[Opinion] The Satisfying and Disquieting Use of Loveline Entertainment

A couple of weeks ago SBS’ long-running entertainment variety show “Running Man” officially introduced a new loveline — an on-screen romance — between two members. While entertaining, it is also disquieting to see people forced into a romantic construct that is not of their making.

Image source – Instagram

Lovelines, the real or faux on-screen romances on Korean entertainment programs, are exploited by both cast members and producers to jump-start interest, provide fan service, and to open a slew of possible entertaining moments notable enough to wind up in the news and trend on search engines.

This kind of entertainment goldmine is especially viable if the participants are attractive and eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. One network, in particular, has become proficient in honing in on popular would-be couples and banking in on the fan-led fantasies.

SBS is behind the massively popular “Monday Couple” of rapper Gary and actress Song Ji-hyo born during the first years of “Running Man” and later capitalized on the viable connection between Kim Jong-kook and singer Hong Jin-young on “My Little Old Boy.”

Just a few weeks ago, the network officiated the loveline between permanent cast members Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-kook (the same one on “My Little Old Boy”). In doing so the networks answered the prayers of a dedicated subgroup of the show’s fans who refer to the couple as “Spartace,” a combination of their “Running Man” nicknames “Sparta” and “Ace.”

Admittedly, the episode first episode where the cast, guests, and staff seemed conspired to play up every one of their interactions was very entertaining. More than the embarrassing reactions of the Song and Kim was the ingenuity of the cast in finding ways to tease the two — including an impromptu rendition of Kim’s song “One Man.”

The most recent episode of “Running Man,” the cast was divided into two groups where they had to find and eat a cheaper dish of food than the opposing team. While simple in concept, the dynamics of each team was unique enough that laughs came easily, especially from the team that had the show’s new loveline couple in a group with Haha and Yang Se-chan.

In fact, the episode was so entertaining I decided to watch it again. During the second watch through, the interactions and reactions of the members took on a new somewhat disquieting light.

As the cast members (especially Haha and Yang who deserve an award for their work) and crew continued to bank in on the loveline between Kim and Song, it became clear that while the two took the teasing in good humor that it also made them uncomfortable.


With Kim and Song having been colleagues and friends for close to a decade, the loveline appears to have created a shift on the show that the two may not have been fully prepared for. This is unlike the loveline between Kim Jong-kook and Hong Jin-young on “My Little Old Boy” and occasionally on “Running Man” where the two are placed in clearly constructed situations and understanding their relationship dynamics when on set.

Whether they do have any romantic feelings for each other or are just friends, is it okay to profit from their discomfort that may have repercussions even when the cameras are off?

This issue is connected to the broader topic of fan-service. In fictional works, it is when non-plot affecting elements are added to please the audience. In K-pop, it is when celebrities engage in behavior that is not normal for them for their fans. This can include but is not limited to such acts of physical intimacy like holding hands, hugging, and cheek kissing.

While fans of shows and groups may enjoy and even find these kinds of interactions and lovelines exciting and satisfying, it can also lead to unforeseen consequences — especially if those involved don’t enjoy it themselves.




By O.C


Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates

Microdot Reportedly Wants to Settle Debt With Victims, but They Won’t Budge

After dropping off the may in recent months after victims came forward with fraud allegations against his parents, Microdot is attempting to do right by them, but they aren’t budging.

Image source – OSEN News

According to OSEN News, Microdot allegedly contacted some of the victims swindled by his parents individually with the help of close relatives.

In these conversations, the rapper’s relatives speaking to the victims had said that his parents are willing to agree on a settlement outside of court. Reportedly, the motivation for these settlements comes partially from Microdot and his brother Sanchez’s desire to begin working in Korea again.

However, the victims for their part, allegedly strongly refused to their proposal.

In particular, the victims are angry that Microdot and Sanchez intend to resume their entertainment activities, apparently planning to forgo making sincere apologies or properly compensation them. Reportedly, the rapper proposed only to pay back a portion of the amount this parent borrowed during the IMF Crisis some 20 years ago.

Currently, the situation that started with Microdot’s parents has boiled over to affect the whole family. As a result, both Microdot and Sanchez have ceased any entertainment activities in Korea and have kept a low profile. So low in fact, that people don’t know if they are in New Zealand with their parents or still in Seoul.

After admitting that the allegations against his parents held some truth, Microdot stepped down from shows, brand deals, and mostly kept away from social media. Moreover, his agency has also kept quiet about the situation and his current status. However, for many, being silent does not translate into an apology.



