Noonas Over Flowers: Episode 2
EPISODE 2. Broadcast on December 6, 2013.
javabeans: We resume at the airport, after Seung-gi has figured out (with Hee-ae’s help) a shuttle van that’ll take them to their hotel for a reasonable fee. So they head down to the parking lot, where Seung-gi loads the luggage and proceeds to drop his passport, wallet, and personal docs. Oh, honey.
girlfriday: Thankfully the noonas are picking up the documents he’s leaving in his trail, otherwise this would’ve turned into a ten-day stay in Istanbul. Seung-gi then discovers the horrifying fact that their driver doesn’t speak a lick of English, only to then be handed a camera by a crew member. Dude, you want him to film while dealing with all this?
javabeans: Is that a real question? This is Na PD we’re talking about. They ride for a while in the van, and then Yeo-jung tells Seung-gi that he made the right decision picking their mode of transport, and he just lights up. It’s just so cute.
girlfriday: Instant happy puppy. Oh no, minutes later Yeo-jung realizes that they’re passing by the same street they had just noted for being pretty earlier… which means they’re totally going in circles.
javabeans: Aw, my first thought was that scene in Answer Me 1994 where Samcheonpo gets taken for a ride around Seoul because he’s a newbie and the taxi driver was taking advantage of him.
girlfriday: I know! Poor Samcheonpo. That scene killed me.
javabeans: But this driver is only getting paid a flat rate and he tells Seung-gi he’s sorry as he stops to ask directions periodically.
girlfriday: Pwahaha, I love the caption: “The driver who knows no English… knows no streets either.”
javabeans: Ha, Mi-yeon gets so impatient that she takes the guide book and points at it while asking another taxi driver, who gives their shuttle driver instructions. They have no way of knowing whether this cleared up anything, but they hope for the best as they resume the drive. Ahh, this is so stressful. I feel bad for the driver AND for Seung-gi AND for the nooas.
girlfriday: Finally, after an hour and a half of circling, they reach the hotel. Is the staff already there waiting for them? I so wish they’d kept one camera on Na PD.
javabeans: They check in and find their rooms, and it seems pretty satisfactory. The two rooms get divided along age lines, with Seung-gi set to sleep on the floor of the younger noonas’ room. Ha, doesn’t it already seem like a family with these five? Hee-ae and Ja-ok sorta share that sweet space cadet vibe, and then Yeo-jung and Mi-yeon are the sharp, impatient ones.
girlfriday: I wonder if this variety setup for Seung-gi is like what real life was like for Uhm Tae-woong.
javabeans: Oh haha, outnumbered and awkward all the time?
girlfriday: And just sort of swept along by the stronger personalities of all the noonas in the family.
javabeans: Seung-gi ends up downstairs eating a random breakfast, which is probably because it’s more awkward to be in the room with the noonas. Yeo-jung guesses as much and suggests that instead, she and Seung-gi can share rooms because then it’s like a full-on grandma relationship, which is sort of true and sort of hilarious. But I think he’s going to be equally awkward in any configuration, honestly.
girlfriday: That’s hilarious. Though she’s probably right that it’s the least awkward that way. It’s sort of how Seo-jin and Soon-jae halbae always ended up roomies, but it worked out for them, right?
javabeans: Seung-gi asks Mi-yeon if she wants to join him exploring the neighborhood and she declines, but when he really sets out alone she feels bad and tags along. Then she comments on his map-reading skills and it turns into the whole Seo-jin vs. Sunny thing again, with Seung-gi reading a paper map and Mi-yeon telling him he should just use his smartphone.
girlfriday: But why is Seung-gi the analogue one when he’s younger?
javabeans: Wasn’t he the ajusshi of the bunch on 1N2D? You have to remember: He looks like a cute little puppy boy, but inside he is Sohn Ji-chang.
girlfriday: He can’t be Puppy AND Oppa! My brain will melt.
javabeans: He’s not, he’s Puppy and Ajusshi! Mi-yeon has to show him how to use the phone program, and then he marvels, “Ahhh, that’s how you use it!”
girlfriday: They had back out with the whole group this time, and Mi-yeon is really sweet about giving her scarf to Yeo-jung when it gets chilly. She does that thing of forcing it on her knowing that she’s just going to keep saying no even though she’s cold. Then they walk hand-in-hand talking about places to shop.
