Archive for October 2, 2011

111001 K-pop Music: For the Eyes or For the Ears?

There are only two genres in K-pop. It’s either music for the eyes or for the ears. Although it may seem like an over generalization, it’s the unfortunate truth in the world of Korean Entertainment.

The stars who make music for the eyes are your everyday bubble gum pop groups, such as SNSD, Kara, SS501, BEAST, or basically any K-pop group that appeals to the highly emotional and loyal teenage girls and boys.  These groups are in the business of turning a profit by satisfying your sense of sight.  They appeal to their set target demographic though the use of smokes and mirrors, or as they call it in Korean showbiz, photoshop and cosmetic surgery.  The concepts, the looks, the personalities are all fabricated to make them desirable yet approachable.  Common marketing jargon that doesn’t make sense, but that’s the basic thinking behind these groups’ formation and existence.

Then, there are artists who make music for the ears.  These are the talented artists, such as Gummy, Big Mama, Park Hyo Shin, etc, whose sole purpose in life is to make great music.  They don’t have a predefined target market that they want to appeal to.  These artists are just passionate individuals who focus on satisfying the sense of hearing by producing solid tracks, what I would like to define as music.  Because these true artists are behind the scenes creating music, they hardly make it to the press with their nonsensical Tweets or self-indulging sel-ca pictures like the stars mentioned above.

And it’s no surprise that artists for the eyes are driven by profits while artists for the ears are driven by passion.  Two very different outcomes, as the result of two very different approaches to what people loosely refer to as music.  Unfortunately, because individuals and companies cannot live off of passion alone, we are seeing many talented artists slowly changing their focus to appeal to the eyes.  One latest example of this trend is Brown Eyed Girls.

Since their last album, Brown Eyed Girls are slowly re-positioning themselves to fall into the former category: music for the eyes.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they already possess musical talents and can sing, but with the change in focus, one cannot help but to notice in the decline in their music. Abracadabra was that pivotal (and pitiful) song which allowed the ladies to completely re-market themselves.  The hit song was OK but I’m willing to duke it out with anybody who argues that Abracadabra has high musical value.

And fast forward to September of 2011, the ladies are back with an album titled “Sixth Sense” and although the majority of folks are praising their album, in my mind, the track doesn’t take advantage of their vocals.  In fact, it does a better job of making us focus on the visuals, their sexy/mature/oppressed look.  Great.  Another artist lost to the music for the eyes.  Perhaps that’s the reality of this show business.  When media coverage and CF deals dictate your next move, one can make a case that Brown Eyed Girls’s management made the right business decision.

As a fan of music for the ears and as a former fan of Brown Eyed Girls (and still heart the track, Da Ga Wa Suh), sitting through Sixth Sense music video was an excruciating experience.  I’m not questioning their talents, but due to this album’s strong focus on the imagery and concept, the weak song didn’t do justice to their voices.

Maybe Brown Eyed Girls are just ahead of the curve and will become the norm.  True artists will eventually reshuffle their priorities, from music to appearance, to sustain their living.  But isn’t it ironic that even with the expansion of the Korean music industry, it’s the only music for the eyes that are benefiting.  Will artists for the ears survive this tough market?

Conversely, there are some K-pop acts who used to make “music for the eyes”, slowly re-positioning themselves to make “music for the ears”.  The latest example of this trend is JYJ.  The trio was part of DBSK, one of K-pop’s biggest and greatest music for the eyes group of the last decade.  The five pretty boys dressed up in funky animal customs, to well, please Cassie’s eyes, despite their great voice.  After parting ways with SM and weathering legal battles, JYJ released their latest album, which as Patricia noted bid farewell to mainstream K-pop.

Although there are some trying to redefine themselves or refine their skills to produce music for the ears, one cannot deny that current landscape of K-pop is predominately populated by music for the eyes.  And sadly, the music for the eyes make up majority of the music export.

