Monday, January 9, 2012

Review: T-ara–“Lovey Dovey”

T-ara’s Qri and Eunjung get mixed up in the underworld of drugs.

Did you like the song?
T-ara has been busy. This music video is the second part of the story that began in T-ara’s “Cry Cry,” which I reviewed here. They also play most of T-ara’s collaboration song with Davichi, “We Were In Love,” which I reviewed here. Let’s hope that this is the end of it, because while I thought the “long form” music video concept was initially promising, it’s basically fizzled out for me now.

I think I like the song, but I couldn’t get a good feel for it until the credits, as it was so segmented and interspersed with “We Were In Love,” a song which actually fit this storyline well. But when the song “Lovey Dovey” was on, with the exception of the clubbing scenes, the music was so totally inappropriate for the storyline it was almost humorous. The discrepancy between the happy, upbeat “Lovey Dovey” (I mean, just look at that title! Is that not the most cutesy thing ever?) and the sobbing, bloody actors and violence onscreen reminded me of Norazo’s parody music video “Superman,” which is like attending a funeral while listening to Super Junior-T’s “Rokkugo!” It didn’t mesh well at all.

T-ara Lovey Dovey members names

Qri, Eunjung, Jiyeon, Hyomin, Hwayoung, Soyeon, and Boram.

Musically, this reminds me a lot of Orange Caramel’s “Shanghai Love,” though I do like “Lovey Dovey” much better. It has more soul and interesting parts. And I can’t help but compare it to “Roly Poly” in sound, too.

Apparently there will apparently be five versions of this, including…a zombie version? Maybe that’s a joke. EDIT: It is not a joke. It is, however, the most calm and cute zombie infestation ever, similar to Michael Jackson's “Thriller.”

What was your favorite part of the song?
Man, that “lovey dovey dovey, oh oh oh oh,” part is too catchy, isn’t it?

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
Thanks to this link for the invaluable story version with English subs. Other than the title, though, I don’t think there’s much English. As for why the title is a cutesy phrase for being over the top in love, I’m not sure.

Did you like the video?
Halfway through this, my bf said, “This isn’t a music video,” and unfortunately I’m finding that I agree with him. It’s very difficult to get a sense of the song “Lovey Dovey” from this vid. The video is too long to have just one song. At least in “Cry Cry” T-ara was singing two different versions of the same song, but in “Lovey Dovey” they sing most of a different song altogether (“We Were In Love”).

T-ara Lovey Dovey poster

Drama poster!

However, again, since there will be several different versions, I won’t harp on. And I do have to say, I loved the T-ara girls clubbing. I hope the dance version has that setting. It looks really fun and was filmed in a cool way with overlapping scenes and quick cutaways.

T-ara Lovey Dovey poster members

(Back:) Hwayoung, Hyomin, Jiyeon, Eunjung, (front:) Soyeon, Boram, and Qri.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
(For Part One of the plot, go here.) So after it was revealed that Jiyeon’s father was killed by Cha Seungwon, she doesn’t shoot him but instead goes after the guy who told her the truth, Ji Changwook. (Whatever happened to not killing the messenger, Jiyeon?) Then she gets beaten up, I guess, because she has some pretty extreme plastic surgery and magically transforms into Qri, who…yeah, doesn’t look a thing like Jiyeon, so I guess those plastic surgeons are really good. But it didn’t seem like Jiyeon needed that kind of extensive work done.

T-ara Lovey Dovey Qri bandages hospital plastic surgery

It was also really nice of the surgeons to go ahead and put her extreme eyeliner on at the hospital, too.

(Well, I say they don’t look alike, but this plot point was completely lost on my poor bf, who could not tell them apart due to their hair being in their eyes the whole time. Imagine my amusement during the switching back and forth scene—“Yeah, that was Jiyeon, but then it was Qri, now it’s back to Jiyeon, and now they’re flipping between the two—get it?”)

The-artist-formerly-known-as-Jiyeon (I’ll call her Qri from now on) is still up to the naughty ways that Seungwon taught her. She hooks up with the girl who found her on the streets, Eunjung (who is so confident and attractive here! I love her!), in order to hang out in clubs and pickpocket guys they dance with. I guess they leave before the guys settle their tabs and realize their wallets are missing. Then Qri and Eunjung demonstrate those money-managing skills by wisely saving their money and investing it smartly in a diverse portfolio—

T-ara Lovey Dovey Qri Eunjung

—or, you know, by hanging out at carnivals and splurging on fireworks. Sigh.

And let’s not forget hanging binge drinking out in cold, seedy dock restaurants owned by bounty hunters.

T-ara Lovey Dovey stills Qri drinking

Qri goes on a drinking spree. (There was actually quite a lot of drinking in this MV.)

Of course, one day they pickpocket too much in the form of teddy bears stuffed with drugs. (These are some smart drug lords, huh?!)

T-ara Lovey Dovey stills Qri Eunjung teddy bears drugs

You’re never too old to play with dolls.

