GFriend – “Love Whisper” Review

(Music Video) / (Dance Practice)

GFriend – Love Whisper

Reviewed on September 23, 2017

While I do agree with many that this song is worth praising, I still find that there are some questionable aspects. Specifically, while many are praising the choruses in “Love Whisper,” I will challenge that point by arguing that, as beneficial as the choruses are, there are some downsides to them that fans have not necessarily discussed.  

Continue reading “GFriend – “Love Whisper” Review”

GFriend – “Europe That GFriend Loves” Show Review

Sky Travel – Episode 1 Part 1 (Eng. Subtitled)

GFriend
Europe That GFriend Loves

Reviewed on January 13, 2017

Finally
focusing on the review itself, although many fans (and even myself) found Sky
Travel’s reality show of GFriend to be delightful on a more superficial level,
I argue that if we approach the show with a more critical mind, we would find a
less pleasing reality: the footages are great, but Sky Travel’s own editing is
rather questionable.

Personal
Message:
Edit: This review was meant to be
posted on January 10, but this is irrelevant to the review itself though it applies to the Personal Message. With some days off to reflect over what I wrote in the Personal Message, while I was harsher than intended during my time of writing–due to being in an emotional state–I have decided to still keep it as I find it important to be open and truthful to readers.

If I am on task, there should be at
least three reviews being posted today—this included and the only “bonus.” 

Admittedly to share (and readers interested in just the review should skip ahead), I am writing this bonus review first and not after the two
song reviews as I currently am not in the best state of mind; while nothing
drastic occurred per se minus a very worthless argument, as I do believe in
being honest and to reveal to readers I am definitely far from “perfect” or
“good,” I have a rather poor relationship with my father. I bring this up as, due
to a conflict we had—this being far from “uncommon” as we are bound to clash to
some degree, I am simply a bit angry and thus am not thinking nor even acting
as maturely as I should. Overall, my main message is that since my writing
needs a “break,” I decided to write a bonus review (as I am too inexperienced
to give a thorough, just review of shows) in the meantime.

I only bring up this very
vulnerable, personal information because I do wish for readers to understand me
as any normal human being. I am not “morally superior” or “perfect” at all
contrary to how I unintentionally might make myself sound with reviews. For
example, despite my own teachings of being mature and respectful to everyone, I
very much myself increased my speaking volume and conducted myself in a more
aggressive manner versus being calm and attempting to “talk it out”—even if he has
never done such in the time I have known him. Instead, I succumbed to his
inferior, barbaric level and to that I am very disappointed in myself and I
know I could have and should have
acted better and hope to do so in the future. (And on a side note, I do wonder
if this very intimate relationship being ruined is why I tend to struggle with
having close male friends, and more so with being close to my mother. Barring
my brother, who I sincerely love and am incredibly close with, I find it
difficult to trust and become emotionally close to males. Overall, as some readers
might better understand, my situation relates to Infinite’s Hoya’s own
relationship struggle with his father: we still do care for one another, but
our relationship is awkward and lacks closeness.)

But, for what truly matters and for
what I wish to share and teach from this digression, what matters in the end is
not endlessly holding grudges against people—a rather emotionally unhealthy
route; what matters most is to accept and understand one’s emotions, but to
then take control of those very emotions in a healthy and empowering manner. I
could let this and the past arguments ruin my day or more dramatically my
entire life with wishing for the experience of a true father who did more than
provide me with money, but I refuse to do that. (And on the topic of money, perhaps
crudely said, I still have respect and love to him due to money being provided
from his hard work—and indeed, in the far future, I will pay back money due to
filial duties even if my emotional needs were never met). I refuse to let one
individual have that type of negative influence in my life—this being what I
wish to remind readers (and perhaps even future students). Yes, I understand
where he comes from and why he behaves poorly—his own neglected childhood life
from both parents—but unlike him and
especially with the capacity to critically think, I know I can ethically do
better: instead of spreading negativity, I know I have a responsibility to
spread joy, optimism, and most importantly, to teach others to critically
think. (And on a side note, this is
why teachers mattered in my life; teachers have been the ones who have made me
realize I am not stupid and worthless, and it is teachers who have truly emotionally
and intellectually matured me.)