Original article

Translated by O.C


Remake of MBC’s King of Masked Singer Aired 1st episode as FOX’s The Masked Singer

The US version of Korea’s popular TV Show King of Masked Singer aired its 1st episode on January 2nd as The Masked Singer on FOX TV.

FOX TV previously purchased the rights to MBC’s King of Masked Singer to remake for the US audience. In the US version there are a total of 12 masked singers with amazing accomplishments totaling to 65 Grammy nominations, 16 Emmy nominations and 4 Superbowl titles.

Artist Nick Cannon hosted the show with panelists Korean-American Actor Ken Jeong, Model & Actress Jenny McCarthy, The Pussycat Doll’s former member Nicole Scherzinger and Singer Robin Thicke.

If you are waiting to watch the first episode and still do not know who was the first contestant to be eliminated, stop reading right now. Do NOT scroll down.


Spoiler for first eliminated contestant.

The first contestant eliminated on the first episode of FOX TV’s The Masked Singer was … NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Antonio Brown. Was anyone able to guess correctly?


Original Article

By Sara N


Apink Confirms Comeback in January with New Mini Album

Apink is ready to start year 2019 with a fresh new comeback!

On December 4, Plan A Entertainment announced that girl group Apink has confirmed to make a comeback in January with a new album.

Image Source – Plan A Entertainment

The agency said, “the group plans to showcase an upgraded ‘innocent charisma’ than their last release ‘I’m so sick’ in July. Please look forward to their fresh new looks.”

Meanwhile, Apink had also gathered much attention for their comment at the 2018 Melon Music Awards, which hinted at their comeback in January. The group had said, “it looks like we are making a comeback in January. We are working very hard right now and we promise to come back with great music.”

Thus, the group confirmed to make a comeback for the first time in 6 months, since the release of their 7th mini album “ONE & SIX” in July. Usually, they are known for having a relatively long-period of hiatus. However, by announcing a quick comeback this time, Apink managed to increase the anticipation of fans all around the world.

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


BTS Renews Contract with Big Hit Entertainment

All 7 member of BTS have renewed their contract with Big Hit Entertainment!

On October 18, Big Hit released an official email to its internal staff member and stockholders, “based on our deep trust and relationship with BTS, we have decided to renew the contract with the group.”

Image Source – Big Hit Entertainment
According to the reports, the producing ability of Big Hit Entertainment is what influenced the decision the most.

With this particular forte, the company has been supporting the group in every way possible since their debut. They strived for the best quality not only in album producing, but also in the music videos, performances, and concerts.

Big Hit Entertainment commented, “our philosophy is to provide the fullest support to the artist, who are showing much success internationally. After exchanging a plenty of in-depth conversation with all 7 members, we have agreed to renew the contract to ensure their stable and long-term career.”

They continued, “right now, there are about 100 people who are managing BTS, exclusively. Our company will continue to invest and support so that the team will grow stronger and work more systematically.”

BTS said, “we respect our mentor, Bang Si-Hyuk, who has provided the vision for our future even before our debut. He helped us to broaden our perspectives of music, and also of our worldview point. With Big Hit Entertainment, that has supported us in every way possible from the beginning, we will do our best to show even better, improved version of ourselves to all fans around the world.”

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


China’s Plan to Restrict Foreign TV Programs May Affect Korea’s Entertainment Industry

China is gearing up to place more barriers between itself and content from other countries. With the icy atmosphere between the country and South Korea just beginning to warm, what does this mean for Korean entertainment?

This past Thursday, China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) proposed a guideline to prevent foreign TV programs from making up over 30% of all aired programs.

According to the guideline, the NRTA would ban unapproved foreign content from broadcasting during prime time, 7 pm to 10 pm. Further, imported news programs will also be prohibited. However, the guideline has not been finalized yet. The NRTA will collect public opinion and issue a final version of the directive next month after October 19.

Additionally, there are a few specifics in the guideline that are drawing attention. In particular, it prohibits programs involving groups or individuals who have or do participate in activities that harm national sentiment. For example, the NRTA will forbid those who recognize Taiwan as a state from appearing on television.

Moreover, foreigners can make up only 20% of a cast, and a cannot be put into a position of a presenter for a show. Further, some details say foreigners cannot be both a writer and director nor principal or co-actor in a single production.

The guideline is not a new move from China, but a continuation of the countries desires to restrict access to foreign content. However, since last year when it lifted its ban on Hallyu content, the relationship between China and South Korea has thawed. Unfortunately, this could deal another blow to Korea’s entertainment industry.

Just recently, for the first time in two years a Korean-made movie, Monstrum, got approval to be distributed in China. Additionally, stars have started to appear on entertainment programs again. HelloVenus were guests on an entertainment program, and Park Hae-jin also connected with fans using Weibo. Further, the Beijing Film Festival, which had not invited Korean films for a while, also started showing Korean films this year.

