I don’t know how it goes in real life, but if I were to base it on the recent episodes of “Full House Take 2” — the idol/boyband factory is one effed up business.
Just how effed up?
Consider the recent chain of events (following my last post):
1. Won Kang-hwi and The Gay Scandal – A jealous aspiring idol who is lusting after one of Kang-Hwi’s endorsement tried to blackmail him by setting up a very drunk and drugged (c/o the jerk) KH with a naked photo scandal with another male. Stupid guy tried to sell the photos to Lee Joon (the evil company president) in exchange for the endorsement. LJ shoots down the black mail JUST LIKE THAT and recorded the conversation in a tape. You think the problem’s solved? Oh no, when LJ learnt that KH is losing his sight gradually, he spearheaded the release of the scandal himself why fooling KH into taking a indefinite trip to a foreign country. KH, being the good soldier, marches up the airport only to see pictures of himself — naked and arms wrapped with another guy — on national TV. Fearing for his safety, KH slips into the basement of the Full House mansion and hides like a rat avoiding the plague, with Man-Ok acting like his protector and basically the only connection to the outside world. Meanwhile, LJ announces that KH has been dropped by the company due to the recent scandal.
You’d think that’s the end of it for poor KH. Well, until the time when he will go all reveng-y on his former company who sold his soul to the devil. But no, when things went shitty with Lee Tae-Ik (more on this later), and he was offered to go back to LJ for one last glory before his eyesight fails him completely, he agrees with the only condition that his stylist should be Jang Man-Ok.
2. Lee Tae-Ik’s fall from grace – Full House Take 2’s Brat Prince had quite the roller coaster ride. Following the “disappearance” of KH and the return of his psycho ex-girlfriend, he also had to deal with the release of a picture showing him and Man-Ok inside his trailer doing….nothing but folding bed sheets. (Yawn!) The photo was supposed to be squashed already by LJ but was released again by the company after another photo, showing TI and KH sleeping next to each other, was released. This led media to also questions TI’s sexuality. As damage control, LJ announces TI’s engagement to Man-Ok complete with fake engagement photos and a press conference. Everything was going according to plan when TI’s psycho ex-gf arrived from a stellar career from the States to reclaim her career in Korea as well as reclaim her stake on TI’s life. The psycho ex ended up knowing that the engagement was a fake and announced it to a reporter in order to get rid of MO. The news spread like wildfire in the internet and was red by Take One’s most psychotic fans, who assaulted Man-Ok. One thing led to another and when TI was faced with a choice to save MO’s reputation or save himself (and his career and Full House), he chose to save Man-Ok. TI announced his withdrawal from LJ Entertainment during a press con and fled to Japan where his auntie and mother was based.
Fortunately, the kind manager from LJ and Man-Ok went to Japan to convince him to return. After seeing how much he was loved by fans, he was prevailed upon to return to Seoul. With no career and house in sight, he ended up staying at his manager’s dirty and cramped apartment.
3. The “Life and Death Fans” – after seeing Man-Ok being manhandled by high schoolers (!!!) and her house being stormed by avid Take One fans (repeatedly), I am getting a renewed respect for the girlfriends of real-life idols. I didn’t know if that was an exaggerated representation of the bad side of fandom where people are willing to maim, threaten or even kill just to “protect” their idol but isn’t that a bit too much for people who most likely won’t even get to know you personally at all? I guess, there’s always the good and bad side. I’ve always read about fan clubs who supported charitable organizations, conducted relief drives during calamities in their idol’s names and even donated food and rice to the needy in behalf of their favorite artists. These are people who shouldn’t be called fans at all, they should be considered angels for being good individuals who show their love and support in a very positive way. I don’t know if there are really “life and death” fans but that can be quite scary.
This KDrama has grown on me like a fungus to a tree — it’s simply worth the late night Sunday Marathon. Yes, acting is still over-the-top on some occasions and the plot can be quite tricky but it’s entertaining and eye-opening, giving a glimpse of the challenging and sometimes, turbulent life of idols. I don’t know how much of the instances shown is true or greatly exaggerated but LJ as a company is one sick mothereffer. A company who treats its talents like property at best and trash at its very worst!
That’s why I am in awe of groups who go on to be real artists who write their own music and ends up being well-adjusted considering the crazy world they live in. Yeah, when you look at it, they had it real good: fame, money and the glamorous lifestyle, but after the lights had been turned off and the costumes carted off to the cleaners, we really have no idea what goes behind those crazy klieg lights.
NOTE: I’d like to give credit to the Full House Take 2 Facebook page. All these photos are from their page.