Okay, so this television show, Exploration of the Human Body with Super Junior, is painfully hard to find, because SBS International has copyrighted it. That means, any form of broadcasting on the internet is illegal, in violation of the
copyright laws. I’ve been roaming around, attempting to find the renegades secretly recreating accounts and uploading Eng-subbed versions. This is getting ridiculous. This will be a slow ride, as I trudge around and feel like a rebel too, finding random episodes. SBS needs to understand, I have no access to spanking good Korean TV shows and I must watch this Super Junior show to keep my brain alive for medical school!!!
Episode 1: The Senses, Tongue, & Taste Buds
Hot Pepper Tasting– Super Junior on fire, is thoroughly amusing. Koreans love hot and spicy, and this trial tests their limits, with the hottest of all fiery peppers in the world. They guys clap their hands and cheer in ecstasy, unaware of the burning tears they will endure.
The first taste of hell begins with Korean Chungyang green-chili peppers. At first, they take a bite and savor the flavor. Slowly, the spice becomes overwhelming and they panic like cornered animals. Heechul says, “Please prepare a camera behind us since we always keep turning and you only get our backsides.”
You think Korean peppers are spicy? Super Junior are already panting like dogs and bulging their eyes… Think again and consider the 3 hottest peppers in the world. How lucky they are to even dare to tread dangerously hot waters. Behind them lies a table of food and drinks that mild the hot flavor- milk, rice, soymilk, cheese, eggs, and bananas… and a few health professionals on standby =D
The third hottest pepper is Thai Prik Ki Nu; they look like wrinkly red fingers. To put things into perspective, these peppers are 10X hotter than the Korean Chungyang peppers. In terms of Scovilles, the unit of hotness, Prik Ki Nu is 100,000. Clearly, Super Junior has not seen the bitter end just yet… To start off, Shindong is the first to go, as he is blessed with a round, hungry belly. Even the Dongyup says he can eat anything. The other team (Lacking Action) challenges, with Kibum proudly saying he’ll eat the #1 pepper and Yesung happily preparing for all 3 peppers. Not sure if those are the wisest decisions to make to prove their tasting prowess on Korean TV, especially when they barely survived the Korean peppers and the top hottest peppers are still unknown. Then jokingly, Shindong backs off and motions all the peppers for Yesung to handle. Wahwawa~Yesung just looks up, expressionless now, wondering what he got himself into??!!
Shindong and Leeteuk go first as planned. Dongyup even warns them, “One bite. Don’t eat too much. Just chew it,” as if they might want to devour the whole pepper like it’s gourmet.
As there’s not much of a dramatic reaction and Leeteuk describes how the feeling comes up, Kangin, initially hesitant, jumps in like a hyper child, wanting to try the #3 hot pepper. Someone even says to him, “Why are you eating all the good things for yourself?!” Oh Kangin, have you heard how curiosity killed the cat? Well, soon enough, Yesung looks like he got a pow in his face, when the pepper finally drops its bombshell in his mouth. Same thing with Heechul… then you find Kangin scrambling around, reaching for Leeteuk in revenge, and hunching over like a drunken hobo. Shindong describes, “It’s different than Chungyang peppers. It’s not spiciness. It just tastes like pain. Very hot pain.” Leeteuk adds, “It’s the feeling you get when you bite your tongue.” Ouchies! After seeing the unfortunate reactions, Kibum becomes uneasy. Uh-oh, but too late now, deal’s been made already. All he can do now is laugh, but his time is coming…
#2 hottest pepper goes to the Mexican Habanero! Everyone’s like “Ooooh, it’s pretty! I want to eat it!” It’s a radiant, bulby red pepper. It’s small and cute and shiny, like a Christmas ornament. Don’t let the innocent looks deceive you, the bite-sized balls of fire are the world’s #2 hottest at 300,000 Scovilles. Siwon curiously volunteers to try it, even when he was tearing up and hacking over a bite of Korean green chili. When he goes in for the first bite, it is a rather big one for someone who could not take spicy; Dongyup warns him to take a smaller one. Soon after, he turns and covers his mouth with a napkin, as if the spicy flavor got to him already. Ah, he fools us, and says the Habanero isn’t too bad after all. He even smiles and points to the little ball of fire, “It’s not hot,” and takes another eager bite. He thinks he’s so clever, and guesses the hot flavor comes from the inside. Ahoy, in the middle of explaining, he gets practically knocked out by the approaching hotness that all he can say now is, “oo, it’s coming,” all the while covering his mouth and hunching over in sweat and shameful giggles. He slinks away in pain.
