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Why I Can’t Seem To Grasp My Favorite Childhood TV Characters Grown Up (Raven’s Home Reboot, Following Fuller House and Girl Meets World)

23 Jul

Hello ya’ll!

So, recently I was one of the nostalgic adults who tuned in July 21st to watch the premiere of That’s So Raven‘s reboot now called Raven’s Home.

That’s So Raven was a comedy sitcom, possibly Disney’s first, made officially by the channel, about a teenage psychic who often sees something happening in the future and tries (mostly unsuccessfully) to stop the vision from coming true or to help a good vision come true. This obviously left room for a lot of humor, gags, and delightful slapstick. The three lead characters, Raven, Chelsea, and Eddie, really brought the show to life. They all had excellent comedic timing, great chemistry, and plenty of great actors to back the characters up, which helped to make this “kid’s show” into something for the whole family.

But there is something extra special about watching the show through the eyes of an on-screen teenager. Teenagers are not too young, but they aren’t too old either. They are usually free agents with their whole life ahead of them. They don’t have kids, so they can be as independent and fun as they like. At the same time, they aren’t so young they lose touch with adult issues. And yet, it’s fun to watch them live for the moment.

Even as adults, we long for the days of our youth, when life was simpler. It has been great to return to old re-runs of That’s So Raven on Disney Rewind just to re-experience that magic. It’s great to go back to a time when there were no smart phones, and fidget spinners, and when we had those flamboyant sparkly clothes and feathery jackets.

And, for me, that really doesn’t seem too long ago. For me, I’m still the teen I was 10 years ago. I can’t imagine even being an adult…And yet, I am. I have adult problems and issues now. I worry about my future. I worry about getting older and sicker. I no longer have that confidence in my youth.

Yet, in some ways I’m more confident and more successful and happier, too. It’s weird.

Sure, I’m still in my late 20s. But I’m not getting any younger. My friends are married with kids. They no longer can enjoy the same fun pastimes we used to enjoy as teens, like Laser Tag, ice skating, and horseback riding (though I still enjoy all immensely). We all have bills to pay and homes to pay for. It’s just not the same.

Of course, there are some perks to being an adult. Sure. But whenever we wanted to return to the past, shows like That’s So Raven was there.

Now, with the reboot Raven’s Home, Raven Baxter, the wacky psychic teen we grew to love, is older and is now a MOM. Wrapping my mind around this has been challenging, I must admit. The teen that used to make fun of her parents for being embarrassing, the teen that used to trick her parents or try to get out of sticky situations regarding her parents, is now that parent.

She now has two twin children, one of which is also psychic. So, she isn’t the focus anymore.

Trust me, I knew what I was getting into when I watched this show. But I didn’t realize how much it would hit me until the episode ended into the credits.

I’m old.

This is probably how many fans felt after watching Girl Meets World. I didn’t truly understand because Boy Meets World was popular even after the teens went off to college and even after Cory proposed to Tapanga back then. I was still pretty young during that episode. Fuller House may have had the same effect on fans. To us, 10 years or 20 years was not that long ago, but with many kids reminding us that they’ve never heard of these shows, we begin to think, “Am I really that old?” And now our favorite characters are parents, too? And trying to appeal to kids that know nothing of their greatness?

Girl Meets World

I think the shock for our generation (or for me rather) is because maybe we feel like we’ve grown up too fast. Our time seems to have sped even faster than our parents’ time. We’re also mostly at a standstill, still struggling to build careers, and not really settled financially, physically, politically, and socially (according to some experts).  We’re just not following the “rites of passage” to the letter like former generations. Even the two lead actresses, Raven and Anneliese van der Pol, don’t really have a family with kids and seem like real-life bachelorettes, even though they are in their 30s.

I think the two are playing really empowering roles as two single moms raising their kids on their own. I admire that aspect. They are bringing new kids along to help them navigate this new generation. We, as adults, are also navigating in this new generation’s world. These kids were born in the 2000s. We were not.

And yet, we just can’t see ourselves as adults because we kind of grew up in the Y2K era too.

I think what makes Raven’s Home particularly hitting is that the original show was even newer than Boy Meets World and Full House. It just ended in 2007, near the end of the last decade. Anything “2000s” doesn’t sound old. Hannah Montana and High School Musical had come out before the end of That’s So Raven (and we know how iconic those still are). The generation that followed That’s So Raven aren’t just in their 20s and early 30s. Some of the demographic is in their TEENS. My younger cousins were 6 and 7 years old watching That’s So Raven. Now, they are 16 and 17 watching Raven’s Home, and they’re just like, “She’s a mom now?”

