Just Bananas About: Week of 8/8/14

Youth Over Flowers totally sneaked up on me. The show premiered last week and I think when I first saw the promos for this show I was in the undecided camp. Sure, it funny in the way that we’ve come to expect for the “Flowers” series but while I enjoyed the last season of Grandpas Over Flowers, it didn’t have that same zing as the Grandpas’ first season.

Will Youth Over Flowers live up to the hype? Yes, yes, it does. Oh, how conniving you are Na PD and it makes me love you all the more.

So our first group of victims, errr, youths have been friends in the music business for more than 20 years. They are Yoo Hee Yeol, Lee Juck and Yoon Sang and although they’re not exactly young, they’re young if you compare them to the Grandpas. We learn in the pre-interviews that Yoo Hee Yeol is the planner and Yoon Sang is the complainer. I guess that just makes Lee Juck the 40 year-old maknae.

Na PD gathers the entire group for their first meeting. We’re used to seeing this scene in which Na PD explain the gist of the trip. As the viewer, you’re waiting for the twist to happen. You know that Na PD is lying in wait just to pounce on them. He tells them that after interviewing the 3 of them and how they all expressed interesting in going to Northern Europe, he decided that they will go to South America for this trip and more specifically Peru.

They’re eating and talking and then he slips the guys their plane tickets. It’s Yoo Hee Yeol that discovers that the flight is leaving in 2 ½ hours, that same day. They don’t have time to pack. They can only call their wives at home to send essentials (medication and such) to the airport by quick service (aka messenger). All of their clothes, food, housing will have to come from the money supplied by the show. This is the moment when I just sitting grinning at the sheer ingeniousness of Na PD.

He worked it out secretly behind the scenes with of their managers, got all of their passports as each member walked in the restaurant that day and Yoo Hee Yeol arrived at the restaurant, not having showered and wearing Birkenstocks. Not the ideal footwear for climbing Machu Picchu. The situation finally sinks in for Yoon Sang and he’s all like why are we still eating? We don’t have time for that and promptly turns off the stove.

On the ride to the airport, Na PD asks them to all hand over their wallets. What’s funny is that you later discover that Yoo Hee Yeol is adept at the sleight of hand and manages to slip his American Express card out. Of course, he doesn’t have a wallet and it drops out of his pocket while he’s sleeping. A loyal VJ turns it over the Na PD and I love that Yoo Hee Yeol is all like I watched the show and I learned how Lee Seo Jin slips his own money and mixed it with the rest.

At the airport, the guys get the packages that their wives sent them and I guess Yoo Hee Yeol must have picked up a guide book. He’s super meticulous in that way but just as the plane is about to take off, he books a hostel for the group at 7,000 won per person/per night (approx. $7 US).

When the boys arrive in Lima, it’s not all uphill from there. They negotiate a lower price with the taxi driver but when they arrive at the location, he doesn’t have any change to give them so in turn they don’t really get a discount. They need supplies and the only 24 hour pharmacy looks like pawn shop where you have to tell them your order through a tiny window. The three of them have to share one towel.

When it comes to traveling, I think Yoo Hee Yeol is a lot like me and I think I would be comfortable traveling with him in a foreign place. He’s studying the guide book, reading up on the places and even learning a little Spanish on the whole flight. He’ll do the research, try to save some money and is an extremely good navigator. However, I think it is hilarious that his head turns every time he sees a hot woman. Haha, they don’t call him a pervert for nothing.

Yoon Sang, on the other hand, I can see why they call him the complainer. I get that at a certain age, you don’t want to sleep at hostel. He wants to enjoy the trip but I think he sometimes overlooks efforts made by the other two to make him happy.

Especially, Lee Juck who holds it in when they literally go back and forth between two hostels just so that they can get a private room with a private bathroom. But to top it off, Yoon Sang makes a slight dig at Lee Juck for sleeping on the lower bunk the night before. Lee Juck only chose that bed because it the worse of the two that was available.  I really get Lee Juck’s frustration but his interview really got to me as he says that if he’s going to do something for someone, he should do it without expecting acknowledgement or praise which is true.  On the flip side, a little thanks does go a long way.

Sometimes I think it’s really hard to travel with friends. You tend to be more sensitive when you’re away from home but they’ve been friends for a really long time for a reason. It’ll be interesting to see what we learn about the guys and what other tricks Na PD might have up his sleeve. Can’t wait.

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