[What Mary Thinks] Age of Youth 2 episodes 1-2

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While I initially had my doubts and concerns about the second season of ‘Age of Youth’, if there’s anything about the show that I’m satisfied with it’d be the fact that the drama still carries the same tone and mood that it created within the first season which I heavily enjoyed and liked.

In season 2 we have a few major changes to the cast and characters, but this change doesn’t seem to take away too much from the show. I think the show so far has done a great job in balancing these changes and this shift in characters and actresses to the point where it’s not irritably noticing. Because the drama still maintains the same tone that it did in the first season by providing moments of comedy, lightness, fluff, and mystery, you don’t notice too much the change and differences from the first and second season.

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I was worried that with the addition of new housemate Eun (who replaced Yi-na) and a new face playing Eunjae I was going to have a difficult time enjoying the second season. However to my surprise, I actually didn’t feel all that turned-off from the cast change. I do think that Ji-woo who now plays Eunjae is trying a little bit too hard to replicate Hye-soo’s portrayal of Eunjae, but I think if she’s given a little bit more time she’ll eventually be able to find her own interpretation of the character regardless of all the expectations that are set on her. People are just so used to seeing Park Hye-soo’s portrayal of Eunjae (because that’s all that we’ve seen so far) that it’s weird to see someone new play her and I admit I thought that at first, but Ji-woo isn’t actually doing a bad job with the character. I think within time she’ll have a better handle at how to interpret Eunjae and she won’t stand out as much for the wrong reasons.

I’m glad that Yi-na had a proper ending even though I didn’t really want her to leave in the first place. We got that closure from her like how there should have been and it’s unfortunate that she’s leaving the household. She’s gone off to bigger and better things and is grasping all the opportunities that are out there so I’m happy that she’s reaching for success even if that means leaving behind her friends who are like family to her. I’m going to miss you a lot Yi-na.

Even with Yi-na’s departure though you’re never really too sad or free to think about her absence just because the new housemate Eun who arrives in episode two is such an interesting character. Right off the bat, she has this charisma and aura around her that marks her as someone different and unique — someone who can stand on her own. We find out that she has some family issues and needed some time to get away which is why she’s now living with the girls, but similar to what we got from the first season there is a lot more behind her arrival at the house which the drama will hopefully unfold with the rest of the episodes. I have no doubt that the second season will succeed in balancing the mystery and thriller tone of the show with the light-hearted, fluffiness, and heart-warming aspects of the show; the first season was able to pull it off successfully and while the differences in tone wasn’t my favorite I’m assuming that the second season will be able to do the same.

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I’m watching for the relationships and chemistry between our five housemates, but I have to admit that a part of me is also watching for the love lines. I was a huge fan of Eunjae and Sunbae’s relationship in the first season so I’m looking forward to seeing them again this season (even though a part of why I liked it so much was because of Park Hye-soo). I’m sad that Yoon Park won’t be in the second season just because he and Han Ye-ri’s character went through SO MUCH the first season. How can the drama just cut them off? *cries* And then of course, I’m looking forward to Ji-won’s relationship with her friend Sung-min. They were cute last season and had potential to transition into lovers so I’m hoping to see more of that this season as well.

There are many many changes with the second season of ‘Age of Youth’, but the overall tone and mood is still there from the first season. It might take me a few more episodes to get used to everything, but if the remaining episodes are just as fun, interesting, and cute as the first two then it shouldn’t take too long for me to get used to the new changes.

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[What Mary Thinks] Premiere of new Korean dramas ‘Save Me’ and ‘Strongest Deliveryman’

The pilot episodes to new Korean dramas ‘Save Me’ and ‘Strongest Deliveryman’ just recently aired this week. I decided to give both dramas a try since I recently finished ‘Queen for 7 Days’ and wanted to find new dramas to watch. After watching the premiere to both dramas, I have to conclude that both aren’t so bad so far, but I’m gonna need more from both to keep me invested.

Granted, it’s the beginning of both dramas so there’s not much to begin with, but the dramas don’t give me reasons to want to stay and watch the rest of them. Unlike ‘Queen for 7 Days’ where I was invested from the very beginning, ‘Save Me’ and ‘Strongest Deliveryman’ do have some interesting plots and characters that I’m intrigued by and want to dig into, but I’m also not pulled in all the way yet.

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Strongest Deliveryman stars Go Kyung-pyo and Chae Soo-bin and revolves around their characters as delivery workers for a noodle restaurant who have their own dreams and goals. I actually wasn’t planning on watching this drama, but then the cast recently featured in the latest ‘Happy Together’ episode so I decided to give the drama a try after watching the variety show episode. There are certain aspects of ‘Strongest Deliveryman’ that I am actually really interested in, such as our characters’ and their reasoning for either running away or wanting to run away. I noticed that I’m always weak for plots like those – where our main characters embark on a journey to self-discovery and the process to our characters doing that. It was painful watching Go Kyung-pyo’s character Kang-soo and Chae Soo-bin’s character Dan-ah just because they both have their own struggles that they’re going through involving their family. I like how the drama has shown us so far the dilemma they face when it comes to their own families respectively, with Kang-soo having lost both of his parents and Dan-ah wanting to follow her dreams and goals in life but also feeling responsible to support her family. This struggle has been beautifully illustrated so far within the first two episodes and it’s this sub-plot that makes me compelled to keep watching the drama. I want to know more about our two main characters and how they will overcome the obstacles they face.

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I also like our second leads so far; they’re not your typical second leads where the female lead is tainted as harsh, spoiled, and cruel while the male lead is kind and perfect. They are also going through their own problems in life, but opposite of Dan-ah and Kang-soo who are struggling because of the lack of financial stability, our second leads are struggling from having too much money. They also have their own issues they’re dealing with and it was nice seeing in the drama our 4 characters trying to handle their own issues. It’s relieving seeing this, knowing that yes they’re each going through their own stuff but they’re ultimately not alone. I think this is probably the best aspect of ‘Strongest Deliveryman’ so far.

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I’m not a huge fan of the editing and camerawork for ‘Strongest Deliveryman’ though. The editing is rather disjointed and shot within many different angles for a good 1-2 seconds which leaves me distracted because there are too many things going on. If I was to recap this drama (in which I’m seriously debating about but I’m not too sure yet), I would find it hard to screencap anything because the camerawork would not be in my favor lol. This is probably one of the biggest downfalls of this show though because everything else is decent. The cast members are doing so far so good in their roles. I especially like Chae Soo-bin and her portrayal of Dan-Ah. She’s hard-working and strong and doesn’t rely on anyone but herself to get things done. Kim Sun-ho plays our second male lead and he’s obviously the weakest actor out of our 4 main actors, but I just discovered that he’s a new actor having only done 2 projects this year with ‘Strongest Deliveryman’ being his second one. I don’t expect him to be better than sunbae Go Kyung-pyo, but I am hoping he’ll improve and get better as the drama progresses.

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I’m debating if I want to recap ‘Strongest Deliveryman’ just because I could see the huge potential it has right now in terms of hitting all the right notes of angst and sadness and comic relief as well. I might need 2 more episodes to determine if I want to watch it and recap it or drop it if it fails to keep me invested. I’m also hoping the editing and camerawork will be a little bit more organized. That would be very helpful as well.

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OCN drama ‘Save Me’ faces the opposite problem where the cinematography and editing is amazing and intriguing, but the execution of the plot lacks impact. Granted I’ve only seen episode one so far and while it was interesting, it had the potential to be a lot more intense and suspenseful. Episode one does a great job in introducing the town to viewers and what the town practices and believes on a daily basis. You can tell from episode one just maybe how dangerous and risky it is to live in a town like that and I like how the drama sets this up so strongly. The overall plot is definitely interesting where our main characters move to a town where there’s a religious cult group (props to OCN for the unique drama!). There’s so much potential within that plot alone and I have no doubt that the drama will dig into that potential but I also want it to be carefully done. There’s potential, but there’s also potential to be executed incorrectly or disappointingly.

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‘Save Me’ is filmed as if it’s a movie and I get ‘The Wailing’ kind of vibes with the drama. It’s dark, mysterious, and chilling which I think the drama did a good job in setting up. It leaves you wanting to know more about the town, why the people behind the cult are doing what they’re doing, and what the rest of the town members are up to. While ‘Save Me’ is off to a strong start, I could see the possible issues it could face in the future so far within the first episode. I think the drama wants to show more of our characters and their struggles which I’m all for, but at the same time also wants to emphasize on the plot of the cult and I think if the drama doesn’t balance these sub-plots out carefully then it might lose more than gain from the execution. I do want to know more about the town and the religious cult, but at the same time I also want to know about our characters and if the drama is able to intertwine the details of these sub-plots in a way that is well-balanced then this drama will turn out to be okay.