Source: Seoulbeats
Shared by: JYJ3

Choi Kanghee Says: Ji Sung Would Make a Good Husband… Jaejoong’s (Acting and Star Quality) Is Inborn

“I think Ji Sung would make a good husband. I think Jaejoong became a star because he has the innate something in side of him.”

Choi Kanghee, who has successfully finished the SBS drama Protect the Boss last month, sent a round of applause to the actors with whom she collaborated.

Choi Kanghee said in an interview with Yonhap News recently about Ji Sung, who is her age and whom she collaborated with as her character’s lover: “I heard that his IQ is 147—and (fitting of that description) he seems extremely smart.”

She relayed: “I was able to collaborate very well with Ji Sung. He came having analyzed the ad libs beforehand and so he would be hilarious out of nowhere while acting—and those things also melted into the drama.” Continuing, she added: “Ji Sung has both a side that is mature and one that is like a kid. He is considerate and so I think he will make a good husband.”

On Kim Jaejoong, who is a rookie at acting and is of JYJ, she exclaimed in awe: “He is a rookie at acting, but he has this “something” that is innate in him. He has this “something” that is instinctive. He was not a star for no reason.”

Continuing, she added: “Jaejoong is extremely, extremely kindhearted. I was happy in acting with him.”

She also gave a thumbs-up for Park Youngkyu (playing CEO Cha), saying that he is “super cool.”

She expressed wonder, saying: “Park Youngkyu sunsaeng-nim is an elder but I did not feel any gap (in age) between us. He is very appealing and he has a great passion.”

She added: “I felt that he really is a young person and I thought that I too want to live that young when I am that age.”

She laughed: “Really Park Youngkyu sunsaeng-nim said so many great things throughout the filming. We told him to collect those words to publish a book.”

Source: Yonhap News
Translation Credit: JYJ3

T/N: The writer Zazak is a member of the CJ E&M Social Press Team and of the SBS Social Tree. He also runs a blog (in which this piece was written), for which he was selected the Premier Blogger by PressBlog. He is also one of the recipient of the Top Blogger Awards for Tistory for both 2009 and 2010.

In the end, the lead of Protect the Boss was Kim Jaejoong?!

“Muwon! There is no exit from you.” Seo Nayun (Wang Jihye) uttered those words to Cha Muwon (Kim Jaejoong) who had made a meal for her. What does she mean? When Cha Muwon gazed at her with a question, she says again. “I only keep falling in, deeper and deeper.” These are words normally uttered by a woman to a man, but this drama has a woman say them to a man and so gives an inverted fun. But even so, there does not seem to have been an end to the attractiveness of Cha Muwon, from the beginning to end of watching this drama.

First, Cha Muwon is a man near perfection in the drama. He is a next-generation corporate man who is hot in DN Group. As is described in the final episode, he climbed up to become the executive director thanks to the hyper-sonic speed of his promotions. When compared to Cha Jihun (Ji Sung) who is still the director of headquarters, this signifies that his ability to run the corporation has become recognized.

[In the drama, Cha Muwon not only has a great personality and a great looks, but also boasts a singing ability that is so superb as to turn the Karaoke room into a concert hall, is good at sports, and excels in his mind for business—- he oversteps the mere “the perfect son of my mother’s friend” to show off abilities as wide as the universe.]

Of course, Cha Muwon is also a part of the Royal Family. Thus he was able to become the executive director despite being in his early thirties. However, even if one is a third-generation chaebol, if one does not have the ability, one cannot assume such a position.

Cha Muwon, in the basics, is a good human being. Of course in the beginning he does pick Noh Eunsul (Choi Kanghee) as a secretary and has her keep a watch on Cha Jihun to keep him in check. However, when he sees Noh Eunsul who reveres him as Muwon-God, he feels pangs on his conscience. Further, this nerd who has never known to play for the entirety of his life does a “cutting class” with Noh Eunsul, drinks a single glass of soju, and falls down intoxicated.

But Cha Muwon’s human side only acts as the multiplier of his attractiveness. In Protect the Boss, he is someone who is near the ideal man. His exterior, to speak of first, is handsome. His smiling face has a devil-like attractiveness that causes the characters of the drama and the viewers of real life to fall, irrespectively.

