That's right cao ni mas, it's time for another episode of:
You probably already know the rules, but here they are again:
- Less than 20,000 hits on YouTube
- Nobody outside Korea gives a shit
Everyone who likes k-pop likes to remind everyone else who likes k-pop that Korea's entertainment business is a conservative arena steered by the moral quandaries of teenage girls with too much Internet access, especially when controversies constantly arise over situations that wouldn't register a blip on the "care radar" of any free-thinking intelligent adult. However, this observation is sharply at odds with a lot of Korean MV drama activity which continually descends into positively Lynchian territory even when tackling the most benign of subjects. This time on Nugu Alert we're highlighting videos that have ambitious yet inexplicably surreal Mills & Boon romance style drama videos. Drama videos are actually quite expensive to create even if the scenes themselves are relatively simple, and I'm not talking about paying the actors (who get paid very little and often don't get paid at all) - it's the technical requirements of drama-making that spin out the cost. Therefore I ask you to please watch and appreciate these drama MVs because a lot of money was sunk into them for probably very little return and it would be a shame to see all that effort go to waste.
WARNING: these reviews necessarily have to contain plot spoilers, otherwise discussing them and meeting minimum snarky Kpopalypse observation requirements is impossible, so if like me you are deeply concerned about that sort of thing and want the maximum entertainment value out of this post, watch the videos first before reading the text.
Hong So Hee - Lemon
This video starts off normally enough with our protagonist driving in typical Korean style (changing lanes without indicating), wearing high heels at the airport (clearly masochistic tendencies) and having something creepy done to her ears (that I'd rather remain ignorant of so feel free to not enlighten me in the comments below). A basket of lemons tip over, and being a starving Korean nugu in the entertainment business she naturally steals one for precious sustenance. Then she spends the rest of the video mooning about, reminiscing, having flashbacks and being all miserable and shit presumably because she doesn't have a partner, but what that's got to do with stealing the lemon I'm not sure. We don't see what happened to the guy (maybe there wasn't the budget for it) but I can only presume that he died in a car accident given the general reckless driving throughout with the couple continually not wearing seatbelts and poking their heads through the sunroof of a moving vehicle (both illegal activities in Australia) not to mention driving with shockingly low visibility. What is it with Koreans and driving? How did the people making this shit even survive to the end of the video shoot without becoming road casualties? I know that if I ever found myself in a car in Korea I'd fucking wear double seatbelts and a crash helmet if I could. Anyway whatever it's all supposed to mean, it's entertaining and puzzling enough to make the fairly unremarkable song sort of drift off into the background of your consciousness throughout, which I guess is probably the intention of the video director given how much Koreans seem to love their elevator music.
Youtube hits at time of viewing: 5479
Notable attribute: entire cast and crew of this video probably still alive at time of writing
Nugu Alert rating - very high
Taibian - Pinocchio
There's a saying in the music business - "don't shit where you eat". What this saying really means is don't mix your personal love affairs with work, because if things go badly it will cause you problems. If you play in a band, don't fuck your bandmates, if you teach, don't fuck your students, if you work in an office, don't fuck the cute guy or girl who comes to change the coffee machine filters etc. Imagine being in a really successful group, having a fling with a band member, it doesn't work out, you end up hating each other, but you gotta see each other every day anyway because your band has legions of fans and you don't want to break it up because it's now your bread and butter. Welcome to the awkward zone. I don't know if the world of baristas has a similar creed but if not, they should consider it. In this video for some godawful "Bone Thugs N Harmony meets k-pop" trash, the horny coffee attendant recognises an old friend at the counter, then makes a sneaky play for her literally 0.5 seconds after she broke it off with some dude. It seems to work out even after the dude smacks him down... that is, until about 2:50 where everything goes sour for a reason that isn't explained. She gives him a letter which seems to have something to do with it... but what's in it? The cuntfaced video director doesn't want to tell us, he wants to be all like Pulp Fiction and the fucking briefcase about it. But maybe the letter has nothing to do with it, maybe the guy was just a bit over-keen straight out of the gate and she became cautious, I mean, he literally buys her a coffee and then a ring in the next scene - hold your horses there, that's just a little quick off the mark, son. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie first?
YouTube hits at time of writing: 1694
Notable attribute: smallest face scratch ever shown in a MV fight scene
Nugu Alert rating: very high
AB Avenue - Sad Story
I pity AB Avenue - they obviously had some money behind them, this is not some traditional nugu caper. Looking at this video for the first time, I was expecting them to be huge, and maybe they were massive in Korea but from where I'm sitting, it sure doesn't look like it. They have a very high-budget and great-looking MV featuring a hot bitch-faced fappable actress which is hosted on 1theK(aka Loen)'s YouTube channel, one of the biggest distributors of Korean MVs out there, yet they still have managed to somehow fucking qualify for Nugu Alert. Their official Facebook has only 383 followers at the time of writing (don't rush to friend them and boost the numbers - their last update was in 2010) and their MP3'd pirated songs on YouTube actually have more hits than any of their MVs. AB Avenue are a group that surely has the blood of the nugu flowing through their veins, even Gangkiz would be envious presuming such lack of success was actually something to envy. Anyway the MV for this mediocre join-the-dots Davichi-esque snorefest starts with a guy waking up to find out a jilted ex-lover has handcuffed him to a chair and is going to make him pay for dumping her for some unspecified reason. Perhaps he let her go because he got a hunch that she was a psycho killer and wanted nothing more to do with her, if it was me in his shoes I reckon that creepy stare at 1:56 would have tipped me off. Then she decides to kill him (because that will make everything better, oh wait) and she either thinks better of it and turns the gun on herself for being such a bitch, or the guy just has the thickest skull known to man and is able to deflect the bullet back in her direction. It's pretty straightforward really, the only real mystery here is why nobody watched this back in the day - I guess with idol pop peaking in quality at around the time this song came out, it was enough to overshadow mediocre ballads like this completely. Ahhh... those were the days.
YouTube hits at time of writing: 6569
Notable attribute: actual lips-on-lips visible during kissing scene did not cause the destruction of the Earth
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That wraps it up for another episode! Kpopalypse Nugu Alert will return at an unspecified future date to bring you more fresh (or stale) nugus! Until then, drive safely!