August 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
That pretty much sums up my feelings for this drama so far. But honestly, I’m not complaining. This is a drama to watch for the lulz, for ridiculous amounts of ridiculously handsome young men, for cheesy CF-styled camera shooting, for the unfolding of a storyline one already knows, and for Sulli in drag. I knew this beforehand, and wasn’t expecting much more – and so far, I haven’t gotten much more, either. The things that have surprised me up til now are the following (no spoilers, really):
- The dorm captain for dorm 2 is really hot in a sporty, normal, guy-handsome way, and I like it, with my liking it being the surprise of this.
- The interiors of the school are fantastically, hilariously horrible! Here just as in the jdrama version. I love ugly and super-expensive interiors in these kinds of over-the-top dramas.
- EXO-K performs at the school party. This made me laugh out loud both because, damn, SME aren’t exactly subtle about how much they own this show, and because of a boy-band performing at an all-boys school – fuck yeah, shojo dreams! It’s pretty awesome how shamelessly the show is aiming at a teenage girl audience.
I will probably continue to watch this show, but don’t expect any deep analyses of it.
July 18, 2012 § 5 Comments
With both Lars and me away on the countryside to spend time with our families, it would probably be more depressing if we did keep up with what goes on in the kpopverse. Still, I can’t help but keep an eye on the promotions for a kdrama I’m really looking forward to, namely To the Beautiful You, the kdrama adaptation of classic manga (and later jdrama) Hana-Kimi.
There are several reasons for my enthusiasm. To begin with, Sulli is in it! I often feel somewhat alone in having such a soft spot for Sulli, especially among other female f(x) fans. Mostly I guess it’s because her image has made her come out as a cute, childish, and frankly not quite that smart girl without a clear place in f(x). Luckily for me, I thought she was hot-to-be (like, too young to be hot but seemingly growing up to be attractive in my eyes) enough to keep a closer track on anyway. Because of that, I kind of looked out for what she did and said during promotions and started to believe that underneath that cutesy image was someone with a potential to grow up to quite interesting a person. In this recent interview on her role as Goo Jaehee, she confirmed that by putting in words some suspicions I’ve held for a while, like this: “Most people think of me as a child with a lot of cuteness, but truthfully I’m a bit gruff and I have somewhat of a masculine side. I also tend not to express myself. It’s been difficult to bring out that part of me in f(x), so I think it worked out well that I can naturally show something close to my real image through this role.” As if that wouldn’t make me interested. Also, I guess I might be starting to see Sulli as an adult, which is about time considering she’s 18, the age of majority in Sweden. Still feel a bit weird over how attractive I find her in recent pictures. Maybe it’s just the alternative lifestyle haircut (I like long hair, but a short cut can sometimes be a short-cut for determining whether or not a girl is into girls or not, which has Pavloved me into reacting to it).
I am – surprise, surprise! – intensely interested in crossdressing stories in general, both when it’s done intentionally subversive and when it has a broader target audience, and I really loved Hana Kimi especially. I just hope Sulli and the drama’s director don’t make the lead less cool and more clumsy than the original – a stupid female lead is something I always fear when it comes to romcom-kdramas. Fingers crossed.
I don’t have any hopes for Minho, though. Not that I hate him or anything, but he is my least favorite member of SHINee, and he will be taking on one of the most annoying male main characters I’ve ever seen in a drama. In Hana Kimi, I’m not sure if I would have been able to stand it had he not been portrayed by Oguri Shun, whom I like. But with my expectations this low, I guess it can only go upwards from here.
Looking forward to August 15th! Or whenever the first episode is subbed…
June 9, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Right now we are both at Lars’ apartment, drinking wine and listening to Electric Shock. And we are both relieved and happy that we like it! But we also just had the following conversation:
Tina: “It’s a pretty annoying song.”
Tina: “But I like that.”
Lars: “Yeah, me too.”
Can’t wait to see the video!
January 3, 2012 § 8 Comments
Most Swedes I introduce to kpop agree on one thing: kpop is, at many times, homoerotic. It’s also a common complaint in youtube comments on kpop boyband videos: “This is so gay!!!” they shout, just to be countered by “No my oppa isn’t gay! He said so in that interview! You’re just jealous that he’s sexier than you!” or something like that. But although I of course could go on about this forever (whether or not, fanservice, narrow definitions, cultural differences, blah blah), I’m going to put that aside for now to write a bit about something that isn’t as regularly discussed in the same context.
