The members are surprised with a visit to Korea’s No Smoking Island, where breaking the rules results in going into the water.
Planning and Direction: 8
An excellently planned and directed episode, this week’s show represents the high point of season three’s creativity to date. While the main concept was ‘borrowed’ from Qualifications of Men, it remains an interesting adventure into the meta-comedy that Ho Jin PD had been showing signs of for several weeks. In this episode, it’s not the games or the gags that take center stage, but the real-life experience of the smokers among the 1N2D cast. There were numerous elements of quality in the planning, from ambushing the members and guest with the true nature of the trip, to setting up hidden cameras to catch them in the act, to actually bringing in a drug sniffing dog to ‘search’ the members for contraband cigarettes. The only segment that didn’t work especially well was the ‘football’ match, which went on for almost fifteen minutes despite being fairly limiting in what the cast could do to make it funny. This is a minor quibble though, as the rest of the episode worked very well.
Good work as usual, the graphics and captions were especially lively, while the music was a bit mundane by KBS standards, but was still used in ways that fit the on-camera action.
Fall Walk Run – You’ve Got a Way
GunADeul – No Smoking
Snap! – The Power
Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen – Good Time
Taeyeon – If
Hong Kyung Min – Shaky Friendship
The Searchers – Love Potion #9
Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
Al Green – Rainin’ In My Heart
Defconn – National Team
Cha Tae Hyun: 5
Tae Hyun was pretty good, showing some excellent reactions particularly at the beginning. However, as the only non-smoker on the cast, his opportunities were somewhat limited as the show went on.
Kim Jong Min: 5
Solid if unspectacular work from Jong Min, he mostly followed the leads of others but did a good job of it.
Kim Joo Hyuk: 6
A very nice performance this week from Joo Hyuk, who is already beginning to look comfortable in his variety role, a he’s letting his guard down much more often now. He did well in contributing some funny stories about his past, and was the focus of much of the ‘agony’ as the heaviest smoker of the group.
Kim Jun Ho: 6
Jun Ho started off a bit slow, but really played up his sneaky character to good effect for most of the episode. As usual, he also did so in a way that involves others, which is super important in a variety format.
Defconn was very good throughout the episode, doing most of the MC-style talking and pulling a legitimately hilarious prank on Jun Ho at the end (check out Ho Jin PD’s reaction).
Jung Joon Young: 5
Joon Young was pretty solid again this week, but didn’t really have many individual standout moments.
Hong Kyung Min
Kyung Min’s introduction was likely the best part, as he arrived without knowing the true nature of the shoot. For the rest of the episode, he was OK, despite appearing to sleep through half of the shoot.
Episode MVP: Kim Joo Hyuk
This week was close between Jun Ho, Defconn, and Joo Hyuk, but Joo Hyuk became somewhat of the focus for the main plot due to having the longest and strongest smoking habit, and performed very well in this ‘lead’ role.
Final Score: 7
One of the best variety episodes to date this year, largely down to the creativity of the production staff. The cast was extremely solid, but lacked the truly hilarious performances that would have pushed this episode into greatness. Still, this was a very good episode all-around, and further adventures into more free-form variety styles will only continue to benefit the show. One of the most common criticisms of Season 2 was that the show became somewhat of a predictable series of filming sets and games (LordBordem gives a nice overview of all this at Soompi ), and Ho Jin PD is showing very encouraging signs of taking the series into a new and exciting direction. Stay tuned.