Pushing aside the more solemn
digression and admittedly a chance for me to immaturely vent and open up more
about myself, let us return to a more cheerful tone: reviewing Europe That GFriend Loves. After finally
finishing the series, I knew I had to write a review for it—even if I have
excessively reviewed shows with GFriend. To explain once again why this is the
case, I have recently been predominantly watching shows with the ladies and
thus, it is only natural that out of every show I could possibly review,
GFriend is automatically the artist involved. Of course, though, given that
show reviews are mere bonuses and elicit minimal discussion compared to song
reviews, I hope it is not an issue with readers that as of the late all show
reviews involve GFriend.

Addressing the link, unlike the
usual protocol of using a YouTube video—and more specifically, a YouTube
playlist of the series—I am instead using the first part to episode one on V
App. Many readers should be familiar with V App, but for those who are not, it
is a website that many idols use for live broadcasts or for uploading dance
practices. Since I cannot create a playlist on the site, I am only linking the
first episode but that said, all of
the remaining episodes can be found on GFriend’s V App page. If that is not
already delightful enough, indeed all of the episodes are English subtitled.
Therefore, readers should all be able to enjoy the show without language barriers
(though, as in the cases of all translations, there are many
lost-in-translations compared to if, say, a fan-subbing team did the subtitles
themselves and were able to explain the translations).

Finally focusing on the review
itself, although many fans (and even myself) found Sky Travel’s reality show of
GFriend to be delightful on a more superficial level, I argue that if we
approach the show with a more critical mind, we would find a less pleasing
reality: the footages are great, but Sky Travel’s own editing is rather
questionable. _______________________________________________________

Plot
Summary:
Before explaining
my prior point, though, let us first understand what Sky Travel’s Europe That GFriend Loves is even about.

First of all, the entirety of
GFriend was to attend the show, but sadly, due to Umji having an ankle injury
(if correct), she remained at home in South Korea while the rest of the members
went to Europe. There, the remaining five ladies visit three countries for
three days (if accurate): Slovenia, Hungary, and Austria. More specifically,
however, the five members split up into three groups that then visited their
own particular country: Yuju and Eunha visiting Austria; SinB and Yerin
visiting Slovenia; and Sowon visiting Hungary—barring one day where she went
with Yuju and Eunha to Austria. (And as mentioned, she is alone due to the fact
that her would-be partner Umji was injured).

In terms of the events that occur,
while I obviously will not list out everything that happened, the following is
a general outline of GFriend’s activities: eating, sightseeing, visiting
landmarks, attending museums and traditional activities, struggling with
transportation, and so on. Ultimately, Europe
That GFriend Loves
directly follows, if readers have watched other
traveling shows before, the very genre of “travel reality”—there is nothing new
in particular to the show when compared to this genre’s concept.  

_______________________________________________________

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

– Entertainment Value: 7/10

– Structural Value: 3/10

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Onto the review itself, I wish to
return to what I stated earlier and to thoroughly explain what I mean. In terms
of the show’s strength, what occurs
in the show—the footage, essentially—is very much appealing for a variety of
viewers. For example, from the perspective of GFriend’s fans, fans are able to
watch the group’s usual antics. From playfully flirting with each other—or
perhaps that might just be Yerin being “greasy” towards SinB (I mean this in a
joking, friendly manner of course)—to learning more about the ladies’ dorm life
and personalities, fans of GFriend will very much enjoy the show for it simply
sharing more about our beloved members.

That said, for viewers who may not
necessarily be fans or are fans who still equally care about the traveling
aspect (such as in my case), the show is still a hit. While shows at most give
a vicarious experience and will never replace genuine and actual traveling, Europe That GFriend Loves still manages
to capture the experience well. For example, the show’s narration, of which is done
by Umji, added historical context for every important figure or location. Furthermore,
while GFriend members are the main focus, the show still brings attention to
the surrounding and had many wonderful shots of purely locations and landmarks.
Add on the final part of how the seen activities varied—traditional dances,
eating, how GFriend prepared for the trip, and so on—and indeed we come to find
that the raw footage to the traveling show is all appealing.