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I do have my doubts about the casting though. I kind of feel like Taecyeon was a miscast. He’s the most awkward one yet out of the drama and I’m thinking it’s more about his portrayal of the character than the character itself that is the reason for this awkwardness. Since the drama takes place in a town in the outskirts of Seoul, everyone speaks in a dialect and I’m not sure if it’s just me but Taecyeon sounds awkward speaking in the dialect and sometimes I feel like he’s mumbling his words which gets distracting. I’m hoping he will improve within the later episodes because I wouldn’t want this drama to be so strong but then be failed by the actor who plays our main character. I’m definitely curious and interested to see how he and his friends are related to the cult religious town though and if they’re gonna do anything about it. This is also my first time seeing actor Woo Do-hwan in a drama and so far he’s the character I’m the most interested in. He reminds me of a mix between Kim Young-kwang, Kang Ha-neul, and Seo Kang-joon. I can see Seo Ye-ji’s character being the one to stir things up in the town that is deliberately controlled by the leaders of the religious cult group. She’s already having her suspicions from episode one so it’ll be interesting to see what she decides to do against the leaders.

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‘Save Me’ has so much potential to be a strong and stable drama and I’m hoping it will deliver on all points. I don’t anticipate dropping this drama, but I am hoping that the future episodes will be just as good and even better than its pilot episode. Please don’t disappoint ‘Save Me.’

Source: (1) (2)

[What Mary Thinks] Show Me the Money 6 ep 6

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It’s another bittersweet episode. In this episode, teams are formed and team performances start. Of course, I can’t always get everything I want and this episode was no exception.

For the rest of the contestants who didn’t get eliminated during the cypher round but also didn’t win first, they were either chosen by the producers or eliminated by default. Tiger JK and Gong Yoo Bizzy finally got team members and people actually wanted to be on Dynamic Duo’s team. Hahaha.

SMTM6 teams and my thoughts about each team:

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  • Team Dean x Zico: Young B, Olltii, Hangzoo, Killagramz, Hash Swan
    • This team consists of contestants who are also decent/strong individually so when you put them together you think the team will also be strong, but they kind of overpower one another. Killagramz is just on another level compared to the other contestants on this team; he overpowers them and I don’t think anyone expects him to be eliminated anytime soon. Which is why I think he doesn’t have as much of a presence in his team right now because he’s already so good and everyone has high expectations of him so he can just do his own thing like how he’s been doing and he will be good regardless. He doesn’t really need to worry about messing up or making mistakes or getting eliminated. He’s probably the strongest one out of the team.
  • Team Dynamic Duo: Woochan, Nucksal, Ryno, Hanhae, Myundo
    • Surprisingly, out of all the performances in episode 6, Team Dynamic Duo has to be by far my favorite. This is surprising because Dynamic Duo was the least popular producer team and no one wanted to join them, but then once the teams were formed, their team’s performance was well put, strong, and smooth. Ryno also surprised me because he was also SO good. And I think it’s so cute because it’s all as if the members are the older brothers of Maknae Woochan, taking care of him and helping him with his rap and whatnot. I actually think Team DD has the best harmony out of all the teams. They just work well together and everything flows like it’s supposed to. There were no bumps in the performance and instead of performing as rivals competing against one another, I felt like the members were genuinely having fun and enjoying the stage. Like yes, at the end of the day they’re rivals, but you don’t sense that in their team and that’s what I like. Also, I have a feeling that they’re probably gonna go more of the R&B route which will always make for good groovy music (they just gotta cut back on the autotune a little bit). As for strongest member of the team, no doubt Nucksal.

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  • Team Jay x DOK2: Junoflo, Double K, Ja Mezz, Nes, Woodie Go Child
    • I don’t really care for this team just because none of the contestants in this team stand out to me. Their performance was really try-hard and out there just like their producers and I didn’t really care for the performance. The rapping was decent, but it just wasn’t my style and I didn’t really get a sense of harmony with this group as compared to the other teams. It’s unfortunate that Double K forgot his lyrics and messed up so he got eliminated. He’s actually a good rapper, but small mistakes like those make such a huge impact so it’s sad to see him go but at the same time I understand why he got eliminated. Junoflo is obviously the strongest one on the team.

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  • Team Tiger Jk x Bizzy: Woo Wonjae, Maniac, P-Type, Asol, Blacknine
    • I feel like Tiger Jk and Bizzy’s team consists of the contestants who are all individually talented and strong (with some kind of dark/evil aura to them lol) who were just randomly put together into a group. They’re such a random group with random contestants who you would have never thought would be put into a group together, but then Tiger Jk and Bizzy puts them in a group and it’s so interesting. I still prefer the contestants individually, but they’re not so bad as a group either. It’s sad that P-Type got eliminated, but I’m just surprised he got this far into the show to be honest. Asol messed up so I’m hoping that she’ll do better next time. Especially since she’s the only female contestant left on the show, I really want her to make it far. And as usual, Woo Wonjae blessed us all with his presence and spotlight and beautiful rap. I think he’s probably the strongest in the team. lol @ all the jokes about how scary the team was b/c of woo wonjae and maniac

I’m so sad Olltii got eliminated. He was one of my favorite contestants I was rooting for and I genuinely was hoping he would make it far. But with this season already hyping up certain contestants over others, I wasn’t expecting him to make it too too far. Olltii showed us in SMTM3 how strong of a rapper he is and even made it into the semi-finals so I was hoping to see him in the semi-finals again this season. But it’s unfortunate that he got eliminated because he was a true blessing on the show and he’s so good. Olltii is so underestimated and underappreciated and I feel like he doesn’t get enough acknowledgement on how good of a rapper and quick thinker he is with his rapping and lyrics. It’s sad to see him go but at least he was on the same team as Young B for an episode. I can live happily knowing that 2 of my favorite contestants interacted and were on the same team for a moment.

Instead of rooting for a certain team, I’m still rooting for the contestants individually since they will end up competing against one another later on in the show and are still technically rivals even though they’re on teams now. It sucks that all my favorite contestants are also on different teams so they’re going against one another and are the strongest members on their respective teams as well. It’s gonna break my heart when they go against each other and I have to watch them diss and pick at each other. I’m not ready for this. Why can’t we all just be friends and win the show together? Lol.

Source: (1), Mnet official @ youtube

[What Mary Thinks] Criminal Minds episodes 1 & 2

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And through this drama I learned my hard lesson that you should never judge a drama by its first episode.

Because I had some free time this weekend, I decided to give Korean drama adaptation of American series ‘Criminal Minds’ a watch. Starring Lee Jun-ki, Moon Chae-won, and Son Hyun-joo, ‘Criminal Minds’ focuses in on the team composed of our characters and their journey in solving unsolved cases and mysteries from the perspective of the criminal.

I actually did not anticipate watching this drama at all or at least the first two episodes. I’m not a big fan of thriller dramas focused on investigations and cases like this and while I like the cast, I wasn’t invested enough in them to watch the drama. However, I decided to just give it a try since the drama did have Lee Jun-ki and Moon Chae-won and I had some hopes that maybe it might turn out to be something as great, intense, and amazing as ‘Signal.’

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When I finished the first episode to the drama, there were some things about it that just felt off and lacking. I just felt like there was so much wasted potential that could have made the drama a lot more thrilling and intense. The first episode failed to set up any foundation or context to our characters or the plot and was maybe a little too concerned on replicating the tone, mood, and feel that the American version maintained which affected the way that it was executed. The cinematography and camerawork felt boring, the editing made the episode choppy and disjointed, and the scenes weren’t filmed in ways where it’s thrilling and exciting. It just lacked the ‘unf’ that other dramas like ‘Signal’ had that made you sit at the edge of your seat and just anticipate in nervousness what would happen next.

Aside from execution, the characters are also so mundane and lack originality. Lee Jun-ki plays your typical male lead character who’s scarred from an incident in the past so he’s now an aggressive and reserved man who has trouble trusting others. We’ve seen so many of these kinds of characters in dramas and movies that you find it hard to like his character. Son Hyun-joo and Moon Chae-won’s team are basically a bunch of profilers and in the first 2 episodes you see them basically profiling certain people and possible culprits behind the murder cases, but you don’t understand how they profile or what the steps to profiling are. All you get are phrases and descriptions from them describing what the person is like or what the person is thinking which is essentially what they’re doing as profilers, but I think a little bit more imagery and visuals depicting them doing their jobs would be a little bit more helpful in adding more suspense and intensity to the drama.

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Additionally, I’m not yet really feeling the actor who plays the genius. I understand why his character is important and he’s definitely very helpful, but I wanna know how he comes up with all these facts or conclusions he spews out. Much like his profiler peers, he just spouts random details or comments without letting viewers understand how he got to those conclusions and while it’s okay for now, it could cause for a lot more confusion and misunderstandings in the future. The first 2 episodes also lack originality in terms of plot. The murder case is your typical story of girls getting kidnapped and murdered and because we’ve seen this so many times (with other dramas doing this in a much better way), this drama paled in comparison. Everything is happening at face value and there’s little room for suspense or excitement.

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But episode 2 was A LOT better (SO SO SO MUCH BETTER) and made up for a lot of the complaints and doubts that I had after watching the first episode. The concerns regarding lack of originality and foundation is still there, but through the second episode things started to improve and look better. We get to know a little bit more about our characters and why they’re doing what they’re doing now or why they’re so passionate about the work they do. While I don’t care as much for Lee Jun-ki and Moon Chae-won’s individual characters yet, I’m really liking the relationship that the two have with each other. This is one of those dramas where I want the two to be in a relationship because I can see why they would be fitting for each other and what traits they each have that would make for a good relationship. Already within the first 2 episodes, they understand each other so well and sympathize for each other. They even take care of each other in a nonchalant way and try to understand where the other is coming from. The two characters are very different, but that contrast is what makes them so appealing together and why I’m rooting for them. Their relationship is so fitting and well put together and unlike other dramas who force their couples to get together somehow, I can see Lee Jun-ki and Moon Chae-won’s characters falling in love in a way that doesn’t feel forced and instead makes sense.