Even though Raven was always older than my cousins were back then, she was still pretty young and really cool to a kid who admires their teenage older sisters and cousins. She wasn’t a mom. That generation is still looking for that youth in Raven, for someone who is figuring out their life as maybe a young college student or as a free bachelor seeking to live a glamorous life (like what we have seen with Sex and the City or Friends, only in a kid-friendlier version). The glam factor goes out the window when our favorite characters become parents themselves. I don’t know why that’s so. Maybe because we don’t like glamorizing parenthood to young impressionable children, I don’t know. Maybe because it’s less sexy. Maybe because kids don’t want to think about having kids. I can think of hundreds of reasons why people prefer single and childless characters to those bogged down with a family, even if none of the reasons are rational. It’s just not appealing to watch the parent and everyone falls more in love with the kids (if these kids can act and charm a crowd).

Even Spider-Man got more praise when they brought his character back to high school in the newest Homecoming Warrior. And it seems Spider Man has always been more popular as a teen than he was depicted as an adult.

The adult characters that do make it into shows or cinema are usually more popular when they are single without a family. Possibly because this helps to give the effect to the audience that the characters need to grow, learn, and experience throughout this show or movie, which creates all kinds of story-telling and fantasies for fans. But none of it actually is final, and that’s what makes it great.

With Raven’s Home, with her having her family, it almost seems like her life as a teenage psychic, that chapter, is over. And that’s what makes me so sad about it all.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the kids in the show. Chelsea’s “son” Levi (played by Jason Maybaum) is a showstopper. He’s cute and can manage to land excellent comedic timing. But am I alone in wishing there had been no kids? When I thought of a “reboot”, I thought of them being older, but maybe the focus. I also didn’t imagine these children as really theirs. Maybe they were kids who lived in the building and came to cause mischief (like Cory, Stanley, and Devon’s sister have done in the original show). But theirs? I wasn’t ready.

Then there’s the problem with “modern acting”. The era of the child star, where movies used to set a high standard for what a good little actor was, has gotten more lenient. These kids just don’t have the same star factor as kids from the 1980s and 1990s (though it made those kids’ lives miserable).

And so, I’ve come to realize that I don’t really like reboots like this. I do often long for the old days, but the actual “old days”. Not reboots, not remakes, and not spin-offs. I like shows better as re-runs. There are some reboots that have done really well, especially in the cinema area. But on TV, I haven’t seen many great reboots.

Raven’s Home actually was the best I’ve ever seen. It’s actually funny and I want to see how it goes in the future.

I was not as impressed with Girl Meets World. The characters we watched the show for brought little to the show besides some throwbacks here and there. And I was less interested in their daughter and her more cliche teen story. Most of her drama dealt with relationships, which was just corny. I know it was Disney doing it this time, but it shouldn’t have been done.

After seeing these reboots, I think I’ll pass on asking for reboots in the future. Some people are happy to see their favorite characters return, and they don’t care in what fashion.

But here’s some reasons why I can’t grasp this concept, the concept that makes our favorite characters grown up with kids:

It’s Different

It’s not just different in the sense that it’s a different show. When reboots happen, certain characters are replaced by new actors (which I heard is happening to Orlando Brown’s character Eddie), characters are omitted, and new characters are added. The theme song changes (sometimes to a less likable one because the popular styles have changed). The demographic shift changes the tone of the show. And the overall product is usually quite the opposite of what fans really wanted when they asked for a reboot in the first place.

This “difference” can make or break the show. Most times, the show is broken by the shift in focus. When people fall in love with a show, they just don’t fall in love with some characters and the concept of the show. Everyone on that set worked to make that show a success. Everyone from that show brought a different flavor. Without even one of those key characters, a reboot can feel stale or empty. It just doesn’t have the same fire. It’s even worse when the original MAIN character is no longer the main.

Sure, we know some people will make an appearance. But we know that those appearances will be temporary mostly, not key. If the characters were single without a family, we could kind of see them attaching to new people as well as adding older people, which could help the characters grow as if they are still the same people they were 10 years ago, still navigating life and trying to find themseles. We could even see a more adult show, a show that connects to the demographic that will mostly appreciate the reboot. We would actually have gotten a continuation.

