I really felt like the last few episodes of season 1 of Roommate were enjoyable, which was quite a feat in the midst of all the cast leaving during this period. The runtime got shaved down, some main storylines emerged, and the editing became tighter and more focused. If not for all the cast leaving, I think the show could have hit its stride then and built up from there.
The roommates wrap up their trips in Taiwan and Japan. Nana and Se Ho are guests on Taiwanese entertainment show 100% Entertainment. There’s a big fan contingency out there shipping Se Ho/Nana, but I’m actually getting sick of the overt references to the. Doesn’t it get awkward?
Not sure if I said this already, but big ups to the Korean-Chinese translator who has been game for everything, including dancing onstage at Se Ho’s meet up! The Japan contingency stays with Se Ho’s friend Toshi in Kobe, and Shin Umma cooks his hosts a Korean meal. I know I say this all the time, but having Dong Wook around is great. He just moves the conversation along so effortlessly and naturally. Lizzy and Ga Eun from After School also pay the roommates a visit.
The roommates return home (they got a lot of episodes out of those brief trips didn’t they?). Dong Wook and Se Ho attend Dong Wook’s wrap party. Ga Yeon begins training in earnest to prepare for her professional debut fight. As her last storyline, So Ra visits Ga Yeon at her gym and treats her team to dinner. Bye Sora =(
This episode focuses on Ga Yeon’s preparation and the actual fight. Before the big day, she visits her hometown on Jeju Island with oppas Dong Wook and Se Ho. I would definitely want to go on a trip with those two, they would be the best oppas. Ga Yeon opens up about her past and struggles to get where she is today.
We follow Ga Yeon’s progress in shaving the last bit of weight in the days leading up to the fight, and I gain a lot of perspective on how tough it is to be a professional athlete. During her weigh-in, she has to strip completely on stage (behind a towel) to show the officials that her body weight exactly hits the mark. After her weigh in, Ga Yeon is finally able to eat to her heart’s content. Does it seem crazy to anyone else that she needs to starve herself before the moment when she needs to be at her most fit?
Ga Yeon stops by the house briefly, where the roommates fuss over her and feed her, but she can’t stay for long. The next day, the roommates head to the arena to cheer their maknae on, and even champion boxer Mr. Hong has come from Japan to offer his support.
During the fight, the roommates are moved to tears or worry and emotion seeing Ga Yeon fighting for her victory. In a couple of minutes, it’s over, and Ga Yeon has defeated her Japanese opponent Emi Yamamoto.
This week the roommates pair off to go on individual journeys. Soo Hyun and Nana head to Nana’s hometown of Cheongju to see her favorite teacher, Kang Joon and Min Woo learn to wakeboard, Dong Wook and Se Ho have lunch with their families, and Sung Woo goes on a motorcycle ride with some of his old friends.
My favorite storyline for this episode is Nana’s reunion with her high school teacher Mr. Lee. This show really has a way of tugging at my heartstrings! It made me wish I had a teacher I was so close with when I was in school. I love that Nana keeps accidentally calling him oppa.
Se Ho asks Nana out on a date (in front of all the gathered roommates, no less). They decide to go see a horror movie together. Immediately, troublemakers Dong Wook, Chan Yeol, and Min Woo decide they must crash the party. They sneak into the theater and give the already-spooked Se Ho the scare of his life. Nana isn’t phased at all.
Dong Wook and Se Ho challenge Kang Joon and Min Woo to a trivia contest to win their room back, and young SBS announcer Jo Jung Shik arrives to moderate the game. It’s a long battle, but team Kang Min wins and gets to keep the room.
Ruby, our friend from Taiwan, comes to visit, much to Soo Hyun’s delight. They go to the market and instead of buying cucumbers as they had set out to do, they see a litter of beagle puppies and can’t resist. Meet the newest roommate, Cucumber the puppy!
Look at that sweet face. How could you not squee a little bit inside?? Cucumber/Oh-ui (no good way to romanize this one, really) becomes the darling of the household right away with his adorable antics. She takes a liking to Dong Wook’s lap right away. But someone potty train her, stat. Dong Wook’s veterinarian brother-in-law visits to give Cucumber her check up.
Soo Hyun gifts Ruby a beautiful hanbok. In typical Roommate guest fashion, they sit around and ask Ruby who she thinks is the handsomest among the bunch. She chooses Min Woo. Overnight, little Cucumber sleeps on Dong Wook’s bed with him, and he wakes up to find that she has thrown up. Concerned, he brings her to his brother-in-law’s office to make sure nothing’s wrong.
Ruby, Soo Hyun, and Sung Woo round out Ruby’s visit by doing some traditional Korean activities before sending her off. Meanwhile, Dong Wook, Se Ho, and Min Woo head to the nail salon to get manicures. Interesting choice.
All too soon, it’s time for the departing Roommate members to say goodbye. I’m sad to see them go (not least because now I have to remember the names of a bunch of new roommates), but hey, at least we got to see them leave instead of Park Bom and Lee So Ra’s sudden, unaddressed departures.
Best of luck, roommates! We look forward to seeing what you have in store for us next.