K-Pop Pick of the Day: “Into the New World”

My God, I’ve only been listening to this song since Friday and I already feel nostalgic about it. It’s just got that power, so I can’t imagine how it is for longtime Girls’ Generation fans who grew up with “Into the New World,” looking back at the full lives suggested in the video, now lived, through triumph and heartbreak (and probably less plane-flying, but given the nature of Korean variety shows, you never fucking know). … More K-Pop Pick of the Day: “Into the New World”

K-Drama Report: Man in the Kitchen (2017)

This writeup is destined to be a report card, something I’ll gladly refer back to once I’m more secure in my ability to assess Korean dramas — this is where it began. At the moment, I’ve had a spotty track record. The first drama I’ve watched to completion remains the only: Cheer Up!, which was my QNA pick for greatest entertainment experience of 2019. It’s a colorful, heartfelt melodrama that soars so high yet explores surprisingly wrenching emotional depths. Being used to the 13 or 24-episode counts of American TV shows, I was devastated to find Cheer Up! is 12 in total (and that was before I saw it ends in the middle). I’m currently watching Man in the Kitchen, and by episode three, a thought crossed my mind that draws the sharpest distinction between the two shows: “Okay, I understand why this is 50 episodes long.” It was not a good thought. … More K-Drama Report: Man in the Kitchen (2017)

K-Pop Pick of the Day: “The SOOTORY #3”

This day, our K-Pop Pick of the Day is a little different. Not a song, no. In fact, lately, I’ve been weighing which Girls’ Generation song to talk about here, and as a very newcomer, I’ve only got three favorites so far: “Girls’ Generation,” “Gee,” and “Hoot.” My number one is actually “Girls’ Generation,” which I can’t get out of my head. But as you may tell, that song is from the beginning of the group, and they are very much babies in the video (which looks like it was indeed filmed the year of their births, or perhaps on a videotape?). Half, or more than half, of my experience with K-pop so far is videos like this, glimpses into the idols’ non-stage personas (I hesitate, firmly, to say “the idols’ personalities,” because I’m trying very hard to not fall into parasocial traps). … More K-Pop Pick of the Day: “The SOOTORY #3”

K-Pop Pick of the Day: “About Love”/”Taste”

The linkage between these two songs is immediately felt: they bounce. Wikipedia might classify “Taste” as pop/dance, and I can abide that, though it’s generic enough to be applied to all of the Red variety songs. It may be afield to say, but I’d almost hazard the application of “R&B” here. Both songs flow through with again, a bouncing rhythm, but are also laidback enough to eschew the frenzied energy or melancholic touch of other tracks. This is a specific zone. … More K-Pop Pick of the Day: “About Love”/”Taste”

The Villainess

You ever go on a date with someone fun and you’re, like, a 95% match, but then they say something that grinds the conversation to a halt, and it throws the integrity of the match into question and also possibly the premise of matchmaking itself, that there are no true matches, only fish in an endless sea broiling with riptide and Bermuda Triangles? Well, I didn’t actually go on a date with director Jung Byung-gil, but him and I are that 95% match, and his 2017 film The Villainess is my Bermuda Triangle. It is a siren’s song; it is my doom. … More The Villainess

K-Pop Pick of the Day: “NoNoNo”

This is where it began with Apink and I, and what a perfectly succinct introduction to this group’s bubblegum and surprisingly sexualized style. My frame of reference being Red Velvet, I do find Apink videos to be much calmer and still, willing to let the girls spend time with a single activity (in this case, baking cakes?) rather than run them through several at lightning speed (baking cakes, getting lost in the woods, stepping on cakes, breaking things, finding ants in cakes). That reduction in variety doesn’t also reduce the character: there’s still plenty of big smiles and goofing around. What could be cuter than Eunji poking Naeun with a cupcake? … More K-Pop Pick of the Day: “NoNoNo”

Cheer Up! (Sassy Go Go) | Recommended Korean Drama | 발칙하게 고고

Ah, what we have here are two friends from opposite sides of the track. You see, in this highly competitive elite school, Soo-ah is the number two student and Yeon-doo is the 196th. Usually, the highest and lowest-ranked students come to blows in the hallways. But Soo-ah gets it. She’s above this petty squabbling. Maybe there’s hope yet at peace across the aisle… … More Cheer Up! (Sassy Go Go) | Recommended Korean Drama | 발칙하게 고고