On last week’s podcast Subi suggested that SM should hire me to redo “The Boys” MV. What are some of your favorite MVs? Some of your worsts? And how would you make them better?
Subi: My all time favorite K-Pop MV is without a doubt Hyori’s U-Go-Girl. It has everything I want to see in a music video. A fabulous look, a subtle narrative, and a whole lot of energy. And I think those are the key successes to a great MV: An interesting look that possesses some novelty without hurting our brains, a narrative that does not distract from the song, and energy that lets us know that this is supposed to enhance some aspect of the song. And for those very reasons that’s why most K-Pop videos are really bad. They are very colorful, very fun, and very entertaining but as far as quality beyond that, none of them really do it for me.
Ree: I agree, U Go Girl was a good MV. And it’d be one of my favorites if not for some of the underlying implications of the MV, unless I’m reading it wrong or something. I actually love quite a few K-Pop MVs. I’m under the belief MVs don’t need a storyline exactly, but as long as they do a good job of accompanying the song I’m fine. But I really actually love the MV for Bubble Pop! Like the setting and the colours, as well as her little date with Joon was super cute. Aside from that, I love the MV for Haru Haru, Lies, and Last Farewell. And I ADORE the MV for You and I by Park Bom — I actually cried. I also really love the MV for Super Girl by SJ-M. And Wrong Number.
Also Ten Out of Ten by 2PM is one of my favorite MVs EVER. Honestly, I love it. It was funny, cute, the aesthetics could have been better, but I loved everything else. I thought it really embodied the general charisma of 2PM really well.
Megan: The thing that ruined Bubble Pop for me was HyunA herself. And no, I don’t mean to hate on her, I have no problems with her personally, but her mannerisms and affectations in that video came off as quite frankly, nauseating. Change was still three minutes worth of HyunA trying too hard to be sexy, but I liked her better there. None of those gross fish face expressions.
Nabeela: I’m sorry Ree but I Loathe Bubble Pop, partly because I loved Hyori and I can’t help but feel Hyuna is a Hyori wannabe, and for me Bubble Pop looks like U Go Girl and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang smashed together. Hyuna needs her own, unique direction, or else she’s always gonna be a Hyori wannabe to me. Maybe dye her hair another color and change up her style? That being said, Hyori’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is one of my favorites just because its so weird, and it takes Hyori’s sexy to the unconventional.
T-ara’s Roly Poly was just too freakin adorable, they did the whole disco theme really well and the cinematography and the tid bits of story came together very nicely.
And 2PM’s 10 Points out of 10 is also one of my favorites, just because its so lighthearted and fun. Oh and also SNSD’s Kissing You, so cute and colorful.
MV’s that I hate include JYJ’s Ayy Girl — and it was a big WTF production to me, I mean I love those boys but that MV was so so bad on so many levels. I dont know how I would fix Ayy Girl, except maybe killing it before it came a real thing.
Another MV that I didn’t like was SNSD’s Girl’s Generation. The love the song for its 90’s feel, but the MV looked outdated. The Boys was also huge major disappointment for me. SNSD tempted us different types of princess images and they really should have played up that as a storyline. I mean the first 90 seconds of the MV was cool, but then the rest of it looked like recycled SJ sets from the 00’s. They never EVER do storyline MV’s, and I think they really missed their chance with The Boys.
Megan: Kissing You was another one that I found vaguely cheap looking. In fact, that’s the problem with a lot of K-pop videos. They certainly have the budget, but something about the cinematography just looks cheap. It’s possible to make an attractive video on a smaller budget: see, Infinite and Epik High’s videos. So why do SM videos always look so tacky and dated?
Infinite’s “Be Mine” MV was what sold me on them, and made me a loyal stan. Of course, I had always liked them, but that MV was the tipping point. God, just look at it. Even if you don’t like the song, it’s gorgeous. Everything from the hues and saturation to all the details like the black and white film were perfect. I’ll second Ree when she said she like Park Bom’s “You and I”. That was very cute, well shot, and suited the song, even if it was a little sappy.
Ree: I agree — Hyuna did come off as tacky in the MV. But everything else. From the setting to the color scheme and the occasional plot was very well done and suited the song. Kissing You was meh. I honestly don’t understand why SM doesn’t hire some of the directors Woolim hires. However, I do like the MV for Gee — I thought that was really well done.
Nabeela: I think Kissing You was a great MV. it was fitting for SNSD’s image at the time. plus, i didn’t think it looked cheaper than any of their other productions. It seemed about at par with previous and later MV’s from SNSD. it was just waaayyyy heavy on the ‘cute’ dosage. Gee is also up their in the favorites. great use of color and story.
