Dogs are literally woman’s best friend in this music video.
Did you like the song?
I like this video, but to be honest I’m a bit “meh” on this song. Part of that is, it’s just not my style. I prefer fast, catchy, dramatic songs, so obviously this is too slow for me. But having listened to it many times while writing this review, I don’t find it that distinctive, either. Still, I was very convinced by the performers and the emotions they convey with their rapping/singing. Verbal Jint’s raps were intense and have an air of frustrated bewilderment (“Why is my friend sticking around her horrible boyfriend?”).
The stand-out for me musically, though, was singer Sanchez from the rookie group Phantom.
It’s impossible to forget his superb imitation of Queen’s Freddie Mercury singing (oddly) part of SNSD’s “The Boys,” (complete with Mercury’s characteristic vocal riffs). For that project, he was joined with fellow members Kiggen (who is a producer and composed “You Deserve Better” with Sanchez in mind!) and rookie singer Hanhae.
And here Sanchez’s voice is again very lovely, especially in the falsetto parts.
What was your favorite part of the song?
Yeah, Sanchez’s voice, particularly with the high notes at the beginning of the chorus.
Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
The line “Girl, you know you deserve better,” is perfect. The line “You deserve better love, girl,” however, is a tad awkward, but I like the feeling behind it.
Did you like the video?
Have you ever noticed how it seems like pets have an instinctive way of knowing when you’re unhappy or upset? I have a dog and a cat at the moment (the dog is with my parents; the cat is with my boyfriend), and in my opinion if there are any health benefits associated with pets, this would be one of the main ones: when you really need a friend and have no one else, your pet will have a way of being there for you and providing the comfort of having a friend who will always listen.
This music video illustrates the concept quite creatively by showing us what it might be like inside the head of a woman’s pet golden retriever, played here by Verbal Jint. He is quite a good friend, snuggling with the woman and asking her to play with him. When he witnesses that her relationship is going sour, he does his best to comfort her with no ulterior motives. And it works: she goes from being a depressed victim of abuse to a happier woman who feels ready to move on from her past. He brings color back into her life—notice how his ball is the most colorful item in the room in many of the shots.
I feel that people could use more (human) friends like this: people who are willing to listen, no strings attached. Particularly with guy friends of girls who are dating other people.
If I have any complaints, it’s that I do feel like the filmmakers were really hitting viewers over the head with the very last scene. I was feeling so clever for having understood what was going on once I saw the mirror reflection (that blink-and-you-miss-it “aha!” moment), but then the last scene made things far too clear, as if they were making sure that everybody could immediately understand it. Give your audience a little more credit, please; we don’t need to be patronized.
Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
I initially read this storyline as a classic portrayal of that term “friend-zoning,” in which a girl sees her guy friend as just a friend and not as a romantic interest, although he has romantic feelings for her. (Side note: the term itself can be considered sexist—see this article for more—but that’s rarely stopped Kpop videos before.)
We’re led to believe the girl is living with two guys, one of whom she’s friends with (Verbal Jint), the other of whom she’s dating (Sangchu). Verbal Jint is secretly in love with her and jealous of Sangchu. Sangchu’s character is cheating on her—and also abusive, to top it off (let’s not do anything without extremes!). I thought the whole bedroom scene was a bit metaphorical because I didn’t think Verbal Jint’s character was actually in there watching Sangchu cheat on her (that’s a bit creepy, but I supposed it was possible).
And then after their huge fight, guess who’s there to pick up the pieces and be a good friend to the girl? Note the title, “You deserve better.” Clearly, I thought, Verbal Jint means, “Leave this douchebag and come be with me instead” (and, sidenote, I do believe the lyrics, at least, lead us in this direction—the last line, “I’ll make you happy, baby girl, if you come to me,” implies that he doesn’t just want her to leave her lousy boyfriend, he wants her to leave that guy and also be his girlfriend instead).
UNTIL! Until Verbal Jint walked by a mirror (look at 2:55), and guess what—he’s actually her loyal dog (a golden retriever).
So now that bedroom scene, which was previously creepy, makes more sense (come on, who hasn’t had sex while their pet watches?). And that’s why she keeps petting his head and he keeps bringing her balls to throw for him. In the end they go on a walk, and her dog gives her the power she needs to leave her abusive cheating asshole boyfriend.
To cement this idea, there’s even a lighting change—before, everything was tinged blue-grey, but in this scene, the light is brighter and happier.
So it seems the video was more innocent than it had led us to believe. Unless Verbal Jint is an advocate of bestiality, but let’s just…not go there.
Was the dance cool and distinctive?
No dance in this one.
Do the members look good?
Sanchez looks very attractive, but here I’m loving Verbal Jint’s hair. Also, Sangchu of Mighty Mouth did a decent job as the abusive boyfriend.
But the actress (whose name I don’t know) does a great job here, believably going through a wide range of emotions.
Which member stood out the most?
Can we just, um—
But in terms of standing out the most, it’s puppy dog!Verbal Jint for the win.
Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Not my style, sorry.
Any ending thoughts?
My filename for this is “You Deserve Better Review.” I think my laptop might be trying to pre-emptively apologize to readers for the quality of this review? In which case—sorry. :/
But look! A cross-fandom shout-out! One of the books bad-boyfriend-Sangchu throws on the floor is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth and longest book in the HP septet. So clearly Sangchu was just frustrated at its length…?
But then I noticed that Sangchu doesn’t actually knock Harry Potter off the shelf. See this scene, where it’s still there—
—but then later, it is on the floor. So there’s a missing scene in there somewhere where the girlfriend is in need of a comfort/escapism read and drags good ol’ HP down to read on the floor. /fannish musings.
“...Was the dog on the kitchen counter?”
Thanks to painless-j for bringing this music video to my attention and giving details on the performers. And thanks to you guys for reading! Let me know what you thought.