February 2nd was a big day in the US. It was Superbowl Sunday, Groundhog Day and the day Stray Kids performed for their first time in Dallas, Texas. Admittedly I saw them when they visited Houston last year on their 2019 World Tour, but this time it was a bigger venue and perhaps a more vocal audience. On the down side Woojin was missing this tour as he has left Stray Kids and JYP for personal reasons.
The remaining members filled his spot seamlessly and were on point for the whole performance. I had a decent seat, but unfortunately was a bit too far from the stage for my phone camera to get good shots, but it didn’t do too badly when capturing photos from the big screens. So today’s post is going to be photo heavy.
Stray Kids are a relatively new group having officially debuted in 2018 under JYP Entertainment. They did, however, release a pre-debut EP after having appeared in a 2017 Reality show. The members are Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, I.N, Seungmin and Felix.
The show was amazing and they were all great, but that really was to be expected. It was therefore hard to pinpoint anyone who stood out, but I would say perhaps it was Seungmin with his vocal prowess who caught my attention the most. It was obvious, however, from the crowd’s screams that each member had their fair share of fans.
The English speaking Aussie pair of Bang Chan and Felix were in the spotlight quite a bit and Bang Chan in particular, as leader, spoke frequently with the audience. He expressed the group’s love of their fans, called Stays, and how their support is vital to the group’s wellbeing. He also hoped that they could be a similar support to their fans around the world.
Felix of course stood out with his vibrant red hair, although with the venue’s excessive use of red lighting, and the set designer’s love of red backdrops he did actually kinda blend in for a couple of songs. (The overuse of spotlights, flashing lights and overly busy set backdrops does a disservice to both the performers and the audience. If I wanted to see a light show I’d go watch Pink Floyd’s Laser show, for this show I came to see Stray Kids and particularly to see them dance. Lighting needs to enhance their performance not over power it.)
My favorite songs were probably My Pace and Get Cool, although my favorite list changed from time to time throughout the evening. There were just so many good songs and performances. Seeing each performed live changed my mind a few times!
Get Cool in particular spoke to me with the basic message of feeling the joy in the little things. But it did it in a lighthearted way, which in and of itself was a joy.
Although one would have to know the lyrics in Korean, it always amazes me at how many fans can sing along to the songs, and also understand the messages within the songs. Kpop often speaks to the issues facing youth all around the world in this ever changing time full of difficult futures for the young.
The venue was packed, the energy was amazing, and the show was vibrant and energetic. The boys sang and danced their hearts out with only a couple of breaks. The second of which was kinda cute, in that it set a series of game challenges for the audience to accomplish before the boys would come back on stage for their encore.
The fans had to follow along with actions such as ‘dabbing’ or ‘clapping’ to game cues. Most of the audience played along and in their final remarks a few members mentioned that they had been watching from backstage. They said we were ‘cute’.
Towards the end of the evening each of the members spoke a few words and many commented on how beautiful Dallas was and how happy they were to be on tour seeing their ‘Stays’ around the world.
Of course there was the obligatory farewell photo. And a couple of encore songs later and it was time for them to really leave the stage. It was a great evening out and I had a fantastic time. If you ever get the chance to see them, go. You won’t regret it.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without accreditation and permission. All photo credits to Debora Marzec.
As a side note the evening was made much easier by there being a shuttle bus to the venue from the nearby La Quinta Hotel.
I first saw Seventeen perform live at their Diamond Edge Tour stop in Dallas back in 2017 and so I already knew what fantastic performers they are.
One of the larger Kpop groups with 13 extremely talented members they had two stops in Texas for this tour, Dallas and Houston. That might of been partially responsible for the smaller than usual audience. However it turned out that didn’t really matter as the fans, known as ‘Carats’, were pumped up and loud enough make the boys exclaim frequently at the volume and intensity of the energy in the venue.
Also responsible for the lower turnout might be the sheer number of Kpop groups and soloists that have been coming to Texas recently, as well as the high price for concert tickets, oh and the distances we have to drive. (This concert was over 400 miles / 650 km round trip driving for me, and many fans drove even further.)
Two members were unfortunately unable to perform, S. Coups who has been on hiatus for health reasons, and The 8 who had caught a cold. The remaining eleven members, Jonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, D.K. Mingyu, Woozi, Seungkwan, Vernon, and Dino, did an incredible job filling in and wowing us with their skill and talents to the point were I could almost forget the missing members. But I mean who could not totally miss those two! I hope they both take enough time to get well and I hope they know we do miss them, but we want them to get healthy first.
