GFriend’s Reality Show – “Where Are You Going?!” Review

GFriend – Where Are You Going?! (Full Playlist; Eng. Subtitled)

GFriend
Where Are You Going?!

Reviewed on August 7, 2016

image

“All
in all, from a superficial stance, WAYG
does seem rather enticing; there are many places that GFriend visit and
coupling that with the ladies having fun with games and of course being
together, the show seems to excel in the realm of reality shows. However, as I
will argue, this is not the case: Where
Are You Going?!
is a rather repetitive, boring show. Even if GFriend
themselves provide appeal on the basis of their own acts, the show’s structure
greatly hinders the potential of the show.”

Personal
Message:
Although I
was—and am—going to review GFriend’s “Navillera,” due to preparing for a summer
class final and currently attempting to revise the current song review outline
so as to make it more concise (and to soon continue with subtitling a video
project for Fiestar’s subbing team), I have decided to review a show in the
meantime as a bonus. Besides, if anything, this review will create anticipation
for GFriend’s upcoming review as it clearly does involve the ladies. And before
continuing further, the linked playlist is an official upload by MBC, a
broadcasting station. English subtitles are also included from MBC and thus,
every reader here has no excuse to not watch it—or is that actually the case?

Explaining the prior statement and
in regards to why I have even decided to review Where Are You Going?! (which will be abbreviated as WAYG for the purpose of ease), while I
have been watching many videos on GFriend as of the late (indeed, I am now a
huge fan of them), this is the first show of any K-Pop group where I have found
it to be rather lackluster. Indeed, harshly said, this might be the first show
where I advise readers to not watch.
Now certainly GFriend in of themselves make the show as fun as possible and of
course fans are always grateful to have the members on any show, but WAYG is perhaps the most redundant show
I have yet to watch. I personally felt the urge to constantly skip ahead
throughout the show because, comically yet seriously said, WAYG is essentially a running show; if readers have ever been
curious as to what runners experience, then WAYG
provides an answer. A vast majority of the episodes simply involve walking or
running, and although interesting events still happen throughout said walking
and running along with some form of variety, this show is simply too lacking
and does not expand on multiple activities even when there are certain moments
for that to occur—an example being showcasing more footage from GFriend when
they were resting and talking to one another versus having even more footage of the ladies running and
walking.

And so to answer where GFriend is going,
while there are truthfully many answers, if we changed the question to “what are you doing” then problems arise as
there are only minimal answers—and generally said, that does mean a show would
lose appeal.

_______________________________________________________

Plot
Summary:
For the
following plot summary, I will reveal the main highlights of what occurs in the
show, but of course details will be saved for those who desire to watch the
show. In terms of what WAYG even is,
it is a reality show with some tints of being a variety show as there are games/missions
involved. Nevertheless, given that the main focus is on keeping the footage as
“natural” as possible and that they are not in a studio such as in Weekly Idol (or basement if we want to
be accurate), “reality” is an appropriate label. As for, in a summarizing
sentence, what the show is about, WAYG
follows GFriend as they travel around to various locations—examples being a
beach, landmarks, and so forth. Furthermore, however, the ladies are split into
two teams that compete with each other in various tasks. Predictably, winning
or losing the tasks results in punishments or rewards. A simple example is that
the losing team would have to walk and use buses to get to a landmark while the
winning team gets a personal ride there.

All in all, from a superficial
stance, WAYG does seem rather
enticing; there are many places that GFriend visit and coupling that with the
ladies having fun with games and of course being together, the show seems to
excel in the realm of reality shows. However, as I will argue, this is not the
case: Where Are You Going?! is a
rather repetitive, boring show. Even if GFriend themselves provide appeal on
the basis of their own acts, the show’s structure greatly hinders the potential
of the show.

_______________________________________________________

Overall
Value: 4/10
(4.00/10
raw score) – “Slightly below average”

– Entertainment Value: 5/10

– Structural Value: 3/10

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Although as mentioned show reviews
are mere bonuses and therefore the ratings should be taken lightly, WAYG does rate as slightly below average—and
agreeably so. In regards to the issue with the show’s format, as discussed
earlier the show lacks variety and depth in its content. Now certainly there is
some variety as noticed by, for examples, how the ladies are seen picking
tangerines to then jump-roping on a beach to then bicycling to then running and
seeing a landmark (and even much more), but if we are to gauge in a more
critical, open view then these activities are not as different as expected. The
following are still unappealing points that are not addressed even with
supposedly the variety of activities introduced: all of the activities are
based as games—there is a winner and loser; the teams’ compositions do not
change throughout the entire series; and lastly but arguably most importantly,
all of the activities are still too akin to one another.

To elaborate on those points, the
first one may appear confusing; why is there an issue with having the
activities all take the form of a game? After all, doing this allows for
viewers to become immersed in the competitive side of GFriend and likewise provides
incentives—goals, even—for GFriend and thus viewers are doing more than just
watching GFriend walk around and exploring sceneries. These are all valid
points but one aspect is overlooked: repetitiveness; mundaneness. It is not
inherently bad at all for games to occur—in fact it may even be beneficial.
However, when an entire reality show series revolves itself utterly on games,
one could not help but wonder if the series is even a reality show as much as a
variety show (though not to say that variety shows are bad). Perhaps as many
could agree to, with WAYG, it might
be expected that besides competing against each other, GFriend would still have
many moments of eating, touring, or exploring new places. But, with much of the
emphasis being towards the competitive side, WAYG soon feels more akin to a fancier game show than a show that
would bring various angles to GFriend. In terms of the second point, although it
is a weaker critique, randomizing the teams throughout might have also provided
more variety—and with how repetitive the show becomes, every bit helps.

Taking a look at the third main
critique, this is where I find the show most troubling. On the surface, yes,
the show is varied; it sounds extreme to say that the show lacks diversity in
its activities when quite blatantly the ladies do partake in many. Where I would challenge that notion, however,
is that quantity is not quality—as cliché as this is; it does not matter if
GFriend is shown running, walking, bicycling, taking buses, and so forth when
all of the activities are ultimately for racing against each other.
Furthermore, even within the different games—who can pick more tangerines, jump-rope
more, and so forth—there could have been much more competitions. For example,
it would have provided more appeal if some games were not “quantity-based” and
instead—to draw a sudden, random idea—were that of judging which team made the
most appetizing “eating-broadcast” (I will hope some readers understand that
term) or even the best sand castle. Again, the overly emphasized point of games
and that said games are not even diverse are the main culprits to the lower structural
score.

Optimistically, though, for where
the show still flourishes, GFriend is always entertaining. From their jokes to
how intense they can get with desiring to win, the ladies do provide purpose to
watching. Also, even if I do harshly bash the show’s structure, there still are
moments where the show provides what very much has lacked: moments of simply
GFriend being together and talking; moments of GFriend enjoying food and not
running out of breath; moments where usual touring and exploring occur. Additionally,
for a praise to the show itself and not the participants, WAYG should be credited for its simply layout: no ostentatious
captions; not relying on the constant use of songs (though admittedly hearing “Me
Gustas Tu” ‘s introduction for the hundredth time proved vexing after a few
episodes); not having dramatic footage editing of the ladies; and so forth.
Especially as many reality shows of the late are focused on providing as much
appeal as possible through excessive stimuli, watching WAYG does provide a relief through its clean, sharp delivery.  

