Just Bananas About: Week of 5/8/17

Despite my hopes for good weather this weekend, I pretty much kept things low-key and homebound for Cinco de Mayo.  It is also Family Month in Korea and due to family-related holidays this weekend (Children’s Day on May 5th and Parents’ Day on May 8th) that many shows got preempted.  And so, it only seemed fitting to feature the latest episode of Superman Returns and the precocious kids on it.

As much as Lee Dong Gook is involved in his kids’ lives, it is understandable that sometimes he just wants to take a break.  He comes up with the plan to dress up as an old man so that he can see how his kids will react and see whether they can help him as aging is an inevitable part of life.  At first, the kids are understandably shocked but it’s the Soo Ah and Seol Ah that react with tears once it sets in that they don’t have their young, vibrant dad anymore.  Daebak pretends to cry from seeing his sisters reactions but it doesn’t seem that he quite understands what the difference is until he plays around with his dad.

The kids then decide to go out to the playground but Lee Dong Gook significantly slows his walking pace like an old man.  It is touching to see Soo Ah escort her dad to the park while Seol Ah and Daebak race ahead.  At the playground, when the kids realize that their dad can’t play with them like he used to, they are saddened by it but it doesn’t deter them from trying to figure out how to play on their own.  Even when other children see the kids and ask them what’s up with their dad, the kids are not embarrassed that their dad has gotten old overnight.

Upon returning home, the kids wish for the return of the dad that they know and the young Lee Dong Gook returns without the white hair and makeup.  However, Soo Ah smells something fishy and goes into the room to look around.  In the bathroom, she discovers the clothes that Lee Dong Gook has changed out of.  Seol Ah also checks too and now it seems that Lee Dong Gook is going to have a harder time fooling his savvy daughters.

Meanwhile in Jeju Island, Seung Jae is enjoying time with his dad, Go Ji Yong.  They go to a restaurant where they can pick out their own lobsters but Seung Jae views them as pets rather than food.  He’s a bit shocked when he sees the lobster he picked being displayed on top of a cooked pizza and reels back when his dad tries to give him a bite.  I get how traumatizing it is.

After lunch, the pair head out on the road for some off-roading adventure.  They go riding off into the back roads of Jeju Island and visit some horses.  Seung Jae would prefer to spend all day with the horses but Go Ji Yong is a bit afraid of them and walks away holding Seung Jae after a few minutes.  After the trip, Seung Jae is asked if his dad is the best and he doesn’t hesitate to respond that his mom is the best leaving Go Ji Yong amused by how Seung Jae continues to play hard-to-get with his dad.

Also, on a trip with her dad, we see that Ro Hee is searching for shellfish and other delicious beach-side food with her dad.  In the morning, the two are enjoying a walk along the beach when some other people offer a ball for her to play with.  Teasing her dad, she throws the ball into the sea and makes her dad retrieve which he is only happy to do.  I cannot believe how much her vocabulary has grown since she was last filmed and how responsive she is.  They really do grow up fast.

For family month, Ro Hee and Ki Tae Young decide to sell coffee and strawberry juice at the street fair.  With the money they earn, they plan to use it to buy Eugene a gift for Parents’ Day.  The good news is that there are plenty customers only happy to line up for a refreshing beverage but after seeing the strawberry juice being served to the customers, Ro Hee can’t resist taking a drink meant for one of the customers for herself.

Unbeknownst to the father-daughter, Eugene is at the street fair herself with a surprise she’s prepared for them.  When they’ve earned enough money, Ro Hee and Ki Tae Young take their earnings to buy a gift and Eugene sets up a cake she’s brought.  After buying her mom a bag, the pair return to their table and see the cake.  Eugene pops up from underneath the table to surprise them and it warming to see the three celebrate their family together.

As for Sam Hammington and William, they are off to the Korea’s version of California, otherwise known as Busan.  When Sam boards the train, he hands out a small treat bag to all the passengers.  It is something that he’s done previously when he flew with his family to Australia when William was only 5 months old.  I actually think that this is a brilliant and thoughtful idea.

It seems that William is enjoying his first train trip.  He also plays along with his father when his dad brings out snacks.  William definitely has an infectious smile.

In Busan, the pair enjoy a walk on the beach when they notice a large hill.  Together, the father and son take their first sleigh ride together down the hill.

Back to Seung Jae and Go Ji Yong, the pair are out at Garosu Road where Go Ji Yong is planning to pick up a new spring suit.  I’ll admit that Go Ji Yong’s slim figure makes him look really good in a suit.  Seung Jae can’t resist looking like his dad and so the two coordinate a couple look.

Afterwards, the two head to a café together and catch the eye of some foreigners sitting at the next table.  The couple at the next table can’t help but notice how adorable the pair is and that fact that they are being filmed.

As for Lee Bum Soo and his family, they are off to the Nexen Baseball stadium as So Eul is off to sing the national anthem at the game and throw out the first pitch.  Da Eul is also there to make the first hit.  However, So Eul is incredibly nervous and keeps singing the anthem over and over again on the way to the stadium as well as reviewing the lyrics.  When they reach the stadium, the kids meet the team’s mascots and get some pointers from some the players before the big event.

Despite her nervousness, So Eul sings the anthem remarkably well and all by herself.  The two also don’t disappoint when it’s their turn to throw and hit the first pitch.

During the game itself, the family sticks around to enjoy the game.  They even enjoy being put up on the big screen in which they must replicate the expressions of the pictures that’s displayed on it.

Finally, there’s Lee Hwi Jae and his twin boys.  Today, they are at the studios for Pop Music Stage, a long-running show featuring a variety of singers, mostly veteran.  It’s a show that’s typically enjoyed by older audiences but with the start of Family Month a lot of families have brought their parents to the show.  Lee Hwi Jae is there to perform with kids for his father.  It seems that his father has not being doing well, health-wise.  He just remains in his room and the only show that he seems to enjoy is Pop Music Stage.

After getting some tips from veteran singers, Se On and Se Jun get on stage to perform “Cha Cha Cha” with their dad.  Afterwards, Lee Hwi Jae performs “Father,” originally sung by Insooni.  Although Lee Hwi Jae isn’t a great singer, the performance is incredibly touching considering the lyrics as it’s about the difficult relationship between a child and their father.  Lee Hwi Jae’s father was in the navy and was not exactly warm as he was growing up.  Seeing his aging and helpless dad makes Lee Hwi Jae incredibly emotional as he always remembers him as this strong figure.

Later, Lee Hwi Jae screens the show for his dad.  Immediately Se On sees himself on screen and points him, his brother and his dad out on the screen.  However, his grandfather doesn’t recognize who is on the TV screen.  He says that he recognizes the song but doesn’t recognize the singers.  Lee Hwi Jae brings his dad closer to the TV in hopes that he will recognize them but to no avail.  After the performance, he escorts his dad back into his room and it’s an incredibly sad moment.

As much as the show is about highlighting the adorable, funny moments with the kids, I completely respect the shows ability to also show these other moments.  We started the episode with Lee Dong Gook in which he was experimenting with how his kids might react to him being old and helpless.  Towards the end of the episode, we find Lee Hwi Jae who has not come to terms with the fact of this reality.  It’s a reality of life that is rarely talked about especially on show meant for the entire family but it’s also an important aspect of life that we must ultimately face as bittersweet as it is.


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