They moved around so much it was hard to get all 11 in any one photo!
They sang most of the fan favorites, mine being Very Nice and Clap.
They were silly,
And particularly for the second half of the concert, happy. I felt they were a little unsure at the beginning of the evening both with them having to fill in for two members and with how the crowd would react.
Usually I do a review, but today I’m just going to tell you the concert was great, they sang amazingly, danced incredibly and you missed out if you didn’t go.
And if you ever get the chance to see Seventeen, grab it.
They had some cool stage sets too.
Overall it was a really great evening. I had fun chatting with old and new friends both in line and once inside the venue. I had a good seat and got to watch an amazing show performed by eleven extremely talented and handsome young men. What could be better than that!
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to Debora Marzec.
There’s actually a very large number of Kpop Idols who have turned to acting either as a light hearted attempt or as a serious vocation. It seems many of the skills they learn as idol trainees prove useful in the field of acting. Knowing the short life span of many Kpop groups it is often also perhaps a sensible move to broaden their future career choices. Idol groups don’t often have long life spans.
We have all seen good and bad idol actors as well as those who given a second chance prove that they can learn and grow into fantastic actors in this demanding field. And then there’s a few who maybe should stick to singing. However, here I’m mentioning some of my favorites from three generations of idols.
I’m going to start out with Yoon Kye Sang, sometimes known just as Kyesang, who was a member of the first generation Kpop group g.o.d. Just like Cha Seung Won and So Ji Sub paved the way for models to become actors so Kyesang proved to entertainment companies that idols could become talented actors as well.
Born in 1978 he debuted with g.o.d. in 1999 and enjoyed about five years with one of the most popular groups of the era. In 2004 he left the group and began acting. He won ‘Best New Actor’ for his debut role in the movie Flying Boys.
He has been in about 15 movies, with Poongsan (2011), The Outlaws (2017) with Ma Dong Seok, and Mai-Mo-E: The Secret Mission (2019) perhaps being his most popular.
He also has a whole list of Kdramas under his belt starting with My 19 Year Old Sister In Law (2004). He was in one of my favorite dramas The Greatest Love (2011) with Cha Seung Won. Another popular drama was 2016’s The Good Wife while he is now starring in Chocolate (2019/20) which can be found on Netflix.
g.o.d. have occasionally got together over the years and in 2015 even held a reunion tour, but acting appears to be Kyesang’s main focus now. His stellar acting skills and successful career definitely made it somewhat easier for the idols who followed.
Although T.O.P aka Choi Seung Hyun is more well known for being a part of Big Bang he is also a talented actor who has appeared in both movies and dramas. He has even won a few acting awards for his work. T.O.P can easily be considered a second generation idol. He was born in 1987 he debuted with Big Bang in 2006 and as an actor in I Am Sam in 2007.
He has actually appeared in more movies than TV dramas and has received critical recognition for his acting. He has been the lead actor in most of his movies. Tazza: The Hidden Card (2014) proved to be quite popular. Then he starred in an international film produced by a German/Chinese collaboration. That movie, Out Of Control (2017) premiered at the Cologne Film Festival, unfortunately it only received middling reviews.
T.O.P has now completed his military service and it remains to be seen whether he continues with his acting career or whether music or art draws his interest in the future.
Taecyeon of 2PM fame is also a talented 2nd generation actor. Born in 1988 he spent quite a few of his younger years in the US. He debuted with 2PM 2008 and as an actor in 2010 in Cinderella’s Sister. But it was perhaps Dream High (2011) which drew fan’s attention.
Excepting his years doing military service he has averaged about one drama a year. Let’s Fight Ghost (2016) co starring Kim So Hyun cemented him in the industry as a lead actor. He has also appeared in two movies and has received favorable reviews for his acting.
And the above photo is from his 2PM days and one of the reasons you might hear him called a ‘beast’ idol.
As I said earlier there’s an awful lot of idols who act so choosing just a few as examples is really tough. ( I think I’ll do a part 2.) For third generation idols the one who stands out the most to me has to be D.O. from EXO.
Born in 1993 he debuted as the eighth member of EXO in 2012, and then in 2014 he began his acting career in the movie Cart. That same year he appeared in the drama It’s Okay, That’s Love and was nominated for three Awards, two of which he won. He has continued to win numerous acting awards both for his dramas as well as his movies.
His dramas include Hello Monster a chilling mystery thriller where he plays the younger version of a psychopathic killer. He nailed the part. He was scary and intense and charming. If you haven’t seen this drama it stars Seo In Guk and Park Bo Gum and is well worth watching.
