Here are we in the new year. We’ve laughed, cried, awed, analyzed, disagreed, and enjoyed K-pop during 2016. While we’re taking some time to reflect on the events of the previous year, it’s about that time to make resolutions for the new year.
Whether it’s making more time to watch more variety shows or discovering and listening to indie artists, we’re asking: What are your three new years resolutions for K-pop in 2017?
Qing: I’ve mentioned on other occasions that I’ve been into K-pop since 2007, but come to think of it, my first contact with Korean pop culture was watching Princess Hours in 2006.
Since then, though, the dramas on my to-watch list have only been piling up. Drama addiction is a big issue, but I seem to have the opposite problem instead: I’m really good at leaving off dramas at weird places and then forgetting about them, even though I mean to finish them. The only thing I watched the whole of last year was 5 episodes of Come Back, Mister. So my first resolution is to actually start and finish more dramas.
On a related note, I’ve never watched or reviewed a drama while it’s still on air — Hwarang: The Beginning is a first for me. I shy away from doing so because I’m afraid I’d waste my time on a show with a good start and a crappy ending, and stick to shows with decent reviews. It’s a leap of faith to not know where the show is taking you, but as I’m reviewing Hwarang, I’ve been enjoying the spacing out of the watching process and the opportunities to reflect on what I look forward to the next week. It’s more fun and rewarding than I expected, and I hope to review at least one more drama on air for Seoulbeats this year.
My last resolution is pretty straightforward. I’ve been studying Korean for some time now, and I would like to continue to a level where I can rely only minimally on subtitles. It’s immensely rewarding to be able to understand the untranslatable nuances of the language itself and, through it, the culture and the people.
Angela: Oh dear. I never have resolutions because I am unable to plan more than two weeks into the future. Maybe making promises in public will make me more accountable?
First, I should probably tell people that I am writing about K-pop. In real life, I wear suits and attend lots of meetings (it’s a good way to cosplay as an adult), and I know I am low key afraid of not being taken seriously by my friends and colleagues if I tell them about this K-pop side gig.
Second, I want to be better about listening to music and watching MVs the week they come out. I’m so perpetually behind, I have a habit of listening and spazzing about things roughly 6 months later – which means everyone is typically already over whatever I am excited about.
And last, I want to watch more Korean movies! The only two I saw this year were The Handmaiden and The Last Princess; I know there must have been lots of other great releases I missed out on.
Leesha: Happy New Year! I am bad with resolutions, so my resolution is usually not to make one. Seriously though, my first and honest resolution is to pay more attention to girl groups. I have bad luck with girl groups: D-Unit, GLAM, 2NE1, and 4Minute are all gone. Miss A is…doing something, but Jia is gone and she was my favorite. I’m trying to get into other girl groups, slowly, but it’s a hard task.
Secondly, I have a drama finishing problem. My list has grown a lot but I always find a reason not to go through it. I think the last drama I watched while it was airing was…Reply 1997. While I won’t commit to any new dramas this year (besides Hwarang), I want to knock out at least three dramas from my list.
Finally, I swear I’m not copying Qing, but I want to study Korean more. I took classes in college, but since I haven’t had anyone to practice with, I’ve lost a lot of it. I can read a lot, but my vocabulary is lacking severely and I suck at grammar. So, I really really want to practice more and gain more understanding so when I go through Twitter and Instagram I don’t have to rely on others to translate those small messages for me.
Lorenza: I feel like we need to form a Seoulbeats Korean Study Group, because I too want to dedicate more time this year to learning Korean. I can read Hangul pretty well and my vocabulary is slowly expanding, but my pronunciation is terrible, and what is grammar?
Like Leesha, I’m trying to get more into girl groups. It’s hard because sometimes the overall concepts girl groups have makes me squirm uncomfortably. That and also hearing grown men in the crowd screaming for minors… It can be tough for me to actually find girl groups I like. Though Twice, GFriend, and WJSN impressed me in 2016, plus if YG doesn’t forget about Black Pink, I think they could easily become one of my faves.
I also want to write more socio-cultural pieces here on Seoulbeats. While I really love writing music reviews, there’s something really satisfying in doing research and looking at topics from a different culture’s perspective.
Gaya: Angela, I feel you so much on that first resolution — I was at a group job interview and when told to introduce myself with an interesting fact, I chickened out of mentioning Seoulbeats, only to discover about a third of the group was also into K-pop! So you never know, those other suits maybe hiding some lightsticks and fanchants of their own…
I only have one resolution: to get Seoulbeats Chat Box back up and running. I get a lot of help on content from my fellow writers, especially Cjontai and Lo, but I suck so hard at editing. I want to change that, though, so regular podcasting is going to be my goal for the year.
Margaret: Like pretty much everyone else, one of my resolutions is to start learning Korean (mainly so that I’ll be able to watch episodes of dramas and variety shows when they air instead of having to wait for subs); Lorenza, I would most definitely join that Seoulbeats Korean Study Group!
My second resolution is to explore more girl groups. I’m not too sure why, but I find it really difficult to get into girl groups (maybe because I don’t enjoy most cute concepts that many girl groups go for?). Hopefully, I’ll be able to take the effort this year to notice more girl groups and not just stick to my boy groups.
