I’ve been watching numerous videos on the KBS World youtube channel recently and enjoyed laughing hard at Shinhwa guesting on Happy Together, 2PM’s appearance on Gag Concert and my first K-variety love, 2 Days 1 Night. While I was watching these, I noticed interesting thumbnails for the show Mamma Mia (맘마미아). I clicked on the one that featured Nickhun on it, which was episode 7, and I was greatly entertained. Hence this little post about the episode and a new column for this blog: Random Recap. I guess all other non-serial recaps that I do will fall in this category.
This show brings on celebrities’ mothers on the show. It is a daring concept because it will either be a huge success or tank miserably. These are ladies without media training, unlike their children, who may thrive under the spotlight or disappear into nothing-ness when overtaken with nervousness or by the power of editing (Ctrl-X!). They may say something out of the blue to make their children fall into deeper scandals or use words and phrases that are improper for broadcast. On the other hand, these are the ladies that have changed the diapers of the hottest celebs in the Korean entertainment world and basically holds the key to interesting stories about these celebs. Also, mothers usually have weird effects on their children. I wish they handed out a tiny shots of soju to the moms before the show. Alcohol = Exposé. *Huge Grin* It’s also fun hearing the various Korean accents that the mothers have, specific to the regions that they are from.
This show is hosted by Lee Youngja (the lady host on Hello Counselor and Taxi) and Park Misun (host of We Got Married and Happy Together). With Youngja you can expect lots of jokes about her weight and how big she is. There’s something about Asian entertainment and ridiculing people about their weight. It seriously has to change but I can’t deny that it’s funny. There are also hilarious and sarcastic banters between Youngja and Misun that are worth watching. For the first five episodes they had Shinee’s Minho as a co-host but from episode 6 onwards Super Junior’s Kyuhyun comes on board to takeover Minho’s spot. I think Kyuhyun is better with hosting and his gig on Radio Star sure helped sharpen his wit.
There are three fixed cast mother-daughter pairing. Park Kyunglim,Park Eunyeong, Kim Yeonghui and their mothers. Park Kyunglim is a TV host, radio DJ and also a fixed cast of a few variety shows. She is hilarious and is often teased about her angular jawline and raspy voice. I’ve seen her for the very first time on “Thank You for Waking Me Up” with SS501 and she’s pretty good at creating a fun atmosphere. Her mother is like a nuts and grains dispenser at the supermarket aisle where she doesn’t stop talking until you pull up the lever for the dispenser. Heh. Park Eunyeong is an announcer so she’s mostly prim and proper throughout the episode. Kim Yeonghui is a comedian but her mother is the real blue chip in the show. She gives snappy comments and plainly says that she her mind is blank for most of the time so she does think before she says something. Yeonghui’s mom is pure awesomeness and the real comedian on the show. Yes, even more than her daughter.
Episode 7 is a special called “Sons over Flowers”, a pun from Boys over Flowers (F4) the drama/manga. This episode features Nickhun of 2PM, Seo Inguk, Kevin of U-Kiss, Niel of Teen Top, Choi Byungchul the Olympic medalist for fencing and their mothers. (A little off topic but Choi Byungchul did a fantastic job with his appearance on 2 Days 1 Night.)
Fitting with the title of the episode, they had all the boys including Kyuhyun in suits and made them do poses in their nicely tailored suits. Made my skin crawl from watching the weird poses but long-legged boys sure do look good in suits.
The following are some highlights of the episode.
At the beginning of the episode, Nickhun’s mother stole the spotlight just for being Nickhun’s mom (hehe…) and also Thai. They made her feel welcomed by saying greetings to her in Thai. She speaks good English so Misun had Yeongja interview her in English. Yeongja starts with “ano…” which is Japanese. Pfft. Then Yeongja attempts a sentence in English: “My son, I love you”. Oh, gosh. It’s going to be a long show if they didn’t have a translator for Nickhun’s mom (which thankfully, they did). What Yeongja meant to say was “I love your son”. Yeongja then scores some points with Nickhun’s mom with “Mom beautiful” and got a reply saying that she looks like Angelina Jolie. It’s a big fat white lie but Yeongja is definitely elated with that complement. Choi Byungchul’s mother just shakes her head at that statement.
