Joy In K-pop – A Monster Thread

This started with a Twitter thread about joy in music – I promised to provide some references in K-pop, then things went pear-shaped and it dropped off my radar.

So now I’m starting the year anew and all that. I’ll try to keep within the theme of joy, rather than just music I like, because there’s a whole universe of K-pop and I could wiffle non-stop for months.

Note: Yes, I’ll call them boys. I’m from the Paleozoic era, so everything younger than a trilobite is a junior to me (you dimetrodons get offa my lawn). And if you’re wondering at the references, it’s because this thread is turning into something resembling Godzilla.

And now, to business…

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Dali & Cocky Prince

Who’d have imagined that Lovely Nurse Park ™ from Doctor Romantic could metamorphose into a shouty, obnoxious, tossbadger? It certainly wasn’t on my bingo card, but Kim Min-jae does a sterling job, carrying off the role of the nouveau riche gamjatang tycoon with an unsuspected elan.

I suspect Kim has been typecast as the mild-mannered romantic lead far too often, so this role must have been a welcome opportunity. It was first offered to Lee Jae-wook, of Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol fame, and I for one am glad that Kim got it, because you couldn’t find a stronger, more colourful, Jin Moo-hak if you’d baked one yourself.

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DinDin, Klang – Dali & Cocky Prince OST

Yes, I’m a sad git – I really did watch this series because DinDin has a song in the OST. Hey, sue me. It’s a great song, as most of DinDin’s songs are, and ideally suited for that part of the series. For those who are interested, there’s lyrics in Hangul, Romanisation, and English translation.

There’s also another, by female vocalist Klang, a beautiful slow ballad entirely in English.

Enjoy the MVs, and there’ll be a review on the way tomorrow.

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TV Review – A Korean Odyssey

Do we need another version of Journey to the West? We’ve already had the Japanese TV series Monkey! (exclamation mark damn well included), the massively cool anime series Saiyuki, The Monkey King, and numerous other versions of the 16th century Chinese story about Great Sage Equal Of Heaven, otherwise known as the Monkey King.

And my answer is yes, gentle reader, we absolutely do. We need this particular version because we need the mesmerising Son O-gong that only Lee Seung-gi could give us.

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Nu’Est W, Jimin & YuNa (AOA) – A Korean Odyssey OST

We’ve got 3 MVs this week, from the hit K-drama A Korean Odyssey based on the 16th century Chinese classic Journey To The West. Enjoy them while I’m frantically trying to finish the review for tomorrow.

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TV Review – Hwarang

Co-posted at Heroic Cinema

2016 – 20 episodes

Is it just me, or does Park Seo-jun’s contract stipulate at least one shower scene in every drama?

In this case, he’s joined in his ablutions by several other young men, so if that’s one of your criteria for a good drama, then put Hwarang on your list.

Ditto if you want as many K-pop stars as possible, because this has no less than three: Park Hyung-sik (ZE:A), Choi Minho (Shinee), and V (BTS). Verily, my K-pop cup runneth over.

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Park Hyung-sik, Park Seo-jun, V & Jin – Hwarang OST

We’ve got a bumper crop this week, with no less than 3 MVs for your delectation, from 3 cast members of the historical action/romance K-drama Hwarang.

This includes not only lead actor Park Seo-jun, but second lead Park Hyung-sik, ex-member of ZE:A, and for added squeals of delight there’s also one by support actor V with fellow BTS member Jin.

Enjoy the music and the accompanying teaser-trailer videos – review to come on the morrow.

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TV Review – My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho

Co-posted at Heroic Cinema

2010 – 16 episodes

Most men would be thrilled if the lovely Shin Min-ah followed them home, but not Cha Dae-woong (Lee Seung-gi). Possibly because she’s got nine tails and 500 years under her belt, but more likely because she threatened to eat him – that kind of thing does tend to put a damper on even the most modern relationship.

If you can get past Lee Seung-gi’s startling hairstyle and plenty of shameless overacting, this is an enjoyable piece of romantic fluff. It’s a fairly simple premise: Cha Dae-woong (Lee) stumbles into an ancient temple at the height of a storm and releases a gumiho (fox spirit) who’s been trapped in a painting for 500 years. The gumiho saves his life and follows him home, where she proceeds to be generally adorable and falls in love with him despite his fervent rejections, while the previous object of his affection acts like Ms Snidey Bitchface at every opportunity.

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Lee Seung-gi – My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho OST (with lyrics)

The producers really got their money’s worth out of Lee Seung-gi in this show – not only is he the male lead, he’s also responsible for 2 of the songs on the OST. The first is bouncy and autotuned up the wazoo, the second is a ballad with more drama than a field of llamas. Review on the way…

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TV Review – Strong Girl Bong Soon

Co-posted at Heroic Cinema

2017 – 16 episodes

This is for all the women who want some vicarious ‘beating the crap out of everyone who’s ever looked at me sideways’ enjoyment. It’s also a whole sack full of fun even if you don’t have the urge to pummel anyone.

Do Bong Soon (Park Bo-young) is tiny, perky, and possessed of the superhuman strength that runs in the females in her family. Park brings an effervescence to the role that lifts Bong Soon above the merely cute, adding a sharp edge – the occasional side eye and tendency to inflict casual violence on the furniture to make a point gives her the quality of a human hand grenade, liable to wreak havoc at the slightest provocation despite her sweet smile and obliging manner.

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Mamamoo – Strong Girl Bong Soon OST (with lyrics)

Tomorrow’s review will be Strong Girl Bong Soon, so for the OST pick I’ve gone with a song from the classic girl group Mamamoo. It’s rare for me to choose girl group music, so enjoy it while you can, folks. Lyrics video follows the MV, with Hangul, Romanisation, and English translation.

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