However, many are predicting that the measure will not prevent to the level of restriction present during the Hallyu ban. On the other hand, some are worried that the new guideline will spur plagiarism of original Korean content.



Original article

Translated by O.C


Yoo Jae-Suk Confirms to Host New JTBC Variety Show

Yoo Jae-Suk becomes a host to yet another variety show, this time on JTBC!

JTBC has officially begun preparing to launch a new variety show “Kids These Days” (literal translation) with Yoo Jae-Suk as the host. The program, where kids and adults these days spend a quality time together, is aiming for a premiere in November.

On the murals of an ancient Egyptian pyramid, a statement “kids these days have no manner” is written. Many years later, kids have not changed. They communicate with their own internet language and exchange conversation through “memes” they find online. These so-called “Z generation” kids, who were exposed to technology at a young age, spends much time creating their own videos and contents targeting SNS users.

With this social trend, JTBC decided to create a program that features many online contents that “kids these days” made. They will show them to the adults, who are not very familiar with how things work on the internet. In response, the adults observe the contents, meet the creators, and ask any questions they might have towards each other.

The program picked Yoo Jae-Suk as the person to represent the adults. Furthermore, they are currently in search for other members who will assist Yoo Jae-Suk in helping the adults and children to better communicate offline.

Meanwhile, producer Yoon Hyun-Jun, who also worked for “Crime Scene” and “Sugar Man” will guide the production, alongside Lee Chang-Woo from “Please Take Care of My Refrigerator.” Yoo Jae-suk has previously worked with producer Yoon Hyun-Joon in KBS “Happy Together” and “Sugar Man.”

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


[M/V] Zico Releases Retro R&B Single ‘SoulMate’ Featuring IU

The musical combination of Block B member Zico and songstress IU is proving to be lethal.


“SoulMate,” a new song that Zico released with IU, has found its way onto seven major music sites including Melon, Mnet, and Genie. Previously, when it was first releases, the retro R&B song appeared in the number two spot on Melon, Genie, and Olleh. In particular, the song achieved the ranking just two hours after the song dropped, proving the power of this music couple.

Meanwhile, Zico is also preparing for his first solo concert.



Original article

Translated by O.C


SM, JYP, YG, and 4 Other Major Agencies Join Forces to Establish “Korean VEVO”

Seven major entertainment agencies have joined forces to create a new global platform company that distributes K-pop music video contents!

On July 19, seven major entertainment agencies held a signing ceremony for the establishment of “Music & Creative Partners Asia Company.” Participating in the ceremony were representatives from SM, JYP, YG, BigHit, FNC, Mystic, and Star Empire Entertainment.

The Music and Creative Partners Asia Company (MCPA for short) plans to provide a global digital service platform that distributes K-pop music videos. Furthermore, they will be the organization to determine regulations regarding the music video distribution in Korea. Lastly, they plan to create new contents using the original IP, and further expand their business to other areas in the future.

In a way, this company will somewhat act as a “Korean VEVO.”

VEVO is a joint venture between global music distribution companies – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI’s parent company Abu Dhabi Media. In 2009, these companies partnered to create a distribution company that releases music vides on YouTube, live streams musicians’ contents, as well as hosts global concerts.

Just like VEVO, MCPA wants to create a digital platform dedicated to K-pop contents, and improve the global competitive advantage for Korean artists. At last, by putting “Asia” in the company name, it aims to grow into a company to represent all-Asia.

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


Yoo Jae-Suk Renews His Contract with FNC Entertainment

Yoo Jae-Suk has decided to continue his business with FNC Entertainment!

On July 16, Yoo Jae-Suk successfully renewed his contract with FNC Entertainment. After flying solo for about 5 years, he signed his first exclusive contract with the company in July of 2015. At the time, the news had gathered much attention from the public.

3 years later, Yoo Jae-Suk renews his contract with FNC Entertainment. The agency reported, “Yoo Jae-Suk has been receiving lots of love for his diligent image. From the beginning, we shared the same belief and vision of having positive influence on the society by creating “good” contents. Therefore, we were able to develop mutual trust, which now serves as the foundation for his decision to renew contract with us. As his supportive and dependable partner, we plan to give fullest effort and support on his future activities.”

Meanwhile, Yoo Jae-Suk has led several long-running variety shows as their main MC. The list includes SBS “Running Man,” KBS 2TV “Happy Together,” as well as MBC “Infinite Challenge.” In addition, he also recently starred in Netflix original variety program “Busted!” and plans to appear in the second season, as well.

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim