Woohoo Waikiki 2: Episode 1
I am so excited you guys! Woohoo Waikiki 2 has finally started, and I’m thrilled to be recapping it again. I don’t think I’ve ever been this jazzed about a drama’s second season! The first season was some of the most fun I’ve ever had as a recapper, so I’ve been dying to see whether the show lives up to our high expectations despite the mostly new cast. So let’s check in with the new crop of houseguests and see what they have to offer.
EPISODE 1: “One hundred million stars falling from the sky”
In a church, a woman with long blonde hair in a yellow tracksuit slowly unsheathes a sword, then uses it to stylishly dispatch several attackers. When the fight is over, a voice yells, “Cut!” and the scene ends, and the woman stands and flips her hair out of her face.
It’s our old friend, the unfortunately named actor/stuntman LEE JOON-KI (Lee Yi-kyung). A crew member hands him his phone which is ringing off the hook, and when he answers, whatever he hears sends him into a panic.
Elsewhere, stage curtains open to reveal CHA WOO-SHIK (Kim Sun-ho) in a sequined suit playing a guitar. HA, there are only a few elderly people in the audience, half of whom are asleep. He stops right in the middle of a song to answer his phone, but the news has him rushing off the stage.
Lastly we see a baseball stadium filled to the brim with spectators as the pitcher, GUK KI-BONG (Shin Hyun-soo) is about to throw the pitch that, if successful, will win the championship. The entire stadium holds its breath as he winds up… and the batter strikes out!
Too bad that’s all a dream, and Ki-bong only fainted while running laps at minor league practice. His coach yells that he’ll never make the major league this way, and snaps at Ki-bong to answer his ringing phone. He answers, then sprints across the field with his coaching yelling, “That’s how you run!”
Today is the Grand Opening of the newly renovated Waikiki Guesthouse. The landlady shows a potential buyer around the house as one of the residents, KIM JUNG-EUN (Ahn So-hee) wonders what’s taking the guys so long. Photos on the wall support the landlady’s claim that everyone who’s lived there was successful in their business — Dong-gu became a famous director, Seo-jin is a world-traveling journalist, Soo-ah is the CEO of a shopping mall, and Yoon-ah became a patissier.
Evidently, Joon-ki hasn’t hit it big yet, and he’s still in his Kill Bill-esque costume as he, Woo-shik, and Ki-bong all run into the house at the same time, looking more than a little deranged. They scare off the prospective buyer, and the landlady snaps that they should pay the rent if they don’t want the house sold. She gives them one week to pay the overdue rent, in full.
After she leaves, the boys immediately start bickering. Jung-eun yells at Joon-ki for taking so long, and he snaps that he came so quickly that he’s still in costume and holding the leading actress’s drink, ha. They wonder how they’re going to come up with four months’ rent in one week.
Jung-eun teases Joon-ki for his outfit, and he complains that he’s still getting dinky roles. Jung-eun sneers, “That’s why girls dump you,” and Woo-shik and Ki-bong’s eyes go wide as Joon-ki growls a reminder to Jung-eun never to mention Seo-jin, insisting that their breakup was mutual. Jung-eun just flounces upstairs to take a shower, turning back to stick her tongue out at Joon-ki, and he throws his sword at her, hee.
Woo-shik tells Joon-ki that this is all his fault for talking them into investing in the house. Ki-bong interrupts their argument to point out a news bit on TV about a crowd gathering nearby to watch a meteor shower. Ki-bong asks who Meteor Shower is and why he’s so famous… well, at least he’s pretty?
After dark, the guys go up to the roof to watch the meteor shower. Woo-shik is too depressed to enjoy the show, but Joon-ki says cheerfully that they can make wishes on the meteors for money. He says that things can’t get any worse, making Woo-shik so frustrated that he decides to just kill Joon-ki now.
Ki-bong breaks up the fight because the meteor shower is starting. He and Joon-ki watch in wonder as lights flash across the sky, though grumpy Woo-shik refuses to look. One meteor looks like it’s coming right towards them, getting bigger and brighter as it approaches.