Eunjung’s character is an idiot, so she decides to hand-deliver the drugs back to them instead of arranging a drop point. To no one’s surprise, she is captured—and, again to no one’s surprise, the drug lord is that dude Jiyeon shot.

T-ara Lovey Dovey actor Ji Changwook

I guess he got better.

Qri proves to Seungwon who she really is via their special sign, then pointlessly goes alone to rescue Eunjung. Why on earth didn’t Qri enlist his help? Is she too proud? Anyway, Eunjung ends up calling him after Qri saves her, so I guess it’s moot. Seungwon bamfs his way in but gets shot twice (making it the third time he’s been shot total for this series—man of steel!). He and Qri get into their car, he starts seeing her as he knows her (i.e. as Jiyeon), then he dies and she drives over the cliff (I assume). The End.

T-ara Lovey Dovey Qri Eunjung blood

Moral of the story: all the actors get to have blood running down their faces.

Cut to a cute making-of, which I thoroughly enjoyed. ^_^ And it’s complete with a hand-written note from Jiyeon and a preview for the Tokyo version.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
*waits patiently for a dance version to emerge* So it’s apparently called the “shuffle dance,” but I think a more appropriate name is the dandruff dance or something, with the way they’re constantly scratching their heads. Needless to say, T-ara somehow makes it look good, if a bit tiring. Here’s a performance version:

Do the members look good?
I guess? Eunjung looks great.

T-ara Lovey Dovey Eunjung

But the plot point of Jiyeon turning into Qri is a bit weird for me. Why would the plastic surgeons add a mole to Jiyeon’s nose, for example? And why would she start wearing those creepily huge circle lenses?

T-ara Lovey Dovey Qri circle lenses

Doll-like eyes: apparently all the rage in Korea…

I understand why the producers did it (to spread out the screentime more) but wouldn’t it have been a little cleaner if they had just had them be sisters or something from the beginning, instead of one turning into the other? Oh well.

Which member stood out the most?
Again for me it was Cha Seungwon. You sexy actor, you. But I adored Eunjung and thought her acting and Jiyeon’s acting was great. Qri had less to do, and Hyomin might as well not have been in it at all, but their acting was fine, even if Qri was a bit one-dimensional. Maybe it’s all the plastic surgery her character went through.

Qri bandages face Lovey Dovey T-ara

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
At the moment, I have to give this a tentative no, but I could see myself quickly changing my mind. T-ara’s songs tend to grow on me...

T-ara members Lovey Dovey names

Eunjung, Qri, Jiyeon, Hyomin, Soyeon, Boram, and Hwayoung.

Any ending thoughts?
Re-watching T-ara’s long-form story version MVs has been nothing short of painful for me—even though I enjoyed the songs. However, if they keep releasing lots of versions of their music videos, one of which really focuses on the song, I don’t see how I can complain, especially since it gives some of the girls acting experience.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“Those dudes had CRAZY EYES!!” (The bf did not appreciate this 20-minute long MV.)

T-ara Lovey Dovey actors Cha Seungwon and Ji Changwook

Thanks for reading! :)

<< Go to Part 1, “Cry Cry”


  1. Haha, I agree with your bf. I didn't see the reason why Jiyeon had to change into Qri in the first place. And the plastic surgery thing... that kinda makes the rumors more real, doesn't it? And apparently, the "shuffle dance" is still popular in Korea. Weird. O_o

    I really hope they don't make crazy versions of "Lovey Dovey". Love the pic of T-ara up there, by the way! (It's hard to recognize the girls with the visual effects on it.)

  2. First of all, thanks for writing this and happy new year to you and your bf :)
    As for T-ara...well, it was quite hard for me to stick through those 20 minutes of the music video. It seems more like a mini-movie to me, but at least it has great effects and I also love the way it was filmed. They sure did a good job with the cinematographic aspect, even though it doesn't exactly feel like a music video only. The song, though, is quite...different. I've never actually paid attention to T-Ara ( I only heard " Ya Ya" once and decided not to keep an eye on them), but this last year they showed they can change. Musically speaking, they accepted quite some challenges and it works for them, changing the concepts every once in a while. "Lovey Dovey" reminds me of a Modern Talking song, especially the chorus part. But it's not exactly a bad thing.Oh, and I love how they change the stage clothes for every time they perform; it shows they are willing to come up with something new every time.

  3. It seems more like a mini-movie to me, but at least it has great effects and I also love the way it was filmed.

    Agreed, and it was a pretty good mini-movie despite some plot holes. But I thought the acting was generally good (or even great from some of them!)

    Hahaha, you heard "Yayaya" and decided to not keep an eye on them--I was the opposite. I was so fortunate to have heard the song before I saw the video there, so I didn't realize how racist it was beforehand. And the English in that one was so bad it made me laugh, and somehow it became one of my favorite songs. I can't resist the catchy.

