I actually look forward to new seasons of Journey as opposed to Three Meals a Day now. Cos the former has more going-on on screen than the latter. Plus, I do like the energy of the cast – the same members (Kang Ho-dong, Lee Su-geun, Eun Ji-won, Ahn Jae-hyun, Minho, and Kyuhyun) re-join Na PD on his new trip. Not to China this time, but to Vietnam, Hanoi. (I think they skipped China cos of the current political tensions between the 2 countries) Anyway, it is a change – no more pidgin Mandarin from the cast at least.
The trip to Hanoi also holds special significance for Kyuhyun – it will be his last show before he gets called for his national duty (aka enlistment). To “commemorate” that, the crew nicely booked a military hotel (it’s called Army Hotel, not joking), which actually is pretty up-class, since it hosts visiting military dignitaries. And to top it off, the crew booked the Presidential Suite (it’s huge, really huge)…albeit for only one night, and the entire cast + crew probably had to share the single room. Kyuhyun at least gets the big King sized bed, while naughty Ji-won (who tried to finagle his way into the second best option – the chaise lounge) gets literally thrown out (of the door) to end up having to spend his night in the bath tub. 😛
In terms of the games thrown at the cast, they are very much same-same, but different. I appreciate that Na PD tries to work in some originality into all his tried and tested funnies. But what stands out in this series is the theme of “underestimation”. And it starts with Minho. A slightly tipsy Minho challenged longstanding all-brawns-no-brains Ho-dong, during their traditional pre-show gathering, to a match of table tennis, proudly exclaiming that he has trained well (meaning: he beat all his clueless and not-so-athletic boyband members at t-tennis). The punishment for losing – loser has to shave off their locks (re: Su-geun in series 2). And guess what, Minho spectacularly – lost. We all know how much he values his looks, particularly his hair (which we had heard him whine as being slow to grow and sparse in series 3)…so to go under the shaver…
Suffice to say, Minho (a sober one) regretted throwing the gauntlet the next day and worked out a Plan B between his manager and Na PD. So he will shave (he already expects himself to lose) but only the sides (where he has “more” hair). He insists that the back of his head be left alone. So Minho ends up with a partial shaved head.
Quick on Minho’s heels to learn a painful lesson on not underestimating your opponents is Na PD. In one of the games, he pinned up a hand drawn “wheel” of fortune (the cast is to do the spinning – do turns – not the wheel) and included 3 little “big wins” on it. And by “big wins”, I mean big – if the cast (Minho is selected to do the turning) manages to land his finger with 100% accuracy on the TINYTINY space, they will win either a) a Ferrari, b) a Lamborghini, c) cash (in millions). Condition is: Minho needs to spin himself for 15x facing down, and pick the winning spot immediately.
And he manages to do it. Three times. On the big ticket items. To say Na PD is shocked is an understatement. He actually went down on his knees to beg the cast to choose alternative prizes (while his crew tsk him from behind). Lol. In the end, they agreed on letting the cast win a record number of dragon balls (5 – they only need an extra 1 more to make Na PD buy them gifts worth 100k won each).