The 2018 100 Days My Prince, a sageuk drama was his first lead role and did well for being a Cable drama, and he received a lot of favorable reviews and awards.
He has been in seven movies and an eighth as a voice actor. While Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017) did well at the box office in Korea, the second one didn’t do quite as well. But for a young actor to be able to act with such experienced senior actors in two movies must have be a fantastic experience for D.O.
D.O. took a starring role in the 2018 musical film Swing Kids. He had to learn to tap dance and apparently became quite good at it.
Currently he is doing his military service and I know a lot of us are eagerly awaiting his return, both to being an idol as well as an actor.
Have a great day everyone.
Please to not copy or use without permission and accreditation.
All photo credits to original owners.
You may also enjoy Easy On The Eyes: Korean Models Turned Actors.
The turn of the year seems to always bring the desire to classify things and we end up with a ton of ‘Best Of’ lists. And I guess I’m no different.
I do, however, always have issues with these types of list as they are based so much on the subjective tastes of the watcher, listener, or reader. Some one else might positively loathe a book that I thought was amazing and so please understand that these are the Kdramas I enjoyed most in 2019 since I know of no objective way to rate them. Even official ratings are still based on viewers likes and dislikes.
I wrote about some of them back in August and September but will briefly include the ones that are still among the ‘best’ of the year here as well. Korea produced over 130 different Kdramas in 2019 which is a lot. I only managed to watch 14 the whole way through, with another 12 only partially watched, and am watching 4 newish ones that are still on air right now.
The dramas that air over the cusp of the New Year often go on to be on everyone’s best list. Think Goblin 2016/2017. So when Memories Of The Alhambra starring Hyun Bin, Park Shin Hye and Chayeol was announced at the end of 2018I was sure it would a hit. Especially as much of it was filmed on location in Spain. Sadly I barely made it through the first 4 episodes before I gave up. And in a way I’m glad as apparently it didn’t have a ‘proper’ ending and left many disappointed fans. ( Heads up. If you watch Kdramas on Netflix please be aware of their new trend of ‘seasons’ although they don’t tell you ahead of time. Kingdom, Love Alarm, Memories Of The Alhambra, and Vagabond all have non ending endings with their future ‘seasons’ only announced so far for Kingdom.)
A surprising national hit in Korea was Sky Castle and it got great ratings. In fact it is the highest rated series in Korean Cable TV history. I watched a few episodes and agree it was an interesting drama with solid acting and a topical storyline, but I tuned out after a while.
In 2019 proper I think I had a top four dramas in no particular order, and then a few decent dramas that I would still suggest watching.
The Secret Life Of My Secretary, starring Kim Young Kwang and Jin Ki Joo followed some tried and true Kdrama tropes. The stand offish boss, the likable secretary, someone trying to take the company away from the boss etc, but even though bits of it felt familiar it was actually a different story. Yes it followed some tropes but the circumstances, attitudes, and outcome were just different enough to make this an enjoyable drama.
Be Melodramatic is one I really wasn’t going to watch and in fact a couple of times almost stopped watching in the early episodes. It is the story of three friends in their 30’s who have careers in different aspects of the entertainment business. They all have different issues and troubles in their lives, but they manage to get through them with the support of each other. The main heroine is perhaps a little unlikeable in the beginning but by the end of the series I loved them all and particularly their interactions, support, and love for each other and towards the men in their lives. The romances are quirky and odd yet still relatable. In some ways Be Melodramatic may be best classified as a ‘slice of life’ drama and as such it perhaps slipped under people’s radar but give it a chance and I think you’ll enjoy it.
Her Private Life was an unexpected pleasure in the world of Kdramas. It was a love story where the main leads acted like adults. Kim Jae Wook as the main lead Ryan Gold the boyfriend we all wish we had. Sexy, yet understanding, he was also a great kisser and he definitely made a few hearts flutter. Park Min Young played Sung Deok Mi, an art curator who has a secret life as a Kpop fan running the fan-club for singer Cha Shi An played by the singer One. The fact that the drama allowed Sung Deok Mi to be a fully functioning adult while still having her own private life as a fan girl was quite refreshing particularly as she didn’t have to give it up once she had a boyfriend. Oh, Ryan Gold if only there were more of you out there.
Search: WWW could also perhaps be considered another slice of life drama this time set in the world of internet search engines. It also had three strong women as lead characters, but this was the story of ambition, power, betrayal, and friendship with love almost being of secondary importance. It also had one of my favorite characters of the year, Scarlet. The cast were all good and in some ways it was an ensemble piece except for the dynamism of the three main leads. Hye Jin jeon, Lee Da Hee and Im Soo Jung all did a great job bringing out the passions of their characters as well as our feelings towards them.