The guys scream as it flies over their heads with only inches to spare, them slams into the guesthouse, knocking out the power. The three stand in shock, staring at the huge smoldering hole in the roof.
They make their way downstairs, where the meteor sits in a hole in the middle of the living room, still glowing faintly. Joon-ki and Ki-bong think it’s awesome that a star fell into their house, but Woo-shik grabs Joon-ki and shakes him, wailing that he said things couldn’t get any worse (Joon-ki: “I didn’t think we could go under rock bottom!”).
Woo-shik says that if the landlady sees this damage, she’ll kick them out and sue them. Joon-ki argues that this isn’t their fault, but Woo-shik reminds him that she made them pay when hail damaged the windows, and Joon-ki bursts into tears.
By morning, Joon-ki feels much happier, but Woo-shik just stares at the giant gouge the meteor dug into the living room floor, and the hole it made on its way down. Joon-ki says he’ll handle it, which doesn’t calm Woo-shik’s fears at all, especially when Joon-ki’s brilliant plan is to plug the hole with a beanbag chair.
Ki-bong’s solution is to sell whatever they possibly can. He offers up a catcher’s mitt signed by famous pitcher Randy Johnson, but Woo-shik points out the unlikelihood of an American signing the mitt in perfect Korean. The bat signed in Korean by a Japanese player is equally disappointing, and Joon-ki tries to cheer up Ki-bong, crooning that his stupidity isn’t his fault.
They all troop upstairs to do something about the hole in the floor there, which is so big that they decide to cover it with the sofa. Joon-ki trips and his foot punches through the hole, getting himself stuck. The landlady shows up while they’re trying to free Joon-ki’s leg, so Woo-shik goes downstairs and goes through weird contortions to keep his body between the landlady and Joon-ki’s foot dangling from the ceiling.
Ki-bong pulls too hard on Joon-ki, who falls even further into the hole so that now his entire leg is in the living room. Hearing the crash, the landlady gets suspicious, so in desperation, Woo-shik grabs her in a hug and spins her around facing the other way. He gasps, “I love you,” then leads her outside to talk about his sudden-onset longtime crush.
He lies that his intense feelings are the reason he’s been putting up with her nagging for six months now, and he assumes it’s over when she says she’s too old for him. Thinking he’s gotten away with it, Woo-shik turns to go back in, but the landlady stops him and purrs, “Be greedy. I like men who are greedy.” LOL.
When Joon-ki finally gets loose, Woo-shik tells his friends in a dead voice that he and the landlady are now dating, HA. Woo-shik whines that he doesn’t want to date her, but Joon-ki says they can use this to avoid her nagging them about the rent.
Jung-eun returns home from her many part-time jobs and starts flipping through the guys’ high school yearbook. She notices one girl surrounded by boys in a group shot, and Joon-ki says that she’s HAN SOO-YEON (Moon Ga-young), who was all three of the guys’ first love.
Joon-ki seems to think it’s funny and Ki-bong looks a little dreamy at Soo-yeon’s memory, but Woo-shik actually seems upset. Jung-eun mutters that Soo-yeon isn’t even that pretty, and Ki-bong goes all caveman on her, growling that Soo-yeon was their dream, okay?!
We’re treated to a flashback to the guys’ high school days, when the three of them were inseparable despite their wildly differing interests. One day they’d heard a rumor about a pretty new student, and they’d sworn they weren’t at all interested — until they got their first look at Soo-yeon and it was all over.
All three of them fell in love with Soo-yeon at first site, who was perfect in every way, from her looks to her feisty personality. They had each tried to date Soo-yeon, only to be harshly rejected. Joon-ki’s dating proposal made Soo-yeon throw up, and Ki-bong’s declaration that they were together if he could hit a can with a baseball resulting in Soo-yeon hitting the only out-of-the-park homer against him. Jung-eun asks Woo-shik for his story, but he refuses to tell and leaves the room.