    Modern Talking, I don't think I've heard of them. Ooh, 80s Europop, interesting. I'd probably like it. Were you thinking of a specific song of theirs? I'm curious. :)

    Happy (really belated now) New Year to you, too! :)

  4. I agree with the acting. It was incredibly good; I didn't expect that from the T-ara members. As for Modern Talking, I couldn't exactly choose one song; they have kind of the same rhythm for most of their songs, and Lovey Dovey's chorus seems to be like an up - beat version of their chorus. ( thinking of the song Cherry Lady). Maybe it's just me, but it did remind me of that band's pattern of songs.

  5. The discrepancy between the happy, upbeat “Lovey Dovey” (I mean, just
    look at that title! Is that not the most cutesy thing ever?) and the
    sobbing, bloody actors and violence onscreen reminded me of Norazo’s
    parody music video “Superman,” which is like attending a funeral while listening to Super Junior-T’s “Rokkugo!”

    LOL You nailed it :)

    I don't like the song at all. IMO it's another version of what they started to do in Bo Peep Bo Peep and did the best way in Roly Poly -- very simple, very repetitive, very catchy. The story in the video(s) is so convoluted I lost interest by the middle of it. :/

  6. I see what you mean now about the beats and rhythyms matching in T-ara and Modern Talking. Thanks for the heads up! :)

  7. Thank you for the links! I am enjoying these songs very much, especially "Cheri Cheri Lady."

  8. Haha, I owe you loads for the link to Norazo's "Superman." So hilarious. 

    ...very simple, very repetitive, very catchy.
    Agreed. Usually as long as it's catchy, I will like it, but I'm a bit afraid that this song would just get stuck in my head uncomfortably, to the point where I would starting hating it. That hasn't been a problem with T-ara's songs for me yet, though.

    I kind of lost interest in the story this time around. Part One not so much, but I guess I just didn't find that Qri had as much to do as Jiyeon, so Qri came off as a bit flat and robotic.

  9. "Halfway through this, my bf said, “This isn’t a music video,” and
    unfortunately I’m finding that I agree with him. It’s very difficult to
    get a sense of the song “Lovey Dovey” from this vid. The video is too
    long to have just one song. At least in “Cry Cry” T-ara was singing two
    different versions of the same song, but in “Lovey Dovey” they sing most of a different song altogether (“We Were In Love”)."

    Yesssss! Someone else agrees with me - finally! :D

    After Soyeon or whoever's fifth shrill shriek of "Ahjussi! Ajhussi!" I was about ready to whack her myself. To me - Eunjung and Cha Seungwon did the only useful things (actually attacking the bad guys instead of staring blankly and dissolving into a weepy mess like Qri did). The zombie version grates on me too. Girls, there's a flippin' ZOMBIE HORDE surrounding you! Stop dancing and grinning and scoot! The moment when they back away from the zombies with "O.O" faces and seem to finally understand they're screwed... Ugh. No sympathy. (Then again, I've disliked T-ARA since the racist clusterfeck that was "YaYaYa (Korean AND Japanese Versions)", so I'm probably being a bit biased.)

    Excellent review site, by the way.

  10. Hahaha, thank you; I hope you enjoy the site! And thank you for commenting. It's nice to know I'm not harping into a void, lol. My non-Kpop friends are like, "What is Kpop? Nobody will read that stuff. Review something else," which just makes me sad, so I'm glad that someone is enjoying them. :)

    T-ara does not have a great track record with their music videos, but despite this I still love their actual songs, usually horrific English and all. "Bo Peep Bo Peep," for example, was borderline pedophilia. I'm also in an awkward position with T-ara's "Yayaya," because I heard the song and fell in love with its catchiness well before I watched the video...and then I saw the video. "Racist clusterfeck" indeed. And nothing was fixed with the Japanese version, ugh. So for now I just enjoy the song and pretend that the music videos never happened. Coping mechanism, I suppose.

    The zombie version was actually kind of cute, which makes no sense at all. I guess it's a different take on the trope. But if I realized that the only thing standing between me and a horde of zombies, I think I would do something other than just stand there and wait to be nommed on...sigh. But then we wouldn't have had the chance to see them in their zombie makeup. :D

  11. I'm guessing the plastic surgery was so that Jiyeon could avoid getting beaten up again by her gangster family. Makes sense if you don't think about it - I mean, someday Mr. Drug Dealer might decide that a beating's not enough repayment for a gunshot wound. Of course, it doesn't work out because for some reason he still miraculously recognizes her when she goes to rescue helpless girl number 2.

  12. Ohhh. You know, that actually makes sense. She did shoot him, and usually people who shoot gangsters don't get out alive. Good point--thanks for sharing your thoughts. :D

  13. Hi! I have been collating many good kpop songs and I created a top 100 top kpop song list. Hope you could check it out! :D

  14. Interesting, you have some songs there I've never heard of. 

  15. is the pickpocket (the one with hat) the same character as the one who stole the drugs?