Then there were a few other dramas I enjoyed.
He Is Psychometric was an interesting journey into the unexplained. Park In Young of Got7 fame did a good job portraying a young man who can ‘read’ someone’s past just by touching them.
Hotel Del Luna was a fairly lavish extravaganza of a drama. Gorgeous outfits, lush layouts and pretty good special effects enhanced a twisted storyline. I.U. Yeo Jin Goo and a stellar ensemble cast drew everything together to make this an enjoyable watch. It did stutter along a couple of times when the individual ghost stories happened, but overall it came together. Not the best of the Hong sister’s dramas though.
Angels Last Mission: Love was quite popular with a lot of fans, but it was a bit too sad for me at times. A love story.
Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung was a fairly light and entertaining drama, perfect for when you want to get away from your real world problems.
Vagabond starring Lee Seung Gi and Bae Suzy was pretty much everything you could ask for from an action thriller, BUT for the ending. I’ll be careful from now on watching any Netflix produced Kdramas as quite a few of them stop without an ending.
The others that I completed were, Clean With Passion For Now, Level Up, Kill It, Love Alarm, and Extraordinary You. All of these were enjoyable, although not necessarily ones I would watch a second time. Dramas that I’m in the process of watching, The Tale Of Nokdu, Queen: Love and War, Crash Landing On You and Stove League which I’m really enjoying.
As for other Kdramas to consider Romance Is A Bonus Book with Lee Jong Suk and Lee Na Young didn’t particularly grab me, although it had the 4th highest viewership on a Korean Cable channel so a lot of people did enjoy it. Doctor Prisoner, The Fiery Priest and The Crowned Clown were also popular.
I hope you found a Kdrama from my recommendations to enjoy.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to original owners.
I’ve been a fan of Kpop since 2009 so now that 2019 is over I can truly say I’ve been a fan for a decade. However in the beginning going to concerts was tricky as not many groups came to the US, and even fewer came to Texas. Fortunately that all changed in 2013. SXSX in Austin had a ‘Kpop Night Out’ although no idols performed, and then in November VIXX came to the Dallas area with their Milky Way Global Showcase’.
Although I really regret not going to see Vixx I am happy that my first concert was B.A.P one of the most dynamic groups of the time. Their concert was electrifying and made me aware of the draw of being in a venue with like minded fans. There’s really nothing like the uplifting feel of a Kpop concert.
Although BAP was the third Kpop group to perform in Texas, after VIXX ( 2013) and Boyfriend,( 2014 ) they really solidified the trend for choosing Texas as a stop on future artists’ tours. From one tour in 2013, to five in 2014, and an incredible twenty nine in 2019 if you count KHip Hop and groups like Epik High.
Needless to say there’s no way I could manage that many concerts and found I could only get to see twelve groups, although seeing Monsta X twice bumped it up to thirteen concerts. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out as evenly spaced as I had hoped and May saw me attend four concerts in three different cities, while June saw none.
The year started off with Winner who performed at a new to me venue, in a different part of the Dallas metroplex allowing the whole experience seem fresh and new. I lucked into a sort of VIP experience so the year started off to a fantastic start. The concert was amazing and you can read about it here.
In March I was invited to theMU:CON Networking Party at SXSWand saw preview performances by Jambinai XXX and Kirara. I also got to chat with a few really cool people which made the evening even more fun.
Two totally different feels for each concert and people who say ‘all Kpop is the same’ have no idea what they are talking about.
May almost killed me. VAV in Dallas,
And then Stray Kids back in Houston. I put a lot of miles on the truck and I ended the month really worn out. Was it worth it? Hell yeah. But I was glad for a month off.
July saw one of my favorite groups Monsta X come to two cities in Texas, Dallas and Houston. I was lucky enough to be able to go to both. Both concerts were amazing and made even more special by having good friends go with me.
August was Imfact who delivered a surprising enjoyable concert. After Monsta X I felt any concert would be a bit of a let down, but Imfact kept me entertained and engaged the whole time.
SuperM made up of some of the ‘biggest’ names in Kpop performed in Fort Worth in November. Even with the excessively cold night outside, inside the venue was blazing hot with all that talent on the stage.