Joon-ki’s director asks him to bring a friend to be an extra for today’s shooting, so he grabs Ki-bong and off they go. The scene is a fight between cops and gangsters, and the two are specifically told by the director (cameo by Lee Joon-hyuk) to die quickly, with their eyes open.
Weirdly, the director immediately gives Ki-bong the same directions, then he also repeats himself to Joon-ki. Joon-ki tells Ki-bong that the director hit his head doing a stunt scene, and only has a three-second memory.
They put on their best stankfaces and the scene starts. Joon-ki grapples with a cop, but Ki-bong turns into a total chicken and flails away from the cop chasing him. The director motions for Ki-bong to die, so when he gets hit over the head, he slumps into a chair, holding his eyes open very wide.
Joon-ki gets the signal, so he grabs a fire extinguisher, which he’s supposed to set off then die. But the fire extinguisher is broken, and Joon-ki ends up spraying himself in the face. Ki-bong struggles to keep his “dead face” on while Joon-ki careens around the room, spraying the fire extinguisher closer and closer to his open eyes until he nails Ki-bong point-blank in the face.
They both end up half blind and getting yelled at by the director, who forgets who Ki-bong is again. He tells them to get some rest, then three seconds later, snaps at them for sitting around and not getting ready for the next scene, hee.
Woo-shik has dinner with the landlady that evening. She misinterprets his attempt to eat quickly and get it over with as nervousness to be on a date with her, so she gets snuggly in an attempt to make him more comfortable. Woo-shik thinks to himself that this is wrong no matter how desperate they are for rent.
He decides to tell the truth, but she gets a call. She tells the caller that what she hates more than anything is someone lying to her, and as she screams to toss the liar in jail, Woo-shik gets the serious shakes. When the landlady hangs up, poor Woo-shik just lays his head on her shoulder and whispers that he hopes time stops right here.
Joon-ki and Ki-bong fall asleep, and wake up long after the actors and crew have gone home. They can’t call for help because the staff took their phones, and their eyes are still too sore to see with, so they just start yelling for help as loud as they can.
Woo-shik looks sweaty and terrified as he and the landlady walk home. She thinks he wants to get closer and links arms with him, and this time Woo-shik thinks that he’d rather go to jail than continue lying. But his confession is interrupted again, this time by the landlady’s grown son, who spots them and runs over to say hello.
HAHA, he’s huge and covered in bruises, but he’s less terrifying than her other son, who’s even bigger. They say they’re fine with their mom dating a younger man, as long as he’s not doing it for money like the last guy. GULP. The landlady asks Woo-shik what he was going to say, but he lays his head on her shoulder again and squeaks that he doesn’t want to go home.
Joon-ki and Ki-bong try to walk to safety, and Ki-bong develops a tummyache. Joon-ki tells him to go wherever and wipe with his tie (ewww). Ki-bong hobbles off to do his business, both of them unaware that they’ve wandered into a camping area.
A quartet of female campers are playing a silent game, so Ki-bong doesn’t realize that he’s about to drop trou right in front of them. He pulls his pants down, the women scream, Ki-bong falls on his butt, and ends up sitting in his own… yeah. Joon-ki runs over, having found some tissue in his pocket, and Ki-bong bawls, “Joon-ki-yaaaah, I pooped myyyseeeelf…!”
They eventually make their way home, and all three guys despondently compare their horrible day. They reminisce about their carefree youth, when Woo-shik dreamed of being a successful musician, Joon-ki thought he’d be in Hollywood and winning Oscars, and Ki-bong hoped to be playing baseball on a major league team by now.
Woo-shik asks if it’s time for them to give up, but the others say firmly that they’ll never give up. They end up laughing at each other, and even Woo-shik cheers up, quoting a saint who said “Success is for people who don’t give up.” Ki-bong asks who Saint is, and Joon-ki has to stop Woo-shik from whacking the idjit with a pillow.
