Kim Byung Man is back! And this leg of Laws of the Jungle takes the group to the Amazon.
Truth be told, I missed the premiere due to partly being busy and/or it being scheduled on a different night. I just happened to be out with my mom where they were playing Korean shows and we both went, ‘Hey, this looks new.’
First, let’s go through the members of the team. There’s the Leader Kim Byung Man and Comedian Noh Woo Jin. Actor Park Jung Chul returns and convinces his friend, Actress Park Sol Mi (Merchant Kim Man Deok, Winter Sonata), to come along. UFC Fighter Chu Sung Hoon also comes back and the new maknae newbie is Mir from MBlaq.
From the very start, it’s a little bit of a rocky start as the entire team doesn’t leave Korea together. Kim Byung Man had last minute filming for the canceled What is Mom? K-sitcom and Mir had a concert in Chile in which he’ll meet up with the team once they’re there. The remaining 4 members leave together.
When they get to Ecuador, Noh Woo Jin informs them that because they’re right on the equator not only does water drain straight down but they could also balance an egg on a nail. While Woo Jin’s hand isn’t steady enough to do it, Sol Mi stands the egg up. Sung Hoon tries himself but gets frustrated when he can’t and smashes the egg instead. Ha.
When all the members are finally united, they head off into the jungle and land on a sandbar. The nearest island appears close but is actually very far away.
At first they attempt to walk across the water but with the incoming tide, the water rises rapidly. The water was only up to Mir’s knees while he was going towards the island but when he tries to come back it comes well over his shoulders. Chu Sung Hoon tries to rescue him by swimming over but the current proves too strong for him too. The water is deceptive; it looks calm but in fact it is really fast. In the end, they need the producers to come over with their boat to try and save Mir from drowning. Kim Byung Man, who has no idea as to what happened, makes it to the island using two floating logs he tied together. He suggests that rather than using the logs to use a canoe instead for the safety of the rest of the members. Suffice to say, the first day was not an easy one for the crew.
There are many hurdles to overcome but one of the most important ones is finding food. From fishing to bananas to eating bugs. Yes, bugs. Eating bugs is nothing really new to Kim Byung Man and Noh Woo Jin but certainly Park Jung Chul and Park Sol Mi are horrified by it.
Chu Sung Hoon hasn’t changed his mind about how much he hated eating worms in Vanuatu. Mir finds a caterpillar as he’s chewing on sugar cane and tries it.
But Chu Sung Hoon refuses to eat it until he’s forced to eat half of it when he loses Rock, Paper, Scissors. He needs to eat it with Park Jung Chul who was chosen by 1st place winner Noh Woo Jin. They play that chocolate stick game except with the caterpillar. The stakes are so much higher as if you don’t bite it well you could inevitably end up with most of the guts.
I was eager to see Kim Byung Man climbing trees again but he found it wasn’t so easy in this jungle. Because of the wet conditions and the mossy growth on trees, it made the trunk super slippery.
There are also lots of interesting insects and animals in the Amazon. Most of which they have not discovered yet. But a few mentioned are: piranhas, spiders that walk on water, snakes, different kinds of fish and baby alligators.
Oh yeah and an unknown animal that makes weird noises at night. Have you seen Lost or The River? Yeah, it’s a little like that played out in real life.
In order to escape the island, Kim Byung Man decides to make a raft à la Tom Sawyer but the raft is not without its challenges. It’s hard to maneuver and because water seeps through, you cannot sit down and it is slippery to stand on.
Finally, the team has to deal with bugs, bugs and more bugs. Aaaah, I get itchy just looking at them. However, Kim Byung Man must be extra careful ’cause of his allergy to bees. He’s stung by one and they ask for the doctor to come by to examine him. She gives him shots of antihistamines and steroids but they just have to watch to see if he gets better. So far it has not been an easy ride for this group.