Running Man introduced me to this group – at least formally (I would have to be living under a rock to not at least have made these boys acquaintance prior to the Running Man episode). As usual, an introduction is not where I stopped. Nope- I decided over the Thanksgiving break to familiarize myself with these young chaps and I have not looked back since. Or should I say I have spent far too many hours watching them on variety shows? Either way, I am pretty sure I now have a section of my brain devoted to remembering the names of the members of Exo.
Their music, leaving out Growl, is kind of so-so in my opinion. But then again, I have never been one for the popular or praised. Maybe I am anti-liking things that are popular- who knows. Regardless I dove into Exo’s first variety show Showtime with an eagerness I usually reserve for coffee or rum or coffee and rum.
The first variety outing for this band of 12 is a mixed bag- funny with cute and then some moments that make me wish someone found my monotonous life interesting – because apparently these 12 fellows can broadcast their monotonous life on the telly. Henceforth is my semblance of a review of Exo’s Showtime. Cheers!
The first episode of Showtime clued everyone into how much of variety virgins Exo are (despite their appearance on numerous shows- granted a majority were talk shows). I was all warm and fuzzy inside watching these kids figure out where to sit and what to do. Plus, they got bonus points for gravitating towards the snack table.
Now I feel old…
I want to put all 12 of them in a basket and tie bows on them! And that is how I knew that I have reached that age….when I looked up the hyung of the group I discovered I am 5 years older than the oldest. In other words- I went from a love-you-oppa fan girl to an adoring (and non pervy) Noona. Because 5 years is 5 years, and pretty much every member of Exo looks years younger than what they are. I may bring out the creepy Noona for Yoon Shi Yooon or Lee Min Ho – but somehow it feels just wrong with Exo. Instead of being all pervy I just want to give these boys hugs and tell them to do well, because I am rooting for them. Though I may want to hug them for longer than what is proper…a pervy noona self is hard to bypass.
I would pay to watch them eat chicken
Yep- That is what episode 1 felt like. I imagined the PD saying “So…um…we really don’t have a full hour of footage. Let’s just air these boys eating chicken. I am sure fans would sit there and watch it. Trust me, I’m a PD!”
Fan girl’s response:
And that is the synopsis of the last half of episode 1. And a large part of episode 2 (I would watch them walk a dog or ride a bike) and episode 3 (I would pay to see one of them open presents)! Yet I am still watching. Noona is rooting for you!
Like any variety based on an idol group the show is edited to a certain advantage. Which I expected going into this show, so my opinion is not so much on the reality of the situation but on the fun feeling of each episode. So far I am not horribly disappointed but I am not extremely excited either. I am watching, and waiting, and hoping we have subs for the remaining episodes. Which leads me to my next rant…
This is a contentious issue. Why, you ask? Well, fan subs can be a lot of things. Outright piracy based on ad revenue or, on the bright side, fans out to share a show based on the love of the program. Having been a fan of Korean Shows for almost 2 years now (without knowing a spick of Korean, mind you) I have seen more than one fan subbing site shut down.
It may be a testament to how much licensing has become more mainstream, or it may be a testament to how many more shows I watch, but – THESE FAN SUBS BE GOING AWAY. Which makes me all sad inside.
Daebak Subs, an amazing site, was shut down a few months back. Whenever I look for K-variety shows to watch I seem to find more and more sites gone with the wind (*cough Removeyourmedia.com cough*). I am against piracy of copyrighted material, but I am also a fan of Korean shows – which Korean networks (KBS excluded) rarely subtitle in English.
I don’t want to see shows stolen for sheer profit (ahem, there is a certain subbing site that I am looking at right now- with the ads that pop out from all four corners!) but I don’t want to see shows ignored by an English speaking audience due to copyright infringement.
I guess I am at a crossroads, because a lot of the less popular shows I like are no longer available via fan subs (and the extremely popular shows like Exo’s Showtime just got taken away). I really want to be able to continue watching the Korean Shows I love, but I can’t unless a mainstream site like DF or Viki acquire the license (which, despite both sites sheer awesomeness, is not a guarantee- especially with more obscure variety shows). Granted the obvious solution is to learn Korean, which is definitely on my list, but with grad school and work I don’t have the bandwidth to take on learning a new language right now.
In short- I just want to watch some good television with subtitles. And if fans who love the program are willing to deliver when the networks cannot, I want the networks to leave them alone. After all, I am not watching to steal anything away from the ratings (heck- my viewing is not even counted in the ratings) or steal anything away from the network. If you give me the option – watch streaming in Korean (which I don’t understand) or watch with subs (which I do understand) I will pick subs. And in the end I will support your program more, because I can understand it.
Either give up on killing fan subs or sub it yourself. Because if you continue to kill fan subs I guarantee viewers like me will be ignorant of the shows that could have potentially drawn us in. Or, in other words, you just lost a member of your cheering team. Sucks to be you. FAN SUBS FIGHTING!