JG Style

While I prepare 'Faith vs. Arang Part IV, The Villains' (it may take a while because there's so many...), take a quick detour with me to Lee Jun-ki's "JG Style", a documentary about Jun-ki's daily 'life', for which our prettyboy has recently won an award in the Hallyu category at the Japanese 'Skapa Awards'.

Each episode is about 13 minutes long. The documentary starts with his discharge from the military, and we then follow Jun-ki to his first fan meeting in over two years, see him in the recording studio, at photoshoots, at a barbecue party at his agency, and at the set of his current Drama "Arang and the Magistrate".

Why is this at all noteworthy?

Obviously, he is super cute (that goes without saying) and very funny. He also is so damn hard-working (I think all Koreans are) and very, very earnest about doing a good job. Also, his fans come first - everything else comes second. There's this almost sad little segment in one of the episodes where he reads questions from Japanese fans, and one lady asks what he will do if his fans do not approve of the lady he chooses to marry later in life. He gets that sad look in his eyes while he mulls that over and then says "well, I hope very much that my fans will understand and support me ..." - instead of saying "who's effin business is that but my own?!?"

And there is more involuntary sadness in this. Seeing this documentary, I realize that what I have heard before (about LMH, for example) must be true: These (unmarried) Hallyu stars lead very lonely, very boring lives. So many of them are single, but want nothing more than a family (see, for example, this interview with Mr. Handtowel aka Song Seung-heon). LJK doesn't leave the house very often, as he says himself. He watches TV and eats and sleeps. That's it.

Finally, this documentary fully exposes the viewer to the absolute craziness that is Korean drama production. I mean, I've heard about it... The live shoot system (if you want to read more, here's another great post from the Dramabeans blog). On paper, it sounds crazy enough (live shooting means that episodes are completed in real-time, a few days before they air or even on the day they air in extreme cases). I do understand what the advantages are (for example, the writers and the PD monitor the audience's reactions and adjust the storyline), but it is absolutely insane what the actors and the staff have to go through. They simply don't sleep anymore! In Episode 17 of JG Style, a crazy-eyed Jun-ki admits that he has only slept 6 hours in the last week. 6 hours. F***. A bit later, he says he doesn't like not sleeping because he cannot memorize the skript well in that condition. You don't say!

Well, watching this makes me feel slightly bad for enjoying these shows so much, because that enjoyment comes at such a high prize for these people. It's almost like wearing clothes from a sweatshop. Is there a fund for overworked Korean actors I can donate to??

Currently, 17 JG Style episodes are out - and it looks as if he will continue filming his life even after Arang ends. Looking forward to that, Jun-ki. But please, get some rest before you continue working, ok??