I am an exceptionally punctual person. I’m one of those ‘if you’re not early, you’re late’ kind of nightmares. I apologize to my husband for how often I nag him and to my children for raising them to feel anxious when their father is in control of our schedule. This attitude follows me into how I consume music. It drives a lot of my friends batty because often, when they send me a link to a new MV, I’ll quickly respond with a big fat, “oh yeah, I loved that when I saw it yesterday.” I don’t mean to be a jerk, I just hate missing the boat on something new.
But as all Kpop fans know and to borrow an old cliche, it’s like drinking from a hydrant. There is so much being released at all times and so many groups debuting, it’s impossible to keep up. You have to narrow it down. One way I’ve done that to this point is to avoid the music survival programs. I’ve watched an episode here or there of the ones used to create a specific group for a company, but I’ve completely missed the ones used to develop project groups. There are a number of them out there, and I’ve enjoyed much of what the groups do once they ‘debut,’ but not the shows themselves.
And I’m super late.
KpopontheDL and I have been talking a lot lately about some specific recently debuted idols that really came to shine through Produce 101 Season 2 (neither of us had the heart to watch) and some members of groups we adore that shown quite brightly on The Unit (she watched that one, I avoided). In a very interesting exchange, KpopontheDL said that in some ways, she feels like she missed the origin story of many of the new idols when she chose not to watch Produce 101 Season 2. Like it was our chance to really get to know them before they were fully remodeled from trainee to idol and that sentiment stuck with me. Watching a show like this provides the viewers the opportunity to get in on a fandom at the ground level…and I don’t me the fandom for a particular group because there isn’t one, but for an individual idol. It’s also a great chance to get an idea of what we’ll be seeing in the years to come. Trainees on shows like this not selected for the project group often become solo artists or the anchor for their own groups in the future.
So we’re doing it, we’re watching Produce 101 Season 2 just as Wanna One, the project group formed by the top 11 trainees, is coming to an end. It is addicting, delightful, painful, and challenging, but we’re watching it. I’m learning and loving lots and lots of new folks and more firmly settled in my love of fetal Kang Daniel and pre-debut Jeong Sewoon. I’ve been introduced to Ong Seong Wu and Park Woojin, and a million others I’ll be paying attention to in the future.
So, yes, it kills me to be late, but I also know that sometimes it really is better late than never. And I kind of like this watching after the winners have been announced so it doesn’t hurt so much when my favs are cut.
Side note: I specifically chose Energetic as the song for today as a small way to show support for Pentagon as Hui wrote this little diddy for Wanna One. I’m super disturbed by the treatment of Hyojong by specific segments of the Kpop community and am trying to figure out the absolute best way I can show my support of letting people be people and enjoying their content regardless of them leading a personal life. I think it’s important for supporters to be vocal in order to change the landscape of Kpop in this regard.
Energetic, Wanna One