As a Seoulbeats writer, I want to challenge myself more — whether that be to explore different topics and areas of interest in my writing or to try different styles, I am determined to push myself out of my comfort zone to improve upon my writing!
Karen: I am totally up for a Seoulbeats Korean Study Group, considering that I am studying Korean at the moment. It would such a dream to finally understand everything instead of relying on subtitles.
As for New Year resolutions, I plan on exploring Korean dramas more. Surprising as it may seem, I have not watched a single Korean drama in my life. I always hear about them from friends or when they pop up on my social media. If anyone has some good recommendations, please tell me. I think this would help with me being a writer of Seoulbeats as well – broadening my range of topics and areas of interest. Other than that, I guess a good resolution would be to keep up with writing interesting articles throughout the year! Happy New Year everyone!
Brianna: I feel like most of my resolutions have already been said at least once or twice by other people.
My first one would have to be to definitely check out rookie groups when they first come out. 2015 was a great year for rookie groups, but it wasn’t until practically mid-2016 that I had actually decided to check some of them out. By checking out groups when they first come out, I feel like I’ll be a lot more “in the loop” with up-and-coming acts while also walking outside of my comfort zone.
My second resolution would be to watch more dramas. The only new drama I watched in 2016 was Doctor Romantic, which I started watching to write a review on for Seoulbeats. I actually was so interested in it that I ended watching new episodes when they first came out. It’s a great show, but I’m so upset that I ended up dropping out around the sixth episode due to school and other things.
My last resolution would probably be both to study Korean more often and to also be more open about sharing my experiences as a writer for Seoulbeats. The site is a really great space to try and analyze some of the things that happen in K-pop, despite the idea that it is pure entertainment. That aspect of it, however, isn’t really ignored since there are some Seoulbeats articles where the content is more satire and pokes fun at topics. Not only am I getting the chance to explore and share my own thoughts on K-pop, but I’m also able to hear opinions from others (you guys and the commenters). Seoulbeats is just a great mix of fun and exploration, and I’m excited to start working on the site!
Madi: We need to make the SB Korean study team happen. I slacked off all of last year with my self-study because life kicked me in the face. I don’t want to lose what all I learned (even though some of it is slipping away), but I think it would be a great help for us to all learn and help each other out since I’m sure we’re all on varying levels. So let’s make this resolution for us a thing.
As some others mentioned, girl groups. I’ve already started with GFriend, Mamamoo, EXID, but I want to expand more. It’s definitely very hard for me to want to follow girl groups. I may pick and choose which songs I like from female groups, but most either sound the same or are too much of two extremes of either cute or sexy and it doesn’t appeal to me.
The last would be just involving myself more into the happenings of what goes on within the entertainment business itself. A lot of things go over my head or I have too much going on to pay attention to it. So by the time I learn about it, it’s super old news. I want to be able to keep on top of things in general when it comes to K-pop (news, debuts, releases, etc.). So that’s a plan I’d like to make.
Jennifer: The Korean alphabet is pretty easy to learn, but grammatically, it’s pretty different from English and I think that it throws people off. Like, the use of particles and the equational copula are pretty obscure, they just sort of are. Korean spelling and conjugating verbs and adjectives can get really confusing too.
Dawn: I’m not big on resolutions either, but I am starting to realize that by actually putting it all down in writing, I’m forced to commit to them! So for me, my first resolution is to contribute more here, on Seoulbeats! Maybe not necessarily always in terms of writing actual content, but also contributing to the less formal stuff like Roundtables!
My second resolution is to give rookie groups, and groups that I don’t generally listen to, a chance! I tend to stick to my favourites (GOT7, Beast, Big Bang, Lee Hi), and BTS has been like the alpha and omega of K-pop for me. So yes — definitely trying to move beyond my comfort zone.
And finally, my last resolution is to start checking out some indie bands/soloists! I’ve been procrastinating for the longest time, but with more and more non-mainstream artistes getting greater exposure, I’d definitely like to start listening to them seriously.
Chelsea: Most of my New Year’s resolutions center around re-gaining focus — which my K-pop obsession doesn’t necessarily help with, save my continual Korean language studies. But, I am a fangirl at heart, so I’ll allow myself a few indulgences this year.
This year, I’d really like to get back into K-dramas when I have a weekend to binge watch. It’s been a long while since I’ve watched a series to completion and I miss getting caught up in all the love triangles and cinderella stories.
More than anything though, my goal this year is to see SHINee live. I’ve managed to see most of my favorites — Exo, Taeyeon, Jonghyun — in concert, but I have yet to snag tickets to a SSHINee World tour. Since I’ll be leaving Korea for a year this fall, it’s crunch time to see my ultimate group live in the flesh. So here’s to SHINee having another comeback in 2017 and finally seeing all the Shawol magic in real life!
And that’s those are our K-pop resolutions for the new year. What are your K-pop resolutions?
(Images via SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, YG Entertainment, Rainbow Bridge World, Source Music, Big Hit Entertainment, Banana Culture, KBS)