[kpop] why SHINee’s “Hello” music video scares me. A LOT.

edit: I know a lot of you guys are visiting from Twitter, via @TaeminMoments, and this is what I wrote back to her tweet which said that “THIS ARTICLE CRITICIZES HELLO,RIGHT?”– my reply from @mmichlle:

it might seem to you that it is a critique of Hello, but just because I’m a SHINee fangirl doesn’t mean I have to like everything that SHINee does. Moreover, the article deals with more of the kpop industry’s practices about fantasizing men rather than specifically targeted at SHINee. sadly, SHINee is one of the boy groups that is affected by this practice :( personally, I believe if they shed their idol image, they would be much stronger artists instead of a forgettable boy band, and I want them to do the best they can.

So. Suck it. Jonghyun is already taken, so stop being pathetic and eat an eggroll.


I rushed back from Italian so I could change into interview clothes (I got the job!) and then I saw that SHINee’s Hello full music video, so I downloaded it and watched it as I walked downstairs to lunch.

Several things immediately struck me:

  1. Key and Taemin being blowfish in the opening
  2. Jonghyun’s random scene with girl blowing bubbles
  3. The superfluity of peace signs
  4. Minho wearing an Abercrombie sweater while rapping
  5. All of the ‘characters’ being bashful and sweet and shy when finally approaching the girl in the end

Let’s face it. SHINee is starting to get old, and cute doesn’t quite work for them anymore, no matter how many girls with bubbles you bring in.  Or peace signs you flash.  Or how many times you imitate blowfish.  Which brings me to another point, why was only Jonghyun graced with such a scene? Maybe it’s because Jonghyun is in need of an image softening, because he’s often seen as the ‘player.’

The reason why I say ‘characters’ is because none of SHINee are like this in real life (Taemin is definitely a player, isn’t it obvious?), they’re figments of imaginations created to sate the fangirl.  This is why this music video scares me.

Hello was created for the fangirls who dream about these men approaching them, completely struck with love, bashful.  With a ring.  A gigantic bear.  Sensitive and thoughtful and sweet and shy.  Best of all, metrosexual and handsome.  The ideal.

At times, I only hesitantly call myself a fangirl because I do not fantasize about them. I just really like their music and their personalities portrayed in the media– I never will be this way:

I will never wish Onew is my boyfriend or Key will propose to me.  However, this music video allows for me to easily do that.  Because there is no clear girl protagonist in this music video, any fangirl (or fanboy!) can insert themselves into the situation, and continue to elaborate and intensify their fantasies.

This I have a problem with.  This is what I’m scared of.  The fan culture is already intense, and the Korean entertainment industry chooses to exploit this rather than innovating the music.  Though Hello was not a cover, it was not original to SHINee.  For every few steps forward that SHINee took for Lucifer— developing their manly image, and staying on the cutting edge of music and fashion– Hello moves them back one, hearkening back to the cute, but novice, Replay days.

Lastly, leopard print and Abercrombie? The stylists really must be stuck in a rut.


16 thoughts on “[kpop] why SHINee’s “Hello” music video scares me. A LOT.

  1. ok u made me understand that ppl really have deferent opinions i mean i never thought of what u just said wow ur so complicated but don`t get me wrong that makes u who u are

    • thanks for understanding! :) you can see the intense devotion even with the whole Jonghyun dating scandal, how a lot of pissed off fans gave up on him after he came out with who he was dating, that’s just ridiculous.. there are some times in which you need to think critically about who you are as a person in relation to someone whose public persona is not their real one. Not only do they have lives too, you have a life too! So go live it :)

  2. VERY AGREED! I had my TEENY TINY fantasies of becoming FRIENDS, but after this vid, it opened up my imagination. I always liked Jonghyun, and I was like, isn’t MINHO the caring one? Jonghyun should be in the CAR, not MINHO!
    Anyways, you proved your point. I DO like them, but am not blinded by that, and neither are you! ^^
    -GOOD JOB! Keep it up ;)

    • grazie per la tua commenta bella! sono strafelice!
      (thanks for your beautiful comment! I am beyond happy!– it just sounded better in Italian :D)

      again, thank you, you really cheered me up! there are fangirls like us who exist and AREN’T sucked into the whole Minho-is-my-husband-forevers-lulz!! have a great day and a great Thanksgiving if you celebrate it =DDD

  3. Hi! Firstly, I just wanted to let you know that I recently came across your blog during a kpop/Shinee-related search and the more I read it (Shinee posts or otherwise), the more I enjoy it! Secondly, though I would consider myself somewhat well-versed in Shinee, I haven’t yet had the strong impression that Taemin is a player and I’m just curious about what makes you think so.. Anyway, thanks and good luck with your studies (I’m a college student too)!