His heart, pure and noble to the degree that it is difficult to believe it belongs to a third-generation chaebol, causes him to always be concerned for and to do his best to help in any way Noh Eunsul, even though she picked Cha Jihun and not himself.

[Not only that, Cha Muwon is a romantic, to the degree that he proposes in such a way to Seo Nayun, the woman he loves. This kind of a perfection that men just cannot help but intensely hate makes firm the conviction that the lead of Protect the Boss is not Cha Jihun but rather Cha Muwon. Further, he officially gets the designation of being the next leader of the corporation and announces the “clean corporate” ideal that Noh Eunsul spoke of. Indeed, is he not perfect as the lead?]

Furthermore, this “perfect son of my mom’s friend” is good at sports and good at cooking. Even further, because Cha Jihun has given up becoming the successor to the group, Cha Muwon becomes chosen by the founder of the corporation to be its official successor.

Before he becomes the successor, Cha Muwon proposes to Seo Nayun, announcing that he will become a “clean corporate man.” In truth, the clean corporate man was the role that Noh Eunsul originally wanted for Cha Jihun.

However, Cha Jihun cleanly gave up the “corporate man” since it did not suit his aptitudes and since he wished to live happily with Noh Eunsul. Thus, the turn returned to Cha Muwon. Of course, because Cha Muwon has shown us his abilities since the beginning of the drama, he seems more fitting to be the corporate lead.

But all of this makes one confused as to just who is the lead in Protect the Boss. This goes without saying, but in Protect the Boss, the “Boss” is the important figure. In the drama, the word Boss is used in a dual manner. The first is, as the word implies facially, the “boss” of a gang, and designates Noh Eunsul who was a delinquent in high school and CEO Cha who was a man of fists in his youth. The second meaning designates the next-generation corporate man of DN Group, Cha Jihun. Why? Cha Jihun had a variety of problems including his panic disorder, and Noh Eunsul had to protect him as his secretary.

[Of course, in the drama, Cha Jihun makes the very romantic proposal to Noh Eunsul, one which we have seen many times in movies, and weds her and reminds the viewer that they are the lead couple. But when calling the drama’s title of Protect the Boss to mind, Cha Muwon took over all important roles of a “Boss” and his importance to the drama does not fall one iota.]

That Cha Muwon became the official successor instead of Cha Jihun in the final episode of Protect the Boss is novel in a variety of ways. First, it is novel that Boss escapes the mold of the dramas until now, in which the lead would receive the critical spotlight. Further, it is novel in that Cha Muwon became the successor to the group due to his abilities and not because he was the lead.

Cha Muwon chose to walk through the field of thorns in order to become the ideal corporate man that Noh Eunsul whom he loved drew perhaps in her innocent mind. To refrain from creating illicit funds or to have successions that do not skirt the law is described as almost a Mission Impossible for the corporate men of the Republic of Korea today.

They say “Just where can the clean person be found?” and find comfort in seeing the other corporate man act uncleanly. But if someone who is so talented as Cha Muwon runs the corporation cleanly, he brings onto himself all kinds of envy and abuse.

Thus, as Cha Muwon predicted, they may make him the loner by creating a union among themselves or, if taken to the extreme, bring him down from the position of the leader. However, in order to become the kind of corporate man that Noh Eunsul whom he loved wished for, he decided to walk the thorny path.

Further, he shares such determination with not his grandmother but with Seo Nayun first and promises their future together, completing the romantic proposal of marriage. Of course, the shining moments of Cha Muwon ends there. That is become if the drama showed more of such shining moments, the Cha Jihun – Noh Eunsul couple would become too dull.

[Kim Jaejoong exuded his spell without regret in the TV screen through this drama. He, fitting of a singer, showed off his singing ability in the Karaoke. He also did all of his part as an entertainer who emits charm that does not fall behind Ji sung’s. If one were to pick one weak spot it is that he has one voice tone and so is monotonous. But when considering the fact that he is a beginner and that today idols consistently show an acting befitting of my foot, his acting is nothing short of superb. Further, if a person is too perfect, one cannot feel affection towards him. He needs to have this flaw so that men like us can feel him – who seems to have overstepped the “perfect son of my mother’s friend” to become an alien really — to be “human.”]

