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?
[Dramas] Yumi’s Cells Stays True to Its Webtoon Charms
As a longtime fan of the original Yumi’s Cells webtoon, I was initially hesitant about seeing Yumi’s crew of vivacious cells in 3D form. But I gave the drama adaptation a try, and it far exceeded my expectations. It weaves smoothly between the animated and live action scenes, and the cells’ ongoing commentary enriches our perspective on the micro shifts in Yumi’s moods, aided greatly by Kim Go-eun‘s excellent performance.
The stellar voice acting brings to life the personalities of each cell–I especially loved Detective Cell’s ultra-greasy, pompous manner of speech. And the cells’ obvious investment in Yumi’s well-being, conveyed through timely voiceovers, makes the story quite emotional at points despite its light-hearted surface. The careful sound editing and soundtrack (helmed by the composer behind Nevertheless,) brings out humour and poignancy by turns. I’d say that the drama not only preserves the original work’s comedy, creativity, and touching moments, but elevates them.
[News] Thoughts on Kim Seon-ho
Ooh, now that you mentioned the drama, maybe I should try it out and see if it clicks for me too!
What mainly got my attention this week was the ongoing main headlines regarding Kim Seon-ho. I have been an avid fan of him since 2 Days & 1 Night Season 4 first began, and I’ve kept up with every episode since. So of course, at first I experienced the awful shock and disbelief that everyone can probably relate to. Image-making seems like a kind of sorcery that can mislead us for years without the truth ever breaking out. Personally, it was a greater shock than seeing what went down with TVXQ Yunho, whose image was similarly based on an upright impression. Perhaps it’s because Kim Seon-ho is an actor whose image was largely strengthened based off of what we saw through variety shows and his steady rise to stardom since his musical days.
It’s led me to reconsider the powerful effect of image-making and marketing, and also the increasing value and power we give to social media platforms (such as Instagram or Pann, where Kim Seon-ho’s post received more than 3 million views and 6,000 upvotes). Yes, a movement is growing where we want to know the truth behind the celebrities who market themselves and profit off of a created image, particularly when it involves unacceptable character or actual crimes. As public figures, they should be held accountable, and it’s getting harder to hide things under the rug like the past.
Although, I guess I can’t ignore how “normal” it seems now to be shocked every other day with a world-flipping headline. No one’s safe no more, but I do hope that amid this “truth” movement, there’ll be more truths than lies mixed in (looking at you, Kwon Mina).
[YouTube] N.Flying’s Chahun and Jaehyun’s 2Idiots
I unashamedly have a penchant for chaotic idols with weird content; it gives me life and makes grad school at least marginally more survivable. That being said, two of my favorite chaos kings, Chahun and Jaehyun from N.Flying, are finally back to their weird YouTube shenanigans, so I’ve been re-watching all my favorites from their channel 2Idiots in celebration.
For silly, slightly angry gameplay, you need the videos where they play Cat Mario and a voice game while trying not to get angry with their hilariously impossible game mechanics. The difficulty is kicked up to eleven from a normal platform leaving the duo occasionally shouting how CLEARLY NOT ANGRY they are as they die over and over and over again, eventually losing their cool. The voice game using only foreign language is equally spontaneous and whacky.
In some of their videos they also drag their hilariously shy manager, Younggu, or staff members in to be the victims of their games, often losing more than 2Idiots. I love the “Ice Food Challenge” where they sit out on a rooftop in the winter eating cold food ASMR style, taking clothes off when they go over a certain decibel level. Poor Younggu ends up losing the whole challenge and being subjected to ice down his shirt in -5C degree weather. The trio also do a hot food challenge in the summer, and it’s equally entertaining and sad to see Younggu lose despite his best efforts.
Another really good one is the fabulously awkward “How 2Idiots make a friend” in which they choose a sacrifice from the staff to subject to questioning… but with prohibited actions and words that make 2Idiots incur a flurry of toy hammer whacks.
In addition to their variety contents, two of my favorite videos on the whole internet are 2Idiots’ cover of “Say Meow Meow” featuring Hweseung and “Pororo.” They perform the covers trying to be serious, but between the lyrics, Hweseung going ham in the recording booth, the weirdly amazing instrumentals, and the duo trying to keep a straight face, it’s hard not to smile.