JoAnne: Shit's gettin' real.
bcook: *rubs hands together*
We start out at 5 a.m with a friend of So He's arriving. It's the day of the Korea versus Russia soccer match, and the friend, along with Se Ho, Soo Hyun, Ga Yeon, Min Woo, are going to Gwanghwamun to watch the match in the streets on a giant outdoor TV. They seemed delighted that they are getting so much recognition from the crowd due to Roommate. Se Ho happily leads the crowd with cheers for SK. You just get the feeling that he lives his life with gusto, that's for sure!
JoAnne: You can't help but like him, right? I do believe there's more to him than meets the eye but he seems like a genuinely good person.
bcook: Soo many people! It was kind of bittersweet to watch this knowing what happens to team korea. I was acting exactly like that watching my country's matches. *sigh* being a football fan is so stressful.
For a gesture of good luck, Se Ho has Miss MMA give one of her kicks to his friend. Honestly, it is pretty hilarious watching the poor guy try and keep cheering through it. Some things never get old.
JoAnne: It's ALWAYS hilarious watching these guys crumple in pain. I'm just a sadist, I guess.
bcook: Nope...it's funny as heck
Back at the house, the rest of the roommates, also all donned in their red shirts, are watching the game, although with much less animation. When SK scores, NaNa and Bom embrace and fall over each other. Bom is whining to the guys how she hurt herself (although in all honestly, I rewound this 5 times and see cannot see Bom tripping over anything but a pillow.) I guess she wants attention, but the clueless guys are like "Bom, look at the tv" hehe. Naturally they are all disappointed when SK doesn't win, but I'm sure they realize how awesome it is that they got to be living together during this time.
JoAnne: She didn't trip over that broken hassock?
bcook: Hahaha trying to get male attention during a football match is like trying to get a crab to play fetch. *amazed at her own genius* I need to copyright that or something.
Wookie is not with the roommates, but he is looking mighty fine doing a photo shoot. Another case of a guy I really find unattractive until somehow, through the magic of the kdrama lens, he starts looking really appealing. (Although it' not really the same day as the soccer game, so where was Wookie during that?)
JoAnne: Filming, maybe? I agree. I never thought he looked all that hot like everyone said, but now watching this I do get it. I like him much better as a regular guy than I do as a cold, remote character in some drama.
bcook: You didn't like him in Scent of a Woman??! When you think about it (the kdrama lens comment) Isn't that a testament to how good his acting is? That through watching him play a character you find him more attractive? Maybe Wookie is a better actor than I thought.
JoAnne: I never thought about it until this episode, really, but it comes up a few times with different people that they are aware of needing to be 'on' for the camera, sort of. Not acting fake, necessarily, but just being ACTIVE in some way. Min Woo is right - if he's doing something so that the viewers will have something to WATCH then Kang Joon needs to be participating in that, not just sitting there silently. It might be fine for real life but it doesn't make for very good voyeurism.
Min Woo starts asking the stylist "what do you think of Kang Joon? Who would you rather work with?" Warning: This is where I'm starting to get bad vibes about Min Woo. You can see the poor girl feels awkward, but not as awkward as I feel watching Min Woo fish for compliments. I'm beginning to think Min Woo put you up to wearing that rather bizarre short suit, Pretty Eyes, so he'd look more dapper than you. And although they are laughing and hamming it up when leaving, I can't help but feel there is some real jealousy on Min Woo's part towards Kang Joon.
JoAnne: I'm not sure if it's real or exaggerated for the camera but I can understand a little bit. This kid literally shows up out of nowhere and is everyone's darling and seriously...he's so good looking that you can't even look at the other people in the room. Who would like being constantly and effortlessly overshadowed by a guy who wins just by showing up and standing there? And then you feel bad for feeling that way because he's not a bad guy and he's not doing anything to make it this way, and that just makes it even worse.
bcook: That's the thing about producer scripted shows. How much of it is Min Woo and how much of it is prompting and editing? I actually don't think Kang Joon is that "ridiculously good looking" maybe because I don't find being "dumb" attractive. Nothing turns me off faster than somebody who "doesn't get it".
The guys decide they'll pick Bom up from the airport as she is returning from the Phillipines. OK, can I just say that I don't like how this episode is filmed out of order. I think they could have held off with the soccer match and put it in chronologically. Anyways, Bom is at the airport talking to a camera and discussing how the fans made a dictionary of her alien way of talking. Darn, I miss so much not understanding Korean! Her quirky sayings are rather lost on me.
bcook: *shameless plug for favorite Korean learning site* Talk To Me In Korean (TTMIK) will help you with that!
JoAnne: All I could figure is that maybe it could be messy, you know - spills and drips - and that you would avoid food like that on a photo shoot.
bcook: Maybe it was the soju that made Min Woo laugh? From what I understand blood sausage soup is like street food-ish so you might have it with soju when you want to hang out with friends at night and just chill? Maybe it's super stinky? Even the shop owner was surprised so I think it's the equivalent of bringing a beer and tuna sandwich to a photo shoot.
