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Lee Yi-kyung and the Perplexity of Recent Ideal Type Controversies
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Lee Yi-kyung and the Perplexity of Recent Ideal Type Controversies

For most celebrities in the world of K-entertainment, it is pretty much a given that they will be asked the routine ideal type question at least once in their career. Variety show MCs and radio hosts love to inquire celebrities as to what kind of invigorating person of the opposite sex they gravitate towards and fans are ravenous for the answer.

Why is this question so popular among hosts and fans in the first place? Possibly because, if the interviewee happens to respond with a list of physical appearance and/or personality criteria that even just marginally matches a fans self-description, this fan might begin to hold a faint glimmer of hope that they and their bias might actually be soulmates who are only missing that one incidental meeting, perhaps a chance encounter at a dinner with a mutual friend that develops their relationship into a quirky friendship that was actually true love all along. Sound too much like the plot of Silver Linings Playbook? That’s the beauty of a fantasy; it doesn’t have to be realistic (or original, for that matter).

Chicago Typewriter Ep.9-12: Supporting Characters Reinvigorate Plot and Enhance Depth
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Chicago Typewriter Ep.9-12: Supporting Characters Reinvigorate Plot and Enhance Depth

Chicago Typewriter took a slight break after the first 8 episodes of the series, leaving the audience on edge. As previously discussed in reviews of Episodes 1-4 and Episodes 5-8, a large part of the drama’s allure lies in unravelling the story behind the 1930s revolutionaries. The audience are now sure of the love triangle between Seo Hwi-young (Yoo Ah-in), Ryu Soo-hyun (Im Soo-jung) and Shin Yool (Ko Kyung-pyo) that has carried on into the present. The blossoming romance between Han Se-ju and Jeon Seol is certainly a treat, though slowly falling into the mould of typical Korean romance plots.

Side B: Seventeen Shines with Youthful Sincerity
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Side B: Seventeen Shines with Youthful Sincerity

We are right on the cusp of K-pop summer going into full swing, and Seventeen have just made their comeback with Dont Wanna Cry. Although theyre only approaching their second anniversary, the boys have racked up an impressive discography, and their jazzy, lively title tracks have made them an integral part of my favourite K-pop season (even if some tracks like Pretty U and Boom Boom are not actual summer releases).

While Al1 still delivers some of the groovy, upbeat sound that Seventeen has made their signature, this upcoming album—and the Seventeen Project that its a part of—has moved in a more introspective, brooding direction. So before we get a bigger dose of the mature and the moody, and while the reviews for Dont Wanna Cry and Al1 are in the pipeline, its a perfect time to look back at Seventeens youthful side with this months Side B.

For Your Viewing Pleasure: Sunnies!
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For Your Viewing Pleasure: Sunnies!

Welcome back to For Your Viewing Pleasure, where we take time out of the week to curate a set of photos from the K-pop landscape.

Ah, sunglasses, the ultimate symbol of summer. Theyre practical for keeping the harmful rays out when youre out and about on a hot day, theyre useful for hiding that hangover after a wild night celebrating the end of finals and the start of the summer holidays, and of course, theyre the perfect statement accessory to spice up any outfit. Be it aviators, cat-eye sunglasses, or ones with a round frame, lets take a look at how sunglasses are incorporated into the latest looks in K-pop!

K.A.R.D Gets Wild in Toronto
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K.A.R.D Gets Wild in Toronto

K.A.R.D made its final stop in the North American leg of the 1st Wild KARD 2017 Tour in Toronto, Canada on May 12th. In front of hundreds of fans, the co-ed group kept the crowds adrenaline pumping for one and a half hours by performing their singles, and covers whilst peppering in speaking segments. I did not know what to expect because it was my first K-pop concert. I was extremely pleased with my entire experience that included hi-touch and photo-op after the concert.

Best of Weekly Music Shows: 5/15 – 5/21
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Best of Weekly Music Shows: 5/15 – 5/21

Welcome back to another week of Best of Weekly Music Shows! This week marked the comeback of VIXX and Twice, among other artists and groups. Lovelyz took home a win from The ShowIU from Show Champion and Music BankSechskies from Show! Music Core, and Psy from both M!Countdown and Inkigayo.

Among the diverse stages, here were some of my favourites of the week:

Ruler: Master of the Mask Eps 5-8: Emotional Rollercoaster
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Ruler: Master of the Mask Eps 5-8: Emotional Rollercoaster

Were back for another look at Ruler: Master of the Mask. The drama continues to hit ratings highs as the ties between the Pyeonsoo-hwe and the royal family become closer. We get hit with a tide of emotions in this batch of episodes from all sides, and the character relationships we saw form in the first four episodes get tested in many ways.

This review contains some spoilers for Episodes 5-8. We kindly ask that readers use spoiler tags in the comments when discussing the episodes that have yet to be reviewed.

Week in Review, 5/13 to 5/19
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Week in Review, 5/13 to 5/19

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another edition of SB Week in Review! Heres your news:

InfiniteWoohyun revealed that a shoulder injury sustained during the 2014 ISAC is permanent, with the damaged cartilage expected to result in pain in later life. There are many tales of injury caused by ISAC, but to hear of the consequences of this particular injury is especially saddening.

BulldokHyeongeun has left the group, citing health reasons. The rapper, who had gained attention for her performance on Produce 101, had recently been involved in a controversy involving BTS, where she was accused of not using the appropriate honorifics when talking about the senior group during a livestream. BTS fans were also unimpressed by claims, relayed by Hyeongeuns friend, that V had athletes foot or similar foot-related health issue due to his choice of footwear. Some have speculated that this was the reason behind Hyeongeuns departure, while others claim the health reason is legitimate.

VIXX Remains Consistent in Shangri-La
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VIXX Remains Consistent in Shangri-La

In the world of K-pop today, in such a saturated market, it is difficult to imagine that a new group from a lesser-known company would manage to hold the public’s attention long enough to gain mainstream popularity. These companies would try different tactics. Some focus their promotions entirely on one member, thinking that an individual would be easier to remember and gain pubic attention. Some companies take to survival shows before debut, hoping that the prospective group gains enough attention and momentum to become popular. Some companies have their group undergo a change in concept, hoping against hope it won’t alienate the older fans and simultaneously gain new ones. Whatever success these tactics might have is likely to be short-lived if the company didn’t think it through.

Psys 4×2=8 is Playful But Introspective
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Psys 4×2=8 is Playful But Introspective

One of South Korea’s most widely known stars, Psy is famous for his liveliness and whimsical sense of humor. Back with his eighth album, the artist showcased his playfulness once again in the title of his album, 42=8. In the Korean language, 4 is translated as “sa” and 2 as “i,” together forming “sai,” as Psy is written in Hangeul. And the 8, of course, refers to this being Psy’s eighth album.

Known internationally for energetic pop songs with catchy lyrics and quirky dance moves, Psy keeps his throne as the king of dance music but also reveals a more intimate look inside his head as he touches on various subjects from the inevitable end of romantic relationships to fears of change and growing old. As the album progresses, the confidence and energy that exude from his initial tracks slowly give way to more reflective, nuanced songs which expose his inner doubts and conflicted emotions about his place in the world and the music scene. Three main themes rise from the album – his stylistic feats as an artist, his relationships with other people, and his individual growth as a person.