GFriend’s Reality Show – “Look After My Dog” Review

GFriend – Look After My Dog (Full Playlist)

GFriend
Look After My Dog

Reviewed on November 19, 2016

There
should be structure in place to keep viewers feeling orientated, but if it is
to the degree that each episode begins feeling the same, that said structure is
too excessive and rigid.

Personal
Message:
Believe it
or not, this review was supposed to
take place on September 7. Clearly, we are quite far away from that day but
regardless, this review will still serve its purpose: being a fun, extra bonus
for readers. On my end, this bonus show review also allows a shorter write
along with a chance to update readers on the lack of reviews as of the late.

With that said, first of all, I do
apologize to readers who continually check back for the latest review. As the
university semester comes to end, so do students—in the sense of being
incredibly busy that is, and not literally. (Though that said, I will leave a
reminder for people, in college or not, to not only constantly check that their
own mental health is in good shape, but to also look out for others’ mental
health. We all have a social and ethical—and for people of faith, religious—responsibility
to help one another, and specifically with university, it can be very stressful
to students and could lead to destructive behaviors if not an “end” to life—and
this is why I address this as I do not wish my prior comment to be taken as a
joke towards college student suicides at all.) Serious reminder aside, point
is, I am incredibly busy. Unfortunately, though, I have not been as productive
as possible and thus, reviews had to be put on halt to compensate for my own
doing. All, however, is going well and I do hope to soon begin writing many
more reviews.

Furthermore, subtitling Fiestar
videos will resume shortly (and more so now that my subtitling computer is a
much more capable machine than the prior one I was using—the prior being used
purely for hard-drive space despite it being vastly slower), but more boldly, I
plan on subtitling—if not entire episodes, at least clips—of GFriend’s latest
reality show: Europe That GFriend Loves.
Most likely it will be clips, but time will tell and equally whether any other
individual or group will be doing so.

Lastly, for a final update, to share
one of my current “assignments”—personally better phrased as “project”—I am
writing a paper that is about GFriend. That is right: I have taken the bold
move of bringing in a non-American, non-English approach in an English class.
Now some readers may be wondering, “What are you writing about GFriend that it
would be considered academic and
related to English class?” My answer to this: I am going to be analyzing
GFriend’s “Navillera” through a “queer studies” lens; in other words,
especially for those unfamiliar with the English/literature discipline, I am
going to be applying a sexuality lens—though this simpler explanation hardly
brings justice to what queer studies is truly about. Basically, though, I will
be arguing that “Navillera” is a significantly complex, deep music video and
song about queerness and “the closet”—the idea that those queer have to hide
their sexuality unlike those who are socially privileged with being
heterosexual.

Now, why do I share this at all; am
I not just bragging? No, I am not doing this to brag. I share this to
potentially inspire readers that, contrary to inner thoughts, one can bring K-Pop into their academics
even if they are not, say, in South Korea or an Asian country. After all, K-Pop
is still popular culture—and there
indeed are many studies within this field. In many ways, it is almost
interconnected with English and literary studies as the same lenses and
theories can be applied: examples being looking at race, gender, class, and so
on. All in all, the point of this is to remind readers that personal interests should—in my opinion as an upcoming
educator—very much be included in academics. If given the chance to do such, do
not shy away: be bold and brave and bring in that personal passion, whether it
is for English, physics, math, and so forth.

Now that we are completely
off-topic, let us actually focus on this review. Besides, it is embarrassing
that the Personal Message will probably be longer than the review itself. With Look After My Dog—and of which will be
referred to as LAMD from here on—it
was GFriend’s very first reality show if correct. I have watched it in
September, and it is a shame that the uploaded videos with English subtitles
are gone (due to the subbing group’s channel being terminated for copyright
issues). Because of that, I have linked the episodes but they are without
English subtitles. As such, for those who are unfamiliar with Korean, the show
may be more difficult to watch but I would still encourage watching it even if
a language barrier exists. After all: there are dogs. Dogs. How can one not watch a show if there are adorable, sweet
dogs in it? “Woman’s best friend” is certainly true. I am not being completely
biased; obviously that is not the case because dogs are objectively and
factually the most amazing creatures ever. Right?

Jokes aside, let us actually take a
look at the show and whether I truly do recommend it—dogs included or not.

_______________________________________________________

Plot
Summary:
For a
rough guide, LAMD is a 12-episode
series where GFriend, as the title implies, looks after the dogs of dog parents.
Specifically, though, if we ignore the initial episodes, GFriend is split into
two teams that each watch over different dogs: Yuju, SinB, and Umji on one team;
Sowon, Eunha, and Yerin on the other.

Regarding the actual layout of the
show, the first episode (and perhaps second if my memory is correct) focused
primarily on establishing the show and getting the members comfortable with
their upcoming tasks. At most, GFriend went through minor “dog lessons” in
terms of how to properly treat and monitor dogs—and yes, dogs are seen. But, as
said, it is all background for the show.

After the first (and maybe second)
episode, the actual show begins: each team is given a dog—or dogs—to look after,
but additionally each team is tasked with a personal to-do list for the dog(s).

For example, in one episode, Sowon’s
team is dogsitting two poodles but their task involved taking professional
photographs of the poodles. Now within that very same episode, Yuju’s team is
watching over their own dog: an Old English Sheepdog. Their task, expectedly,
reflects the need of the dog’s parents: taking him out for a walk, and later, a
grooming session. In terms of the ending structure of an episode, both teams
start a live broadcast and, in a competition, attempt to garner more viewers
than the other team. The dogs they looked after oftentimes are included in the
broadcast, though they may include special guests such as a veterinarian.
Whichever team manages to “win” would then earn rewards—treats, shampoos,
etc.—for the dogs they looked after.

This formula runs throughout the
rest of the show—or at least, certainly through the first eight episodes.

_______________________________________________________

Overall
Value: 5/10
(5.0/10
raw score) – “Average”

– Entertainment Value: 7/10

– Structural Value: 3/10

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Statistically, yes, I have included
a number for the sake of it. However unlike song reviews where I do have more
experience and actual critiquing points, here I lack that and thus, the ratings
should be taken skeptically and lightly. Nevertheless, they provide a visual
representation of what I personally take the show to be: average—even if there
are adorable dogs included.

