Back to the Future: Winter of ’99
On a crazy whim, Joon-hyung headed to Ilsan to the place where g.o.d. was born. He wanted to search for the dormitory where he and the 4 members of their yet-to-debut group lived back in the late 90s. Jackson and Sunny, who had the cute giggles the entire episode, joined him. He posted an instagram for his fans to meet up at 4:30 p.m. in Ilsan, and gave Danny Ahn (g.o.d. member and his cousin) a call, too. Fans texted, “What about us, we work!” and Danny was busy, so expectations were low that anyone would show. The area had changed after 14 years; the dirt road was paved, buildings went up, rice fields were gone, but Joon found the old digs. Amazingly, with only an hour’s instagram notice, a few fans had arrived and so did Danny – bam! The main level of the old dormitory building was a restaurant, but the hole in the wall they called home for several years was in the back and down some narrow stairs. It was all still there – a kitchen with no refrigerator (the window well served as one), the same mold on the walls, the one room sleeping quarters for everyone (it was now a storage room filled with dust). Proves you can do just about anything when you are young and got nothing to lose.
In the top picture above from 1999, someone is holding a baby, and a reference was made to Parent Diaries. So I looked it up. Apparently, and somehow this is hard to imagine, g.o.d. and a one-year-old starred in a reality show called Yookailgi (An Infant’s Diary). I couldn’t find much about it, but here’s a link to a brief description. http://forums.soompi.com/en/discussion/229524/variety-g-o-d-yookailgi-god%EC%9D%98-%EC%9C%A1%EC%95%84%EC%9D%BC%EA%B8%B0-g-o-ds-babysit-diaries
Bizarre. Does anyone, by chance, know about this older show? I wonder if there is a plan to reunite the child (who would be around 14), and re-create the show in a “that was then, this is now” episode? Hmmm. Joon-hyung and Danny shared plenty of Animal House type stories, including sneaking into the local motel and hospital to use the washrooms when their dorm pipes froze. Sunny just kept laughing the whole time. After touring their old improvised public bath houses (and apologizing the the hospital staff – I thought it would have been a good time to make a donation), they returned to find a whole boatload of die-hard fans to greet them with sky blue balloons.
Pretty cool. It was another overwhelming and emotional moment for Joon-hyung who was thankful and bought the whole fam damily black bean noodles. He and Danny escorted all of them via van to a Chinese restaurant where Joon footed the bill for 160 orders. What a good guy, and what great fans who left work early, called in sick, and outright skipped work to make the impromptu fan meeting.
Later, there was more reminiscing with plenty of Jin Young (JYP) impersonations and stories from the training and promotion days as they ate in the restaurant that occupied their old dorm. As always, Joon kept the atmosphere hyper with his loud, every-other-sentence-in-English animated stories. It was a fun segment.
Two Average Looking Guys in a Korean Wave of Pretty Men
Old friends Se Ho and Nam Hee Suk, for some reason, got on a “who has a better face, me or him?” kick. Leave it to Hee Suk’s 13 year-old daughter, Bo Ryung, to set it straight. “Pick from only those two?” And of course, her favorite idol, Lim Seulong of 2AM, who is on a whole different level, won hands down. Sorry, dad. Sorry, uncle. Reality is harsh. SeHo had mentioned Nam Hee Suk at the SBS Awards as the person who was behind him. As CEO of the agency that Se Ho belongs to, Hee Suk had plenty of stories of the hard times they’d shared. It took 13 years – a lifetime in the world of comedy – for Se Ho’s to become a known comedian, and he credits his friend’s loyalty and encouragement. I have to say, though, I didn’t get the whole “I’m from Cuba” spoof. Must have been some inside joke, but that humor isn’t my cuppa tea.
I love Korean food trucks! In memory of the first time he met Hee Suk, Se Ho arranged for a food truck in the backyard for everyone to enjoy. Awesome! With Joon-hyung and crew back at the house, and Gook Ju and Sunny stirring steaming trays of Korean sausage, seafood stew, fish cakes, soup – all served with Soju – everyone enjoyed eating and talking. Nam Hee Suk offered advice and encouragement to Gook Ju (“don’t lose weight”), Ryohei, (who was quietly there in the background all episode), Dong Wook (“carry the baton”), and Se Ho. You know, the older entertainment generation passing chat on down to the new generation. Yada yada yada. It was all wrapped up with words to ponder by Joon-hyung, “We are all fortunate people.” Next thing you know, he was in bed, snoring like an old man.
Random filler clips: Kang-joon, Young-ji, and Nana eating a late snack in a bedroom; Jong Ok returning at 3:30 a.m. and clipping her toenails.
Teaser preview: Am I stupid or what? Every time. Ok Taecyeon waking up Gook Ju early in the morning for breakfast. Will it air in a real episode? Will it? Or will we be foiled again – aauuggh! I can’t take it.