The roommates continue their Taiwan and Japan adventures on the 15th episode of Roommate. Dubbing dubbing, start!
Oh Kang Joon <3
Episode 15 starts with Dong Wook’s lonely journey to join his roommates in Japan, with only one staff member in tow. He’s hilariously disgruntled, and I’m really glad he’s around a lot in this episode. Side note, I’d really like to meet the people who caption Korean variety shows – even translated to English, they are on point.
While they wait for Dong Wook, the rest of the Japan crew stays with Ms. Yang Jeong Seok, one of Sung Woo’s longtime fans. (That’s definitely a David Choi song in the background. Love him.) Her family owns an okonomiyaki restaurant, and dammit, I’m hungry again.
En route, Dong Wook gratefully pays for the train tickets for fans who showed him the directions to the restaurant. He ends up taking a taxi from the subway stop, forgetting that they’re on a budget, and getting in trouble with treasurer Ga Yeon later on. Dinner wraps as Sung Woo sings a bit of his famous song “Seo Shi” for the gathered family and friends. A bit awkward, but Shin Umma pulls through in gratitude for his hosts. That night, the roommates stay in the upper floor of the restaurant, where there’s a nice living space. The guys thoughtfully partition off a side for Ga Yeon with their luggage, and it’s a bit ineffectual, but very cute.
Over in Taiwan, Chan Yeol is feeling a bit sad and cramped up because he’s never able to sightsee or hang out when he performs abroad. Since EXO is so popular (and there are hordes of screaming fans waiting outside of the hotel), it’s hard for any of the members to go anywhere without causing mass chaos. The roommates hatch a plan to bust him out for a moment of freedom. They don’t actually get to go to the night market as hoped for, but at least Chan Yeol gets to hang out in a quiet convenience store for a bit. I get the feeling that the security steps in around this point and ushers him back to the hotel.
The Japan crew heads to the local bathhouse for the day (to the tunes of the My Neighbor Totoro soundtrack, too! Well done, music people of Roommate). Ahh, just looking at that bathhouse makes me feel more relaxed. The guys frolic and play games in an outdoor pool while Ga Yeon imitates samgyetang in the women’s section. As they’re ready to check out, Ga Yeon realizes she’s incurred an extra charge for using the samgyetang bath, aka the private family spa section. Oops. There goes the budget. Word spreads fast, because before the roommates leave, many fans have gathered outside the bath to catch a glimpse of the roommates. With a gift of Shin Umma’s homemade fried gochujang, the Japan crew leaves their hosts and continues their adventure.
Over in Taiwan, host Ruby’s dad is hard at work cooking a savory breakfast for the roommates. They feel guilty for sleeping in, but hurry to join the family at the breakfast table. Nana expresses her thanks by gifting Ruby and her mom some hairpieces from her Orange Caramel performances. If you dont’ know what those are like, you will be amused to know that the theme for the “Catallena” song is food items. Yes, Nana gave them a plastic hamburger and bibimbap headbands. Quite a unique gift!
Se Ho’s mission of the day is to prepare for his impromptu fan meeting with the help of his new friend Taiwanese singer Kong Ling Qi. Ling Qi (who I believe also goes by the English name Jeffrey) will be the MC of the big event, and help with promotion. Ling Qi assures Se Ho that many people will show up, but Se Ho’s not convinced, and is a bundle of nerves all day. How will he fill up such a large venue?
The Japan crew visits one of those much-Tweeted about owl cafes in Kobe. Who knew owls could be so big?? Also how on earth did they get a hold of so many types of owls? There must be some kind of regulation about this, seeing as owls aren’t exactly domesticated animals…? But really, Dong Wook’s owl selfies…A+.
My favorite Min Woo moment of the entire series is this exchange with the imitator panda. If I try to recount it here I’ll just ruin it, so go check it out at about 1:14:00 😉
While So Ra, Nana, and Soo Hyun visit the tea house that inspired the spa in Spirited Away, Se Ho’s fan meeting draws closer and closer. There’s a quick planning session as to the contents of the fan meeting, and the shortest dance rehearsal of all time, then Se Ho and Ling Qi are off to the venue.
Se Ho enters the stage blindfolded, so that the fan turnout will be a surprise. Ling Qi encourages the fans to stay absolutely quiet, and Se Ho’s convinced that barely anyone has shown up when…
Thousands of screaming fans are revealed, and Se Ho is moved to tears. Honestly I feel a bit emotional here too! Se Ho was probably one of the least famous roommates when this show started even though he’s been working for many years, so in a lot of ways this is his moment. The fan meeting goes pretty well for something planned on the fly. My favorite moment is when one fan uses her phone to flash “Love is an open door” at Se Ho. Once it’s evident that the turnout is great, the producers quickly call the ladies back from their side trip to make an appearance. The crowd is definitely yelling for Nana and they go crazy when she arrives. I know there are tons of Se Ho/Nana shippers out there, but am I alone in thinking that it’s a bit overplayed? Se Ho keeps publicly saying he likes Nana, but if that were truly the case, wouldn’t it be made super awkward by all the public exposure?
Next up on Roommate, one more episode on the roommates’ adventures abroad. In the meantime, check out my blog for more of my posts on k-variety and more.