Beginning first with the positives,
it is worth crediting the show for being entertaining in a raw, pure sense. If
ignoring how the show is structured and focusing on the occurring events and
how appealing the show is, I definitely do not deny that the show is enticing.

For one, GFriend in of themselves
provide a lot of entertainment in of themselves. An example is watching Yerin’s
struggle with managing many puppies: these scenes provide some chuckles and
sweet moments. Of course, though, GFriend’s interaction with each other and the
dogs is quite entertaining in of itself—and arguably this is the main core
appeal to the show. As already addressed in the summary, the show’s events are
quite diverse and equally the dogs. There are seldom—if at all—repeated activities
and this is per team to emphasize. As a result, then, each episode is, cliché as
it is to say, a new adventure: a viewer does not know what she/he can expect
next. I argue it is overall this factor to LAMD
that keeps it luring in viewers even if its biggest downfall—being overly
repetitive in layout—exists.

On that note, let us finally address
why I do not find the show entirely compelling. As stated, the show’s layout is
incredibly repetitive—after all, a reader could look over the Plot Summary once
again and realize that. Basically, the show follows the same rigid outline—even
if the activities differ. By even the fifth episode, the show begins to
languish on the pure basis that the show becomes overly predictable. There is
no surprising, new factor to maintain a high level of care for the show;
overtime, despite knowing that activities are different, viewers begin losing
interest because overall there is a routine pattern in place. Sure
predictability and structure is essential to a show—this is definitely true and
I am not quite disagreeing with this. But the point is, when a show becomes overly predictable, it feels that the
third episode carries the same essence as the eighth—and this, indeed, is
problematic. There should be structure in place to keep viewers feeling
orientated, but if it is to the degree that each episode begins feeling the
same, that said structure is too excessive and rigid. Lastly, with the
broadcasting portion appearing irrelevant as it suddenly becomes Look After My Dog and Look After Our
Broadcast
, I find the structural aspect not only leaning towards being too stale,
but also disorganized as it would be preferable for GFriend’s interaction with
dogs to be the main highlight versus suddenly including a competitive aspect.

LAMD is ultimately a show worth watching
if one is either—or perhaps both—a fan of dogs and GFriend, but harshly said, I
do not recommend watching past around seven or eight episodes. It becomes far
too dull the longer one engages with it, and given that other reality shows
exist with GFriend participating, I would prioritize those ahead of LAMD. (An example is GFriend’s and
MAMAMOO’s collaborating reality show, Showtime—which
I
did review
.) Unless if this is a show remaining on a personal “watch list,”
I find it less appealing than most.

_______________________________________________________

As the usual, thank you to all for
reading or skimming—though given the shorter and less thorough analysis, I
expect many would read it versus just skimming for ratings as in a song review.
Again, show reviews are meant to be understood as a bonus post and as being based on very subjective
reasons. I lack knowledge with how to actually deconstruct visual mediums and
thus, truly cannot provide more “objective subjective” reasons as I do in song
reviews.

While I will attempt to reach at
least four reviews for the month, I hope readers are understanding for the lack
of reviews but I will do my best to catch up. There are a few reviews already
in mind—many of which are new artists to the blog (and even newly debuted) so
look forward to those.

Until then, for those with dogs,
continue to love and snuggle them. To those without dogs, continue to love and
snuggle plushies and other human beings. Look forward to most likely BULLDOK’s “Why
Not”—a recently debuted female group that has been garnering much attention for
their first release.

Mnet Japan’s Reality Show – “Star Camp” Review

Reviewed on January 1, 2015

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Before this review starts, I would like to give a few excuses disclaimers. For one, as some readers may know, I do not possess an actual show review outline; my show reviews are a mixture of highlights and my general opinion of the show. That said, there is no numerical rating as seen in my song reviews. Secondly, since this show is not too popular, finding pictures to utilize is nearly impossible. As a result, to keep my tradition of how my show reviews contain pictures, I am putting extra effort by taking my own images from the show. Unfortunately, the downfall of that appears in the lower quality of the pictures. Apologies for such, and keep in mind, these show reviews can be considered moreover “bonus reviews” than dedicated, thorough ones. Music reviews will always remain my top priority.

Anyhow, to digress slightly more, I would like to give some comments in regards to T-ARA’s first home concert. T-ARA holds a special throne in that they are one of my personal favorite groups in general, and that I highly admire and look up to the ladies. Hopefully one day I am as intelligent and skilled as Soyeon (a huge role model to me), and that other traits such as being exceptionally friendly, responsible, caring, tough, and more, are also achieved. And, I also hope one day I will be as pretty as her, but that is impossible less important than the other significant characteristics. Back to the concert, after 5 years (I might be wrong with the years), T-ARA has finally had their first solo concert in their home country (they have done a few in Japan and China, but not Korea). It is incredible to see their growth over the years, and I hold high expectations on their future activities.

