I seem to be on a roll with these lettuce talk that I try to get myself updated with Hyunjoong and Hwangbo’s respective news. Hyunjoong seemingly is at the height of his popularity, coming down from We Got Married, Boys Over Flowers, and recently he is holding activities with his group SS501. The SS boys just had their Seoul concert and I believe they are going to go on an Asia wide Tour! I am so glad that finally, SS is gaining the attention they deserve. These guys are good vocalists, good dancers, but in the past they never seemed to make it big. Now, 2009 is definitely their year.
For Hwangbo, she is still an IG member, but she has also ventured out to do a new MBC Sunday night variety show called Nodaji with a few other notable variety personalities, such as Kim Jedong, Jo Hyerun and the awesome Shin Junghwan and will start to air regularly around the end of August. Hwangbo has also released her new song Arisong (Vague/Schizoprenic in English??) in Europe! And apparently, she’s climbing the chart now for online sales. Her new song, imo, is a little repetitive, but I gotta admit, because she repeats a lot of ‘Arisonghae, Arisonghae’ it’s been it’s been in my head now. Oh, and she is caught on screen wearing a Yoon Jihoo socks. Now, trivia. Who played Yoon Jihoo from Boys Over Flowers???
But anyways, on to a new day of shooting in the Ssangchu household. These are episode 16/17 of WGM. In the beginning, I didn’t like these set of episodes because there are some… tension in the air, which I will get in a moment. But the more I watch them, the more I came to see that these episodes are where things start to get real. Things get meatier from this point on. The newness of this union has died down a little and we are starting to see real developments in the relationship. I have always thought that things were heating up for real from episode 18, Japan excursion, but it is actually episode 16 and 17 that get it going.
Alrighty, on to Lettuce Love, part 4.
Episode 16: Moving In
We start out with Hyunjoong standing on the sidewalk with a backpack, looking like a lost little kid. Shooting has started, but his bride is nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, just like when they first met, Hwangbo swoops into the picture to pick Hyunjoong up to their new house! Only, in place of that red VW Beetle, she comes in a truck, fully loaded with their belongings. You can see the white couch and Hyunjoong’s guitar collection among the many things they pack up to move into the new house. A little disconcerted with this, Hyunjoong stands there, freezing up, before Hwangbo tells him to get in.
In the car, with their Driver Ahjussi, Hwangbo tells her groom that she is a little sick, she’s coming down with a cold. She also explains about the move, that because the house is too far, they need to move to a new house. She is having a hard time feeding her husband, so they move into a smaller house. Haha, of course, this is not true. Their old house is actually a hotel, as revealed in a news coverage. Most likely, the production staff were just waiting to rent what is going to be the Ssangchu couple’s permanent home, a two bedroom apartment. What is interesting is that they never show that the apartment has two bedrooms, it was only until someone posted the house scheme online that we realized the apartment has two bedrooms, one installed with cameras and the other is for the staff and for privacy time, I guess.
On the way to their new home, Hyunjoong tells Hwangbo his recent worries. Apparently he has three. First, his cell phone is lost. Second, his shaver is lost. Third, he is out of hair conditioner. Hahaha, these are just such random things that Hwangbo is once again rendered speechless and can only crack up at Hyunjoong’s admissions. You can even see her sharing a secret laugh with the Driver Ahjussi, lols.
As they arrive at the new place, coincidentally, the mission reads ‘Make a Memory’, so yay, they hit two birds with one stone. Moving in a new house is making a memory. Upon seeing the house, Hyunjoong, ever the whiny whiny boi, laments his loss of the indoor bathtub pool they used to have at the old place, while Hwangbo is set to unpack and get settled in soon. There’s a funny little incident shown in Hyunjoong’s interview. He is doing his interview when suddenly his eyes widen in horror and he clutches his heart. Has he just seen a ghost? Nawww, what he has just seen is a bug! LMAO. Now we know that his aversion to mosquito during the honeymoon is more like a fear of bugs!