Ignoring those strengths, however,
for where Sky Travel falters, on a more critical level their editing of the
footages is not impressive. Rather than viewers just purely joining the ladies,
for a large portion of time viewers have to equally endure repetitive, cliché
messages such as—to create an example that encapsulates my point—captions that
read: “And so Sowon becomes independent…learning to enjoy traveling
alone…eating alone…walking alone…but in heart she is with all her members…” Even
the narration—which, of course, is not Umji’s fault—contributes to the overly
cliché messages.

Understandably, readers might be
skeptical about me bringing up this point: Why can’t I just ignore these
moments? They seem meaningless to pay so much attention to. I only bring it up
because I argue it does impact
viewers’ enjoyment of the show. With watching the show, it is reasonable to
expect that the large majority of it consists of GFriend and their traveling.
Post-interviews of course are fine—and those in specific were well implemented
throughout—but when the transitions per “traveling pair” (such as switching
from Yuju and Eunha to Sowon) consists of a minute of replaying the same, prior
footages with the addition of cliché messages and bright, glowing filters, it
does become agitating by the sixth episode. This is not to necessarily bash
those messages; even if cliché, there were some important messages such as how
traveling can expand one’s view of the world and so forth. The issue is how Sky Travel did such: at the expense
of viewers. If the time spent on the messages were shorter, or if the footages
used there were not merely replaying moments already watched, these parts would
have served as great transitions. But, unfortunately, I find that these points
are excessive.

Overall, Europe That GFriend Loves rates as average and to that I find that
I agree. Even if GFriend is entertaining as they always are and that the events
the ladies had in Europe were great, it is Sky Travel’s editing that truly
reduces down a lot of appeal. Perhaps I am overly harsh, but I find that it is
best for travel shows—or for that matter, even reality shows (and I refer to
Korean reality shows as I recently discovered this genre significantly varies per culture)—to let the footage speak for
itself: rather than Sky Travel literally writing how Sowon learned to have fun
alone or that SinB and Yerin gained new insight due to experiencing another
culture, I find it would have been more impactful to have the footages show that the members grew as a result.
And besides, that is why the post-travel interviews were added: to add the
explicit component of how the members grew. Flowery, cliché captions and
narration are simply unnecessary.

Again, it should be noted this
review is far from professional and is definitely a biased take as I do not
understand the artistic and technical work behind producing shows and that I
feel much more comfortable in the realm of music, but I do hope the review
provides some insight as to why I did not enjoy the show as much as I could
have. For the momentous question of whether I recommend watching the show or
not, my answer is simple: for GFriend fans, this show is definitely worth
watching. However, for those who are watching it because they are curious about
certain European countries or wish to have a travel-orientated show, I do not
recommend the show in these cases.

_______________________________________________________

This review will be one out of three
that are posted today. I have many requests to do, but before reaching those
review requests I plan to finish reviews I am almost finished with. As such,
look forward to song reviews and I hope that this review provides some variety
to the blog. Look for SHINee’s “1 of 1” and AOA’s “Excuse Me” as, if I am
diligent, both will be posted along with this current one.

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.

MAMAMOO’s x GFriend’s Reality Show – “Showtime” Review

MAMAMOO x GFriend – Showtime (Full Playlist; Eng. Subtitled)

MAMAMOO
x GFriend – Showtime

Reviewed on September 2, 2016

Without
readers even needing to read further, in a short sentence that arguably
fulfills this review’s entire argument: This show manages to flourish because
it remains highly diverse in its content, but all while ensuring that the
delivered contents themselves are all appealing.

Personal
Message:

University is entirely underway and that said, I am now extremely busy.
Interestingly, though, I no longer have the newbie feelings of being a freshman
and thus, see this return as nothing more than “the usual.” But I digress. This
review included, the next two will be focused on show reviews for the purposes
of both variety and convenience; I personally suspect that readers enjoy a
variety of both song and bonus reviews, and that with still adapting back into
a student mindset, I definitely need to have reviews be a lighter load for at
least the first week. Furthermore I plan to post reviews every five days versus
my prior claim of four days. This will allow the blog to remain active for
readers, but at the same time it allows me to not become overwhelmed with the
many readings and writing I have to do for classes. But all this said, I am
indeed doing well and university is nothing utterly daunting as it had been as
a freshman. (And on highly irrelevant news, for one of my classes, I actually
gave a presentation on K-Pop and why I feel passionate about it.)