Going on another tangent, in regards to their song “ORGR,” there has been a lot of debate and confusion to the lyrics, and I will offer my own perspective on it (and at this point, feel free to skip below). Whether it is due to pure coincidence or clever composing (or simply pronunciation), the key phrase of the song can be considered a pun involving both languages of Korean and English. Firstly, “ORGR” is abbreviated for “Oh Ready Go Ready,” which is heard in the lyrics in the form of “oh ready, go ready, go.” This is where confusion occurs; people hear three phrases: “Oh ready, go ready, go,” or “Oh let it go, let it go,” or if taking account a Korean phrase of mockery (not too sure on this), a rough meaning of “Na na na.” So, to offer my own opinion, I believe T-ARA is saying the English phrase of “Oh ready, go ready” since the song title is the abbreviated form of those words. However, I find that the key phrase could also reflect the latter phrases. To explain why people hear “Oh let it go, let it go,” it has to do with the pronunciation of the English phrase of “ORGR.” The letter/sound “R” in English is replaceable with the letter/sound of “L” in Korean assuming the following letter is a vowel sound (for example, Sistar’s Hyorin can also be pronounced as “Hyolyn,” both are valid and correct; Rick can also be heard as “Lick,” and similarly, be correct) . This leads to “Oh ‘leady’ go,” but now you are wondering why the “D” sounds like a “T,” and that is simply that; in Korean, the English “D” sound/letter is a “T” sound. A simple example is the Korean slang/saying of “daebak” (means “awesome/amazing/cool”). In this case, the “D” sound is softer and moreover sounding like “taebak” for English. Factoring this into the equation, the phrase of “ORGR” now becomes “Oh ‘leaty’ go” which sounds like “Oh let it go.” As for the Korean mockery phrase, that is also correct to be heard (assuming I am accurate about the phrase). While “Oh ready, go ready, go” is heard as that in English, in Korean, the same sounding phrase could mean a teasing, mocking saying of “Na na na.” Anyhow, point is, regardless of what you hear, they all match the overall song’s lyrics, and in the end, all are technically accurate. Apologies if my formatting here induces eye strain.

Now ignoring the extremely confusing, unorganized language lesson, in terms of how T-ARA’s concert relates to “Star Camp,” I wondered how rigorous and strenuous the preparation leading up to the solo concert was; dancing and singing for hours is an extremely difficult feat, and thus, preparing for such an event would seem equally challenging. Thankfully, this show gives some insight. While it may not be focused on T-ARA, it does focus on idols who are equally charming, talented, and stunning as those ladies. ZE:A is a group I highly respect. If I recall properly, I believe I did a review on one of their songs, but considering it was during the newbie days, that review would hold as incohesive and horrendous. Perhaps a future review will need to be done to correct the past. Anyhow, whether it were songs that I overlooked such as “Step By Step,” singing and dancing skills, their humor, or their general sweet, affectionate interactions, “Star Camp” reminded me of how incredible these men were.

With all of that said, it is time to truly begin the review. The gentlemen of ZE:A held their own home concert a while back, and thanks to “Star Camp,” some behind-the-scene footages are revealed. Furthermore, for those curious on Star Empire Entertainment’s building (ZE:A’s label company; they also home Nine Muses, Jewelry, Soreal, and V.O.S), this show tours the place and reveals the layout. Is this show worth watching, and does it accurately depict ZE:A’s struggles? Through taking a camping trip to the land of the star idols of ZE:A, we will find out.

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For the first section of “Star Camp,” touring Star Empire Entertainment’s building was the main objective. ZE:A’s hyung (used by males to refer to older males), Kevin, “good-looks” Heechul, and Jewelry’s sparkling Yewon were the hosts of the tour. They covered multiple stories (pun intended) of the company, and gave their own personal anecdotes such as trainee day experiences.

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Peering at the first floor, there were two sections to cover: the cafeteria and the recording studio. For the cafeteria, besides some teasing on Yewon’s excitement to eat, “Star Camp” revealed the layout. Additionally, Kevin shared ZE:A’s trainee experience involving the place. Before they had a cafeteria worker, he was in charge of cooking meals for his group whether it was a formal dish or simply preparing ramen.  

Later, although strangely in the show the order was not chronologically (it went from first floor, second, third, then back to first), the recording studio was unveiled. Unlike the cafeteria, some fans of Star Empire Entertainment’s artists may recognize the location due to other videos (an example such as Nine Muses’ Sera’s audition). Unfortunately, not much was covered since a V.O.S member was in the midst of recording an actual song.

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Eventually, “Star Camp” proceeds to the second floor. Here, other ZE:A members are seen; Minwoo and Dongjun introduced viewers to the company’s fitness room. While the physical location is unveiled, the ZE:A members discussed their rigorous workout regime; weightlifting and running were their prominent forms of exercise. Also humorously, the members mentioned their CEO’s office being nearby. This led to Kevin’s jocular impersonation of the CEO should he catch idols improperly exercising.

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Adding another example of “Star Camp” ‘s unusual order, the three hosts dived into the basement to showcase the vocal practice room. Similar to the recording studio, fans will recognize this place from other videos. Social media accounts from Star Empire’s idols have depicted short, miniature clips of them singing in this room. Likewise with the recording studio, idols are seen actively working; during the filming, the group of Soreal was seen practicing their vocals.

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Now if fans have not recognized the other locations, positively, the third floor will be instantly identifiable; this floor holds the dance practice room, the same location of dance practice videos be it for ZE:A, Nine Muses, Jewelry, and even the other groups. On this floor, additional ZE:A members are encountered; Hyungsik, Siwan, and Taeheon were witnessed practicing. In preparation for their concert, they rehearsed a certain song: Apink’s “No No No” (a future review might be on Apink’s latest song, “Luv”). Readers familiar with Apink will know they are a female group, and some may hold the stance that males performing their choreography is either “wrong” or “awkward,” but ZE:A disproves such. Although “Star Camp” showcased solely a fragment of the dance, the gentlemen combated away those stereotypes and displayed a phenomenal, cute and catchy dance. Adding a quick digression, gender limitations is nonexistent; the concept of certain objects or actions being restricted to a specific gender is something socially constructed. In summary, hopefully viewers do not ever hold the idea of how a group’s choreography is limited based on gender. Reality shows there is no “female dance” or “male dance,” and even with different subjects such as cosmetics, hobbies and more, those limitations should be challenged and questioned.   

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Once the touring is completed, “Star Camp” focuses on specific moments of the gentlemen prepping for their solo concert. A specific scene disclosed their extreme dedication. From the beginning of the day to 4 a.m., ZE:A members were observed singing and dancing relentlessly. As Hyungsik mentioned, with 9 members in ZE:A, extra time must be invested in order to create perfect synchronicity among them. Despite how tiring and tedious the training proved to be, they all remained diligent and focused, and surprisingly, very cheerful and continued to encourage one another.