So we start with a real tension now. Remember that Hwangbo promised to knit Hyunjoong something in a month and Hyunjoong promised to finish learning to play Kim Bumsoo’s Bogoshipda in a piano within that same amount of time? Well, Hwangbo has fulfilled her side of the deal. She presents him a winter shawl she knits herself. Hyunjoong likes it and everything, but he still doesn’t make any progress with the song. Rumour has it that Hyunjoong actually says he hired a piano teacher to help him learn it fast, but that particular scene is cut. Well, believe what you want, but the fact is, Hyunjoong cannot fulfil his side of the bargain. Even in the background, you can hear Solbi exclaiming that he should have practiced the song more.
This is where I get frustrated even more with Hyunjoong. Whether you like it or not, We Got Married is a show to us, and a job to him, so I would like it if he actually does a good job. In this case, at least make a real effort for the show. Hyunjoong promised to wear the white vest Hwangbo gave him to the airport when he went to Thailand. His airport pictures that day has confirmed that he did not. He promised to finish the song in a month, he didn’t. He promises to call Hwangbo often when he goes to Japan (later in the day), and the first time he actually calls her on the phone is still wayyyyy ahead in episode 25, or like 2 months after and even then Hwangbo doesn’t recognize him. He promises to learn a Japanese dish (again, later today) and cook it for her, and even if he ends up doing it, it’s not shown on screen.
More than Hyunjoong’s blunt and nonchalant attitude (because it can just be the image the producer has for him on this show), it is his empty promises that I cannot get behind. The thing is, he is not required to make those promises so when he does make them, it’s natural that we expect him to live up to them, don’t you think? I feel bad for Hwangbo because this is one of the reasons why she can come off as overcompensating and/or desperate.
If you look at it more critically, most of what Hwangbo’s been doing is either living up to HER own promises or she is living up to her image as the caring wife. It’s not like she’s in love with Hyunjoong, in fact she’s the one being the more professional and the less personal, but because of a lot of factors, she can come off rather poorly on screen. I feel like Hwangbo has been waiting for Hyunjoong to reciprocate the work, put in more responses and reactions (if you watch 1 Night 2 Days, you can see that in any variety shows, reactions play a hugely important part) and today, there are some instances where she is visibly irritated even if she’s still laughing and smiling, and my hunch tells me that perhaps it’s because she feels like she’s been doing the work alone??? Am I looking too much into it?
Having said that, Hyunjoong is not without his own initiatives. As we can see this episode, Hyunjoong actually bought Hwangbo cosmetics as a present from Thailand. It’s a little….sad that Hwangbo brightens up immediately upon seeing he gets her a gift. To make up for not owning to his promise, Hyunjoong sings her a song, called Dahengida. In an appearance early this year, I believe Hyunjoong actually says that this is THE song he wants to serenade to HIS woman. Is it just because he’s really into this song? Hehehe, draw your own thoughts.
So he sings the song and there is a part of the lyrics that says ‘Since I can touch your hair…’ and Hwangbo jokes that he should touch her hair. Hilariously, the first thing that comes out of Hyunjoong’s mouth when he touches Hwangbo’s hair is “Oh, you applied hair conditioner huh..” a throwback from earlier that he’s worried about his stiff hair because he’s out of hair conditioner, lmao.
To honor Hyunjoong’s longing for a waterpool, Hwangbo brings out an inflated plastic pool and begins to pump it. At the same time, Hyunjoong brings out his camera and says he wants to take a picture of her to go to Japan (the SS guys had a photobook project and each of them got a camera to take pictures of everything they want and to be included in the final photobook. Hwangbo is in some of Hyunjoong’s pictures in the final photobook) and he ends up taking picture of her shoulder/back view.
Hwangbo remarks that she’s hungry, so as a solution, Hyunjoong tells her to keep doing what she is doing and he will go down and bring back something to eat. In the middle of the summer, he goes out to the convenient store in a winter-ish getup. A winter hat, the knitted shawl, and the white vest. He even asks the store girl to take a picture of him in that outfit, hahaha. Finished shopping, instead of going home right away, Hyunjoong wanders around, looking for direction. Direction to where? The pharmacy. This is one of those moments when his rare caringness surfaces and I think this is how he can make up for his lack of reaction and promise fulfilment. Even though he doesn’t express it well, Hyunjoong does have a caring side to him too, which is a nice quality because he doesn’t brag about it or even talk about it all that much.
Anyways, I actually wanted to do the whole episode 16 and 17 together, but it’s getting too long and it’s about 2 am here, so I will stop and continue with part 4b soon.