But with a reboot comes a new focus, like in Raven’s Home‘s case. They basically have a new lead character (though we know Raven is the real character driving the story home). The child is the focus and is the one supposed to be bringing the humor to the new audience. But the younger child doesn’t have the same star power, and that’s what makes this concept weaker than the original. They’re going to have a lot to live up to. Stories about kids are also not as appealing as stories about teens.

But having the kids play as a focus kind of works in Raven’s Home‘s favor too because then we get to see how the psychic gene works. We get to see how a child could inherit these abilities. Still, it’s just weird to see Raven walking around with babies. Raven and Chelsea in the show haven’t changed personality-wise, and they just seem like they would be better as big sisters than mommies. But maybe that’s a new approach? I don’t know. I’m skeptical.

Nickelodeon is doing right by Hey Arnold! by continuing his story this fall with the long anticipated Jungle Movie. Most of the old cast is back, key characters are back, and the story is borrowing inspiration from the past. It’s the perfect way to go about bringing back old characters. The designs have only slightly changed, but not really. I wish Powerpuff Girls had come afterwards so they could learn how a reboot should be done. I hope the Rugrats reboot brings the same old characters back and doesn’t try to grow them up again (Remember All Grown Up anyone?).

Reboots can completely change everything. And that’s just not what I want or what I’m ready for. I just don’t like when something is fixed without being broken to begin with. I want the original. Bringing in a new focus means bringing in a different story and show, not the show I loved.

The one thing that makes me happy about Raven’s Home is that the lead character is a boy. When was the last time Disney Channel had a male lead character? Even Stevens? Phil of the Future? The Suite Life of Zack and Cody? Disney XD has kind of taken over for the boys, but Disney Channel is the oldest and has the strongest fanbase. It’s about time. Having a young male psychic will be an interesting contrast to a young female psychic.

I know a lot of people will say “Well, Disney is trying to bring this to a new audience. That’s why they brought kids along”. Of course, that’s true. But they didn’t have to make Raven and Chelsea moms to do that, and they didn’t have to make them “B-story” characters either.

Look at the success of Jessie starring Debbie Ryan. She was the lead character, not the kids. She played an adult nanny. And it turned out successful. I don’t think shifting the focus on Raven and Chelsea would’ve made this show any less interesting to kids. In fact, I think more people would find it interesting. But the show itself is still working and so far I’m surprisingly enjoying this more than I thought I would.

There are people who claim Girl Meets World didn’t hit it off with the primary demographic because “kids aren’t familiar with Boy Meets World“. I’d say the real issue is that there wasn’t enough focus on the people we learned to love in Boy Meets World, the people who really brought the comedy, fun, and depth. And when they did show up, they were corny, overly involved in their daughter’s life and didn’t seem to have lives of their own. And their daughter’s life wasn’t as interesting as theirs in their own series. Her trials were, quite frankly, stupid and over dramatic. There were hardly any funny moments either.

Sabrina Carpenter’s character Maya would’ve made a more interesting offspring than Rowan Blanchard’s character Riley (Cory’s daughter). But I guess with a now-preachy father like Corey and a corporate mom like Tapanga, Riley was the best they could come up with out of the union.

Sure, Boy Meets World had teachable moments, but ’90s comedies knew how to balance that with comedy well. Properly, shows back then touched on sex, violence, gangs, drugs, and peer pressure. Girl Meets World mostly touched on shallow cliche tween subjects like boyfriend issues and finding your own individuality. Then it had no “realism” about it. Sure, Boy Meets World had some out-of-the-box parts, but there was a slice of realism and life about it.

Throughout Girl Meets World, classrooms were interrupted with Riley’s personal life. Everything was forced to teach her lessons, she didn’t gather her lessons from “real” classroom lessons or real life, like Cory did in the original. And unlike Mr. Feeney, Cory’s teacher (and eventually his principal), Cory couldn’t seem to tell the difference between his classroom and his home. He showed so much favoritism towards his daughter and her friends in the classroom, I’m surprised none of the other students reported him (which actually would’ve made an interesting episode). Her father would literally change his classroom subjects to surround the topics on her and her friends. I understand this is her world, but it made the show really unrealistic, especially in comparison to the original. Scenes changed awkwardly and each story was just over-the-top for little reasons. This show had moral lessons, but for things that weren’t really deep at the core. Conversations felt awkward and jarring as a result.