Next, Yesung follows his promise, and dares to consume the Habanero in 1 bite. He looks all focused, proud, and dandy, but you notice his anxiety. He just stares off into the distance and challenges the old pepper in his fingers, victory in his cartoon-ish eyes. He closes his eyes, facing the bright lights and hoping his Lord will have mercy. In his frenzy, he eats a whole pepper and chews it many times. They had to shout to him “Don’t swallow it!!!” and “He’s going to faint!” The feeling should be coming soon. Kangin cheers, “If you spit it out, it won’t be fun;” he’s just cocky because he’s not the one under fire.
All the while, Yesung smiles and chews, smiles and chews, but suddenly, his expression completely darkens. His eyes and mouth just freeze, as if he becomes petrified stone. I love how his eyes just go beady and blank. Everyone’s like, “Don’t eat it… You’re not supposed to eat it!”
Finally, he dips his head into a bowl, in shame, and relieves himself. He can barely talk about his experience and nods his head in defeat. Right next to him, Donghae and Ryeowook eat bananas, not daring to succumb to the fire balls.
On the other team, Leeteuk sacrifices himself. He acts like a flamboyant goof-ball, jiving and grooving with a pepper. He behaves like this omnipotent big-shot and shoves the whole pepper in, chewing it like it’s sweet fruit. The banana boys on the side cringe at the sight of this. While Kangin goads him on and makes fun of Yesungie, Leeteuk gives out and throws up the poor pepper. He tears up behind his glasses and his eyes go Habanero red 😄 His face nearly explodes and he tops off with, “I’m fine.” Without the faintest bit of embarrassment, he recovers, “It’s not hot” with a wave of his hand and calm expression. Way to stand up as team leader Leeteuk!
Funny how the band pokes fun at Shindong. Heechul points to the peppers, “You know you’re the best. The show was made for you.” Leeteuk sheepishly begs, “Don’t…eat it. DON’T EAT IT… Don’t eat it, even for fun,” and giggles quietly, coming from a guy who just said “It’s not hot.” Shindong now appears scared and pitiful after Lee’s imploring. Kangin jumps in here and reminds him that Kibum still has to eat the world’s hottest pepper, the one who’s been sitting along the sidelines and watching the misery unfold, pepper by pepper.
The countdown has culminated to the #1 hottest pepper, the Indian Bhut Jolokia~100X hotter than the Korean green chili!!! It’s a wrinkly piece of evil… perhaps these sure-fire peppers can warm you up during the next snowstorm! Shindong exclaims, “The color’s not red! It’s BRIIIGHT red!” A woman named Anadita Dotatamulgu set a record with 60 such peppers in 2 minutes… what a monster. One guy freaks out, “Is there anything wrong with Anadita now??!” Kangin gets all charming, “Anadita is amazing,” with Dongyup responding “Yes, she is ve-ery amazing.” This is how freakishly dangerous these hot peppers are. Whoever dares to try, they can only chew 5 times and spit it out. Dongyup shares a memorable story: “Once I chewed it 7 times. I was left with a beautiful, UNFORGETTABLE memory.” Kibum is the first to take the bite and chews it happily. He spits it out as instructed, looks normal and calm, then his eyes bulge and he heaves. He scrambles around like he’s itchy, but maintains his cool. He does not stay cool for long, because he soon turns as red as cooked wet lobster.
Hankyung and Heechul try the deathly pepper as well. Hankyung’s face gets all contorted in disgust. He’s so strung over, he cannot even mend his broken Korean. Heechul looks strangely calm, like a little mischievous boy trying to hide something. He then jumps up and down like he’s going to pee in his pants. Yesung starts to hiccup. Poor Kibum, he gets himself in a mess. He’s suffering, yet he’s laughing it off. He tears up so well that he can be put in a sad, romantic drama, and yet he’s speechless.
