Roommate Episode 9 - Sweetness, Spiciness, Bitterness

Sorry for the delay but with the 4th of July weekend, I'm a little behind.  This is a long recap, too, so grab your champagne and tissues, people, I think we just hit perfection with this week's episode. It has just the right amount of funny, spicy, sweet, salty (lol) and heart to it. And if anyone can get a spin-off show from Roommate, I would want it to be Se Ho's mother. That woman is kindness, love and wisdom all in one. But before we need to pass the tissues, we're taking a ride on the funny side!
bcook: This is a bittersweet episode for me given the recent news. My oppajusshi was so sweet and loving and *wails* *sniffles*

Min Woo and NaNa are in charge of breakfast today, so they decide to go grocery shopping early in the morning.  Soo Hyun tells NaNa to make sure Min Woo drives – I guess they don’t want to have to wait 4 hours for breakfast, lol. Mama Shin receives a package full of stuffed Poong Poongs that he bought for Bom. Not sure what motivated him to do that, but he sure is one thoughtful guy.
JoAnne: I thought it was a little odd. At first I figured he was buying them for everyone, but they're all for Bom? And he never said anything to her before or after, or her to him? Who wants a dozen of the same stuffed animal, and big ones, at that?
bcook: I don't think he bought them. Did he? so random! 

Everyone (with ear patches in great abundance) gets up for the breakfast Min Woo and NaNa prepared, some more gently than others.  I love how brutal Mama Shin is when waking up Se Ho and yet so sweet and gentle with Chan Yeol.  He truly seems to have affection for his roommate. Bom gets special treatment as a bowl of soup is delivered to her bedside by Chan Yeol and NaNa. I’m beginning to wonder why everyone is being so considerate of Bom.  Is it because of her schedule?
JoAnne: No, it's because of the news about the charges against her a few years ago. It's a big scandal and I'm sure they're just trying to be kind to her during a difficult time.
bcook: What news? *googles it* Oh Jeesh! It was 4 effing years ago! SMH. People have no lives. I love that everybody is sporting Bom's ear patches. No comment about's just happening. That's what happens in families. Luff it! Luff it!
At breakfast it’s decided that they will hold competitions to assign chores.  Before they go outside, Bom gets up and sees all the Poong Poongs.  I love how they play a  random Christmas song when she sees them, then switch to the Toy Story song (You’ve Got a Friend in Me) while she brings them all into her room. Se Ho negotiates with get Bom to give him Roo Roo before she knows what hits her. He always knows the right things to say, hehe.
bcook:  hehe it was so cute!

Next comes the chore competition.  Thank you once again, Se Ho, for coming up with such a great idea. Although, PLEASE!  Must you be the master of ceremony in those pajamas????
JoAnne: Does he WASH them? Did he fix the seam he split in the first episode?
bcook: He must...right? Well koreans don't sweat so.... thanks for putting that thought in my head Jo.
The first competition is the hula hoop between Bom, NaNa and Miss MMA. Is this some kind of national sport?  Because honestly, they are so good at it! So good in fact, that Se Ho has to make it harder by having them move around while doing it. Watching NaNa with her hula hoop is hilarious! Unfortunately she is the first one out. I think Bom stops out of exhaustion, making Ga Yeon the winner.
JoAnne: How does everyone just know how to do it? I never was able to get it. I am a hooping failure.
bcook:  Maybe it's part of their PE? The only kind of hula hoops I like are the potato chips.
Next up is the men’s hula hoop competition. I cannot stop laughing. If NaNa’s technique was rocky, it’s nothing compared to Se Ho’s. Even after a do-over and Kang Joon kindly switching hula hoops with him, it’s a no-go for Se Ho! And can I just stop a minute and say what a sweetie Mr. Pretty Eyes is once again, just doing what he’s asked without a second thought.
bcook: I cackled through this entire bit.

