Teen Top get stuck in detention at school.
Did you like the song?
Musically, this one reminds me sooo much of “Be Ma Girl,” which I adored (it was my #8 top song in 2012). The “lalalalalala” part is an earworm, and the piano riffs just make me want to tango. Also, this song sounds soooo good on piano! (Check out a great piano version here.) Simple and repetitive but fun and eminently danceable.
What was your favorite part of the song?
I love Ricky and Chunji’s sliding part right before the “lalalalalala”: “na eotteokhae, ije eotteokhaeya haeyo” (“What do I do? What do I do now?”). And thank God the parts and screentime are more evenly distributed now (not just between Niel and Chunji like in previous music videos).
Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
There’s not much. Basically L.Joe (who actually attended school in America!) says, “Yeah, Teen Top is back, let’s go!” at the beginning and Niel says, “Oh, baby, you got me crazy.” Both just fine, though perhaps “I’m going crazy” would have been better for the latter. Not a big deal, though. :)
Did you like the video?
A common saying is that school is like prison—you have to wear uniforms, you must eat together at an arranged time using plastic utensils, you are forced to do activities that are not of your own choosing, often (in America, at least) there are armed guards, outside visitors must sign in and out, inmates/students can be searched for weapons or narcotics at any time for any reason, violent bullying is rampant, you are often segregated by sex, you are forced to participate in outdoor activities (yard time/recess), you can be detained and placed into isolation/detention, etc. Even if you don’t completely agree that school is like prison, at the very least, it has to be acknowledged that there are at least a few striking (and alarming) similarities.
Teen Top does a good job at highlighting the initial similarities between the education and incarceration systems, but ultimately their goal seems to simply draw those similarities without delving deeper into more controversial territory. It’s not so much the school system in general they’re protesting but the stifling feeling of being stuck in detention, which is like a prison within the prison of school.
While I love the use of color and the fun, cute tone of the music video, I do believe that the school/prison metaphor deserves a darker and more nuanced exploration that may lead to better funding, legislation, and eventually (hopefully) to a better school system for children that is less likely to draw comparisons to a system that is meant for criminal punishment.
Now, obviously, that’s not necessarily the responsibility of a Kpop music video, but I do have to say that my favorite parts of the video were the darker, gritty opening scenes when it seemed like the boys were actually in a real prison cell, fraught with all the dangers that implies.
Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
The guys are in detention at school when a very pretty girl with “long, straight hair” (from the lyrics) saunters in and is immediately the focus of their attention.
Running with the metaphor that detention = prison, the members of the detention hall have to don uniforms and do lots of manual labor as punishment for their wrongdoing. Each of the guys is given a different punishment.
C.A.P sweeps the jail cell while he and the girl try to do anything to escape...
She and Ricky saw up wood, like in shop class.
She and Changjo half-heartedly fix a broken car...
She and Niel dance (aww)...
Chunji pretends to be asleep on the job and gets a bit of a show in the locker room after all that hard work...
And finally, she and L.Joe paint, which is obviously representing art class.
Those lung protectors, of course, allow for this romantic moment:
And they top it all off with a massive
Moral of the story: everyone should misbehave at school and try to get detention! It may be reminiscent of prison, but you could meet the love of your life!
Was the dance cool and distinctive?
This is one of the most energetic and fast-paced dances I’ve seen. There are lots of separate memorable parts and hardly any downtime during the dance for the boys to relax and catch their breath. They must be totally exhausted by the end!
There’s the part where they shake their right hands (and sometimes have little mini-pom poms or something?), the part where they are wearing invisible hats (the Michael Jackson move), the crotch shot, the windmilling arms, the floor part—all really cool, even if they’re a bit thematically all over the place instead of sticking with just one overarching move (like the hiding-behind-their-jackets move in “No More Perfume On You,” which I felt was one of the best dances of 2011).
My favorite part in this dance is when they all crowd toward the camera with their hands on L.Joe’s shoulder. So cute. You can really sense their rapport with each other, which is great to see. (I also loved all the scenes in the locker room for the same reason.)
Do the members look good?
I think C.A.P’s transformation is getting the most attention—having longer hair somehow seems to have made him more cute and relaxed.
For me, though, I’m used to Teen Top videos being all about Chunji and Niel (my bias anyway), so it was a really pleasant surprise to see the other members getting more lines and much more screentime. I was particularly interested in L.Joe and Changjo, who are really cute.
Which member stood out the most?
Gotta give this to L.Joe. He always looked like he was having a blast, and that kind of happiness is infectious.
Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Yup! I’ve already done so, in fact. :)
Any ending thoughts?
Isn’t it sweet how this dance set has all the members’ names projected onto the white boxes in the background? I really like that detail.
“Whoa, co-ed jails! Hope they like each other!”
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