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Of course, that probably won’t happen in this drama though because Lee Jun-ki revealed that he and Moon Chae-won won’t really be having any romantic scenes in this drama which is unfortunate because I’m really enjoying their scenes together. I especially liked the scene in episode one when Moon Chae-won and Lee Jun-ki were basically profiling each other while in the car and saying what their first impressions of the other were to each other. It’s through small scenes like those where you’re interested and engaged in what they have to say and you get to know what the characters are like. I’m hoping the drama will dig in a little deeper to the characters and give us more backstory on who they are and why they’re doing what they’re doing right now. Characterization and character growth is always important in every drama so I’m hoping to see more of that in ‘Criminal Minds’ too especially as our characters work together in teams to solve cases and help save people’s lives.

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Of course our cast members are great in this as they usually are in their other projects. Son Hyun-joo blows me away with his solid and strong acting and he definitely stood out to me out of the cast. Lee Jun-ki and Moon Chae-won are great too although I feel like they’re a little limited right now because of their characters. Maybe when the drama hopefully chooses to spend more time on them in the future episodes we’ll see more of them and their acting.

I had my hesitations and thoughts about ‘Criminal Minds’ with episode one, but episode 2 got rid of some of those hesitations. It was better executed and actually had that build up that surprisingly kept me at the edge of my seat (I might have been shouting a few times at one point.. or maybe two). Maybe what the drama is struggling with is not necessarily the suspense and intense because episode 2 was packed with that, but rather the process in building up that suspense because episode one primarily focused on that and it wasn’t the most exciting or interesting. Learning how to gather all the information and details about the criminals in a way that’s engaging and interesting and then weaving that into the build-up would make for a great case. Oh and better editing would be really helpful too.

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Overall, ‘Criminal Minds’ lacks a foundation and instead just dove into things without giving us a backstory or context to the characters or the plot and it could have been because it was trying too hard to emulate what the American version did. But episode 2 heavily improved so here’s to hoping that the Korean adaptation will learn to be just as good on its own especially with the amazing cast that it has and rely less on the American version. Episode 2 was great; I’m hoping the future episodes will remain just as exciting.

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[What Mary Thinks!] Show Me the Money 6 episode five

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This show stresses me out so much, but I need to watch it. I can’t stop. It’s such a mess, but a fun mess and I can’t stop watching it even though I probably should for my own good.

Episode five is a cypher round. Contestants are randomly selected into groups of 6-7 to battle against one another. Random beats are played and the contestants are to rap to the beat that is given to them as best as they can. Because cyphers are so unstructured, you never know what’s gonna happen or who’s gonna excel at it or not. Cyphers are not for everybody and we saw that with this episode. You can be a strong rapper, but because cyphers are unstructured and random meaning anything can happen, it also exposes some weaknesses unfortunately.

There were 5 rounds of cyphers total. The winner of each round ultimately got to pick the producer team of their choice.

— SPOILERS DOWN BELOW SO DON’T READ UNLESS YOU’VE ALREADY WATCHED THE EPISODE OR WANT TO GET SPOILED —

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We find out that the first place winners for the concert that the producers held is none other than Team Jay Park x DOK2. I’m not surprised that they won because I mean… they’re literally the hottest hip-hop rappers right now in the Khip-hop industry. They’re the trendy leaders right now so of course the contestants would vote for them. Team Dynamic Duo placed last unfortunately. I feel like many people are underestimating Dynamic Duo because they’re not as popular anymore and they’ve been in the industry a lot longer than Team Jay x DOK2 and Team Zico x Dean so they’re a little older. They’re definitely the underdogs out of the producer teams.. kind of like that one group that is good and everyone knows is good but doesn’t really care about because there are other groups that they like better. LOL.

Then we start with the cypher rounds. The first cypher had some good competition with Maniac, Hanhae, Young B, and Double K going against one another. I never really cared for Double K prior to this episode, but omg he KILLED his performance. I am so biased towards Young B and I’m rooting for him in this season, but omg, even I have to admit that Double K did better than him and that his win was well-deserved. He absolutely blew my mind away and now he’s someone that I’m keeping my eyes on. Because he won, he got to choose the producer team of his choice and ultimately ended up choosing Team Jay Park x DOK2. It’ll be interesting to see how he does with their team.

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The second cypher battle is a little bit more competitive with some of the more stable contestants (but imo, they’re just decent. Maybe it’s because I see them all at the same level as each other that I didn’t necessarily see any of them as better than the other). While picking the contestants, Sleepy was hoping to not get picked but then he got picked as the last contestant for that round. It was really funny. And then sadly, he got eliminated from the show because his cypher rap was the least impressive. I’m a little sad he got eliminated, but then I don’t think he was going to last long anyways especially with that many stronger contestants still on the show and Sleepy not doing the best he could do. Bye Sleepy, it was fun watching you on the show while you were on it. Anyways, Hangzoo wins the round and chooses Team Zico x Dean as his producer team.

In the third round, the most and only notable contestant is Nucksal. I felt so bad for the contestants who went against him in the cypher because it’s obvious that they weren’t gonna win. And I’m even more mad that somehow most of the contestants in this round were the less popular ones. Why can’t the show give us some good cypher battles? Why was Nucksal the only strong rapper? Nucksal is having it too easy on this show. I wanted to see him go against stronger contestants on the show like Junoflo or Killagramz or Double K. That would have been so great.

Of course, he wins the cypher and decides to team up with Dynamic Duo. FINALLY someone noticed them hahaha. I don’t think Nucksal chose them because he absolutely needed to be on team Dynamic Duo. I think he probably chose them because 1) out of pity 2) regardless of which producer team he’s on he knows he’s strong enough to go against whoever so he just probably chose Dynamic Duo for the heck of it. Nucksal is a strong rapper especially since he’s been doing this for a while so I don’t expect to see him fail any time soon regardless of the producer team that he joined.

IT’S THE 4TH CYPHER BATTLE AND THE BEST ONE OUT OF ALL THE ROUNDS IN MY OPINION. BECAUSE OLLTII ABSOLUTELY KILLED IT. HE WAS SO FREAKING GREAT. Like I am still not over his rap and it’s been 3 hours since I’ve watched the episode lol. The third round had some pretty big names like Junoflo who everyone is watching out for, Olltii my talented freestyle bby, Myundo and then other contestants like Truedy and Asol. Junoflo won the round (I think he’s getting a little bit too much hype but that’s just my very honest opinion). For me, Olltii was the winner of that round. On top of freestyling his rap which was amazing and funny, he didn’t even seem nervous at all. At one point he was rapping with his hands in his pockets while casually walking across the stage and he even dissed some contestants in his rap. It was so great and funny. I mean this is typical Olltii. His performance reminded me of when he was on SMTM3 and I’m glad we got this side of him back because I was starting to miss it. I need savage Olltii to make a comeback.

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It’s the last and final cypher round. Whoever didn’t get picked is automatically put up against one another. In this round, my two favorite contestants Woo Wonjae and Killagramz had to go up against each other. I was so sad. Unfortunately, unlike his past performances, Wonjae doesn’t do too well this round and places 4th out of all the contestants. Meanwhile, Killagramz earns first place and decides to team up with Team Dean x Zico. My heart broke for Wonjae while watching him rap. Obviously, cyphers wasn’t really his thing and not his strongest point so he struggled. Although he finished safely, he wasn’t the best and that showed in his performance and the cypher results. I’m definitely still rooting for him and I’m hoping that he can still make it to the top because he’s so talented and different and I don’t want something like cyphers to be the reason why he gets eliminated. He still has so much more to show and prove to viewers beyond all the cypher crap. So here’s to hoping that he’ll stay in the game and make it out alive.

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In the end, you have 5 contestants join the producer team of their choice. Team Zico x Dean currently have Killagramz and Hangzoo on their team, Tiger Jk and Bizzy with nobody (ok but why does no one want to work with them. Killagramz should have gone onto their team. That would have been freaking amazing), Dynamic Duo with Nucksal (they have Nucksal they’re good they don’t need anybody else tbh), and Team DOK2 x Jay with Double K and Junoflo. I can tell that the contestants want to work with the newer and more trendy producer teams hence why no one is on Tiger Jk and Bizzy’s team yet and why Dynamic Duo placed last for the concert. I’m looking forward to seeing the next episode (which looks like it’s another cypher battle between the 5 contestants who won if I’m not wrong) and which contestant joins which team.

Source: Mnet official @ youtube, thanhnamkorean1 @ dailymotion

[What Mary Thinks] Show Me the Money Season 6 episode 4

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AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I’m screaming. There were so many emotions and thoughts and screaming while watching this episode and this is actually the first time that I’m writing up a post while watching the episode at the same time because I just had to talk about the episode!

Note: What was supposed to originally start out as a normal ‘What Mary Thinks’ post somehow turned into a SMTM6 episode 4 recap/rant post with lots of screaming and !!!! and words so I apologize beforehand how out of control this post got. Before I knew it, I just started saying so many things and I eventually lost track of what I was supposed to write or what the purpose of this post was or how this post was actually supposed to be written. I apologize. Future posts won’t be like this I swear maybe.

