With ah yen looking at 2011’s kpop scene in a journalist’s point of view, I’ll do a recap as an audience.
2010, I jumped onto the Kpop bandwagon as a reporter, did some interviews and reports of some kpop artistes. Last year after taking a career switch, I remained as an active audience of the scene, enjoyed some good concerts and watched some nice TV shows. Can’t say which is my preferred MO, but kpop scene is still attractive and exciting without any ‘behind-the-scene’ participation.
Cast from popular variety show “Running Man” (Korean TV station SBS production)
#Popcorn moment 1: Variety (of) Programs
I salute koreans for their effort in putting together variety shows. Been hooked on “Strong Heart” and “Running Man” on ONE channel, I am shocked at the number of production people and the equipments invested into the shows. Take for instance, RM has 7 regular hosts, and there are at least 3 cameras following them around. They play something like a ‘hide-and-seek’ game at anywhere, running away from each other (hence the title “Running Man”). At anywhere means airport, train stations, stadium. Even to bangkok, Hong Kong etc.
One of my regular scheduled recording program on cable boxset. Super Likes.
#Popcorn moment 2: More channels for kpop-watching
With channels like ONE(Starhub 823), TVN(824) and KBS(115) on cable, it’s getting easier to watch korean programs on a big screen, without having to wait too long. Of course you can watch almost instantly many programs online, but to me, viewing these programs through a good old TV set is still the best.
Good quality, no lag. Likes.
#Popcorn moment 3: Star hunt shows
One of my korean contacts told me in a laughing manner, koreans are more interested in star hunting shows and the contestants then idols nowadays. It’s been a hit in Yes. After American Idol, you can say that everything that came later has been modeled after the show. So does korean star hunt shows, having famous artistes as judges, eliminating candidates one by one. But you have to see it to know it…. with more impactful cameraworks, editing techniques, and high calibre contestants. And yes, their mentors engaged for the contestants include A-listers like Super Junior, Rain, SNSD etc.
And watching Superstar K3 brought tears to me everytime i watched the winner of the season – Ooh lala session. The team leader Lim Yoon Taek Lim is fighting 4th stage cancer, and they are always fighting as though it would be their last chance to perform together.
#Popcorn moment 4: Explosion of showcases and concerts
What’s better than to catch kpop live? In 2010, there were huge amounts of showcases, fan meets etc. As a reporter, I actually felt that it was rather ‘unhealthy’. Shows were overpriced, and some badly managed. It’s annoying to the fans and media. Worse of all, it’s DISRESPECT to artistes, especially those who worked hard to earn themselves a chance here to meet their fans.
In 2011, I find the situation slightly better, or perhaps it was from an audience’s point of view, could be less frustrating. (Are you looking, ah Yen?) However, not all performances left an impression. Or rather, a good impression. Have to admit that even as a kpop follower (ie. rather familiar with the songs), I almost couldn’t fight off the boredom and sleep bug during some performances.
But like ah yen, I am very impressed by MAMA. Live or telecasted. Watching it from Indoor Stadium, I marveled at the execution and stage setup. Watching it on TV or youtube, I still marveled at the nitty gritty details of the production, that I couldn’t see during the live performance.
Glad that it took place here in Singapore, giving Indoor Stadium a whole new look.
#Popcorn moment 5: Idols go wild
If you haven’t seen kpop idols on variety shows, then you haven’t seen them ‘completely’. In many variety shows like ‘2D1N’, ‘Family Outing’, ‘Running Man’ or ‘Hero’, idols go all out to win the game. They are put into missions like wrestling with kids, or catching small fish in muddy field. In return, they’ll be able to exchange for food ration, or sleeping in cosy rooms instead of tents out in a winter night.
Well, it’s either they are really into the show, or they’re really good at acting. I would think it’s both, but as audience, you’ll be thrilled to see the other side these idols, who usually look prim and proper while performing on stage.
How often do you see Kim Hyun Joong running around, attacking hosts and taking them down (literally, see photo to believe!) brutally?
#Popcorn moment 6: Extravagant Music Programs
Have blogged about this in Oct: Music Program-Back to Basics. 2011 year end Music events were also quite a feast to the eye, though some were slammed due to ‘plagarism’ accusations and lousy arrangements by production team. But nonetheless, the standard is still way ahead of most Asian pop market.
What are your popcorn moments while you laze in your crouch crunching kpop (or popcorn) on TV/internet?