Best K-Pop Stage Outfits

Okay, before we start, I am no fashion expert. Really if you see me dress …well, let’s just say, I work in IT and don’t really have much direct every day contact with our clients. I come in hoodies and I’m just short of wearing sweat pants to work.
Still I know what kind of outfits I like when I dress up. So, yes, this is going to be a heavily opinion-based post. Tell me later what your favorite outfits are.

So here some of my criteria:

  • it doesn’t look uncomfortable
  • it looks good
  • it matches the person wearing it
  • it matches the song/concept somewhat
  • groups: the members have to match somewhat

These are my conditions. Why comfortable? It doesn’t matter how nice looking an outfit is, they have to dance in it. That’s hard already and you don’t have to make it harder by making an outfit they cannot move in.

The following will be in random order.

I*ZONE – Fiesta

This outfit was actually the one making me write this article since I just really adore it. All the members were the same outfit with a few small adjustments matching each member. It has the cut to fit all the members’ different looks and look good for all of them. It’s a good mix of a simple but also glam and elegant outfit. The knee high boots make the outfit even more elegant. Also the outfit matches the song well and is not easily forgotten while also being not too fancy.
Performance starts at 2:20.

G-Friend – Sunrise

G-Friend has played with many different stage outfits, going from beautiful fancy dresses to elegant suit style. The reason I love this stage outfit? Because it doesn’t look uncomfortable, they don’t have to wear over the top high heels and it’s the perfect example of a different combination of similar but different outfits. All the members have an outfit that matches them well and they pull it off amazingly. And while all the outfits are really different (and not just have like one little different detail), some even have a little different color, it combines in a good way. Also the patterns of the material matches the song really well.

Jennie – Solo

I am no Jennie fan but I actually had two performance outfits chosen for best stage outfit here. In the end this one won because of the shoes. The outfit is so simple but detailed and usually the singer would were high heels or something but she is actually wearing sneakers with it which I absolutely adore. Nothing against high heels but sometimes they are just not comfortable to dance in.
To be fair though, I like the other performances I had too. It is a glowing white outfit and the reason I love it so much, it’s different from what you would usually get from the “Solo” performances. It’s shiny but simple with just one color. It fits the outfits of the back dancers but the difference in color makes Jennie stand out still. It matched the performance and the song very well. You can find performance 2 HERE.

Everglow – Dun Dun

In general, Everglow wore a lot of nice outfits for Dun Dun but this one I really like. One thing to note here, wearing any kind of leather outfit or outfit with a leather look, is risky. A lot of time it has more of a cheap effect than the fierce look. Everglow’s outfit in this performance is simple, the colors match and the chains add some extra and combine well with the leather and fabric look. All of the members are wearing different variations of the outfit making it exceptional but also making them easily recognizable as a group.

Gugudan – The Boots

This is a very similar outfit to the one of I*Zone. Mainly in length and the knee high boots. Gugudan actually wore the outfit in different colors on different performances of this song. I chose this red one because it seems even more elegant while also giving a soft touch. Little adjustments -a jacket here, a different cut there- makes it a good outfit for all the members and still displaying their individuality. In general I like it because it is a simple but good performance outfit.

Pentagon – Dr. Bebe

I like when the overall concept includes one main color but sometimes it is just too much. Pentagon managed to just hang on the cliff. They matched red with a lot of different fabrics, patterns and clothes parts. One thing I always recommend about Pentagon, their stylist knows what matches each member. They know Kino looks great in leather pants and some others look better in a specific fabric. He gave a nice velvet jacket to Jinho and it matches him really well. One thing I particularly liked about this performance, every member wearing a suit seemed to wear the correct size. A lot of stylists seem to be getting that wrong and get suits too big which looks really strange on the idols but this was one of the performances where it matched quite well. And can I just say, I want Kino’s jacket, if anyone knows where to get one like this, tell me 🙂

Sunmi – Gashina

There is this one performance of Sunmi and Gashina where she wears a more flowy red dress. I love that one but since I could not find it, I decided for this one instead. Sunmi’s outfit is not very special to be honest, it is very simple. But the delicate design of the fabric and the red being highlighted by all the dancers in black is just a nice and astonishing sight. The outfit is simple but very feminine and matches the song well. Also, it looks really comfortable to be honest. While it is not too tight, it might be a little short though.

ANS – Say My Name

Similar to Gugudan, ANS featured their outfits in different colors but same cut and design. Personally though, I think the black one is the most beautiful. One thing that made this outfit stand out from other groups’ outfits? The chain detail on the outfit is processed in a way that makes it look fitting and not cheap at all. Sometimes with chain and glittering details like that, it tends to look cheap especially with some less known groups with less budget. It fits well onto the outfit and all the outfit variations play well with the members. I really enjoyed that the weren’t just changing the upper part of the outfit but also made some changes below the hip. Some are wearing pants, other skirts and even the shoes varied. Overall it looks beautiful but comfortable at the same time.