Episode 4 starts off really interesting and great and intense for once! We finally get some screen time of some of the more popular and stronger contestants on the show after 3 episodes, including Hash Swan, Hanhae, Sleepy, Nucksal, and female rapper Ato.

Hash Swan was able to get his name out there with last year’s season but because last year’s season had a lot more stronger contestants he didn’t stand out as much. But his appearance on last season really raised eyebrows and curiosity about him that when he came back this season as a contestant, people knew to look out for him and to watch out for him as a possible threat and contender for the win because of last season. I think Hash Swan is also aware of that himself as he’s been performing safely but strongly without showing off too much yet because he’s to save his stronger performances for later rounds. In the 1 vs. 1 battle, he messed up a little bit so his position as a contestant on the show could have been eliminated had his opponent been better and stronger. But luckily, Hash Swan made it out alive and passed on to the next round. I’m definitely looking forward to his future performances because while I’m not rooting for him personally, he has a unique voice and pretty decent rapping skills so I can see him staying in the competition for as long as he did last season or maybe even further this year.

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Hanhae FINALLY got some screen time in this episode and he really did not disappoint. It just makes you wonder why Mnet did not show him in the earlier episodes, but it also makes everything okay because the wait was totally worth it. In his 1 vs. 1 battle, he easily kills it and impresses the producers with his flawless rapping and fun stage presence. I’m just glad to have finally gotten to see him on the show because we’ve been waiting for weeks for that to happen. And it’s even better that once he does get time on the show he delivers as usual. Definitely excited for Hanhae’s future performances and anticipating to see what he has to show in the future.

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After the passes of Hash Swan and Hanhae, I was feeling good about the episode and then Sleepy came out for his 1 vs. 1 battle and also passed the round! By this point, I’m super happy and relieved that Sleepy – a contestant I’m rooting for – passed. I think his win (as well as Hanhae’s win) was well-deserved and I actually found his third round to be his strongest yet in my opinion. Sleepy’s getting better and better every round and if he keeps this up I can see him giving everyone (*coughs* Nucksal *coughs*) a run for a shot at winning the show.

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But of course, not everything can go well and the 1 vs. 1 battle between Nucksal and female rapper Ato definitely showed us that (why can’t I just watch this show without stressing and frowning? T___T). Upon finding out that they were going against each other, I became so devastated because it was obvious who was going to win. I like both contestants, but I especially love Ato just because I found her second round performance to be really good, entertaining, fun, and unique and to me, she stood out not only among the female rappers but out of all the contestants in general. She’s funky, she’s smooth, she’s playful and it was great to see her be so comfortable and have so much fun on stage. With that being said, upon finding out she was going against Nucksal, I just knew there was going to be almost no chance that she was going to pass unless Nucksal messed up immensely or did something really bad. I never felt so painful while watching SMTM before because I want Ato to be on the show a lot longer because I believe that she was one of the stronger contestants on the show and could have also given some contestants a run for their money.

It’s unfortunate that during the battle, she forgot some of her lyrics and was really nervous to perform. I think a part of that was because she was going against Nucksal who is obviously one of the strongest contestants on the show and maybe let that pressure get too much to her. If she had performed confidently without any mistakes like how she did in the second round then I think there could have been a good chance that she would have won against Nucksal*sigh* But we’ll never know and it makes me sad just thinking about what could have happened. It also makes me lowkey despise Nucksal for choosing Ato out of all contestants (in a jokingly way). Why would he do something like that? *sighs again* This battle got me feeling so devastated and sad and upset because Ato is so great and I wanted to see more of her. I’m hoping some label or someone will pick her up and take her in because she’s so great and talented and good at rapping (if no one has yet). I definitely want to see more of her. And of course, as expected, Nucksal passed onto the next round. Bye Ato, it was great watching you rap while you were on the show. You will be greatly missed 😦

Wow, we got a few more seconds of Olltii but it wasn’t for the reasons I wanted or was expecting. It was because we were shown clips of him getting chewed out by a contestant named JJK (wow, you know you’re total trash for BTS when you automatically think of Jungkook) who’s also known for his freestyle rapping just like how Olltii is. Surprisingly, even after messing up with his lyrics because he was freestyling for the performance he passed the round (only roots for him b/c of his initials). His freestyling that lead to his mistake in the performance actually was his strength as well as the producers were largely impressed by his freestyle rap even though he had messed up. Hmm, this will be interesting to see.

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OMG OKAY NEVER MIND. OLLTII IS HERE AND WE CAN ALL FINALLY NOW LIVE IN PEACE. I REPEAT – OLLTII IS HERE (why does he look like an owl omg i’m crying). I honestly wasn’t expecting to see him at all considering we’ve gotten pretty much nothing of him the past 3 weeks so it’s a miracle to be seeing him on my screen while I’m writing this post and watching the episode at the same time. I’m super happy to see him finally get some time on the show because he deserves it. As overdue as this is, I guess it’s better late than never right? The thing is that I had actually forgot about Olltii because we were getting nothing of him the past few episodes, but after finally remembering that he’s actually a contestant on the show I’m totally rooting for him now. It’s funny and ironic how things turn out because I hated him when he was on SMTM3 (b/c he was creating shit with B.I. and Bobby) but over time have come to really liking him somehow (idk don’t ask me how, it just happened lol) so now I’m rooting for him on SMTM too. His 1 vs. 1 battle was an easy win for him and I’m excited to see what he has up his sleeves in the future episodes. Let’s go Olltii, let’s go.

This episode is causing me so much stress. “STRESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS” – Gary. AHHHHHHHHH I’M PULLING MY HAIR OUT. PUNCHNELLO. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE PREPARED OR AS CHOIZA SAID, YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST FREESTYLED OR SOMETHING. OR JUST DO AND SAY SOMETHING. Ahh, it’s such a sad turn-out. I like Punchnello and have listened to a few of his songs and was totally rooting for him to win against Myundo so it’s unfortunate that he lost. He’s a strong rapper and could have been another underdog of the show and then swoop up from behind and surprise everyone. All the producers’ reactions to Punchnello’s second performance was so funny because I felt exactly the same way as all of them. Everyone saying that he’s a strong rapper and it’s so regretful and unfortunate that he didn’t have another verse prepared and then Tiger Jk and Bizzy just continually shouting out “WHY?! WHY?!” Lol. Ughhh. It’s so sad and unfortunate because Punchnello’s talented and could have made it far on this show.

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This also has to be one of the strangest and most bizarre incidents to have happened during the 1 vs. 1 battle. From all the seasons I’ve seen of SMTM (since season 3), I don’t recall any contestant not having a verse prepared (even when there were ties, contestants usually were still prepared with something or just freestyled) so this battle alone is surprising to me with what happened. *sigh* Oh Punchnello, better luck and effort next time. Okay but I wanna know which of the producer teams didn’t vote for Punchnello. Cus if y’all had just voted for him the first round none of us would be going through this pain. WHO DID IT?! WHICH ONE OF Y’ALL VOTED FOR MYUNDO INSTEAD FOR THE FIRST ROUND. REVEAL YOURSELVES. Why the producers were so devastated upon Punchnello’s elimination when half of them didn’t vote for him… like… y’all need to stop being so indecisive and fake and just be real with yourselves and who you really wanna vote for. Lol. We all know y’all biased anyways. OMG THEY EVEN GAVE PUNCHNELLO A MINUTE OF SCREEN TIME TO SAY HIS FAREWELLS. I’M CRYINGGGGG. I don’t even know why I’m reacting like this though because I didn’t even care or root for him. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just because he was good and I liked him better than Myundo. So sad. Probably one of the biggest upsets in SMTM history along with the elimination of Ato for me.

ANYWAYS MY YOUNG B MADE IT ONTO THE NEXT ROUND BUT MNET DIDN’T SHOW HIS BATTLE SO I’M LOWKEY UPSET BUT IT’S ALL GOOD B/C HE PASSED. THAT’S ALL THAT COUNTS. And Truedy passed as well but she just needs to leave already. Why do they still have her on the show. I don’t get it. It should have been her against Ato. We would have known who the true winner would have been then. /zips my lips/

Mnet is doing it again with the weird and odd editing where they show the rest of the results from the prior episode and then the next round within the same episode. I hate it because the transition isn’t smooth, but I don’t think they’re gonna change this editing so I should just get used to it.

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It’s another day of performances but this time it’s the producers’ turn to perform (this is also another favorite segment of mines out of the entire season). The tables have turned and instead of performing it’s now the contestants’ turn to watch the producers perform. I enjoy this segment a lot just because it’s so great and fascinating to watch these producers – who have created a name or status for themselves in the Korean hip-hop industry – perform and just do the thing that they’re good at which is rapping. It also makes for an interesting case because through these performances you kind of see whether the producers are actually worthy of being producers on the show or whether they’re there for other purposes instead (like producing for example). But also, I just like seeing the contestants’ reactions to the performances and them jamming along to the songs. It’s great.

OKAY BUT GAEKO IS TOTALLY KILLING IT. Despite being in the industry for much longer than the others, he’s still got it. He’s so good. GAEKO IS A MONSTER. But when is Dynamic Duo gonna perform to ‘BAAAM’? Please. I just wanna hear that song one last time. Aww, they didn’t perform ‘BAAAM’, but they definitely still got it. It was a great performance by Dynamic Duo (my childhood heroes).

