Sunday, September 05, 2010

Do we need actors?

   And the answer is surprisingly easy: no. Ever since the first caveman performed his first act, the acting itself has become a sacred ritual. Even treated like a hand of gods. I discovered this shocking story in my yard. I found in a box some stone tables... uhm.. no, that was actually the ones lost by Moses, forget it. I found another, older tables with script, without any doubt, the most archaic in the world. I deciphered it (oh, how many sleepless nights, how many buckets of coffee, how many lollipops have sacrificed their lives for just this one discovery!) and here it goes. Once there was a loose group of cavemen. They did what each caveman does, they polished their maces, they grunted, they ate yummy mammoths thighs. Normal, everyday stuff. The first acting was performed by the caveman whose name went into the oblivion with the wind of history. They were hunting a mammoth, a big, bad, furry mammoth, who happen to be more smart then them altogether. So, as they were waiting with a trap, this mammoth circled and stood behind their backs. Then a terrible roar tore the air. Frightened as they were they tried to escape but before them was a trap, and behind - big, bad mammoth. So one of those brave, stupid cavemen went two steps ahead and started to move his hands, legs and head, each in the opposite direction. His companions realised that he actually showed to the astounded mammoth how the world was created. In the meantime, his fellows went behind mammoth's back and... This evening's fest was sponsored by the letter M.
   But with time, mammoths started to see this as a trick and weren't that stupid to watch with open... mouth (?) the performance, and when one of them didn't show any sign of admiration and mashed the unfortunate performer, a doom hung over the rest. And just in the moment when the mammoth wanted to crush some more, another caveman started to gurgle something, moving at the same time as a possessed one. Sadly, mammoth was deaf. The next time another gurgling caveman was dressed in the most jaunty furs with lots of shells and started to move as if dancing, howling mercilessly. The mammoth run away to just not to hear that.
The tribe thought a new power - singing (read: gurgling) saved them. But the truth lay somewhere else. Mammoths couldn't stand the sound and decided to make a group extinction.
This is the true story of how acting saved cavemen, and how singing dressed as acting caused poor, stupid mammoths to commit a mammoth-cide.
Time jump: AD 2010.
This is another post of a frustrated girl (??), lady (as hell!), nevermind. I observe some tension-raising trend in contemporary dramas/movies. And because I am going to focus only on dramas, I will leave the word "movie" out, but please bear in minds, that this also applies to this section of the entertainment, although, as for now, in a lesser form.
Since few years, the amount of dramas, in which along with professional actors appear a whole bunch of  shady singers, has been growing rapidly. For my research I gathered few titles.
Title (singer)
Loveholic (Kang Ta, but this man is pure awesomeness and wholesome wonder, so excuse you!)
A Love to Kill (Bi)
Wedding (Jang Nara)
Que Sera Sera (Eric, from Shinhwa group)
One Mom Three Dads (Eugine)
You are my Life (Yuna from SNSD)
2009 -  a true breakthrough year for singers.
Brilliant Legacy (Lee Seungki)
Boys Over Flowers (Kim Hyun Joong - SS501)
You're Beautiful (Jung Yonghwa, Lee Hongki, UEE)
I.R.I.S. (TOP)
Heading to the Ground (Yunho from DBSK) ugh...
Personal Taste ( Im Seul Ong)
My Girlfriend is Gumiho (Lee Seungki, No Min Woo) ugggghhh!!
Playful Kiss (Kim Hyun Joong), ugh, just stop, please, stop!
Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Park Yucheon from DBSK), don't get me wrong. I love you, doll, but acting...