In the morning, Joon-ki and Ki-bong’s eyes are back to normal. Jung-eun asks where Woo-shik is today — he’s at an amusement park with his new family, crying softly to himself while the landlady cuddles him and they all ride the merry-go-round over and over and over…
The other housemates burst out laughing when Woo-shik returns home wearing bunny ears, with his arms full of balloons and stuffed animals, LOL. They tease him until he explodes, throwing stuffies and screaming, “How can grownups love the merry-go-round so much? We rode it more than thirty times!”
Ki-bong asks him to hang in there until they’ve been forgiven their back rent. Woo-shik gets a call for a last-minute wedding singer, so he yells that he’ll solve this by earning money, and tells the others to go make money, too.
The wedding planner takes Woo-shik to meet the bride and groom when he arrives at the wedding. He freezes when he sees the bride — it’s Soo-yeon, his and his friends’ first love from high school. He hides behind the wedding planner and begs her to get him out of there, and when she refuses, he links arms, hoists her over his back, and crabwalks them both out of the room. Smooooth.
Woo-shik says that he can’t do this job, but the wedding planner tells him that it’s too late to find someone else. He keeps refusing until she quadruples his pay, so he says he’ll do it, but he needs a favor first.
Joon-ki attempts to get a loan, but without a job, and only Rebecca, his dilapidated car, as collateral, he’s out of luck. He wishes that some money would just fall from the sky then turns on the TV, where a news article says the meteorites that fell the other night are worth a lot of money.
He contacts a meteorite collector and arranges to meet at a hotel cafe. Ki-bong doesn’t want to ride in Rebecca, who still smells terrible after a little flatulence mishap a while back, but he reluctantly gets in. Weirdly, the doors won’t stay closed, but Joon-ki chirps, “It’s okay, it’s okay!” (squee, he said it!) and says they just need to close the doors at the same time.
When they do, the trunk pops open, but they call it good enough. On the way, they think of how they want to spend the money they get for the meteorite, but Joon-ki says it’s his meteorite and his money because it fell on his guesthouse.
He says that Ki-bong and Woo-shik said that he’s the CEO and they’re just investors. Ki-bong argues that according to that logic, the meteorite (and the money) belongs to the landlady. He threatens to call and tell her about the meteorite unless Joon-ki agrees to split the money evenly.
When they arrive at their destination, Ki-bong insists that they carry the meteorite together. They agree to both get out on the driver’s side, but once Joon-ki is standing, he slams the door on Ki-bong and runs off giggling. Ki-bong catches up to him in the lobby and they wrestle over the rock.
Neither will back down, and they end up breaking up as friends. They each try to grab the meteorite again, but it goes flying across the lobby. Joon-ki picks it up, cradling it like a baby, then he realizes that Ki-bong is standing stock-still where he left him. He goes to see what’s wrong — and there’s a wedding photo of Soo-yeon and her fiance, whose wedding is in this hotel.
They find the wedding hall, where the happy couple are cutting the cake. Ki-bong says that if things had been different, it might have been one of them up there with her right now. The singer is announced, and the doors open… and Woo-shik walks in with his guitar, and a box on his head.
Woo-shik walks to the microphone and says that the bride and groom requested a song, but since he doesn’t know it, he’s going to sing something else. As he sings, he remembers Soo-yeon back in high school, and how she once found him alone in the music room.
He’d been practicing a song for a performance, and she’d asked if she could come watch. The radio had played a song that Soo-yeon requested, “I Love You” by Lee Jae-hoon, and Woo-shik had said it’s his favorite song. He’d shyly offered to practice it and sing it for Soo-yeon later, and she’d made him pinky-swear.
For some reason, Woo-shik never got to keep that promise, so he makes good on it now. He finishes the song and wishes Soo-yeon happiness, and in the back of the hall, Joon-ki and Ki-bong echo the sentiment. Woo-shik refuses his payment, telling the wedding planner to give it to Soo-yeon.