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OH WHAT TIGER JK AND BIZZY IS PERFORMING NEXT? THEY SHOULD HAVE SAVED THEM FOR LAST. BEST FOR LAST. I’M UpSEt. BUT OMG THEY SURE DO KNOW HOW TO WORK A CROWD. WERK IT TIGER JK AND BIZZY. WERK IT. SHOW ‘EM WHO THE LEGENDS ARE. And yeah, they definitely showed everyone that they will always be legends. Legends only.

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(I have never found Jay Park attractive at all but I gotta admit he looks kind of handsome in that screencap above… maybe that’s the power of AOMG)

Ooh, Illionaire x AOMG is up. I love how once Dok2 puts up the Illionaire sign, everyone just automatically puts it up as well. It’s like an automatic reaction haha. While I’m not the biggest fan of Jay Park’s rapping, he’s definitely got the vocal talent as well as the dancing and the stage presence. I think I appreciate his stage energy more so than his rapping because boy knows how to put on a concert. Man, he is going at it hard isn’t he? LOL. Even pulling a bboy dance move on stage. Who are you?? LOL. Anyways, although not my favorite team, you can’t deny that Jay Park and Dok2 know how to put on a great stage with their rapping and stage presence. They aren’t at the top of the Khip-hop industry right now for no reason.

OOH NOW IT’S DEAN AND ZICO. Dean’s singing is so good. OOH BERMUDA TRIANGLE OKAY. I MEAN IT’S NOT THE SAME WITHOUT CRUSH THERE BUT YA KNOW, THAT’S NONE OF MY PROBLEM OR ANYTHING. I know Zico can do better because he has done better so I feel like his performance fell a little flat compared to the other producers and to what he has shown before. It might also be because Dean’s a vocalist while Zico’s a rapper so it was more difficult to coordinate or to perform songs together. While I think the team did great, I think I prefer the other performances more.

OMFG WHAT ARE THE PRODUCERS DOING? I’M SO MAD. WHY ARE THEY KNEEING ON THE GROUND TO GET A CLOSER LISTEN TO DEAN’S “R&B” PART. I’M SO MAD. I’M SCREAMING. WHY ARE THEY LIKE DIS? They’re so hilarious and dorky and funny. Ahhhh. LOOK AT THEM. But honestly, it’s so nice seeing the producers joke around and be this comfortable with one another because it’s not often that you get something as weird, random, dorky, and funny as this in SMTM. I’m glad the producers know to joke around and have some fun and not always be so serious (I actually think this season’s producers might be the most friendly and playful with one another yet). This is such a gold moment in SMTM history. I will never get over this.

Anyways, the contestants vote for which producer team was their favorite. Results to this will be shown next week. And as always, as long as my Young B, Woo Wonjae, Sleepy, Killagramz, and Olltii is still in the show then I’m still in as well.

Source

Source 2: Mnet Official @ youtube

[What Mary Thinks] Show Me the Money Season 6 episode three

 

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*sigh* I’ll just be honest from the get-go. I don’t enjoy SMTM6 as much as I enjoyed the other seasons. I could already sense it beginning from episode one and episodes two and three just confirmed it.

There are multiple reasons why I am enjoying SMTM6 less than the seasons prior and I think the biggest reason for that itself is Mnet’s dramatic and evil editing are the contestants. Mnet unfortunately hasn’t shown any scenes of other rappers that are supposedly on the show (like Olltii, Hanhae, MyunDo, etc.) and I just don’t really care for any of the contestants in all honesty. I’m not as familiar with any of the contestants this season (unless they appeared on the seasons before or unless I came across them before) and none of them really stand out to me so they don’t really give me a reason to care for any of them. I do appreciate that SMTM is giving them the platform and opportunity for many of these up and coming rappers to showcase their “rapping” and personalities and therefore focuses less on rappers who have already gone quite big or have appeared on the show before (e.g.: Microdot, Olltii, etc.), but the downside to that is then that I don’t care about any of the contestants because I don’t know them and they don’t stand out to me. It goes both ways.

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(showing Olltii some love since the only times we see him are either of his one-second reactions or of him showing off his necklace)

Mnet’s editing – regardless of which show or program it is – has always been evil and purposely done for the intent to create drama and therefore better ratings. Mnet I would argue is not as dramatic YET with this season of SMTM, but they are still editing the show in a really annoying, frustrating, and odd way. With seasons before, we got a better idea of who the contestants were and their rapping skills but with this season, the show is editing the episodes in a very choppy and disjointed way. Nothing really flows and you have too much going on in one episode and the editors are rushing everything. Usually episode one focuses on the first round which are the preliminaries, the second round is about the 60 second audition, and then the third round is the 1 vs. 1 battle. However, although the show did do that with this season, it didn’t go too well. I don’t know who has passed, I am not getting enough time of the rappers to watch and assess their rapping skills, I’m not really sure what’s going on. Maybe this might just be me because I’m not as familiar with this year’s contestants so I need more time to learn about them and to see what their rapping is like, but the editing is rushed with this season and it’s making me a bit angry lol. It’s as if Mnet already assumes that we know the rappers and what their rapping is like so they end up just showing us a few seconds of their audition and then move on to the judges’ reactions and comments and that’s that. Mnet needs to calm down, give us more time with the contestants, and stop with the constant replays that don’t do anything but frustrate and annoy their viewers because it’s so unnecessary. But hey, this is Mnet and I don’t expect anything much from them. I just think their editing for the seasons prior have been a little bit more smooth and logical.

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Moving on, I’m thankful that the three contestants I’m rooting for – Woo Wonjae, Killagramz, and Young B – are still alive in the game. In episode 3, two out of the three passed (almost got a heart attack though because the judges were making some confusing and ridiculous votes out there honestly. You weren’t gonna pass my Wonjae. Seriously??) so I’m just waiting for the results of one more. I thought it was funny how the judges were always confused and shocked when the results came out after each battle as if they weren’t the ones voting for the contestants themselves. I mean… weren’t y’all the ones voting? Why are y’all acting so surprised? Y’all literally made the decision to vote for the contestant you wanted. What’s so surprising? I don’t get it? Lol. I didn’t agree with a few of the decisions made by the judges in episode three. I was super surprised to see Microdot go because he’s easily one of the better and stronger rappers on the show (maybe he didn’t pass because the judges already knew he was strong and stable so they wanted to give the opportunity for someone newer? I don’t know). Rapper Penomeco (who’s a part of the crew that Zico and Dean is in) got eliminated and even better, he got defeated by a female rapper contestant named ASOL. In their 1 vs. 1 battle, Penomeco was delivering like usual (and Zico was hella excited and hyped for his friend ya know what I mean), but when it was ASOL’s turn, the judges were totally shook and surprised by her strong performance and voted for her in the end to pass (Zico’s face expression in the midst of all this and realizing that his friend wasn’t gonna pass onto the next round was the funniest thing in the world. He got so serious and sad it was great). Zico totally wasn’t expecting Penomeco to lose and all the judges definitely wasn’t expecting ASOL to win. I have my theories and reasons as to why they probably passed her and not Penomeco, but I’m pretty sure that SMTM is going to do a revival round and when they do that revival round, Penomeco is going to be revived. Maybe the same thing with Microdot – who knows. And as I mentioned earlier, my Wonjae almost didn’t pass and I don’t understand why the producers would even dare to do that to him. He’s easily one of the stronger and better rappers on the show (why do I have a feeling that a lot of the contestants Tiger Jk and Bizzy voted for were the ones I didn’t like lol which I hate because I love Team Tiger Jk and Bizzy the most out of the producer teams but sometimes they make such questionable decisions). But I know Team Zico and Dean (especially Zico) really enjoyed Wonjae’s performance and I’m pretty sure they voted for him (Zico’s reactions to Wonjae’s performance though hahaha I loved it because I was reacting the same way). Them rooting for Wonjae gives me a reason to root for them lol.

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My Sleepy made it and I’m so happy for him because as long as he’s been doing korean hip-hop music, he’s had his up’s and down’s throughout his music career and SMTM is really one of his last chances to prove to everyone how serious he is about music. So far, he’s been doing a fairly good job and passed the first 2 rounds so it’ll be interesting to see how he does in the future rounds. I love Sleepy and has been a fan of his since his days in Untouchable. Because he’s more popular for his TV personality and not as much for his music, I could see this image translate over to SMTM and how contestants view him  – they don’t take him as seriously because he’s known to have a funny and clumsy personality. But Sleepy is trying to improve his image as an musician and show a different side of what is usually seen from him by participating in SMTM and I’m glad that he’s doing this (and I also think that he doesn’t get enough respect on this show but whatever). I think it’ll be a good opportunity for Sleepy regardless even if he doesn’t necessarily win the show.

(here’s some Sleepy in Untouchable for y’all. you will become a fan after you watch this I promise. One of my favorite songs from the group and in general)

The 1 vs. 1 battles were good, but in my opinion I think I’ve seen better ones from the seasons prior (Microdot and BeWhy anyone? And this is random, but I just happened to think of Superbee while writing this post. I wonder what he’s been up to lol. Oh and since we’re already talking about other SMTM contestants, I miss BeWhy as well). It’ll be interesting to see the rest of the battles in episode 4 and hopefully Mnet won’t skip around too much this time and actually show us the battles. Please Mnet, please. Try to do your job nicely this time for once.