These are just the examples, because I didn't want to make this into a boring list.
What's my problem? Is there a need to make a fuss? I think it is. As Taye Diggs once said that the roles he, or any other Afro-American actor could get, they give to rappers.
This is exactly my problem. In Entertainment Weekly few months ago an expert said that nowadays, singers have to be more versatile than to just simply sing. They have to be entertainers, actors, models, role-models. Funny thing no one ever mentioned something along: volunteer? They appear in CFs, they appear in many other projects, so it's all too natural for them to be casted in a drama. As if directors/producers run out of good actors. OK, I admit, since the Fall of last year it's hard with the Hwarang (Flower of the Youth) of actors in the military, but please, behave!
Find a robot on this picture and call 0-800-YOU'RE-INSANE
   Some may say: hey, lady, you're not objective!
Hell naw! I'm not, but I never said I would be. I never promised to be objective. I don't believe in objectivity.
So, my problem is: the quality of dramas may drop if producers don't stop counting their won and  being excited over ratings. Now, as I see it, they cast pretty as pansy in Spring idols from groups or individual singers.
The main thought is: "Oh my freaking gods, they are so awesome in MVs! They have to be awesome on the screen!". The truth is: drama is not a 4-minutes long video. The fact that someone is great in MV doesn't mean he/she will do great in the series. Example? UEE: she ruined, as for me, Queen Seondeok. She hadn't some big role, but please, to be casted as the young Mishil?? The scene when she was smiling when rain finaly came - I think an autistic kid would do better (not to offense anyone, my parents also thought I was one when I was little^^).
Is there really no one in the country of over 40 million people to be casted in the drama?
   I dropped already two dramas, because I couldn't take the crap from the main cast anymore. I don't care if singers are given the supporting or 8th-plan role, it's fine with me, I can bear it somehow, but the leading role to the guy who can make one facial expression?? We tried, one of us (hey, Jana, love!) made some snapshots of, what seemed like another facial expression of, our beloved Kim The Table Hyun Joong. I tried to watch BOF last year, but I just couldn't stand him. And I don't buy any excuse in the weak performance. If it was on the stage, I could believe that it was not his day, he was feeling ill/bad/tired/whatever. But in the drama? When there are double shots? It seems like his character in Playful Dead-Fish Kiss is emotionally and mentally handicapped. The reason is simple: no talent whatsoever?
But of course, the solid fanbase of the group is enough of the reason to cast anyone.
And I don't want to start on Lee Seungki. I said about him and his "acting" so many things and not a one of a good opinion. He plays in a dead-fish manner. That is - have your mouth open ceaselessly and hope it will be seen as showing emotions. I guess no one has told you this before? No, it's not acting. He has 2 facial expressions though: smile and dead-carp. KHJ I guess can smile too, but he hasn't show it in the first episode.

   And now an attentive reader (if not sleeping or honing the dagger) can ask: OK, you're slanting singers, but what about models?
Actually, I see some development in their acting. Jo Inseong, Ju Jihun, Kim Jaewuk... at least they are trying to improve their acting. Sure, they started awkwardly, they were a little stiff at the very beginning, but they are willing to learn, and not to rely on their fangirls' support.
Fangirls as a group is a very powerful weapon. They're like the locust swarm - they rarely are seen single, and they devour and annihilate everything on their way. You can avoid/kill one bug, but you're hopeless against thousands of them.

It's all about ratings. Ratings=popularity. Popularity=merchandising. Merchandising=money.

But you know, there is the difference in quality. Some actors have "movie" way of acting, they sure belong to the movie world, so when they appear in drama, they overshadow everyone, they do what they want with the character, they are just shining like a little gem. That was Namgil-nim like in his every drama, especially in Bad Guy (yep, his weakest drama so far) and QSD. He was just like if taken from a totally different galaxy. That was Ryu Seung Ryong like in Personal Taste (watching him was like an ointment for my eyes). That was Shin Ha Kyun in Harvest Villa. And many more. They are not afraid of their hair getting tangled up, they are not afraid of making stupid face, of looking unattractive, of screaming...
And likewise, when singers appear in movies, they usually fall badly. 

   What annoys me with idols is their obsession-like attention to their physique. Their hair are ALWAYS perfectly combed and unmoved. Their faces are always clean and matted. Their clothes are just taken from the hanger. It looks like if they were thinking about their every shot as the potential picture on the wall.
And no, I'm not hater. No Min Woo in My Girlfriend is Gumiho is stiff as... umm, OK, maybe without comparing, but at the same time he has the sparkle that makes up for everything. So even if someone's acting is not my cup of tea, I can appreciate the efforts. And at least he knows how to keep his mouth shut.
And I'm not bashing the actors personalities, I don't know them, I don't eat some ramen every Saturday evening with them so I don't know, but I judge their performances. The same goes for those who play actors. When someone is on zero level - I say it. I can even say it when someone is on the minus level.
And those two singers/actors/whatever are. Sorry for it.
I hope directors and what's more important - producers, will find their brains lost in between commercials and ratings, and start to think over casting. 
Putting singers in place of actors is a fanservice.
But it also is scaring of the poor, stupid mammoths. That is us.
Ultimate weapon in convincing^^