In the end, for my personal recommendation,
I will boldly say this show is worth skipping over unless if one is a fan of
GFriend. Watching for the ladies themselves does prove worthy, but if one is
simply looking around for reality shows to watch for be it in hopes of getting
into GFriend (or a group in general) or for plain entertainment, there are many
other shows to look forward to instead. Of course, though, it should be kept in
mind that this review may come with much heavy bias—even if reviews are
innately going to be biased. Since I currently lack the skills to find what are
in fact strengths and weaknesses to shows, many of these points might be rooted
moreover in my take than in more serious, neutral reasoning. (This is why show
reviews are bonuses, after all, compared to that of song reviews.)

_______________________________________________________

As always, thank you for reading
even if this is moreover a bonus review. Since a reader is curious on a review
to GFriend’s “Navillera,” I will work hard to quickly finish the review. That
said, I am also looking to further concise reviews as it would be extremely
pleasing to be able to release a review per comeback, but nothing has been
finalized yet. At most, I am considering keeping the outline the same but to instead
change my analysis so that it is not so much on each aspect to a song, but
instead the points that provide the biggest discussion. Social digressions will
continue, though, whenever appropriate as I do find it a responsibility to
discuss topics that arise in pop culture. (An example is I might finally
discuss “slut-shaming” and even double-standards in Hyuna’s recent comeback.)
Point is, more experimenting will take place to see how reviews change. GFriend’s
“Navillera” might have to be the unfortunate test subject.

Overall, to answer where we are
going, look forward to GFriend’s “Navillera” to come, and afterwards I very
much plan to review Stellar’s “Crying” before focusing on more recent songs.  

GFriend’s Reality Show – “One Fine Day” Review

GFriend
One Fine Day (Full Playlist, Eng.
Subbed)

GFriend
One Fine Day

Reviewed on July 18, 2016

“Bluntly
said, while One Fine Day is expected
to appeal in the aspects of both traveling and variety, GFriend’s episodes are
more reminiscent of an upgraded version of Weekly
Idol
: variety to a higher degree. The emphasis of traveling alongside with GFriend
for an intimate, more personal view of the group—a style that One Fine Day flourishes with based on
past seasons—has been drastically lost. This, I will say, is not a worthy
trade.”

Personal
Message:
To the
requester of Wonder Girls’ “Why So Lonely” (and Miss A’s Fei’s solo debut), I
am indeed amidst reviewing Wonder Girls’ song and, once July 22 comes around,
to begin reviewing Fei’s solo. Nevertheless, I greatly apologize for the delay
and for putting a bonus review ahead of schedule. In doing this, I do not wish to
connote that I am belittling the request in any form. In truth, I am posting a
bonus show review ahead because I will be exceptionally busy with summer class
(and subtitling a video of Fiestar along with contributing subtitles to an
upcoming Fiestar subbing team—though I admit I am not sure if this is supposed
to be leaked or not). Thus, to keep the blog in an active state, this bonus
review will serve as short but still viable content. After all, though I am
writing at nine at night, I expect this to take solely an hour and no more. Finally
to add, some readers may notice some interesting outline changes (the “abstract/hook”
quote at the start), but this will be further discussed in the requested
review.

On topic, this bonus review is on a
group I have yet to musically review: GFriend. I recently have finished this
show along with nearly finishing another (Look
After My Dog
), both of which involve GFriend. I plan to review the latter
show at one point, but more importantly, to review GFriend’s comeback: “Navillera.”
(I plan to review it after the two requests are finished.) Personally, I am in
love with the song and as discussed in
a prior review
, that song is threatening Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful” as my
favorite song of all-time. (Remember: favorite is not best; “Navillera” is quite far from the best song I have heard, but
its style is definitely that of my preference.) Furthermore, because of “Navillera,”
this current bonus review is now here as this was the song that finally
convinced me to invest more into GFriend. And without any doubts as readers can
tell, I am indeed a fan of the ladies. After all, GFriend is amazing. They have
done more good in their current lives than I ever will in my entire life—and to
showcase the significance of this, GFriend’s average age is rather young.

For example, I am a few months older than Yuju and yet she speaks
extremely more intelligently and eloquently than I (and simply is more intelligent and eloquent than I),
works and loves others much more than I do, and of course has a very sweet,
charming voice while I unfortunately am not as lucky in that regard. And let us
not include appearances for comparison; I think it is a bit unfair as even with
makeup applied, Yuju’s bare face is still clearer than mine. Such is the
struggle of a boy who strives to be as amazing as the ladies of GFriend—a very
high standard but not an impossible one if we focus on the more important
aspects to model: being kind, open, loving, cheerful, hardworking, caring, intelligent,
and so forth. Those aspects are what fans should concern first when it comes to
having idols as role models; fashion and makeup skills can come, but only as
the next priority.

Self-deprecating humor but hopefully
a helpful reminder aside, I sincerely am still baffled by the younger age of the
ladies. Given their maturity and stamina for their choreographies (and, with
live performances, being able to sing live), I expected the average age to be
around at the very least twenty three. Indeed, to find out the oldest of the
group—Sowon, the leader—is twenty, I was shocked. But, if anything is to be
gleaned, it is perhaps that I am the one who needs further maturing; if GFriend
are already excelling at their age, I should be able to as well. And indeed,
readers who are in a similar case should also feel inspired by the ladies.

Focusing on the bonus review (and to
my embarrassment this Personal Message is most likely longer than the actual
review), I have linked the entire show. Credit must be given to a subbing team
for the videos, so shout-out to the wonderful men and women who have spent
their free time helping out fans who are not familiar with Korean. Subbing
videos after all is not an easy task at all; subtitling is extremely
time-consuming, and in certain cases can be somewhat repetitive. (The latter
being more so if subtitling is occurring after
already watching the video.) Regarding this review, usual protocols are in
place: extremely brief analysis as it is, once again, a bonus and nothing more.
In fact, if I am hasty enough, I will also review Look After My Dog as well.

All that said, let us fly to Cebu
(Phillipines) with GFriend—but obviously in a figurative, vicarious sense.
Unless if a reader coincidentally lives there. If that is the case, the
figurative and vicarious aspect will be in traveling with GFriend. And if
somehow even that is true, then said
reader should probably just stop reading due to my overwhelming jealousy. Jokes
aside, GFriend’s one fine day—or days—in Cebu may be fine for them, but I will
argue One Fine Day’s show layout
particularly for GFriend is a disappointment. Even if fans get more exposure
time to GFriend and if the ending episodes elicits tears from viewers (or that
may just be me, a usual crybaby), One
Fine Day
’s deviation away from their usual structure does limit the appeal
of GFriend’s episodes.

_______________________________________________________

Plot
Summary:
To best explain
the prior paragraph, I will give the general summary to One Fine Day. Afterwards, I will then explain GFriend’s exclusive
version. From there, we will proceed with the actual review itself and how this
change is not necessarily as appealing as viewers would expect.