On topic with this review, as
clarified in many past ones, show reviews are what I deem as “bonus reviews”;
these reviews are not meant to dive in depth nor should the ratings be
necessarily taken as serious. If anything, these show reviews should be
interpreted as a partially—if not entirely—biased take to a show and whether I personally recommend a show or not.
After all, unlike the two years (and growing) experience I currently have with
reviewing songs and continually striving for improvement, I have no experience
whatsoever with film/shows and admittedly do not plan to invest time to improve
in this regard. With all of that out of the way, let us discuss Showtime’s recent season with both
MAMAMOO and GFriend participating.

Sharing some personal experiences
with the show, to answer the “big question”: no, I did not cry—due to a sad
ending, specifically. Unlike many other reality shows where there has been an
emotional ending—examples in mind include The
TaeTiSeo
, Jessica & Krystal (of
which made me cry a downscaled river) or even EXID’s season on Showtime, in MAMAMOO and GFriend’s Showtime, it has remained incredibly
cheerful and fun throughout. Nonetheless, I do admit I cried during one
specific scene: GFriend’s Yuju facing her fears with
heights via bungee jumping.

(And I will apologize for some self-conceited advertisement.) Other than that,
and to focus on the show itself, I personally thoroughly enjoyed the show.
Although I hesitate to say it is the best reality show I have watched as of yet
because Jessica & Krystal
continues to hold its throne, MAMAMOO’s and GFriend’s season was definitely one
of the better ones. Now let us examine why
I assert that.

_______________________________________________________

Plot
Summary:
For
convenience, when I refer to Showtime
from here on, it is in reference to GFriend’s and MAMAMOO’s season unless
otherwise explicitly stated. Bearing that in mind, Showtime—in a general sense—is a reality show series that focuses
on idols involved in various activities. Previous participants include
Infinite, Apink, EXID, EXO, Sistar, and others. What is peculiar about this
current season, however, is that it is the first to introduce collaboration:
having two artists involved in a
single season—and of which lasts for typically eight episodes. With Showtime, the reality aspect comes from
how the artists are not necessarily involved in games (think of Weekly Idol), but instead are involved
with activities that stem from traveling or simply hanging out. Addressing these
activities, they are presented to the idols via “Q’s”; through questions that
derive from fans. An example would be: “What do MAMAMOO and GFriend do during
their practice sessions?” From there, an episode would revolve entirely around
a single question. Since readers should have a general idea on how Showtime runs, let us begin focusing on
whether it delivers poor or brilliant content.

_______________________________________________________

Overall
Value: 7/10
(7.00/10
raw score) – “Above average”

– Entertainment Value: 7/10

– Structural Value: 7/10

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
Without readers even needing to read
further, in a short sentence that arguably fulfills this review’s entire
argument: This show manages to flourish because it remains highly diverse in
its content, but all while ensuring that the delivered contents themselves are
all appealing. This, in a very concise view, is why Showtime is personally considered above average.

In terms of how the show is
structured and why said structuring is beneficial, first as already mentioned there
is much variety given through the “Q’s.” Whether it is a “Q” leads the groups
traveling to New York and Los Angeles, revealing to viewers their dance practice
routines, or facing their fears be it bungee jumping or scary houses, all of
the activities showcased in the show remain distinctive. Furthermore, to better
highlight this point, consider that both MAMAMOO and GFriend receive the same “Q’s,”
but nevertheless there are significantly different outcomes. For example, at
one moment GFriend is showcasing a more serious approach to their dance
practice routine, but on the other hand MAMAMOO is simply causing laughter with
a more lighthearted take to the “Q.” Another example is toward the beginning of
the show where both groups make “healing meals” (meals that are meant to be
soothing, relaxing, and so forth). Although both are tasked with the same
activity, GFriend’s take to it is significantly different from MAMAMOO’s take,
such as with different foods, locations, and the like. And of course, factoring
in that some “Q’s” are slightly varied in of themselves—consider the different
traveling destinations, for example—also helps.

