Exo on Weekly Idol (8/14) (aka, Exo notes, August)
This is the funnest fandom flail I’ve had in a while. A whiiiiiiile. So I guess, long overdue Exo notes-ish as part of a running commentary on Weekly Idol?
(Watch the episode with English subs here.)
– So unfortunate that Luhan is not good at variety that’s less activity-focused and more personality-focused, which Weekly Idol is. There was a lot of obvious interfering from the hosts and the writers’ parts to make sure that Luhan gets a spotlight, which really isn’t fair for a group with twelve mafackin members. Luhan needs a heavy supporting hand from everyone involved and even then there were so many opportunities he wasn’t able to take advantage of despite them being handed to him. If fans who are lukewarm towards Luhan get frustrated about this, I would totally understand.
– Oh my GOD Sehun is the big shit mannerless brat I’ve always said he was and this episode of Weekly Idol vindicated all my feelings about this. Anyone who follows me on Twitter and Tumblr knooooow that I find Sehun super attractive, but this doesn’t negate the fact that I find him SO irritating. You can tell he’s someone super spoiled by his members and by his family too as the baby boy of both groups. Add the fact that he’s pretty good-looking and that he has a naturally soft and yielding personality, and he’s probably constantly in a position where people want and like to spoil him, and he just gets more and more spoiled and it DRIVES ME NUTS.
I’M JUST GONNA USE THIS SPACE TO RANT ABOUT SEHUN THE MANNERLESS BRAT. He never bows properly. Never ever ever and I just want to spork him in the face. What are you doing?! You’re a NEWBIE. Does he think nobody notices? Because Exo’s such a big group? Does he think nobody cares?! Because he’s in SM?!
I don’t know how he is with the other China-line hyungs, but it drives me nuts how he treats Luhan. It’s nothing majorly disrespectful (or maybe it is, depending on how you were raised), but there was a fancam from Idol Sports Championship that caught Sehun calling Luhan out to go to the bathroom or something like that, and Sehun calls Luhan by his name, with no suffix. He goes, “LUHAN!” “LUHAN!” YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH THIS ANNOYS ME. And then after Luhan ignores him, Sehun finally goes, “HYUNG!”
First of all, Luhan is a solid four years older than Sehun. This isn’t a four-month dong-gap difference or anything remotely even similar. Luhan is FOUR YEARS OLDER than Sehun. I know they’re super close and probably use banmal with each other. But I can bet top dollar that Sehun would NEVER DARE call any other hyung four years older than he is BY NAME ONLY in an exclamation, especially not in a culture that’s pretty rigid with names, suffixes, position, and hierarchy. There isn’t really an equivalent honorifics system in place in China, but Kris even jokingly called Tao out for not calling him “Kris hyung” (just “Kris”) once, so I know this is something you are taught when you’re in Korea and learning its culture. And Sehun was raised in this environment, so he should fucking know better.
Luhan is probably a horrible discipliner and this stuff doesn’t bother him, and so Sehun can get away with shit like this. In the episode, the second Luhan calls Sehun out, even Hyungdon goes, “I knew you were going to call him out!” I’m telling you, older people (older Asians??) just know when young kids are little shits. They just feel it in their creakity bones! It’s called the Asian Discipline Intuition, folks. This is why I’m SO MOTHERFUCKING GLAD Luhan literally kicks Sehun’s ass. I’m sure it’s cute to fans that Sehun does this because it comes off as jokingly cute, but I know that if he did that to me I would bust his balls in a fucking second. Both Defconn and Hyungdon are kinda taken aback by what Luhan tell them about Sehun, and they react in a way totally normal of people who don’t know Sehun and just see him as a younger kid with seriously questionable manners.
And sometimes Sehun really just pushes it. I think we got a chance to see that in action after he volunteers to kick Kai in the ass. First of all, who asked??? Who asked you to do that to Kai?? What part do you have in all of this??? I’m sort of glad this played out the way it did though. If it were anyone else, I don’t think Sehun would’ve volunteered, because it’s obvious that SeKai are super close as well and he felt like he could do that jokingly to Kai. And if Kai weren’t the one who got kicked, Sehun wouldn’t have gotten the asskicking he deserved. Kai looked pissed as SHIT that Sehun kicked him basically appropos of nothing. He yields to Luhan well, but he has no reason to let Sehun do that to him, so you can tell he felt super combative. And look, again, older Asians have ASIAN DISCIPLINE INTUITION. The minute after Kai gets kicked, Defconn tells him to kick back, because if he doesn’t, the two were definitely going to fight after recording was over. Also, I fucking love that Sehun has the fucking audacity to say “약하게!” (“weakly!”) to Kai before Kai kicks. ARE YOU SHITTING ME, SON.
THEN THE MOST GLORIOUS THING: KAI KICKS SEHUN IN THE ASS SO HARD I FELT IT TWO WEEKS AFTER THE RECORDING, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY, BEHIND A COMPUTER SCREEN.
– Let’s go back to Luhan for a second. Oh my god this boy’s personality is too soft. I want him to get seriously wronged one of these days in whatever interactions with whomever, and I want him to learn to be more aggressive. He’s gonna get eaten alive if he doesn’t learn to be harder and meaner. For the zillionth time, Asian Discipline Intuition: after Luhan tells the MCs what Kai says to him, Defconn immediately intuits, “I can tell Luhan is lenient because he’s too nice (착해)” and he just kinda lets people do whatever. “Nice,” I feel, is not even a super accurate English translation of “착해,” because I know it means “乖” in Chinese, and that word connotes way more. If I say “thank you” to a Starbucks barista, that’s being polite and nice, but that’s not 착해. It’s like a mixture of being nice, thoughtful, polite, obedient, amongst others.
