Just Bananas About: Week of 11/7/14

Na PD’s latest reality/variety show has been off to a good start.  Three episodes in for Three Meals a Day and I’m already loving the sarcasm, hilarity and trickery on the show.  Although I have to admit that the initial concept of the show had me scratching my head at first.

Na PD has expressed in past interviews how he always wanted to do a cooking show so when I first heard about this show I was intrigued.  However, how would this show differ from the types of travel programs we’re used to from Na PD.  The great thing about Na PD is that he’s always been great at challenging his cast members and uncovering the rare moments of humanity apart from the celebrity world.  There’s no one who reacts better to Na PD evil wit than Lee Seo Jin.

It’s no surprise to see Lee Seo Jin again in this program but I was highly surprised to see 2PM’s Ok Taek Yeon.  Why?  Okay, I know they worked on Wonderful Days together but I just don’t see what they have in common really.  Plus, I don’t really know Taek Yeon as the type of person to over the top outrageous on variety shows.  He’s a nice, hardworking kid who is young.  I emphasize the young because Lee Seo Jin will need someone with the energy to help him.  And perhaps it’s to reprise that role of older brother and younger brother from the drama.  I’m still not sure because I didn’t watch that drama.

I also didn’t understand the format of this show at first.  I was wondering how they would stay long enough on a farm to sow and reap the harvest considering their normal day job as, oh you know, an actor and idol singer, respectively.  It seems like a 1 night 2 day concept for the most part which I think has them shooting on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for entire year.  That’s quite a commitment.  The two were given seeds before the start of the challenge to start growing them at home.  Seo Jin’s mom and his niece did most of the growing and caring for him while Taek Yeon’s seed, which didn’t grow all that much, was cared for by himself.  Already, we’re off to a good start, aren’t we, Seo Jinnie?

They come for the weekend to the farm, cook the meals as designated by the crew and do various chores on the farm.  Each week they receive guests who either come to help them on the farm or just eat the meals cooked by the two.  The first night was hilarious only because they don’t have a TV to kill time.  So Seo Jin tries to call his manager but doesn’t know the number so he calls him mom.  As you might have expected, Na PD confiscated their phones.  He doesn’t quite connect as the phone line suddenly go out but a few minutes later he gets a call back from none other than Lee Seung Gi.  He asks why he’s trying to reach his manager and Seo Jin is all paranoid saying that the crew is tapping the phones.  Hahaha.

The guests we’ve seen so far are very familiar either to fans of Na PD’s or the drama Wonderful Days. We’ve seen Yoon Yeo Jung and Choi Hwa Jung who played mothers to Seo Jin and Taek Yeon, respectively.  We’ve also had a visit from the two alcohol-loving halbaes, Baek Il Sub and Shin Goo.  This past week, Actor/Bachelor Kim Kwang Gyu made a visit as well.

With Yoon Yeo Jung and Choi Hwa Jung, the boys tried to make them as comfortable as possible but the noonas used their wit to get more meat for dinner and helped cook the meal.  I have to admit that I love watching Seo Jin when the wheels in his head start turning.  On the farm, they don’t have all the luxuries that they have in Seoul.  So when you’re given a package of coffee beans, what do you do to brew coffee?  You use an traditional Korean grindstone to grind the beans, of course!  The only hitch is that they used the same grindstone the day before to grind some hot peppers so what resulted was some iiinteresting tasting coffee.  Yoon Yeo Jung’s reaction is priceless as she relays that the coffee has a weird banchan (side dish) flavor.  Ha.

As for Baek Il Sub and Shin Goo, the traditional Korean men that they are, they barely lift a finger.  Taek Yeon is busily running around trying to make them comfortable and all the halbaes are doing are giving orders.  It’s not that they’re not appreciative but Taek Yeon was going a little nuts by doing all this running around.  Meanwhile, Lee Seo Jin conveniently disappeared behind the house to do other chores, away from the halbaes.

Finally, with Kim Kwang Gyu, they could have some who could help them with their actual chores.  It’s not quite the trip that he had imagined but I find it hilarious that after cutting down the stalks of sorghum, he goes to the stream to relax.  A few minutes later, Seo Jin shows up like a nagging mom telling him to come home for dinner.  He can play in the stream after they’ve eaten.

You wondering with all this running around, when they’ll actually get around to the farm.  However, I think the organic farm life isn’t all about the sowing and reaping.  It’s awesome to see that Seo Jin can just look at something and just figure out a solution.  Like looking at a pile of wood and making a chicken shed or looking at some rope and making a fence to pen in their goat named Jackson.  Sure, Jackson escapes like a dozen times but A for effort.

The cutest member of the family has got to be Minky the puppy who makes fast friends with a stray cat named Miranda.  Although, we don’t know if Miranda just making friends with Minky just to get to the chicken in the shed.  If it’s not Miranda, there are other stray cats roaming around the village that have no problem with stealing a chicken they bought in a plastic bag.

I’m still unsure how I’ll feel about this show in a year but I definitely think it’s important to see the process all the way through.  You can’t have about organic farming if you don’t give them enough time for them to actually grow something, right?


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