Well, it’s that time of year again, where we count down the best YouTube videos of the past 12 months (I’d already used “year” in this sentence, so I couldn’t use it twice). What do you mean “again” doesn’t apply in this case? Well, true enough this site and its correspondent YouTube channel launched this year — and what a year! So exciting, wow. Primarily, what helped me through was YouTube, and what a year! Seems like everyone, from Yoona and Yuri to Hayoung started up their channels, providing so much wonderful c-o-n-t-e-n-t to pick up and watch. I didn’t see a lot of movies this year or TV shows or anything because they were too much front-end emotional investment. Uhp, here we go with the very first establishing shots — TAKE LONGER! I guess impatience is also a factor. The following videos get right into the action, and are just so sweet they make my heart burst. Owie!
Let’s start this list off right — not ranked, by the way, because that’s even more absurd, though the closer is probably mi favorito — we have a Christmas surprise courtesy of one trickster Hyoyeon who goes undercover at Taeyeon’s video shoot for her recent single “What Do I Call You.”
SM직원 아니에요? | 네가 왜 거기서 나와 | 태연&효연 TAEYEON&HYOYEON
I’ll be honest, watching this for the first time that bleary Christmas morning, I was filled with a pint of melancholy, because as the suspense was gradually tightening — Hyo swooping in and out of the set without being seen, interviewing her, getting an autograph — I knew it was the kind of payoff I’d only be able to fully appreciate once. And what a payoff! Granted, any law of diminishing returns didn’t stop repeat views. God, it’s just so precious!
And for some Girls’ Generation lore, the comments for this video informed me that Hyo and Tae are apparently “the awkward couple,” which I was eager to call BS on (“They didn’t hug!”) until I did some research and discovered it was self-ascribed. Though there is one citation of conflict in their past, it mostly comes down to Hyoyeon being an extrovert and Taeyeon being an introvert. Not a lot for them to talk about. While that may not track with Taeyeon and Yeri’s BFF-ness, it does add some gravity to that classic Taeyeon/Irene interaction — the two twins — the discussing of their strange love for household chores.
Also, doesn’t Hyoyeon, perpetual cutie-pie, look so good with black hair? It might be dark brown or even green, but I’ve only ever seen her blonde. Like Wendy, she seems to prefer the lighter colors (pink, I’ve also seen). I know secondhand it’s not easy going from light to dark, so maybe if you’re at one, you stay there for a while. Either way, it’s a great look, though I still can’t square smiley Hyo with the grunge of “Dessert.”
Memories of K-drama (Bonus: Eunji’s MUKBANG and dancing to Just Let Us Love)│Ohhabbang
Moving along now to an Apink entry, my absolute group of the year, we have a relatively rare pairing (as far as I’ve seen) but one no less essential — Hayoung and Eunji.
In this chillout, Hayoung continues her weekly surveys of various topics — in this case “old” K-dramas — while Eunji eats and sings along in the background because “this is a good spot.” It’s always cool to see which K-dramas were important to people living in Korea, and Hayoung describes her experience with them in a way that also describes a life I didn’t think she lived — with, like, “afterschool” and such. I mean, Hayoung is, what, 24 right now? Apink is 11 years old? I don’t know. I guess the math checks out. I just wonder how she feels about that time before. I like to think it’s light nostalgia, since it really does seem everyone in Apink loves being Apink.
It’s also cool because in a case like this, one of the canonical dramas is Reply 1997, starring Eunji. But they spend the most time elsewhere, doing an impromptu dance routine at the end (probably not so impromptu, as Hayoung realizes her grasp of the choreo is lesser than thought, and then we hard cut to the choreo). And the video ends with such an adorable moment, Eunji giving Hayoung a kiss on the head.
Speaking of kisses…
Kim Yerim Got Blushy With All Her Screams😈 Risky Jenga Game 2 [EP.8-2]
Look, it was a rough year for Red Velvet. Wendy spent most of it recuperating after her Christmas 2019 injury, and Irene notched a new “controversy” tab on her Wikipedia belt. Even now, I need this video.
Yeri also started a YouTube channel this year, and she’s been doing well hosting all sorts of guests, doing activities. Of course, Irene and Seulgi couldn’t let her get away with that, so they stop by on their promotion tour for Monster and chaos ensues. It’s best captured in part two featured here, where Yeri pulls torturous cards in their game as Irene keeps winning prizes. By the end, Yeri’s been flicked on the forehead by Seulgi — “Didn’t feel it” — and Irene — “OWWW!” — and then kissed by both of them on the cheek.
Seulgi notes that Yeri, especially when she first started out, was always trying to kiss them, which Yeri denies, of course, but there’s video evidence favoring Seulgi’s testimony. This whole of this episode eight is great for those reminisces, too. In the first part, Irene and Seulgi describe how baby Yeri used to point out all the objects in the room like the excited kid she would’ve been back then. Here more than ever, I’m struck by that sisterly bond. It’s so strong here I had to specifically remind myself Irene and Yeri aren’t technically related. They just exude such big sister / little sister energy — they’re peers, two professional artists. More I can’t square.
