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26 August 2011 @ 06:55 pm
amateur skating but professional variety programming  
Kim Yuna's Kiss & Cry

So, I'm totally obsessed with the Korean variety show, Kiss & Cry. It's just such a perfect combination of things I like: figure skating, Kim Yuna and Korean celebrities. Okay, when I started, I only knew IU but I've now been entirely sucked into the competition and become invested in everyone. So invested that I want to flail a little about the pairs, especially the three (hahaha, yes, three) I'd like to see win.

SPOILER WARNING: Nothing spoilery for who wins as this was all written when I had only seen up to episode 12 (though I've now seen episode 13). However I picked a favorite program for a bunch of people and there are pictures so spoilers for music and program choices! There are gif spoilers of episode 9 and nothing past episode 12! :D

(If you're saying "Wait, I want to watch this already!", you can find the first three episodes subbed on YouTube! Here's the first part of each (then just follow the related videos): Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3. The rest is raw, also on YouTube and elsewhere, except for cuts of Yunho and Krystal since they're idols. :D)

Kim Byung Man and Lee Sukyoung

I still can't pick who I most want to win this thing but I will say, after only the first episode I said "I hope this comedian guy takes it". ♥ Kim Byung Man is so so entertaining to watch and I love that the shortest guy, the "funny" guy is also amazingly athletic. :DD You can totally see all the effort he's putting into skating and it's seriously impressive how much he learns so fast. That guy must be solid muscle. XD Solid muscle and talent and tons of nerve, as he always pushes himself to do something new.

And then in ADDITION, I think he has one of the best partnerships! It really does seem like the show might have done a little partner-making here because Lee Sukyoung, with her easy laugh and wit and love of funny guys is just the perfect match. She's so great. I think a lot of their performances are so charming because they both have a lot of fun with it and she can absolutely keep up with his humor. They give good banter, both in their routines and off the ice. SO MUCH CHARM, THIS TEAM. I'm so happy they are meeting their goal of "First in funniness, seriously 2nd or 3rd." I would be so happy to see them get the chance to perform for a larger crowd. <3<3

Favorite Program: As Charlie Chaplin and partner in Modern Times!

SUCH A PERFECT CHOICE. I'm so happy they did a Charlie Chaplin homage and the choreography for this is CUTEST. They really shine here, it's hard to believe this is the first routine they ever did together! ♥ Byung Man, doing a jump already!

If you want further spoilers, they also did a CLASSIC FANDOM program:

To Harry Potter! How cute is that?? Kim Byung Man with his little Harry Potter glasses and Lee Sukyoung with Hermione hair and gray legwarmers! :DD (Performance starts at 4:17.) Spoilers: Ep 11! Click here to watch streaming!

Krystal and Lee Dong Hoon

Such a strong pair! Really, whomever Krystal picked was going to be lucky because she's a graceful and athletic girl. She definitely picked well though, Lee Dong Hoon seems like such a great skater (he had a quad! he went out on a knee injury but is looking to return to skating!) and his calm stability is a good match for her unrestrained enthusiasm. :D They have good chemistry together, when they skate I totally think they look like a real ice dancing couple! …I really, really would also like to see them win because I feel like they are too good at this not to take this show on the road. ♥ I'm not sure this is translated right but I really liked Lee Dong Hoon saying about them "Rather than showing that we try hard, we want to do well."

Favorite Program: A Pierrot themed version of "Sweet Dreams" by The Eurythmics! (skate starts at 1:47)

I had the hardest time choosing for these two, since I really love a lot of theirs and they probably have my favorite overall music choices. But while some of their other routines are so romantic and graceful, this is the one that single-handedly increased my love the most. It might not be the most balanced but it's the most spectacular. THEY DO SUCH AWESOME LIFTS, I JUST LOVE IT. :DD Now if you don't mind being spoiled a little more, they also did a VERY FANDOMY program:

To Howl's Moving Castle! Sighhhh, I love this book and this movie and this music~ This was a very beautiful program, more low-key than the one above because as Krystal explained "Well, we're a little tired". XD I thought they created a really magical mood with this one. (Performance starts at 2:00.) Spoilers: Ep 12! Click here to watch streaming!