Cha Jihun and Noh Eunsul held a wedding and in their own way ended the drama in a grand finale. However, in considering the title of the drama, the portion due to the corporate man will be assumed in whole by Cha Muwon as heir. In doing so, Cha Muwon was portrayed as a character who does not fall short of—no, even exceeds — Cha Jihun.

By meeting Noh Eunsul, Cha Muwon “cut class” for the first time, fell in love with a “regular person” and the nerd who could not drink at all became a man who knows how to appropriately play and take pleasure. Further, Protect the Boss made the rookie actor Kim Jaejoong into a star, no less than it did for Ji Sung and Choi Kanghee.

When watching Protect the Boss for the first time, the acting of Kim Jaejong who had become cast as a lead in his first domestic drama seemed shaky. But Kim Jaejoong indeed did his part properly, befitting of (his character who is) a third-generation chaebol and corporate man with talent. He puts the title of “first appearance” to shame. He portrayed the heart-wrenching longing for a loved woman, the rookie who is having his first play, and the mature man and corporateur, thus exuding a charm in the drama that did not fall behind Ji Sung’s.

It seems that Protect the Boss will be remembered as the drama that has shown us an outstanding new talent called Kim Jaejoong for 18 episodes. Fortunately, Kim Jaejoong is perfect in his expression of emotions and in almost every aspect. But he did fall short on diction. I thank God that He has given Kim Jaejoong such a side for now, lest others feel cold towards him for being too perfect. I want to end with the advice that if Kim Jaejoong were to improve his tone of diction that seems a bit monotonous because he is yet speaking in a single tone, his acting will be seen as even more natural.

Source: Zazak
Translation Credit: JYJ3
Please do not add to, alter, or remove the credits.

Protect the Boss Wipes Out Prejudice. Ji Sung – Kim Jaejoong… Indeed Queen of Romantic Comedy Choi Kanghee

Kim Jaejoong Passes the Test in Acting

Kim Jaejoong’s challenge onto the domestic drama scene received received responses more positive than expected. This is because Kim Jaejoong had already become recognized to a degree as for his potential to improve in his acting by having appeared in the Japanese drama Sunao ni Narenakute. This prediction was spot on to a degree. The prejudice against idol acting did not grab Kim Jaejoong’s ankles (and sink him). On the contrary, Cha Muwon of Protect the Boss was expressed through Kim Jaejoong to be a clean, uncontrived character.

Director Lee Sangbaek of A-Story, the production company of Protect the Boss, explained about Kim Jaejoong: “He has the looks that can capture women, and he has a high name-recognition value in Asia. But even before (considering) those factors, we looked at Kim Jaejoong’s Japanese drama and evaluated his acting. He analyzed that he without fail would have potential, and so we cast him.”

[Only part on Jaejoong translated]

Source: TVReport
Translation Credit: JYJ3

What made ‘Protect The Boss’ so popular with viewers?

SBS‘s ’Protect the Boss‘ seemed to come out of nowhere with its strong popularity, and many viewers who had no expectations were ultimately surprised by its quality content. But what made this drama stand out from the rest?

‘Protect The Boss’ was a feel-good drama that didn’t have any negative elements of an affair or a broken family; it also lacked a character that you loved to hate. The way that the characters caused problems in the story were endearing in their own way, and when the characters plotted against each other, the situation turned out pretty comical in the end.

For example, there was potential for ‘Cha Ji Hun’ (Ji Sung)’s ex-lover ‘Seo Na Yoon’ (Wang Ji Hye) and ‘Noh Eunsul’ (Choi Kang Hee) to get into a messy rivalry over Cha Ji Hun. But the two didn’t try to make each other’s lives miserable, and they become close friends.

