Article. Im Sooyeon (CINE21 Reporter), Oh Minji, Kim Doheon (Music Critic)
Design. Jeon Yurim

Honest Candidate 2

Im Sooyeon (CINE21 reporter): Just two and a half years after the first movie came out, the sequel to Honest Candidate cuts right to the chase, putting Joo Sang-sook (Ra Mi Ran) through the wringer and giving her a chance to bounce back. After losing in her bid for major of Seoul and facing a chilly reception from the National Assembly, Joo is out of a job, but once she becomes the talk of the town for saving a truck driver’s life, she takes another chance and wins her run for governor of Gangwon Province. Seeing her approval rating plummet before she even reaches her second term, though, Joo reneges on her “honest candidate” image and falls back on lies, leading her deceased grandmother to punish her once again. This sequel takes steps to avoid falling into the trap of becoming repetitive by shaking up its humor: Chief Secretary Hui-cheol (Kim Moo Yul), himself a rather poor liar, is supposed to step in stop Joo when she suddenly finds herself unable to tell a lie, while characters like Joo’s sister-in-law, portrayed by famous comedian Park Jinjoo, are introduced right when the film needs them most. The plot plays out to a backdrop of corruption in construction and public works, helping the movie feel more relevant to audiences who have recently been wrapped up in issues of real estate in real life. Although sequels necessarily come with limits on creative freedom, the series has found a way to continue on by digging deeper into its characters’ relationships and expanding on its political satire.

K K Lubbingbbong (YouTube)

Oh Minji: With no actual meaning and no other purpose than to annoy, the YouTube channel K K Lubbingbbong’s title is a perfect fit for the show’s content. Born in 1978, YM (Kim YoungMyeong) both gives out Mychew candy—a symbol of friendliness from the older generation—and uses the kind of informal language of the younger generation to stay on their level. In one scene, he puts on Naughty Loopy makeup after he’s tricked into believing that looking like the cartoon character meme is a trend among millennials and Generation Z, in turn imitating the Airport Thief meme. In another, he’s flustered as he’s forced to learn the rules of drinking games as he goes along. He also impresses some young teenagers after they try to teach him to say slang terms like “whatev Secret Jouju limited edition” but once again fails to grasp the fundamental rules and makes his own: “whatev crispy donut 1,900 won early bird discount.” The channel focuses on people who dabble in current trends, hence the tagline, “YM makes trendy friends.” Sixteen-year-old Yuri, who has an ENFP personality, does TikTok challenges not because they serve a practical life purpose but “just for the fun of it”; a photographer named Jyujyu explains how people don’t need a reason to have head shots taken and can “go get their picture taken if they want, and share it with others if they want”; and an international student who is ARMY organizes a birthday cafe event for “Jung Kook because he makes me a better person.” These people aren’t mindlessly jumping on a bandwagon; rather, they do what they do because they genuinely like it, and it might give others the courage to do the same—the fact that they simply enjoy it and aren’t motivated by any grand rationale.

“99%” (The Black Skirts)

Kim Doheon (music critic): The hot summer night’s gone and what’s left is no good to see, but I’ll send my messy glory days across the cold winds with my electric guitar. TEEN TROUBLES, the third album from Bryan Cho’s one-man band the Black Skirts, is an autobiography of his experience studying in the United States as a teenager back in 1999. Cho got started on the album by writing lyrics and melodies around the names of his American friends but it ended up as a sprawling teen film running one hour and six minutes and spanning 18 songs. Though the album is an unusual twist to Cho’s planned love trilogy, for which he had already put out TEAM BABY and THIRSTY, he doesn’t seem too bothered. Hectic nights spent on a mix of NyQuil and acid with friends, the peculiar atmosphere of cheerful and childish love, the sudden onset of adulthood … Cho has created a photo album stuffed haphazardly with polaroids of all the haggard, rock and roll moments of youth. It’s a lonely feeling, listening to 99%, hearing him sing about the “99% of people living in houses built on broken dreams” and watching the dying embers of youth. The smell of fall.