LOONA – Full Moon (Cover)

Even if it does not seem that way, reading this post, but I’m very skeptical about red outfits. Red can be easily overdone. For this performance I think it fits quite well though. It fits the song and the choreo and the outfit in general is very elegant. It has slightly varying details for each member but look comfortable and while there are many details on the upper part, the skirt is kept simple, making it a good mix and not too overbearing. I think this outfit looks amazing for this performance.

Chungha – Snapping

Chungha has some of the most amazing outfits out there. No one can deny that. Why did I choose this outfit then? It is simple, one colored black and does not have many accessories. Well, yes, but that makes it even harder to pull off and Chungha makes this outfit look so amazing. Sometimes a simple black outfit is the only thing you need. It’s like the little black dress we all know, except this one has pants, a fact I love even more. It’s elegant but simple. Sometimes an outfit can just be black and not have any accessories and still look breathtaking.

(G)-Idle – Lion

This performance and song in general is quite epic but the outfits are even more amazing. First off though, why did I not choose the original Queendom performance? Because while the Queendom performance was absolute gold, I liked this outfit more. It is simple but beautiful and mainly plays with red on black. For girl group performances a rarity by the way. We often get combinations of red and black mixed together but not mainly black outfits with a red like this on top. The accessories just give the outfit and even more queen like performance and I love that while the outfits look the same if you don’t look closely, they are very different from each other, fitting the members well.

GOT7 – Crash and Burn

GOT7 had its own fair share of oversized suits on the members and while some outfit choices are fashionista worthy others are very, very questionable. This outfit might not be everyone’s favorite or even in the top outfits, for me it is though. Why? Because it fits and sits well. Yes, I just said that. The outfits fit well, nothing oversized, nothing too tight. Every member has its own style but definitely match the group concept well. There are small details as well as some color mix and it does well with the song too. The fabrics are not too fancy and not too cheap and while it is a pretty basic outfit for idol performances, it just checks so many boxes it is perfect.

Lovelyz – Lost n Found

Let’s go from basic necessities to over the top fairy like. Let me get this out first, I actually hate lilac on clothes. The color is what you put on a Disney princess of a fairyland country. Well, it matches very well here then I guess. It’s on this list because the outfit is pretty simple but at the same time seems soooo over the top. The styles vary for each member but are not anything special but mixed with the color and the performance it just seem so ethereal you just have to include it on this list.

APink – Eung Eung

Okay, we are leaving ethereal fairy land and coming back to modern times. This outfit is very different from what we have on this list til now. I give highest compliments to APink’s stylist though. It is hard to find outfits sooo diferent but so matching. It fits the members, fits the song and looks good while not making one member over dressed or another too plain. It is an amazing balance and a great example of matching non-matching outfits together and make a group.

ATEEZ – Wonderland

If there is one group out there dominating the suits game, it is ATEEZ. Their suits and uniforms fit, look comfortable and the members pull it off oh so well. This performance in particular, I love because white suits even with black mixed inbetween are hard to make them look good. The difference between the members’ outfits are minimal but still all the members make it look as if they are wearing something different while still acting as a group. The small details on the uniforms look nice quality-wise too. I am surprised though, nothing fell off the uniforms with the strong dancing but I guess that just supports the quality of the outfits? The clothes fit the performance, the group, the song and the choreo. A clean and definite win.

WJSN – As You Wish

Sooo many suits for guys, let me compliment some girls too. WJSN or Cosmic Girls definitely deserve this suits win. Both of them actually because I could not decide between the performances. While the red uniform has more of a school uniform, the darker one mixed very different styles very well. I really loved the fact that a girl group could pull off such beautiful and strong outfits and not just dance around in dresses for once. Also, let’s enjoy seeing them in not just uniform jackets and short shorts but actually with a full outfit without showing their legs half naked like so many other uniforms turn out. It is a well balanced outfit choice. The clothing fits all the members and looks very very good. Great job, WJSN! Check out performance 2 HERE.

SHINee – Stranger

SHINee’s outfit is pretty much the opposite of Chungha’s. It has so many details it’s almost over the top. But here comes lesson number 1 for everyone out there: If you know how to place it, detailing of any kind can look amazing. Similar to how simple outfits can look astonishing if you find someone who can pull it off. The detailing on SHINee’s outfits was placed well, doesn’t look cheap, is a good mix between glittery and simple fabric attachments and considering the performance and group it fits even better. The member were different outfits but match well and are easily recognizable as a group too. Let me just say, this outfit is worth an applause and I do think only a group like SHINee can pull it off.

 

So, this was my overview of the best K-Pop stage outfits in my opinion. I know…a lot of uniforms…sorry. Tell me what your favorite outfits are in the comments below. Maybe you find some I like too and I will include it in the list!

Bye for now!

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Top 10 K-Pop Centers (Member)

Before I start, I’m not talking about something like a K-Pop institute or so but like it says in the title, I’m talking about the members (position). For everyone who does not know: K-Pop groups normally have positions and roles for each member. The standard is: the leader, the main dancer, the main vocal, the visual, the maknae (youngest) and the main rapper. Normally the best dancer or the visual gets the center position most often. Of course, there are exceptions and of course, the center can not always have the center position because the others have lines too. But during the chorus we mostly see the center position. This was highlighted a lot in the idol survival show series Produce 101 where the trainees had to assign positions in their groups. It’s funny how it got more attention there, while in the groups themselves it is mentioned less and less.

