While the landscape of Korean entertainment can be vast and wondrous, it’s often the little things that make us fall in love, inspire awe, evoke secondhand embarrassment, or sometimes…break our hearts. In this segment, we ask our writers: Among the many things vying for your attention this week, what won and made your heart beat?
[Music/Variety/Dramas] A lot of K-pop, Hoody’s Home Dining, Vincenzo
With my internship ending last week, I finally had some time to catch up on new releases and performances and the first thing I watched was SF9‘s “Move” on Kingdom: Legendary War because of the positive reviews it got and holy moly I am so impressed. Taemin songs are always hard to cover, but they absolutely nailed it and kept the sensuality of the original song. This aside, as a loyal fan, I made sure not to miss BTS‘s “Butter” and the abundance of performances that followed its release. The song is exactly what I expected, so I was neither disappointed nor overwhelmed, but I am really craving for a more demanding BTS’s release like “Spring Day” the last few days so I have high hopes for the next comeback.
Additionally, I discovered Hoody’s Home Dining, a program where she invites other artists over and cooks for them. Four episodes are out so far and her guests have all been AOMG artists. I especially liked the episode, where she invited Lee Hi and sogumm over and they chatted about their struggles as women, but the conversation with Simon Dominic was also profound. Seeing their worries and daily lives aside from the fame gave me a new perspective on AOMG artists, whom I primarily watch on stage or in well-produced MVs.
Music-wise, I have rediscovered my love for Day6 and their ability to make me feel nostalgic. Whether it is “Shoot me” that I listen to when studying overwhelms me or the kind of bittersweet “days gone by“, they have the right music for every occasion.
Lastly, I finally started watching Vincenzo. Some of my friends mentioned the unique dark comedy elements, so I am really looking forward to seeing how the plot and characters will develop. I will hopefully reveal my thoughts in next week’s Beats of the Week!
[Misc] The BTS Meal
I legally can’t go 5km beyond my house during this lockdown (which just got EXTENDED, ugh!) so my only IRL social interaction has been going on a Macca’s run and ordering the BTS meal. And I had so many thoughts as I worked my way through those nuggets and the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice.
My first is that these two sauces need to be added to the rotation because sometimes we need a break from the sweet ‘n’ sour. My second is utter disbelief that anyone would go to a McDonald’s in Asia and order something as basic as nuggets. They have a shrimp burger there — I want a shrimp burger! Then again, a shrimp burger would be a pretty basic version of Korean cuisine, in which case why not be super basic and order some nuggets and fries? Then I realized that none of it matters because Ronald and HYBE have managed to get my attention and money with very little creativity and effort, just like BTS‘ last two singles.
[Idols] EXO, Enhypen
With the Exo members going through their military service one by one, I’ll take any crumbs Exo and SM can throw my way. Thankfully, despite the fact that my four favorite members are currently serving, SM seems to have prepared a lot of content to keep fans busy ahead of Exo’s special album Don’t Fight the Feeling. Not only am I loving the teasers (throwbacks to “Power” era? Yes, please), but a second season of Exo Arcade was filmed prior to Chanyeol and Baekhyun‘s departure and is currently airing on YouTube. Words cannot express what a joy it is to see Kyungsoo interact with the members again and bring his signature cluelessness to every game they play. It’s a shame that there will only be six or so episodes as I can watch the Exos be idiots for hours on end. In addition, Chanyeol and Baekhyun have both prepared content for their individual YouTube channels, so the Exo-L in me is placated.
The fetuses of Enhypen have also appeared to help fill the Exo sized hole in my heart, and boy does HYBE keep them busy with internet content. This week I watched their Mini [Chaotic] Olympics and was pleased to see how comfortable the members have become with being silly on screen. Ni-ki has always been a bit of a goofball, but even Heeseung is joining in on the antics these days. So, to sum up my Beats this week, I just like watching boy groups be dumb and play games.