Meanwhile, Cha Ji Hun and ‘Cha Moo Won’ (JYJ‘s Jaejoong) were rivals for a long time; instead of competing intensely against one other, the two fought like grade-school students. They would say things like, “I really don’t like him“, and get into scraps with one another that made the audience laugh. In reality, the two seemed like childhood friends rather than enemies.

‘Protect the Boss’ broke the mold of traditional Korean dramas, as the audience was able to relate with the more “average” and down-to-earth characters. Those who appeared to be the “bad” guy in the story actually wasn’t some horrible, irrational demon come-to-life; in the end, they were individuals who made some bad decisions, but ultimately sought happiness. The fact that these characters were relatable made the audience fall in love with the drama.

But the characters weren’t the only aspect that helped ‘Protect The Boss’ gain popularity. The main issue in the storyline didn’t lie with the characters’ conflicts with one another — it was in trying to disprove the stereotypes of being rich.

For example, Cha Ji Hun has a panic disorder, and although he is the boss, he cared very little about his job. He became a better man after meeting Noh Eunsul, but still had no ambition to take his father’s place in his company. He doesn’t want to inherit his father’s wealth, but even so, his colleagues called him mocking names like ‘Papa’s boy’. The story follows the hardships he endures before he could successfully break free from his situation.

‘Protect the Boss’ was comical and funny, and it also deconstructed the stereotypical ‘Cinderella’ story. Devoid of melancholy, excessive love, and senseless hatred, the story simply told of a person’s journey to find happiness in a relatable way.

Source & Image : Newsen
Translation credit: Allkpop
Shared by: JYJ3

Boss Kim Jaejoong. In His Muwon-God Force Mode Reveals His Thoughts on Final Episode: “Cha Muwon, Thank You”

Group JYJ’s member Kim Jaejoong has relayed his thoughts upon finishing the SBS TV drama Protect the Boss.

Kim Jaejoong posted a photo on his Twitter on the afternoon of the 30th with the following words: “I was happy in Boss and I am so thankful to Cha Muwon. Everyone, I thank you. To every member of the staff– I look up to you.”

On Protect the Boss that ended on the 29th, Kim Jaejoong debuted onto the Korean drama scene in the role of the director of headquarters Cha Muwon and earned praise with his stable acting. In particular, he received a good response from the viewers when he revealed his skills in cooking, which had been hidden, on the final episode.

The netizens who said this responded as follows: “Do I really need to let Cha Muwon go.” “Muwon-God, please come back!” “How am I supposed to live a world without Muwon-God.” “I hope you return through another drama!” “You worked hard until now.”

Source: ENews24
Translation Credit: JYJ3

Kim Junsu in a Father’s Smile: When Looking at Yun Duzun and Lee Kikwang, “As If Seeing My Members.”

Kim Junsu said that when he looks at Yoon Doojoon and Lee Kikwang it is as if looking at the JYJ members Kim Jaejoong and Park Yoochun.

JYJ’s Kim Junsu sent a mention to B2ST’s Yoon Doojoon through Twitter on September 30: “Duzun~ I was looking at you and Kikwang and for some reason laughter came out.” At this, Yoon Doojoon replied: “A father’s laugh?” Then B2ST’s Lee Kikwang who saw the conversation between Yoon Doojoon and Kim Junsu asked: “Why laughter? Why is it that I am the only one who does not understand?” Kim Junsu replied: “You two are, somehow, of the feel of looking at my members.”

The netizens who saw the conversation between Kim Junsu, Yoon Doojoon and Lee Kikwang responded as follows: “Somehow B2st and JYJ go well together. But who would be Kim Jaejoong and who would be Park Yoochun?” “Kim Junsu was perpetually a cute image but since we say “a father’s laugh” somehow it is awkward~.” “It is nice to see a warm relationship between a sunbae and his hubaes.”

On the other hand, Kim Junsu, Yoon Doojoon and Lee Kikwang belong to the entertainers soccer team FC MEN.

Source: Newsen
Translation Credit: JYJ3
Please do not add, alter, or remove from the credits.