2 years ago
kpopandkimchi
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Scripted Kpop: Is It All A Lie?
Kpop is about perfection.
Perfect dancing, singing, acting. Being charming and entertaining. Smart and sensitive, well-spoken, beautiful, athletic, all of the above and more. You need a spotless image, but how do companies and idols manage that?

Simple.

Script everything.

Below are examples of scripted moments in Kpop. While I'm sure there are genuine moments for each of these examples, I will confidently say that most of these instances have a script.

Interviews:

Kpop interviews are always set up the same way. The companies are presented with the list of questions beforehand where they edit the questions that can and ca't be asked and then coach their idols on how to answer them. Even the seemingly more candid interviews are at least loosely rehearsed.
There was a Vice interview with Infinite once that got out of hand (the boys started straying from the script essentially) and the company immediately cut off the interview and said they were done. There is almost no way for idols to slip up and say the 'wrong' thing.

Team Roles:

How many times have we had to sit through our groups introducing themselves and hearing their team roles one by one. Not even just 'leader' or 'main vocal' which makes sense, but what about 'the cute maknae' or 'the (flaming lol) charisma.' There are people in each group meant to serve an emotional purpose as well. There needs to be a more mysterious figure, a funny guy, the cute one, etc. A little something for everyone so that no matter what type of guy you like, you'll find one in the group.
Take Taekwoon (Leo) from VIXX has a role placed on him to be quiet, mysterious, and a little moody. In reality, people who have worked with him have confirmed that he's actually a little social butterfly that is cuddly and sweet and laughs a lot. That's just not the image Jellyfish Entertainment wants us to see.

Scandals:

We already talked about SM using more scandals to cover up other scandals, but it's more common than you think in the K-Entertainment world! Dating in the celeb circuit gets your names in the papers and some people think that any press is good press. A lot of the smaller dating rumors are just started by netizens, but others are started by agencies!
Think about all the times idols are asked about their ideal types...that starts drama and can really change both people's popularity! They have to choose politically, not speak honestly.

Variety Shows:

You know how American reality TV is scripted? Well, Korea might even be worse. Look at how buddy buddy Hakyeon and Kangin seem on TV but then he does something like >>this<<
If you watch variety shows carefully, they are so obviously scripted that its just like...why bother watching them. In my personal opinion. We Got Married?! SO scripted! Ick!!!

Do we really know these idols at all?!

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38 comments
In my opinion, the actual shows aren't scripted, but a lot of times the people definitely are. You can tell what company cares about keeping scandals down and being perfect and who doesn't. Take BigHit for example: all of the boys are extremely open about what they do as boys like watching porn and they swear all the time, you already know RM has gotten into shit multiple times, but they allow them to speak for themselves and make mistakes and that makes them realer on a personal level. I'd rather have a group under a company that's real and allows them to fuck up and has the guts to say something when they mess up than to have a group whose company covers everything up until it explodes and everyone hates them. But then again, I'm just an international fan and internationals have different cultural values than native Koreans, so maybe they don't mind it. I don't mind it either, but a real group with a real company is what I prefer.
*shows her age* I think the idea of Team Roles started with Western music, tbh. Back in the 90's, when Pop was starting to get it footing again after grunge took over much of the first half of the decade, many girl and boy groups had certain Team Roles. I was a big NSync fan (still am) and they had roles for each of them. Chris was the goofball older brother, Justin was the baby, Lance was the southern gentlemen. Spice Girls are also a perfect example, even their nicknames were a dead giveaway to their "personalities". I think the worst of that was poor Lance. He had to pretend to like girls when really he was a homosexual. It's funny reading this card as I just got done watching seasons 2 and 3 of the Real Got7 on youtube. One of the reasons I decided to watch it was because I wanted to see if their playful happy nature was true among them all. AND MAN, IS IT EVER!! How do these boys get anything done with all the wrestling and jokes?! LOL!! I'm sure the production and editing team has to get a lot of video out just because they spend so much time joking around! Jackson is the worst (but always the funniest) And Junior is more violent in the way he plays (I'm like that) and when he catches himself he's like, "Please edit that!" And they never do! XD TLDR; I think more transparency and honesty is needed in Kpop as a whole. Fans won't be able to let certain things be if an idol strays from their expected image or personality. And it's not fair to both sides.
I don't think its much different from most celebrities or really even people you meet. Like Someone you work with could be a totally different person outside of work. This is their job so they act accordingly but when alone they could be different. Being real is part of the reason I could bias someone. Like Hongki in FTIsland. They tried to script him and keep a cute image but gave up because that isn't him. He will always tell you how he really feels about something and let his real feelings show, which his company generally doesn't like. He even did the first 19+ rated reality show with FTIsland where he skips rehearsal to drink with his friends( He could beat anyone in a drinking game BTW XD). From time to time other groups have moments like this where they break out and do something small but its buried or covered quickly. That's just how the entertainment world works.
I mean it's pretty much expected. As an idol your image is all you have other than talent but even with talent a tainted image ruins a lot of your career. So when it comes to popular idol groups I would expect the companies to script some things to protect their image but I do wish that they wouldn't make it a complete role play where they hide the member's personalities.
This is the reason I like older idols, because groups like HOT will tell you that whenever they did a show, it had to be perfect, they even turned down Babysitting Diary because children are too unpredictable and they would spend all of their time getting camera ready. I'm not saying all older idol groups or even HOT are 100% unscripted, but I think that the older the idol and the longer they've been around, the easier it is to be themselves because they have gained a loyal established fanbase over the past 20 years so they don't have to worry about the kind of effect bad press would give their popularity.
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