[NEWS] New drama series “Answer to 1997” to tackle obsessive fans
The upcoming 16 episode drama titled “Answer to 1997”, is going to be focusing on the extreme fan culture that emerged in the 90s as idol groups started to form. The drama will star Eun Jiwon from the 90s group Sechskies, along with Jung Eunji from A Pink, and Hoya from Infinite.
The pacing of the movie will move backwards and forwards between the 1990s and the present day, following the lives of a set of high school friends in Busan. The main character, Sung Siwon (played by Jung Eunji), is an 18 year old girl who is infatuated with a boy band member. Taking the term “bbasooni”, a word used to describe obsessive girl friends, Sung’s idolization is followed. The drama aims to examine the social phenomena that derives undying fan devotion to specific “oppas”.
Jung Eunji stated that she’s never been one to become obsessive over members of boy groups, however she says she can empathize with the fans from an idol standpoint. “I see just how much our fans appreciate us, and I guess I can emphasize with the character I’m playing because I see it happen up close.”
What do you think about the upcoming series “Answer to 1997”?
I was looking forward to this sitcom anyway (the Busan setting seems fun and the teaser video looks really cute), but it’ll be interesting to see the perspective they’ll take on fan culture. I wonder how much it’s meant to comment on the present, considering that two of its stars are current-generation idols, or if they’re simply presenting it as a time capsule. The stunt casting of Sechskies' Eun Jiwon (as a high schooler, oddly) and H.O.T's Tony An will surely be milked for all it's worth, too.
7:45 pm • 15 July 2012 • 13 notes
#reply 1997 #sitcom #fandom #culture #south korea
This post is tentatively titled “A primer for how weird Korean fans are so you know whether you’re creepier than them”
…because back in the day I used to see people justifying a lot of shitty behavior by saying “well, they get weirder from Korean fans,” as though that makes it okay to be a total creep about fan activities. Of course, this is just my own observations—but I’ve been living in Korea for almost five months and I’ve attended every major music broadcast that Korea has (excepting Show Champion), I’ve been here for comebacks for Wonder Girls, TaeTiSeo, B1A4, f(x), After School and Infinite, been here for EXO’s debut, been here for promotions from SHINee, attended Dream Concert, and acted as fanstaff for M.I.B, so I’d say I have a pretty good idea what the general idea of fan behavior as a whole. This post is also compiled with help from other friends who have been here longer, acted as fanstaff for different groups, and attended tapings for other shows other than the major music broadcasts.
More observations on “normal” fan behaviour - the line may not be where you think. (Especially relevant after someone posted pictures of EXO-K sleeping on the airplane from London to Korea earlier today…)
8:01 pm • 25 June 2012 • 2,247 notes
subdee asked: Sometimes it seems to me like sasaeng fans NEED to exist, to make what the regular fans do (in a controlled way, with the blessings of the promotion machine) seem normal.
It’s definitely all relative, and I’m assuming your definition of “regular fan” includes both people who occasionally watch fancams on YouTube and people who send idols lunch boxes. So yes, for everyone in this range, sasaengs are people we can point to in order to establish where the line is between “normal” and “crazy”.
Because of course, the range of activities that fall under the umbrella of the “regular fan” is huge. Things like airport photos and waiting for idols in hotel lobbies hit that awkward place for me where I’m not sure if, as a fellow fan, I can endorse this behaviour, even though they’re common practice and the fans who do this are generally respectful (with some personal space violation horror stories here and there). I guess that’s more subjective than objective, though, based on one’s personal qualms, and sasaengs are the only fans where most people can agree that there is a line that has been crossed.
I agree that sometimes they seem inevitable, like there always needs to be some percentage of followers of any belief system (fandom being a belief system, in a way) that practices the extreme.
3:35 pm • 8 May 2012 • 3 notes
#ask #fandom #sasaeng fans #subdee
Recommended reading: Korean fan (and anti-fan) culture
I recently wrote about international/Internet K-pop fan culture, so the topic of fandom is still on my mind. Here are two recent stories on Korean fan and anti-fan culture:
The Stalking of Daniel Lee (Wired) breaks down the TaJinYo incident that made rapper Tablo of Epik High a recluse for a year, though it concentrates more on clearing Tablo’s name for once and for all than with the psychology behind anti-fan sites (TaJinYo may be all traceable back to a single person’s discontent, but how did it snowball the way that it did?). It will also make you really want to listen to Tablo’s solo album Fever’s End.
