*Ahem* Something in episode 13 of A Gentleman's Dignity really REALLY ticked me off. Here begins the rant.
I'm fine with Jong-hyun from CNBLUE being in this show- truly. Is he a good actor? No. I get sick of his smirking pretty quickly, but thankfully, his scenes haven't been too long and there's enough space in between them (which will probably be changing, much to my annoyance, but more on that when the series ends).
I was kind of okay with CNBLUE's label mate Juniel having her single "Illa Illa" suddenly becoming the love theme for Yoon and Meh Ah Ri, though it also tickled my annoyance.
Then, in episode 13, who shows up but fellow CNBLUE member, Yong-hwa? I had already been prepped for the cameo, so it was no surprise, and it was a decently entertaining scene, though full of K-pop inside jokes that would have left an ignorant individual freezing out in the cold. At the very least, Yong-hwa seemed a lot more comfortable playing "himself" and not another character, so that was good.
THEN, at the end of the episode Jong-hyun goes to a park, and who's playing her guitar for everyone?! Recently debuted singer under FNC Entertainment: Juniel... which is right about when I lost it. No, seriously, there was steam coming out of my ears. How could Mnet Media (FNC is a subsidiary of Mnet Media) take an episode of drama, and make it their own personal promo?!!? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!
Also, is the promo over? Of course not! Jong-hyun then takes the stage and sings and plays a couple of songs, and by now I'm fast forwarding because I just can't take this anymore! I knew that they were going to introduce Jong-hyun's new song for the OST this week, but man, they did it in just about the most obnoxious way possible!! Honestly, it wouldn't have been bad at all if they just introduced Jong-hyun's song at the end with him singing in the park, but after the playing of "Illa Illa", Yong-hwa showing up for his cameo, Juniel showing up for her cameo, AND THEN having Jong-hyun sing was complete and total: OVERKILL.
I am so disappointed, and as a viewer I feel completely insulted. I guess that IF I had been watching this show for Jong-hyun I'd be happy as a lark, but I'm not watching it for Jong-hyun. I watching this show for Kim Min-jong, Lee Jong-hyuk, Kim Su-ro, Jang Dang-gun etc. FOR THE ACTORS AND ACTRESSES THAT CAN ACTUALLY ACT. I am watching this for the actors whose characters I have learned to care about at least a little bit. I'm watching this because it's a drama. If I want to listen to Juniel, or CNBLUE, I'll go watch them on YouTube or buy their albums. I suppose that I'm pissed off that this show has a lot of star power and some very capable actors, as well as a popular writer and PD duo, and instead of the drama being an actual drama, its been temporarily used as a music video and CF for Mnet to sell a few of its K-pop idols some more.
Crazy me for being massively ticked off.
I like K-pop. Sometimes more than I would like to admit. It's my casual music that I don't really have to think about, that I can enjoy simply. It's the only pop music that I will listen to. Heck, I'm listening to some right now as I write this. But I don't kid myself into thinking that much of it is art, because it isn't. It's an industry (and a pretty vicious one at that), created and polished to sell idols.
OSTs can be fun, and certain tracks can be heartbreakingly beautiful and add to the scenes that they play for, but they can also be overbearing and annoying (anyone remember "ALMOST PAAAAAAARAADISE!"). When I watch older shows that actually have a soundtrack, it makes me yearn for more soundtracks and less OSTs. I'd even vote for a balance between the two as some dramas do.
K-dramas and K-pop are both forms of entertainment, but K-pop is all about image and selling as much to rabid consumers. A lot of the dramas are the same way- pretty to look at and not much more- but there are other K-dramas that transcend into art. Art is something that I doubt K-pop will ever be able to attain with its materialistic purposes.
K-drama has a greater ability to be art, and so, for the most part, I want K-pop and K-drama to be separate as much as possible. Does it make me angry that so many K-pop idols get leading roles or even secondary roles alongside seasoned veterans, or even newer actors and actresses that can actually act? Oh yeah. Very much so. I can think of several actors that could give a lot more depth to Collin than Lee Jong-hyun, and there's probably a lot more than I don't know of. And who gets the job?
K-pop is very aggressive when it comes to promoting its idols, and with its crazy and very devoted fan culture, it can get away with it. I wish that the K-pop industry would find ways to promote their idols without infringing their expansive influence on K-dramas, which at their best, can be made of great, thoughtful stuff.
Not that the K-pop industry actually cares about what I have to say, but I wanted to say it anyway.
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