Lastly, Dongyup tries the pepper again. He calmly takes it in, chews and relishes it. Did he forget that beautiful, unforgettable moment?? His brows and eyes crinkle in anticipation. Super Junior count his chews, and finally he spits it out in relief. Relief? Ya right, he’s knocked senseless and on the brink of crying a Han river. He stumbles around and gulps down the refreshing milk (Got milk? moment). He can barely think straight: “The next test is… Yes, that was the taste~” Eunhyuk asks him, “So who did you say ate this pepper again?” and Dongyup responds, “Huh? Was it Hakuna Matata or something?!” (laughs)…
Warning to all hungry, cultured, and lovely food addicts. You may like to try exotic food, but beware of these spicy vegetables. These 3 raw hot peppers do not cultivate the palates; they rub your tongue raw and hit with a pow of pain. If you do want to go through the burning tears, at least have a cup of milk and bananas by your side and a doctor to monitor your blood pressure. Thank you Super Junior for being sacrificial lambs in this episode! I can’t believe I still laugh at their pain…
Hands up for Super Junior, as they become lab rats in the name of science! Korean SBS aired a weekly variety show from November 2007 to February 2008 featuring the popular Korean boy band and Shin Dong-yup, Exploration of the Human Body (인체탐험대/人體探險隊), to answer questions related to the human body, like its some mysterious walking block. As a future medical student, I highly recommend this show for its mix of educational value, curiosity, and humor. Each of the 13 episodes follows a theme connected to how the human body works. And Super Junior’s function? To be obedient donkeys as they are literally experimented on to answer interesting, curious, sometimes bizarre questions. It’s amazing to see these singing and dancing sensations learn science with the public. Plus, I do not think some of the silly nature or content of the show would be acceptable here in America, or anywhere outside Asia. Come Episode 2, some members will test out limits of their body with kilograms of food and beer chugging and X-ray exposure, for fun.
Goal: To determine how sensitive Super Junior is to different tastes
Background: Tongue, the gateway into the inner body, with over 6000 taste buds, is sensitive to 4 basic tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty). It’ll be the first SJ experiments with.
Tea Tasting- Shindong starts: “Our outfits make us look like a whole bunch of doctors came together for a party!”
One by one, they think they’re drinking and toasting to delectable tea, since tea is a healthy, prized component of daily life in Asia. Amidst the happy mood, one by one, beginning with Eunhyuk, each member tastes a shocking wave of tangy pain, known as Yong Dam herbal tea (han yak). Herbal? More like a cruel dose of punishment for the naughty on Christmas Eve. As each person drinks, the others wait down the line, looking like they are doomed for the worst end. Their faces are classic Kodak moments: smiley Eunhyuk turns sour (but he gulps it down anyway), Shindong looks like a buck-tooth beaver gasping for air, Hankyung cringes in twisted pain, Siwon actually relishes it, Donghae looks like a writhing baby, Sungmin reminds me of a skunk (with his blond mohawk) that has laid stink bomb on himself, and lastly Kibum the brave lad who downs the bitter tea like it’s soju. Of course, MC Dong Yup has to do it too to be fair, but his face scrunches up like prunes!
*BUT Yong Dam is not such a bad guy… it’s a special restorative tea that can cure diarrhea and itchiness. Upon hearing this information, Ryeowook and Heechul reach out for more!
Taste Numbing- Shindong complains the bitter taste lingers in his mouth. This segways into the next segment to experiment with ways to dull the tasting sensation. To numb the taste of medicine, you can freeze or dry the tongue. Bewildered Kangin chimes in, “So you have to put your tongue in the freezer and take it out?” 😄 Thinking their brilliant scientists, Suju hypothesize on which is the more effective method and why. Following through the experiment, they organically split into 2 teams (reminiscent of Moses splitting the Red Sea), a Reaction and Lacking Action team. Reaction freeze by using an ice cube, while Lacking Action dry with a hair dryer.