Source: methekpop.net, 1theK @ youtube

[What Mary Thinks] Fight For My Way (pt. 2)

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KBS drama ‘Fight For My Way’ starring Park Seo-joon and Kim Ji-won finished its 16 episode long run just today. I covered the first half of the drama in a review not too long ago and thought I should cover the rest of the drama now that the drama has completed.

To be honest, when episode 14 ended, I was concerned that the drama wasn’t going to tie everything up greatly with just 2 more episodes to go. There were more sub-plots introduced or expanded upon by the end of episode 14 and it just seemed like there wasn’t gonna be enough time to wrap everything up nicely. However, the drama proved us wrong by providing a satisfactory ending and giving us an ending that was for the most part satisfying even if it didn’t necessarily go over everything that the audience wanted.

[SPOILERS BELOW SO DON’T READ UNLESS YOU’VE WATCHED THE EPISODE OR WANT TO BE SPOILED]

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The drama ends with Dong Man & Ae Ra getting married, Ae Ra making mends with her mother who turned out to be the landlady in the end, Joo Man and Sul-hee also making up and returning back to relationship status (when is that wedding gonna happen tho?), Dong Man winning fair and square his rematch with Kim Tak-soo, and Hye-ran finally having the courage to move on from everything and start anew.

I for the most part enjoyed the last two episodes as I think it did a fairly and expected job of tying up loose ends and wrapping everything up – maybe quicker than I had wanted, but it still did its job. There were many sub-plots that I wished could have been explored and spent more time on, but the Mom/landlady sub-plot really took up most of the time towards the end of the drama that other subplots got placed under the radar. Despite all of that, the drama was still a great and easy watch. There were funny comedic moments as well as really frustrating moments, but also touching times (especially with all the family relationships) that made the show an easy and breezy drama to watch.

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Since the drama ended, there are a few things that I wished the drama could have spent more time on exploring. One of them would be Joo Man and Sul-hee’s post-breakup status. They broke up way too late into the drama and only spared us a few episodes that showed us how they were dealing with the breakup. I don’t think it was necessary dedicating 12 episodes to Ye-jin pining after Joo Man as it was obvious from the get-go that she was interested in him and that she would become a threat to Joo Man & Sul-hee’s 6 year relationship. Instead of wasting so much time showing us that, the drama should have used a few episodes on that plot and then give us the rest of the time showing us how Joo Man & Sul-hee reacted to their break-up. I wanted to see smaller details of Sul-hee’s character growth. While I’m glad she went from being a naive, innocent, and kind pushover to someone mature, strong, and independent, it happened rather quickly and I wanted to see how she came about dealing with that transition. The same goes for Joo Man who we saw struggle, cry, and hurt over the break-up and tried multiple times to make amends with Sul-hee (and still did to the very last episode), but I also wanted to see more of that struggle. And within Joo Man’s struggle of the break-up, I would have definitely loved to see him realize his wrongdoings and reflect on what it is that he needs to do to win her back. Even until episode 15, he still talked about himself to Sul-hee and mentioned to her about how she used to be when she was with him and how much of a big role he played in her life. I don’t think it was that Sul-hee wasn’t aware of how great, kind, and caring of a boyfriend he was to her; she was obviously aware of those actions and characteristics which is why she stayed with him so long – even during those months when he was questionably stepping out of boundaries with Ye-jin. It was more so of his actions with and regarding Ye-jin that she became insecure and decided to end things so for me, if Joo Man had wanted the suffering to end sooner, he should have been more considerate about what and how Sul-hee felt instead of what he wanted and this character growth would have been something awesome to witness. But it’s unfortunate that the drama decided to spend the bulk of the time on Joo Man & Sul-hee’s relationship of scenes of Joo Man & Ye-jin.

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I think the reason why I have so many things to say about the second lead couple more than our lead couple is just that I rooted for Joo Man & Sul-hee since the very beginning and was quickly invested in the couple from the start. I was sold ever since the first episode when Joo Man saved Sul-hee from being scolded by her boss and then swooped in for a hug and kiss despite being at work (wait now that I think about it, did we ever find out why they hid their relationship at work at first?). They were so so cute and adorable and they were so different from other usual couples in dramas. But then as the drama progressed, we got less and less of Joo Man & Sul-hee and more of Joo Man & Ye-jin to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to continue supporting them because 1) it got way too frustrating 2) it was starting to drag on and I didn’t have the patience or interest to keep being invested anymore. In addition to character growth, I wished we had more time spent on this interesting and intriguing push and pull dynamic between the two. As a couple who’s been together for 6 years and then all of a sudden ending that relationship, it’s not going to be easy and there’s definitely going to be that roller coaster ride that comes along with wanting someone back but trying to fight against familiar feelings of love and care towards that person. It would have been great to see Joo Man & Sul-hee struggle to make amends and put forth the effort to either maintain or completely end the relationship that they had built for themselves. It would allow for a realistic portrayal of what actual relationships and break-ups are like which I thought the drama did a fairly good job demonstrating with Dong Man & Ae Ra’s relationship so I was hoping the drama would spend a little bit more time hashing this out with Joo Man & Sul-hee’s relationship as well. Had the drama chosen to spend more time on Joo Man & Sul-hee post-breakup, we could have also gotten so much more time dedicated on character growth. So much great potential wasted.

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I also wish we had gotten more time dedicated to Ae Ra’s journey to becoming an announcer. Although not the typical news announcer that one would expect, she eventually became a MMA fighting announcer so in a way her goals and dreams of becoming an announcer was accomplished. However, we spent I think maybe 2 episodes max on this towards the end of the drama when earlier into the drama we had spent so many episodes on her struggle to becoming an announcer. There were episodes of her going to different job interviews, of her failing these interviews, of Hye Ran interrupting her chances of earning the position, etc. and then as the drama progressed they started to focus less and less on this sub-plot and then suddenly gave her the position of becoming an announcer without any real hint or clue of struggle. Like there was no struggle at all. Ae Ra passed on her first try and she became successful and that was that and she suddenly got the job. I don’t know. It just seemed like the writer took a shortcut and got lazy with this sub-plot and didn’t want to spend more time on it (which is ironic because that was mostly what the writer focused on for Ae Ra in the first half of the drama). I wanted to see Ae Ra’s journey into becoming an announcer and it would have been great to see her fail at least once and then get back up again to earn the announcer position. It just happened way too quickly for me and I think a problem for that was the writer was basically adding more and more into the drama with not enough time for each plot so he basically had to choose which ones to spend more time on and unfortunately Ae Ra’s announcer experience suffered the blow. If you’re gonna spend so much time in the first half of the drama dedicated to Ae Ra’s journey into becoming an announcer, then continue to focus on that towards the second half of the drama as well. But the writer failed to do that. It’s unfortunate, because once again this just causes for a lack of consistency with the drama and there was wasted potential for character growth for Ae Ra.

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Another aspect of the drama that made me iffy was Ae Ra’s stance on Dong Man’s career as a boxer. I can see and understand why she’s hesitant to support him as a fighter because it’s dangerous, he could potentially lose his hearing forever and even his life, and he’s always going to constantly be in danger/injured and she can’t put herself through all of that horror and trauma again. So I can see where she’s coming from, but at the same time, it was immature and childish of her to make him have to decide between her and his dreams. After taking a 10 year hiatus, he finally harbors the courage and audacity to fight again and to step into the ring and do what he’s always wanted to do but refused to try because of the incident a few years back. It took him so long to get to that point and now that he’s in a position where he’s stable and strong enough to try again, his girlfriend refuses to acknowledge that. It’s his dream and plus he’s a grown man who can make decisions for himself and be responsible for them.

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So to me, for Ae Ra to place Dong Man into a box where he can’t have both and can only choose between her or his dream was a little bit too much for me. Ae Ra should be supportive of Dong Man and should be proud that he’s steps closer to achieving his dream, that he now has a job where he’s making money, etc etc. And it’s not that she wasn’t supportive of him because she was – she would go to his matches to support him and take care of him and whatnot, but then over time at the stakes got higher and there were more risks involved, she got less and less supportive to the point where she had Dong Man choose between either her or his dream/career and that just got frustrating for me. You should never have to make anyone choose between you and your relationship or something else that is precious to your significant other. That just screams insecurity, loss of trust, and lack of understanding. And it especially sucks for Dong Man because he wanted both – he loved Ae Ra and cared for her deeply and supported her throughout her entire life (especially during her struggles of becoming an announcer) but then he also really wanted to fight again and had gathered enough courage to step back into the ring. Like why does he have to be in a difficult position where he has to choose? And it makes me frustrated, because Ae Ra’s the type where she doesn’t care what anyone says and does whatever she wants so I think it’s a bit hypocritical to me in a way. For Ae Ra, it’s okay that she can do what she wants and has all that she wants, but for Dong Man, he should listen to her and can only do what she wants. For Dong Man, he supports her in whatever she does or wants to do, but for Ae Ra, she only wants Dong Man to do certain things that she approves of and if he rebels or thinks otherwise, he’s in a potential place where he might lose his relationship because he’s not meeting the demands and wants of his girlfriend. That just screams childish to me and makes me frustrated.

