In the Soop: Friendcation – Episode 4 Recap & Review

Day 3/4 – Good Mistake

In the Soop: Friendcation (JTCB, Disney+, Viu) wraps up the holiday with plenty of smiles and memorable moments. The guys have shared secrets and strengthened their bond, each feeling a sense of renewal.

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.

After a quick recap, Wooga transitions from beach to ice rink. With various levels of skill, they play around on the ice, including Olympic-style performances from Woo-shik, Taehyung and Sung-hwan. Needless to say, Korea doesn’t take any medals on this one – but they enjoy it.

Back at the house, having earned their dinner, group cooking begins. We immediately discover that it’s probably not a good idea to let Taehyung chop, even after a lesson. He’s got the enthusiasm, but technique… we all blame it on knife quality.

As they feast, Hyung-sik confirms he’s departing at 4:20am. Suckage. Missing him already, they reminisce key moments of the trip. Taehyung can’t recall why he cried the night before, so the guys re-live it for him, now able to lighten the moment.

They move on to previous get-togethers, noting a trip when Hyung-sik was in the military. They’d missed him so Sung-hwan had photoshopped him in.

Posted on Twitter: Trip to Jeju Island with Park Hyung-sik photoshopped in by Peakboy.

Hyung-sik suggests Sung-hwan write a song for this trip, one that captures their feelings. Seo-joon thinks maybe they’re going a bit too far but the others seem up for it.

With more drinks, the chatting returns to work. Taehyung comments on how much Seo-joon helped him get to grips with acting for Hwarang, especially as he had live performances over the same period.

Woo-shik notes that Seo-joon had actually been having a hard time himself then, as it was the drama just after the successful She Was Pretty. Seo-joon counters that he’d aided because Taehyung was so earnest about acting. It charmed him. Leave it to Taehyung to tap the man at the top, right?

They continue to consider the possibility of In the Soop Season 2 and next adventures. LA sounds like a great idea – can you imagine? They decide if the company isn’t up for it, they’ll just do it themselves using their phones. (Like normal people.)

The conversation evolves into desire for a decent photo so Seo-joon suggests an old school family portrait. This sounds like exactly where the family roles may have started as they go literal and conclude Seo-joon and Hyung-sik should be the ones to sit in chairs, defacto parents (from both sides of the family).

Poor Hyung-sik. They clarify that it’s only the spot of the mother, he won’t need to cross-dress. Hyung-sik just chuckles, the indulgent mother indeed.

Next steps decided, all climb into their giant bed, Hyung-sik having gathered up his stuff. A couple of hours later, he quietly exits in time for his ride. Ugh. But, time maximised.

Up with the alarm, Taehyung is appointed breakfast chef – they’ve clearly not watched any BTS series. He makes pre-packaged sujebi (noodle soup), following the instructions and chatting to the camera as it cooks.

Day 3: ‘Older sibling’ Peakboy keeps an eye on V chopping vegetables. It’s a good idea.

 

And….it may be a little salty. Seo-joon calls him out for not doing the maths properly and they end up adding bottled water straight into their bowls – insisting it’s because it’s too hot. But they soon give up pretending and Woo-shik practically gallops to check the fridge.

Taehyung ponders, so this is how it feels when you cook for someone… So, they continue praising his soup whilst eagerly gathered round the stove for Option B. This is the problem with having foodies in the house. Back at the table, all is forgiven as Seo-joon writes a photo-worthy BTS in ketchup on Taehyung’s corn dog.

As they pack up, Woo-shik confirms to Taehyung that he made a ‘good mistake’ in creating this trip, as they’ve made so many great memories. To himself, Taehyung ponders when they’d be able to do something like this again – perhaps in 5 years?

On the way home, as they think about endings, there’s an interview from each. Woo-shik celebrates memory-making and Hyung-sik waxes on the importance of togetherness. Sung-hwan echoes that, noting it’s about being open and honest.

Seo-joon likens it to writing a good page in his journal, as they got to know each other better. Taehyung notes they’re like birds of a feather instantly connecting and that it’s provided new energy. Perhaps this is his original purpose, having previously Sooped.

Nearly in Seoul, the guys are still teasing Taehyung about food. And it’s back to considering that viewers may see this as nothing special. Sung-hwan – the only one not regularly on camera – insists that because they had fun, it’s a success.

You can see both attitudes and the pressure the on-screen performers must feel having to be ‘on.’ ‘Image’ has likely been drilled into them for years.

To close, we cut to Sung-hwan – as Peakboy now – introducing the soundtrack. We view a behind-the-scenes in what could be Sung-hwan’s home studio. I mean, there’s gym equipment in the room. To catch a glimpse of the OST ‘making of,’ click here and highlights from eps 1-4 with subtitles here.


The Episode Review

Another enjoyable chapter of 5 mates having fun without pretence or drama. Why is this so pleasant to watch? Maybe it’s because many of us have had enough drama recently. It could be the infectious laughter. Or because it feels so sincere and unexpected.

The conversation around Seo-joon and Taehyung’s friendship is telling, reflecting their roles within the group. It’s also intriguing to hear about Seo-joon’s state when they first met.

She Was Pretty was live in a year of fantastic dramas like Reply 1988 and Descendants of the Sun (all on Netflix) yet it was a success both locally and internationally, headlined by a famous female lead and paired with an energy-fuelled second male lead. Hwarang may have been considered a test for Seo-joon – and as a period piece with action scenes, a potential invitation for critics.

So that was the start of Seo-joon + Taehyung topped with a super-friendly and clearly empathetic Hyung-sik. The fast friendship is starting to become clearer.

Now jet forward and it’s noticeable how delicately they all treat Taehyung, like an unwritten agreement. More so than they do with each other. He’s much younger than the rest but still, kid gloves are glaringly visible.

Maybe he’s particularly fragile at this juncture. As revealed the previous evening, he’d just closed a disappointing year. Perhaps this is why they reluctantly agree to this trip of his – to show some well-needed support. I can practically (retrospectively) hear Seo-joon – who has undeniably adopted Taehyung – saying to himself, ‘I’ve been meaning to check up on him… Well, I am free that week. Let’s just do what the kid wants.’

And now we land with talk of ‘Season 2’ – hilarious. (How does a bunch of friends going on holiday require a TV series? We plebs just take pix & clips.) Is this the mindset of guys so used to being on display and pleasing a fanbase? Sung-hwan is practical – who cares if no one watches; we had fun. But Taehyung isn’t letting go. He’s well-versed in memories that you can flick to with the touch of a button.

The others, not spending their day-to-day on mandatory VLIVEs, later turn enthusiastic. Talk of a ‘good mistake’ indicates the level of reluctance from Day 1. And as with praise of the soup, maybe we also see why they’ve spent so much time talking about making memories, ensuring Taehyung knows they appreciate his efforts after having given him shit at the start.

According to interviews, Taehyung is the one who initiates outings. It could be that he has the most difficult ‘out-of-town’ schedule. Or he’s the one with zany ideas, springing them when he finds diary space. He’d make a great events planner. As a result, not only did they make new moments – they can look back on them for years to come, each second immortalised on Disney+.

 

Has In the Soop: Friendcation altered or confirmed your view of celebrity lifestyles? What bits of conversation made you smile? Share away in the comments section below. For more stories on all sorts of content from this reviewer, click here: Kristen Lazur

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