05/16/2021 – Wonderful Days

The last few posts here have been fluff, and that feels especially callous as so much tragedy is happening in the Asian world — Palestine, Myanmar, India, so many more. I’ll hopefully get back to more important business soon, but for now, I just want to record some recent thoughts. First up, I rewatched the original A Better Tomorrow on Friday in anticipation of a future QNA episode about the sequel. I hadn’t remembered much of the first, just that it isn’t as actiony as Woo’s other big movies, and that Chow Yun-fat surprisingly dies at the end. Watching it this time, I was blown away. It starts off pretty light and goofy, with the usual “Wow, Asian gangsters are so different,” but that’s part of it. Iconic character Mark Gor is shoving and giggling with his friend, the protagonist played by Ti Lung, and then their lives are completely overhauled and it’s quite moving. Speaking of which, I’d also forgotten that this is a movie with Leslie Cheung, and that never fails to fill me with a mysterious sadness. I can’t really explain it — I didn’t know who Cheung was when he was alive, but I did end up watching a lot of his movies by happenstance, like The Bride with White Hair and the Wong Kar-Wai filmography. It was a gut punch to learn that this guy died by suicide, and that he was one of Asia’s most beloved stars, and that he was a trailblazer for taking on queer roles in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

The second thing is Yoona. So, I do feel spoiled, because there’s been a lot of Girls’ Generation content lately — nothing official by way of SM Entertainment — but lots of fun stuff mostly spearheaded by Yuri, it seems. She’s been hanging with Hyeoyeon, the two of them went on a show with Taeyeon, and they variously interact with Tiffany, who’s doing a play right now (Chicago). Sooyoung is also out and about, having a birthday lunch with Hyo and girlfriend Tiff. In all of these, I’m constantly wondering, “Where the hell are the rest of them?” Ever since that Yuri’s Winning Recipe where Yoona and Sunny were missing, it just seems like Yoona’s so busy with acting and winning awards and Sunny might as well feature on a milk carton. Since learning about Girls’ Generation, I have not seen a contemporary get-together or Yoona and Sunny interacting with the other members since 2019, at Tiffany’s birthday. Understandably, we’ve had a pandemic since and we continue to have it, but again, Yuri’s all over the place. I’m trying not to be frustrated.

So imagine my shock and delight at the most recent upload on Yoona’s So Wonderful Day, which opens with Yoona on her way to Chicago, making a stopover to buy flowers for Tiffany. And then — a twist. Not only is there not video of her and Tiffany (only photos), she’s been traveling with a hood-and-mask-wearing Sunny! This is a classic SNSD coupling, and they’re so much fun to watch together. Also because I really like Yoona’s YouTube channel, but there’s a considerable distance between her and the camera, unlike with Yuri’s channel. With Sunny, it’s nice to see her with someone she has an established chemistry with, who can bring out that genuine Yoona character. I feel like Yoona’s public image is so predicated on niceness and innocence, and she has to be careful to maintain that, but we’re forgetting that SNSD-era Yoona was really mischievous. So this video was a nice shot in the arm for a number of reasons, and I’m hopeful to see more meet-ups in the future, especially now that Sunny’s been found.


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