Well, in this post I’m am gonna share my own opinion about the top 10 members in groups who have center positions (or who are in the center a lot and suit the role well) and who are doing a great job. My judging criteria are:

  • they do a good job at dancing, singing, etc. and do not mess up in the front (at least not regularly)
  • they pull your gaze to them and make you focus on them
  • they have good facial reactions to the song and whatever is going on
  • they are put in the center a lot

Note that this is my opinion, so if you want to add someone, just tell me in the comments below, I love exchanging opinions 🙂

Note: some members/groups may not be mentioned because their center changes quite often depending on the song or sometimes just because there are a lot of members.

10 – Jungkook (BTS)

BTS is known for giving great performances and having a great stage presence. So, of course, the center has to do an amazing job. Jungkook does just that. He is good at singing, dancing and giving good reactions. There’s a reason why people say he is pretty much perfect. The reason why he’s at number 10? Because he does not stand out as much. Meaning: BTS as a whole is a presence you won’t see regularly and all of them have a great aura but regarding stage presence, Jungkook is not the top contender in his group. Still, he has the official center position for a reason and is one of the top talented idols out there.

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9 – Soyeon ((G)-Idle)

(G)-Idle is a newer group and not as known as some others on this list, but still Soyeon deserves to be here. While I did not really watch her pre-debut, she manages to catch your eye and delivers some of the best gazes and stage energy ever. She catches your interest for the future. Let’s see where it goes…

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8 – SinB (G-Friend)

SinB is another member on this list who does actually have the official center position in her group. And she has it for a reason. She delivers performances with such a confidence and energy, you get the feeling she knows exactly what she is doing and she is doing it perfectly. She matches every song and feeling and while she is more on the back bench in the music videos, she stands out even more in the live performances, making her an unbelievably good center.

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7 – Yoona (Girls’ Generation)

Girls’ Generation is one of the few groups where the center position changes over the years depending on the song. Whatever song it was, though, if you put Yoona as a center, she proved she could do an amazing job. She pulled your gaze to her and engaged you into the song. While she may not be the best dancer or best singer in her group you could just see her take you on a ride with the song and make you listen even more closely, whatever genre the song may be.

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6 – Hani (EXID)

This choice is pretty clear, I think. I mean the fancam of Hani made the group more known and gave them some recognition and they actually managed to keep the fame which is not always the case. Hani, though, while she does not really stand out in her group since EXID in total and the other members have a big stage presence too, she does deliver all the right feelings and faces for the songs. She looks sexy when it needs the sexy concept, she looks lovely, when she should look lovely and she looks fierce, when it’s a strong and cool song. She matches the songs and stages and gets you even more engaged into the song.

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5 – Ayno (VAV)

This name may come as a surprise but it is a deserved spot in the list. I was surprised myself. Ayno is mostly in the center for his group and there is a reason for it. He knows how to pull you in. He makes the chorus even more catchy and he has the gaze and the dancing and knows how to use it all to be a great center. I admit even if someone else is singing the chorus, your eyes are gonna be on him. I don’t know if he has the official center position but I do think so. He definitely deserves it :)(VIDEO)

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4 – JooE (Momoland)

The next four spots are taken by idols who know how to make themselves known and who know how to deliver a performance. For JooE it is less her adapting to a song but more her stage energy, though. She does every single song with an energy that makes you notice her and watch her. Her energy makes you enjoy the song more and have more fun with the upbeat Momoland songs. It doesn’t even matter if she is in the center or not, she shows an energy you don’t see every day.(VIDEO)

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3 – Kai (EXO)

I have to admit, I’m not a Kai fan. I don’t know why, don’t ask me. At the same time, I do have to admit that he is great as EXO’s center. He is a great dancer and good singer and shows everything he’s got as the center. I still remember he already stood out in their debut song Mama and it only got better and more amazing over time. He definitely deserves to be called on of the best K-Pop centers out there.(VIDEO)

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2 – Taeyong (NCT)

I was no NCT fan when they debuted. Their music isn’t my style (whatever sub-unit it may be) and I wasn’t into their concepts either. Well, I’m still not their biggest fan but even I see that Taeyong is…well, different than most idols. He has a stage presence that you can rarely see anywhere. He delivers the right gaze and the perfect energy in every video and every live performance. It was seriously surprising how calm he seems in real life (or real life as portrayed in reality shows and so on). He seems rather shy there while on stage he seems more like a force to be reckoned with. An idol like Taeyong definitely shows what a performance has to look like.(VIDEO)

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1 – N (VIXX)