Another excellent structuring method
Showtime does is for the involved
groups themselves. On an obvious level, Showtime
balances the two group so that both receive equal spotlight, but the manner in
how that is done is more than just for purposes of fairness. Specifically
focusing on what the show does, episodes intertwine the two groups—not literally,
that is, unless if considering the final episode or pre-filming press
conference. What I am referring to in this case is that this season of Showtime is not along the ideas of splitting
the two groups’ sessions; in other words, the idea that GFriend’s section is
the first half of an episode while MAMAMOO is the remaining half is false.
Instead, Showtime mixes the two
groups in a perfect balance so that in a single episode the focus alternates
between MAMAMOO and GFriend but all in an appropriate time frame. This works on
every end: fans of MAMAMOO/GFriend can still enjoy MAMAMOO/GFriend without
feeling that they have to “wait”; both groups can be easily watched with how
they handle the same “Q”; and lastly, this manner generates appeal as there is
always new content—both groups and with how they handle their activities.

Finally switching over to how the
content themselves are entertaining, although much of this is based upon the
participants themselves, credit is still deserved toward Showtime and this is where I wish to focus on. After all, as fans
of GFriend and MAMAMOO will know, these ladies are absolutely hilarious and
always engaging. That said, the main strength in Showtime’s layout that greatly augments the show’s appeal is the
room for freedom: “Q’s” are given, but how
that “Q” is interacted with per group is up to their decisions. This, in my
assertion, is why Showtime (and
OnStyle’s reality shows for The TaeTiSeo and
Jessica & Krystal) oftentimes
overshadows many other reality shows. Let us use some comparisons to other
shows to understand why levels of freedom are crucial to appeal.

In
a prior show review with GFriend
, an activity they had to do was pick
tangerines. That was the activity: pick tangerines, though it will be in a
competitive form. But that was it; no more or less. Other activities followed
suit with a strict protocol. The problem with that format is it restricts
groups’ ability to go beyond. An input-output style is seldom appealing, and
with the genre of “reality show” (and note I wish to differentiate this from “reality
variety shows” such as Unpretty Rapstar where
construed editing occurs), the main focus should be in simply watching how a
group would perform a specific task—traveling, eating, talking, and so on. That
is where “reality” comes in: just watching groups be themselves—give or take
their need to be “camera-friendly” for public viewers. (After all, the only true
form of “reality shows” would essentially be stalking a group and installing
hidden, spying cameras to see what the “true reality” is.) Once restrictions
are placed, much potential appeal is lost. Imagine this scenario in Showtime: a “Q” that did not merely ask
what the groups did in the practice room, but instead a “Q” that asked the
groups to rehearse their latest song. While both groups will somehow make it
all entertaining regardless of which “Q,” it is hard to deny that the first
version would provide a larger range of acts to be seen than the latter.  

Overall, for the answer of whether I
recommend Showtime (this season, that
is): yes, I do. It is one of the better reality shows I have seen as of the
late, but of course it is still not the best one I have seen and one that has utterly
surprised me. One of the weaker moments is during the episode where both
MAMAMOO and GFriend swap music videos and attempt to reenact the other’s, and
though it is absolutely hilarious at moments, this moment is an example of
where excess restriction (and for the “Q” itself, being rather abstract) causes
loss of appeal—even if the groups were directing their own parodying music
videos. Digression aside, for fans of either or both groups, this show is
definitely one to keep on a to-watch list. However, for those who are
unfamiliar with both, Showtime is of
the few where I would still recommend it as it can lead to familiarity and, at
its core, it very much entertains viewers.

_______________________________________________________

As usual, thank you for reading. I
have one other bonus show review in mind, and of which will then be followed by
a request (and of which I am very thankful for and do apologize for not being
able to prioritize it). I am currently extremely busy with university, but with
proper time management I expect reviews to continue on a consistent schedule.
Until then, look forward to not
reading the usual, cheesy quoting conclusion. Expect another show review to be
posted in a few days.

