Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Nose Job for 1N2D

Crawl out of your sleeping bags and brush the crusties from your eyes. Can't you hear the wake-up song playing? It's time for another season of iil bak! Ee iiiiiiiiiiillllllll! (Did I spell that right?) Otherwise known as 1 Night, 2 Days. Only Cha Tae-hyun and Kim Jong-min remain from the previous cast, and the climbing ratings for the new guys must leave their former Season 2 members green with envy. But there's good reason for the renewed interest. 1N2D is looking different these days. l wouldn't call it a full-on facelift, just a little nose job that gives the show a new confidence.

So get your fists out for a rousing round of rock, paper, scissors as we explore why. The winners get to move on to the next challenge. The losers have to watch the ending of The Prime Minister & I again. *Screams of terror echo through the blogosphere* I hope you make it to the end. Fighting!

Round 1: Get on the director's good side (if he has one)

What name comes to mind when you hear these words? Sadistic. Sand Eel. Deng! If you said Na PD, you won the right to tag along. His reign of terror on Season 1 left Kang Ho-dong and Lee Seung-gi starving in a tent on many a chilly night. But I wonder if Na gave private lessons to this new guy. Yoo PD was an assistant for the original show and got to note firsthand all the imaginative tortures of the guy that directed 1N2D to a ratings success. He brings a fascinating mix of beloved old tricks like sand eel spiked coffee or jumping in the icy cold ocean, and new machinations like scaling an ice cliff in January for popsicles.

Round 2: Not exactly greased lightning

Not every new show addition is human. A reoccurring guest star that brings much pain and suffering to the cast is a Beat-up Bessie kind of work truck with room for only three. Considering there's six members, this leaves the other half always riding in the truck bed, strapped to a wooden bench with a precarious mix of safety belts and ropes. The windy seat of doom has its perks, however. On a recent episode, a fellow motorist recognized them and passed over some munchies while they were stopped at a red light. We all know they need to eat while they can.

Round 3: Earning your ramyun

Don't expect the same old mealtime routine on this revamped version of 1N2D. My favorite challenge involved fancy place settings and a waiter dressed in white, ready to serve them lunch. Did I accidentally change the channel? Isn't this show known for starving its poor participants? On the contrary, that day they could sit at leisure and finish an eight course meal complete with after-dinner coffee. Of course, leisure worked against them big time since the two teams were in a race. They needed quick service not cappuccino. And did I mention they were seated in the middle of the busy Seocheon rest stop? A classical trio of beautiful ladies serenaded them with stringed instruments. But they only played one song. Over and over and over. The sedate tempo hardly matched the speed with which the actors inhaled their food. Rapper Deffcon turned busboy as he shoved the poky waiter aside to load and unload the dishes. And Joon-young's inner Machiavelli came out as he cajoled and force-fed his portions to the musicians, just to get done faster.

Round 4: Choose your teammates wisely

Speaking of the evil genius, if you watch Jung Joon-young on We Got Married, you might get the impression he's mischievous, clever, and a little bit rude. But seeing him on 1N2D reveals that he is actually . . . mischievous, clever, and a little bit rude. But don't worry. He grows on you. The maknae of the group, this skinny 25-year-old can think of more ways to circumvent Yoo PD's plans. In the very first episode, he and two others lost a game of rock, paper, scissors and got stuck riding in the windblown back of Beat-up Bessie, while the other three sat up front in the cabin. He endured it for awhile, but his scrawny frame doesn't have much fat to protect him. Commence brainstorm! Joon-young pulled out the walkie-talkie that connected the two groups with the producers in the other car. He raised his voice high and thin to mimic Yoo PD, and informed his fellow cast members that they must pull over and play another round for seating rights. The oblivious cabin crew fell for it. Another game ensued, Joon-young won this time and ended up toasty warm inside the truck. The losers may not have found out until the episode aired.

Round 5: You can sleep when you're dead
One of the best inventions in the new format is the "Morning Angel". A surprise celebrity comes to wake our exhausted cast members after a day and night of torturous travel and games. Imagine their surprise on the initial trip when Suzy (Gu Family Book, Dream High) woke them with a finger kiss on the cheek. They never know who will make a guest appearance. Sometimes they whoop for joy at the smiling face of pop star Hyun-ah. Sometimes they pull the covers over their head at the the sight of Kim Tae-hee's boyfriend, Rain, who made them do calisthenics to earn their breakfast. But perhaps the most unwelcome angel of all had eight legs. Joon-ho and Jong-min lost an all-important sleeping game that landed them on a creaky boat, fishing for octopus in the wee small hours. They made sure to share their smelly experience with fellow cast members by bringing their catch home and draping the slimy tentacles across their sleeping faces. Talk about morning breath!

1N2D tests a person's mettle in the strangest of ways. It's not for the faint of heart, but if you're reading this, you made it! You've won an extra cup of coffee to help you wake up. But choose with caution. You never know what unique flavoring might be added. I hope we'll have many more adventures together as we watch Yoo PD bamboozle his charismatic cast to ever crazier heights.

This has been Dramarookie, everyone. A southern gal with a penchant for travel, the K-world, and traveling IN the K-world. I'd like to thank the Crazy Ahjummas for inviting me to do a guest post. I know letting someone new on your blog is kind of like letting a stranger in your kitchen. You just hope the cooking sherry is where you left it when they're done. I hope I didn't make too big a mess. If anyone wants to come and visit me where I normally do my K-drama cooking, you just hang a right at Anyung!

1 comment:

  1. Love IT!!!! And am going to go get caught up on 1N2D right away!!!!


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