he just motions for them to follow and keeps chugging along. They have to convince him to skip a few things on the itinerary, and Geun-hyung halbae uses Il-sub halbae’s knees as an excuse, and there’s a hilarious exchange: “I didn’t say I was hurting. Are you hurt?” “Well one of us is hurt.”
javabeans: I’m impressed that they’re managing public transportation so well. Subways are one thing, but navigating a new bus system always sort of freaks me out. They manage their way to the Eiffel Tower. Man, this trip is so pretty. I don’t know if it’s just fortuitous timing with great weather, or because this is Paris, but you totally get the feel that they’re touring the city, with that sense of marvel.
girlfriday: I know. It makes me want to pack a backpack and just go.
javabeans: We should just go. Paris has internet, right? Though I suppose the appeal would be in going and, say, NOT recapping from the Louvre cafe.
girlfriday: What? Not recapping? What’s that like?
javabeans: I can’t actually remember.
girlfriday: I don’t know why, but it’s just fun to watch the halbaes walk around.
javabeans: I love that there’s a Gu & Sub duo emerging (Il-sub / Shin Gu), for random things like listening to music, nodding their heads together.
girlfriday: Could they be any cuter with those headphones? Na PD attempts to get them to sit on a ledge for a group picture, and Il-sub halbae shoots that down with another: “Do you want us to die?” After hanging out at the Eiffel Tower for a while, the halbaes decide they have to eat at a Korean restaurant for dinner, so then it’s up to Seo-jin to lead the way.
javabeans: We get a look at the cell phone log between Seo-jin and his boardinghouse helper, and there’s just this barrage of texts from Seo-jin asking where things are. Cute.
girlfriday: And then the long trek to dinner begins, which gets Il-sub halbae upset from the get-go because they have to trek back up the hill where they came from. A g.o.d. song (“Road”) starts to play, and they totally rewrite the lyrics, all “Why am I standing in this road / Is this the road to the Korean restaurant.” It is cracking my shit UP.
javabeans: The words are flashing onscreen like a noraebang track, too. Finally Seo-jin gets directions and Il-sub halbae lights up, only now they have to take the metro there, and Seo-jin gets all turned around, eek. I love how the camera guy turns around to find Geun-hyung halbae already in mid-conversation with a passing Korean bystander — where does he just find these people? But they point them in the right direction, so phew.
girlfriday: I like how they squeal at Seo-jin in the middle of giving directions.
javabeans: But the more discomfort Il-sub halbae feels, the more he goes from cranky to outright mad, and the proceedings start feeling grim. And the grimmer he gets, the more nervous Seo-jin gets. Uh-oh.
girlfriday: I know. It’s really nerve-wracking. You can just see Seo-jin checking on him every few seconds to make sure he’s okay. Finally a seat opens up on the crowded subway, and Seo-jin looks so relieved that Il-sub halbae can sit down… but then he stands aside and gestures for Soon-jae hyung to sit. Awwwwwwww.
javabeans: Then Seo-jin leads them to the exit, and IT’S GATED SHUT. I gasped out loud. All’s I’ve got to say is, I hope the show reimburses Seo-jin for his phone usage on this trip. Can you imagine the data he’s racking up?
girlfriday: I’m so stressed out for him right now. Where is this Korean restaurant?
javabeans: They finally make it, and I’m so anxious that I’m holding my breath while Seo-jin tries the door, because if it doesn’t open I think heads will roll. Thankfully for all heads involved, the restaurant is open. Time for more soju, thank god.
girlfriday: Oh phew.
javabeans: Haha, so then they all turn to Seo-jin and ask how old he is and when he’s getting married, like meddling halbaes, and are all, “Get married this year” and “I like the looks of that Nam Sang-mi girl.” LOL.
girlfriday: Dude, it’s better than just regular halbaes, because these halbaes know all the pretty actresses! Get them to hook you up with someone, Seo-jinnie!
javabeans: While they’re waiting for their dinner, Soon-jae halbae suggests ending the evening with a “light walk” around Champs Elysees, and Il-sub halbae is all, “Oh no he didn’t.”