GFriend – “Navillera” Review

GFriend – Navillera (Music Video)

GFriend
– Navillera (Live Performance)

GFriend – Navillera

Reviewed
on August 9, 2016

And so, with all that understood, why does this all matter? Where am I leading this review? Now that readers have a general understanding of my connotation of a “hill” progression and GFriend’s mastery of it since “Rough,” it is this said mastery of it that allows “Navillera” to fly (pun somewhat intended). “Navillera” takes this progression form and, unlike the past songs of “Glass Bead” and “Me Gustas Tu,” sharply refines it so that each category is enhanced by the progression versus being impaired (or at least passively used). With this understood, let us now finally focus on “Navillera” in its whole and parts.

Personal Message:
If there has been a review that is
long overdue, GFriend’s “Navillera” might just be it. Especially given how this
song is now officially my personal favorite song of all-time and that it does
overtake Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful,” my prior favorite (and recall that favorite is not best; BTOB’s
“It’s Okay”
and SPICA’s
“Ghost”
are still the top songs I have yet to hear even if they are not
favorites per se), it is a bit surprising that this review has not taken place
sooner. But nonetheless it is here. Likewise, a reader was also curious on my
take to the song, so for them I do hope this review provides an answer.

For more important topics—though not
to dismiss GFriend in of themselves since they are brilliant, hardworking and
loving ladies who very much are excellent role models for males and females—this
review will be another trial on compacting reviews akin to ones months ago. Given
that university is soon arriving and that this year I will be even busier than
the last (I am taking three English classes, so readers can imagine the amount
of essays and reading required), if I am to keep the blog fairly active and to
expand its range of comebacks covered, I should be able to review at least two
songs per writing session. As such, for how I plan to do so, I will attempt to
avoid systematically analyzing a song and to instead focus on aspects that
provide discussion. Consider the following for example: in the past few
reviews, many verses have been “adequate in sound and structure.” While I could
cover that and explain why that is the case for each song that coincidentally
has that, I noticed I have been repeating that said explanation ubiquitously.
The result? It is very likely that readers are tired of that, let alone myself.
Thus, I will instead attempt to make each review distinctive for the song at
hand; while I will cover strengths and weaknesses, I will attempt to do so in a
way that it highlights the song itself and not just an input-output form of
having to explain each section, the vocals, and so on.

For a simple example to illustrate
this, say that a song scores fives in every category (vocals, sections, etc.).
Indeed, I could still go through each category and explain why they are average,
but a more concise take would be to instead talk about why the song in its
entirety is average. Certainly there is less depth as sometimes readers may
wish to know the very core reasons behind my claims, but it cannot be helped
and I do believe that readers would desire to read three reviews of sufficient
depth than to read one review of a song that is excessively in depth. Feedback as always will be crucial and I do encourage
it.

With all of this said, although I do
wish to personally discuss my stance towards GFriend, I will save that for,
once again, an upcoming show review involving the ladies. For now, let us focus
not on “GFriend”—the amazing ladies of Sowon, Eunha, SinB, Umji, Yerin, and
Yuju—but instead on GFriend—the group as skilled artists. “Navillera” was their
comeback a few weeks ago, and even if it is my favorite and is a song I
continue to relentlessly play, it is not without flaws as are any song. Let us
fly away like butterflies and see if “Navillera,” arguably the best song yet
from the group, will maintain its flight.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(6.80/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 7/10
(7.29/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus,
Bridge, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

1.     Introduction:
7/10

2.     Verse: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 8/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Post-Chorus: 7/10

6.     Bridge: 7/10

7.     Conclusion (Chorus): 8/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: 6/10

Sowon:
Verse, Bridge (Total: 2)

Umji:
Verse, Bridge (Total: 2)

SinB:
Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus (Total: 4)

Yerin:
Pre-Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge (Total: 4)

Eunha:
Verse, Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus (Total: 5)

Yuju:
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Pre-Chorus, Chorus (Total: 5)

Equal Value: 3.67 sections per
member.  