So Luhan is a pretty good embodiment of being 착해 (Lay too!) and that’s basically why he lets Sehun get away with the shit he does, and why Kai was also being called out for basically talking to Luhan in a way he shouldn’t have. Suho, Jongdae, Minseok, and Kyungsoo all agree and are nodding along with Defconn. All the members know. I’m sure Sehun and Kai also know that Luhan is maaad 착해 and hence why I’m sure they felt comfortable doing that to him. I would also bet major money that Sehun and Kai would NEVER DO ANY OF THIS with Kris, let’s say. Sehun would NEVER DO THIS to Baekhyun. And on and on and on.
Luhan, be meaner, kthxbye.
– Lay looked ultra handsome today. Booooyyyyyy.
– I like that Kyungsoo is the kind of person that can get away with saying that another member looks cool when they stand still, but ugly when they smile. I love that Kyungsoo is the kind of person people will concede 100% to. He says something, and you’re like, “Yep. That’s true. What can ya do.” He’s super on point about a lot of things and not very responsive to many situations, so if he states something, it’s probably true, and if he reacts to something, it’s probably worthy of reaction.
– With all of that said, though, I really do wish Kyungsoo were a little bit more passionate. A lot of times, he just does things because it’s easier to go with the flow than question it, even though I KNOW he doesn’t really think X or Y. I guess it’s a good way of preserving his energy/mood instead of getting worked up about every little thing, but I do wish he were more energetic, and I do feel it’s a bit of a drag to watch him Kyungsoo sometimes. He isn’t someone who likes being in the spotlight too much, so when he is, I think he tries to get out from under it as fast as possible by just going with the flow.
– This episode revealed sooo many things about people’s personalities. All my ill feelings towards Chanyeol were further confirmed and I’m liking Jongdae more and more. These two are really good foils to each other in terms of personality. Chanyeol TALKS A LOT but never says anything. Jongdae is witty, humorous, and observant. Chanyeol tries to play criticisms off, but it’s so obvious that they bother him. Jongdae takes joking criticisms about him in stride and he’s such a good sport about everything.
I guess he’s not as attractive to Baekhyun and Kyungsoo as he thought he was (but who knows! when you’re put on the spot to do these things on TV, people forget and black out!) but this reallllllly seemed to bother Chanyeol, and he kept trying to joke about it, but…come on Mr. Teeth Rich. We weren’t born yesterday. And then the jokes about him and his dancing, it just looked like they bothered him, and then making him go after Chen was the worst thing ever, because he felt the need to overcompensate and he fucking busted his mic pack. He looked so embarrassed and Hyungdon even said he was embarrassed too. Good lawd.
Chen on the other hand: I’m sure it’s not fun to be made of for not dancing really well, but he was a good sport about it, which gave his personality some room to breathe. Hence why his “bad dancing” was such a funny spot in the episode. And you have to learn how to do this well as an idol and you can’t let these things bother you, because they further stifle you. Suho is like this a lot too, but he’s less crazy and less high energy, so he doesn’t have the same potential to completely sabotage himself like Chanyeol did.
– Tao is so vain. Good lord, he is so vain.
– Kai is really coming out of his shell, which I’m enjoying. He’s still not the most natural at variety, but I think being on a funny show helps him loosen up a lot, because he laughs a lot and reacts very easily to jokes and lines. Also, I get enjoyment out of this just because …………. he has the most gorgeous smile in the world. :)
– I think there’s a weeeeeettle tension between Kyungsoo and Baek. But Baek lets it show and Kyungsoo doesn’t care about these things, I think. And also, Baek and Chen. We’ll see.
– Speaking of Baek. I think Baek is kind of caught in this feedback loop where he is naturally good at dancing, he is naturally good at singing, he is naturally funny, he is naturally good at his words, and he’s constantly being met with positive feedback with regards to those skills, so he gets a bigger and bigger spotlight in everything Exo does. And Baek is starting to want and need more, and that really isn’t good for a really large newbie group that’s still really green on stage, not very well-received with the general public.
His greed for a solo spotlight is so obvious, so repetitive, and personally it does nothing for my good-feelings towards him because someone who’s that obsessed with being good by himself is not someone who’s going to work hard at gelling with a team, and especially a team of twelve. As a newbie and as a group member, you have to be super sacrificial at certain points of your career, whether as an entertainer or a performer, but most of my concern right now is for the performance part, because Baekhyun does not harmonize well with his group. He doesn’t lend support with backup vocals, he’s super focused on how to shine with his own lines, and that’s not how you grow as a singer. This particularly bothers me in “Baby Don’t Cry” performances where he’s just ad-libbing like crazy, which, yes, that’s how the division of lines goes in that song, but also, when you’re ad-libbing, you really have to pay attention to the person you’re singing over, and Baek doesn’t want to do that. He’s just singing over people and is really aggressive about it, which is why it’s so terrible to listen to.
With the way he’s being pushed by SM right now, I have no doubt he’ll get super popular in no time, but someone like Baek needs to be majorly humbled by his own weaknesses in order to grow more as a person and as a performer. He’s so young, he has plenty of room for growth and I’m going to be wary watching him these years.
– I really like that Kai and Lay both genuinely and sincerely respect each other as dancers. There’s competition, yes, but it’s good-spirited competition with lots of learning from each other, which is AWESOME and warms my heart.