And the last concert of the year was Dreamcatcher who put on a great concert as well as showcasing themselves during the fan event before the show. Not normally a huge fan of girl groups, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
I’m sort of glad 2019 is over as much as I enjoyed all the concerts I attended. The real world chaos and negativity prevalent in 2019 made it hard to feel happy so I’m always glad for Kpop which lets me slip away for a little while to a more joyful place. But even Kpop was fraught with scandal and sorrow in 2019. So I sincerely hope 2020 will be better for everyone. I hope you have a happy and healthy New Year, and that some of your dreams come true.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to original owners, mostly me. (BAP to TS Ent. Winner to YG.)
Note. Texas is huge. Houston, a city in Texas is only slightly smaller than the country of Iceland. At 268,596 square miles Texas is almost 3x the size of the UK, and 7x the size of Korea. So while it might seem unfair that Texas is seeing a boom in Kpop concerts it’s kinda because it is a big place and has a big economy. (If Texas was a country it would rank about 10th in the world in GDP as of 2016 statistics.)
I don’t often recommend other blogs as I’ll admit I’m a bit too busy most of the time to keep up with all the Kpop bloggers. But there’s always an exception.
https://kpopreviewcafe.com is a wonderful place to read well written and insightful review of all your favorite Kpop music, Music shows etc. So if you have time check it out and you can say KpopJacketLady sent you.
Have a great day everyone.
As my regular readers know I’m more a fan of Kpop boy groups than the girl groups so I tend to go to more boy group concerts. However I’m very happy I decided to go see Dreamcatcher when they came to Dallas. The concert was promoted by My Music Taste and Studio PAV and so had some differences in the tickets and perks. I must mention that some fans were a little upset at some of the changes announced after the original ticket sales, but most of those I spoke with on the day were happy with the ticket benefits they received.
The ‘Over the Sky’ event was separate from the concert tickets and took place before the show and was limited to 80 fans. It was quite pricey and I thought twice before I actually bought a ticket. The 80 fans were allowed into the venue before the proper concert and had a mini ‘meet & greet’ in that the girls answered about 20 questions that had been sent in by fans beforehand. The questions were actually pretty good and the girls took their time answering them. Why giraffe and cockroach were two of the animals individual members would choose to be I still don’t fully understand!
The girls seemed relaxed, friendly and playful which showed up even more during the photo session. They made the audience laugh at their antics. After the photo op they did a mini sound check of 3 songs before saying goodbye and disappearing behind the backstage curtain. The fans were ushered back out into the cold to find their places in the actual concert lines.
I was lucky and got front row, although very far off to one side, but at least I could lean on the barrier. My friends were dotted around and they have kindly allowed me to use a few of their photographs as mine are all angled from the side.
They started off with a bang with Fly High and Chase Me. (my friend’s fan cam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzlN3XOwBT4 ) and continued with a top notch performances for the rest of the evening. It didn’t seem to show too much that Chinese member Handong was absent from this tour.
They obviously sang all their hits such as Piri, Deja Vue etc and the audience appreciated everyone of them. In general the evening was a mix of songs and breaks in which the members would chat with the audience, allowing all of us a breather between sets. Some of the members seemed to be having a lot of fun joking around and being silly. They also ‘teased’ the audience with some suggestive moves and gestures which drew cheers of delight from the fans.
Yoohyeon spent much of the evening my side of the stage and so I got the most photographs of her. But the others stopped by from time to time.
They sang a few cover songs as soloists, duets or sub groups and I was particularly struck by Siyeon’s rock cover of EXO M’s Overdose.
(photo credit Sebastian)
But my favorite part of the evening was maybe the saga of Gahyeon’s struggles with her jacket. Although the weather was cold outside it was obviously hot on stage and towards the end of the concert Gahyeon started undoing the belt on her jacket and then the buttons. This took a little while and the other group members didn’t seem to notice at first when she performed with her jacket open. She looked so cute and much more comfortable.
(photo credits Sebastian.)
But then Yoohyeon noticed and started doing the buttons up, but got them wrong, and Gahyeon just stood like a doll waiting to be properly dressed. It was really quite a cute scene. It took two of them to finally get her dressed.
(photo credits Sebastian)
It was a long day for some of us fans, with the Over the Sky event and then the concert, and then after the concert there was the Hi Touch and group photo. I didn’t get back to my hotel until almost midnight, and I know of a couple of fans who had to drive back to their homes through the night to be at work the next morning. Other fans have followed the tour to each of the stops, traveling from California, to Illinois, Texas, Florida and then finally to New Jersey. Insomnias are some dedicated fans.
If you get a chance to see Dreamcatcher in concert I would recommend you go. Not quite your ‘normal’ Kpop group you can see/hear the rock and metal influences in their songs. They are also fun to watch.