So now we get to focus on the swiveling hips of the young’uns, which is fine by me! But Min Woo also has a little trouble and goes triple time to try to keep control of his hula hoop. Honestly, I can hardly make the gif because tears are running down my cheeks as they describe him as having a turbo waist! The other two are barely moving as Min Woo is frantically, though unsuccessfully, gyrating. So now we’re down to two. I guess there is something to say for being young.
JoAnne: They were making jokes about him being in a music video, and all I could think was he's gonna hurt somebody someday.
bcook: I had to pause the video I was laughing so hard.
Chan Yeol and Pretty Eyes keep it going.  Elvis has nothing on them! They even have to Hula hoop on one leg.  But in the end, it is the 2 maknaes that win the hula hoop competition.  Good Job, Kang Joon and Ga Yeon.  The other roommates seemed to enjoy watching them as much as I did.
JoAnne: And now I am positive. I have thought this before, but I'm so sure now that I feel ready to share it with you.
bcook: bwhahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh Jo.

Wait for it...

With a brief interlude of NaNa proving she’s the hula hoop queen by keeping up 4 hoops at one time, it’s on to the one legged fight. I just have to say that I bet there will be some sore waists tomorrow! I’m not sure why Mr. Pretty Eyes has to fight again, or maybe its the testosterone kicking in.  But watching these guys hop around on one leg is not only pretty funny but also pretty amazing when you see their strength and coordination.  This time Kang Joon’s out first, and Chan Yeol is the winner.  So now everyone knows what chores they will have.
JoAnne: First hop I'd been on my butt.
bcook:That was an epic battle. The leg switch was pretty flawless. They've clearly done this a bunch of times.

Later we see Se Ho talking to So Ra on the phone.  I’m assuming she was at work and had to miss the festivities.  So they ask So Ra what she is good at, and she says she can eat spicy food without sweating.  A new challenge is born as the roommates break up in to two groups and go off to find the spiciest food they can find to test SoRa.  I wonder how NaNa and Se Ho ended up in the same car? It’s livelier than the other car, where Chan Yeol has fallen asleep in the back seat.
bcook: His battle with the seat belt was just... awesome.
Watching both groups eat spicy food is making me want to run to the bathroom like Chan Yeol, Min Woo and Kang Joon. Surprisingly, the girls fare better than the guys, but So He’s team definitely fares better than Min Woo’s.
JoAnne: No spicy for me. Why would I want food to hurt?
bcook: *drool* I love spicy. Native Thai spicy, food from back home,jjampong. indian lamb vindaloo. yom yom yom. I can't wait to go to that jjampong place in shingil-dong!

They each get a super spicy dish to take to SoRa. Soo Hyun is so cute as she is incredulous of the fact that the other team completed two bowls of jjamppong. It seems that SoRa cannot beat the challenge and no matter how hard she tries, she definitely breaks into a sweat at the spicy jjamppong.
bcook: So hungry right now. :( They really drenched the rice in the curry though. Poor Kang Jun. You need to add more rice.
Next we move on to the sweet. Someone found out it is Ga Yeon's coming of age today. Since it wasn't Ga Yeon's birthday, I admit I had to look up what exactly coming of age meant to Koreans and found this explanation: 
In Korea, citizens are permitted to marry, vote, drive, drink alcohol, and smoke at age 19.The Monday of the third week of May is "coming-of-age day". On that day, those entering adulthood are to receive three gifts: flowers, perfume and a kiss. 
So the roommates, prompted by Min Woo buying flowers, decide to have a party to celebrate's Miss MMA's coming of age. It's so darn touching to see everyone come together to surprise Ga Yeon, especially since we know she has so little real family to speak of.
JoAnne: It's very sweet of them - and holy cow, I knew she was young but she's either 18 or 19?
bcook: I didn't realise she was that young! No wonder her manager told her to say she wasn't dating. That doesn't make sense though..she was going to special forces school!! How young was she then?!
It is SoRa who goes the extra measure by buying GaYeon new sneakers. Ok, I know Miss MMA loves those, but honestly, they are not pretty! (A fact I quickly forget as we hear the contents of the letter SoRa wrote to Ga Yeon.) First, I'm so happy that Ga Yeon is getting the love she deserves and second, I'm so thrilled that SoRa is showing such a funny, compassionate side in this show. Little did I know that the tears I shed as Ga Yeon was reading the letter was just a warm up for things to come.
JoAnne: Yeah, pretty is not a word I use to describe black hi top sneakers, no matter how fancy they are.  But she loves them, and So Ra knew what would make her happy, so it's all good!
bcook: aww. so sweet. So Ra has come a long way in showing her personality. Remember the first episode when she was so awkward? I have to disagree with you guys. those are some sweet kicks.
Salty time!  SoRa and NaNa are making a meal, so NaNa looks up a recipe for geotgeori online. The two work closely together, seasoning and tying up the chickens. NaNa's kimchi has a big problem though - too salty!  
JoAnne: I was thinking about what I'd do - I probably would have doubled the batch but left salt out of the second half, see what that did for me. Although I am not sure that would really work because from what I know, they use the salt  just to wilt the leaves and draw out the liquid so they'd be adding unbrined cabbage to the existing kimchi...
bcook: *clueless*
So who else to the rescue - Chef Mama Shin! He is so patient with NaNa and tries his best not to laugh at her.  The doctoring begins, and people start tasting. SeHo thinks it's good--hmmm--is he really only eating it out of love as NaNa suggests? Probably not, because it doesn't look like he turns down much food now, does it? (But I love you, Se Ho!)
JoAnne: He also doesn't look like it's that salty anymore, though. Mama Shin, as expected.
bcook: My husband. Still. I will remain true.
The next thing we know, Se Ho's parents show up.  Yes, they are young looking and yes, they are adorable.  SeHo's mother brings lots of food and a supposedly dead but really very much alive octopus.  Love how she just takes a knife and starts slicing.  Can't they feel that? Se Ho hasn't seen his parents in a bit, and they are so happy to be with him and the other members of the house, although it's pretty obvious that they like NaNa right from the start. She tells his Mom she's the closest to Se Ho in the house. I'm thinking they must be aware of Se Ho's crush on NaNa, because he checks to make sure they're not saying anything weird to her.  She is so cute with his mom - can I ship those two, also?
JoAnne: I really like NaNa. She's a fun girl and I think she probably actually has a good head on her shoulders.  And Jo Mama is great!

