I spotted every one of the roommates at some point in this episode, good job! The show’s new format is divided into mini stories that focus on an event or a person in an attempt to make some sense of what’s going on. Season 2 has set its own rhythm which I attribute to the laid back personalities of the new members. At first I was afraid that Jackson and Joon-hyung would overpower the show with off-the-wall antics that would quickly grow tiresome. But they all are developing a camaraderie of give and take rather than just a 2-man show. I am relieved. I also learned some things that might come in handy if I am ever a contestant on an international extreme trivia game show.
Story 1 – Jong Ok, Joon-hyung, Sunny, Ryohei, and Jackson headed to Bukjeong Village, the last shantytown in Seoul that is said to be frozen in time. It was a wonderful glimpse into the communal atmosphere of a village on the outskirts of Seoul that has retained the flavor of the 70s. The village has a kitsch-y flare to it, and is definitely on my list of things to see when I visit Korea. The roommates hung out with mostly elderly locals who talked about how the young people prefer new city apartments to living in the village. They teamed against the village’s renowned Yut players for a lively game that turned competitive with the roommates winning and buying a round of rice wine and snacks for everyone. It looked like they all had lot of fun!
Story 2 – A luncheon invitation arrived from the Finland Embassy. Gook Joo dressed up in the Korean traditional Hanbok and headed over with Kang-joon, Nana, and Seho. They were greeted by Ambassador Matti Heimonen and his wife, Hilkka, and exchanged a lively hyvaa – hello in Finnish. A champagne toast welcomed them and they also sang happy birthday impromptu style to Kang-joon. Things I learned: Angry Bird is from Finland, sauna is a Finnish word and every family in Finland has a sauna, and smoked salmon and soft white trout are traditional Finnish fare. They smoked the salmon in a small electric smoker right in the kitchen. I want one of those! Oh, and a summer wife – a cool bamboo roll to sleep with on a hot summer night – was presented to the Ambassador as a Korean gift. I laughed at the animal sounds contest – who could oink and neigh the best – and, although Seho and Gook Joo were stiff competition, the charming winner was Ambassador Heimonen. Go figure.
Story 3 – Gook Joo was invited with several other celebrities (running into Fly to the Sky made her giddy as a schoolgirl) as guests on the 2014 Baek Ji Young Show – That Woman concert. I’ve got to hand it to Gook Joo who put on an amazing song and dance performance with Ji Young with her version of “Candy to My Ears.” Ji Young has captured my attention as a judge on this season’s Super Star K6. She also appeared on the Korean variety show, I Am A Man, and held her own as the only female panelist in a room full of 150 males.
Back at the house, Young Ji prepared a delicacy dinner from Jeolla-do that her parents sent – fermented thornback ray and five-year aged kimchi. But they needed pork, so she and several others took Sunny’s company credit card, which she offered to them, and somehow spent 170,000 won (@$165). Oops. Well, the damage was already done, might as well enjoy the eats. The specialty dish combined boiled pork, thornback ray, and aged kimchi in a lettuce wrap. It must be pretty potent, and was described by those who ate it as tasting like strong ammonia. Okay ~ I think I’ll pass. Young-ji ate it like a pro, she is so much fun to watch while she eats.
Such a new taste sensation for Jackson – mmm mmm good.
Coming down the home stretch with story 4 was an acting lesson by Jong Ok. I do believe everyone was present for this segment. Jong Ok started them out with a tongue twister: Min-woo nailed it, Jackson did okay, but Joon-hyung butchered it royally. Too funny. Next, it was Korean Shakespeare time. Jong Ok prepared script scenes from Romeo and Juliet to be performed by couples. Young-ji was impressive, but Romeo Jackson was pretty awful, and even read the stage directions. (Shades of Gag Concert’s idol actor skit.) I never thought I’d say this in a million years, but Seho sported a fake beard to get in the role, and I thought it looked good on him. He and Gook Joo were decent, as expected. Joon-hyung and Sunny – well, picture Joon-hyung’s style and voice reading Shakespeare. Yeah. Poor Sunny worked so hard not to laugh out loud. How can Jackson and Joon-hyung be so bad at acting? Finally, the group did a visualization exercise with eyes closed, which was the funniest part of all. When it came to “I believe I can fly” Dong-wook was stretched out on the floor, Seho was trailing about the room, Kang-joon was off in lala land – everyone was so into it – making the acting class a huge success.
What did you think of Seho’s fake beard? Should he grow a real one?