A special shout out to all my Kpop friends, old and new. It was a great day and I’m glad to know you all.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy and use without permission and accreditation,
All photo credits to original owners.
In Part OneI highlighted ten Kpop idols who stood out to me as having ‘unique’ faces. The kind of face that stands out, the one you immediately notice even when in a group setting. The word unique can mean, ‘being the only one of its kind’, ‘unlike anything else’, but it can also be used in the sense of ‘special’, ‘notable’, ‘unusual’, and ‘exceptional’, which expands on the definition and allows far more idols to fall within the category of ‘unique’. After reading Part One quite a few people commented on the idols I had not mentioned who they felt fell within those definitions. So here in Part Two I have included some of those suggestions.
D.O. from the group EXO can be said to have many unique faces. He has one of those wonderfully mobile faces that changes to suit his mood. This has also helped him become an award winning actor as well as a Kpop idol. He can go from drop dead gorgeous, to goofy and funny in a heartbeat.
He has a whole range of unique faces including some downright scary ones. If you have not yet watched Hello Monster and seen his portrayal of a psychopath you really need to see it asap. It can help you understand why sometimes his members ‘pretend’ to be scared of him. He also has an amazing resting bitch face, and you know from part one how much I love those.
The members of EXO sometimes pick on D.O. just to see his reactions and I can somewhat see why they do that. His face is so wonderfully expressive it is a joy to watch him. There are some great videos on Youtube to enable you to watch D.O. in ‘action’. Right now D.O. is in the military doing his mandatory service and I can’t wait for him to return to us.
Another unique face from EXO would be Xiumin. Although non of the photos seem to really capture his face and the cheeky glances that he gives his fellow EXO members, he definitely has a face that attracts attention.
He has wonderfully expressive eyes and a big goofy, gummy smile. Like D.O. he too is serving his time in the military.
Ateez can be said to made up of idols with unique faces and personalities, but for today I’ll choose Hongjoong. As the leader he is pretty much always aware of the camera and his own looks and he knows how to use both.
He is also not afraid of makeup and uses it to his advantage. These are good traits for a leader as he knows the power of attraction on popularity. And Ateez definitely has that. They have done remarkably well for a group that is only just over a year old. They are one of my favorite ‘young’ groups and if you ever get a chance to see them perform live you should definitely do so. I’m betting you’ll find it difficult to choose who is the most unique within the group.
Monsta X is another group with more than their fair share of unique faces. I mentioned Hyungwon in Part One as I especially love all of his facial expressions particularly his resting bitch face. Another member with a unique face is Wonho.
Wonho at times can be classically handsome and then at other times I can hardly recognize him as the same person. He has one of the most genuine smiles in Kpop when he is happy, and he also seems genuine in all aspects of his personality. He can be super charismatic and powerful one moment and the next he is an adorable, giggling goofball. During these moments it is great watching his face change as his emotions do. I also love idols with good ‘eye smiles’.
Let me just say Wonho will always be a part of Monsta X for me, and so I’m including him as such here.
I’m not sure anyone would think of adding Minho from SHINee to this grouping as he is possibly the most handsome man in Kpop, in that his features seem to fit together perfectly. But in a way that does in fact make him unique because perfection is indeed rare. Oddly though he isn’t my bias in Kpop or even in SHINee because I kinda like the quirks and oddities of many other idol’s faces. But I can still appreciate him.
He also looks perfect in his military uniform. Just think about it, in a grouping of Kpop idols the first face that would probably jump out at you would be that of Choi Min Ho.
Vernon from Seventeen was suggested to me as an idol to add to Part Two, and indeed I do think his look is unique in the world of Kpop. However, being of mixed parentage that is perhaps to be expected. Nevertheless he does stand out and draws attention for his blunt jaw and wide smile.
YG has its fair share of idols with unique faces, perhaps too many to list, but a reader mentioned Junhoe from iKon so I’m including him here. He does have a unique face in the world of Kpop, but with no disrespected intended he’s not my cup of tea. His face is relatively static as if he focuses too much on how he looks. Or maybe he is just aloof, I don’t know. He was better in his more unguarded moments on ‘Its Dangerous Beyond The Blankets’ when he wasn’t seeking attention.
Felix, from Stray Kids was another reader’s suggestion and he does indeed have a face that stands out, but in his case it is in more of a cute, mischievous, imp like way. He too has an expressive and mobile face, with multiple expression flitting across his face from low key to super intense.
