In the Soop: Friendcation
This summer (in some markets) Disney+ offers star-studded K-reality series In the Soop: Friendcation (Soop = ‘forest’ for you Korean language learners), delivering some heavy-hitting K-stars including BTS’ V (Kim Taehyung) Choi Woo-shik, Park Seo-joon, Park Hyung-sik and rapper/singer/producer Peakboy.
So, how did this group get smashed together? In real life, they’re mates – collectively self-titled as Wooga Squad (wooga is an abbreviation that means family). Park Seo-joon, Park Hyung-sik and Kim Taehyung performed together in the 2016 drama Hwarang (Netflix, Viki). While Park Seo-joon and Choi Woo-shik first worked together in 2012 on K-drama Shut Up Family and Park Seo-joon and Peakboy went to the same high school. But if we hang around, we may hear a bit more of the detail on what sealed their little family and keeps them making the effort to group up.
In the Soop: Friendcation Friends
The Unwitting Friends (and their group-presumed roles):
- Park Seo-joon (Captain Marvel 2: The Marvels, Itaewon Class) – the father and emotional anchor
- Park Hyung-sik (Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, Suits, Juror 8) – the kind mom, a little softer than dad
- Choi Woo-shik (Parasite, Our Beloved Summer, Time to Hunt) – the trustworthy older son, leader of the kids
- Kwon Sung-hwan (rapper/singer/producer Peakboy known for Gin&Tonic and last summer’s Gyopo Hairstyle) – the wild youngest daughter, always pumped up
- Kim Taehyung (BTS’ V, and also appeared in Hwarang, BTS In The Soop) – the cute & mischievous youngest sibling
Where Can I Watch In The Soop?
Having premiered on July 22 in market, it will continue to air Fridays on South Korean cable network JTBC at 9pm KST, and available on Disney+ at 11pm KST thereafter for three more episodes.
Initially it will run in Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, but there’s hope for a global release date Yet to Come (pun intended). As with previous In the Soop series, YouTube seems like a good bet if Disney+ doesn’t capitalise first.
Where Can I Watch Outside of Select Asian Markets?
This is still to be confirmed by Disney+. Presumably, one could use a VPN to watch if you already have or are willing to have Disney+.
If you’re keen enough to try this option, please let us know how it goes in the comment section below. If you’re willing to wait, Disney+ recently announced a global partnership with HYBE which includes this mini-series and several other BTS-related programmes.
Episode 2 Preview
Even without subtitles, we get a decent idea of what’s to come in the preview for Ep 2. Choi Woo-shik arrives next, noted as the life of the party. Followed the next morning by Park Hyung-sik, the sweetheart.
As the whole team unites, they’re ready to hang, tease each other, possibly nap again and maybe even share some secrets. Like how their friendship really started. If you’re up for a relaxing chuckle, seems like we’re in the right place.
Is There a Trailer?
You’re in luck, as there are several to stoke the fun:
Is There an OST
There seems to be, though it’s not yet been announced. You can clearly hear V and Park Hyung-sik, and you gotta believe that Peakboy at least had a hand in the production, even though you don’t hear his voice in that tiny clip. Have a listen here to the promo-sized charm. Hopefully a full-sized OST version will be released, as it’s a nice tune.
What happened in Episode 1?
The first 60-minute episode clarifies how the trip was organised, as a sheepish Kim Taehyung gathers his mates at HYBE Studios in Seoul, convincing them to take a trip together.
Two of the guys have scheduling conflicts for the first day, but the other three head out as planned. The action is mostly their trip to the holiday home, lunch at a local restaurant, grocery shopping and dinner at home then a couple of games until snack time. We close at the fourth friend arrives. For a full recap and review, click the Ep 1 link below.
- Episode 1 Recap and Review
- In The Soop: Friendcation Launches in July
- Disney and HYBE Announce Collaboration
- Two New Teasers for In The Soop: Friendcation
Where are Hyung-sik and Woo-shik?
It’s possible that Choi Woo-shik didn’t join until a bit later because he was promoting The Policeman’s Lineage, which hit Korean cinemas on Jan 5, 2022. Or indeed something we are as of yet unaware. Perhaps he’ll share it with his mates when he gets there and we’ll hear all about it next week?
Park Hyung-sik, only a year since completing his military service during the filming for In the Soop: Friendcation, seems to have quite the full schedule – likely cause for his delay. He’ll star in upcoming K-drama Youth Climb the Barrier and Disney K-drama Soundtrack 1, which landed in March. Paired with Han So-hee, it looks like a sweet romance. Shout in the comments if you’d like to see a review on that.
Who’s the most surprising as an ‘off-screen’ view?
It feels a bit too soon to say, but the dynamic is interesting. Seo-joon is very laid back but it could just be the 3-4 hours sleep he had the night before.
Taehyung seems to kowtow a little toward the older guys. But they all complained about lack of sleep the previous evening and you know what the first day of holiday is like. You need a little time to orient. Peakboy appears to be a humorous character and his music marries that theory. So, let’s see. Feel free to add your projections below.
How are these guys connected again?
As noted above and from the initial organigram, it looks like Park Seo-joon is the hinge that links them all together. But in interviews, the guys argue that it’s Kim Taehyung, with frequent calls and presumably a talent for organising, that keeps their friendship rolling. Hence, this trip. (I do wonder how the idea came to Taehyung. Hmmmm.)
There’s an indication that we’ll overhear more on their joint history, perhaps next week. Since their initial connection, or perhaps as part of it, there does seem to be some crossover in their work.
- Hwarang, as previously noted, starred Park Seo-joon, Park Hyung-sik and Kim Taehyung; Kim Taehyung also created a tune for the soundtrack with his BTS-mate Jin
- Choi Woo-shik and Park Seo-joon have appeared in a number of productions together, not least of which was Parasite
- Kim Taehyung created OST tunes for Itaewon Class (Park Seo-joon) and Our Beloved Summer (Choi Woo-shik)
- Peakboy is featured on Kim Taehyung’s solo tune ‘Snow Flower.’
So apart from just liking each other, there are probably tons of little connections that we’ve not yet sussed. Hold please; more to come.
Considering a trip to Gangwon-do?
It looks like a nice vacation, doesn’t it? If you’re keen or just curious, here’s the top things to do in the area.
We’ll continue to cover the series episode-by-episode, so watch along with us and tell us what you think. Any observations you’d like to share? Scribble ‘em below – we’d love to hear about it.
For more stories from this writer on all sorts of content, see the link here: Kristen Lazur.