One
Fine Day
is a
reality-variety show (yes, reality and
variety) by MBC Music (if accurate) that invites a group/solo artists—past examples
being AOA, Girl’s Day, VIXX, f(x)’s Amber and Ailee, and more—to spend a few
days in a country other than that of South Korea. Essentially, to roughly
summarize a quote from the One Fine Day
staff during GFriend’s episodes, the show is to provide healing,
stress-relieving, and relaxation to idols who otherwise seldom have time to do such.
It is a win-win: idols are able to travel and unwind while fans still gain
content and usually new insights to their beloved idols. Returning back to my
earlier emphasis on reality and variety, I at first classified it as purely
reality; after all, the show does seem to merely record and help out the
traveling idols. However, that is not quite the case as “mission cards”—in
other words, fun tasks—are given and to be fulfilled. Should One Fine Day be a true reality show,
then the former would be what occurred: simply recording idols on their
vacations. However, with the missions involved, the variety aspect is now also
included and thus, reality-variety is the label I have given the show. Is this
necessarily bad or good? In past seasons/series of certain groups, I found
there to be a perfect balance and thus, if anything the combination is a bonus.
Should there be an imbalance or more specifically, a bias towards the variety aspect
if there is to be an imbalance at all, then I would argue some issues hold. And
unfortunately for GFriend, that is exactly what occurred.

While readers could watch the first
episode for this background, in short: GFriend’s company decided that, given
the time of recording the ladies were only ten months past their debut date,
the usual purpose of One Fine Day
would be irrelevant. And perhaps indeed that is a valid claim: though their
trainee days are predictably tiresome and that ten months of actual idol work
is equally stressful, it might be too soon to claim they have worked for long.
Especially when juxtaposed to other groups that have appeared, that very much
seems true. Creatively, though, rather than declining the invitation, GFriend’s
label company requested a change in the show’s format: training GFriend for
variety shows—both indirectly (with this being their first show) and directly
(with lessons). As a result, the show’s core may technically hold as there is
both reality and variety—the “reality” in recording the behind-the-scenes, personal
conversations, and traveling, and the “variety” in them actually practicing
variety show skills—but ultimately, this does hinder the potential of the show’s
appeal. Bluntly said, while One Fine Day
is expected to appeal in the aspects of both traveling and variety, GFriend’s episodes
are more reminiscent of an upgraded version of Weekly Idol: variety to a higher degree. The emphasis of traveling
alongside with GFriend for an intimate, more personal view of the group—a style
that One Fine Day flourishes with
based on past seasons—has been drastically lost. This, I will say, is not a
worthy trade.

_______________________________________________________

Overall
Value: 6/10
(5.50/10
raw score) – “Slightly above average”

– Entertainment Value: 7/10

– Structural Value: 4/10

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Explaining why the
variety-orientated take to GFriend’s episodes is impairing versus enhancing, there
are two main points: one, it becomes excessively repetitive, and secondly, it
steals away from another potentially more satisfying, appealing activities.
Elaborating on the first, the variety-based activities may all differ, but in
the end all render as overly simplistic and in fact, simply silly. Without overly
leaking what occurs, the variety activities range from practicing proper speech—eye
contact, body posture, paying attention, and so on—to athletic ones of getting
across unstable floating water pads, or to making food look even more
appetizing with reactions. Certainly from the surface there is much appeal
given the diverse acts, but if we are to dive more deeply, that is not the
quite the case. For example, the acting practice skits were, while hilarious at
times, unenticing once factoring in the repetitive editing style of replaying
clips. Soon enough, I was hoping for the show to continue on and for other
activities to occur—emphasis on other
as I desired more than just watching GFriend practice variety skills. This
leads to the next point: losing potential on other fun activities.

Imagine this: GFriend practicing
variety skills, but on top of that had a chance to travel around Cebu whether
that is visiting stores, restaurants, sight-seeing locations, and so on. In the
end, all of the variety activities, even if all different, are still generally
one activity: that of “variety.” One Fine
Day
lost the chance to include other important aspects. Even if GFriend
were able to have fun off camera, for the show itself, it is a shame One Fine Day did not include footages of
GFriend exploring a culture and place that is not of their homes. At most,
GFriend was at one point filmed eating at a restaurant, but even so, that is
one moment out of the many unnecessary, overly played variety acts. Also to
credit other interesting parts, indeed the earlier episodes did focus on preparing
for travel and even the travel process and experience, but once again: in Cebu,
the vacation land became a training land. Although this may be a strong
assertion, I believe many would desire to see both GFriend engaging in variety practice but also exploring Cebu. After
all, if given the choice to watch a professional sports player either solely practicing
or to also watch her practice and
travel in a country she has never been in, I personally would choose the
latter.

Overall, for why GFriend’s One Fine Day still holds, the ladies
themselves deserve much respect for providing the most entertainment they
could. From the more personal conversations in their hotel rooms that caused
tears, to the laughter and smiles from their silly antics or newbie travel
mistakes, optimistically GFriend’s happiness and time together are still the
main highlight of the show. These points are what allow the entertainment to
hold, even if the structure to the show falters. This show still does focus on
the members and indeed, that provides new insights for fans and viewers.
Certainly, this show will help viewers see the “regular,” human and relatable
side to GFriend versus that of their raw, powerful dancing skills and solid
singing.

Ending this review, to answer the
question of whether this show is worth watching, I miraculously would still
claim it is—but only to certain extents. Fans of GFriend should definitely
watch this, and likewise for those who desire to partially watch idols traveling. What may be deterring, though, is
the lack of focus on the traveling and the additional emphasis on variety-based
activities. Nonetheless, with the shorter length of the show (four episodes
that are forty-five minutes each), there are more incentives to watch it—even if
it is duller than other shows. (I personally watched it all in two days, but
this may be moreover indicative of my lack of a social life in the summer. At
least watching this with my adorable terrier girl gives me excuses.) All in
all, GFriend’s One Fine Day is ultimately
a worthy show if watching for the
ladies themselves. Otherwise, if there is no care for GFriend, then this season
of One Fine Day is not a loss to
miss.

_______________________________________________________

As always, thank you to those for
reading. To the requester, I will finish up the review on Wonder Girls in one to
two days if I remain on schedule. That will then be followed up by Miss A’s Fei’s
solo, and afterwards I plan to review GFriend’s “Navillera” and of which will
then be followed by Eric Nam’s “Can’t Help Myself.” From there, if there are
still days left in July, I will wrap up the month with a review on GFriend’s appearance
on Look After My Dog and Brave Girls’
“High Heels.” Given that many social digressions are in mind, however, July
might not last for too long. Like the saying goes, writing truly passes time—unless
if you are stuck on ideas, then the opposite holds true with writing merely
stalling time.  

Look forward to the upcoming song
review and of course, for another “fine day.”

Rainbow’s Jisook’s Reality Show – “Coming Sook: Jisook’s Fantastic Life” Review

KStyleTV
– Coming Sook Episodes Playlist

Reviewed on February 28, 2016

Rainbow’s
Jisook – Coming Sook: Jisook’s Fantastic Life

image

Personal
Message:
Although
Stellar’s “Sting” is once again delayed, I have decided to alter the review
schedule as February is coming to a quick end. Through finishing the month with
show reviews or shorter song reviews, the blog will have at least around four
to five reviews, and that will satisfy my personal goal—even if to the lowest
degree. With March, I do plan to continue the current path: to review only
artists who have yet to be reviewed at all. However, MAMAMOO’s latest comeback
of “You’re the Best at Everything” will be heavily contesting that plan, and
similarly, if Fiestar and SPICA have their comebacks within that month. What
will hopefully occur, though, is that during my one-week Spring Break, I will
catch up on multiple reviews. Thus, recent comebacks, regardless of artists,
may still be covered. On topic, for this review, it is not on a song or album:
it is on a short reality show starring Rainbow’s beloved Jisook. “Coming Sook:
Jisook’s Fantastic Life” (I will refer to it as “Coming Sook”) has admittedly
been a show I have been “binge watching.” That is understandable, however.
Jisook is, after all, truly a “happy virus” and “vitamin”; watching her show
will put anyone in a great mood regardless of how they felt prior.