Cory and his wife Tapanga were once dorky and likable kids that blossomed into successful and attractive adults in the original show. Riley and her lover Luke, on the other hand, are perfect and popular. They are one-dimensional in comparison. And this is because they had a good foundation with the already fleshed out characters from Boy Meets World. How complex could their lives be? We didn’t really need Riley’s perspective at all. Again, this is why Maya would’ve been the more interesting title character. Her “world” would’ve been completely different from her parents’ world. They could’ve woven a different interesting explanation for Maya’s behavior besides her complicated relationship with her father and her hardworking but mostly absent mother.

Fuller House is better because Full House never gave us the illusion that the show centered on kids and teens. It centered on the family. This show is more like a continuation than a reboot. The show always focused on adults and we’ve watched the Tanner kids grow up into adults throughout the original.

The good part about the show is some of the key characters are still the key characters, if not more important than they were originally. The kids are now the main characters, but their father and uncles are pretty important, too.

Still, all the characters we felt were cool kids back in the day are now lame adults, and there are new less memorable kids to replace them. I feel bad for the new kids.

Different isn’t always bad. But in the case of a reboot, many times it just feels so different, it doesn’t feel as good.

So far, Raven’s Home brings enough comedy to keep my attention for awhile. Hopefully, it maintains the same level of humor as That’s So Raven. Still, it just feels different. Different can be good though.

The Actors Have Changed

And I don’t mean changed as in they switched actors for a role. I mean the actors themselves usually have changed by the time of a reboot. Some haven’t been acting in years, which makes things a little hard for them and also makes it noticeable to the audience.

Actors who have had other acting experiences or other life experiences end up changing their character’s aura, which can always bring depth to a character but can also make the character seem like a stranger to the audience. Especially when that character is now nothing like expected or isn’t as likable as they once were.

With re-runs, the fun never dies. With reboots, sometimes we are left saying, “They’ve really let themselves go” or “Were they really this annoying?”. Public opinion of actors can tarnish their reputation and color people’s perceptions of a show, too.

Because of all that, many reboots are destined to fail at some point.

However, I see a lot of promise with Raven’s Home. Both Raven and Anneliese have become seasoned as actors over the years, which actually helps them get back into the swing of things naturally. This is more than I can say about Boy Meets World‘s Ben Savage.

We Feel Old

I believe I mentioned this before, right? Yes, because it keeps circling in my mind over and over again.

When a show makes a reboot years after the original, we are often seeing the inclusion of newer technology, newer slang, and older (sometimes older-looking) characters. I mean Raven and Chelsea in Raven’s Home are sporting “old lady” clothes, not the at-the-time fashionable, trendy, and flamboyant styles they once did. That makes us feel old, which makes us feel lame, stiff, and irrelevant. For some reason, we have been taught that being older means we’ve expired, and it’s not a good feeling to find your favorite childhood show suddenly verifying that. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I watch television to get away from the stresses of the world. I think I just realized Disney Channel is just no longer for me. But that’s exactly what makes me worry about Raven’s Home.

Watching re-runs doesn’t give me the same feeling of being “old” for some reason. It just feels like I’m young again.

My favorite book series as a kid, The Babysitters Club, is still really awesome. It’s not just because it’s about a group of kids starting a business. It’s also cool because it came out of the 1980s and 1990s. When I read it, my era comes alive again and my generation is relevant to me again.

Watching the New Edition biopic gave me that feeling. It made me think, “Yea, that was awesome. Our generation was cool. We still got it.”

Reboots with the main characters as parents and their kids set up as the main characters give me the feeling that our time has passed, that a new generation is taking over our lives, and that our chapter is closing before we’ve even established ourselves. It’s a somber thought, but one that I had when watching some of these reboots.

The positive thing about Raven’s Home is that Raven is so youthful and fun, I can still enjoy her with kids while also enjoying her as an adult. I think it is one of the best reboots to come out so far.

What We Don’t Know Can’t Hurt Us

At the end of our favorite show, there’s normally a solid wrap up that let’s us know the journey has come to an end. Sure, there may be some unresolved conflicts or hanging relationships, but anything else is left up to the imagination or left hanging in the air.

Fantasies about the future of the characters can be a lot of fun, but fantasies are fantasies. Only we personally can enjoy them fully.