Fannie: Be Mine was also the song and music video that tipped me over the edge for Infinite. And I also agree that It Hurts was particularly beautiful and well-executed (easily my favorite out of all the 2NE1 MVs).
Another breathtaking standout was Gummy’s recent Japanese MV for I’m Sorry (featuring T.O.P.). I liked the fact that there was a soft moment of silence (paired with the falling of feathers) at the beginning of the MV before the music began. To me, it felt very much like an intake of breath. It really drew me in and made me feel like I was ‘breathing’ along to the song, if that makes any sense.
I also loved the Brown Eyed Girls’ Cleansing Cream MV. It’s one of those music videos that becomes more and more meaningful each time you watch it. Not only was the acting excellent, but I also love the fact that the video was centered around the song and its meaning, rather than the girls themselves (so no meaningless cameos). It really goes to show that the Brown Eyed Girls really wanted us to pay attention to the music itself during this particular round of promotions, rather than using distraction tactics such as sex appeal or dance (the opposite of Abracadabra).
Sunny Hill also has a great creative team behind their releases. Pray kind of disturbed me because I just couldn’t take the ‘creature’ seriously… but Midnight Circus was really quite phenomenal.
And lastly, Leessang’s Turned Off The TV music video was a really unique and creative use of stop motion. I thought that was a much better (extended) use of stylistic effects than the Super Junior shake-cam version of A-Cha which frankly made me start to feel nauseous halfway through the song. Oh and while we’re on the topic of SM, I found M&D’s Close Ur Mouth MV (despite the fact that it was super-low-budget and apparently shot in only 10 minutes) far more interesting and enjoyable to watch than a lot of other other things SM has put out in the past year.
Ree: How could I forget BEG! They always have the best MVs but Cleansing Cream was brutal, it actual hurt watching it. Admittedly, I’m not too big a fan of Sixth Sense, but I do think a lot of thought was put into it. I actually love the MV for Abracadabra. It’s possibly one of my favorite MVs in K-Pop as a whole. The scenes were so beautifully shot, and I really liked the saturation during the dance sequence. And also, I liked how it really pushed the boundaries for K-Pop MVs. But it didn’t look contrived because BEG are all in their element and old enough to know how to really properly emit sensuality. And while we’re on the topic, Ga-In’s Irreversible MV was also gorgeous. It was shot so well.
And the MV for Pray was beautiful. I loved it
Megan: BEG MVs! Most of them are beautiful. There was one from a long long time ago, “Da ga wa suh” and to this day it’s one of my all time favorites. That, ladies and gents, is how a storyline MV is done. Irreversible was fantastic too. Judging from people’s picks here, I’d say the make or break seems to be the cinematography.
Nebeela: Something about whoever writes their story lines and whoever puts all the magic together to make it happens is doing it right almost every time. I must say, few MV’s make me think like the ones put out by BEG, and I give them mad props for their artistic values, both overt and subliminal. I think that may be something that keeps them relevant too. Just when you begin to forget BEG with the influx of 2398930480 new groups at one time, here BEG comes with these thought-provoking and provocative videos that refocus the attention on them.
Johnelle: I can’t believe no one mentioned G-Dragon’s Butterfly MV- it was a beautiful MV. I also loved Bom’s You and I, and GD&TOP’s Baby Good Night and Please Don’t Go Home–but not sure if that counts as a real MV since it never was officially released, Epik High’s Map the Soul.
Guilty pleasures- not the greatest MVs, but for some I reason I just like them: Hyori’s U Go Girl, 2PM’s 10 out of 10 and Hands Up, SNSD’s Gee, and even though it’s been so overplayed the Wonder Girls‘ Nobody.
The music videos I hated- only one comes to mind 2NE1’s Go Away. The whole story line just rubbed me the wrong way and no matter what anyone says I still think the MV totally did not go with the song or the image of 2NE1 at all. I also didn’t like the C.N. Blue’s Intuition MV, probably because I love them.
I think I could’ve made a better MV for Kim Hyun-joong’s Kiss Kiss. It was my fave song off his album and I’m glad he even made an MV for it. It was a thank you for fans and it consisted of behind the scenes footage of his appearances, etc. But it’s a cute little song and I think it could’ve been such a great MV–when I listen to the song I can almost imagine the MV i wish it was.
Subi: I feel Taeyang’s MVs would be better if they didn’t make him seem like a little, whiny biotch. They need to start ending differently. Not every guy experiences heartbreak and mopes about it for the next five million years. And I’m sure Taeyang is no exception.
And I would be curious to see what would happen if SNSD pulled a BEG Cleansing Cream and didn’t appear in their videos. It would probably never happen but it would be different and possibly better. It’s hard to make a meaningful MV with 9 parts to cater to.