[The SOOTORY #11] 댕댕이와 드라이브 갔다 왔수영🐶🚘
Sooyoung hits the road with her two adorable dogs, back home to check in with mom. I believe this is the site of that SNSD house party documented elsewhere on YouTube so long ago, so it’s already a legendary place. And what does she do while there? My gosh. There are better Sootories out there, but I got to go with this one for its sheer formalistic integrity. I mean, I was rolling, watching Sooyoung screw around with her mom’s AC for five minutes straight. This is a video, Sooyoung! About Sooyoung! And this is how you spend it??
I have no words, except maybe Sooyoung is the Best! Fighting!
롱언니와 춤추고💃 쇼핑하고 👜 일기쓰는 📝 뽀미의 데일리 브이로그 | Daily Routine Vlog
Bomi posts so many videos — sometimes twice a week, it seems? — that choosing just one is difficult. Well, maybe not that difficult, since she’s especially fond of ASMR, and those are usually so intense I can only watch them through proverbial finger slits, like a horror movie. But there’s definitely fun to be had there, and of course, there was the one where she kept getting interrupted by her new dog, or the one where she nearly undresses in front of the camera. *Chorong voice: BBOM!*
In the end, though, I had to go with the one that invokes one of my very favorite things in all of K-pop — the bond between Bomi and Chorong. While most of the video is Bomi-center, a trip to the store, dance practice, etc., she shares breakfast with Chorong and plays Just Dance with her at the end, per the thumbnail. My God, it’s so precious, and I love them so much.
Sigh. Unrelated, the way Bomi says “OMO” is forever burned in my brain.
And finally, we come to our #1, a trilogy from Yuri’s Winning Recipe, Girls’ Generation edition. Oh, please make this a tradition.
EP8-1. Yurihan Feast in a Span of 72 Hours (with Girls’ Generation)
This year, Yuri Kwon — SNSD bias wrecker? — completed a six-month cooking class and works with fellow students to serve a multi-course, luxurious meal for her Girls’ Generation membermates, Tae, Hyo, Soo, and Tiffany — and eventually Seoyhun. Yuri is an energetic kid who acquits herself in a variety of activities with uniform enthusiasm — that big dorky smile, the husky laugh. She had Sooyoung on as a guest cook in an earlier episode, and has Tiffany on later. Here we have the additional three, though we’re still out Yoona and Sunny.
It’s just so cool to see Yuri in this sort of milieu, exercising a new skill on a big project (days of preparation) which she compares to the old three-hour concerts. All the while, she weathers the predicted storm of insults from Sooyoung, offset by Tiffany’s affection — whose angel wings are extra big in this one, noted even by the graphics editor (Sooyoung is given devil wings/horns).
In part two, we see Sooyoung and Tiffany moments before they arrive, goofing off in the elevator. Soo and Fany are a couple that seems so strong now, but looking back over old SNSD material, I doubt if I saw it back then. It’s like the inverse of Yoona and Yuri (my heart, be strong). I saw on Twitter either footage or testimony of Hyo and Tae’s same elevator ascent, which was — you guessed it — awkward. Apparently, they just stood there silently. Elevators are a strange space, anyway. Not for these two mooks!
To zero in on Tiffany for a bit — when she returns to Winning Recipe later, she talks about how she was disappointed with Sooyoung’s previous appearance because she didn’t appear to take it seriously. We know Tiffany loves Sooyoung, but I like to think she’s also very protective of Yuri as she tries this new thing. She’s vulnerable, and Tiffany seems to instinctively pick up on that. Doesn’t stop Sooyoung, though! Frankly, I’m thankful for that continuity of character.
Unfortunately, Hyo has to leave early because she’s actually filming the music video for “Dessert,” which looks to be one of the most successful SNSD solo releases. Someone in the comments pointed out that they’re all so busy, even incomplete gatherings like this are a miracle. And Seohyun is running late… her greatest mistake.
Sooyoung mentions that they always used to play pranks, and specifically on Seohyun (I’m sure this is true, but when it comes to classic SNSD pranks, I’m here remembering back to when Jessica could bring out out Yoona’s villainous side). Let’s do that again! Their plan? They all left because Seoyhun took too long, and all the food’s gone! In fact, all that’s left is a cup of ramen. As they hide, Tiffany suggests Yuri try to convince Seo that honey would go great with that ramen, which made me do a spit take. That’s the above image. Look at the conviction in her face! The below image is the plan coming together from the hiding spot.
And then they all pop out and Seobaby sees she’s been pranked again. In the end, the family spends some quality time together, and it warms this cold, cold heart of mine. God, though — seriously, Yuri and Yoona were so close back in the day, speaking of those older relationships compared with now. Is it just me or are all the dynamics so different? My most highly-anticipated media event isn’t a movie or a TV show or video game — even Mass Effect 5 — it’s the future episode of Yuri’s Winning Recipe season 2 guest-starring Yoona. Oh, my God, I would DIE. I would DIE.
“I was able to understand how moms feel through this experience, the feeling of being full by just seeing your children eat.”