He also has a super cute smile, and ‘eye smiles’ so he does draw my attention, as I’m sure many of you can understand.
So who did I miss this time?
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits go to original owners.
Korean Entertainment company SM is well known for being somewhat fluid with its idol groups, famously mixing them up since 2008 at their SM Town series of concerts, and of course more recently when they deliberately created NCT to be an unnumbered group of performers. So in some ways it was no surprise when they formed SuperM from 4 groups. Members Baekhyun and Kai from EXO, Taemin from SHINee, Lucas and Ten from WayV (and NCT) and Mark and Taeyong from multiple NCT sub groups.
This ‘super’ group brought fans from all these groups together for one jam packed night of music and dance. Although somewhat unfair to say that it had been formed from the best of each of these groups it definitely contained extremely talented performers and a lot of fans favorites.
Taemin, although technically the not the eldest in age, did debut first and so in many ways he’s the most experienced, is well known for losing and breaking things so the leadership position defaulted to Baekhyun the actual oldest. However, as with the formation of the group itself, the lead role also appeared somewhat fluid throughout the evening, with Mark often stepping up to help when the hired translator seemed to not be on the ball.
The concert took place in Dickie’s Arena, a brand new state of the art venue in Fort Worth Texas on one of the coldest nights of this year. The wind chill put the ‘feel like’ temperature well below freezing but even that couldn’t put a damper on the fan’s spirits. Light sticks from each of the member’s original groups as well as new SuperM lightsticks were abundant, as were bags overflowing with treasured merchandize.
The concert started a little late as it took a long time to get everyone into the venue. I had a fairly good seat, particularly for the price I paid and was surrounded by happy and enthusiastic fans. When the seven young men rose up on the platform on the main stage for their first number, I Can’t Stand The Rain the crowd went wild. (As well as the main stage there was a long walkway to the center stage as well as a truncated spur on the other side of the arena. The members used all of the available stages to get as close as possible to as many fans as possible.)
I’ve been a Kpop fan since 2009 and have a special place in my heart for SHINee, so one of the evening’s highlights for me was Taemin’s solo performances. When the music started up for Danger you could tell I wasn’t the only one. Taemin seems to turn into a completely different person when he performs, he absolutely breathes and lives the moment. He draws everyone into the world of his creation. He is mesmerizing to watch. It is when he is no longer the goof who loses and breaks things but becomes his true self. And it got even more wonderful when he followed up with Goodbye, a song dance combination that is pure art.
It would be hard for anyone to follow Taemin, but Taeyong and later Ten performed well, with both being popular with the crowd. Then Lucas, the youngest with the goofiest grin and maybe the longest legs performed his solo. I was prepared to be a bit underwhelmed but he actually ended up being another of my highlights. The unnamed song which repeated the refrain When That Bass Goes Down was remarkably fun and catchy and had everyone bopping along to its compelling beat.
Baekhyun of the amazing voice sang Betcha and then UN Village which suitably awed the crowd. But someone should tell idols that wearing white, particularly with blond hair under the harsh spotlights washes you out and it is hard to really see you even on the big screens. (This also happened somewhat to Ten during his solo performance.)
SuperM came back together to sing Dangerous Woman, which I though a little repetitive and then Baekhyun, Taemin, Mark, and Lucas sang 2 Fast. This may have been Mark’s best moment as throughout the evening I felt that he was like the backbone of SuperM, always supporting the others so they could showcase their best. He really needs a great song, his solo Talk About was well executed and performed but he should be given better material so he too can soar. In my opinion SM works him too hard, although many of SuperM are in the midst of grueling schedules right now.
Another highlight for me was Ten and Taeyong’s performance of Baby Don’t Stop. I was so happy I was able to see it performed live as it is one of my favorites. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos as I didn’t want to miss a second of their performance, but I’m sure you can find famcams on Youtube.
Kai, a semi favorite of mine, I mean who really can resist him, performed well all night but I wasn’t as impressed with his solo as I was expecting to be. I mean yeah he was sexy Kai and showed his abs and stella dance skills, but his outfit and background screens made everything very red and hard for him to stand out on stage. I enjoyed his group moments much more, and really loved his smile.
The final set came much too soon, even with the almost non stop performances, and of course the evening ended with Jopping, a song with a silly premise but wonderful singing and dancing by everyone. Overall a tremendous show that kept everyone screaming and bopping through every performance. A really fun concert, well worth the 600 mile drive and the absolutely frigid weather. If you get the chance go see SuperM in concert, you’ll have a blast.
Have a great day everyone.
