I haven’t been timely with my episode reviews but I often post short thoughts on twitter on the same day as the episode. Here are my extended thoughts.
A very good improvement over previous episodes. Since this review was actually written after seeing episode 8, I can say this is the funniest episode thus far plus I learned something about another culture! Granted it wasn’t the type of thing I expect to learn about on a TV show. That thing is ddong chim, which translates roughly to poop needle. It’s also described as a Korean wedgie where one person pokes another person in their anus with their pointed fingers. Yeah it sounds gross but apparently it’s a popular prank to do among Korean kids and some other Asian cultures. When recently promoted assistant manager Jung does a ddong chim to his buddy Kimchee at work, it leads to some uncomfortable questions from his boss Shannon. Easily the most awkward and funny exchange between the two.
There’s also a subplot with Appa and Janet’s friend, Gerald. Appa asks Gerald to take his photo instead of Janet, who is quite bothered by this. We get to see the “don’t touch wall” of photos and some funny exchanges between Appa and Umma. The resolution ends with a great line from Janet in response to Gerald in front of the “don’t touch wall.”
This is probably the first episode that focuses more on Jung and Kimchee who tend to be separated from the rest of the Kim family in most episodes. It’s nice to see them more and Kimchee is somewhat less annoying. In fact, I hope Kimchee gets his revenge in a future episode. Now for episode 4…
Frank & Nayoung
A rather boring title but it names the two guests on this episode. Frank is a repair man who talks too much and Nayoung is Janet & Jung’s cousin who comes to visit from South Korea. There’s also some Jung and Shannon time with Shannon’s continued interest in Jung being met with clueless faces by Jung. It will certainly aggravate any Jung and Shannon shippers.
Before Nayoung arrives, Janet and Umma have a very funny discussion about short skirts and sluts that relates to Nayoung. Then when arrives, she looks and acts very different from Janet’s expectations. This causes a conflict between the two. This was the first episode where I wished it was twice as long because the premise of culture clash between Korean American and Korean is something that is too broad and deep for one episode. It’s easy to relate to Janet’s frustration but the buildup and resolution felt too hasty. But then again sitcoms are often meant to be self-contained episodes. At least the reconciliation between Janet & Nayoung is touching and makes me want to see more of Nayoung in the future.
Umma probably has the best line of the episode where she tells Frank to fix the air conditioner if he wants Appa & Umma’s marriage to be saved. I can agree with that logic. Although otherwise, the plot line was not engaging to me.