Sharing how I happened to come
across Jisook’s contagious virus, after reviewing Rainbow’s
“Whoo,”
I decided to check out the group since, as stated in that review, I
was quite unfamiliar with them and thus desired to know the group for more than
their music. Somehow, Jisook’s show was the first video I came across. Needless
to say, though, I am exceptionally grateful for this outcome. Jisook has
utterly infatuated me, and after watching her videos, I will definitely look
more into Rainbow—both with songs and videos. Jisook is sincerely, as mentioned
above, a “vitamin.” The only other idol I know that possesses equal high level
of cheerfulness would be Dal Shabet’s Serri, but point is, both ladies are incredibly
positive. I personally aspire to also be full of love and joy like the two, and
admittedly, Jisook is someone I now also look up to. She showcases my personal
idea of a “perfect” life. (However, MAMAMOO’s Solar is my main role model; I
strive to be exactly like her in every possible way.)

For one, Jisook greatly prioritizes
happiness and laughter—two very crucial aspects I would argue that are vital
for an enjoyable life. On that line of thinking, she also cherishes love and
affection for her friends/members, and likewise, those are also essential
aspects to a good life. In fact, it is debatable that what the world needs more
of is just that: love for others and self. And of course, health and hard work
are also valuable points that Jisook lives up to, such as with dedicating
herself to her hobbies to release stress, and for the obvious example, working
hard in her career as an idol. Lastly, on a materialistic level, she has the
best house one could ask for: not a mansion, but rather, a pretty, organized
and comfortable smaller house. Although I do not wish for readers to interpret
the prior and following words as “the right way” to live, I am against
materialistic living (such as prioritizing money as the source of happiness;
for examples, finding joy in owning the most expensive clothing and makeup
products). Instead, at most for a materialistic lifestyle, money should be
orientated towards (after basic living needs) items that help bring emotional
wealth. Returning to the example of owning the most expensive makeup products,
the joy from such should not stem from the value of the makeup product; rather,
the joy in that has to be within the makeup itself. But as said, to each her
own; as long as he finds his own source of happiness and shares love and
compassion, then all is well.

Overall, I do greatly envy and
aspire to have Jisook’s lifestyle and am very excited to begin my own
independent life in a few more years—though “independent” is not quite true as
I do plan, at the least, to live with a dog. (As shared before, I would love to
adopt a child if financially and emotionally capable, even if as a single
parent.) Although unlike Jisook I would not have a career as an idol since my singing, dancing, and
appearance would cause visual and audio related injuries
 I lack the
intelligence and physical abilities. I would be extremely more content with teaching
high school freshmen students with English and dedicating myself to loving
friends, child and dog, makeup and fashion, exercise, hobbies, and so forth.
And jocularly and randomly to share, I have strongly desired a dog lately. I
cannot be blamed though; as the saying goes: “dogs are woman’s best friend,”
after all. (And if I am correct, a few may suddenly claim that the phrase is
wrong as it should be “man’s best friend.” I will discuss in depth this topic
of “gendered” language below.) All in all, Jisook is an amazing human and I
will strive to lead a cheerful, intellectual, caring, loving and compassionate
life as her.

Now, to discuss my prior use of “woman’s
best friend” (feel free to skip to the review now—though to confess, I have
sorely missed saying that very phrase), there is one topic I have surprisingly
never discussed at all before on the blog: the importance of language, and more
specifically, how language is reflective of social power—examples being
“gendered” language or “heterosexist” language. Nevertheless, it is shocking to
have never discussed this. Given my personal passion for English and sociology
(and teaching, as many would guess), this specific topic of language should
have been one discussed ages ago. It is, after all, the literal intersection of
the two subjects: seeing how sociology (social aspects and topics, etc.) applies
to language (words, daily communication, language arts, etc.) itself. Returning
to the phrase of “dog is woman’s best friend,” many would argue that the proper
way to state such is to change the pronoun of “woman” to “man.” After all, there
is no harm to saying “man’s best friend” or even other phrases such as
“mankind” or “man-made.” Words cannot ever be truly influential. This is why
that vapid saying exists: “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will
never hurt me.” Unfortunately, though there is no direct harm such as jabbing a
knife into someone, arguably that level of damage is still true with words: it
just happens socially rather than physically.

Language is more than pure
communication, such as with day-to-day conversations; language is more than
beautiful art that can come from great poetry; language is more than mastering
grammar, vocabulary, and argumentative essay formats. Language is, in addition
to the listed examples, also reflective of social equality and power or the
lack thereof. What we say or do not say carries significant social weight, and
from there then are words translated into physical, affecting actions. In other
words, views on gender will influence language, and as a result, language will
influence views on gender. Views on race will influence language, and
similarly, the opposite occurs. There is a cycle with language and social
aspects and thus, it is critical to realize the connection between the two
subjects. Specifically with this digression, although I certainly do equally
hold important the language arts side to language, or the semiotics and linguistic
side to language, I do wish to discuss the sociological aspect to language. And
to begin, “human’s best friend,” a dog, will provide an example.

The largest issue with “man’s best
friend” is it contributes to an underlying assumption many societies have: that
males are automatically the default of everything. To very extreme points,
there are those who even believe that females are “inverses” or “castrated”
males, even though females are simply females—their own sex (and equally
valuable ones; every sex—male, female, intersex—are indeed all worthy). (And,
assuming my biology is not that awful, the mentioned idea is easily disproved
as, scientifically, every human starts out as female. So, if the prior idea is
to be used, it is not females that are “inversed” males, but instead, it is
males are “inversed” females.) On topic, already, there should be a noticeable
issue with having males centered as normal. As a copious amount of reviews have
discussed, males being deemed at the center when, equally and equitably it
should be both sexes, leads to various issues. Androcentrism is a direct
example: the idea that masculinity is the normal for how to think and act. For
a visual example, think of how it is permissible for women to
“cross-dress”—such as wearing a suit—and conversely, atrocious if a man
“cross-dresses”—such as applying BB cream and eyeliner. (Though there are
cultural differences to account for. Yes, in some cultures males using makeup
is nothing surprising versus in, for example, Western cultures. Nevertheless
the same idea holds when it comes to, for a simple example, whether crying is
allowed for males.) This disparity is due to androcentrism: that masculinity is
always accepted, and anything remotely feminine is of lower status and is,
especially in males, never allowed.

Before getting off track, in regards
to language itself, it is important to pay attention to as it provides
reinforcement to social ideas. When societies constantly reiterate “dog is
man’s best friend” or that cars are “man-made,” what messages are being said?
To clarify, I do not wish to antagonize people who do say those phrases. Absolutely,
I do believe that when a person says those phrases, they are connoting: “dog is
anyone’s—man or woman—best friend” and “man-made is something made by
humans—whether man or woman as both are capable of being engineers.” In truth,
many people who say those phrases and other gendered phrases are most likely
very much opposed to sexism. Nevertheless, what I desire to emphasize is that,
intended or not, using gendered language has gendered consequences—again, even
if unintended. Language is more than “colloquial.” By using phrases that
include only males on the surface, no matter how benevolent the intention,
there will be repercussions. The following example might highlight such.

