Extra! Korea

October 6, 2010

Children need to be protected from loan advertisements?

Filed under: advertising, censorship, legal issues, television, youth — extrakorea @ 10:36 am

In an effort to further protect children from undesirable influences, the Korean government is extending the hours during which adult material will be permitted to be broadcast.

Currently, adult-rated TV programs are banned from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on public holidays and vacations. But from October, that will be expanded from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on holidays. Advertising for alcohol, tobacco and private loan companies is also banned at those times.

Children need to protected from private loan company advertisements?

July 18, 2010

These “singers” are busy with non-singing activities

Filed under: actors/actresses, movies, music, television — extrakorea @ 1:10 pm

According to this post, the members of the girl group T-ara are so busy acting in dramas, movies, and variety shows that they can’t sing on stage or record in the studios.

Jiyeon has already been in a lot of movies and dramas, Eunjung has been in a drama and preparing for a movie, Hyomin has been preparing for a drama, and Qri, Boram and Soyeon have been regulars on variety shows. When album activities occur, the girls become very busy.

A representative said, “T-ara’s Hyomin is preparing for a drama shoot and future individual activities,” he said, “in this case, it means they girls can’t regularly be on stage or record often or else members would be missing and that’s why we recruited a new member to hold activties and keep interest in T-ara and not the dramas/movies.”

I thought that they are, you know, singers. It reminds me of the time that Uee, of the girl group After School, was so busy with her acting that she couldn’t join After School in performances.

This kind of thing, combined with the fact that most girl groups only have one or two members who can really sing well, reinforces the notions that:
a. to be a “singer” in South Korea you don’t need to be able to sing well
b. South Korea doesn’t really have singers and actors like other countries do. That is, in other countries, singing and acting are professional careers that require ability and specialized training. In Korea, there are just “celebrities” who both sing and act, but don’t dedicate themselves to either and don’t do either particularly well.

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.”


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.

November 18, 2009

“Short Losers” controversy causes Misuda production team to resign & retail boom

Filed under: rapid cultural change, television — extrakorea @ 2:45 pm

You may have heard about the “Short Losers” controversy, in which a guest on Misuda/Chat with Beauties said that men under 180 cm (about 5’11”) are “losers.” The young woman, Lee Do-kyoung, a student at Hongik University, immediately found herself in a lot of hot water. She tried to defend herself by claiming that the show is scripted, and that she was merely doing what was asked of her.
The show, and even its TV station, also were the targets of criticism, with one man suing KBS for causing him “emotional distress.” As a result, the entire production team of the show has resigned.
If you’re one of those who’ve suffered “emotional distress,” take heart in the fact that Hyun-ah, of the group 4Minute, likes losers. It would be so much better if she weren’t 17 and underage.
The controversy has been a boon to online retailers, who’ve received an unexpected but welcome windfall:

Interpark has set up an entirely new shopping category labeled, “escape being a loser!” The fresh line-up offers everything from height increasing shoe insoles to straight up men’s heels.

There is one condition prior to making the purchase: Shoppers can’t be taller than 180 centimeters, say Interpark officials.


Another Internet shopping site, 11th Street, has also launched a special shopping section dubbed “don’t worry be happy” for shoppers who consider themselves “losers.” It sells a wide range of goods flattering for “vertically challenged” people at prices starting from 2,500 won.


Sales of men’s shoes with inner heels climbed 20 percent over the past week, according to industry data, leaving some popular products out of stock.

Below are some of the designs that are finding their way onto tee-shirts:

Lastly, you can read this article about Korea’s recent preoccupation with height.
(Hat Tip to Kushibo)

September 6, 2009

How celebrities get rich despite box office flops and rare TV appearances: Commercials

Filed under: celebrities, movies, television — extrakorea @ 12:45 pm

Are you a celebrity whose movies bombed at the box office and who rarely appears on TV? No problem. Kim Tae-hee’s two movies were flops and she hasn’t acted on TV for years. Just do as she does, and appear in commercials. Lots and lots of commercials.