I also think the drama rushed Dong Man and Ae Ra’s relationship (marriage after a few months break-up? Seriously?), but I think this was done more so for the purpose of giving our main couple that happy ending that all main couples are expected to have in dramas. I just wasn’t expecting it nor did I want it to happen so quickly.

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The drama could have done without the creepy stalker guy that was supposedly Ae Ra’s friend. I felt like he was only put in there for the purpose of showing the documentary that revealed Tak-su’s true colors, but failed to serve as any other purpose or reason in the drama. Also, the drama heavily rushed Sul-hee’s relationship with Joo Man’s family. In prior episodes, they didn’t like and approve of her, but in episode 15, she all of a sudden gained their approval and her mom was behaving so kindly to Sul-hee. I don’t know – I felt like it was too random for me and it bothered me because of how drastic it was from that one birthday/family party where they had basically treated Sul-hee like crap. I also wished more time could have been spent on Dong Man, Ae Ra, Joo Man, and Sul-hee’s friendship! I wanted to see more of that! The drama would tease us by giving us little bits here and there, but never really gave us more and it was so sad because it would have made for great storytelling but also just a lot more fun. I wanted to see more of their friendship as younger kids growing older together and the challenges and adventures they faced along the way so I’m a little sad and heart-broken the drama didn’t give us more.

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I also think the drama also didn’t really know what to do with Hye Ran. At first they characterized her as Ae Ra’s enemy and Dong Man’s clingy ex-girlfriend and then I think they were trying to slowly improve her image by making her seem pitiful so that viewers would sympathize, but then the drama didn’t spend too much time fixing Hye Ran’s image so by the end of the drama, she was just kind of there. Not the once clingy ex-girlfriend she used to be anymore and not Ae Ra’s enemy like how the drama had first pinned her down to be. I’m glad that she got her own happy ending though and that she can finally move on with her own life and start anew. I’m always for character growth and clingy ex-girlfriends not being clingy anymore.

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The plot with Landlady Hwang being Ae Ra’s mother was an interesting one and I was definitely intrigued by Landlady Hwang because here she was – a random lady who just popped up out of no where spying on Dong Man and Ae Ra and telling them what to do and not to do. So that aspect of the plot got me interested and then as it started to get more and more obvious that she was Ae Ra’s mother, I sadly wasn’t as invested anymore. I also do think the drama rushed with Ae Ra’s acceptance of Landlady Hwang as her mother. In the last episode, Ae Ra gave in and was willing to call Landlady Hwang as her mother even though she had been missing from her life for her entire life so I would have liked to see more time spent on their relationship development. I like that Ae Ra is taking that first step forward by accepting Landlady Hwang as her mother and calling her mother, but I don’t know – to me it was a little bit too rushed. Also, I’m sad that the drama focused a lot more heavily on this plot to the point where it overpowered some other sub-plots from being explored and basically rushed other aspects of the drama. Better pacing for this sub-plot would have been nice, but I’m glad that the drama decided to even reveal to us what the big deal about Landlady Hwang was in the first place (a little too late into the drama but better than never). Just imagine if she had no purpose and was just placed in there for comedic purposes – that would have been so funny, annoying, and weird (let’s not pull another ‘Strong Woman’ now).

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Overall, ‘Fight For My Way’ was an interesting drama. It never really had a plot and instead was based more on the characters, their lives, their experiences, and the everyday up’s and down’s that they face in life as adults just trying to make it in the world. While there were many things that I wished the drama could have spent more time on, it was still an enjoyable and easy drama to watch and did a great job in showcasing our characters’ lives and challenges of adults working hard to achieve their dreams and goals in life. If there’s one thing that the drama did exceptionally well with, it would be the casting of the actors and actresses. Everybody in this drama was just so amazing at interpreting and playing their characters and doing all that they could do with the characters they were given.

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Park Seo-joon was great as usual, giving us really great comedic timing with his character but also pain and anguish and tears when needed (he’s proved time after time that he’s not just eye candy but also has the talent in acting). Kim Ji-won also did a wonderful job in this drama. She played her tough and fighting character with sass and confidence and even though there were times where her character was frustrating and limited, she still did the best she could with what she was given. This is the second (I watched the first few episodes of Answer Me 1988 so I don’t know if that counts?) drama I’ve watched Ahn Jae-hong in and it’s also the second time that I’ve enjoyed his acting. He’s such a great actor and I especially like that he’s not your conventional and standard pretty face flower boy actor. It’s refreshing seeing an actor like him make leaps and bound in the entertainment industry these days and it definitely helps even more that he has the skills for acting. Song Ha-yoon was such an adorable actress portraying Sul-hee. She definitely made you sympathize and care for her as the young, naive, and kind pushover and then definitely root for her as she transitioned into a powerful, strong, and kickass CEO. I’m glad that her character also got her own happy ending in the end as the CEO of a business that she was passionate in (now that’s the one aspect of the drama I’m glad was explored just because I least expected that to happen). I don’t have the time to go over how well everyone in the drama did, but the cast overall was strong and when the drama itself was frustrating to watch, the cast still did great in working with what they were given. I’m gonna miss this cast in particular because they all worked so well with one another and were so compatible.

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‘Fight For My Way’ might just be another typical rom-com for some and for some others it might be much more, but for me, it was a little mix of both and I’m grateful that I gave this show a chance. I admit, I first watched it for Park Seo-joon (one of my many boy? man? crushes), but quickly became invested for the other cast members and storylines. It was a cute, fluffy, and quirky drama and I ultimately don’t regret spending my time watching it. Until then, I’ll be waiting for the cast’s next projects and maybe, maybe even take the time to go back and re-watch this drama if I find that I can’t wait long enough to see what else they’re up to next.

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Thank you ‘Fight For My Way’ for making me laugh, cry, yell, and scream. And thank you for being a great watch. You were good while you lasted.

Source: here

[What Mary Thinks!] Show Me the Money 6 episode two

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So I went ahead and watched the second episode of SMTM6 mainly because I was too impatient and wanted to see who would make it pass the second round and not.

The second round is probably my favorite out of all the rounds throughout the season because the contestants now have more time to showcase their rapping skills and are given music/beats to rap along to so I feel like round 2 is really the best round where you can actually assess to see if the contestant is qualified or not. It’s also fun just to see the producers and contestants’ reactions to the solo performances and stressful when contestants who are performing forget the lyrics to their songs (but their performance was so so good). Sometimes this show can be so damn stressful to watch honestly *sigh*

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Episode 2 was another neat, clean, and pretty organized episode I would say. Contestants who passed round 1 from Korea, New York, and LA all met up in the same place to perform in front of the judges. They were each given one minute to perform solo on stage and to sell their talent and performances to the judges.

So far, the leading contender to be the winner of this year’s season is Nucksal as everyone from the producers themselves to a variety of contestants are hyping him up a lot. And all the hype is well-deserved as Nucksal is very talented and skilled at rapping considering he’s been doing this for quite some time. However, as with all the other seasons, usually those who start off the strongest in the beginning of the show tend to become more stressed and less strong as the show progresses and whether or not this will happen to Nucksal is to be seen. I just always thought it was interesting that contestants who the show heavily focused on at the beginning of the show as a possible winner ends up becoming less and less of a strong contender for the win as the show progresses. It’s ironic because they started off so strong but then lose more and more as the season comes to an end. It’ll be interesting to see who else can be a strong rival against Nucksal considering that he seems like the strongest contestant so far at this point.

Other contestants who stood out to me included Killagramz (he’s so adorable tbh. He always hypes everyone up and cheers for every contestant – even if he doesn’t necessarily know them). Killagramz made waves as a contestant on last year’s season and has worked his way up steadily to the point where he is now a familiar name to rappers and hip-hop fans alike.  Killagramz is a really strong rapper and his style of rapping is very unique – I think that was what drew the producers on both last year and this year’s season to him so quickly. He’s unlike any other and I think that this year’s season will also be another easy season for him considering that he’s also one of the stronger contestants.

J think Junoflo is another contestant to look out for this season. I actually didn’t really care for Junoflo when he first appeared on last year’s season (I still don’t tbh), but I do think he has definitely gotten better compared to last year. His performance in episode 2 was pretty smooth and clean that he got an all pass from all the producers so he’s doing so far so good.

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In terms of contestants who are not as well-known but stand out to me, I think contestant Woo Wonjae definitely stands out to me for several reasons. He’s not a celebrity or anyone popular or well-known so he’s coming into this totally fresh and new. Second, I like how different he is from other contestants. His lyrics are actually about him and his experiences like mental health issues and much more. He doesn’t talk about how great of a rapper he is, he doesn’t put down others, he is so raw and real and he’s not afraid to talk about things like how it really is which I really appreciate because you don’t see that often in SMTM. His audition in episode one was very different and unique; it was in fact refreshing not having to listen to a contestant rap about how great they are and how all the other contestants are fake rappers and aren’t as good as they think they are. Episode 2 proved to me even more how talented Wonjae is and I honestly think he’s gonna be the underdog of this season. Because he’s not well-known, no one expects much of him and in fact, in episode two when it was actually his turn to perform, none of the other contestants actually paid any attention to him until he started rapping and that’s when everyone (including the producers) gave him all their attention and were super surprised at how well this guy was delivering. And even I was surprised. I was impressed with his first audition and then during the second round, I was surprised at how well he did. In the second round, he chose a beat that was kind of slow and didn’t contain much, but he was still able to ride with the beat and rap to it which is really difficult to do especially with the beat that he was rapping to. I think if it was any other contestant with that beat, they probably wouldn’t have made it because not everyone can rap with a beat like that, but Wonjae did it so flawlessly and effortlessly while still performing to lyrics that were so raw and real. So I really do think that Wonjae is just gonna swoop up from behind and no one’s going to expect it and when it happens I’ll just be laughing because I knew from the very beginning that he was someone to look out for and was a threat to everyone. I’m really looking forward to him in the future and seeing how he does.