Talking about stage presence and performance, let’s take it to the kings of concepts, VIXX, and their leader, N. While he may get some of his talent from studying dance and whatever not, there is just no real explanation for his over-the-top stage presence. The group in general lives off of pulling you into their songs and concepts but N has the talent to just take you in even more and focus on him like no one else out there. Whether it is a video, a performance on TV or a live performance in front of you, he takes it all. I still remember showing a VIXX music video to friends and one of them just went like “Who. Is. That?” when seeing N. His little smirks, winks, smiles, waves and all the other little moves support his and VIXX’ stages and make you enthralled in their music. I’ve never seen anyone who could pull you in as much as him whether it is in Korea or anywhere else. He is someone who keeps your eyes on him whether he’s your bias or not. And while he manages to get your attention all the time, he knows how to make the other members shine too and supports them. I guess, that’s what a performer and leader can do. I hope we see more of him and VIXX when he is done with his military service. (VIDEO)

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So these are all my top choices. For me a center is someone who can keep you watching and who improves the performance even more. One thing I do think that every group needs is someone with a specific stage presence to fill the center position. If you don’t have that it is gonna be hard to make people notice you.

Who are your favorite choices for center whether it may be the official center position or just a member who mesmerizes you?

My Top 10 K-Pop duos

K-Pop duos are not as uncommon as someone would think though they have been mentioned less and less in the past few years (with a few exceptions). In the following post I’ll talk about the top K-Pop duos who always impress and leave a lasting expression (in my opinion). Sub-units included by the way!

Note: if you have a different opinion leave it in the comments below, I always appreciate new takes on the topic 🙂 also note I did some research before writing but the topic is not as widely spread as you would think, so it was hard finding more duos and check them out.

Note2: There were originally the Top 20 but it got a little bit confusing with who I liked better so I just decided to go with 10 instead, so maybe I did check out some duos you know, that are not mentioned on this list. 

#10 – GD & Taeyang

Yes, there have been big (like really BIG) scandals around Big Bang, but I’m not here to discuss that, so I’m just gonna judge them by the song now. GD & Taeyang have not released a lot of songs, I know, but the song Good Boy is just so addicting and catchy and I still remember when it came out, everyone knew it. And for a sub-unit to get so much recognition is uncommon.

#9 – HiSuhyun

While there was only one song, this song was amazing. Everyone knows that both Lee Hi and Suhyun have amazing and distinctive voices and together they just sound so great. Lee Hi’s soulful and deeper voice and Suhyun’s higher voice, I just love it. Also I adored the music video, it was really cute.

#8 – 15&

One of the best vocal idol duos I guess. Both of the members, Park Jimin and Baek Yerin, have amazing vocals and proved time and time again, that they can sing and enthrall an audience. It’s unfortunate they are not getting as much recognition as they should get but maybe someday in the future they will finally be more known out there.

#7 – Norazo

I discovered this duo of Jo Bin and Lee Hyuk quite some time ago and tbh, they are strange. And not just a little bit, but really strange. Still I love them so much. Especially because they do really funny music videos and performances but all of that with a straight face. That’s what I call professionalism. I do think it’s sad that one of them decided to leave the group but he probably had his reasons. And the new song with the new member Won Heum is like really catchy, so no complaints from me. I appreciate that Jo Bin decided to continue on with the music and Norazo.

#6 – Bolbbalgan4

Okay, let me be honest here. I’m not really a big fan of Bolbbalgan4. I’m not. There music style is not really my taste and I don’t really fancy their songs but even I have to admit, the make good music and people love them a lot. That’s mainly the reason they are on this list and so high up. You just cannot escape BOL4 when talking about duos.

#5 – Davichi

Davichi is probably one of the most known duos in the K-Pop industry. Ballads over ballads over ballads. And all of them are really nice to listen too. What made me love them even more is when I saw a performance of them. They could really sing as well as the recorded song. Which, even I have to admit it, is rare to find these days. There are not many artists out there (worldwide) who sound the same when singing live and when playing a recorded version. So, thanks for the amazing live performance, Davichi!

#4 – Super Junior D&E

There are a few sub-units and units that made it to the top of this list. SuJu D&E is one of them. The duo consists of Donghae and Eunhyuk and is a sub-unit of the K-Pop group Super Junior. They actually had a lot more releases in Japanese than in Korean but I still love them. Their songs are sometimes catchy, sometimes funny, a few times serious and touching but always charismatic. They mix so well and it is just so much fun to watch them together. In general, I’m a Super Junior fan as one of the legends in the K-Pop genre, as well as them being amazing in so many different things. D&E just ask for your attention and they’ll definitely get it.

#3 – TVXQ

Originally TVXQ! was a five member group but after some contract trouble they split and only Changmin and Yunho remained. But still, they make an amazing duo. One thing you can say about every single one of their songs and performances – they make you look and stare. They just capture your eye whatever they do and no matter if there are like 10 background dancers. Yunho and Changmin just match so well with each other and you see them complimenting each other in every way.

