As I mentioned in last week’s Stay At Home Saturday, I have travel on the brain. Thoughts of foreign locals dance in my head. Looking at my ever-increasing PTO balance makes me sad. Since we can’t (hopefully only for the time being) go anywhere, I find myself turning to travel shows.
Last week SaraG suggested the new Netflix series, Twogether, keeping an ongoing commentary of where they boys where this episode, and what fun activity they were doing. After deciding to watch something on the fourth, I decided I couldn’t resist giving it a try.
Of course, the promise of hours of watching Lee Seung Gi and Jasper Liu really made the decision easy.
How was it? Let’s just say, I binged the whole show in two days, sent SaraG countless messages as to the boy’s whereabouts, and sent out several messages to friends, ordering them to pick the show up too. I laughed. I cried. I added several countries to my travel list. (You know, for if/when we are even allowed in other countries again.)
Twogether is delightful and refreshing for so many different reasons, though looking at the premise you wouldn’t expect it to be so. Two popular stars are sent to exotic locals where they need to complete several challenges. Sounds fairly familiar right? It’s so much more though! Twogether is way more effective and compelling than other travel shows. (And not just for their darling hosts.)
What the premise doesn’t tell you is that they end up at each local, invited there by one of their fans. (They don’t know who the fan is, or WHOSE fan it is.) During the application, process the fan makes a list of three places/landmarks where the guys need to travel and have some sort of real local/tourist experience. One of the things that irritates me about regular travel/challenge shows who go to a different location is it’s all about the star or the show rather than the location itself. Usually, the tasks are tucked away from the crowds, the same old games in a new closed-off area. With Twogether, the pair really go to famous landmarks and are forced to interact with their locations and with the people around them be it native people or other travelers like themselves.
Every stop and challenge won literally gets them one step closer to the person who invited them there. This allows us viewers not only to be charmed by the hosts but all that they interact with.
Outside the travel, the real thing we are there for (don’t lie!) are Lee Seungi and Jasper Liu. I love that not only did they not know each other before this show, technically, they don’t even speak the same language! This forces them to try and communicate using a shared second language, English. (I’m actually shocked and heartened as a traveler who does not do well with languages just how many people in all these destinations speak English. Takes some of the nerves out of adding them to the travel list!)
At the beginning of the show, the pair are awkward with each other, with communication. Its so much fun watching their relationship evolve as the show goes on. You see, or they make you believe, you’re watching the beginnings of a great friendship.
Throughout the challenges, they rub off on each other in the best and most hilarious ways! His admiration of Lee Seungi makes Jasper try things he wouldn’t have tried before. You watching his first instinct is to say “NO!” then, he pushes himself harder and harder, managing to keep right up with Seungi. As Lee Seungi sees Jasper push himself, putting his all into the challenges, Seungi pushes himself even harder to match the effort.
Of course, it’s not all about bettering themselves, its fun to see Lee Seungi’s cheapness and desire to hoard as much cash as possible rub off on Jasper. Whenever they try to charm their way into a discount? Just makes me laugh. I laugh even harder when the boys try to cheat left and right, and the PD calls them out on it. Every time. They aren’t allowed to get away with anything!
I love how endearing and earnest this show is. I wouldn’t have thought I’d come out fo this caring so much for Lee Seungi and Jasper. I certainly didn’t think I’d come out of this caring about the fans who live in their tiny pockets of the world, different languages, cultures, experiences, and yet they all can connect over their love of these two people. We are these fans and its lovely.
Anyway, I was sad when I realized I was on the last episode, and while part of me longs for a season two, I’d be perfectly content without one….unless they were to focus on another pairing? Though even if they recast, I’m not certain how they will be able to recreate all the surprises and earnestness of this season.
Twogether is on Netflix and I definitely recommend you try it out, at least so you too can laugh when I randomly shout out “STARBUCKS!!!”