ALSO, from all the training and off the ice footage we got, I must also say: Krystal and Lee Dong Hoon are adorable. ♥ I think it's funny that people think they don't get along and they have to clear up this misconception in every interview because I see them as one of the closer couples. Some kind person translated part of an episode not yet subbed and Lee Dong Hoon summed it up as "To other people, it looks like we're fighting. We're just being friendly. Our friendship is dramatically close." TOO CUTE. So yes, ngl, I ship it a bit! I do not expect them to actually date or anything and honestly I had no idea how young Krystal really was, so please take that as "Continue to be adorable in front of my eyes!!" as it is meant. :D Ugh, I know Korean variety already has "We Got Married" where people specifically do couple-y activities and be adorable together and that appeals to me too. But it's even more up my alley to have people bond through spending countless hours of intense physical training together, performing an activity where you need to trust your partner to literally not drop you on your face. PARTNERS, MY FAVORITE. <3 But also I really just think Krystal is adorable with everyone since she's such a touchy person! I'm looking forward to exploring Krystal being affectionate with her group members, as the appearance of f(x) on this show convinced me immediately that I must get to know them better. :D KRYSTAL! KRYSTAL AND F(X)! KRYSTAL AND LEE DONG HOON! I love them all. ♥

Son Dambi and Cha Oreum

Son Dambi! This is my third favorite pair, as I'm a bit more ambivalent about her partner (he is cute! I could just benefit from having subs XD) but I LOVE Son Dambi. She's so competitive and athletic and works so hard and is always trying to push herself on what she can do. I really want the best for the Dambi pair, if they could just skate their best every time I would be happy. Also, she talks a little bit about how she signed up for this show because people think that she's just had success handed to her and wanted to show that she really works hard and I'm automatically biased towards people that have been affected people talking shit about them on the internet (especially the terrible-with-women Korean internet). <3

Sometimes I think Son Dambi team gets marked a too low for my tastes! Dambi is such a powerful skater and has so much energy! I tend to really enjoy watching her skates. I'm not sure how much of that is just really being on Team Dambi, I just love her a lot personally from watching her in this competition, since I do agree that she doesn't make it just look as easy. But she learns so much and such tricky stuff (step sequences!!) and the judges are just WRONG on occasion too. :)

One thing that I have to mention: there is a lot of framing of a rivalry between Dambi and Krystal. Whenever one is skating, they will inevitably show the other making a hard face. I'm of two minds about this! I do like that the most competitive people are women and a lot of time is spend about them. But it also rubs me the wrong way that the two best women have to be ~rivals~. While I think they are aiming to be better than one another, I think they also just want to be the best. The editing makes it seem much more personal, imho. And, of course, nothing of the sort is made of any of the men. My position will forever be: I am both on Team Krystal and Team Dambi! Both completely great. ♥

Favorite Program: Bringing the kink with an S&M themed skate to Rihanna! :D

Again, there wasn't one stand-out pick for these two! I think ultimately Son Dambi Team is strongest when they really have fun with it. I picked this one as MOST FUN. :D They have a really great energy and sense of showmanship. (Also, SHALLOWLY, damnnnn Dambi that tank top! :DD)

Lee Kyouhyuk and Choi Sunyoung

Another couple with great chemistry together! I love the backstory here too, it's such a movie premise. He's a world class speed skater from a skating family! He's always looked down a bit on his brother's figure-skating! And now, when he turns to pairs skating, his brother is their coach! If this were a movie, I'd kind of want Lee Kyou Hyuk to marry his partner and make them one big, happy skating family. XD Seriously, Choi Sunyoung is just so nice and yet I also love that she really took charge in their practices, as he was on her turf. Their skating is its best when they can show how honestly happy they are out there on the ice. I do think it's somewhat unfair that he's spent his life on skates before the competition while some others had never stood on ice before but I think the difficulty of being an inexperienced male partner evened that out a bit. Fair or not, I've enjoyed him on the show though! :)

Favorite Program: A '50s themed skate to Elvis' "Hound Dog" (featuring fake chest hair)!

Although I think the skate from Rocky (skate starts at 3:35) might exemplify them the best, since his brother gets to skate with them and more than anyone, they have felt like a team with their coaching staff, I don't think it is my favorite. The focus just isn't on the pair as much. And the Elvis one was is just THE CUTEST THING! And they skate it so well! And with such energy!

Yunho and Claudia

I love these two so much. I think that Yunho is such a sweetheart with her and they are both such purely talented people. It's a shame that from the start they don't have enough time to practice together! Yunho is really a natural on ice, I'm sure his being a great dancer off the ice helps. :D And Claudia is obviously super good, I really like that they got an young, upcoming skater to come on the show!

Favorite Program: Doing it Save the Last Dance style to that "Boom Boom Pow" song!

Ahaha, I'm a sucker for that classic "ballet and street! different dance styles melding!" trope. I think this choreography is so fun and really takes advantage of both their skills coming into the competition. Plus the big finish is so imaginative and awesome, I really think this skate stands out even within the competition as a whole. :)

IU and Choi Inhwa

First, I ADORE IU! Second, watching her skate is a bit like watching a baby fawn try to skate. ♥ I say that not at all to denigrate her, I think I would probably do as well as early IU! She tries hard but she is just not naturally inclined towards athletics! So long as you don't look to her for stunning displays of power, she is so so charming and fun to watch. The girl is hilariously down-to-earth and I think she right when she says something like "These people are not normal! They so talented! If you want to see how an average person does, just look at me." Her partner didn't start out with my favor, being that he was so bummed he got her and not someone like Krystal but I think he rallied rather well. Once he had accepted they weren't going to win this contest and started participating in the cute that is IU's life. :) I'm really just pleased to finally have more IU in my life, after the days of Dream High. Unsurprisingly, I am just as attached to her now. ♥

