I’ve never struggled watching an episode of popular Korean variety show 1 Night 2 Days and in fact, I always managed to finish each episode quickly and then go back to re-watch my most favorite episodes because of how hilarious and entertaining the show is. But with the most recent episode of 1N2D, it was difficult for me to finish. It was even difficult for me to start the episode; I hesitated to watch the episode, but I eventually managed to gather enough courage and go ahead and watch it.
The most recent episode of 1N2D was a special episode dedicated to the late and former 1N2D cast member Kim Joohyuk who recently passed away last week in a fatal and tragic car accident. Joohyuk was a member on the popular variety show from 2013-2015 and then eventually left to focus on his career as an actor. Although the actor did leave for a variety of reasons, the show and cast members never forgot about him and always mentioned him at every chance that they got. Kim Joohyuk had left the show, but he had never been forgotten and it was as if he was still on the show because of how much the members talked about him even after he had left. But unfortunately Kim Joohyuk left us permanently on October 30 when he passed away in a car accident. In celebration of 1N2D’s 10th year anniversary, he had even recorded a special message to the show congratulating them on the success of the show. It’s unfortunate and heart-breaking that he’ll never be able to appear on the show again and that his final moments arrived not too long after he recorded the message. In dedication and honor of Kim Joohyuk and the amazing and wonderful work that he did while he was a cast member of 1N2D, the show aired a special episode with special scenes focused on him and his journey as a cast member. The episode ends with messages that each of the current members (excluding Yoon Shi-yoon/Dong-gu) left for Kim Joohyuk, with many of them in tears and speechless.
It probably wasn’t a good idea for me to watch this episode at 2am in the morning. I couldn’t sleep afterwards because all I could do was cry and think about Kim Joohyuk. While watching the episode, it didn’t feel like he was gone. It didn’t feel like he was gone from both the show and this earth. It still felt as if he was alive and as if 1N2D was just airing a special episode for Kim Joohyuk for the heck of it. There were times throughout the episode where I would laugh at the silliness and ridiculousness of the members and how funny they were, but then there were also times where I would stop and I would tear up knowing that it’ll never be like this again. It was so bittersweet: all the cast members and staff were so happy together when they were filming for the show so you’re happy seeing them happy and having fun filming for the show, but then you get sad and depressed knowing that Kim Joohyuk is now gone and that you’ll never get to see them like this again. It’s one of the most ironic, bittersweet, and conflicting feelings in the world.
All of last week was such a sad week for me in general. I cried for three nights straight upon hearing about Kim Joohyuk’s passing. I cried upon watching videos of his wake and his funeral, upon reading the instagram posts of those close to Joohyuk and how much he impacted their lives, upon reading news about how Jung Joonyoung didn’t know about Joohyuk’s death yet at that time due to Law of the Jungle filming, upon reading fans comment about his passing, and then I cried again when I heard that Jung Joonyoung had been given the news and that he was sobbing uncontrollably. I was concerned for Joonyoung, worried that he might be too harsh upon himself for not having been there for his Hyung and not being able to attend Kim Joohyuk’s wake and funeral. My heart broke into a million pieces watching videos of different celebrities attend Kim Joohyuk’s wake and funeral. Some came as co-workers, some came as entertainers, some came as long-time friends, and some came as family — but they were all there to respect, visit, and pay their goodbyes to Kim Joohyuk one last time. Seeing people’s reactions and face expressions before entering the room absolutely broke my heart. Faces of grief, of mourning, of disbelief, of fear, of uncertainty… those emotions are so real and raw and everyone who walked through those doors all felt the same way. Everyone was so sad. Knowing that Cha Taehyun stayed the entire time and didn’t leave the wake and funeral broke my heart. To him, the cast members were like his kids; they’re his family members. He loves, supports, and cherishes each of them so so much. He always laughs at their jokes, actions, and comments and he’s always rooting for them no matter what. He makes them feel good about themselves and he’s okay with not being given the spotlight as long as the cast members receive the attention. He’s okay with not being put first and for Cha Taehyun, he was able to witness Kim Joohyuk shine in 1N2D. So to go from seeing Kim Joohyuk almost every week to never being able to see him again, I can’t even imagine how him, any of the other 1N2D members, or any of Kim Joohyuk’s family members, girlfriend, or loved ones must feel. It is truly so tragic and sad.
And I was sad as well. I couldn’t stop crying the first 3 nights after his passing and I even started writing poems to help me process and cope with his sudden death that affected me quite heavily. I’ve also been listening to many different songs to help me process my feelings and emotions. I’m doing a little bit better now, but watching the recent 1N2D episode dedicated to him is making me feel a bit shaky again. I went from watching episodes of Kim Joohyuk every week to now never being able to see him ever again. I miss him a lot and even though I was just a casual fan of Kim Joohyuk’s, he was such a genuine, kind, and caring person and he really loved all his family and friends. He loved everyone. And a part of me feels sad that his time ran out, that he was cheated, and that he had to leave so early… because he deserved so much more. I hope that he’s reunited with his parents and loved ones and that he’s at peace now. I hope he’s happy. I hope he was happy while he was alive here on earth and I hope that he’s happy now in his new home.
I’m going to miss Kim Joohyuk for a long time and honestly speaking I’m not sure if I will ever truly get over his death. 1N2D Season 3 made me so happy and provided me with so much laughter and joy. I went from watching every episode every week to re-watching and marathoning all the episodes again because I couldn’t get enough of the show. It’s crazy when you think about how impact someone you’ve never even met before and who didn’t even know you existed has made in your life. It’s crazy how much love and joy can transcend beyond just your TV screen and beyond the borders and boundaries of this world. Kim Joohyuk was a talented, genuine, and amazing person and he is going to be dearly missed. Thank you for all that you’ve done Kim Joohyuk. You’ve worked so hard. You can finally rest now.
You will never be forgotten.
You can watch the special episode dedicated to Kim Joohyuk here.
*For anyone who needs any support or someone to talk about his passing with, I am here for you.
**Also, I know that I said I would post recaps of his last drama ‘Argon’ soon. I haven’t been able to get around to it and I’m not sure if I’m quite ready yet so until then, I will unfortunately have to postpone the recaps. I’ll update this blog with the recaps when I’m ready. I hope y’all understand.