With the massive popularity of first two seasons of a survival show Produce 101, it was only a matter of time when Mnet announces its third installment. The very first episode of Produce 48, which is a collaboration between Produce 101 and AKB48, the biggest idol group of Japanese music industry, aired on June 15, and here are 5 things I didn’t like about this survival show’s season after watching the pilot.
Number 1. Evaluation of Japanese trainees (by Korean idol making standards)
The fact that it’s a collaboration between Korean and Japanese trainees put in as a Korean survival show already deemed unfair and plain ridiculous, now we’ve witnessed Japanese girls being harshly evaluated by, duh, KOREAN artists in accordance with Korean idol making standards. Mnet did only one thing good by inviting FT.Island’s Lee Hongki, who’s known in both Korea and Japan, and hence, hold a very clear understanding of both industries, because that guy explained beforehand how different the systems are. Indeed, the skills level of Japanese contestants are way far from Koreans, but I personally felt really uncomfortable watching Bae Yoonjung literally being a piranha to AKB48 members. Of course, partially it’s also a result of Mnet’s infamous evil editing (they reaaaally love the drama).
I would rather prefer watching a variety show where Japanese idols are invited to challenge Korean idol training system without making unnecessary competition. Although, if you watch episode 2, it’s slowly happening (especially among B rank trainees).
Number 2. Slow mo! Mo-o-o-oar slow mo-o-o-otion. And ridiculous BGMs
Did Produce48 editors come from k-drama production teams? Because the amount of repeats from different angles and especially slow motions were extremely exessive like, do we really need to watch every! single! move! from 10 different angles and 0,5 speed? I’m slowly thinking there are too hair flip perverts in Mnet’s editing team. There’s no other possible explanation for making an episode 2 and a half hours long, with 1/3 of the content being slow motions.
Also, can Mnet stop using that tribal music BGM on specifically Pledis trainees? Like, what’s that idea of always portraying Pledis kids as scary ones? I questioned myself several times while watching the first episode whether the use of such dramatic BGMs were actually needed. It’s not funny anymore, Mnet.
Number 3. Unnecessary drama
The word “drama” will appear several more times in this post, because the whole key factor of Mnet’s survival shows is exactly drama.
The most obvious example in case of Produce48 is Mnet inviting a whole Park Kahi, ex-member and creator of After School, to just watch another AS member Lee Kaeun being evaluated. She was present in both seasons 1 and 2, with being very cheerful towards S1 trainees who are now Pristin members, and being absolutely upset seeing NU’EST on 2nd installaton. Now I bet she feels nothing but rage towards Pledis CEO for shamelessly screwing the result of her own making.
Also, Mnet really dared to make Han Sungsoo (Pledis CEO) one of the executive producers of final line-up’s debut album? With Lee Kaeun, a debuted idol, participating in that season? Wow, he must be really having a very thick skin to appear on broadcast knowing that half of the idol fans hate him…
Number 4. Korean-only voting
Needless to say, another product of Koreans remained resentment towards Japanese. From initial concept of Koreans voting only for Japanese and vice versa, to now allowing only Korean national producers to vote. I mean, we get that, it’s a Korean survival show made and produced in South Korea, but then can Mnet answer me: what’s the point of collaborating with such a huge act as AKB48 and calling this season global if you don’t allow what’s supposed to be considered “global”? Other international fans could’ve probably accepted allowing only Koreans and Japanese to vote, but no, Mnet changed the rule and applied voting only for Korean producers. Clearly Mnet is aiming to create a very biased future nation’s girl group by manipulating the screentime of all trainees and considering the enormous difference between Korean and Japanese idol training. Another drama for all of us to suck on, people.
Number 5. Evil editing on Japanese contestants
I have a feeling that Mnet’s unspoken motto is “All for the sake of drama!”. Whatever I’ve seen in 1st episode of Produce48 was just… unacceptable. It’s clear like water that Mnet is very biased towards Korean trainees. Also Mnet tries really hard to portray Japanese idols in a bad way so the viewers couldn’t show must tolerance towards them. Are we even surprised though with Mnet’s thirst for the shittiest drama possible.
That’s not how you try to fix the relationship between Japan and Korea or challenge the portrayal of a completely different culture. But oh well, it’s South Korea, currently they’re still not familiar with word “culture appropriation”.
Conclusion. Will I continue watching Produce48?
I guess it’s still a yes, because people strive for tea, and Mnet is a whole treasure chest for us to talk about intolerance and drama. I’m personally also curious on how worse the whole editing can go. Although I have to confess, I’m already having a headache after streaming half of episode 2. Mnet, be a bit more creative, no?