JoAnne: Yes. I don't know if it was his idea or if he was put up to it, but the question is awkward and rude and embarrassing for all concerned. It's childish. It makes him look bad, it makes the person he's asking uncomfortable, and I dunno...don't you think it would be difficult for Kang Joon to be standing there? I mean, what's HE thinking? He doesn't ask for things to be the way they are, does he? And I distinctly remember saying at the very beginning - I wonder if it's hard to be him, with people fawning all over him like that. I think it would get tiresome pretty quickly.
bcook: I bet you it's PD prompted. Remember how surprised he was when he got recognized in the street? They're trying to build some kind of flower boy rivalry? Who knows.
I love how Wookie and Joon immediately went into model face, but not Min Woo
Other roommates are still heading out. Miss MMA and her friend, fighter Seo Do Won, are going off somewhere together while Soo Hyun and NaNa have decided to go shopping for the day to one of the most bustling areas. They seem to be enjoying the freedom this show brings of being able to go out and wander around, and react positively to all the attention they get as they enjoy their swirly potatoes on a stick and some shaved ice. (Yeah for two things I will definitely be able to eat when I visit SK, lol. )JoAnne: Those potatoes looked good!
bcook: so hungry right now.
JoAnne: NaNa is fine by me. I feel bad that she was hurt by what people had to say - they're always going to go after the pretty young thing who flirts with boys, always. Jealousy.
bcook: aww poor NaNa. :( She's so obviously exaggerating it's sad people can't see that. So glad the PDs let her have this moment. She shouldn't have to explain herself to anybody.
JoAnne: Yep, shorts always surprise me when they show up at work or special events. Different strokes, as they say.
bcook: Apparently if you're not in a traditional industry, short suits are quite the thing. I always laugh when I see e.g. banana republic or ann taylor's vision of "business wear" because if I wear about 80% of those clothes at my job they'd probably ask me to go home and change. Fashion and entertainment jobs have it easier I think. Also this is korea...showing leg is perfectly acceptable. What annoys me is wearing shades indoors.
JoAnne: I think it makes it even more difficult for both of them that they actually do like each other, and yet Min Woo is feeling this constant urge to compete. And then he loses, every time. Which sort of makes me feel like this is all a put-up, to be honest.
bcook: Oh it's an obvious set up. They talk about how good looking Kang Joon too much. Dong Wook is just as pretty but he doesn't get so much gushing coz he's already established in the industry.I wonder if Min Woo did it deliberately to get Kang Joon and Bom in the back.
JoAnne: I am consistently surprised at the things people in K-TV do to 'get to know each other better' because I don't see how you actually get to know anything much by the games they play...but then I think perhaps they just mean to get past that feeling of awkwardness and be more comfortable, and yeah, it would work for that. Once you've really laughed with someone, how can you feel distant from them?
bcook: I think that's what it is. Just reducing the feeling of awkwardness. They mostly work...well 'cept for that strange staring thing between my oppajusshi and So Ra. That was just eww.
JoAnne: Ga Yeon - I just want to bring her home and treat her like my own kid.
bcook: She's adorable. *fan girl moment* Follow her on instagram! @songkayeoun
JoAnne: DONE. And viewed. Jeeeeeeeeeezus have you seen that girls ABS?
JoAnne: I actually really love to see couples where there is a complete physical mismatch and yet they are obviously deeply in love, each with the other. It won't happen here, she's much too young and an idol so it won't ever get past her management...but if it did I would ship it so hard! Se Ho's the kind of guy who adores but still doesn't allow bullshit, and NaNa...NaNa is going to be happiest with a smart guy who loves her, doesn't try to control her, but also will not be controlled BY her. She will always be the good looking one in the relationship. Her guy needs to be strong and steady and really smart.
bcook: I agree with that assessment. Their personalities are adorable together.
JoAnne: And this is why I call bullshit on it, a little bit. There's not one person in that house who isn't media-savvy enough to know that you can't have an emo hissy-fit on national television without it being obvious, so I think that even if he is really having those feelings, he's playing it up for the camera. He knows what makes good tv.
Luckily the tension is broken with the arrival of two of Kang Joon's members of 5urprise from the dorm. (What exactly is an acting group and why would you name it 5urprise? Anyone can chime in to explain it to me.) I have to laugh at how Soo Hyun is trying to put some makeup on but gets caught and made fun of. The two guests are like puppies let loose from their pen, so happy to be eating meat and interacting with all the roommates. I really love seeing them all together like this, especially playing games to see who will do the dishes (which, of course, the guests were planning to do anyway) but they all chip in.
JoAnne: It's 5urprise but sounds like Surprise. There are 5 of them, and I guess the surprise is that they are not a singing group? Although they can sing. They came together for that After School Bokbulbok show, and they are a group as far as management and living go, just like an idol group. They can do stuff together or separately. I can't imagine there's tons of opportunity for 5 men to act together in that way, so I'm guessing they'll do mostly solo projects? It's pretty gimmick-y, and I think only Kang Joon is having any actual success (or consistent work.)
bcook: (I had to look them up because I think it's the stupidest idea ever to come out of k-entertainment) They had a webtoon/web show that was apparently well received. There's one other group member who has had a TV role. They're pretty new though. And how can 5uprise sound like surprise? ?At least B2ST makes sense. 2ne1 makes sense. Even winner (second stupidest idea) barely makes sense.