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Further practice was also observed. During the day and prior to the concert, ZE:A rehearsed on the actual stage itself. With time pressuring the members, they scrutinized every detail of the stage; whether it was the choreography itself, time to transition and change costumes, or introductions, everything became thoroughly checked and had both ZE:A and staff members giving feedback. Ensuring an excellent performance would ensue was their main objective.

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After all of the gentlemen’s hard work have been shown, the actual concert itself is filmed. Although in short bits, “Star Camp” disclosed the stage’s numerous fans and ZE:A’s outcome that came from dedicated, tiresome work. “Star Camp” ended on the message of how success derives from hard work. Even with the agonizing days of sheer preparation, in the end, ZE:A’s concert became augmented due to the invested time and energy.

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These are the main overarching ideas to the show. Firstly, although I overviewed the main points, I did not include every conversation and story that occurred, and thus, in that regard, I still recommend watching the show for those moments (fans of ZE:A and Star Empire Entertainment would be interested). However, overall, to address the mechanical aspects of “Star Camp,” this was a straight-forward show; it went from touring the label company to showing ZE:A’s sessions of practice. On the positive side, it allowed more focus to some behind-the-scene footages, but in the entertainment perspective, it was not too exciting (and considering this is moreover a show versus a documentary, I hold some entertainment accountable). I anticipated more personal sides to ZE:A, and although there were a multitude of interactions seen, it all revolved around “Star Camp” and practicing versus their usual affection towards each other. In comparison to, for example, OnStyle’s “The TaeTiSeo,” “Star Camp” adds the behind-the-scenes aspect, but unlike “The TaeTiSeo,” general interactions were not seen. Everything was under the industry working lens (mainly rehearsals), which is not bad in itself, but considering this is labeled a show and, as stated, not a documentary, entertaining components should have been added besides the anecdotes and such.

Scrutinizing the show for other aspects excluding the mechanical piece of being a show, like the general K-Pop related ones, the overall general vibe was one of cheerfulness. While positivity should be rife in people’s lives, “Star Camp” displayed the typical one-sided story to idols. ZE:A may have been seen to be drained physically of their stamina and such, and whether their emotions of feeling positive and joyful were genuine or not, the show placed emphasis on glamorizing the men’s jobs of being idols as perfect and utterly rewarding. Some people may recall a specific incident months ago involving Star Empire’s CEO and ZE:A’s leader Junyoung; their battle over fair, humane treatment in terms of simple respect and fair payment became acknowledged all over, and with that scenario holding as true, their fight would completely contradict “Star Camp” ‘s depiction of how ZE:A members possess an easy and positive, although tiring job that simply involved practicing for performances.

Following up, there is a significant aspect to this show’s tone due to the sole basis of editing (and of course further technicalities such as specific clips used, manipulated context, and more). For example, contrasting this show to pure footage and documentaries (such as Nine Muses’ documentary), the lens in which viewers witness this show become utterly transformed into one that is expecting entertainment and a welcoming, friendly atmosphere. With “Star Camp” having their own crew, the members of ZE:A addressed the show with a persona that would appeal to the public; the men appeared exceptionally positive and cheerful. The issue, however, that arises from the change in behavior is what covers the K-Pop industry’s shadier and crueler side. To use a specific example of how ZE:A (and others) adapted their behavior, when it came to the show’s initial introduction of interviewing idols (Kwanghee’s interview is the picture above), sadly, a high chance of their answers were potentially scripted. Although strangely kept, with Kwanghee’s interview, he confessed he had to include “nest” due to a given script for his answer to “What does Star Empire Entertainment represent to you?” On the surface, the awkward phrasing was jocular, and knowing Kwanghee’s upbeat and comical personality, his confession of having a script becomes insignificant. However, ignoring the lighthearted perspective, the fact that he was given a script to answer interview questions that should have elicited genuine, personal answers from his own thoughts, creates some questioning to both the show and potentially other shows and footages involving other K-Pop idols.

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Mechanically, “Star Camp” revealed a hindered perspective to ZE:A’s behind-the-scenes practice. Although crippled in showcasing solely positive experiences, it gives the most blatant layer to an idol’s work. In terms of other mechanical details such as being entertaining, while the stories tolds were amusing, more interaction among the members excluding work would have been desired. For the critical aspect, “Star Camp,” like the predominant concept of every K-Pop related show, solely displays positivity and happiness. And while the gentlemen could have truthfully and legitimately felt utter joy to be practicing, showcasing only their successes gives a limited perspective to their jobs, and unfortunately, undermines struggles they could be undergoing (and fast forward in the future, the example of ZE:A’s leader Junyoung and Star Empire’s CEO having their hefty argument). In short, this show is worth watching if ZE:A is a group of interest, and if Star Empire Entertainment holds some interest as well. Additionally, and even if it is one-sided, for those curious on practice protocols, a limited sight is given. For what I would recommend, however, is after watching this show, compare it to Nine Muses’ documentary, “Nine Muses of Star Empire,” to see significant changes and the additional layers to practicing and an idol’s experience (without leaking too much, the documentary includes staff members’ interaction with idols, the harshness, and more).

Perhaps in the future I will review the documentary, and even with my opinion of how solid Nine Muses’ documentary is, everything should still be questioned. A review on the documentary will include my thoughts regarding it, but that will be for the future. Ending on a slightly happier note (although people should still retain the idea of being critical), if the positivity and such seen in shows are forged, at the very least, I will argue that the affection between members are usually genuine. Using ZE:A as an example, Junyoung’s confrontation with the CEO was heavily driven in a desire to protect his members. Even different groups such as the somewhat older news of B.A.P attempting, as a whole group, to terminate their contract with their company is another example. After all, if the reality holds true that the K-Pop industry is rigorous and atrocious towards idols, surviving it via having love and compassion towards other members for support is a likely outcome.