#2 – Trouble Maker

Not really a sub-unit, more like a special unit, Trouble Maker. Consisting of Kim Hyuna (of 4minute – disbanded) and Jang Hyunseung (formerly from Beast). When the unit first started, there was sooooo much going on. I think so many people freaked out over them and their song Troublemaker. Also, on stage kissing? Yes, you heard right. First there was a co-ed duo out there, which was pretty rare in 2011 when they debuted, and then the even kissed for a performance. In general both of them knew how to tease the audience and make them swoon. I have to say both of them are awesome performers, so it is really sad that they disbanded when Hyuna left the label.

 

:Honorary mentions:

Sister19 – A group that had like one hit song but that one really hit it big. I mean people still know the song.

JJ Project – Even if the members themselves are a little bit embarrassed every time their JJ Project debut song is mentioned I do still remember how that song is just great for full volume and just rocking it out while jumping and dancing like a crazy person.

 

#1 – Akdong Musician

And here it is, my number one. I know it probably wasn’t that much of a surprise. But let’s be honest, right from the beginning AKMU got everyone excited with their interesting lyrics, composition and voices and signing with YG Entertainment was a great decision for them. They released a lot of different song. They have different sounds but you can still hear it is them, so you can really say they found their own sound. I cannot wait for Lee Chanhyuk to come back from his military service and them to come back from their hiatus.

 

So these were my top 10 K-Pop duos. What are yours?

My favourite songs

So I recently decided to update my list of all-time favourite songs, since I haven’t updated the list in a while.

Criteria for my all-time favourite songs:

  • I like it (never would have guessed that, hm?)
  • I can listen to it for 24 hours on repeat (when listening to music) and not get bored by it (my record lies at 3 days) AND / OR I cannot stop moving/singing to this song no matter what you do to me

That’s all. There isn’t anything else. I don’t make a difference regarding music genre, artists, origin or something like that. Of course a lot of the songs are Korean though, since it is the main kind of music I listen to but there are others too.

So let’s get into it and feel free to check out the songs and watch the videos, I hope you can find some songs to love too.

Except for the last two in the list, no specific order. The last two are the ones that ALWAYS get me.

Taylor Swift (ft. Brendon Urie) – ME!

This song has totally taken over my head. There is no way I can stop this song in any way. It’s on repeat and I love it ^.^ Also while I know I sound awful singing to it, I still just sing full volume. This song is so addicting and both of their voices mix so well together.

Little Mix – Secret Love Song, Pt.II

I didn’t even know it was their song I listened to for some time. I just had this song mix I was listening to and never looked it up until I started listening repeatedly and finally did my research. Well, since then I’ve listened to the song so many times…

(the video is the actual version of the song, I like the just Little Mix version more though)

VIXX – Eternity

VIXX is my favourite K-Pop group, together with Infinite, but compared to Infinite, they have a song on my all-time favourite list. And a big one at that. Expect for the absolute number one (see list below) Eternity holds the best record. Three days only this song and I did not get desperate for anything else.

Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On

I so don’t want this song to be on this list but tbh it is…I cannot listen to this song for more than 1 hour but I still always, without exception, sing to it. I want to stop…but it’s just sooo hard not to sing. And that from a person who knows she cannot sing for the life of her…

ATEEZ – Pirate King

This song does not really fit into my usual song tastes I thought in the beginning. But then I listened again and again and realised I really like the rhythm in the verses and the melody as well as sounds in the chorus. Normally there is at least one part of the song I don’t like (most of the time the rap part) but with this song, I can’t find it. I love the song so much…and since then I’m also a ATEEZ fan!

ATEEZ – Say My Name

I thought long and hard whether I really want to include two ATEEZ songs on this list since they are my favorite group and that means I’m quite biased but let me be honest, I’ve listened to Say My Name and Pirate King so much that my head can sing it without hearing the actual music so I decided to be honest here. Say My Name kind of cemented my love for ATEEZ and I’ve never been able to go back to my old self since then. I love the song, the dance, the video, the performance…I love everything about it!

Nick Jonas – Introducing Me

Hahahahaha, this song actually comes from the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock but, well, it’s just so fun. And while some people might name it as my guilty pleasure, I’m not embarassed at all to say that I know the lyrics by heart ^.^

Teen Beach Movie Cast – Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’

On the topic of Disney Channel, I have to add another song. This time kind of a guilty pleasure though. This song is great if you have to do house work and with this song you can just put it on full surround sound volume and bruise through the house cleaning ^.^ This one I have never listened to for more than a few hours (cleaning time) but I know I could, also moving and dancing to this song is a choice for me but even if it is a guilty pleasure, jumping around to this one, feels just amazing!

Gestört aber GeiL – Lieblingsarchitekt

I discovered this song I think about two months ago or something like that. And well, since then it’s been on pretty much every playlist I’ve created for myself on my phone. I just love the song. It is upbeat but also has a nice and fluid chorus.

BTS – Fire

There are four songs on this list you should not play while I’m working. One is Introducing Me, since I would totally start singing it without realizing, the other are two songs below but the top song is Fire. I have yet to experience a moment when the song was playing and I did not start moving. Hasn’t happened yet but I’m still trying. Not very hopeful though since the song is just so addicting and crazy strong.

Eric Nam – Potion

Eric Nam is the only artist that is featured twice on my all-time favourite artists list and I don’t regret that choice at all. I just love his voice and his songs and Poison just sold it for me that he is one of my favourite solo artists. Also the music video is really beautiful.

Eric Nam – Hold Me

This song made me fall totally in love with Eric Nam’s voice. Seriously I stopped listening to this song because when I played it once, I played it again and again and again and even if my ears hurt I wanted to hear it again…aw…I wanne hear it again now…this song is just so sweet.

Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holding Me Back

This one and the next one are the songs I have to be careful about. I always sing to There’s nothing holding me back. I put it as my ringtone and it’s always fun how I forget to pick up and just listen to the song 😀 that’s how much I love the song. Seriously, I bought the CD album just for this one song (the other songs are good too but I just love this song too much).

Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way

Soooo, this one…this one gets me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. With some songs above I have the problem of not being able to stop singing or moving, with this one, I can’t stop doing both. And there isn’t really much dancing you have to do with this song. I just move my hands and feel the song and have fun with it. My work colleague had her fun when she played it once and I almost sang the song to our clients on the phone. Well…this one is definitely my guilty pleasure!

This is my list of all-time favourite songs. It changes from time to time but 90% of the time it’s songs being added rather than songs being removed from the list. Also, it took me a long time to gather the links since I just started listening to the songs instead of writing the post 🙂

Note: ever since watching the new Aladdin trailer I’ve been listening to A Whole New World, so I should have probably added that one too since the song is my favourite Disney song and I know all of the lyrics as well as love singing it.

Do you also have songs like this? What are your all-time favourite songs?

 

See you next time! Have a nice week!

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Review: The Gifted (Thailand)

Note, I am not talking about the US series The Gifted but the 2018 series from Thailand. That series is also NOT a remake or reboot or something from the US series. They are totally separate things and having nothing to do with each other. They just share the same name.

I still remember when The Gifted aired. I was watching a different show at the time and really had a different impression from The Gifted than what the show actually is and so I didn’t watch it even though it features one of my favourite actors.

I don’t really know how big of a hit or a flop it was but I can only say: to everyone who watched it, I seriously doubt it could be anything but amazing. The Gifted managed to get into my all-time favourite TV series worldwide list. No kidding, I mean it. It’s like with wedding dresses, you never think the first one could be the right one. With this show I didn’t think it could be one of my favourites after just two days but yes, it is. So let’s get deeper into what the series is about.

Note: I will not really mention the reality criticism behind the show since I’m neither from Thailand nor do I know much about their education system, so I’m not here to judge their system. I’m just here to judge and review the show 🙂

Note 2: the first part of the post is without spoilers but when the spoilers start, I will put a notice!

The Gifted – General

The Gifted is a 2018 Thai TV series that aired from August ’til November on GMMTV. It consists of 13 episodes and is available with English subs on the official GMMTV channel on Youtube (See Here). It is based on a Thai movie called The Gifted that came out in 2015 and that is known to criticize the Thai education system where academic success trumps everything else and unfair treatment directly relates to it (by the way, I’m not saying it is like that, I’m just saying they portray it like that). I have not watched the movie yet so I cannot tell you how that one is though.

The show has four directors according to mydramalist: O Patha Thongpan (ThirTEEN Terrors; Malee: The Series), Waasuthep Ketpetch (ThirTEEN Terrors; Malila: The Farewell Flower), Dome Jarupat Kannula (The Golden Hand Chef) and Sand Dhammarong Sermrittirong (The Gifted – movie; The Golden Hand Chef). Don’t ask me how these four seemingly totally different people got together but I compliment them on making such an amazing show.

The premise

The story is about a school that not only has the usual classes separated by years but also separates them in 8 different classes. Class 1 is academically the best and they get the best equipment, preferential treatment as well as an earlier lunch break so they get more food. Class 8 gets the worst equipment, worst rooms and has the latest lunch break when almost nothing is left. Once a semester the school holds a placement test and some students are chosen to also participate in the Gifted class, a special additional class everyone wants to get into. Pang, a student of Class 8, isn’t really keen on being the best, he just wants the unfair treatment to stop but he gets the shock of his life when he gets called to the Gifted class after the test. And since all students from the Gifted class are from Classes 1, 2 and 3, he feels like the black sheep and like he doesn’t belong. Well, soon the 10 students of the class discover that there might be a different reason they got into the Gifted class than what they originally thought. 

 

The Cast

The cast consists of quite a few actors and actresses you might know from other shows, if you keep up to date with GMMTV shows in general.

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There is Nanon Korapat Kirdpan (Oh in My Dear Loser Series: Edge of 17; S in Senior Secret Love Series) as our main protagonist Pang. He’s also gonna star in the 2019 upcoming series Blacklist (so excited for that!!). He plays the main lead who acts less like a hero than I would have expected in the beginning but is pretty much the only one really trying to change the system and realising how wrong it is. Pang, the character, does kind of have a naive perspective but he is still a teenager so you cannot really be mad at him for it. Also he does not kid himself into total naive thinking but knows when he has to play it smart. 

