In an age where imagining a new home is imagining a gigantic desktop monitor in lieu of a TV and where binge-watching a 5 season TV show is a very real threat to productivity, I'm re-living the nostalgic frustration of following weekly shows and monthly blogs. On one hand, it's an inherently limited entertainment form, which makes it easier to stop (or...not).
On the other hand, no matter what is happening during the week, a part of you is bemoaning how long 7 days can be when you're really waiting for something. Interesting that my subscription Youtube channels are now like weekly (or every-three-days-ly) programs...but because there are so many, I get new shows every day. Such is the first world problem of having too much choice. Anyway, recent favourites.
Pure gold. Obviously to be taken with a grain of salt but surprisingly cogent on a range of political and social issues with cracking one liners. It's a good treat for Monday mornings, though I wish we non-HBO-possessing plebs could get reliable/legal versions of the whole show.
The Voice of China (中国好声音)
This began mostly because of my parents, but is, unfortunately, extremely addictive. It's been so long since I've watched a singing competition, especially a Chinese one. There are some great talents in there. Though I don't think she'll win it, I've particularly enjoyed Chen Bing's (陳冰) vibe (girl is gorgeous!). I also love Melody's clean voice and Geng Sihan (耿斯汉)'s stage presence.
The judges are collectively enamoured with Parhat (帕爾哈提) but I'm not entirely sold, though I do see how he is very unique (he sounds like he's been chain smoking for 100 years). Cfensi does a comprehensive and often subtly amusing recap.
LAURE SHANG / 尚雯婕
Watching the latest episode of The Voice made me go on a nostalgia search for the show that triggered the first of my interest in China - Super Girl 2006 and its winner - Laure Shang. I used to enjoy her voice but she was definitely not my competition favourite. Listening to it again, I'm appreciating again how unique her timbre is - though there is a rawness in the competition and in her singing (you have to love 2006 era Asian fashion...no shame, this was the height of fashion okay). Some of my favourite songs from her during the competition - 火柴天堂, 如果没有你 and 爱. And singing J'y crois encore with Lara Fabia.
She's barely recognisable now, appearance-wise, but I do love her with short platinum blonde hair.
For those brief years, Super Girl was this unprecedented cultural phenomenon of a wholly female-centered talent show and cutting edge graphics... and then got mercilessly crushed by government censors. Sigh.
Korea's Next Top Model Cycle 5: Guys and Girls.
Full disclosure: Next Top Model series are my guilty pleasure - I've watched some of Australia's and the first Cycle of Asia's Next Top Model. I love watching the styling and execution of the photoshoots. And beautiful people, of course. Why not? The dynamic between co-ed contestants is slightly different, which is refreshing in its own way. I'm also unashamedly amused by the sound effects and editing. Whoever's doing it knows what they're doing (and here I am, wishing GIFs could record sound so I can show you an example).
I'm rooting for Gibeum and Seungsoo (the latter is hilariously awkward because he's so intense) because they clearly have modelling instinct/talent and also because other frontrunners like Chulwoo and Taeeun are already models...with significant exposure already, which is odd?
And here's the opening song, which I've been loving: Surface by Aero Chord.