Anyhow, my opinion on the show has been given. Thank you very much for reading, and hopefully this show review adds some variety to the standard song reviews I create. To add an extra piece to this show review trend, I will look over Nine Muses’ own reality show, “Nine Muses Cast” and give my stance on it. After that, song reviews will be resumed, and with a milestone of six reviews for January, I will aim to release four song reviews as soon as possible and in high quality. Songs in mind include Apink’s “Luv” and perhaps a desired review of Girl’s Day’s “I Miss You,” but as always, any song is up for grabs. In fact, I might review ZE:A’s “Ghost of the Wind” since that is a very solid song along with having the best choreography I have seen so far. Thank you once more, and stay tuned. (As a side note, I did finish this review on December 31, but I am holding it off until January 1, and I am hoping the pictures are formatted properly)

OnStyle’s Reality Show – “The TaeTiSeo” Review

Reviewed on October 16, 2014

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First things off, I am trying a different place to do reviews (document file versus live posting). This is to address a feedback of how posting “[UNFINISHED]”/“[WORK IN PROGRESS]” tends to leak a review/post. To ensure things go well (and if it doesn’t go well), a show review will be my prototype. That way, if it works, perfect. If not, show reviews aren’t as in-depth as my song reviews, so nothing majorly lost. In terms of upcoming songs, I have two songs that should vastly differ from other songs I’ve reviewed. Furthermore, a “Halloween theme” is attached. I won’t be releasing the song titles yet, but please look forward to them.

Anyhow, the show for review today is “The TaeTiSeo”. Their comeback of “Holler” (check out my review of it) was also accompanied by a reality show. And, as I stated in my other show reviews (refer to my Archive page for “Jessica & Krystal” and “Hyuna’s Free Month”), I do not possess a show review outline. As a result, if the writing becomes incoherent, forgive me for not having an organized structure. Anyhow, this review will probably be posted later than expected; I still have two episodes to finish. This also reminds me, I prematurely reviewed “Hyuna’s Free Month”. I stopped at episode 3, but it turns out there are other episodes as well. Overall, nothing would be significantly different in terms of my review. The only change was finally seeing some interaction with 4Minute members (and that interaction was humorous; they sarcastically addressed comments of “4Minute members aren’t close to one another” by complimenting each other’s “acting”).

Also while I’m at it, I feel obligated to share a quick rant: males watching this show. As I mentioned in some other review, a friend of mine teased me for watching this “girly” show. Also, keep in mind I will practically repeat the same things I told her, and in no way am I trying to vilify her. Anyhow, my question in retaliation was, “What is a ‘girly’ show?” That’s something I feel people should ask (along with a whole lot of other questions). Firstly, thinking of “The TaeTiSeo” as a pure females-only show never crossed my mind. A large portion of this show may be focused on clothing, nail art, and other cosmetic-related topics, but that does not mean males should automatically be deterred away, nor does that mean females should naturally want to watch this show.

My own take on why I decided to watch this was primarily due to being a fan of TaeTiSeo along with the OnStyle production crew. However, before I knew it, I actually enjoyed watching the cosmetic sections. Perhaps I am just a strange, outcasted male, but speaking personally, I would heavily prefer watching Taeyeon do her nails for 30 minutes versus, for example, watching a “male-orientated” show such as a sports game for just 5 minutes. Actually to add another small rant, “male-orientated” shows tend to repel me the most; I find no fun in cringing every minute at the sight of gore and corpses (and another thing to question is why “male-orientated” means explosions and blood). To cut to the point, watch whatever you want; social barriers shouldn’t hinder what you enjoy to do nor should they define you. The idea of “masculine” and “feminine” should be less restrictive (and therefore, hopefully one day, I can share how if I decide to have kids in the future, that if I want two daughters, I won’t have friends/teammates giving me the equivalent reaction of “You want to kick a puppy?”). And for those wondering, no, I did not cry (or at least not yet since I haven’t seen the last episode). This is just a little joke ever since I shared how “Jessica & Krystal” made me bawl.

Ignoring the very huge digression and silly jokes at the end, let’s start this review of “The TaeTiSeo”. The ladies of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun had a very impressive comeback. To add onto their album release, they have decided to release a reality show as well. OnStyle is the producer, and recalling them from “Jessica & Krystal”, a solid production is expected. Is the personal side of TaeTiSeo revealed? We shall see.

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“The TaeTiSeo” takes viewers for a behind-the-scenes look at their promotions, and it also unveils the personal sides to the ladies. In terms of their work, viewers will see the preparations leading up to “Holler”. Examples are music video filming, song recording, and of course, choreography practice. When it comes to observing their personal lives, viewers are able to see the ladies’ affection for each other. In addition, “The TaeTiSeo” also reveals the ladies’ preference/advice when it comes to cosmetics; make-up, clothing, nails, the three of them cover those topics.

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To dive deeper, a large portion of the beginning covered the fashion side of the show. Clothing was discussed; each member shared her style. For example, Seohyun and Taeyeon addressed how Tiffany was a huge fan of wearing the primary colors. And of course, considering it’s Tiffany, her usual pink obsession was seen. Any Girls’ Generation fan will know of that; if something is pink, Tiffany loves it (perhaps that was her lucky boyfriend’s idea on winning her love; use pink). Continuing on, viewers are able to see Seohyun and Taeyeon find their own clothing. Taeyeon preferred the simple, comfortable outfits; a single color and being soft and cozy. Now while the older ladies had no issues finding items, the sweet, lovable maknae (youngest person) was seen in a struggle. Seohyun would tediously go back and forth between changing outfits. She would find something, try it, but then try another set of clothing.

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Seeing the beloved members go shopping wasn’t all, however. The experience of getting to stores, and in some cases, away from the store, was quite jocular. As many fans will know, Taeyeon and Seohyun aren’t the most experienced drivers. During a shopping time in Korea, it took Taeyeon 10 minutes to start up the car (although understandable considering it was a hybrid and that it was not her original car). Eventually, though, the car rolls smoothly. Until Seohyun drives. On the way back home, instead of the ladies normally chatting with one another, it was dead silent once Seohyun got behind the wheel. Nevertheless, it was still funny seeing Tiffany, who seems to be an experienced driver, and Taeyeon overreact to every little thing Seohyun did. At least Seohyun threw in a disclaimer of, “Unnie, you’re risking your life with this [driving]” (Note: “Unnie” is literally translated as “older sister”, but pretty much it’s a younger female referring to an older female).

