Lately like most young k-pop fans (and apparently 40 year old women) I’ve been watching WIN (Who is Next?). A showcase of 11 YG trainees pitted against each other in two teams (Team A with 5 and Team B with 6) and after watching it I agree it is entertaining but has raised other questions for me about the aim of the show and the way YG works(shifty eyes).
Now firstly, it’s clear from the show that these trainees are exceptionally talented (DAYUMMMM THEY WORKING B). Team A is slightly older with no leader and have to work on their teamwork, while team B has that down and are bursting full of energy, the show gives us an insight into the lives of a YG trainee, the ups and downs and the struggle to debut.
Although saying this, the show disappoints me in a lot of ways, firstly YG’s aim is to make the hot new boyband, YG’s second ever boyband, but it just seems like they insist on creating a carbon copy of BIGBANG. It’s just more of the same, the same style (endless supplies of baseball caps, bandanas and oversized jerseys). YG groups just seems to be the leaders in the faux hip-hop style (INSERT FAKE SWAG HERE). There is no spontaneity or showmanship you find in real hip-hip, it’s all basically fake. It just leads me to believe that YG is just as manufactured as any K-pop entertainment company. The only real difference I see is that they focus more on hip-hop and electro pop.
As well as this, even though they say they’ll disband the losing team (it’s not that serious B), surely the amount of money they’ve plugged into these groups to drop them at the last hurdle is crazy. I assume that they’ll debut as part of other groups or solo, even if they are dropped by the company they’ll be picked up by another one easily (COUGH COUGH, Hyun-seung, COUGH). But sometimes the show gets a bit too sob story focused for me.
Therefore my overall view on the show is that it’s okay, its good entertainment but just disappoints me sometimes . YG has a reputation with K-pop fans as being soo amazing and nurturing talent but it really nurtures as much as any other company. They’ve also come under fire for copying choreography without permission (permission is key, whether or not they gave credit in the credits). The other problem I have is this fake hip-hop/swag-ness and lack of originality. It’s just seems like a big marketing ploy to me.
P.S. It should be noted I have nothing against the actual groups, they’re amazeballs.
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