We can imagine that Raven Baxter has a happy marriage with her handsome boyfriend Devon. We can imagine her becoming a fashion icon, famous and fierce. Or we can imagine that fleeting relationship between Raven and Eddie getting off the ground. Whatever we imagine, at the end of That’s So Raven, the sky was the limit. Ironically, in a show about the future, That’s So Raven left the future possibilities endless. There is a certain amount of joy and excitement when there is a little mystery. This mystery might have still been there if her life still hadn’t been quite “there”, even with her being older now.

But with a family, a job, and a new start from her old relationship, Raven Baxter seems to have achieved what most in her generation actually haven’t achieved. And that means she seems to have her life set. This means, as a character, she no longer has anything to aspire to. She doesn’t seem to have any goals or dreams beyond living for her kids and reaching back in the past for things she’s lost. This is where she disconnects from the audience and becomes something we not only can’t relate to anymore, but also something we actually fear. Our generation actually has an issue with following the rites of passage (particularly when it comes to marriage and kids). There are dozens of articles showing that this generation just isn’t living like Raven on television. And of course, it’s TV, it’s not real. But That’s So Raven was just more relatable to us at the time it arrived on the scene. Even Raven Symone herself said she’s “learning to be a mom” with this show because, again, even she doesn’t have kids.

In the show, Raven Baxter might develop some long-forgotten dreams she’s had, but they will have to yield to her new role as a mom. That’s just not the same.

While we’re also peering into Raven’s new life, there are some dreams or fantasies that have already become crushed and will continue to be crushed. Any imagination we may have had about the characters have been written for us. And that’s just not as fun as leaving the end to the imagination.

Anyway, overall, I did enjoy Raven’s Home for what it was, just as I had the other reboots, but I’m just hoping it can continue to capture its audience’s attention, despite the shift in focus from Raven to her kids mostly, and despite the fact that it just isn’t That’s So Raven.

Raven Symone herself is just phenomenal in her role! She just merges so naturally with her character! Nothing feels awkward and forced! Anneliese is the same! On set and off-set during interviews, they’ve continued to entertain me. I do look forward to seeing more of them.

I just know eventually this show has to become an independent property.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Did you enjoy the show? Were there things you didn’t like as much? Did you get the same feelings I got? Let me know!

 

 

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F(x) Fans concerned: SM Treats F(x) Unfair, and Treats Juniors EXO BETTER?

10 Apr
Help Us! Help Us!

Help Us! Help Us!

f(x) Pink Tape Review 

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) and Venus

f(x) Around the World

Yes, I know. I posted an article last month about f(x) and how we f(x) fans beg SM to give us more f(x). I ranted and raved (well, not really) about how f(x) is being ignored in favor of their juniors.

I also had a peeve about their talents not being conveyed to the fullest potential possible…which I still have a qualm with.

But this time, I’m going to take a new approach to this whole matter. Squash the old article. Squash it like a bug.

I’ve been thinking a lot and doing more research lately. I was once one of those people who just couldn’t fathom why, after 5 years, a group like f(x) never had a concert tour. Was it…

1) The fact that f(x) isn’t very popular?

2) The fact that SM is just ignoring them for newer, fresher, younger groups?

At one time, in my two-month fandom life, these things were brought into question. But after evaluating both questions thoroughly, I realized that my original conclusions were sorely missing the bigger picture. I decided to do what most people can’t trust themselves to do without feeling naive. I decided to put myself in SM Entertainment’s shoes and f(x)’s shoes. Suddenly, I was no longer a fan, but a true idol…in my mind. In fact, I pretended, in my mind, to be each member.

I found that the first concern holds no base.  F(x)’s popularity has been proven. After all, even I, a simple American, know about this group. Many of their music videos on youtube have millions of views. That’s called popularity. Their albums have made millions. That says popular. Imagine if thousands of people were in your house. That would be a lot of people. Millions of people would be even larger! Artists with half of their popularity have had concert tours, such as Puffy Ami Yumi. F(x) IS popular enough to have a tour. So that’s squashed.

Second Concern: While I will admit that SM is always looking for newer, fresher faces, I can see why they consider EXO a good candidate. I can see why because there is ONE MAIN REASON I think SM is supposedly “ignoring” f(x):

THERE ARE TOO MANY FOREIGNERS. 

Now, before you strike, let’s consider this. I’m not here to let SM get away with anything. I’m not the hugest supporter of companies, neither do I have blind belief in any business. I know that there are some things that SM has to take responsibility for. BUT humans are irrational sometimes too, and that goes for fans of K-pop as well. When I say that f(x) has too many foreigners, I’m not out to make SM into a prejudice company. When I say that f(x) has too many foreigners, I realize how this affects the way things are done and how much progress the group makes. Here are common complaints:

1) F(x) doesn’t have a concert tour, but juniors like EXO do.