In terms of them having a serious moment during the beginning, the ladies of TaeTiSeo did address the difference between shopping in South Korea and in Los Angeles: they were able to in L.A. Briefly, they discussed how in Korea, the only possible way to publically go shopping was to be utterly disguised via hats, masks, and by having only a few members attend at a time. This explains why their shopping went smoothly on film (although when they did go in Korea, the store was seemingly “reserved”).

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Besides clothing, another aspect “The TaeTiSeo” revealed on the group’s style were their nails. Taeyeon was the first member to show off her nail art. With setting up a camera in a room and by using nail tools given by fans, she set off on showing viewers different nail arts. With this setup, Taeyeon showcases numerous chic designs. Commentary was also added; she explained her mentality per nail (and what to do if there’s a mistake; it happened to her) and addresses a few questions. For a moment, she discussed how her nails were mainly done for the sake of performances or schedules (interviews, etc.). However, she still preferred casual nail painting even if there was no work.   

In Tiffany’s case, she was seen with a professional. This moment would disclose how TaeTiSeo’s nails are always perfect; professional nail artists handle it. Another nail-related question was asked during Tiffany’s session. Viewers and fans had the question of how Tiffany took care of her nails. After all, considering how often the members of TaeTiSeo do their nails, it can be concerning. Thankfully, Tiffany reassured fans by explaining that proper care and advice from professionals allows the ladies to still possess healthy nails.

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Now besides the fashion side of the show, “The TaeTiSeo” also reveals the behind-the-scenes footage of their comeback. The making of the music video for “Holler” is seen. While the music video came out as glamorous (although I have yet to watch the entirety of it), the filming did not reciprocate that; it was a harsh, tedious process. Going back and forth to find the perfect clip required a lot of patience. Make-up had to be reapplied and any minuscule lack of synchronicity would result in another take.

Furthermore, safety, shockingly, was an issue; the most prominent example being the scene where the ladies dance on a circle glass with surrounding shallow water. Considering they were wearing exceptionally tall high heels (a lot of people forget how talented idols are for performing in them; even males with insoles go through the same challenge), the environment created a risky scenario. The glass circle itself was already unstable, but coupling the fact of how the water made the surface even more slippery, it created a lot of anxiety among both TaeTiSeo and staff members. On the positive side, accidents were minimal; Seohyun was the only one who slipped, but at least she caught her balance. In the end, removing their heels when a shot didn’t include their feet was a solution. The ladies proved to be quite admirable through their hardwork and perseverance.

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When it comes to song recording, “The TaeTiSeo” discloses that process. From this section, the ladies’ impressive vocals are heard. However, that aspect is not the only one; a large portion of this section covers how they composed lyrics, the issues that occurred, and TaeTiSeo’s perspective on singing. Going on a tangent, Tiffany’s voice is exceptionally soothing; although her unique tint of huskiness may derive from a vocal disorder she had years ago(?), her voice still remains very unique and versatile. Listening to her speak proved to be quite delightful. Whether she was speaking English or Korean, it became utterly infatuating. In short, Tiffany’s voice is amazing; I personally remain envious yet captivated by her seducing voice.

To focus back on this review, in terms of composing lyrics, it proved to be very intriguing. Seohyun and her manager were seen at a table discussing different lines for Seohyun’s own ballad composition. Her song, “Only U”, had to be revised. Seohyun’s original line went along the meaning of “I will protect you” (going off memory), but she believed the lyrics weren’t “feminine” enough for listeners, and thus, Seohyun modified it. In the end, “I will stand by your side” is what the final revision became. While most viewers will glance over this section quickly, this scene showcases how the K-Pop industry potentially exploits songs (although keep in mind, this isn’t always the case; Girl’s Day’s “Don’t Trust Her” had the key phrase of something similar to “Don’t go to her, I will protect you from everything”) to make them follow the standard cultural norms. This is something to keep in mind for song meanings in K-Pop, and it’s great that “The TaeTiSeo” reveals this tiny yet vital aspect.

Peering back at the actual song recording, the ladies’ issues were observed. Multiple trials were needed for every member; Taeyeon in specific had quite a bit of trouble at first. Their song, “Adrenaline” (have not/don’t intend to review it; not too solid) entangled Taeyeon. No matter how hard she tried, the flow/melody was off. Eventually, though, she did find a solution: changing the lyrics. After that, a huge improvement was seen. For the other members, Tiffany and Seohyun went through the same tedious process; perfecting their recordings required patience.

Lastly for the studio section of “The TaeTiSeo”, the three ladies got to share their personal stories of what singing meant to them. All of them expressed the similar idea of passion; Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, they all loved to sing. Even from their blossoming ages of still being girls, singing remained a prominent activity. Sticking to what they loved and continuing to pursue it allowed the ladies to stand here today as TaeTiSeo; following what you love and are passionate about is the crucial, needed message that they gave through their interviews.

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Adding on the last highlight this review will bring, choreography practice. Here, OnStyle unveils the rigorous and daunting task TaeTiSeo encounters for creating a flawless, perfectly synced dance. They practiced all the way into the late night time. Beat by beat, flowing with the melody, the ladies showcased how adept they were with matching up to every choreography. While it was a tiresome routine, they still decided to keep spirits high; Taeyeon went on a fun spinning spree with a camera, and upon hearing that “Whisper”, the ballad song of their album, took first place on a music chart, they all became recharged with energy and joy. Anyhow, the hard work the ladies invested in order to improve their skills is very respectable. Despite how harsh and aching dance practices are, they continue to strive for the perfect execution.

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With all of those highlighted points, that brings this review to the end. Keep in mind, of course, I am barely breaching the surface of the reality show; OnStyle reveals a lot more. This review intends to go over my perspective on outstanding parts along with adding some of my opinion. And as stated earlier, if this review comes out as confusing or unorganized, I put fault in the lack of a show review outline. I still do not intend to seriously review shows as it’s a very long, excruciating process. In addition, unlike K-Pop songs, giving numerical scores and creating categories would be mundane (or in honesty, quite lacking since I have zero ideas).

