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 Friendcationers (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?
Still no official announcement from Disney+. 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 the local Disney+ channel at 11pm KST thereafter for three more episodes. Initially, it will run in Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, with 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 quickly. We’ll continue to monitor and update here.
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 3 Preview
Even without subtitles, we get a decent idea of what’s to come in the preview for Ep 3. The guys remove to the playroom to watch Woo-shik in Our Beloved Summer. How embarrassing, poor guy.
That drama is followed by a round of karaoke with Seo-joon leading. In Episode 2, the guys commented on how tough it is to wrangle a mic from Taehyung or Hyung-sik, so perhaps we’ll get to see what that looks like too.
Then there’s that clip of the guys asking Taehyung if he’s crying. Next week? They taunt us… See the preview clip above.
Is There a Trailer?
You’re in luck, as there are several to stoke the fun:
|Trailer 1||Trailer 2||Trailer 3|
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 pleasant tune.
What happened in Episode 2?
The second episode features all 5 friends and shows us a bit more of their dynamic as they relax into the trip. We’re treated to the story of how they all got together and some home truths about how at least some of them view each other and themselves. As a tease, some of the guys found Park Hyung-sik a little intimidating when they first met. Care to hear more? For a full recap and review, clicky the Ep 2 link below. Boundless insights await us at their next fireside chat.
- Episode 2 Recap and Review
- Episode 2 Preview
- 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
Have we got the full complement?
By the time Day 2 kicks in, all the guys are there, and we can see how they landed their family roles. Watching, it occurs to me that Hyung-sik and Woo-shik have a chameleon-like ability to role-swap with each other as needed, filling whatever gap is in front. Wondering if either is a middle child? Don’t worry – we won’t leave you hanging. Both Hyung-sik and Woo-shik have older brothers.
Who’s the most surprising as an ‘off-screen’ view?
Seo-joon is much quieter than imagined, especially as the group lynch-pin. He says very little but his presence is palatable – like a father figure observing the kids’ playtime. As the others chit-chat, they check for his reaction, awaiting concurrence. And so far it isn’t much more than a nod or quiet comment. Often it feels more like he’s observing rather than participating with the occasional jump into the fun.
Meanwhile, who could have anticipated Woo-shik’s uber-compelling awkwardness. I mean really – this guy led Parasite. But at home with the guys, he’s just as fumbly as the rest of us. And practically exploding with his desire to do more, be more. It’s lovely to watch and extremely relatable.
How are these guys connected again?
As noted above and from the initial organigram, 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 BTS-modelled trip.
Luckily, we do get to overhear more on their joint history in this week’s show. Since their initial connection, or perhaps as part of it, there does seem to be a bit of crossover in their work as well – presumably some since they’ve gotten to know each other.
- 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 since 2012, 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. For example, in this week’s instalment, we’re treated to the story of how it all started with the 5 of them -> gaming. For more, be sure to check out our Episode 2 Recap & Review.
Can’t get enough? Be sure to check out Peakboy’s Gyopo Hairstyle, where all the guys make an appearance. It must have been a blast to film.
Considering a trip to Gangwon-do?
It looks like a nice vacation, doesn’t it? If you’re keen or just curious, here are 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? Any new favourites rising to the top? 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.