American Hustle Life (2014)
아메리칸 허슬 라이프
- Release Date: July 25, 2014
- Genre: K-Reality Show
- Rating: ★★★★☆
- Early years BTS visits Los Angeles to learn more about the origins of hip-hop.
- 101: Episode 101 (07/24/2014)
Hitman Bang is sending BTS to Los Angeles ("The air smells different out there!") Things take a dark turn, when the guys are "kidnapped" and taken to a place on Skid Row. They're stripped of their cell phones, carry-on bags, shoes and a single sock. Weird. RM stays inexplicably quiet throughout, and when your whip-smart leader who is completely fluent in English is quiet, it might be a reality show set-up. It is, of course, a reality show set-up for Hip Hop Boot Camp, run by Tony Jones, Nate Walka and Dante Evans. First guest teacher is "hip-hop's sunbae" Coolio, who takes an instant dislike to V for his mouthing off. Strange, because I took an instant liking to V for his mouthing off.
- 102: Episode 102 (07/31/2014)
Coolio makes V do 25 push-ups as punishment, but honestly, it seems worth it. Coolio delivers Hip Hop Boot Camp's first challenge - to head to Compton and perform popular rap songs for strangers. The winning team gets to eat dinner with Coolio. Congrats to J-Hope, Jimin and Jungkook! Second challenge - cook Coolio a meal infused with hip-hop. Everyone goes prop shopping and V gets a phone number slipped to him. Keep that in mind when they try to mention how shy the guys are around women later on. Jin and Suga clash badly with Dante, who doesn't want to be paired with them. Suga offers Dante a churro of peace which he refuses, and Jin makes the film crew turn off the camera while he calms an irate Suga down. Later, Dante throws a fit about the stuffed animal prop ("It's not a chicken!") and hits Jin with it. Jin and Suga ignore Dante and serve up Korean Fried Chicken and waffles, which really should have won, since it sounded delicious. Dante either leaves the show voluntarily or is kicked off, which is best for everyone. The winning team (J-Hope, Jimin & Jungkook - Triple J Threat!) makes kimchi fried rice, which Coolio likes best, and the losing team (RM and V) piss Coolio off with a supremely large sandwich, which is really funny. I like Coolio and would love to talk with him about starring with Mark Dacascos in China Strike Force or how Dracula 3000 is an under-rated B movie, but remember - this is the guy that *hated* Weird Al for writing Amish Paradise so it's actually pretty easy to annoy him. Coolio mentions his theory about food: "If it looks good, smells good and tastes good, it is good." Maybe it sounds better in Korean, because that's some painfully obvious advice, dude. Exit Coolio, stage left.
- 103: Episode 103 (08/07/2014)
Next up: dance lessons with Jenny Kita and a dance-off with her crew. Jenny wins me over by making Jimin and RM twerk - RM wins me over by mentioning his dangling bits getting in the way of twerking. Double-sexy trouble! Suga does surprisingly well, but J-Hope wins the dance contest.
- 104: Episode 104 (08/14/2014)
Housekeeping! RM and Jimin clean their home, while Suga, V & Jungkook visit a laundromat. Suga rocks the crane game and buys everyone ice cream, Jungkook bemoans his cutely folded dirty underwear never getting clean, and V chases a ball into busy traffic. Jin and J-Hope go grocery shopping, but run over budget. Probably should have left off the cheesestick ingredients. The next morning, everyone heads to Long Beach to meet up with Warren G, who shows them around the hood. Hip Hop Challenge: write their personal stories to Warren G's Regulate. Suga, V and Jungkook win.
- 105: Episode 105 (08/21/2014)
BBQ with Warren G at the Sexton Hotel in LA. Suga and Jin ("Meat is love!") help Warren with the grilling; everyone else eats raw onions on a dare. Warren develops a taste for kalbi and kimchi. Me too, Warren. Everyone talks about missing their families. Me too. Next challenge: a video shoot in the Hollywood Hills for Boy in Luv. Tony and Nate train BTS on how to pick up women (which... dude... did you see that V just got a phone number offered to him back in episode 2? I think if you're BTS - even in 2014 - you just sit back and let the women come to you). The BTS guys pick up three lovely ladies on Hollywood Boulevard (Victoria, Christina and Jewel), and it's pretty obvious they're plants since all of them are super-cute, super-nice and supremely professional. I ran a theatre for two years and it was *hell* trying to get people to show up on time if they weren't getting paid.
- 106: Episode 106 (08/28/2014)
Boy in Luv (LA-style) video shoot continues. Jungkook gives the stylist a heart-attack when he floats in the pool, fully clothed and in full make-up and hair. Everyone does well, but Jin and J-Hope win and go on a Be@rbrick shopping spree. New challenges! Jin and J-Hope learn to beatbox from Faahz (beatboxing sabunim); Jimin and RM learn some new b-boy moves from Jolee, and Suga, V and Jungkook meet up with the super-supportive Iris Stevenson for gospel/R&B singing lessons. V visits the hospital for ringing in his ears, which makes me think reality shows aren't all that healthy for k-pop idols. J-Hope wears a "Keep One Rolled" shirt with the marijuana leaf blocked out, which I find delightful. Hard work good and hard work fine, but first take care of head.
- 107: Episode 107 (09/04/2014)
Manual labor and giving back to the community! Suga and RM work in a hotel, cleaning rooms and working in the kitchen of the Korean restaurant downstairs. Both of them get a free meal out of it - in Suga's case, two free meals. Jimin and Jungkook head to an airfield to clean airplanes. Jimin gets picked apart by the manager and a ten year old kid who has since apologized for doing nothing wrong - they *were* cleaning the plane wrong. Jin, J-Hope & V clean a yacht, which looks like no fun until you realize they're now at the level of income where they could easily buy yachts and never clean them again. Everyone buys burgers and drinks to distribute to the homeless men of Skid Row. Nicely done, BTS.
- 108: Episode 108 (09/11/2014)
BTS finishs out their weird LA trip by performing a free concert for 400 fans (and random tourists) at the Troubadour Club. They invite all of their mentors (Coolio and Dante are suspiciously absent) for a rolicking show. Right after this, they participated in LA's KCON and returned back to Seoul to shoot War of Hormone. Stay healthy, BTS! I wish the US had treated you better the first time around.
- Jin will later reference American Hustle Life every time they're unexpectedly hijacked in cars and taken to an unknown location (Bon Voyage 308 and Run BTS 159). It's not meant as a compliment.
- Off-camera on episode 102:
MoonROK Interview 2014/08/20 - Tony Jones provided some insight into the Jin/Suga/Dante argument:
"Some people asked me today where Dante went. He's a really good guy, but he's gone from the show. I didn't think anything had happened but if you watched episode 2, he was just mean. I love Dante, but he was just mean to the kids. He had Suga and Jin, but they didn't get along and they didn't want to finish the competition. For whatever reason, there was some tension I guess and he threw something at one of the boys. In general, they were really obedient, they listened to everything I had to say and they were really open to anything. Dante is a nice dude, so I don't know what happened. He isn't usually like that."