JoAnne: The 5 looks kinda like an S? I guess if you read the five in Korean it would sound KIND OF like 'Da Surprise' but I'm being generous.
JoAnne: I agree. He's seizing on the introductions thing as an excuse to vent his overall frustration. Basically, by not making a point of introducing his room-mates to Min Woo specifically, Kang Joon has deprived Min Woo of an opportunity to be this kind older brother gifting the younger men on behalf of his gracious, generous parents. (I thought it's best to give without wanting acknowldegment?)
bcook: Well... that was awkward. I get where Min Woo is coming from. He's Kang Joon's roommate, supposed to be hyung, the least the kid could do is introduce them separately. But yeah, Min Woo is competitive and it's very hard to pretend to be happy for somebody else when you're that competitive. I think he handled his reaction well given the circumstances.
lafer: I know everyone is on the Min Woo train, but honestly I think the jealousy is his true feeling --he's insecure about Kang Joon or he wouldn't be asking people to pick between them all the time. I think the "I'm just saying this because I like you" is the part playing to the camera. Have you noticed his facial expressions a lot of the time? Also, had the blankets even been brought up yet? That would have been the time to do it, but no, Mr. Jealous Pants Min Woo couldn't wait. The other, elder guys didn't whine. Just my take--we can agree to disagree!
JoAnne: And this is why I think KangJoon is truly blameless in this. I don't think he wants to hurt or offend anyone, ever, but he's in it for the work, just like anyone else. I don't think he's as dumb as he lets himself be seen...but I DO think he's kind of off in his own world a lot of the time, and I think his awkwardness is genuine. Which may explain why he's SO GOOD at being someone else on camera, actually. Give him a role and tell him what you want, and he can be that thing - it's a RELIEF to be that thing.
bcook: I haven't seen him act so I can't attest to that. Again. I find him annoying for the reasons I talked about before.
JoAnne: He is COMPLETELY, absolutely different when he's playing a role. I've seen him in 3, and he was different each time. Baekpro. And I do not for one minute believe he's as dumb as he acts here. He's a talented musician and athlete and he's a good enough actor that even as a newbie he's getting real praise and notice. You can't be all that AND have cotton balls between your ears. (I think he is probably very socially awkward and shy but can go gangbusters when acting. It's pretty common, isn't it? Plus he's very, very young.)
JoAnne: They were funny, although I thought Joon taking them into Chan Yeol's room without invitation was very rude. Chan Yeol was shocked, but covered it well. (He probably matured from the experience.) Did you notice how all the women were so amazed by the maknae being the maknae, since he is such a big juicy hunk of boy? Ga Yeon in particular seemed a bit smitten up front...I was sad they didn't get to talk more.
bcook: hehe I like how we're all counting the ways Chan Yeol is maturing. I think he thought Chan Yeol wasn't in coz they knocked before walking in. I was amazed the maknae was the maknae. Such a deep voice, such nice shoulders. He needs to bulk up a little but the army will do that for him. The Korean army is a great institution and I think fans don't appreciate it enough.
JoAnne: Are you KIDDING? I worship at the altar of the obligatory post-MS shower.
JoAnne: I don't really have a lot of grief about it. He was feeling it, but he recognized what it was and felt bad about that. He didn't let it keep him from still liking Kang Joon and wanting to be his friend.(hmmm, that's debatable.) It's just him being a human, from what I could see. What I'd like is for him to come clean with Kang Joon about it. I think he deserves that honesty from Min Woo, and I think THAT would bring them closer, and I also think it's what's needed to help Min Woo get past it.
bcook: Yes. He's being as mature about it as he can be given the circumstances. And he's being honest about it to people (well not to Kang Joon but that's harder to do). Also.... bwahahahahaha at the 5urprise members getting low kicked.
Final thoughts: I like how the residents really seem to be opening up to each other. I'm sure their backgrounds were researched well, but they each seem to have a touching story to tell. I love Soo Hyun's personality (she always seems like the person people want to meet the most) and am so glad she actually has one after seeing some of the roles she's played! And Kang Joon, for what he may be lacking intellectually, has a really good heart. Speaking of which, my favorite quote of the episode goes to Mr. Pretty Eyes himself, when he said: "I need to snip the awkward weeds today." You do that, Kang Joon, you just do that!
JoAnne: I like them all, to the point of wondering if part of the selection criteria included that they must be known for being particularly nice people - not necessarily by netizen acclaim, but by people who actually know them.
bcook: lol. Maybe. It wouldn't do to have nasty people on the first season esp. since Korean tv watchers aren't used to that kind of reality show. Anybody else notice that Wookie also used Chan Yeol's maturing moment phrase? hehe. This is a real show people! With real people and real feelings! I'm happy to watch it. Roommate fighting!