Article. Kim Jieun, Randy Suh (Music Writer), Im Sooyeon (CINE21 Reporter)
Design. Jeon Yurim
Photo Credit. SBS

No Math School Trip (SBS)

Kim Jieun: In SBS’s new variety show No Math School Trip, ZICO, Crush, D.O., CHOI JUNG HOON and comedians Lee Yongjin and Yang Sechan go on an excursion to Hokkaido, Japan. They spend the bus ride chatting noisily, making impromptu bets, doling out playful punishments and in general having fun until they arrive at an undisclosed destination. The fun they get up to on the show is the kind of games everyone remembers playing on their own school trips, like guessing which numbers won’t be on the license plates of passing cars and pranking your friend’s relatives by calling up a family member and pretending to be your friend. On top of that, every time the production crew introduces another segment, they start it off by saying, “That’s the fun of a school trip!” If they’re to be believed, everything is part of the fun, from shopping, to little games for choosing the accommodations, and even pop quizzes. They even frame sudden weather changes, delays and missed hotel dinners as more school trip fun. This might come across as too much but it’s really an ironic way of highlighting the unique kind of fun they have on their trip. The show goes on as Crush, at first shy and reserved, reveals his funny side through a mukbang, and ZICO stares in awe at D.O., posed in a flamboyant gold padded jacket, noting that D.O. “has never done anything like that before.” Through their unpredictable and unforgettable experiences on the road, they shed any sign of feeling awkward and grow closer with their new friends, discovering new sides to each other along the way. They become obsessed with making each other laugh and even the plan to use separate rooms shifts to a desire for three of them to share one small ryokan hot spring together. And it’s all romanticized as the “fun of a school trip.” On the first night, they say goodnight to the cameras installed in their room and turn them all off so they can party in secret, hiding it from the crew. But, having forgotten to turn one of the cameras off, they’re caught instantly and it all becomes the part of the fun of a school trip.

“Rising” (tripleS)

Randy Suh (music writer): There’s another group apart from NewJeans that’s into the style of Y2K, and that’s tripleS. While NewJeans feels like midday at the playground of an international school, tripleS is more like taking a night bus to break out of after-school classes. The intro to this song kicks things off with some dance pop in a minor key, giving it a strong 1990s vibe. GDLO from MonoTree, known for producing melancholy minor-key hits such as “Moscow Moscow” by ONF and “Galaxy” by Ladies’ Code, gets credit here. The nonchalant la-la-la-la-las that get sampled sound like the intro to the hit song “Tom’s Diner,” which was originally sung by Suzanne Vega and later remixed by DNA as a trip hop track. That song gained popularity in Korea and was both used in ads and frequently requested on the radio at the time. The ’90s music scene in the UK saw more vocals suited for trip hop including female artists with deep and melancholic yet sophisticated voices like Dido and Jem. While tripleS’ song “Rising” is much lighter and carefree compared to them, it stands out among the Y2K revival hits with its emphasis on female vocals that are reminiscent of radio pop.

The Banshees of Inisherin

Im Sooyeon (CINE21 reporter): Every day at 2 PM, Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson) talk over drinks at the only pub in the village of Inisherin, an activity that serves as the sole refuge from their monotonous island life. But when Colm cut ties with Pádraic to spend the rest of his life focused on composing music, the two friends suffer terrible consequences that extend beyond the mere loss of a friendship. Pádraic shows up at his old friend’s house every day at 2 PM and Colm threatens to cut his own finger off if he’s not left alone. The two are very different people and seek meaning in their lives in disparate ways, Pádraic longing for conversation and Colm valuing art and the act of creation. Their contrasting approaches to enduring the inherent loneliness of existence inevitably lead to conflict and the tragedy of Pádraic and Colm’s relationship throws the delusions surrounding it and its limitations into stark relief. As The Banshees of Inisherin is set toward the end of the Irish Civil War in a patriarchal society isolated from the rest of the world, the film can also be viewed as a parable about the futility of war and the fragility of male bonding. The black comedy is the latest work from director Martin McDonagh, following his previous film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. McDonagh, also a playwright, has been hailed as the 21st century’s Shakespeare.