Everyone sits at the table, and Se Ho's mother begins to talk about her son.  It's obvious that they are so proud of him, and already I'm starting to get teary-eyed as they tell how he hired a housekeeper for his mother when she developed tendinitis, and how he always says he loves her. SeHo is embarrassed as they say whoever he marries will be a lucky woman.  I think we've already figured that out, Mom + Dad!
JoAnne: Yeah, I think he's a good guy. Both smarter and more thoughtful than people give him credit for at first glance.
bcook: I was chopping onions while I was watching this scene. It's the only explanation.
Bom and Kang Joon return, and the merriment continues.  Se Ho's mom is so wise as she speaks about wanting happiness for her son, whoever he would decide to marry.  Bom puts Se Ho and NaNa on the hot seat by saying she thinks he likes NaNa, but his mother even turns that to praise as she says "a man willing to admit his feelings is a kind of strength." I love this woman! SeHo than adds his comic relief by saying, "Mom, you should go home now."  Oh Se Ho, she's just getting started!
JoAnne: Bom with her gardening hat like a tiny ahjumma.
Se Ho's mother begins to tell about the hard time that SeHo went through for many years while trying to make it in the business.  She tells of a time he was so depressed he wanted to jump off his 13 story balcony, and how her heart was breaking for him. There is not a dry eye at the table (or on me, either.) I think Se Ho is sad thinking about that time, but also crying because of his love for his parents while realizing the depth of their love and support. She ends by saying she is so thrilled for Se Ho to have the roommates now and how she wants the best for each and every one of them. It's one big, awesome love fest and I want to jump through the screen and hug everyone!!!
JoAnne: Am I alone in thinking this is not a story that someone else should be sharing about you on national television? Sure, it's emotional. But it's also very personal. I felt for the guy, I felt for his parents, I felt for everyone in the room - but it was extremely uncomfortable.  I'm sure they could all relate on some level because of their shared work but still.
bcook: They do it often. It's very strong heart-ish (if you haven't watched it before go find it! It was the best variety show and I cried when it was over) where basically celebrities come on to share their saddest or funniest stories.  

Before leaving, Bom gives So He's mother a poong poong and she gives Bom some love and encouragement.  More crying, by both Bom and me! By the end of this show, I am an emotional wreck, but in a good way.  Thank you, Roommates.  As So He said earlier in the episode:
Our family really is the best!
JoAnne: I do like them all so very much, it's true.
bcook: I luff this show. Se Ho is pretty awesome. Bom is pretty awesome. Roommates fighting!!!