Also we have the other gifted students:

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Chimon Wachirawit Ruangwiwat (Sun in My Dear Loser: Edge of 17 and Our Skyy) as Wave. He’s currently starring as Prince in He’s Coming To Me. While he acted as the nice kid in other shows this time he is kind of the main lead’s enemy, although not the main antagonist. For me he really hit it home since with this role he really convinced as the bad guy while I’m only used to him as a good guy. 

 

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Lilly Apichaya Thongkham (Bell in The Promise; Snoopy in Love Songs Love Series) as Namtarn. This girl is sixteen. Yes you heard right. I have never been so surprised. I mean you do notice she is still young and does not have as much acting experience as some others but she still has solid acting. She plays Namtarn, another naive thinker who loves the gifted class and would do everything do be there. She is also close friends with Pang and Ohm. 

 

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Jane Ramida Jiranorraphat (White in Part Time: The Series) as Claire. She also starred in the main role in My Dear Loser: Edge of 17. A lot of people criticized her in My Dear Loser, although not just because of her acting but also because the role was…well, not that great. Well, in this show she plays a totally different character. Claire is a pretty girl who loves to stick it in other people’s faces that she’s better than them. But over time you see that she is still a normal girl. I loved her chemistry with Gun as Punn (see below). While I was kind of on the edge about them being something like a couple in the show, I was convinced during watching and totally rooted for them. Also her acting improved soooo much! 

 

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Gun Atthaphan Phunsawat (Rome in Senior Secret Love Series and Our Skyy) as Punn. If you don’t know him, you did not spend much time on this website or with GMMTV shows, especially not in the BL sector. He also acted in the show ThirTEEN Terrors and is starring in the upcoming 2019 show Theory of Love. Gun has proven multiple times over the years that he can act and in this show it is no different. While GMMTV does have a steady cast of good young actors now that can act convincingly, I do think there are not that many that could have pulled of Punn. He is a perfect guy that can pretty much do anything but is also under a lot of pressure from the people around him. I loved how he definitely had a weakness for Claire and suddenly became sweet every time she was there. 

 

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Sing Harit Cheewagaroon (Per in Love Sick The Series; Din in Senior Secret Love Series) as Ohm. While he’s not starred in many main lead roles he has appeared in soooo many other shows as a recurring character. From Slam Dance the Series to the My Dear Loser series. Currently he’s starring as Khiaokem in He’s Coming To Me. He’s proven over time that he really developed as an actor and while the kind of characters he plays do not change much he shows that he can show a wide range of emotions. I think in regards to GMMTV actors he definitely had the best development. He started awkward and can now convince in his role. He plays Ohm, Pang’s new friend in the gifted class with a lot of humor and who wants to make the class laugh and have a good time but tends to lose his things all the time. 

 

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Fiat Pattadon Janngeon (Graph in Slam Dance The Series; Dae in Sotus S: The Series) as Korn. He’s also appeared in a lot of shows as a supporting actor and will star in the upcoming 2019 show A Gift For Whom You Hate. For me his acting was really good and nice but I really did not like his character. His character was kind of annoying but turned around in the end and kind of got more likeable. But you notice that it is his character that was the problem because his acting was convincing and emotional. 

 

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Puimek Napasorn Weerayuttvilai (Ainam in My Dear Loser: Edge of 17; Khao Fang in Sotus S: The Series) as Mon. She’s also appeared in a few other shows and will star with Fiat in the 2019 show A Gift For Whom You Hate. She has also acted in a lot of shows I watched and I think his one is her best. She definitely developed well as an actress and shows that she can play serious characters too. 

 

These are all the main actors and mainly featured gifted students. Most of them you should know from My Dear Loser: Edge of 17 and ThirTEEN Terrors.

But now, after this long list of actors, let’s get to the real review.

SPOILERS AHEAD – I won’t spoil the ending though!

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The story – best pacing but no surprises

One thing that can cost you viewers is the pacing of a story. Some people dislike slow storytelling, some dislike if it is too fast and too many things happening at the same time. Well, The Gifted found a good solution for it. There is a general story line underlying everything but it features a lot of minor story lines that get resolved (at least to some degree) quite fast but feature as a good distraction from the main story line not really going anywhere for some episodes. The main story line is an underlying element for the whole 13 episodes but only really shows up as the highlight in the last 2 episodes. That doesn’t mean you’re totally surprised by it, no, not at all. You kind of feel the main story in all the episodes but it is necessary to feature all the other story lines of the characters too. Like this you get to know them better and start understanding them and their actions. So, like all of the characters above get an episode to their own (except for Pang, but let’s get to that later) and to show how they struggle and try to persevere in life.

And since the stories are only one episode long and always kind of connected to the main story, the story moves forward quite well.

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Scenes, amazing – surprises, not really

The show does have some scenes where they just…well, talk for some time, but the show manages to underline it with sounds and with camera angles that make it interesting and show you that even the small details are important. So even when they have a five minute conversation (as in five minutes of the episode), you don’t get bored. In general, the show features a lot of impressive scenes and camera angles that make things even more exciting.