They have Nickhun demonstrate the choreography from 2PM’s new song “A.D.T.O.Y” (acronym for All Day Thinking Of You) and surely it’s… uhm… a little racy which got the moms excited. Moms will surely be thinking of Nickhun all day after seing those dance moves. Park Kyunglim comes running out of her seat to embrace Nickhun and had to be forcefully removed by Yeongja. The ‘harassment’ and ‘violence’ are hilarious. Body language is yet again proven to be a universal language when Yeongja made circular motion with her index finger near her temple trying to communicate to Nickhun’s mom that Park Kyunglim was crazy. Later, the group takes interest in the choreography. Rather than being concerned with how sexy the dance looks, Yeongja wonders how is it even possible that hands are visible from the back when they are performing the dance. She gets Nickhun’s mom to join in the experiment and sure enough Yeongja and Nickhun’s mom’s hands cannot be seen from the back view. LOL. It’s a skinny person’s dance move.
They chatted about Choi Byungchul and how they have not been seeing him in Korea recently. He’s been spending some time in France for some fencing related events. The hosts wonder if he knows a bit of French and Choi Byungchul says that he only knows enough to introduce himself in French. Kyuhyun confidently says that he knows a few French phrases and mumbles one. Nickhun is shocked at hearing it so he tells Kyuhyun to stop saying the phrase. Kyuhyun wonders why as to his understanding it meant “would you like to have a glass of wine with me?” but in reality what it meant was “would you like to spend the night with me?” Oops. Awkward.
Seo In Guk’s appearance on the show “When a Man Lives Alone” have given viewers the impression that he is a messy person. (I need to watch that show sometime soon! Another Random Recap segment opportunity!) His mother laughed with embarrassment when the topic is brought up. She says that people in Ulsan (where she is from) are having a fit saying that she better give up Seo In Guk’s address so that they can go in an clean up his place. Seo In Guk frankly says that he cannot remember the last time he has cleaned his home. Damn, I’m looking into a mirror. Eunyeong (the announcer) says that she is very good with cleaning and Seo In Guk exposed that his mother was going to give Eunyeong his address so that she can drop by to clean out his place for him sometime. Misun tells Seo In Guk’s mother that Yeongja is really the one that cleans well. Yeongja warns Seo In Guk’s mother to think it through as she will never leave Seo In Guk’s place once she is let in.
Time for some exposé. There is a segment in the show where the mothers reveal secrets about their celebrity child but the name of the child is blanked out. The guests and hosts have to guess who that statement applies to. The first secret is that this child wets his or her bed until the fifth year of elementary school. They go around the room guessing who this person is and form lots of theories of who it may be. Kevin of U-Kiss suggests that it maybe Choi Byungchul because it maybe someone that is totally unexpected. Byungchul’s mother explains that he stopped wetting the bed at a very young age but was breastfed until he was four. See what I said about media training? An unrelated, awkward and embarrassing topic. But me as the viewer likey much. The captioning of the show is great too as it says “The driving force of the Olympics is mother’s milk.” Eep. Misun finds her next target: Seo In Guk. He was breastfed too. “What age did he stop breastfeeding?” His mother replied: five years old. Poor boy cringes. They somehow circled back to the original topic and it is revealed that Seo In Guk is the alleged bed wetter. Uh-oh. Doesn’t clean his place, breastfed until he was five and a bed wetter. Things are turning sour for Seo In Guk on this show.
The second secret is that this person has been ruined by a pretty lady before. Sound scandalous. This happened to Byungchul when he was competing in Europe and he was smitten by a hot French girl who was a staff at the competition. He failed the first round because he mind was entirely on the beautiful French mademoiselle. Byungchul’s mother is convinced that this trait is hereditary as his father acts the same way when he sees a beauty.
Boys shall be boys, as the other singers explain that they can spot beautiful girls in the audience when they are on stage. Nickhun says that he tries to avoid the gaze of the beautiful girl in the audience but is conscious of her whereabouts. Peripheral vision is a blessing, non? Kyuhyun says the same but goes to the extreme and avoids looking at that section of the audience entirely. Misun teases that the girl is probably not even a fan of his, but rather a fan of a different member of Super Junior. They ask about Seo In Guk’s opinion and he says that he has bad vision and cannot see the audience very well. Kim Yeonghui (the comedian) inches forward while saying that she likes men with bad vision but Seo In Guk wittily reply that she’s coming too close. Time for Niel’s answer and he does some ‘fan service’ by saying that all Teen Top fans are beautiful. It’s met with a mix of applause from the other idol boys (probably because they have not thought about that answer themselves) and slight jeers from the studio audience. He then honestly say that beautiful girls are noticeable and he would usually react exactly like what Kyuhyun explained.
