In the Soop: Friendcation – Episode 2 Recap & Review

Day 2

In the Soop: Friendcation (JTCB, Disney+, Viu) is back with its second day of the holiday. Now that all the mates have arrived, we witness a changing dynamic – or is it because they’ve all had a good sleep?

Winter 2022, 4 days and 3 nights in Goseong, Gangwon-do, Korea.

Unwitting Cast (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

See our previous stories 1 and 2 for more background on this group of friends.

The episode starts with a recap followed by the final strands of Day 1. When Choi Woo-shik arrives, they rush to catch up, with Taehyung dragging him to get changed into their uniform, including matching socks.

They write his nickname on his top then get to the eating. If we were unsure last week, it’s now confirmed. This is definitely an eating show.

On Day 2, we learn that Park Hyung-sik has arrived at some point with enough orientation to get him into his special PJs. He and Woo-shik test the steamed buns then wake the cats.

After some greetings, they decide to rest a bit more, four piled into Seo-joon’s bed. But then really do go back to sleep for another hour.

Dad Seo-joon eventually rises, getting breakfast started. The tteokguk (rice cake soup) – a new year tradition – really does look pretty appetising. Sung-hwan gathers everyone up with warnings of emergencies.

But it seems like this is his method of kickstart. Do you hear a wolf cry? No one minds as breakfast is on display and they all dig in. Afterwards, Sung-hwan rewards them with pour-over coffee.

Random conversation erupts as they realise no one among the group has ‘double’ eyelids, a desirable beauty feature in Asia. That’s when the much-previewed conversation about Taehyung’s visuals kicks in, as they’re sure he must have the attribute. But after playing with his face, they concur. It’s a ‘mono-eyelid’ group.

They get ready for the activity of the day – deep sea fishing. Mom Hyung-sik applies seas-sick patches behind their ears. On the way, they laugh, they sing, they talk about their friendship rings – a ring each of the five wears.

On their way to fisherman’s glory.

At last on the crew-manned boat, they head out into the wild rolling waters. It looks pretty rough, tossing them about the cabin, but they eventually get out on deck, each happily catching a string of halibut. Hyung-sik’s exclamations keep everyone energised as the keepers pile up on deck.

Back at their triangle, they drag in more groceries and sample the new purple steamed buns as well as their fresh catch. The halibut is prepared to be eaten ‘raw with bones’ and they marvel at the sweetness.

Woo-shik proceeds in making terrible Dad jokes where even Hyung-sik can’t help him. But finally, Taehyung gives in and laughs for him. Then guess what? Yes, it’s nap time. After all, they’ve had to earn lunch.

It’s dark when they arise but the perfect time for an indoor swim in their private pool. Much to everyone’s amusement, Sung-hwan wears something that looks like a wetsuit, clearly expecting a more dramatic experience.

Competing to hold their breath underwater, there’s lots of laughter. Before they’ve exited, there’s already a plan for the next feed coming together.

Seo-joon heads to his self-designated spot as the rest work on a fire. Woo-shik then prepares a beer-can chicken. It’s a little disconcerting as they proceed to personify the chicken. But apart from that, it looks like it has potential. Taehyung maintains his reputation as Noodle Master and before long they’re ready for another appetising dinner.

Heart-to-heart around the fire on a winter evening.

They relax around the fire and talk about how they may never get the opportunity to travel like this again, noting it’s been three+ years since their last one together. This leads to the chat about how they become a party of five.

As the story goes, Seo-joon already knew Sung-hwan and Woo-shik. He, Hyung-sik and Taehyung became friends during Hwarang (2016), Seo-joon claiming it’s because they were so friendly. But how did the two friend groups intersect?

Online gaming is the answer. Team gaming led them to want to meet each other, which they finally did in 2018. Sung-hwan is super curious as to why Taehyung and Hyung-sik would want to meet them – he forced you, right? Seconding, Woo-shik notes that he’s typically shy around people he doesn’t know.

Taehyung explains that after Seo-joon described Woo-shik and Sung-hwan as his close friends, they were keen to meet IRL, having already connected over gaming. They all tease Hyung-sik for his online ‘play to win’ attitude, so different to his day-to-day personality. But he’s the one who assures they would have found each other as mates even without the game – intimating fate.

They start talking about Woo-shik’s drama, commenting on his cuteness. He emphasises that that’s not the way it is. He wasn’t aiming for cute. Let the eye-rolling begin.

He says he’s over being cute, now keen for ‘cool’ roles like the ones offered to Seo-joon. Noting he’d like to bulk up, he jokes then he’ll be able to steal some of Seo-joon’s ad deals.

Taehyung suggests that Hyung-sik was able to get ‘cool’ roles after completing his military service. No, the other disagree – he’s always been cool. They talk of being intimidated by his looks upon meeting. Taehyung uses it to fish for compliments and they all chuckle at their youngest.

Then they dig into Taehyung as part of the BTS experience, noting their surprise upon seeing him perform. Sung-hwan pretty much confesses to a heart flutter seeing him on stage. They tell Taehyung they can’t praise him too much or things could get awkward but he does not seem at all worried.

They continue discussing live performances and the energy created by a live audience. Seo-joon and Woo-shik sound sincerely envious of the experience. They again marvel at the group as a whole and their differing careers.

After their heart-to-heart, Sung-hwan re-raises the energy once again creating a multi-hued aurora fire. They shout joyfully and take pictures which of course leads to sparklers.

Someone’s spark manages to set Woo-shik’s coat on fire but it’s quickly snuffed. These millionaires then confer over putting tape on the hole vs retiring the 5-year-old coat. Surely it’s great as a memory with hole?

They wrap the chapter with a plan to watch Woo-shik’s current drama later that evening. He does not seem keen.


The Episode Review

It doesn’t take long to catch on to the amiability and sincerity of this group. And to understand how they’ve been attributed to their ‘family’ roles. Hyung-sik is ridiculously sweet with an easy laugh that gets everyone chuckling. I wouldn’t have picked him to be the ‘energy’ of the group, but it seems like it today, even though he’s fresh from a set.

Woo-shik fails at Dad jokes with an engaging awkwardness where the others can’t hold back their smiles. Seo-joon leads but says very little and Taehyung basks in the older guys’ attention. Sung-hwan initiates a lot of the teasing but he’s the one who digs into the emotional pieces too.

I shake my head at several rounds of napping, but hey – this is the purpose of a holiday. You do whatever you want, no matter who’s watching. On Day 2, beyond the resting, we are treated to a bit of their dynamic or at least the day’s dynamic. And by the end, even some honest assertions on how and why they became such a tight group, including what they like about each other.

Meanwhile, Park Seo-joon has unwittingly sealed himself as ‘husband’ material, cooking some fabulous-looking dishes. And by the pace of consumption, it appears they’re not just well-plated but tasty as well.

Did you imagine there’d be a bit more drinking? Perhaps that happens off-screen? Or maybe they don’t need it, focusing instead on treasuring the moment. Or possibly it’s yet to come in the next instalment…

Best moments today? While fishing was fun and the food looked great, it’s the campfire where the guys talk about themselves and each other, sharing plenty of insight and lots of laughs. Friendship at its best. Road trip anyone?

 

Do you think you know these guys a little better? Which insights surprised you most? Can’t wait to hear about it in the comments below.

For more stories on all sorts of content from this reviewer, click here: Kristen Lazur

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