Fees of hundreds of million won are also a phenomenon unique to Korea. In the U.S., only professional models appear in commercials, which actors tend to avoid so as not to look like has-beens. This shows that acting alone can generate enough wealth in the U.S., whereas it rarely does in Korea.

[ snip ]

By contrast, a handful of actors and actresses dominate the film industry in Korea. “In a situation like this, many celebrities focus more on commercials than actual acting,” says Kim won-young, a copywriter.

September 3, 2009

TV Drama “Tamra the Island” to be Shortened to 16 Episodes

Filed under: idiots, television — extrakorea @ 1:48 pm

You might recall the TV drama “Tamra the Island.” (Watch it here with English sub-titles.) Unfortunately, not only will its intended run of 20 episodes not be extended, but it will be shortened to 16 episodes. If it’s true that most of the drama has already been filmed, then that means that the shortening will be done with hasty editing that could lead to an incongruous story. MBC has been receiving numerous online complaints, but it remains to be seen if anything will change. Something is very wrong with the world when the idiotic “Boys over Flowers” becomes a monster hit, but an ambitious, high-quality drama isn’t even allowed to fulfill its full run.

August 21, 2009

Rain set to be the star of a real-life “Truman Show”

Filed under: celebrities, music, television — extrakorea @ 8:02 am

Rain is about to debut a television channel that will be devoted to him, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unlike the movie The Truman Show, however, it will not just show him in his daily life in real time. Part of the time will be dedicated to old footage, dramas (such as Full House), concerts, music videos, his fashion line, and some of the trainees of his company, J. Tune Entertainment.

August 9, 2009

Will new TV drama “Tamra, the Island” have a positive portrayal of foreigners?

Filed under: expatriates, rapid cultural change, television — extrakorea @ 9:01 am

There’s a new TV drama called “Tamra, the Island” in which an Englishman becomes stranded on the island of Cheju and gets to know one of that island’s haenyeo (famous divers who catch shellfish). The Englishman is portrayed by a Frenchman, and his hair seems to be dyed platinum blonde, in accordance with local stereotypes of Europeans. But those are minor quibbles, and hopefully, the drama will be the first positive (or, at least, neutral) portrayal of a foreign man on television in a very long time.
The haenyeo will be played by actress Seo Woo. Wait a minute, is that the same Seo Woo from the movie Paju (파주), which the Grand Narrative mentioned once? Furthermore, is it the same actress who starred in this unforgettable commercial? From spanking her own ass over the ecstasy of ice cream to starring in a possibly groundbreaking drama, she’s come a long way, baby. (Assuming that is her.)

July 8, 2009

Oh noes! Naked News Korea may be “harmful to teenagers”

Filed under: censorship, television — extrakorea @ 2:14 am

Normally, when I see a headline like “Topless News Channel Under Official Scrutiny,” off-color jokes begin to coalesce in my mind. But … oh no! …

The Korea Communications Standards Commission is monitoring Naked News, a topless channel launched here on May 23, it said Monday.

[ snip ]

The commission has asked experts to review whether the service is harmful to teenagers and plans to take strict punitive measures if it disobeys relevant regulations.

Leave Naked News alone! Just leave it alone!

June 24, 2009

Pervert cameraman violates Son Dam-bi

Filed under: celebrities, gender equality, idiots, music, television, What the hell?! — extrakorea @ 3:18 am

If Roboseyo thought that there was some pervy camerawork in this video (I didn’t), then he should see this video (Hat Tip to All K Pop). At the 2:35 mark, the cameraman approaches Son Dam-bi from the front, his camera well below the hem of her miniskirt. But then at 2:40, he sneaks up behind her, puts the lens right between her legs, points it upward, then scurries off like the weasel he is. What a pervert.
Here is the “professional” video of the same event. Notice how they didn’t use the latter footage. I guess it’s for the cameraman’s own private “Saturday Night” with Son Dam-bi.

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