Extra! Korea

April 3, 2010

Is TV program “Misuda” (“Chat with Beauties”) on its way out?

Filed under: gender equality, television — extrakorea @ 12:36 pm

You may have heard of the Korean program “Misuda” (미녀들이 수다) which could be translated as “Chat with Beauties.” In it, foreign women talk about Korea. Usually, they have nice things to say, but sometimes controversies come out of their stories or opinions, such as when one panelists talked about how a sexually-harassing professor offered her a sex-for-grades exchange, another wrote a book, and yet another gave her humble opinion about some disputed islets, the Liancourt Rocks.

The show may be on its way out the door. Why?

The program has been really popular with Korean viewers which introduced the perspectives and opinions of foreigners living in Korea. But the “short guys are losers” controversy in November 2009 damaged the program greatly and it has never quite recovered since despite changing the entire production team and format.

The speculation was confirmed by a KBS representative who expressed, “We boldly tried to change the show but it didn’t work. So now we’re pondering whether or not to completely abolish the show or to consider switching things up.”

Edit/Update:

It’s looking like Misuda will change its time slot, from Monday at 7 p.m. to Saturday at 7 p,m. Why would they put a struggling TV show into a more competitive time slot? I don’t know.

Couple who let baby die while raising virtual baby plead guilty to negligent homicide

Filed under: rapid cultural change, technology, the Internet — extrakorea @ 12:02 pm

You might recall the story about the couple who were spent so much time playing an online game that their neglected baby starved to death. The biggest irony in the sad story was the fact that the goal of the game was to raise a virtual baby.

The couple was charged with negligent homicide, and they plead guilty. Sentencing will be on April 16. By the way, the CNN report features Andrew Salmon.

April 1, 2010

Video for Lee Hyori’s “Swing” is weird and gloomy

Filed under: music — extrakorea @ 1:30 pm

Brian beat me to this, so now it’s my turn.

Lee Hyori’s latest video is now out. Like the teaser video, it’s weird. Unlike the teaser, it’s dark and gloomy. It’s like watching a very short David Lynch movie. Where’s the midget? Sorry, “little person.”

I have to give her props for trying a different kind of music for her new single. The rap in the middle is totally unnecessary, though. To be blunt, most Korean raps are done in a staccato monotone, with no “rhyme” or “flow,” and thus sound like crap.

Must Read: Critic tried to silence blogger Brian by siccing Immigration on him

Filed under: censorship, expatriates — extrakorea @ 1:24 pm

Brian (formally) in Jeollanam-do said before that he had a big announcement coming up, one that he had been sitting on because of Korea’s libel laws (Even if what you write is verifiably true, you can still be sued. [Edit/Update: You can also get a criminal record.]). This must be it. Be sure to read his post first.

Brian isn’t the only one whom disgruntled Koreans have tried to silence through ugly methods. Members of the group Anti-English Spectrum tried to get author Scott “King Baeksu” Burgeson fired for writing a book that had some criticisms of Korea.

Also, Koreans have been silenced by other Koreans. Most notably, the Korean government itself arrested a blogger called “Minerva.” That so many people would blindly follow an anonymous blogger is an indictment of the educational system of this country. That the government would arrest someone for expressing his opinion is an indictment of the government’s mindset. It’s no wonder that South Korea was recently named an “enemy of the internet.”

Of course, expatriates have targeted other expats. One guy, after being banned from the Marmot’s Hole comments section, tried to get said blogger in trouble with his boss. There is also an expat blogger who has an unhealthy obsession with Brian. However, in my opinion, these are different. The guy who got banned is clearly mentally ill. The expat blogger may or not also be certifiable, but he is certainly an alcoholic as well as a negligent, lazy teacher. The Koreans, on the other hand, are not crazy (at least not in the conventional sense). They know what they are doing, which is exploiting the legal confines that expatriates must live within to silence them. (Blogger Kushibo says that he has also been targeted by, I believe, other expatriates. I don’t know much about it, so I can’t comment.)

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