This being the final episode of Human Condition 2, I had watched it with mixed emotion. It had been something we could look forward to each weekend but unfortunately the format was not enough to sustain the interest of local viewers. It’s a pity that the producers did not take into account the limitations for this second season which resulted in its early termination.
Though I was not familiar with some of the members initially, watching them each week had brought them closer to my heart. Since this was the final episode, I would have preferred to watch it with a positive mood but the bickering in Sang Hyun’s team was a bit of a minus. Hope that it was merely an act to spice up the finale a little.
For the final mission, both teams had been assigned to create a promotional video of South Korea.
While Ji Won’s ‘Korea’ team had a lot of fun working on their project together, the ‘Arirang’ team started off with some conflict between Sang Hyun and Tae Gyu.
Watching their bickering did not give me a good feeling but I hope it was not for real. Sang Hyun seems to find Tae Gyu too assertive. It would have been better if they had come to an agreement on their roles in the project as the conflict was not good for the morale of their team.
Hyun Woo had opted to be the photographer and with Tae Gyu choosing to be the director, they suggested that Sang Hyun be in charge of on-site progress and people control. But that was not agreeable with Sang Hyun who felt that he too would know enough as director, with his 10 years acting career.
Their discussion did not go well and Sang Hyun walks off. I don’t blame him actually as they can’t just take what they want without giving him a choice. That was not very fair and it’s no wonder that he was upset. Still it could have been handled in a different manner.
Continuing their discussion at a cafe but the conflict continues. They seem to have come to a compromise as they finally set out for their first shooting at the Noryangjin Fish Market. As they got into the car, Hyun Woo noticed that the camera bag was missing. Sang Hyun had been assigned to do the filming but had left the camera in the cafe so he had to go back in to retrieve it.
As they walked around the market, they searched for friendly faces among the staff of the various stalls who would agree to help in their filming. The concept of their promo video was to convey a welcome message to foreign visitors so what these people had to do was to smile warmly and wave into the camera.
In his enthusiasm to join in as they cajoled their model to smile for the camera, Sang Hyun did not realize he had camera shake. Tae Gyu was not very pleased as a result and when he repeated his nagging remark, Sang Hyun too lost his temper.
In my opinion, this common mistake of camera shake could easily have been avoided by having the camera attached to the tripod all the time and using it together, especially for video recording since theirs were all direct shots. It was not something to get so upset about unless it was an irreplaceable crucial scene. They could have made light of it and do better on the next recording.
But watching them in conflict makes me see Tae Gyu in a different light. I’m surprised to see a different side of him here, with an assertive personality who takes his work seriously …… unlike his previous ‘cute’ image in the earlier episodes. No wonder the doctor had diagnosed him as highly stressed.
Since they still had a mission to accomplish, they would have to try to work together but somehow I did not have a positive feeling about their truce. The unhappy look on Hyun Woo’s face in a number of scenes was evident and he was absent during the rest of their shooting at other locations. Either he had opted out or the producers thought it might help to reduce the conflict in the team.
The crowd was getting too large and since it was difficult for them to move around, they decided to set up the camera where they could take a shot with everyone in it.
The concept for the ‘Korea’ team’s promo clip was a lighthearted presentation of South Korea’s amazing food delivery at anytime anywhere. For their first simulation of the delivery of Chicken Jajangmyeon (Korean bean paste noodle), Jae Young had to run around the picnic site along the Han River waterfront to search for the person who had made the order. Ji Won then came up with the idea of having him run along the bridge in the distance and zooming in on him shouting out to the person he was delivering the food to. Certainly an exhausting activity for Jae Young but the shooting was a success and they were pleased with the results.
Another impromptu decision by Ji Won to have Jae Young make a food delivery on a duck boat. For added humor, they did a shot of Jae Young making a bouquet delivery to a couple on a date (played by Tae Hui and one of the filming crew) and even delivery of toilet paper to Tae Hui in a toilet cubicle. ‘Whatever you need at anytime anywhere, just call and we will deliver’.
After their earlier bickering, Sang Hyun and Tae Gyu were back to being good friends as they next visited Gyeongbokgung Palace. To Tae Gyu’s surprise, Sang Hyun admitted that he was excited because this is his first visit to the Palace. Even for the popular 63 Building, his first time visit was during filming of the drama Queen of Housewives. Probably due to him being a native of Paju which is some distance from Seoul, he had not visited these places. He added that during filming of the drama, what had been more interesting for him was going around the various places in Seoul.
As Tae Gyu had later remarked, it is easy to neglect those who are close to you so he feels rather sorry to his own country. It’s when they take time to see it thoroughly, then they would see Korea differently. I think that is true for many others too as there are places near home which they have yet to visit. And there are also places which they might not have gone to if not because they were showing it to their visitors.
Tae Gyu wanted to take an ascending shot of the beautiful eaves of a Palace building while perched on Sang Hyun’s shoulders but it was tough on him. When Tae Gyu wanted a repeat, it was a ‘no’ of course. I thought Tae Gyu could have taken a similar shot by first squatting and then getting up slowly.
It was rather sweet of Tae Gyu to ask if there were other places which Sang Hyun would like to visit as he could give him a tour. Seeing the excitement on Sang Hyun’s face made him want to continue their visit around Seoul.
They decided to visit Namsan next. This is one place which would give first time visitors a different experience depending on whether it is a day or night time visit. My personal preference would be the latter as the night view of the city is lovely.
They got on a crowded tour bus which goes up to Namsan. When Sang Hyun commented that it had been a very long time since he had taken a bus, Tae Gyu teased him by asking if he has ever taken a ride on a buffalo cart (probably in reference to Sang Hyun being brought up in the countryside).
Arriving at the summit and catching sight of the beautiful Namsan Tower.
This was also Sang Hyun’s first night time visit here so it must have been another memorable experience.
Back at the guest house after they had reviewed their recording, Tae Gyu felt that it seemed rather ordinary and suddenly had an idea to make it a little more fun, by getting both Hyun Woo and Sang Hyun to lie down on the floor while showering them with lollipops and confetti.
Sang Hyun with his wonderful smile and Hyun Woo playing up his cuteness as they warmly invite visitors to visit their country. Even Tae Gyu was asked to join in though he found it embarrassing to act cute. Glad to see that Hyun Woo was still with them though he did not continue with the outdoor recording.
As Ji Won and Tae Gyu drop by at KBS for their video editing, the rest of the members go grocery shopping at the nearby market. They would be inviting some foreign guests to watch their completed promo video as well as sample some of the Korean food.
Both would be working with a different video editor and even here, the difference in personality is obvious. While Ji Won had a great time with his editor laughing heartily over their clip, it was more serious work for Tae Gyu. I really enjoy Ji Won’s character as shown here, easy going with his infectious laughter which makes people laugh out loud together with him.
Their promo clips were finally ready to be shared with their foreign guests.
Some of them were the students from the language institutes they had visited earlier.
Both clips were well done, kudos to the 2 teams. The ‘Korea’ team’s concept on food delivery was well scripted and had a plot laced with humor which was fun to watch. Though the ‘Arirang’ team had a simple concept of ordinary folks welcoming visitors with their warm smiles, it was filled with color and projected a happy feeling for viewers.
Mission accomplished but sadly, it was time to bid viewers goodbye. Tae Gyu feels thankful to everyone ……
A sad moment for everyone, especially for Tae Hui who said tearfully that all of them had become close, just like real brothers who were precious to him.
It saddens us too that we will no longer see all of you together each week, sharing your smiles and laughter with us. Do stay happy and in good health, and may each of you be blessed in whatever you do in future. Hope we will see each of you again sometime somewhere. Take care …..