javabeans: Seung-gi leads the way, and it’s both really funny and secondhand stressful to watch how he is SO conscious of his role as leader and is constantly trying to keep at the right pace, particularly when the noonas keep pausing to browse storefronts. He’s trying to pause naturally without making it obvious, and then a noona will overtake him and you can see him madly trying to figure out where to position himself. It’s like Seo-jin all over again, trying to keep all the halbaes in his line of sight.
girlfriday: It’s funny how he has the exact same first-day stress, and in a later interview he talks about how much it frightened him whenever he couldn’t see all four of them at once, and that he spent so much energy just trying to figure out what position to walk in. At least he doesn’t have a halbae just sitting down randomly without warning.
javabeans: Wow, and then Seung-gi just gets recognized on the street like that, by a crowd of young Turkish women. I mean, I know he’s popular, but…
girlfriday: Yeah that’s crazy. The group lines up to get into the Hagia Sophia, and then as soon as they get inside Yeo-jung starts asking Seung-gi questions about the place, and Mi-yeon just cracks up because it’s obviously his first time there too and he’s just reading out of the travel guide.
javabeans: They all look around on their own, marveling at the structure and artwork. This starts this hilarious sequence of Yeo-jung, who gets fixated on the plight of the laborers who had to build all this stuff, worrying about how they suffered through it. Okay, that alone isn’t funny, but the show overlays this halo and choral music everytime it starts, and it just builds into this funny bit.
girlfriday: I love that Seung-gi just ends up sitting down somewhere with Ja-ok, while Na PD plays travel guide and explains everything. He makes the mistake of telling them about this wish pillar where you stick your thumb in a hole in the wall and turn your hand all the way around to make a wish come true, and it turns into this whole Thing.
javabeans: They wait in this long line of tourists who all want to get their turn, and then Hee-ae tries first and barely manages to twist her hand around. Seung-gi goes next and easily completes it… and then realizes, “I forgot to make a wish.” Wah wahhhhh.
girlfriday: Lol. And Mi-yeon is SO obsessed with doing a good job, I don’t even know why. But she spends all this time practicing it like it’s an Olympic event.
javabeans: She cracks me up, especially when the others all say it looks like she’s going to break her arm. On their way out, Hee-ae asks about Seung-gi’s solo concert in December, and he invites her out. A short flash-forward shows Hee-ae and Mi-yeon in the audience for his concert, which is cute.
girlfriday: Afterwards they grab some lunch, and I can feel the younger half of the group tense up at every remark Yeo-jung makes.
javabeans: Omg, it’s food stress. Like, you don’t want her to not like it, but you don’t want her to lie, so there’s this ever-present tension whenever she says anything that might not be thrilled with the food.
girlfriday: You know it’s bad when she says that the best thing is the bread before the meal, but Seung-gi just latches onto that and agrees that the bread is good. Ha, that’s not really what she means.
javabeans: Then Hee-ae starts this whole meta bit about how she wonders how this very footage will air, and how she doesn’t think she’d be able to watch it because she’d be so worried about how she (herself, not an actor in a role) would come off, and what if she started to dislike things about herself and feel the need to change her behavior?
girlfriday: If she’s thinking like that, clearly the trip hasn’t been hard enough. Seung-gi probably couldn’t act differently right now if his life depended on it. Ha, Ja-ok is totally the Il-sub halbae of this group. She decides one more tourist attraction is enough for the day, and tells Seung-gi they should just go back to the hotel with corn and roasted chestnuts.
javabeans: I was just gonna say, she’s like the Geun-hyung halbae too since he was the one always making ice cream detours. And Yeo-jung is definitely the Soon-jae halbae type, all refined and educated and intellectually curious. While they stand there in the street, Hee-ae finds this boy really interesting and cute for selling tops on the street, lauding him for his strong work ethic, while of course I’m all worried that they’re gonna get scammed or something. Seung-gi offers to buy one, and then we cut to an interview where he curses that top and says, “I think everything happened within an hour of buying that.” Uh-oh…
girlfriday: You always know there’s a disaster coming when this show does a preview. So Seung-gi and Mi-yeon get really into figuring out how to make the top spin, and meanwhile Ja-ok has her corn and chestnuts, so she gets antsy and starts off toward the hotel. One by one they trail after her, but Yeo-jung is still underground in the cistern while all this is happening.
javabeans: Okay, if Seung-gi’s troubles come from his obsession with getting that damn top spinning, then HA, ain’t no curse. We see a bunch of sequences of them walking together, and Seung-gi taking every free moment to spin his top. He has Mi-yeon and Ja-ok with him, but they miss seeing Hee-ae across the way, and just as they stop to look for her, a tram goes by and blocks their view.
girlfriday: Oh no. It’s like a scene in an action movie, where the passing of one tram makes all the difference. Except for the boy obsessed with his shiny new top. That is not a thing from a movie.
javabeans: Yeo-jung is fortunately not stressed at all, since she’s with Na PD and enjoying her walk, and even gets stopped by a Turkish man who, coincidentally enough, recognizes her because he used to live in Korea. Talk about your chance encounters. Meanwhile Seung-gi leaves the two noonas sitting on a bench while he goes looking for Hee-ae, telling himself not to panic but clearly starting to panic. Aie, Seung-gi-ya! He starts running through the neighborhood like someone in a thriller movie. Helpfully, a caption pops us to list for us: “The things Seung-gi just did wrong.” LOL.
girlfriday: Do you love how his nickname is Jim-Seung-gi, which is both Luggage-Seung-gi and Beast-Seung-gi (though we all know which one HE is). He gets one point for knowing that he shouldn’t have lost his mind over the stupid top, but then, he also loses a thousand points for losing everyone in the first place.
javabeans: I feel so bad for him, because yes he was being silly, but then again it’s not like Mi-yeon noticed either. Seung-gi tears around with no luck, and the others just keep sitting and waiting wondering how long they’ll have to wait.
girlfriday: Yeo-jung’s running commentary cracks me up. About Seung-gi: “You know it’s only cute for like an hour or two, and then…” And about Hee-ae: “The quiet ones always end up causing trouble.” Through it all, Ja-ok just placidly lies down for a nap, figuring it’ll work itself out. Ha. The thing that makes it worse is that Hee-ae just keeps going and going and going, assuming that she just fell behind.
javabeans: I love that she actually just keeps walking all the freaking way back to their hotel, haha. She finally checks her phone and realizes she missed calls, so she lets them know she’s at the hotel. I think Seung-gi is so relieved he may just cry, and/or maybe pee himself. Then to make it WORSE, just as his brief ordeal is older, Seung-gi tells Mi-yeon he’ll go exchange some Euros, and while they’re talking money the older noonas just walk on, not realizing they’d stopped. Ack! You’re gonna lose them again?
girlfriday: Oh no. It’s literally thirty seconds since the last time you lost them! He gets so sucked into this black hole of math and exchange rates that he has to be told that they wandered off. He doesn’t even notice.
javabeans: I seriously think Seung-gi’s about to cry. Especially when his PD finally informs him that they were waiting around not knowing where to go and that he should have told them before they wandered off. Thankfully he can send Mi-yeon ahead with the directions, and she catches up to Yeo-jung and Ja-ok, who now can browse leisurely since they’re taken care of… and then Mi-yeon madly darts ahead to make sure she can find the hotel, ’cause she’s not actually positive of the direction. Omg. This is just chain reaction of stress. I love the footage where she’s literally hissing at the VJ, “Tell me! Where is it! Just hurry and tell me before they come! C’mon you know!”
girlfriday: What is with everyone thinking that running ahead and coming back is a good idea? This is how groups get separated! Mi-yeon finally manages to find the hotel, mumbles some incoherent things at Hee-ae for wandering off on her own, and then manages to bring everyone back. Whew. Well, almost whew. I’m still convinced Seung-gi will get lost on his way back.
javabeans: He doesn’t seem to be lost, but he does take an awful long time at the money exchange, enough that the noonas start assuming more trouble is afoot. By now they’ve got his number, and Yeo-jung slays the room by quipping, “He sure is pretty, but I think he’s got no use.” Intercut with this all is Seung-gi’s mad running through the streets, which, ack my blood pressure. (Fun fact: He missed seeing the money exchange on their walk because he was so obsessed with the damn top, and a flashback shows him spinning it right in front of the store earlier.)
