Infinite Challenge Recap: Episode 524

Infinite Challenge Recap: Episode 524
Episode 524: Citizen’s Cabinet Part Two & 2018  Pyeongchang Special Part One: April 8, 2017

Unfortunately, I only caught a tiny bit of part one of the Citizen’s Cabinet Special, so I’m watching this episode cold. There are five Congresspeople and 200 citizens gathered to talk about new laws they would like to create.

Politics & Election Laws

This episode starts off with laws for the politics & election sphere.

Citizen #55 asks for a “Meeting with Congresspeople Law.” He says that he often hears Congresspeople on TV talk about want the people want, but he’s never actually talked to any Congresspeople. He wishes for a way for ordinary citizens to meet and debate with them.  

Citizen #41 is a first year high school student. She wants a “Youth Political Rights Assurance Law.” The law of course affects all citizens including minors especially when it comes to education, so she wants a way to have a voice. Korean need to be 19 years or older to vote. There’s been some talk in Korea about lowering the voting age to 18 because in Korea that’s the age when you have to start paying taxes, can get marriage, and take the civil servant exam.

Congressman Park Joo-min says he’s been trying to lower it to 16 years because I guess why not? Interestingly, 33 of 35 OECD countries allow their citizens to start voting from age 18. The two exceptions are Australia with a voting age of 16, and Korea with the oldest voting age at 19. I never knew that. Thanks Infinite Challenge for the random but informative bit of trivia!

Yang Se-hyung then comments that it’s unfortunate because 18 years olds in Korea can get married, become civil servants, and have to pay taxes. The other MCs yell at him for not having paid attention to what’s already been said and acting like a plagiarizing recording machine. Pft.

Citizen #35 wants a “Citizen’s Voice Law” which is for those who are unfamiliar with the internet, SNS, etc. He wants to be able to record thoughts and send them to the Congresspeople. I don’t know about this one. It sounds writing a letter would be much more efficient than forcing government official to have to open and listen to voice files. 

Citizen #62 asks for a “4 Consecutive Term Limit Law” citing how many politicians make promises during elections season and don’t keep them. Once they get elected, they just push it off to the next term. It’d be better to give chances to those who’ll work hard to get things done in a limited amount of time. 

Jeong Jun-ha jokes that he’s been on the show for 12 years, but no one’s against him for being there for too long. 

Yang Se-hyung asks if they can add more Congresspeople, while redistributing the pay. More poeople = more work done right? 

Actually, the Congresspeople note that there aren’t that many of them in Korea. There’s one Congressperson for every 160,000 citizens. Meanwhile, the average for OECD countries is one for every 90,000 citizens. 

Citizen #39 wants an “Abstain Option on Election Ballots.” The 40 year old woman says she’s uninterested in the politics because there’s no one she wants to vote for. She says this option would allows those who don’t want to have any one to vote to abstain. A Congressman respond saying it doesn’t make sense because someone will win anyways even if people choose to abstain. 

Citizen #39 responds by saying that if there are more than a certain percent of abstains, then there must be a re-vote and the politicians have to pay the costs for the re-election out of their own pockets as punishment for being such terrible candidates. OOOh this is the first idea I think is actually good.

She also mentions penalizing poor politicians by shorten their terms or cut wages. 

Women and Family Laws

Next, Yoo Jae-suk moves topics to the Woman and Family sphere. 

Citizen #78 is nine months pregnant. She talks about expanding parking spaces for pregnant women. In Korea, there are often pink parking spaces in supermarkets, but they’re usually regular spots that are just painted pink unlike handicap spots that are larger in size. She talks about how hard it is for heavily pregnant women to get out of cars because of their large stomachs.

Since handicap spots are often empty, they can just leave things as is and allow pregnant women to park there which would not cost the government any additional money. 

Citizen #70 wants standardization of local government benefits She’s seven months pregnant and says she wasn’t interest in benefits until she became pregnant. District offices give out free folic acid and iron supplements and well as various extra discounts for the poor. She says having to acknowledge that she’s poor to get benefits is hurtful. She wants the same benefits for all pregnant women regardless of income. 

Congresswoman Kim Hyun-ah adds that you have to get benefits from your district of residence which is difficult for working women who can’t go during business hours. So they should change the law so women can go to whichever place is closest to workplace or wherever. 

Haha mentions his second child and points to Citizen #97’s baby box sign. He thinks it’s awesome and Korea should do it too. Yoo Jae-suk interrupts Haha saying that he’s probably confusing it with a baby kit which is like a goodie bag of gifts, and a baby box is something completely different. (It’s an anonymous drop box for abandoned babies.)

Citizen #97 says he’s been running a baby box for the past 8 years and 60% are from unmarried teen moms. He talks about how when teens get pregnant, they suffer most from the people close to them. Parents kick them out or worse when they teens need the most support from them. He starts to tear up while thinking of his own daughter. 

He talks about issues of how parents need to register their own names to get birth certificates for their babies, but many are too scared to do it, so they give birth secretly, putting themselves and the babies at risk. He wants to create anonymous consulting and anonymous birth registration systems so that infants are at less risk.

Culture, Sports, Tourism, Etc. Laws

The third topic is culture, sports, tourism, etc.

Citizen #106 wants a “Blacklist Prevention Law” which is a hot topic these days because apparently Park Geun-hye blacklisted celebrities who criticized her or her policies by taking away government funding or not allowing them to go to government sponsored events. 