Say that I went to the doctor and
that there is awful news: I am dying from Boa-itis, a rare disease caused by
being overly obsessed with SPICA’s amazing leader. (Alright I admit this is
bad. I will directly apologize for this joke.) Searching for comfort, I share
to my close friend that my doctor revealed to me horrible results. Knowing my
friend, she might eventually reply: “What did he say?” Now while Boa-itis may
not be true despite how
Boa has halted my heart a few times
, if this were to occur, I would
forget my dying state and reply with a sharp: “My doctor is a woman; a she; a
female” (and that is true; my doctor is actually a woman). Notice, though, the
language instilled there: assumption that the doctor is a male. During these
cases, what should be said is “they”—even though, yes, it is plural (but
dictionaries now do define it as both singular and plural). Nevertheless, when
this situation occurs (and it does tend to be somewhat frequent), saying “they”
is the overall best route to take. Maintaining gender-equal and gender-neutral
language is what has to occur if gender equality in an even larger form is to
take place. After all, how can society ever accept amazingly skilled male
makeup artists and hair stylists if everyone keeps saying “she” in reference to
those jobs?

At this point, one may have a keen
reply to the prior example: that it is not language that is influential, but
rather, ideas that then translate to language—and that is it; no cycling occurs.
Perhaps we tend to say “he” for doctors not because of language itself, but
rather because we have a socialized idea of who is a doctor and thus merely
state that. That is certainly a true point, but again, the recycling of
gendered language is important to hold in mind: this is why it is best to say
“they” if the pronoun’s gender is unknown. If it is a held common belief that
doctors are males, breaking down that assumption is to break down the language
involved: using “she” or “they” instead of an automatic “he” when one discusses
“doctor.” And furthermore, on this note, there is one example of gendered
language itself being quite influential: the use of “guys.”

Many readers may now be questioning
their own use of the words or synthesizing justifiable reasons for using
“guys,” but as many may now think after reading the prior paragraphs, the use
of “guys” is the one of the most common examples of gendered language in
English (or at least American society). That said, to reiterate an older point,
using gendered language is not based on intentions; using “guys” does not make
one sexist. Not even remotely. Rather, “guys” has been incorporated into
standard English language—akin to “mankind” for example—and that is what needs
to be challenged. Using “guys” is questionable as it does subtly imply that
males can represent females when that should not be the case, and even if that
should be allowed for whatever reason, the fact that the opposite cannot occur
showcases even more inequality. Take the following example. I can refer to a
group of females as “guys,” and that is acceptable. In fact, that is “normal”
and anything otherwise may seem absurd. Strangely enough, however, should I
refer to a group of males as “gals,” many would find it absurd. To some, even
offensive. And yet, “guys” to a group of females is not insulting as the word
has become normalized despite how “guys” does indeed refer to males. Even if colloquially
“guys” has become connoting of both genders, again as highlighted, should this
be accepted, then “gals” has to also be equally accepted, but as unveiled that
is not the case at all.

In terms of solutions, glancing at
other languages may provide a few answers, and in addition, may showcase how
absurd using “guys” truly is. Cantonese and Korean will be used as examples. In
both of the mentioned languages, from my understanding, “guys” is not used to
refer to any cohort of people; “guys” is used to refer to, as expected, a group
of males—a group of boys, men, males. Only in English (or at least American
society) is “guys,” a word that does indicate only males, used to represent any
group of people regardless of sex. Now, for a predicted disagreement, one may
claim that “guys” is in fact used in Korean or Cantonese to refer to a group of
people. A video subtitle said so. As a response, this is where “direct
translation”—or lack thereof—becomes an issue. (And as a subtitler, I do try to
directly translate whenever possible for this very reason. I wish to respect
what the language itself says.) From my understanding (as said before, though I
am not fluent in Korean, I am confident enough in this regard, and with
Cantonese I am rather knowledgeable with it), the literal word of “guys” in both
refer to solely males. It would be silly to attempt to say “guys” in reference
to a group of people. Instead, for what is said, common ways to address a group
are “everyone” in Korean or “they/they all” in Cantonese. Nonetheless, however,
as disclosed neither Korean or Cantonese follow the unique form of how English’s
“guys” can be used for both.

Clarifying, this is not in any way
to downgrade English and American culture (I am American after all) or to
praise Korean and Chinese language and culture as better. That would be
absolutely pathetic and, from this perspective, arguably racist and for sure
ethnocentric (since, as reviews have discussed, racism is based on “dominant
group,” and with writing in this perspective of Chinese and Korean culture, it
would appear I am bashing non-Korean and non-Chinese cultures). Point is, it is
true that in Korean and Cantonese “guys” is not flexible: this is the point I
wish to emphasize. In English, the word “guys” is indeed rooted as males only—akin
to how “gals” is rooted as females only. Thus, with that holding true, “guys”
in English should not be used to refer to both males and females; it should
refer to only males. If one is to refer to both females and males, more
inclusive terms are always available: “they,” “you all,” “everyone,” and
perhaps for the best solution, “guys and gals” or “gals and guys.” All in all, “guys”
is not worth using unless if it is exactly intended: to refer to a group of
guys.

And so, there may now be multiple
responses. Readers may feel guilty, annoyed, or currently preparing methods of
strangling me for being “overly sensitive” to words. Repeating the earlier
point, this is not to accuse nor cause guilt; this is to bring awareness.
Truthfully, whether my views are accepted or not does not matter to me: what
matters is that readers are critically thinking about my position. Perhaps
using “guys” or “mankind” are indeed acceptable and even empowering to every
sex. Or perhaps that using “guys” should be allowed but that we should now also
start using “gals” instead of utterly removing the current way we use “guys.”
No matter the response and stance readers have, what matters is why they have
their specific stances. Through critically analyzing what I have argued, that
is what I hope for as, if social inequalities are to be solved, mature and open
discussions have to occur. Directly sharing what my own take is, I personally
favor three options: using “all”; using “gals and guys” and “guys and gals”;
and, using “she” and “he” individually yet equally (such as by saying “it’s every
woman for herself; he needs to find his own cup of coffee”)—though there is the
issue in the latter two examples of not including intersex people for example.

In the end, as I encourage in
readers, it is about equality and equity: having love, respect, compassion, and
understanding for everyone regardless of their social attributes, be it
religious affiliation, gender, race, class, sexual orientation, able-bodied or
disabled-bodied, and more. With this digression, I do urge readers to bear in mind
using inclusive language; language that includes people no matter their gender
or sexual orientation or race, and so on. Language has significant social
consequences, but thankfully, language is in control by a vast majority of
people. Using “you all” instead of “you guys” may indeed help contribute to
gender equality in the long run, and so will using “they” instead of
automatically assuming that an engineer is a “he” or that a nurse is a “she.”
After all, every human deserves understanding and compassion, and I can attest
with full confidence that Jisook would agree. Let us all be a bit more like
Jisook: loving, caring, joyful, and thoughtful to others.