Overall, I find this show very amusing. Does it top “Jessica & Krystal”? Not quite, but it does come quite close. The biggest strength to “Jessica & Krystal” is the main focus on their relationship. It was about seeing the two sister’s love for one another. Unfortunately, “The TaeTiSeo”, similar to “Hyuna’s Free Month”, does come off more as a side promotion. Thankfully, though, OnStyle does a significantly better job of revealing other sides besides the topic of their comeback. Viewers are still able to see the personal sides to the members. Their workday schedule is seen along with their sweet and hilarious interactions. In addition, the shadier sides of the K-Pop industry is unveiled, although in tiny doses. In the end, I believe it’s a show worth watching. It provides entertainment, insight, and of course, no lady or gentleman can resist the amazing idols of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun.

As I always do, thank you for reading. This review took a long time to write; the biggest hinder being the time it took to actually catch up on episodes. Again, another reason on why I loathe reviewing shows. It drains the luxury of watching freely with no time pressure. Anyhow, I hope it’s not too incoherent. This will be the last show review I do until perhaps a month (and watch how as I say this, T-ARA will suddenly release a reality show. Though if that were the case, I’d be extremely pleased to make a review). Once more, I highly recommend this show.

In terms of my next review, since things are out of order, Boyfriend’s “Witch” will be reviewed. It has already been started, but I hope to finish it within a few days. Also, I am testing this review on a separate document, so right now, I’m really hoping I can post this with no format errors.

The end has arrived, so thank you once more for reading. I hope you find this interesting and sufficiently detailed. Again, “The TaeTiSeo” proved to be an outstanding show. Stay tuned for upcoming Halloween themed songs of Boyfriend’s “Witch”, and revealing another, Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” (spelled correctly?). This also reminds me, I did receive a song request, so I will squeeze that in as soon as possible. Anyhow, stay tuned. Thanks for the support and time, keep checking back for the usual K-Pop song reviews.

SBS MTV’s Reality Show – “Hyuna’s Free Month” Review

Reviewed on September 11, 2014

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Before we dive into this show review, allow me to have a brief update. As many of you can tell, I’ve been quite busy with schoolwork, paperwork, E-Sports, and more. Nevertheless, I am still alive. I have three reviews lined up; T-ARA made a very exciting comeback and I have so many things to critique about their latest song, so the review for “Sugar Free” will hopefully be out soon. In addition, I haven’t forgot about Nasty Nasty’s debut with “Knock”. The only thing that has held me back about it was I haven’t been in the mood for reviewing a sexy concept, but I will still get “Knock” out shortly. Another song for review is going to be Hyuna’s “Red”, although that will be later. And actually adding one more song, I did receive another song request, but goodness have mercy. I won’t reveal that song yet, but I will claim it’s the most atrocious K-Pop song I have ever heard.

Anyhow, moving past the quick update, I’m finally going to be reviewing another show. To be honest, I doubt I’ll do more show reviews unless if they involve a group/idol. As a result, I have no template on how I’m reviewing the show. I’ll probably point out the highlights, as I did with “Jessica & Krystal” (check out that review if you haven’t). 

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On to the big question of, “What is ‘Hyuna’s Free Month’ about?” Well for one, it is a free month in multiple aspects. From the start, she was given a special black credit card with no limit on expenses. Viewers will already get a quick taste of her silly personality from the beginning teasers; despite her idea to “monopolize” a store and to purchase a brand new TV, she ended up spending as little as possible. 

For other perspectives on “Free”, this reality show brought the audience down to her own personal life. Partially. Her free time was revealed, although quite limited. She would go around shopping, swim around, and play with her extremely adorable puppy. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else revealed in terms of her hobbies. This also brings me to my next point: free promotion.

While “Hyuna’s Free Month” has a slight objective of showcasing Hyuna versus HyunA (stylized name for stage/industry work), it doesn’t do the best job at all. In comparison to another reality show, “Jessica & Krystal”, this show falters on getting audience members to truly connect with Hyuna. What I personally gleaned from this show was more of a behind-the-scenes look for Hyuna’s solo era of “Red”. Nevertheless, it still shows different sides of our sweet idol, even if it’s not as efficiently done.

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 For what’s personally revealed about her, “Hyuna’s Free Month” showcases her sweeter, kind side. Many people recognize Hyuna for her sexy concepts and stage images, however, underneath all the heavy lipstick and eyeshadow, one must remember there’s a hardworking, smart, and talented lady. Despite the cameras being on, she wasn’t afraid to show her sillier acts, such as dancing on bed with a fake mustache. 

Another aspect about Hyuna that was unveiled were her feelings toward her family; she cherishes them greatly and in fact, shed a few tears after reminiscing about them. And no, for those wondering, I did not cry here nor elsewhere for this reality show. Hyuna reflected on how her family is the driving force that allows her to live her dream. This would also explain her tattoo of: “My mother is the heart that keeps me alive." Family is important, and Hyuna is here to remind us all of that.

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Continuing on, the first episode is practically as close as viewers will get in terms of connecting with Hyuna. The other episodes were primarily focused on her work during her solo comeback with "Red” (which I will review in a week or so). As compensation, however, there are footages of her adorable puppy, Passion (although that might be false translation, so forgive me if I’m wrong). Anyhow, the hectic schedule of training, practicing, and working hard to have a successful stage is shown. For many days, she is seen in the practice room tediously rehearsing the choreography. In addition, she’s constantly monitoring each dance; every movement must be in sync with the song, and every backup dancer must follow suit. 

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Besides dance practice, there are other tasks to handle. As her job is being an idol, photo shoots are quite common. For an entire day, morning to midnight or so, she was subjected to constant camera flashes. Nevertheless, she tackled the job with optimism as she aided the camera crew by offering her own opinion and feedback, and thus, allowed the shooting to progress quite smoothly. 

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Peering at the highlighted components of this show, my final stance is this show is worth watching for those who are fans of Hyuna. Even then, “Hyuna’s Free Month” does a mediocre job at truly showcasing her personal self. This reality show came across as a promotional piece for “Red”, and although there were funny, cute scenes, it focuses too much on her song.