girlfriday: This whole thing is so hilarious. It’s probably all within five blocks and they would’ve been back eons ago if he had just said no to that top, which was in fact not cursed, but just spinny enough to be distracting.
javabeans: He finally comes tearing into the lobby, and his mere appearance makes everyone burst into laughter. Yeo-jung is literally actually crying from the laughing.
girlfriday: Her pretty-but-useless comment is just… SO perfect. I’m still laughing. Seung-gi’s such a trooper about the nagging though, because he really does get it from all sides. Yeo-jung asks what he’s doing buying tops, and then Mi-yeon nags him about how he carries his money and his passport in the same wallet, and the whole time he’s just like, “Oh really? But, why?” like it’s his first time at everything. In life. Ever.
javabeans: Omg, he is so the epitome of book-smart and street-stupid. I worry for him, I do. You can’t let him out on his own!
girlfriday: They manage to go out for dinner and back without incident, and then it’s time for bed, but Seung-gi just lingers in the lobby because he feels so weird about having to share a room with the noonas.
javabeans: It’s awkward for all involved, even though they all understand why and don’t hold it against him. Seung-gi asks if there are any empty beds in the staff room and perks up to hear that a VJ room has space—it’s used to store equipment and the VJs will be going back and forth, but he’d much prefer that. Caption: “I’m luggage too anyway…”
girlfriday: Hee. It’s pretty immediate the way his face goes from furrowed brow to big smiles.
javabeans: It’s freaking hilarious how even the noonas are trying to be cool about it but it’s confusing, like do they just wait for Seung-gi to come to the room? But he probably won’t come early for fear of disturbing them, in which case, how do they let him in? Then it becomes this whole thing of unintentionally inappropriate signals, like leaving the door open like they’re just waiting for him to come to bed, lol.
girlfriday: And how awkward it is to text him asking when he’s coming to bed, ‘cause THAT’s weird…
javabeans: So Hee-ae’s on her phone, asking what she should text, and they run through all these options trying to work it out when they’re just trying to find the most casual, carefree-sounding option. This is all pretty awesome.
girlfriday: It’s like as much thought as you’d put into texting a boy you like just to not sound like you like him, except all the more hilarious because it’s just noonas wondering how to ask their luggage boy about the bedroom situation without it getting weird. Answer: There is no way.
javabeans: The VJ room is a super cramped affair because of all the equipment they’ve going on, plus there are two guys already using it, so Seung-gi has to take his bag out in the hall to even get it open. Though I suppose it’s still better than the really embarrassing weirdness of sharing with two star noona actresses. In an interview, Seung-gi is asked how he feels traveling with actresses, and he explains that he tried to relate this trip in terms of real-life people, and comes up with this super-elaborate scenario: “So there’s my uncle on my father’s side—they’re his two daughters, whom I’ve never met before but heard a lot about, and frankly I don’t really know my uncle that well either. Then there are my maternal grandmother’s friend’s friends who are really famous in their neighborhood, and we’ve all come on the trip together.”
javabeans: I’m laughing out loud.
girlfriday: How does he find the most complicated way to think of everything? This is why he takes an hour to find the bus stop, isn’t it?
javabeans: The best thing is the muffled laughter you hear from the PD behind the camera. It’s not even the whole of it, becuase he continues, “So the four of them have dined out together once before, and then met at Incheon Airport to go to Turkey.” Although starting tomorrow, looks like they’ll be moving on to Croatia.
girlfriday: Where somebody gets lost. Again.
javabeans: Five bucks says I know who.
- Noonas Over Flowers: Episode 1
- Finding Seung-gi in Noonas Over Flowers
- Seung-gi, Na PD squirm in Noonas Over Flowers teasers
- Noonas Over Flowers paired with Answer Me for Friday broadcasts
- First teaser and stills for Noonas Over Flowers
- Grandpas spin-off named Noonas Over Flowers: Seung-gi-ya, Run Away
- Grandpas Over Flowers’ Actress Special heads to Croatia
- Grandpas Over Flowers’ actress spin-off secures cast
- Lee Seung-gi to be Na PD’s next luggage boy
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 1