_______________________________________________________

Plot
Summary:
Finally
beginning the review, admittedly I forgot how much fun it is to apply sociology
into (Korean) pop culture. Before entirely beginning, for technical notes, it
should be noted that any review that is not of a song can be considered a “bonus”
review: reviews that are meant to overall be fun and to provide variety from
just songs. Therefore, the following ratings I give are, in full honesty,
worthless; the numerical ratings hold minimal value in terms of giving insight
to the show. Juxtaposing song reviews to this review should reveal why: there
are only two ratings versus the abundant amount in song reviews. And certainly,
shows are as equally complex as songs and should indeed have much more
categories that just the current two I have. Optimistically, however, unlike
past show reviews, this time I am able to link the episodes themselves as this
short reality show is luckily entirely on YouTube—officially, to be specific.
(This means there will not be copyright removals, etc.) That said, I did link a
playlist, but I recommend starting with this episode: “Jisook’s New House Tour.” Reason being
that it provides background to both the show and Jisook herself. Also, for
readers who may hesitate to watch as Korean is not known to any degree, no
worries: there are English subtitles. This means that everyone reading is obliged to watch.
Jisook’s show is more important than caring for children, school work, going to
work—

Focusing on the actual review, as I
have not done so in a while for show reviews, for this one specifically, I do
in fact have pictures prepared for the Plot Summary. Before analyzing the show
itself, it is best to summarize the show so that readers have a general sense
of what “Coming Sook” is even about, and what better way to do such than
through visual aids?

“Coming Sook” is about Jisook, a
member from Rainbow, taking viewers along with her for some of her personal
activities. For one episode, she is touring viewers her new house, but for
others, she may be showing her hobbies or doing other miscellaneous activities,
such as adorably dressing up a dog. Furthermore, personal tips may be given,
such as—for what many men and women may desire to learn of—makeup. That, in
essence, is the show. Nothing more or less. The following pictures will
hopefully grant viewers quick ideas on the show’s aesthetics, format, and so
on. But there is now a very valid question: Why watch this? Is this show worth
an hour or so of my time? On the surface, this show would seem only enticing to
fans of Rainbow or Jisook, but the Analysis category will explain otherwise.

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Jisook introducing her house.

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Jisook sharing makeup tips. In this case, she is sharing her tip with concealer.

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Woori and Hyunyoung, fellow members of Rainbow, visit Jisook’s house. Specifically here, they are looking around Jisook’s bedroom.

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Jisook shares her playroom to viewers.

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Jisook shares ways she does her hair.

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Dali, a model dog, joins Jisook with making dog clothing.

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With the assistance of a carpenter teacher, Jisook creates a wooden speaker for a fan.

_______________________________________________________

Overall
Value: 8/10

“Good; excellent”

– Entertainment Value: 9/10

– Structural Value: 7/10

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
True, the structure to the show does
appear tedious: Jisook does one specific activity and viewers watch that for
seven or so minutes. Then the next episode is her doing another activity. Then
the same. Then the same. Then the same. The same. Same. How is that supposed to
be appealing in any form? Although the overarching structure is indeed the
same, the change in the content does provide enough variety to provide appeal
(and a score of seven). For example, the camera setup may be the same for when
Jisook explains her makeup or how she styles phone cases, but just the simple
change in topics allows for much variety. How Jisook explains and acts greatly
differs; she is not robotically going through her activities (more to be said
on this later). Furthermore, even in watching the various activities, all are
significantly different. Sure, Jisook is simply covering hobbies she does
versus, for example, one day going out to shop and the next day to a restaurant,
but the change in activity provides for a lot of content. Watching her share
hair styling tips and then later watching her play with a model dog, while systematically
similar, are exceptionally different in content itself, and that is what helps
provide appeal. Additionally, “Coming Sook” is not just of Jisook’s hobbies.
There are episodes where she is up-and-about with touring her house, cooking
snacks, or playing video games with her members and f(x)’s Amber.

As for what truly does make the show
entertaining in whole, even if the structure is slightly repetitive, Jisook is
entertaining in every sense possible: her words; her humor; her wits; her
actions; her goofiness; the list goes on. Jisook knows how to ace her job of
being an idol—a person whose job is to entertain others and to provide
excellent role modeling. At first, readers may be reaping entertainment through
the activities themselves, but after one or two episodes, that source switches:
Jisook herself becomes the main focus for the show’s entertainment. In fact, if
the show still continued, many would still be content even if the show ran low
on new ideas. Essentially, Jisook could be doing anything and she would somehow
make it all entertaining to watch. For all that is concerned, she could be
putting together a table or, for a drastic example, filing away paper and many
would still be invested in watching. It is not the activities that matter; it
is about Jisook doing said activities. She brings entertainment to the show—after
all, “Jisook” is in the show’s title. Overall, she truly is a hilarious and
joyous lady. I have yet to watch an episode without laughing, let alone not
smiling or squeezing the life out of my stuffed penguin at how cute the show
is.

Answering whether this show is worth
the time, I conclude a strong “yes.” The activities she does are entertaining
on their own to many people, but in addition, Jisook herself provides much
laughter and positivity. Every episode is memorable. She is truly a contagious “happy
virus” (laugh included) and can make an episode of watching paint dry turn out incredibly
funny and entertaining.

_______________________________________________________

Regurgitating what is usually but
sincerely said: thank you so much for reading. Whether read in full, skimmed, I
appreciate any given time to the blog and review. For readers interested in
upcoming reviews, I do apologize for not having a strong finish to this month. The
past days have been full of essays and studying for upcoming midterms, hence
why reviews have been slow. Or perhaps that this review being around 4,500
words could have been two reviews. But as said, March is where I have a week to
catch up on reviews, and thus, I will do my best to do so. Especially as song
reviews are becoming much more concise, there are a lot of expectations to be
able to review numerous songs within a month. For an idea as well, I also plan
to experiment with how often social digressions occur: rather than including
them in every review, I will only include them for every third review. This
way, various readers will have enjoyable content: those who desire both reviews
and social discussions receive their share, and readers moreover interested in
reviews have their share. And on my end, I have both sides of being able to
review more song and to write less, but to still engage with important topics
especially if relevant and elicited by a song.

For the next review, it may be
another show review to wrap up the month, or it may finally be Stellar’s “Sting.”
Either way, stay tuned for whatever it may be. It will be “Coming Sook.”

Fiestar’s Reality Show – “Channel Fiestar” Review

Reviewed on April 7, 2015

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Though I did not necessarily intend to review this show (nor in this order; this review was to be after an album review, sorry to the reader who requested it), for the purpose of adding variety to the blog and to experiment with show reviews (and, in truth, a shorter write), one will be conducted. However, unlike past show reviews where, truthfully, merely summarizing the show occurred, I will now focus moreover on my opinion regarding the show. Nevertheless, minimal summarizing will occur to bring in context, and, for what many readers desire, pictures (on the subject of pictures, I am utterly grateful with my friend creating multiple blog icons, and after some debate, I have settled down with this current one). With all of that said, the show of focus is Fiestar’s reality show: “Channel Fiestar.”

Addressing why the show is labeled as such, it is due to exactly that; “Channel Fiestar” is as if Fiestar possessed their own TV channel. As a regular television channel, many different “shows” are in one channel: variety game shows, sports, interviews, or even traveling. Expectedly, “Channel Fiestar” replicates those different shows in their own reality show. Ignoring confusion of how the reality show consists of shows in the show, due to the unique take, while “Channel Fiestar” may be labeled as a reality show, a more accurate label would be “variety reality” as there are a plethora of different, entertaining activities done, all within a reality show perspective. Brushing aside technicalities, a brief summary will still be conducted of the show, but afterwards, my overall opinion regarding its entertainment value and potential criticism will be given.

