Greetings from the land of endless sprawl, perpetual traffic and great food trucks, Los Angeles, where the Uncle Fan is currently enjoying a small vacation and definitely enjoying the warmer weather. It's been an exciting week in K-pop with the comebacks of our favorite girl groups and things just got serious in my love of all things Taeyeon. I need to get back to enjoying some of the Santa Monica sun so here we go...
Cool Things of the Week
It Ain't Easy Being an Idol
I'm sure many of you have at some point dreamed of being a K-pop idol; I know I did when I was younger. While there is a glamorous part to the that lifestyle, it's also a tough way to make a living. Endless practicing and training, not much sleep, constant dieting, limited to no privacy, numerous interviews, appearances, concerts, and on and on. For some, the reward of singing and being in the music industry is worth all that sacrifice and for others, the life isn't for them and there are other avenues to be explored. A Pink member Yookyung was in the news for deciding to step away from the group (some rumors saying she was released) but either way she isn't the first and won't be the last to say this road wasn't for her. I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision but good luck to her wherever she ends up.
Zinger Changing Name = Good
Why she named herself after a member of a group that wasn't even that good to being with is beyond me (probably the work of her agency). I think it was a good idea to kind of restart, use her real name of Jung Hana, and ditch that ridiculous moniker.
Song Hye Gyo in a Chinese Movie
I totally forgot that Song Hye Gyo had been part of a Chinese movie based on Kung Fu legend Yip Man (also the teacher of Bruce Lee) called 'The Grandmaster'. The movie also stars Chinese big wigs Tony Leung and Zang Zihyi and was directed by Wong Kar-Wai. I haven't seen it yet and by the looks of the trailer Song Hye Gyo isn't a major part of the film (she does appear at the 1:24, 2:04, and 2:19 marks) but this was still a big name movie and is a great career move for her.
T-ara N4 Leading My Early Vote for Best Video of the Year
After the weeks of weird posters, vague teaser videos, and a lot of hype, the wait is over as T-ara N4, released their new videos kicking off what should be a fun time for uncle fans and K-pop fans in general. We're still early in the year but my early vote for best video belongs to T-ara N4 and "Countryside Life". I said it in last week's column but I love anything old and I just like the whole concept of using an old school Korean show as their theme. Their video even includes two of the original actors from the show (Choi Bul Am and Kim Su Mi) as well as legendary singer Kim Wan Sun. I'm sure over the next few weeks my opinion will change at least six to seven times but that's where I stand today.
Korea: Clarification of Korean Beauty Pageant Entrant Image that went Viral
I saw the image on Reddit of these twenty Korean beauty pageant entrants and how they all look the same because of supposed "plastic surgery". Well, that's misleading because in actuality they don't look alike as the image was heavily altered using Photoshop. You can read more about it here.
The Taeyeon Experiment
Each week I will post a picture from Taeyeon's Instagram feed in the hopes that one day she will post a picture of reading this column. Recently Taeyeon has been chronicling a trip to London and one of the pictures she took was from the Great Hall at Christ Church College at Oxford which was used as the Hogwart's Great Hall in the 'Harry Potter' movies. I didn't think I could like Taeyeon anymore but if she's a HP fan as well then things just went to a whole other level.
The Uncle Fan Mailbag
I just don't care enough. I don't get why uncle fans should follow only girl groups. I mean, there are also plenty of wonderful boy band[s] out there. P.S. I'm a straight guy.
I have nothing against boy bands and I listen to their music so to a certain extent you could say that I'm a fan. But this series is about more than just casually listening to their songs, it's about getting a little more involved and wanting to have another level of connection outside of the music. I just don't care about boy bands enough to give that kind of time because I can barely keep up with the girl groups.
You can't see it but I've giving you a big thumbs up. Never give up on Taeng you know. Miracles do happen.
There have been some haters to the whole Taeyeon Experiment but luckily some supporters as well. I'll keep fighting the good fight until there's nothing more I can do (I was going to quote "Braveheart" here but figured that would be a little over-the-top).
My Top 5 Current Girl Groupers
Taeyeon - I need to brush up on my potions to brew up some love potion like the one Romilda Vane accidentally gave to Ron Weasley.
Jaekyung - She joined the cast of the new Kang Ho Dong 'Our Neighborhood Arts and PE' show, at least for the table tennis episodes, and one thing is for sure, she is a hard worker and that is always hot.
Na Rae - We've got ourselves a singer. Never even heard of the group Eye to Eye before but after her appearance on 'Immortal Classics 2' this weekend, I became an instant fan.
Song Ji Hyo - I've always liked the 'Running Man' "Ace" but after watching about four episodes on a plane, I realized just how awesome she really is. Best personality ever.
Gayoon - She's probably the least recognized member of 4minute but I think she's got the best part of their new song "What's Your Name". Very underrated singer.
Song of the Week
I was shocked, SHOCKED when I started listening to Eye to Eye's music. How did a group this good and produced by Jung Yeop fly under the radar for so long? Well, here's there first single "Like A Man" but I suggest you do some listening on your own too.
That's it for now but see you next week. In case you're wondering, you'll find me at the nearest In N' Out eating burgers before I have to fly back east.