So. How lesbian is kpop?
Some time ago, I watched an interview with a couple of the girls from f(x). I don’t remember exactly which interview it was, but in any case, they got the question about why they have so many female fans. Krystal answered the question: “We have a member with a neutral charm like Amber-unni (so we have a lot of fangirls). But even though there’s one (with a neutral charm), I actually think that all five of us seems to have that neutral charm so a lot of girls likes us.”
This kind of got my head spinning.
Some background, in short (making things a bit too easy, of course): Female same-sex sexuality has for long been made invisible in most of the world, completely invisible or turned into something sexy for men or something unsexy for weirdos. From what I’ve come to understand, South Korea is no exception. Westerners frequently rise eyebrows at the relaxed attitude toward friendly same-sex closeness such as sleeping in the same bed and holding hands in public, obviously not seen with any suspicion in South Korea. Just as many other genderaware westerners, I envy this ease as well as wonder how much of it that is just because homosexuality, especially between women, is so far away it’s unthinkable.
But although Krystal is Korean, she has one foot in the US, and Amber was brought up in USA. There is no way they don’t know what’s going down with at least the international fandom’s interpretations of Amber’s boyish image. When SME decided to let Amber debut with f(x), what kind of fans did they expect her to attract? There seem to be a lot of discussion on whether or not Amber’s boyishness is just for show or not. Even though I personally believe SME has told her to play it up and wouldn’t let her leave it behind even if she felt like it, pre-debut pictures of her playing basketball and looking generally tomboy also make me think that they didn’t come up with the idea entirely for her. But seriously, what is f(x) even up to? I don’t get it, but they really do seem to have a lot of female fans, especially Amber. I watched Gayo Daejun and was moved by how the girls in the audience screamed at Amber.
T-ara obviously enjoy messing with my mind as well. I haven’t listened as much to Cry Cry as I did to either Roly Poly or Yayaya, but the concept for Cry Cry was to be really powerful on the verge of manliness, with DBSK as the explicit inspiration. Why? Because T-ara wanted to find their way back to their female fans. They actually said this.
About a week ago, T-ara were interviewed in Oricon Style. On the question what they wanted for Christmas, Eunjung answered “I want to meet someone by fate at Tokyo Tower… I don’t care whether that person is a male or not, I just want to meet someone amazing.
Is this all part of a calculated image on T-ara’s side, complete with Jiyeon’s lesbian role in “Miss Ripley? Is it genuine? Or just something else that I don’t understand
Exactly in what way girlgroups speak to their female fans when they display a “manly” image, I can’t really tell. Is it as rolemodels, or as objects of desire? Or a combination – so called girlcrushes, important during the teenage years but considered a passing phase?
I’m also puzzled at how some Korean (and international) female fans of female idols jokingly call them “oppa”. I can only interpret this as there lying something at least subtly desire-like in their fandom, or at least an awareness that it can be interpreted as this. But while for example After School’s Kahi and T-ara’s Eunjung don’t seem to mind, and even sometimes play with this concept, Miss A’s Jia lost her temper this summer and tweeted “Stop calling me oppa! /…/ I’m sexy girl~~~~ girl~~~~”.
I don’t even know where I’m going with this. This text has been lying around on my computer for quite some time without me finishing it, simply because I can’t really come a conclusion more than this: It seems like girl groups attract more girls, no matter why, when they show a cooler and more powerful image, and more guys when they show a cute image. I especially remember my own confusion when I talked to two guys about our favorite 2NE1 members, I mentioned CL and they were like “What? She’s so ugly though”. This hadn’t even occurred to me, who was way more interested in her fierce attitude. On the other hand, I know that I and the owner of this blog have come to the opposite conclusion when it comes to Orange Caramel – I like their cuteness, while he doesn’t.
What gender expectations, feelings of attraction or simply platonic admiration can be found in these patterns, I can just speculate in, and ponder on, and continue trying to understand. Maybe I’m just imagining things because I want to. I just hope they keep up the good work at giving me food for thoughts.
And now, I’m going to go camp at Tokyo Tower, hoping that Eunjung will show up…
/Mis, who is just as confused as always
August 2, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I realized a couple of days ago that I hadn’t written a single word about T-aras Roly Poly in the blog, so I’ll do it now(While waiting for Mr Simple to be released).