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Firstly, to clarify the “shows in the show” concept, I will utilize a few examples. One particular segment of “Channel Fiestar” is the section labeled as “Korean Reading Glasses.” Simply stated, this segment discusses Korean slang. Through a hypothetical situation/skit, a few Fiestar members act a potential scenario involving a certain slang word, and after the [s]questionable[s] utterly stellar acting, one member will arrive amidst the chaos and clarify the slang’s meaning. In multiple ways, this is similar to Fiestar’s mini-series, “A-ha,” and potentially, the idea for “A-ha” might have derived from this segment of the reality show. On the subject of “A-ha,” I will recommend readers to watch the mini-series. Like “Korean Reading Glasses,” the sections are short yet highly jocular. At the very least, the behind-the-scene footages for “A-ha” are incredibly humorous and worthy of time.

On topic with “Channel Fiestar” ‘s segment regarding slang words, in terms of how it holds, due to being unique, on the level of industry and individual, it is a welcoming segment. Elaborating why it remains highly distinctive, seldom does an activity simply orientate towards acting skits; often time activities solely involve games, athleticness, or even singing and dancing. As a result, a simplistic skit is, despite being plain, incredibly delightful.

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Now of course, games are utilized in shows for a reason: entertainment. “Channel Fiestar,” in addition to their acting, participate in a copious amount of competitive games. For example, a “phrase-transfer” game was played, the objective: carrying a phrase accurately to the next person via yelling through earbuds and headphones. As anticipated, comedy ensued. In addition to the simulation of how rumors begin, other games were played and of equal, if not more, humor, such as the “Ostrich” game or even simply guessing words, which, as seen by Linzy’s “pengun” pronunciation, can be difficult. With a large quantity of variating games played, and of all being highly intriguing due to a combination of the game itself or laughter, “Channel Fiestar” does excel with the “variety show” aspect.

For a slight digression, one of a more serious tone, the imitation/”Ostrich” game does elicit an important, previous discussion. Though slightly discussed in my review of Fiestar’s latest comeback, “You’re Pitiful,” this moment will provide a prime example of my prior claim: sexualization is moreover the consumer’s take versus purely the delivery (but the delivery can still be rendered as a factor). To clarify the “Ostrich” game, one player creates a pose with solely their body, and afterwards, the opposing player is blindfolded and has 30 seconds to touch the poser in order to exactly imitate their pose. Unfortunately, a simple, fun game has been construed by a few as one that is sexual; the touching occurring during the 30 seconds is no longer for a game, but rather, exaggerated and seen from a sexual lens. This reiterates my prior claim of how sexualization is not necessarily what is delivered, but instead, what viewers themselves construct.

Of course a more technical and critical discussion should occur such as addressing the delivery of content, but I will limit the discussion and redirect readers to my review on “You’re Pitiful.” During that review, the music video for “You’re Pitiful” is discussed. Unlike the “Ostrich” game, the music video is explicitly emphasizing sexual components, but as an overall point, even with the certain emphasis, it does not constitute belittling the incredible ladies of Fiestar as mere objects for reproductive purposes. After all, claiming Fiestar, a highly admirable, talented, and intelligent group of ladies are “sexy,” physically and non-physically, is more realistic and appropriate than “those chicks have hot bodies” (for even more advertisement, refer to my review of Juniel’s “I Think I’m In Love” for my take on the word of “chick”).

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Ignoring the short digression that, blatantly, became somewhat lengthy, other activities existed besides acting skits and games: cooking, a dating game/scenario, “secret cameras,” and more. To slightly expand those various activities, a cooking tournament was held among the 6 ladies. In addition to the competitive cooking side of Fiestar, the more romantic side was seen; earlier episodes of “Channel Fiestar” consisted of scenarios where the members were paired up with dating partners. Many other activities were also showcased, be it hidden cameras capturing Yezi’s fierceness and willingness to stand up for others, or the group’s own take on interactive plots and weather forecasts, both of which were once more, questionable laugh-inducing, even if arguably overly corny.

As for how these other activities aid “Channel Fiestar,” variety is key. Every episode, and in fact, more accurately, every part to an episode remains individually appealing (one episode is split into 3 parts). “Variety reality” becomes a viable label due to the differing events that occur, and with every activity remaining enticing, in sum, high entertainment is kept.

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Transitioning to another prominent aspect of “Channel Fiestar,” sports and athletic related activities were also featured. With “Channel Fiestar” ‘s recording taking place in the winter, many outdoor activities utilizing snow occurred. However, for moments away from the cold, bowling was a highlighted, intense game due to Yezi and Linzy providing vigorous rivalry. Overall, by factoring in the more physical-intensive incidents to “Channel Fiestar,” further variety is gleaned. Every activity possible in a variety show does occur in the group’s reality show, and thus, constantly possessing high appeal exists.

Returning to the topic of anxiously close games, tying in a previous review of “My Type” by Jessi, Cheetah, and Kangnam, the point of underrepresented female sport players does come to mind. Sport competitions among highly skilled female athletes, regardless of the sport itself, are entertaining and worthy of spectating, but unfortunately and interestingly, male sports remain as the highlight for sports in general; despite how both males and females are capable of displaying excellent games, both to an equal caliber of competition and adeptness, solely males’ sports are invested into (certainly figuratively with attention, but also potentially quite literally with money).

To spare readers from a lengthier digression (though it is still worthy to ruminate over), the linked review does partially cover the topic. Nevertheless, it remains highly absurd and disturbing to witness the current lack of equality and equity among genders in sports. With gender being the sole difference between male and female games and not competition or talent, it brings the questioning of why such is the case, and sadly, a simple answer exists: as a society, collectively, a decision has been made, unspoken or transparently stated, that males’ sports, or even more generally, males, deserve priority, regardless of whether it is even about sports or not. As mentioned in the review of “My Type,” challenging the current system by being attentive to both male and female sports will be a way to disassemble the current structure that holds.

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Since the review has already slightly side-tracked, which is, overall, fine as this is moreover a bonus review, I will already leave my current opinion on my show reviews. Personally, I am in truth rather flustered and frustrated at myself; I currently lack the adequate skills to properly deconstruct shows in order to give a more constructive, clear opinion regarding my stances on them. As a result, show reviews will still exist, but solely for the sake of variety. Manipulating “Channel Fiestar” as an example, show reviews will be the equivalent of a game segment on the show. Of course, however, the more realistic and proper approach would be to view this review as a learning moment, and thus, to build upon current mistakes, but with song reviews being highly more organized and desired, rather than allocating time to improve show reviews, it would be more beneficial to augment song reviews.

On topic with Fiestar’s reality show, and to strive for a sufficiently satisfying end, the final main component to the ladies’ show is the segment labeled, peculiarly, as “Goosebumps Experts.” Although it did take a while to understand to show’s title, this segment has yet to be deciphered in terms of why it is called as such. Nevertheless, the segment consists of two members interviewing one victim lucky member and subjecting them to a barrage of either serious or jocular questions. Due to such, the entertaining aspect from jokes and genuinely learning more of the members’ personal lives is gained.