Citizen #101 wants a “No Nagging Law” When she was a kid, adults always asked about her grades. Then when she became an adult, she gets nagged about when she’s going to get married or have kids. She wants people to pay a fine for nagging. Um . . . I think what she needs is thicker skin not a law. 

Citizen #102 wants a “No Pressuring Law.” She gives the example of Park Myung-soo talking then when Yang Se-hynag interrupts, Park Myung-soo tells him to stop talking which I guess is rude??? Um . . . yeah this is another useless law. Just get thicker skin.

Health and Welfare Laws

Citizen #?? is a college student who talks about the high cost of rent expecially since there aren’t enough dormitories in Korea. Only 8% of Korean college students live in dorms compared to 20% or more in the average OECD country.

Congresswoman Kim Hyun-ah notes how the average one room apartment (goshiwon) that college students live in is 3.63 m² while solitary confinement prison cells are 5.94 m². That’s pretty shocking.  

Citizen #169 wants more low step buses. The average bus has three steps which are really difficult for the elderly. Congressman Park Joo-min says he’s been working on it, but of course it’s expensive.  

Citizen #123 talks about school violence. 

Citizen #185 wants the government to provide sanitary pads for low income women. 

The Citizen’s Cabinet Special concludes with the congresspeople saying this was a good experience where they learned a lot and will work hard. 

2018 Pyeongchang Special

It’s now March 23rd at we’re now in Pyeongchang County in Gangwon Province where the winter Olympics will take place next year.

The cast members arrive one by one. Yoo Jae-suk arrives first and notices a clock and marks his arrival time at 7:29 AM. They are supposed to arrive by 8 AM.

Yoo Jae-suk notes that they aren’t really late these days, especially Park Myung-soo, because they started collecting 10,000 won for every five minutes late. 

Park Myung-soo arrives second. He signs in at 7:35 AM. He’s looking really tired because he was up late working. Jeong Jun-ha arrives closely followed by Haha. They arrive at 7:49. The MCs congratulate haha on his second child who was born the day before this filming. 

Yang Se-hyung is the only one who hasn’t arrived yet. He had a “Comedy Big League” filming in Pyeongchang last night and just stayed over night, so he probably won’t be late. FYI, Pyeongchang is about 4 hours away from Seoul by car, so everyone must have gotten up really early to arrive on time.  

Yoo Jae-suk then makes fun of Park Myung-soo for being so short as he’s standing in a ditch. He asks child Park Myung-soo if he came here with his mom or his dad. 

There are just a few minutes left before 8 AM. Yang Se-hyung’s car appears, but we’re not sure yet if he’ll be on time. Yang Se-hyung gets out, hurriedly puts on his shoes and runs to get his mic set up. He makes it in at 7:58 AM. Everyone is safe, but Haha notices Yang Se-hyun put his belt over his shirts and not on his pants. Well . . . at least he’s not late. 

The MCs then note Park Mi-jeong who’s from the variety production costs division. Park Myung-soo famously said the he’d only work as much as he’s paid, so today she’ll be calculating his appearance fee. 

They’ve decided that he’ll get paid

  • good reactions → 1,000 won
  • useful comments → 10,000 won
  • slapstick humor →50,000 won
  • stale ad libs → -1,000 won
  • making the whole crew laugh → 100,000 won

Park Mi-jeong reveals that so far, Park Myung-soo’s make 20,000 won. He make two good comments. One was when Yoo Jae-suk made fun of his height, and another was when he made fun of Yang Se-hyung’s height.

Park Myung-soo then tries to do some awful Gangwon Province accent in order to get more money. Park Mi-jeong takes away 1,000 won. Puhahha. Park Myung-soo starts working hard reacting to his fellow cast members jokes. Park Mi-jeong gives him a few thousand won more, giving him a total of 22,000 won so far but Jeong Jun-ha jokes that today he’ll be paid a really cheap appearance fee. 

Yoo Jae-suk then notes that they’re here in Pyeongchang to continue theiere Hanamana Challenge because Yoo Jae-suk wanted to do bobsledding. Now that Kwanghee’s gone though, the teams are uneven so they wonder if that means that PD Kim Tae-ho will fill in.

Actually, a special guest walks in from the parking lot. It’s actor Park Bo-gum.  The MCs sniff him because he’s so fragrant. Must be the flower boy scent. 

The MCs rejoice that Kwanghee is gone because park Bo-gum is so much better better. Jeong Jun-ha marvels at his small face and tries to touch it, but Yoo Jae-suk blocks him just in time. Can’t be messing up that perfect hair.

Even though Park Bo-gu was recently on “Running Man” and “1 Night 2 Days,” this is his first time on an MBC variety show. He says he’ll be filling in on Kwanghee’s spot and Yang Se-hyung’s face suddenly lights up as he realizes that means they’ll be on the same team. 

Yoo Jae-suk asks for him to do an old school style variety intro, you know like in X-man where they dance. Surprisingly, Park Bo-gum says that’s not a problem because he was musical major in college. This guy graduated college? I thought he was like 20 years old. I guess he must be older than he looks. 

The MCs also ask him to do an acrostic poem with his name. He says

  • Park → Park Bo-gum is here.
  • Bo → Bo-gum is here. (Pft, what’s with that repeat?)
  • Gum → I really wanted to see you. (he uses the Korean word “gumna” which is slang for really.)

Next Week: It’s a winter sports showdown featuring ice hockey, curling, and bobsledding with Park Bo-gum.

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