At the same time the show does not feature a lot of surprises. You can kind of guess what is gonna happen later on (except for the ending) and you never REALLY get surprised by anything. But while this does sound boring, it is not in The Gifted. Like I said the execution of the show is different to what you usually get and even if you knew something was gonna happen you are still impressed with how it IS happening. The images and camera work of the show is just amazing.

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Let’s breath for a moment – humor

Note that the show is quite heavy. I mean, if you seriously think about it, it does feature a lot of serious topics and a lot of underlying meaning. That goes from bullying, unfair treatment and jealousy to straight-up murder. Yes, the show is no joke. Also the atmosphere of the show is quite dark. And just when you think it is too much, they put in a little bit of humor or just a normal scene with no underlying meaning but mainly as a filler, so your nerves won’t explode from all the seriousness and heaviness of the show. You might think, does it fit? Well, it does. Mainly because they start it from episode one and don’t really stop with this system until the end and stay true to it, also it’s not really a forced humor but it fits the show well. Also a lot of these scenes are there to really hit it home that these kids might be gifted and fight against an unfair system but also, they are still teenagers. They are not perfect, they are partly still kids but maybe exactly that is what makes them perfect for fighting this system.

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The Gifted (SPOILERS AHEAD!*) 

*for this paragraph

So, here a spoiler, that I also gave myself to watch this show: the gifted students are in the Gifted class because they have special powers. I won’t spoil Pang’s powers, but I will tell you that his are the most powerful and important, and I do think it matches him well. It is funny how the show gave the students powers that match the characteristics of the characters well. I mean they do mention that the powers match their personalities but they really kept with the concept. For Pang, I think his powers match very well, regarding the fact that he wants to change the system and the people living in it. He wants to make people believe in a better world and wants to change it so everyone can live with fair treatment. As for the others, their powers matched very well and I loved the fact that the potentials they had also hinted at some of them having a more evolved version. I mean, we get to know that Pang can evolve his powers but you also see that the others start getting better at what they do.
One thing I really appreciated: Compared to other shows featuring people with special powers, the potentials in The Gifted had a real dark side too. It wasn’t just “gifted powers make us different, so we can’t be with others” but there was a real disadvantage to their powers. From Wave suffering physically when using his techno-pathy, people going crazy when interacting too closely with Mon, to Punn developing multiple personalities when copying too many talents. The potentials weren’t just powers but came with their own advantages and disadvantages.

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Episode 13 – ending (spoiler free)

Soooo, episode 13…yeah, I spend the whole episode hoping and glued to the screen trying to guess how it would end. I hoped for a happy ending since I hate bad endings. Well, I won’t tell you how it ended and if I got my wish but I will tell you: The ending matches the show well and fits into the story. If it ended differently I don’t think the show would be as good as it is. Also it left space for a second season!!! Yay!
And while I did say, there are no surprises, well there are a lot of things that happen in episode 13, that I already knew beforehand but the ending itself…I had no idea, at all. That was probably the biggest surprise of the show!

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The casting and acting

In my opinion the casting was done perfectly and the acting really hit it home. Not only Nanon in the main role but also all of the others really convinced as their roles. There were no scenes where you’re like “this doesn’t really match”. No, everything matches well. I do have to give the best compliments to Nanon for his overall role, Chimon for portraying so many different emotions and naturally going from one to another and Gun for episode 5. These three really did amazingly. And really notice that Nanon acted in a lot of different roles.

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Now the bad stuff

Like every other show and movie, there are things that did not go as well as others. For The Gifted I have two things to criticize: First off, where is Pang’s background story? You do get a glimpse from time to time, like him calling home or when he interacts with his friend from class one. But other than that, the others got an episode about their background and how they became who they are now but he didn’t. I really don’t know why but I really hope we get a second season and see more of his upcoming.
The other minus of the show, the last three episodes had a little bit of a strange pacing. Just when you thought it would go faster now it slowed down and just when it picked up its pace it slowed down again. I cannot even really say if they should have cut some scenes or added more. I’m so confused by it, I cannot really say. It does not ruin the ending though since the last 30 minutes of the show go quite well again, so don’t worry, they did not ruin the ending.

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Pleaseeee, give us a season 2!

So, we are at the end of the review. I know this time I had to say a lot of good stuff, but I think that’s a good thing. I really enjoyed the show and watched it in 2-3 days. I did wait some time to write this review though since I didn’t want to be in a watching high when writing it. Some time after watching it’s always easier to see clearly than right after the show.
Now, I can just hope for a season 2 since the show is still and will continue to be in my all-time favourite shows. Please, please, please give us a season 2, GMMTV!!!

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Ending notice: I just loved the opening of the show. I seldomly rewatch openings but with this one I did. The opening just gives such an eerie but exciting feeling, hehe.

I really recommend watching the show, it is definitely worth it. It is not your typical teen drama show but also not your typical supernatural show. The atmosphere of the show in general is mysterious and totally different from what I thought it would be. I really recommend the series!