Lyrics: 7/10

I could tell the moment I saw you
You’re something special
I could feel it in your eyes
I could feel my heart dropping

Fly like the butterflies, Na-Na-Na-Navillera
Let the wind blow
Fly way away
So I can reach you
with all my heart

Let’s start fresh, you and me
The love I envy, please don’t let me down
I’m going to show you how I’ve been feeling
I won’t wait any longer

Back at the starting point
Let’s speed things up a little
Let me get myself together
and I’ll come forward

Bloom like the flowers, Na-Na-Na-Navillera
I’m still just a shy girl
I’m nervous too
Our voices, so full of excitement
with all our hearts

Let’s start fresh, you and me
The love I envy, please don’t let me down
I’m going to show you how I’ve been feeling
I won’t wait any longer

I’ve been waiting for this moment
And I’m with you who has always kept by my side
I’ll make it come true, like I always do

Wake from the dreams, Na-Na-Na-Navillera
Someday, you and I
I hope we can
build a future together
You’re more than enough for me

Let’s start fresh, you and me
The love I envy, please don’t let me down
I’m going to show you how I’ve been feeling
I won’t wait any longer

Choreography Score: 8/10 (7.50/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 8/10

– Key Points: 7/10

Overall Score: 8/10
(7.50/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Numerically
glancing at the song, indeed “Navillera” is extremely balanced: all but one
category rate at above average. Even the lower rating category, though, is still
noteworthy. What features to the song grant it these impressive scores?
Although there are many to look at—and we would if we were following standard
review procedures—the largest strength to “Navillera” is its progression: “standard
pop” but at a very refined form.

Exactly
what am I referring to when I mention the prior sentence? Since it is crucial
to understand this point to then understand my analysis toward the song, let us
begin here. Overall, for what may best clarify my meaning, I will confidently say
that GFriend has mastered a music style that is very “audience-friendly”; the
style of songs in all of GFriend’s title releases—“Glass Bead,” “Me Gustas Tu,”
and even “Rough,” follow a peculiar form that very few can necessarily hate—even
if one cannot say they “like” it. It is a form that, at its worst, remains
neutral, but at its best is one where there are many fans and very few who are
at neutral—let alone disliking. For what this progression form is specifically,
it is none other than the “hill”: songs that buildup and have a climactic point
only to then cycle through those “hills.” Furthermore, however, couple that progression
with an upbeat tempo and acoustic instrumentals versus that of, for example,
EDM, and indeed if all is executed well the song should end up being easily
accepted by most as it is fun, exciting, foreseeable without being entirely
predictable, and not extreme. In a rough sense (no pun intended), these aspects
are the main building-blocks to “Rough,” “Me Gustas Tu,” “Glass Bead,” and even
the current song of “Navillera.” This is why, as many fans have noticed, the
title songs to GFriend have all sounded identical: they are identical. The only difference, then, are the details involved:
the vocals, instrumental, and the subtle details of transitions, how sections
are structured, and much more.

Before
continuing, readers might now ask, “If this progression form is supposedly so
great that it attracts nearly everyone, why is it not used in every pop song?”
Although I could be pessimistic and claim that many pop songs do in fact use
this progression and thus that the genre of pop is about recycling with added
twists, for a more serious answer: if it is excellently executed, the reward is
a song that few can dislike and where most do like it to some degree; if it is
poorly executed—and harshly said, examples being “Glass Bead” and “Me Gustas Tu”—the
song becomes incredibly average and
is “another, ordinary and negligible pop song.” GFriend’s attempts with this
progression were an utter disaster for their first two title songs; the listed
two are, contrary to many fans’ take, too generic. In fact, if it was not for “Rough,”
I would continue to overlook GFriend. But, that said, when GFriend did finally
delivery this progression in “Rough,” it was then that a beautiful, charming
and well-rounded song came—and indeed, “Rough” is a very iconic song (in South
Korea/K-Pop at least) and netted GFriend multiple wins on music shows.

And
so, with all that understood, why does this all matter? Where am I leading this
review? Now that readers have a general understanding of my connotation of a “hill”
progression and GFriend’s mastery of it since “Rough,” it is this said mastery
of it that allows “Navillera” to fly (pun somewhat intended). “Navillera” takes
this progression form and, unlike the past songs of “Glass Bead” and “Me Gustas
Tu,” sharply refines it so that each category is enhanced by the progression versus
being impaired (or at least passively used). With this understood, let us now
finally focus on “Navillera” in its whole and parts.