I traveled to Seoul the last two weeks of June, got to see such as Rainbow, Ft Island, Kim Hyun Joong and f(x) perform live at both Mnet Count Down and MBS Music Core. I had a great time and I think I will write more about this in another post later on.
f(x) Hot Summer was surely the theme song of June, remembering myself standing with friends on a late night dance floor in Stockholm screaming out the refrain. Back then I surely thought that this song, even though a cover would be the theme for all summer. But No. As me and my friends were sitting at Incheon Airport ready to leave South Korea, we watched the newly realsed Roly Poly by T-ara on my computer.
By then I had been upset for a couple of days since I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy the Roly Poly mini-album while still in Korea. I have both their full-length album and Yayaya mini-album whom I really like, But they released it the day I left the country so this was not possible. (Still a bit angry over this fact)
Anyway, as I got back to Sweden I managed to lay my hands on it and it soon became one of my most played songs for this summer as it has been accompanying me, at my wonderful birthday party, while driving through the swedish country side and while I’ve been doing some renovation work on my mothers house.
It could surely have been better, T-ara have some kind of non sense quality over most of their singles that I don’t always just buy(Yayaya), but theres is something with the sound, the verse and the music that almost makes me go crazy with happiness. Such a great song! My theme for the summer of 2011.
/The Future is Idol
August 1, 2011 § 4 Comments
So, I was planning to write this yesterday but lost myself in an out door museum here in Stockholm, pizza and fanfic reading with Elin. Waiting for the new MV by Super Junior i spent a lot of time with watching old MV teasers, mostly from SME groups like DBSK, SHINee, SNSD and of course Super Junior.
The teaser MVs are an entire genre on it’s own, some of them are absolutely fantastic, some of them not so much, but mostly incredibly gorgeous. DBSKs Mirotic had a series of teasers that were just clips of the MV itself and made the MV no surprise when it was released. On the other hand that is the best MV and the best song ever created.
The teasers has been a bit of a problem for me these past two years, since they are supposed to give you a hint of the new concept and the new single but sometimes just confuse you even more. I guess this is what they are supposed to do but still a pain. When SNSD were to release Run Devil Run they had the most gorgeous teaser ever, I was so excited and even though the song and MV turned out to be quite ok(but so lame really in comparison), it was a big disappointment after the incredible teaser. I’m still not really over it. The MV can sometimes lift a track you did not like from the beginning, this is the case with Hurricane Venus by Boa, NU Abo by f(x) and also I am The Best by 2NE1. Run Devil Run MV did not manage to do this.
The teaser of Run Devil Run and SHINees Lucifer teaser are probably my favourite ones all time, so incredibly beautifully produced and promising so much, as they very well should.
In the end I seem to prefer the teasers that don’t tell that much about the single itself even though it is frustrating when you have no clue at all what to expect. What will the Mr Simple MV look like?
I think the Mr Simple track itself is just as cool and Crazy Super Juniorlike as it should be, but with out the MV it is really hard to get the full picture of this comeback. Below are SuJus super clean teasers from the last couple of years:
Teaser No.1. Sorry Sorry 2009:
Teaser No.2. Bonamana 2010:
Teaser No.3. Mr Simple 2011:
Teaser No.4. Mr Simple 2011:
And finally, which teaser do you think is the better?
/The Future is Idol
May 26, 2011 § 2 Comments
For every week that passes by the days get longer and Stockholm starts to loose it’s grip of time. In a couple of weeks the sun will only go below horizon for an hour and I wont know when to sleep and be awake any more. This happens every summer and it is just as strange every time. I get home late at night these days, there is so much to do but no time. Every day looses itself in a million things with no beginning and no end, this is always confusing for me.
I don’t know if I experienced a spring this lonely before in my life, it’s been fascinating and with a strange feeling of living far away from everyone else, even though I live in the very middle of the capital of Sweden. When finished after a day at work and at the library, there has been room for nothing but myself. The scary thing is, that I seem to make it quite well on my own, it really does not take much to make me satisfied the time that remains. In some ways, as I’m getting closer to thirty I have not been this much of a fanboy or a loner since perhaps the age of fifteen.
This is a bit confusing since I’m really the most social person there is most of the time, I thought. But the world has been orbiting around me for the last couple of months, with not much room for anyone else. My mind occupied and thus shutting everything else out, with a shield of music. The music of course mostly Kpop, and I walk the streets with a language I do not really understand, constantly ringing through my ears. Maybe this is a reason for me being able to shut everything else out and being satisfied in a bubble. Having Kpop in my life extends the dimension of a dreamy existence and even though I’m not even close to being in love for real, not even with idols, I haven’t felt this romantic and confused in a very long time.
