Monday, July 11, 2016

Concepts That Don't Suck (Anything But YOUR BLOOD)

A lot of kpop girl group music videos are basically identical. You could swap out the four to nine hot girls for a different four to nine hot girls and end up with at least 90% of modern MV releases.

For example, both Brave Girls and whatever the Produce 101 clusterfuck is called (IOI?) just realized videos with essentially the same concept, which in turn is a thinly veiled rehash of the TWICE Cheer Up tactic, which in turn is a rip-off of this: differentiate your eight thousand members by having them each hang out in a different clich├ęd setting. That way you can watch the video and be like "damn, the tennis player/nurse/Audrey Hepburn knockoff is sexy," instead of saying "damn, the third girl with long dark hair -- no, not that one, the one wearing pink -- no, the OTHER one wearing pink -- is sexy.")

So what is an embittered management company to do? What concepts can they use without incurring the wrath of random internet bloggers?


"Twilight ruined vampires!" you shout at me from behind your laptop screens. "Shut up, dumb tweens!" I respond. The vampire concept can still be good (and sexy) if done right, and it would be cool if some of the squeaky clean new-generation groups used vampires to sex up their images (yeah, I know, TWICE had zombies. But zombies are not sexy).

The OG vampire/death imagery video is 4Minute's (may they rest in peace) iconic Volume Up, which is not only one of their best songs but also produced an extremely gothtastic and visually lush video. Featuring ominous whispering, snakes, light choking, human skulls, red-eyed Hyuna, church-running, some truly wild costuming, a sexy tango sequence, and people materializing from and vanishing into black smoke, it's one of kpop's most visually and aurally satisfying moments.

Next, Sunmi went pure vampire with a markedly-creative-for-2014 vision in blood red and stark black and white. It also features the surprisingly cool effect of having guest rapper Lena Ahn (may her career rest in peace) teleport to and fro while wearing thigh-highs. On the one hand, we get it, you're a vampire, super speed, whatever. On the other hand ... SPECIAL EFFECTS!!!!!!!! Plus, Sunmi looks hot sucking blood from some poor dude and grinding up on a couch. It's well-styled, well-shot, and sexy without slipping too far into camp.

Our third contender in the kpop vampire-off is Choa's solo debut.

It's a somewhat boring ballad, which already kicks it pretty far back into second place. The death blow is the distinct lack of Choa in the actual video. But what makes up for the lack of AOA's reigning queen of sexyface is how straight-up dark this video is. It's pretty hard to take Choa's soulful crooning seriously when the actress in the video is straight up dragging some girl around by a neck chain while her eyes glow red. And at the end of the video (spoiler alert) she kills herself from guilt, I guess, by going out in to the sun AND BURNING UP INTO ASH! Don't even try to tell me this is some heartfelt meditation on lost love. This video is a horror movie, no doubt about it. There is body dragging. There is Catholic imagery. There is vampire suicide. What more can you ask for from a music video?

So next time you've got a special effects team, a bunch of creepy angel statues, and an actor who's better at lying around corpse-like than making actual facial expressions, try a vampire concept.


  1. Condsidering the pretty cool zombie version of T-ara's Lovey Dovey, zombies CAN be sexy!

  2. Volume Up was one of the most expensive Korean music videos of that time, IIRC.

  3. The fact that Choa doesn't show up in the video storyline actually made me pay attention to it, so that's a win. What more could we ask from that video? Right before the vampire suicide I would have added some impalement. But that would have required a male actor, and then the femivampires would be all over our throats.

  4. Don't forget Narsha's Biribabba!


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