Another issue of this show was it came across as pure fun; there were little to no challenges presented. While it’s understandable that no label company would ever reveal the harsh atmosphere of being a K-Pop idol, I find it completely one-sided to display an idol’s work as utterly glamorous and joyful. There were primarily two struggles presented: composing one of her own songs, and roaming the streets. For the first struggle, a conflict was recorded between her song producer and herself. Hyuna composed her own song with a key phrase similar to, “Screw the haters”, which does come off as rude. Due to that, her song producer tried modifying the lyrics. As expected, Hyuna became heavily upset and some tension was created. When it comes to her second problem, it was rather interesting. Since a plethora of fans recognize her from only her stage persona (extremely heavy makeup, stage costumes, etc.), people around her were dubious on whether she was a random lady, or if she was their loved idol. This proved quite jocular. The only time she became surrounded was when she spoke; her casual makeup and clothing may be vague, but the moment she speaks, everyone knows it’s her voice. Nevertheless, the second issue is something every celebrity faces in terms of becoming followed and crowded. 

Overall, I would still recommend this show. From an entertainment point-of-view, it does its role. Behind-the-scenes are revealed, there is an exceptionally cute, fluffy puppy, and there is Hyuna being her comical self. Scrutinizing it a little more, however, and one can see that the show fails to truly show any significant sides of her life. Furthermore, I’m not in preference for shows disclosing an idol’s life as pure fun and games. If “Hyuna’s Free Month” showcased more of her free time and allowed her to have moments to speak personally to fans, that could potentially help. Also, while I didn’t address this earlier, I was hoping to see some interaction between her and 4Minute. 

“Jessica & Krystal” will still hold its throne of being the best reality show I’ve seen. “Hyuna’s Free Month” remains quite entertaining, but falls short in some places. As always, thank you very much for reading. This review may be quite disorganized or lacking details. My excuses lie in the fact that I have no show review outline (as I don’t intend to review shows) and that I refuse to spoil the show. 

As I mentioned before, I have many song reviews to release soon. Look forward to them. Feel free to check out “Hyuna’s Free Month”. Once again, thank you and I hope this review is still entertaining and sufficiently insightful. Stay tuned for T-ARA’s “Sugar Free” review.

OnStyle’s Reality Show – “Jessica & Krystal” Review

Reviewed on August 14, 2014

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Alright so I don’t know exactly what I’ll be writing for a show “review”, but perhaps this might just be my personal opinion of the show. Anyhow, this is by far one of the better, if not, the best (reality) shows I have ever seen. It’s heartwarming, funny, cute, dorky, and full of emotions. Heck, this is the first show I’ve watched that made me genuinely cry, and although I can get emotional easily when watching things, I’ve never shed an actual tear until this show. So props for that.

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Anyhow, what is “Jessica & Krystal” about? Well as some of you may know, Jessica is a member of Girls’ Generation, a veteran group of the K-Pop scene (Check out my review of “Mr. Mr.” by them) and Krystal is a member of f(x), a solid quintet group (And see my review of “Electric Shock”). And of course, Jessica and Krystal are both sisters; the Jung sisters (last name). While they both work and perform for the same label company of SM Entertainment, they hardly have time to truly spend time with one another. Nevertheless, their affection and love for each other only grows stronger with being apart. For this show, the crew takes us on a ride. We get to see the real sisters; not the singers/dancers, but the actual, sweet independent ladies they are.

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What’s great about this show is it breaks a lot of the created images of them. People have known Krystal as rude, arrogant, etc. and some have thought that for Jessica as well. However, through following their actual lives and seeing their hectic schedules, people are truly able to understand what they go through and how they truly act. Krystal is a reserved, shy person, not someone who refuses to talk since they’re rude.

Another great thing is they show being an idol isn’t all fun and games; it’s a job. A hard job. Although, in my opinion, the show makes lightly of how busy they are, at least they reveal that. There was an episode showing Krystal getting only a few hours of sleep (2 to 4?) and then having to film and practice for the entire day. This also includes running straight into nighttime. After all the work is done, she has time to sleep for a few hours, and then it repeats. A tough job it is, even if it looks glamorous and fun on the outside.  

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Now besides seeing an idol’s personal life, what this show does focus on is their relationship: Jessica and Krystal. It is extremely heartwarming to see how close they are to one another. They eat together, laugh together, cry together, they share so many moments with each other. Of course, being able to do this was thanks to the show. Without spoiling anything, pretty much the ladies have thanked the show for allowing them to spend time together, since normally they would never have time to do that. Anyhow, their love for each other is something everyone can feel and reflect upon. Love truly is everything. I think that’s a message people forget, so remember to love those who are close to you. 

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Well I guess I just covered points on highlighted things of this show. I sort of just went into this post with nothing in mind, but hey I wanted to share it with you guys. This show is just awesome, it really is. Full of charms and laughs, it provides entertainment and it provides a great behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the Jung idols. I really wish they went for another season, but in reality, this show is meant as a one-time deal; going further wouldn’t have the same, momentous effect it currently has. 

If you haven’t seen this show, check it out. In fact, there are some English subtitled videos for it, so that’s neat. 

Anyhow I’ve come to really love this show and adore these sisters. I’m still shocked that “Jessica & Krystal” made me cry, but that goes to show how genuine the show is and such. 

As usual, thanks for reading. Even though this isn’t the usual music review, I hope you find it just as entertaining. This is more of just my opinion on the show and such, but I hope it’s insightful. I didn’t go into much detail, since spoiling this incredible show would be dishonoring. Check it out for yourself to see. 

For my upcoming review, I’m making a complete change of plans to f(x)’s “Red Light”. That’ll be a really, really fun and critical review, so stay tuned for that. I’m also going to post an “Upcoming Song Review” blog for those wondering what my future plans are. Adding diversity is my main goal. Anyhow, thank you for reading this, check out the ladies’ amazing show. For now, I’m actually going to finish the remaining, precious 8 minutes or so left of the last episode. See you in the next review!