Despite the focus on youth and beauty in k-pop as well as much of Korean media as a whole, rapid shifts in Korea's birthrate means that the population is actually ageing very quickly, faster than anywhere else in the developed world. These changes have brought with them their own unique social problems, but also a greater need for entertainment by and for the growing demographic of older people. This episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is therefore dedicated to performers who might be older than Kpopalypse, at least theoretically. Of course none of them are actually older than Kpopalypse because this is impossible, but in a parallel universe where the laws of Kpopalypse being older than everybody in the world ever strangely don't apply, it could be a technical possibility. Kpopalypse wishes to encourage these people by giving them the type of support and observational wisdom that only a fellow older person can provide.
I'm very sympathetic to the plight of older k-pop performers, because as someone who is known among the k-pop Internet community as probably the oldest person alive (and if you're wondering exactly how old click here), take it from me that getting old is generally a fairly shitty deal. You can't eat ten bars of chocolate and not exercise and still stay the same weight, you need to go to sleep at a reasonable hour or you feel like shit the next day, you get weird pains in your body for no reason, and you can't have k-pop biases or write boobs posts without people judging you. Worst of all there's that whole "statistically closer to death" thing which means I may miss out on T-ara's 2097 comeback (who if current trends continue I expect to still be around by then and with their original lineup intact). However there are also some cool benefits, like getting a free pass for being rude to young people for no reason, and being able to tell k-pop fans with authority that nobody ever cared about CSJH The Grace. Also, maybe my nugu detection skills have been honed slightly through the years, even if I mainly rely on my readers for suggestions these days because I'm a lazy caonima, but I sourced all of these videos from my own personal nugu stash so please enjoy - or not, as the case may be.
The usual Nugu Alert rules apply:
- Less than 20,000 YouTube views on official channels
- Nobody outside Korea cares, and maybe inside Korea they don't care either
- Relevant to Kpopalyse's interests
Yes Man - Yes Man
There's definitely some kind of social message conveyed in both the song and video of "Yes Man" that I'm not grasping due to a lack of Korean language ability. Our music video's middle-aged protagonist (or maybe his skin is just that bad that he looks middle-aged) begins by trying what surely has to be the most crap suicide attempt ever seen in the history of k-pop music videos, threatening to fall not off a building or cliff but down a gently rolling soft snow-covered hill. I might be an old man but I probably wouldn't even break a limb doing that particular stunt. Later he's seen attempting to kiss a girl and she slaps him, but the kiss attempt is so tentative and weak that a slap is hardly called for, she could have easily dodged his lips approaching her face at 0.0001 kilometres per hour while gently imploring "but what I meant was that I love you... like a friend" over the beat. Then later on the miserable guy in the video turns happy by the end of it for seemingly no apparent reason, so I guess the lyrics to the song are just that uplifting and fantastic that he was able to see the light. It's a pity that almost nobody has watched this, maybe if "Yes Man" got a bit more traction it could turn out to be the secret to solving South Korea's suicide epidemic so make sure you share this video far and wide. If just one life is saved, it was worth it, man.
YouTube views at time of writing: 81
Notable attribute: this video has been online since the middle of 2014! That's less than one view per fortnight!
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
Seo Hyun Lee - I'm Sick And Tired
Don't let the thumbnail image fool you - it definitely does not prepare you for what lies ahead in this video once it starts rolling. Make sure to brace yourself for a healthy serve of "what the fuck am I watching" as Seo Hyun Lee starts off this video with some weird Buddha meets Timothy Leary type shenanigans before heading out into the local marketplace to annoy her neighbours with weird dancing and being about as hyperactive as someone her age can get. The confused looks of bystanders in most of the outdoor scenes show that the staging here was minimal if any and there were no filming permissions obtained, rather the cast and camera team just quickly ran through to quickly do their thing and then fucked off before the local council worked out what was going on (a time-honoured z-grade Australian film technique). Unlike "Yes Man" with its brutally honest approach to middle-aged pudge, the camera is careful to keep a safe distance from Seo Hyun Lee's face, applying lots of careful "just right" over/underexposure when needed in the studio scenes to smooth out any rough edges, but I definitely get the sense that she's approaching Kpopalypse age. There's also some tasty erhu playing on the track where Seo Hyun Lee mimes it so badly that it looks like she has no idea how to play the erhu when in fact she does, but hey it looks cool when they duplicate her into a star formation or whatever the fuck is going on... speaking of which, what the fuck is going on? Your guess is as good as mine.
YouTube views at time of writing: 824
Notable attribute: proof that the same tacky sportwear that looks like shit on young hip-hoppers looks just as shit when their mums wear it
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
Ryu Man Hyun - I'll Give You My Everything
Some people are just old as fuck and there's no hiding it. Kpopalypse is of course one of those people, and another such person is Ryu Man Hyun, who spends most of the running time of "I'll Give You My Everything" pining after a lady young enough to be his daughter (when he's not catching his breath on a rocking chair or under a tree), or maybe she just has better TV makeup than him. She doesn't seem like she returns his affections however, either in real life or in the narrative of the video, as she maintains careful distance at all times and looks amazingly stilted whenever they are in the same scene together. Indeed, the one view of her walking past him while he turns his head and ogles her is truly disturbing and is recycled multiple times because obviously the director liked the shot but the actress was mortified by the entire idea and couldn't be talked into doing that shit more than once.
As shown above, they even recycle the scene a third time with the image flipped back to front horizontally to try and stop people from catching on. Still, we can't blame Ryu Man Hyun for this bullshit any more than we can blame male idols for their endless corny scenes of borderline street harrassment like chasing around completely unwilling girls is the latest hot romance trend, some director obviously just thought that it would look cool and made them do it. Don't let a few bad creative video choices ruin the fantastic music video for you, will you?
YouTube views at time of writing: 46
Notable attribute: tree branch used for physical support nearly broken during exuberant exclamation at 1:41
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That's all for this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! There'll probably be just one more of these episodes before the end of 2016, so expect it fondly, in the meantime Kpopalypse will return with more posts soon!