A big shout out and thanks to the American Ajummas, my friends who let me share their concert ride and friendship.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to me.
Korean Dramas are well known for their wide variety of subject matter. Within such broad genres such as romance, procedural, or sageuk you will find multiple themes. Many of these deal with the supernatural, alternate universes, time travel, or science fiction such as humanoid robots or aliens.
Since it is October, the month that many associate with Halloween, ghosts and things that go bump in the night I thought I would focus of Kdramas with ghosts starting off with Hotel Del Luna.
Hotel Del Luna, written by the Hong sisters, aired summer 2019 and had a lot of hype surrounding it before it even began. Set mostly in a hotel for ghosts with unresolved issues which delay their journey to the afterlife it covers the stories of some of the guests as well as those of the staff and 2 main leads.
IU acts as Jang Man Wol the CEO of the hotel who is not a ghost nor quite human. Yeo Gin Goo is Koo Chan Sung the new hotel manager who deals with the human world on behalf of the hotel as well managing the staff and helping guests.
The story lines are interesting, the acting good and the sets and special effects sumptuous. There’s even a couple of famous cameo appearances. If you haven’t seen it yet it is well worth your time.
The Ghost Detective from 2018 is a darker drama with some fairly intense scenes and an interesting story line. A detective teams up with a new assistant whose sister died under strange circumstances. Written off as a suicide by the police, Park Eun Bin who plays Jung Yeo Wool is determined to find the truth.
Choi Daniel plays Detective Lee Da Il who takes the case and allows Jung Yeo Wool to assist. The storyline kept my attention and I really didn’t quite know where the story was going until most of the way through. Good cast of supporting actors. No spoilers but a good drama for those who want a bit of a scare and mystery at this time of year.
Chicago Typewriter was on air in the Spring of 2017 and was one of my favorite dramas from that year. There was some controversy over Yoo Ah In and the drama took a hit with Korean audiences. The debate was, if he was well enough to film a drama he should be well enough to serve in the military. However he had a bone tumor and failed the military health inspection 5 times.
This drama has a lot going on as it involves reincarnation with two storylines involving the main characters. It takes place in the present and in the 1930’s when Japan occupied Korea. Although a little complex, the drama ties the two stories of the past one together with the present smoothly as well as keeping us guessing on the ultimate outcome.
The story revolves around a frustrated writer, the writer’s fan, and a ghostwriter. There is humor, romance, intrigue, danger, and incredible acting. I whole heartedly recommend this one.
From 2016 Let’s Fight Ghost was an entertaining story. Staring Ok Taec Yeon from idol group 2PM and Korea’s sweetheart Kim So Hyun, plus a great ensemble cast. It was a fun watch. Yes there was a bit of mystery and scary bits but it was about a ghost hunter so you could expect that. Nothing too intense though.
It is the story of a young man who can see ghosts who meets a wandering spirit trying to find out what happened to make her one. With some initial hesitation the two become partners who banish bad ghosts. Hidden from them is an evil spirit who watches them and wishes them harm.
Oh My Ghost aired in 2015. In this drama a virgin ghost takes over the body of a shy assistant and tries to seduce an arrogant chef. Park Bo Young stars as the assistant while Jo Jung Suk plays the chef. Kim Seul Gi plays the part of the lustful ghost.
The Master’s Sun. Led by Gong Hyo Jin and So Ji Sub two very popular actors and written by the Hong Sisters there was little doubt that this would be a good drama. It was one of my favorites from 2013. Seo In Guk added a little extra eye candy.
A mix of comedy, romance, mystery and a touch of fright this drama has it all along with some fine acting and special effects. A young woman learns she can see ghosts and lives in constant fear as they constantly seem drawn to her. Finding out by accident that touching the CEO of a huge shopping mall makes them invisible to her she does everything she can to stay close beside him. He has his own past mystery to solve. Can they help each other out?
And lastly for today Arang And The Magistrate. A Sageuk, or period drama, it aired in 2012 and is probably the drama that made me a fan of Lee Joon Gi. He is absolutely stunning in his traditional clothes. And of course Shin Min Ah is a wonderful actress.
Although a similar story to some other dramas, the ghost wants to know the circumstances of her death, the lead is the only one who can see her etc it is still a surprisingly good story with some interesting and unusual side characters. I liked the grim reaper and the two gods in particular as they added an extra level to the tale. Of course there is mystery and romance along with beautiful people in beautiful clothes. One of my favorites.
There are of course other ‘ghost’ dramas, if you have a favorite or one to recommend please leave your suggestions in the comments below.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photos credits to original owners.