    • thank you! :DDD

      I’m glad you actually asked about that, because sometimes my sense of humor is sort of odd. I say a lot of sarcastic/ironic things with a straight face, so I constantly worry about readers becoming confused (my friends, sadly, get confused by this deadpan delivery too). The point or observation about Taemin being a player is to emphasize how little we really know about these people as individuals, and that it’s just as likely that angelic, innocent Taemin (as SM likes to portray him) is just as much of a player as the much more highly sexualized Jonghyun. Therefore, I DON’T know if Taemin is a player or not, rather I dislike people willing to make an assumption like that.. because I get the feeling from all of the random things I’ve watched Jonghyun or Taemin in, they’re very squishy people :)

      good luck with your studies as well! I probably will be very productive on this blog for January, and then gradually start to slip into oblivion when finals roll around again in May =____=

      • one thing to point out- technically what they’re like in real life is none of our/fangirls’/boys’ business unless we know them. technically we shouldn’t be liking or hating their output for things unrelated to their output. so technically, we aren’t supposed to know them as individuals outside of their entertainment output.
        omg… sorry for spamming your blog >///<

        • it’s okay. I agree with that sentiment as well—but it’s the most common violation in the book.. whatever fangirl bible we have, lol probably our ‘Lucifer’ albums.. ahh I only have their “Juliette” with me XD

  4. rotfl if you’ve studied anything relating to advertising, you’ll understand why minho is wearing an abercomie shirt or why they have cars all the time- obviously abercomie and the car companies sponsored them! they’re just advertisers :DDD
    although i completely, completely, COMPLETELY agree with you that hello was a step down from lucifer and ring ding dong. those two were so, so, so unique and amazing.
    i think what SM is doing is trying not to do what happens to american artists where they get darker and darker and darker and darker and….. (crash)
    also i think the other thing that may creep you out about their hello music video is that they… are acting… like haunted barbie dolls. or those haunted creepy clowns/jokers. onew is probably the creepiest (he even gives several pedo “here’s johnny” smiles).

    • yes, that is a valid point about the advertising, but I never thought that Abercrombie had a particularly big foothold in South Korea to outbid others.. >___< I'm too nooby on the South Korean music video scene to say anything about the cars. Their acting IS scary.. the whole idols invading the drama/movie scene is scaryyyy o.0

      crash like Britney Spears? Hah. Well, she has a #1 single, even though "Hold It Against Me" isn't really that great of a track :P not as good as "Lucifer" from a composition standpoint

      I'm wondering what they will do for their Japanese debut.. SNSD = repackage, TVXQ / Big Bang = new album.. I hope they'll release something new :) they were supposed to release Japanese Lucifer in Sept. 2010.. but it never happened, fail fail fail

  5. well..there are many people like them with that way(cute.bashful,shy etc.)..
    peoples have different view on them..well,i agreed with you..but thatt doesnt mean i dont like HELLO MV..i like it.

  6. Pingback: [blog] compilation of fangirl rants.. er.. blog posts « The Innocent Lam

  7. Well, I can see where you’re coming from, but overall I liked the music video. :)

    I hope their next comeback is a manly one, but know knows considering they’re debuting in Japan and the Japanese seem to love “kawai” things. -.-

    • they may not be debuting anytime soon in Japan due to the natural disasters; rumors are a Korean album is in the works instead…

      Well, I never said I hated the video, it’s just so one can understand what the premise of the video is. Even if you like the video, you must understand what the reasons are behind it. Understanding these reasons will give you a better appreciation and also, be a better fan. I’m also very disappointed in that kind of thinking, as in “Well, Japanese people like cute things! Let’s be cute!” SM is always going with the crowd and never trying to define the crowd. It’s a great way to make money, but not a good way to develop artists. (<– which was the main point of my post.) Though I love SHINee as much as any other fangirl, once they disband, it'll be like a one-hit wonder :(


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