Monday, September 19, 2011

JYJ - what's next?

   During the break in my work (and other things), I started to think about the JYJ current situation. I fumed a lot over their status as outcasts in Korean Entertainment Industry, but now it occured to me - it's not actually that bad thing. Of course it's not marshmallows either, but I do feel the schism inside SMEnt and the groundshaking they made, is now turning into their benefit.

   We witness many groups birth moments. Some of these groups are successful, some are less successful. Some are hyped to the absurdity level, and some are hardly recognized. Some idiots even mistake one member for another. Well, the fact that both belong to fairly underrated groups makes up for it. Or does it?
The recent success of JYJ's first Korean-language album, that is In Heaven, prompted few companies to line up with CF offers.
I praised this trio countless times, and even if someone is not a fan of their music, it's simply impossible not to cheer for them nonetheless. They started in DBSK and with DBSK they achieved everything they could. After the splitting, they became homeless but with solid base of supporting fans (maybe the best is Blessing Yoochun, a community of mostly women age 30+ who usually donate a lot for those in need, having boys as their example) that can turn everything with "JYJ" logo on it into pure gold. Yet this huge potential of the biggest fanclub of the world, namely Cassiopeia, wasn't used to its fullest. TV Broadcasts refused to invite any of the boys to their shows. Ripley never got even one coverage in entertainment shows.

   So now moving into the main point. They started off as "idols". I partially despise the word that classifies a singer as something less worthy that "singer", but partially have to agree. They are somewhat "idols" to those hormonally deviated teenagers who can wet their pants because said idol looked straight into the camera during the broadcast, and poor girly is sure he looked JUST at her. Well, I wrote many things on fangirls, so it's no use. But they are idols also because of fashion, and endorsements. Everything that a certain idol wears becomes a hit (except for manbra, or maybe in Japan only), "he drinks XX drink, so I will drink it too, even though it stinks like my own p*ss". Therefore - they truly are idols. Plus, they may be idols for someone to develop oneself in a certain direction, but usually such serious topic is mercilessly ignored in various fandoms.

   We have witnessed DBSK birth moment, the JYJ drama-llama was taking place just before our eyes recently, but now, we are witnessing something else. A transition from idols to artists. 
I'm not saying idols can't be artists, but it works on a totally different level. Except for Woolliment, no company allows their kids to compose their own tracks, and even if they do, usually such songs are put on some B-sides. Jaejung composed during DBSK days, but those songs weren't promoted as smash hits. Now, they do all themselves, and this independence makes them stand out against the industry. Their songs are raw, that's true, both in emotions they convey, words or music. But they are honest. I think this will slowly reflect in the industry and big agencies allow their idols compose their own songs or at least parts of them.
SMEnt will soon issue the statement in which they will tell us that the splitting was in fact approved by them. I bet they will soon  feel proud as parents of such brilliant prodigy, trying to get credits for JYJ's success. They'd do have a grain of truth in this - they trained them. But it's not like they made the racing horse out of a donkey. They just found diamonds and polished them. That's all.

   Junsu has landed two roles in musicals that were enthousiastically welcomed by the audience (hard to tell, was it because of the production values or Junsu himself). And as the sworn admirer of musicals I liked them a lot (Mozart! and Tears of Heaven). He also was given the cameo in Scent of a Woman drama and he was cute. Jaejung had one supporting role jdrama last year (or rather jcrap), and now he's starring in Protect the Boss. The most versatile and successful up to date is Yucheonnie... (ekhem... be professional!), who had two leading roles in both Seonggyungwan Masterpiece Scandal and Ripley, and lately flew to Thailand for a fanmeeting. Plus, he composes as well. Plus, he's a sunshine, end of the story.

   This proves that idols, or whatever you call them, don't need to appear on TV to achieve success. It's all about the fans and talent that has to be presented. Also, JYJ case is the proof that the protectorate of the big agency is also not necessary. This is also the reason why I'm looking out for my Big Dipper guys. Small agency, lack of proper promotion, yet huge potential within. Plus solid fanbase. This is all that counts.
I'm tempted to guess how long JYJ will remain JYJ, but "maybe-ing" is an opium for the brain, it causes only pleasant delusions and nothing more. One is sure, slowly the "idol group JYJ" will be replaced by "JYJ" with the artist hint.