“Everything’s coming back to me
Even though I tried so hard to forget”:
/The Future is Idol
April 19, 2011 § 2 Comments
I realized it a couple of days ago when I first heard the Pinocchio track, but was still in some strange way hoping for a miracle that would save this comeback from complete disappointment.
So, I woke up this morning and the MV was released. But if I yesterday thought that the MV would lift the track as was the case with NU ABO, a track that before the release of it’s absolutley impeccable MV was just another not so interesting track from f(x), this MV did quite the contrary. If the NU ABO aesthetics gave us a glimpse of the future of K-pop, this MV is just empty, and not nearly as good as it should have been. On the other hand the set design really resembles(the same?) one of my favourite MVs of all time, Bulletproof by La Roux and that is at least possitive.
But the main issue here is the track itself, since the clothes they wear are gorgeous and most important, Amber never looked better. The track lacks in refrain and is as far away from a brilliantly simple pop tune it could be, and that is difficult for a main stream pop group to pull off. I find this track boring on the verge of La chA Ta-boring, but with out the melodious feeling. My favourite part of this track is the last 1,5 minutes with Ambers rap part and the ending melody loop that should have dominated over the rest of the track. I have a soft spot for f(x) since they always look stunning in their MVs and as written earlier, really kill in their commercial MVs. But this is not even close to what I was hoping for.
In so many ways I always want the stuff SME releases to be like this, or rather, as shown below, a crystal clear comeback with an adhesive track and a gorgeous MV:
Will Super Junior or SHINee have another album out before the end of 2011?
/The Future is Idol
March 22, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Today, every kpop blogger in this world will post the same thing, the same pictures. f(x) is back with a new photo shoot in Marie Claire, and guess what, it includes all five members! AMBER IS BACK, looking better then ever with a new blond hair color. I wanted so badly to believe the news about her returning to Korea earlier this year. I saw the pictures of her attending SHINees concert, but I’ve been hesitating still, would she really return? And what the hell happend to her while being away? Allkpop wrote about it today, Dancing On Our Own wrote about it, this epic moment deserves all the attention it can get. No need to explain really, but her hot androgynous looks gives her girl group a quality far beyond the ordinary. So far, that look has been reserved mostly for boy bands. With Amber returning and Taiwanese MISSter debuting not long ago, maybe there is a new trend on the rise? Every fanfic writer, every heart broken fangirl and fanboy, rejoice! Amber is back. Lets all watch their epic MV from last year while waiting for something new.
Happy as hell!/The Future is Idol
March 16, 2011 § 1 Comment
f(x) selling mobile phones, can it get much better? SMEs young girl group that shaped up from the boring beginning with not so interesting LA chA TA and turned into this brilliance to every ones happiness. They could sell anything. The MV for today is a bit old, but how would that matter? I continue to write about the ones I really like. This is the twin MV to Girls Generations Chocolate Love CF. Same phone ,same song, two entirely different versions. Who wins? There’s really no question, f(x) definetly brings home the victory in this case. Girls Generation(aka Snsd) shows of their worst sides with the innocent fluffy white but still so obviously sexual invitation to the viewers. For buying a phone? Again, it’s not even the sexy part that annoys me, because sex is everywhere. No it’s the passiveness and girlish look you get from these wonderful women as they stand there in their hot pants and tops, trying to seduce. The result for them: The most stupid and boring CF MV in my long list. This comes from someone who really likes Snsd, but does not like to see them like this.
The way the f(x) version starts almost make both of the MVs epic, with Snsd looking curiously through a door way with big eyes. On the other side? f(x) of course. They deliver an uptempo electro version of the same song Snsd used for their MV, and ten times better. A song that is not just for this MV but to be played at parties and while jogging. They are wearing nice and hot clothes in a cool set, they also have a really really nice coreography going, compare it to the epic fail lolita version by Snsd…Obviously, I know that the women of Snsd had nothing to say about how they would be presented in their version, I painfully aknowledge that. I’m a bit upset and want you to know my feelings.
So, the result again: f(x) winning and an epic fail for Snsd, interesting how their company(same company) use their girl groups to contrast against each other and letting one of them down completely in a case like this.
/The Future is Idol