On his way out he sees Joon-ki and Ki-bong and asks why they’re here clutching a rock. Suddenly a man rushes into the wedding hall, and Joon-ki assumes the guy is Soo-yeon’s ex-boyfriend, here to object to her marrying someone else. But the man yells to the groom that his business has gone bankrupt, and to run for it.
The hall erupts in pandemonium as federal agents flood the hall, knocking the guys over and causing them to drop the meteorite. They struggle to reach their Precious, but they lose track of it, and in the confusion Soo-yeon’s father tells her to get somewhere safe.
Eventually Woo-shik and Ki-bong give up on the meteorite and urge a sobbing Joon-ki to take them home. Ki-bong notices that Rebecca’s trunk isn’t open anymore, but Joon-ki is too despondent to care. HAHA, we see that a wedding guest picked up the meteorite, which she uses to loofah her feet as she gossips about Soo-yeon on the phone.
The guys argue all the way home, and as they’re heading inside, Woo-shik hears a knocking sound coming from Rebecca. He slowly opens the trunk, then slams it again and gasps that there’s someone inside. Joon-ki comes over to check, and the guys scream — at Soo-yeon, who’s curled up inside Rebecca’s truck.
Waikiki Wonderlaaaand! Okay first thing’s first, let’s just answer the question that we’ve all been asking for months — will Woohoo Waikiki 2 be as good as the first season, with five-sixths of the cast gone? It’s a little soon to say for sure since we haven’t really met the ladies yet, but as far as the guys go, I can confidently say that the answer is a resounding YES. The humor feels the same, the sight gags are the same, and even the guesthouse itself got a little makeover but is still very recognizable.
The plot hasn’t changed much, with the house managers late on rent because they all suck at their jobs, and the same basic personality archetypes. Joon-ki is still the cheerful happy virus, Woo-shik is the alpha grump, and only Ki-bong takes a slight left turn as an idiot jock (also, did anyone else recognize Shin Hyun-soo from his turn in the first season as Phillip, the stinky-footed model?). It seems clear that the show doesn’t intend to stray far from its roots, but can’t we all agree that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Even after a four-episode extension, I could have happily gone on watching the first season forever, so I’m glad that not much seems to have changed. My only complaint is that adorable scene-stealer baby Sol has no counterpart in this season — can we maybe get the houseguests a dog?
For me, Lee Yi-kyung was the comic heart of the first season (and the emotional heart as well, by the end), so as far as I’m concerned, if we could only have one character still living in the Waikiki Guesthouse, I’m glad it’s Joon-ki. And honestly, I sorta felt that he and Seo-jin could sometimes be pretty toxic together, so I’m not terribly unhappy that they broke up beyond the fact that Joon-ki got his heart broken. I do love that he’s already showing great chemistry with this new crop of housemates, who seem to be just as quirky and eclectic a bunch of weirdos as the first group was, if not more so.
I was particularly excited about the addition of Kim Sun-ho to the cast, and he’s absolutely as funny as I knew he would be. He makes a great grump to replace the crabby Dong-gu (who will be much missed), but he brings a different flavor to Woo-shik. Where Dong-gu was quick to anger and often jumped to the worst possible conclusions, Woo-shik seems sadder, like something happened to him to make him disappointed in life in general. He’s still funny, but I do hope that he learns to cheer up during the course of the show — maybe he’ll get a second chance with Soo-yeon? I have a hunch that his feelings went beyond a simple crush, and that he’s the one who truly got his heart broken back in high school.
If I have to think of something negative to say about Woohoo Waikiki 2, it would be that the flip side of giving the audience everything we loved in the first season, in almost the same way, could go well, but it could also get tedious if not done right. I didn’t laugh quite as hard at this first episode as I remember laughing last year, but then I also recall that it took a few episodes for the humor to find its groove and really kick in. But for now I’m super happy with the way the show seems to be shaping up so far. Like Waikiki Guesthouse itself, the framework is familiar but the details are fresh and new, and I’m really looking forward to the fun and silliness that’s in store.
- Premiere Watch: Woohoo Waikiki 2, The Banker
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