Kyunglim brings up a real problem. She says that after this episode goes on air, fans who idol boys did not look at would think that the idol boy groups have fallen in love with them. Kyuhyun adds that those fans that get looked at will think that they are disliked. Ha! They clarify that it only happens once in a while.
Yeongja and Misun had the idol boys and Choi Byungchul demonstrate their reaction when they see a beautiful woman in the audience, using the director of the show as an example. Ms. Director, you lucky woman.
The third secret was Kim Yeonghui and how she’s had relationships with 6 different younger men. Woah, cougar. Not all that interesting though. The real gem is Seo In Guk’s mother. Seo In Guk found out when he was in middle school or high school that his mother is 7 years older than his father. The hosts wondered how they met and whether Seo In Guk’s father knew about the age gap. Seo In Guk’s mother explains that they were introduced to each other and by the time her husband found out about her real age, it was too late. By then she’s already had Seo In Guk and they registered their marriage and his birth certificate at the same time. Ohemgee! Seo In Guk is SHOCKED. He just found out the secret of his birth. This is fun. It’s like a makjang drama. Except it’s real life. Yeongja tells Seo In Guk’s mother to slow down and explain the timeline of the string of events.
Yeongja: Which month were you introduced?
Seo In Guk’s mother: December.
Eunyeong (to Seo In Guk): When is your birthday?
Seo In Guk’s mother: October 23.
Eunyeong: It was that day.
(Seo In Guk sitting in silence, trying to process the information. 10 seconds later…)
Seo In Guk: OMMA (Mom)!!!!
He has his head in his hands and his mother is laughing out loud beside him. He is losing his mind. Yeongja wants some details on the day Seo In Guk’s mother meet her husband. She promises not to dig too deep but wants to know more. Seo In Guk is just continuing to have the world crashing around him and leans his head backwards only to hit his head on the table behind. Poor boy holds his head in pain, and perhaps embarrassment. This show has gotten really good quick. Kyuhyun tries to press for more details but Seo In Guk stands up and spread his arms saying that he will protect his mother from further questions. Oh my.
Yeongja asks for Seo In Guk’s mother’s opinion on whether age can be disregarded in a marriage. According to her experience, it is not something that can be ignored. A younger man is usually dependent on the wife like a baby. Seo In Guk warns his mom to watch what she’s saying because his dad is watching. She brushes it off with: “It doesn’t matter if dad is watching.” She says everything else is fine, except that younger men can be picky with food. I think that’s most likely specific to the individual though.
The last segment is where moms name the specific skill that make them proud of their kids. Seo In Guk’s mother wrote that he is quite good at self-defense. They reenact a situation where a perv, played by Kyuhyun, is trying to approach a girl, played by Seo In Guk. When Seo In Guk is grabbed in the wrist, he uses that opportunity to make Kyuhyun lose his center of balance and on the floor in mere seconds. Kyuhyun exclaims that this is Seo In Guk’s revenge for making fun of him for being a bed wetter. (Go easy on Kyuhyun. He nearly died in a car accident a few years ago and it’s a miracle that he’s still alive today.) Kyuhyun is completely frazzled because he was also the crash test dummy for the national fighter to demonstrate his signature fight move in episode 6.
They switch up the situation and have Byungchul trying to pick a fight with Seo In Guk for stealing his girlfriend, Yeongja. Oh, Yeongja. Seo In Guk tries to fight Byungchul but the moment he made contact, he stopped. I think he probably felt the strength of an Olympic medalist’s form. Seo In Guk acquiesced, offering Byungchul to take Yeongja without a fight. Anyway, he later demonstrates the slow motion version of how to flip over Byungchul. It’s also good that he’s demonstrating on an athlete because athlete’s know the right ways to fall down. Yep. Learn how to fall down before you fight. Seo In Guk then says “Woah, your body is firm”, and it sounds funny in Korean because he accented (in a music way) the word “firm” (dan dan).
After the demonstration, Kyuhyun as the emcee has his time to retaliate back at Seo In Guk by saying “will this icon of urine(!) be reborn as the icon of self-defense?” Oh, Kyuhyun. Your time at Radio Star has done you good in terms of sarcastic and witty remarks.
So those are the highlights from the episode. Moms have ventured into stories that would have not been told if they were absent. I think Seo In Guk has the most exposure (good and bad) in this episode and he will definitely be more memorable to me especially after this show. Will you check out some episodes on Mamma Mia? Find them on the KBS World youtube channel 😉