I’m not surprised that popular and well-respected contestants like P-Type was eliminated. Although he has influential roots within the Korean hip-hop industry, his rapping is outdated and it’s different from what is expected or liked from the current Khip-hop industry so although it is sad to see him go, I can understand and see why he was eliminated. I also don’t think a contestant should be kept just because they’re a sunbae who is well-respected. Things change and if you’re not as good anymore or aren’t keeping up with the latest change and trend in Khip-hop industry, then you must unfortunately go. And speaking of people who must go, Truedy needs to leave (I would like to take this time to thank Zico and Dean for failing her).

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It’s interesting to see that there are other pretty well-known rappers who aren’t receiving any screentime at all, including but not limited to Microdot, Hanhae, and Olltii. Olltii was heavily focused on for being known as a talented freestyle rapper and for his stance on B.I. and Bobby when he was in SMTM3 so it’s interesting and weird to not have seen anything of him other than like 1 second reactions from him so far this season (and I actually want to see more of him). I think what is even more interesting and surprising to me is seeing Microdot on the show once again as a contestant. Having participated in SMTM before, he’s gained a lot from being on the show in terms of popularity and attention and he didn’t need to really be on the show so it’s weird to see him on here but maybe like the other contestants, he just wants to have fun and he knows he has the talent and skills at rapping so he has a possible good shot at winning the show.

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In terms of contestants who I’m rooting for, definitely Young B (been rooting for him ever since he first appeared on SMTM) and Killagramz. There aren’t too many contestants this season who I know or care about so I’m not too stressed on who gets eliminated or not as long as my favorites remain on the show. Now that the second round of auditions is wrapping up, I can’t wait to see the teams be formed and which contestants go with which producers.

Source: kshow123.net, Khiphop Subs @ FB

[What Mary Thinks] Show Me the Money 6 episode one

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It’s another year and another summer which means another season of Show Me the Money! As dramatic, draining, cringey, and stressful as the show can be sometimes, I still end up watching the show because.. well… I kind of like it (and I just wanna see who’s on the show as a contestant and for the music and for the producers). It’s kind of addicting I have to admit. I’ve been watching the show ever since season 3 and have ever since then discovered many great and talented artists and rappers so I thought heck, why not put myself through another season of SMTM and hope for the best?

One of the biggest highlights of SMTM are the judges/producers and this year’s season is no different from the others. We have some new producers like Tiger Jk and Bizzy (super surprised to see them on the show considering their stance and opinions on shows like SMTM), Dynamic Duo, and cutie Dean while we have some returners like Dok2, Jay Park, and Zico. Overall, it’s a good mix of producers. The teams are definitely very interesting with Jay Park and Dok2 – 2 of the hottest and trendiest hip-hop musicians in Korea – as a pair and then newbie Dean with his friend Zico. My favorite producer team by far will always and forever be AOMG’s Simon D and Gray who appeared as a team on last year’s SMTM season. Aside from their godly looks, they were both a really funny and great team and with the raps of Simon D and beats from Gray, nothing could have really gone wrong except things did. Last season has to probably be my favorite season of SMTM because of 1) Simon D & Gray 2) Team AOMG which had all of my favorite contestants in one team (I mean c’mon, you had BeWhy, One, and G2 all on one team. Such a killer team) 3) less drama than the seasons before and more about the contestants, performances, and music. So with SMTM5 being a pretty clean and neat season, I decided to give SMTM6 a chance. I just finished watching the first episode of SMTM6 right now and felt the need to talk about how things are so far, the contestants, and future expectations.

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(Dean darling, pls take off your hat we can see your beautiful eyes)

Episode one was no different from any of the other first episodes of the other seasons. Because it’s just the preliminary round, all the contestants are judged by the producers and only so many pass onto the second round. The more popular rappers who already have some sort of foundation or build-up in the Khip-hop scene are given more screen time and attention and for the majority of them pass onto the second round. While I have heard of some of the rappers that appeared as contestants on the show (such as Nucksal, punchnello, Hash Swan, Junoflo, etc.), I haven’t really listened to any of them or their music. The only contestant so far in episode one that I’ve listened to and is a fan of is Young B (aka winner of High School Rapper). He had actually appeared in SMTM before he went on HSR and I remember just being mesmerized by his rapping and thinking to myself how great of a rapper he was (I was also rooting for him). And then unfortunately he got eliminated and we didn’t really hear about him again until he appeared on HSR and then is now in this year’s SMTM. I’m definitely looking out for him (b/c i’m lowkey biased like that) and what he has to offer, but there are also many other strong contestants from the looks of it on this season so it’ll be interesting to see how things play out.

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I think in terms of popularity for the producer teams, I can definitely see Jay Park & DOK2 as well as Dean & Zico coming out on top just because they’re the trendier, more refreshing, and latest hip-hop musicians in the K Hip-hop scene right now and therefore appeal a lot more to the contestants who are younger. Dynamic Duo as well as Tiger Jk & Bizzy have strong influential roots within the Korean hip-hop industry having paved the road for the newer K hip-hop musicians to be in the place they are now, but over time have lost the popularity they once built for themselves because of newer hip-hop artists who are blossoming (aka AOMG, Illionaire, Fanxy Child, etc etc). That doesn’t mean that people don’t respect Tiger Jk + Bizzy and Dynamic Duo though because people still do respect them and even the 2 other producer teams have mentioned how much respect they have for the two older teams, but it’ll be interesting to see how they engage with the contestants who are a lot younger compared to the past seasons, especially when the two older teams are competing against 4 of the hottest hip-hop artists in Korea right now and you have contestants as young as elementary and middle school students.

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As with all the past seasons, there are 2 things I hope will improve with this season (but I’m not counting on it too much): 1) more female representation 2) less drama. Last year’s season wasn’t so bad with the drama and I would actually argue primarily focused on the contestants, performances, and music which was heavily opposite of the season before with SMTM4 being a total dramafest at every single opportunity Mnet could get. I think a reason for that was because last year’s season didn’t really have any contestants who were super super popular or from any huge entertainment company unlike the seasons before where Mino, Bobby, and B.I. appeared and therefore controversy and drama erupted regarding their appearance as contestants on the show. I enjoyed last year’s season (Bewhy’s win was well-deserved and I’m glad he won. I had actually been rooting for him prior to SMTM5 when he was still unknown and no one had known his name yet, but I just didn’t hear much about him because SMTM didn’t really focus on him. So I’m glad that he returned as a contestant in SMTM5 and won because look at how famous and successful he is now!). I haven’t watched SMTM6 episode 2 yet so I’m unsure if any idol has appeared on the show, but if in the case that there is, I’m pretty sure there will be backlash and controversy because of the whole idol vs. rapper argument that always arises in SMTM every time. I just hope that it won’t take up too much time in this year’s season.

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It’s unfortunate that if you’re not a rising hip-hop rapper or a rapper who already has some kind of foundation within the K hip-hop industry, your chances of becoming known and popular or winning SMTM is slim to none. Having watched the last 4 seasons of SMTM, I would argue that the show is more for those hip-hop rappers who have created music, have been exposed to the underground hip-hop scene, have been performing with their crews for quite some time now that they are then looking for another larger and better opportunity to showcase their skills and talents which is through SMTM. Contestants with connections or relationships with the producers are at an advantage even more because they then have a better chance of passing or winning the show which is unfortunate. What happens when your bias for a certain contestant outweighs the skills and talents of that contestant? I’m not gonna lie, some of the producers in episode one passed some contestants not necessarily for their rapping but because of their connection and long relationships that they had with each other which is unfair but not surprising to see. It’d be great to see a non-celebrity person out of the blue appear on the show with proficient/above average rapping skills and receive some screentime, but that’s not always the case and even if there are, Mnet chooses to prioritize their time by focusing on other people that are already well-known or have been exposed to the public because that’s where the money rakes in and that’s what people want.

While I think having 12,000 contestants/applicants in this year’s season is a phenomenal feat compared to the small amount of attention that the show started off on with its first season, the immense amount of attention that hip-hop is gaining in Korea, and the expansion of the auditions in other cities like New York and L.A., it won’t be anytime soon that someone who’s not an underground rapper in Korea will win SMTM. Maybe there should be another show designed to do just that just like how High School Rapper did with high school students. But maybe that’s too much to ask for.

Khiphop subs are currently subbing the show so follow them on FB for the latest and most recent updates! Thanks to the Khiphop subs team for dedicating their time and work into helping international fans understand and enjoy the show! Much appreciated 🙂

Credit: kshow123.net, Khip-hop subs @ FB (for providing eng subs!)