'Sasaeng' fans: Who and why (Angry K-Pop Fan) unpacks the phenomenon of the sasaeng or stalker fan, and was written in response to recent controversy after a member of JYJ was accused of physically assaulting a woman who may or may not have been a sasaeng. See also Anna of Feminoonas’ response to the JYJ incident shortly after it was revealed.
(I’m working on a big piece of writing right now so I’ve been doing more ingesting than producing, hence the heaps of links and blockquotes I’ve been posting here lately.)
1:03 pm • 26 April 2012 • 4 notes
#culture #fandom #harrassment #internet #kpop #link #south korea #tablo #sasaeng fans
Toronto Standard: Seoul in the Computer
After I attended the K-Pop Wave/Seoulsonic showcase here last month, I wrote this piece on international fandom, the Internet, and K-pop (with tangents that are mostly an excuse to use the phrase “illusion of accessibility”).
3:31 pm • 19 April 2012 • 11 notes
#link #kpop #canada #toronto #culture #fandom #identity #internet
aaliriyah: Anonymous asked: Can you explain to me why this kpop stuff seems to have less to do with music and more with a strange fanbase hellbent on sexualizing the fuck out of everything they do? I seriously do not understand what it's about.
FIRST OFF: Fandom isn’t some grand club where we agree on everything. It would be cool if that were true, but it’s not. Especially in k-fandom I find that there’s a large disparity between people who don’t sexualize idols (characters would be a replacement term here if we were talking about most other fandoms) at all VS. people who sexualize idols with all their might.
I can’t reblog asks but I think this sheds a bit of light on international K-pop fandom (diverse as it is) from an insider perspective, especially the sexualization part (and how much that takes priority over the music, which is seen as a negative thing when it happens - even from the answerer’s perspective). Fandom in general is something I’ve been thinking about lately - I encounter the vocabulary of fandom (“so many feels”, etc.) all across the internet, and it (both specific fandoms and the fandom culture in general) seems to be both a community that draws people in and a bizarre group that alienates outsiders. I do wonder how much fandom has to do with the concept of the “guilty pleasure” - wanting to distance yourself from people who enjoy things “unironically” because you don’t want to be associated with those traits, whatever you think those traits are.
I also feel weird about the sexualization/fetishization of race and culture in international K-pop fandom, but I’m not sure how to articulate it beyond a basic “STOP TALKING ABOUT ‘KOREAN MEN’ LIKE THAT”. I’m not sure there is much to articulate beyond that.
1:54 pm • 27 February 2012 • 2 notes
#fandom #sexuality #culture #north america
Sound of the City: Live: 2NE1 Says Hello To America At The Best Buy Theater
I often feel as if K-pop would be successful in North America for its direct engagement with pop forms here were it not for a kind of inborn, historically inextricable xenophobia. Even strong, passionate fanbases can remain ghettoized, recognized only once in a while by the media for the absurdity of their affections. But something about the branding, the specificity, the knowledge with which MTV catered to this audience last night electrified the air. It didn’t matter how Sway and Pinfield weirdly, earnestly trivialized the event. It didn’t matter much that the MTV Iggy segments were all fractured, stereotypical ideas of foreignness. It felt as if something had infiltrated.
The K-pop wave has made lots of progress on this side of the ocean in 2011, going from something people think hipsters talk about to something they actually talk about and with showcase concerts being held fairly regularly across the U.S. (though, sadly for me, not too often in Canada). Reviews of Korean singles on the Singles Jukebox where the blurber felt the need to qualify his or her lack of knowledge about K-pop (still as genre, not as industrial model) have gone down in favour of talking about the music itself. I think this review of 2NE1’s first concert in New York (? correct me if I’m wrong) shows K-pop acts traversing the same route that their music already has via the internet: they’re playing to a vocal but ghettoized fandom, but proving their appeal to an audience outside that fandom.
As an aside, I understand why people love “Ugly” but hell no it is not the best song of the year!!!
8:38 pm • 14 December 2011 • 5 notes
#2ne1 #north america #fandom