Biasedly, I have found this segment to be the most promising as it provides an entire spectrum of solemnness to lightheartedness. Despite two heavily contrasting points, one consistent aspect, personally speaking, does occur: this segment induces tears. Whether it is due to being overly humorous or rather melancholy, both instances did bring slight tears. For example, the interview regarding Fiestar’s leader, Jei, proved to be incredibly ridiculous yet jocular: a poor dance battle took place along with a prestigious lesson regarding proper texting etiquette in the context of flirting, and of course, adolescent stories and experiences from Jei. While I may be akin with Jei in terms of receiving the identical scolding of “you don’t think” due to texting manners, without even the context of flirting (truthfully, thinking of the idea of flirting is rather alien), the texting teachers of Yezi and Cheska did elicit, once more, a moment worthy of digression: ensuring that a boy is truly interested in the conversation, in the context of flirting. In short, the ladies mentioned that if the scenario of flirting does occur through text, the boy must be checked in terms of being certainly interested in the relationship.

Of course, the ladies may be referring to this as a general statement, but it does shed light onto a topic worthy of discussing, the topic of how males have been socialized to, literally in a few cases, chase females in order to fulfill current ideals of masculinity. To offer an actual example, an experiment (though arguably a method) that has been executed by two friends, an interesting one that female readers could attempt (males should also feel free to attempt this, but if predictions are correct, the specific outcome should occur less frequently; I will address why that may be the case) is faking, or truthfully, mentioning a relationship partner (the latter being what my friends have done). Now, to bring in further context and clarification on what exactly is happening, if a male is overly friendly, to the point of being suspiciously friendly, often time, unfortunately (unfortunate in the perspective of a social lens; this is great for expelling unwanted attention), the simple mentioning of a partner will instantly repel the “interested” male by a significant amount if not entirely. What is disturbing is attempting to unpack why this is the case; through glancing at why males will often time fade away once hearing of a partner, and even why males are overly “friendly” in the first place, discloses many upsetting points.

For one, the idea of possessiveness becomes rife, even if highly discreet. Males being absurdly exceptionally friendly to a female (context is key; for clarification and in defense of male readers, there are men who are very genuinely sweet people, do not mesh them into the same category) in an attempt to garner affection simply perpetuates the idea of ownership; rather than viewing females as actual human beings, a trophy is seen instead, and thus, a desire to “win” a female is created, and as a result of that, being exaggeratedly nice occurs. However, upon hearing the female has a partner, and humorously phrased, “taken,” that drive to “win” ceases as this female has already “been claimed.” As clearly depicted, both cases have instances of ownership occurring, as if females are trophies to be obtained. Interestingly, should we reverse the situation of genders, as stated, the idea of “ownership” will most likely be less common, and to answer why, it has to do with how society socializes different genders accordingly so; males are taught to “chase” females while females are taught to be “passive” and such. Gender roles and masculine and feminine will be further discussed in the second upcoming review of Minah’s “I Am A Woman Too.”

On this note, I will also address the fun and, harshly stated, stupid topic of “friendzone.” Nevertheless, to address this topic, the concept of “friendzone” exists on the sole premise of giving a false reason to the previous idea of ownership; many males will utilize the friendzone excuse in order to justify their exaggerated kindness, or in certain cases, lack thereof and direct attempts to “obtain” a female. Clarifying what the “friendzone” concept is, in summary, it perpetuates a highly false idea that females will not be in a relationship with a male who is a friend. If the logic behind that does not sound ridiculous, then my review of AOA’s “Tricked Again” might as well be rendered as sincere.

Explaining why the friendzone concept is erroneous, its sole purpose is to justify males’ behavior towards females, as mentioned; sudden, intrusive behaviors or any forms of undesired attention are now considered reasonable as the male wants to “obtain” a female but can only do so if not a genuine friend. In short, being able to objectify females and to view them as trophies become legitimate as the friendzone concept exists. Quite obviously, the friendzone idea is false. A partner relationship does not develop from a person entering a relationship with dating in mind; partnership occurs over time, a long period of time, where two people begin to equally feel the same for one another, all without extraneous influences. As a final point, challenging the root, the idea of masculinity, will be the method to address the current situation of males discreetly or blatantly “owning” females.

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OVERALL:

In truth, I am slightly laughing as this review has been arguably the worst I have ever written. While the review itself is not necessarily over, the amount of digressions in juxtaposition to what is truly reviewed is astounding; I have spent more time on the digressions than addressing “Channel Fiestar.” Compensating through the upcoming album review and “I Am A Woman Too” will be the solutions.

With the major components to the show being covered, I will now give an overarching stance regarding the show (which I should have done versus any of the summarizing). Firstly, to address the entertainment value, “Channel Fiestar” is, by a vast amount, the most entertaining reality show I have yet to see. Every part of an episode remains varying from other parts, but furthermore, every activity conducted is appealing on its own. Accounting for both of those aspects, individually solid and individually unique from the rest, it allows “Channel Fiestar” to thrive with constantly remaining appealing. Furthermore, with an overall lighthearted tone (minus the single sole moment regarding Hyemi’s interview), the show emanates with positivity and humor.

Swapping to over to the more subtle details of the show, the structural side (non-entertainment) versus the mechanical side (entertainment), “Channel Fiestar” wavers with different aspects. In terms of being a reality show, the variety show style is a differing take; often time a reality show features a camera following a group/idol, as seen in other ones such as “The TaeTiSeo,” “Hyuna’s Free Month,” or “Jessica & Krystal” but in “Channel Fiestar” ‘s case, the camerawork was orientated towards being purposeful and directive, as if shooting a variety show. With the topic of reality show versus variety show, for where Fiestar’s show lacks, the “reality” is nearly nonexistent. Simple, daily tasks would have been preferred over the constant games and activities; witnessing the group’s dance and singing practice sessions, interactions with staff members regarding their industry work, and such, would have significantly augmented the show. If that were to exist, “reality and variety” would definitely hold as accurate as both aspects would be apparent. Unfortunately, the lack of that makes “Channel Fiestar” moreover a “variety reality” than the prior.

Overall, Fiestar’s reality show of “Channel Fiestar” is still worthy of watching if entertainment is a priority. Readers and fans seeking for a behind-the-scenes aspect to Fiestar will feel rather bleak. At the very least, the members’ closeness and affection for one another is displayed, but regarding their industry work (yes, technically we are witnessing the “broadcast” work of their jobs), there is none. While it does possess the role of being the most entertaining reality show I have watched, I will still claim “Jessica & Krystal” holds the throne for being the overall best reality show I have watched. Perhaps I may be biased as “Jessica & Krystal” made me bawl a river (though as stated, Hyemi’s interview in “Channel Fiestar” did induce a few tears, and furthermore, Fiestar’s anniversary video did so as well) it is exceptionally produced in terms of maintaining high appeal while keeping a reality show theme and perspective.   

With this being the end, as always, thank you very much for reading. This has been a horrible review in honesty. I will blame a naive mindset of diving into the review with absolutely no planning whatsoever. At the very least, I have learned prior planning is crucial. Nevertheless, for readers who have managed to read this, thank you very much. Show reviews are bonus reviews, and in that sense, I do hope readers enjoy the variety versus the poorer content and writing.

The next review, one that should have been finished significantly sooner, is a requested review on Miss A’s mini-album, “Colors.” Afterwards the long awaited review of Girl’s Day’s Minah’s first solo, “I Am A Woman Too,” will be published shortly. Stay tuned and keeping checking back. I will return to where I feel most natural and content: music reviews.