Dongyup goes around with a dropper to all their tongues, beginning with Leeteuk and Heechul. Suddenly, Heechul screams like he’s in a horror movie. I think the taste of the tea was enhanced with the coldness. Heechul and Kangin both cringe with the taste, then we see Shindong furiously scrub his tongue with more ice, but to no avail. He screams like a child anyway and his face scrunches into a pulp. Certainly, Reaction team chose the worse of the fates and a name that suited their response. After they scramble around from their suffering, they realize that freezing is a failure.
Man, Kibum is cute and all, but he has a long-ass tongue! The Lacking Action team takes the bitter tea in stride. They look like good, happy boys. So drying your tongue, removing all moisture, helps numb the taste buds.
In addition, they test out Gymnema Sylvestre herb from India. After chewing this plant, you actually bizarrely do not experience a specific taste- sweet, salty, sour, or bitter (here, Ryeowook asks, “Forever?” xD). Siwon, Ryeowook, Donghae, and Yesung volunteer to test out which flavor… and yes, Siwon and Ryeowook get a spoonful of sugar and salt, respectively. I would not be thrilled if I got a spoonful of salt either. They put on their best poker face as the others try to guess which taste is gone. The others choose salt, because Ryeowook looks the most awkward, as he did not swallow his salt. Boy were they in for a surprise! Also not a good idea to try it with Yong Dam bitterness either…
Turns out, it’s the sugar. Kangin goes, “The feeling is… you’re chewing on the sand.” The funny part comes when they try chocolate, the sweetest of all sweets. Imagine eating the crunchy, creamy Twix or colorful, milk chocolate M&Ms, and not tasting the sugar. Candy IS sugar, and when the sweet is gone, what IS left??!! Well, SJ experiments, and Heechul goes, “I lost my sense of flavor!” (eyes bulge). Judging from everyone’s reaction, it’s best to never try that exotic Indian herb, because you just might never again enjoy your favorite candy bar.
Why would anyone want to consume Gymnema Sylvestre? In Japan, it’s primarily used for dieting, to suppress the urge to indulge in sweet foods. The anti-sweet activity is attributed to gymnemic acids, glycosides, lasting up to 2 hours. It’s also good for diabetes (to decrease blood sugar).
Amidst my Korea fever, I came across some 2010 World Cup promotions, featuring the biggest names in Korean entertainment. The ads, videos, songs, merchandise, energy, you name it, all symbolize the national pride and the talents the country has to offer.
Here’s a SPAO All Generation Ad featuring SM Town-Super Junior and SNSD Girls’ Generation. It’s the South Korea “Yes! I Red It” campaign for the 2010 World Cup. They look cool and cute in their “red fever.” I like seeing the sporty, cute look on the SNSD girls and the casual, yet tough-boy style the Super Junior boys take on.
This is my favorite song for the season. And yes, it’s Super Junior, again. Super Junior’s World Cup fighting song “Victory Korea.” Featuring Yesung, Sungmin, Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, and Shindong (in that order of appearance), the MV is AWESOME. I’ve watched it enough times to hear, even in silence, “Oh A O… O O A O~…. Victory, Victory, Victory, KOREA!” ringing in my ears. I love part 1:25, where they throw in their signature “Sorry Sorry” dance, with fellow netizens and followers joining in the celebration =D Gah, I love their energy and pride for the sport and their home country. I still find it a tad funny that I’m not Korean, but I have so much appreciation for the nation, more than America. Woot! Victory Suju!
Now, I’d like to treat myself to a flaming red T-shirt too!
I like this one a lot, where Super Junior rejoices ecstatically at South Korea’s win against Greece on June 12… Their excitement is caught from several different angles… On the second one, Ryeowook looks like he’s flying out of his seat. Weird~
We are One Happy Family… Fun advertisements featuring brand name entertainers in Korea… Big Bang (Taeyang in a fancy face mask, when it’s not peak flu season, is funny… new style for his comeback??), Super Junior (maybe not the whole 13 member gang, but it’s still SuJu), SNSD Girls’ Generation, Olympic medalist Kim Yoona, 2PM (I’m still working on experiencing their music), and more…
And for other fans of Rain, 4Minute, BEG, etc… here’s another South Korea World Cup song of celebration.