girlfriday: Oh noes, he has a fit, and goes outside to start complaining to Na PD that he wants to go home. He’s practically stomping his feet.
javabeans: “Let’s just go back home! Tell them you’re out of battery! Tell that to Soon-jae hyung!”
girlfriday: On top of which, Shin Gu halbae is starting to sound drunk, and then the two of them are arguing (jokingly) about who’s drunker or slower, and I’m just hoping this doesn’t blow up.
javabeans: It makes me think back to all the trips I’ve been on, and realizing that it’s the people you’re with that make the most difference, and that this is the most comically mis-matched group of travelers, and that I’d be shocked if they made it all the way through without incident.
girlfriday: Yeah there’s something about traveling with people, when you’re tired and your patience is on its last leg — things that wouldn’t be an issue otherwise start to become this tense Big Thing…
javabeans: So then Soon-jae halbae joins them outside, and the show starts treating this like a political thing, with Soon-jae halbae and Il-sub halbae as opposite ends and the one moderate trying to mediate. Meanwhile, Geun-hyung halbae and Seo-jin are sitting inside the restaurant saying how they can’t even say anything in this, though I think they’re just glad to be out of it.
girlfriday: In the end I think it’s Shin Gu halbae who mediates everything, with his joking demeanor and his aegyo. He’s very good at appealing to Il-sub halbae like they’re on the same side, and then to Soon-jae halbae like a cute younger brother. He manages to make them smile, even as they’re arguing.
javabeans: I wonder if Na PD has the same fears, because he suggests that they take a light walk, and then the show will drive them back in cars. Free transportation! Unsolicited! He’s either going soft or knows to quit while he’s ahead.
girlfriday: It seems like the smart play. We don’t need another subway trek home at this point. So they head out to tour the Champs Elysees, and Seo-jin just busts out laughing in the back, because there’s just nothing you can do but laugh in a situation like this.
javabeans: Na PD asks Seo-jin what he thinks of the decision, and Seo-jin just laughs that he abstains from the whole thing: “I have no vote! I’m not old enough to have a vote.” Shin Gu halbae is seriously awesome, he’s making my day. He’s feeling pretty chipper from all the drinky, but he’s also got enough presence of mind throughout the walk to keep soothing ruffled feathers. Soon-jae halbae is out in front, impatient to get his power walk on, and Il-sub halbae is sinking deeper and deeper into the sulks, so he and Geun-hyung halbae are laughing and joking and trying to be inclusive.
girlfriday: But then when they break up into two groups (walkers and pedicab riders), things start to look up. Soon-jae halbae is happy to trek around on foot the way he wants, and Il-sub halbae lights up at the sight of the pedicab and volunteers to shoot himself on handheld camera. He really is like a kid. Suddenly it’s all back to smiles and “Isn’t this fun?”
javabeans: I feel like Na PD is gonna have to come up with a last-minute Placate The Halbaes budget to fit in to the itinerary, ’cause there’s no way this trip is happening on their measly original budget full of suffering.
girlfriday: Yeah I think there’s plenty of suffering elsewhere to be had. The view at the end totally makes the trek worth it. They watch the sunset, and even Il-sub halbae says he’s happy. Is Shin Gu halbae dancing? Omg can he be drunk all the time, please?
javabeans: He’s adorable when he’s drunk, with the aegyo and the laughing. Wasn’t he the one calling Grandpa Geun-hyung “oppa” earlier?
girlfriday: HEE. And then as the sun sets and the Eiffel Tower lights up, we cut back to Shin Gu halbae walking down the street earlier that evening, talking about how Paris has changed since the last time he was there. He starts to say, “This time will be…” and then Geun-hyung halbae finishes the thought for him: “…the last. It’s the last.” There’s just something so mind-blowing about the way grandparents talk about death in that matter-of-fact way — it’s not depressing at all, and it’s clearly just a fact of life to them, and it makes them appreciate everything that much more.
- 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
- 1 Night 2 Days cast and PD changes on the horizon?
- News updates from Varietyland
- 1 Night 2 Days: Episode 375 (Season 1 Finale)
- 1N2D (as we know it) to come to an end
- Na PD rumored to leave 1 Night 2 Days