Lee Ahyun and Kim Hyunchul

Hmm. Well, I like this lady and I think she's very kind! But a) this partnership has been plagued by problems and b) I have never liked the angle they always spin with her. It's always about how she's doing it for her kids and that just tends towards soppiness. And then unfortunately for her, I think her partner is kind of an asshole! There's this one part early on where he says something like "Well, I'm going to just choreograph my part…" and kind of leaves her out in the cold? When she's the one that has no idea how to skate? Anyway, after that I spent most of the time rooting for the lady but not overly invested in this pair either way. XD

Park Joon Geum and Kim Dohwan

It's the terrible mom from Secret Garden! While I'm sure she is a lovely person, this was probably the pair I least liked to watch. It just seemed like she never got comfortable on the ice and always kept her neck and back so stiff and her partner more obviously tossed her around. To me, this couple is continually scored too high. For once, I am mean! XD That said, they had a few good program choices! I was SO PLEASED that they did a routine based on a kdrama and not just any kdrama but Capital Scandal! (funnily enough, spoilers for Capital Scandal!)

Seo Jiseok and Yoo Sunhye

LOL, okay, this guy was at an extreme disadvantage with me as his first routine that he skated to individually was Plushenko's "Sex Bomb" and I've always thought that was an extremely self-absorbed and charmless skate. He tries though! I don't dislike the guy or anything, I just think he is always playing on angles and music I don't like. XD Also I like his partner a lot, in fact I thought she might be picked earlier since she's an ice dancing skater specifically. :)

Jin Jihee and Cha Junhwan

Oh, kids! It was sometimes a little hard to watch the kids, since you cannot count on them to at least be polite. I was always on the lookout for that precocious little boy to hurt that girl's feelings. However things didn't turn out as bad as I feared and some of their time was really cute! It was even cuter when they hung out with Yunho and Claudia, I think what they really needed was people to hero worship. :) Some of their routines are super ill chosen but that not their fault at all!

Basically the only thing that just too bad about Kiss & Cry is that as time goes on, they have much less time to show them practicing and I find that just as interesting as the performances themselves. Whew, this is the most feelings I've ever had about a Korean variety show! :D Mostly becauseI have no idea how to find subs for them and this one got me hooked enough to watch the rest raw! It's a good thing most of an episode is spent skating because this is not the same as watching things in Japanese raw. I do not pick up more than ten words. XD
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Yo.: [2pm] secret favoriteinsipid_paragon on August 27th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
Heeeeee, Korean variety, so amusing. I didn't even realize this figure-skating+variety-ing was a thing--but it is a thing I love, and a thing I think I need to seek out. I've been pretty wrapped up in One Night Two Days--Uhm Tae Woong is so amazingly awkward, it is unfathomable, and then Eun Ji Won does something mischievous and then Lee Seung Gi's face, and then everyone is just hilarious and perfect.

Everyone, I think, would smile a little wider if they had some Korean variety shows in their life.
Top: Actor: [Eun Hye] The most charming girltopazera on August 31st, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
So much fun! Korean variety seems to have a little of a lot of things. I'd actually be interested in watching more except I cannot figure out how to locate subs, except naming googling when I know there's an idol in it. I'm so used to everything just being on lj! :D So the only other things I've seen are some Running Man and most recently Good Daddy. :) I'll have to look into One Night Two Days, as I'm a fan of Lee Seung Gi's face! ♥

Yo.: cute & happyinsipid_paragon on September 1st, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
Moving off of LJ for access to things is so tricky! Really, sometimes I even feel like I only skim the surface of lj, frequenting the handful of blogs I do know for things--I'm sure there are vast depths and dark corners offering treasures I don't even know about! But here is my go-to site for 1N2D subbing. (They've also been subbing this new-ish show Secret, and it feels drawn-out and draggy at times, but then someone will bust out something clever and hilarious and then I remember why I'm a little addicted to it, plus Su Geun and Ji Won and Jong Min from 1N2D are currently on it and I am nothing if not loyal, so.) Oh and if I can't stand the wait for 1N2D subs, I just stare at the raws and laugh at hopefully-appropriate moments.
peaches in the creases of a plastic bag: Beaton: absorbedphrenk on August 29th, 2011 09:18 am (UTC)
You know my feelings! I have ranted to you about them quite a lot! :D This post clarifies many of your feelings, plus LOVE. Pictures and text and talking about Kiss & Cry! It makes me really happy. I'm glad you got this posted, face. ♥♥
Top: 嵐: he shall be my squishytopazera on August 31st, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
Really, hearing your rants was such satisfaction that posting felt almost unnecessary! But yay posting, I agree!! ♥♥