A
simple example of how the vocals are aided by the progression is by looking at
the members themselves. As is the case in a majority of groups, there are
certain common roles: sub/support vocalists; lead vocalists; and main vocalists.
Although I will not focus on labeling the members of GFriend and their roles
(as, excluding Yuju as the official main vocalist, the rest are up for discussion),
this idea is important to bear in mind. On topic with “Navillera” and how the
prior point applies, since the song follows a format of building up each section
to a climactic point such as the choruses, GFriend is no longer forced to “compensate”
for members but instead are allowed to have specific members specialize in
their roles. And indeed, the latter is generally always better than the former;
it is oftentimes much more efficient for members to sing what they are suitable
for than to overextend outside of their role. After all, as much as I love
Sowon, I would find it more fitting for Yuju to handle intensive, vocal belting
and high notes than for her to. And so, what is the result of the progression
in relation to the vocals? Simpler sections of the song that are orientated
towards purely setting up intensity—examples being the first parts of the
bridge and verses—are covered by members whose abilities perfectly mesh with it
(though there are some who appear all over, such as Eunha), and for sections
that tend to be more rigorous, the appropriate member sings. This, overall,
results in what we hear vocally in “Navillera”: a range of singing styles,
intensity, pacing, and alluring tunes—all in credit to having members
appropriately sing what is suited for them, and this being in credit to the
progression of the song.

For
the sections, as already covered the progression of the song allows each
section to not fluently connect to each other, but also for each one to
individually flourish structurally and sonically. One additional feature to
note, however, is that while “Navillera” ‘s progression is well executed, the
song does impressively cover a potential issue of repetition. After all, even
with a fun, climactic-based format, a song can easily lose its charms if that “hill”
progression becomes overly predictable. To handle that aspect, the song itself
varies each section through minor details. Arguably most momentous example is
the second verse: the instrumental this section has a brief period of being slightly
passive only to then return in full force. This subtle detail is not enough to disrupt
the flow of the song, but likewise it is significant enough to help prevent mundaneness
that could occur—such as with claiming that the choruses become dull, even if
they are in of themselves supposedly a climactic point.

Addressing
the final details of lyrics and sections, the lyrics earn a higher rating due
to—akin to the vocals and sections—its diversity of details. Although
admittedly the plot remains minimally developed, it is a stunning aspect to see
that nearly all of the sections in the song use new lines rather than the
traditional method of merely recycling them. Regarding the section
distribution, two members are in the excess while two members are in the
deficient. While it is only one section per member that would need to be
switched for a perfect distribution, since it is two members and not one, a
slightly heavier penalty is given.

Concluding
this review, GFriend’s “Navillera” is truly an incredible song. Biasedly, it
has become my favorite song of all-time—this being an impressive feat as my
prior favorite, Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful,” held that status for about one and
a half years. Neutrally, though, “Navillera” is definitely not without its
weaker points. While I am skeptical to say there are “flaws,” I do find that
the song could have pushed for an even stronger score. Nonetheless, it is an
above average song and is one that I will argue few can genuinely hate as its
style and progression is of the pop archetype—but of course, with added details
that ensure its specialty all while it has the safety of cherished pop song
flow.

_______________________________________________________

For
readers who have been curious on my take to the song, I am glad to finally
finish the review. That said, I do feel as if I overly rushed the analysis and
specifically during the sections individually. But, in doing so, we would have
returned to the old format of reviews which not only would have taken longer, but
would have been a usual “input-output” review where a song goes in only to then
have numbers come out. Here I attempted to deliver a more particular insight to
“Navillera”: that of its excellent progression and execution of it. Feedback
will be desired, but I find that more experience would help future reviews.

In
terms of the next reviews, I have many in mind and plan to attempt to review
two or even three in this entire day. We will see how that goes. Look forward to
them to come, and “Let’s start fresh, you and me” with this new reviewing
outline.

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.”