2) F(x) doesn’t have a fan name.

3) F(x) only has one comeback a year.

4) F(x) gets less promotion than other SM artists.

Let’s address issue #1.

Issue #1-No Concert Tour, but EXO has one?

Now that everyone has heard the news about EXO’s tour, f(x) fans go into a frenzy. It seems completely obvious that EXO is getting the “royal treatment” and f(x) is being treated like a second-class citizen. EXO has only been out three years and has a concert tour on the way and an official “fan name”.

-EXO-3-exo-35381632-1280-800

But there is a solid reason. They have a slight advantage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exo_(band)#Exo-K

EXO has TWO Versions of itself: EXO-K and EXO-M

EXO has an all-Korean boy version: EXO-K. EXO-M doesn’t even have to work that hard. F(x) is splashed with foreigners, including foreigners who struggle with the Korean language, and they don’t have an all-Korean version of themselves. Creating music takes time, contrary to what most people believe. But imagine a foreigner trying to make Korean music. Songs have to be written, translated, understood, and then MEMORIZED by the members so that they can be performed for all of us to enjoy, which holds the other Korean members back. THEN, after memorizing at least ONE song, they can finally match some choreography with it for a video or performance. This only includes one set of dance moves and one video, by the way…

Now imagine having to memorize new Korean songs AND remember all the old Korean songs for a long, city-to-city TOUR. That would not only take a long time for someone who is clumsy with the language like *cough* Amber *cough*, but also it would slow down promotion.

We have the all-Korean EXO group, whose members were all born in Seoul, who help promote EXO-M. EXO-K speaks the language, they understand the culture, they are hot boys… And we have the quirky, multi-cultural f(x), whose members barely know how to eat with chopsticks *cough* Amber *cough* and aren’t the “hottie” types. Who would you promote in Korea if you were SM?

American companies do it all the time. We have popular foreign artists in America, but the ones that speak excellent English obviously get more attention. Why? Simple. Because Americans understand the language, and companies don’t have to work as hard to assimilate them. EXO-K takes half the amount of time to get an album off the ground in comparison to f(x). They don’t have to translate each song and try to understand it. Memorizing is easy for them because Korean is their first language. So, what do we get? Album after album, music video after video, and a major concert tour. Lucky natives. EXO-M can easily just promote themselves in China…or feed off of EXO-K’s success.

While I would think this would be obvious, most fans don’t see it this way. They often forget that Korea is across the globe and not in their backyards, considering how convenient it is to access K-pop. Some remember how far Korea is but they’re not aware of the foreigners in the f(x) group. Well, I’m here to inform you. At the end of the day, Koreans are Koreans, and they will support their own kind before they support a foreigner. Let’s not live in a bubble. I have to even admit that what drew me to f(x) was the fact that my ears perked up when I heard Amber’s English and realized that I could understand it…It’s going to be the same for Koreans.

If anyone remembers that Korean Festival that was mentioned in Invincible Youth, you remember that they mentioned that the festival was to weed out western influences…To “save their culture”…

AND GUESS WHAT? BoA Kwon, the Princess of K-pop, didn’t HAVE HER FIRST KOREAN TOUR until LAST FREAKIN’ YEAR, and she’s been under SM Entertainment since her debut in 2000!

Next issue…

Issue #2-F(x) Doesn’t Have a Fan Name

Why this is important to anyone is beyond me. Britney Spears doesn’t have a fan name, and she is the Princess of Pop music. I get that most Korean groups have nicknames for fans, but f(x), to me, isn’t just a Korean group. They are an international group that doesn’t need to belch out a cheesy nickname like they’re some baseball team. This is the very thing that makes f(x) unique. Nothing HAS to be official with them, we can call ourselves anything we want to. Now isn’t that more fun?

Issue #3-F(x) Only Has One Comeback a Year

This goes back to what I was saying about the concert. F(x) has to write, translate, and memorize the Korean songs. While three of the members may catch on quickly, two of the members will need more understanding. To sink this in people’s brains, I’m going to post a recent interview with Amber on April 1, 2014. She put it simply: It’s a tedious task. Go on, watch and listen for yourself.

Let’s think about the song “Good-bye Summer”. That song was originally written by Amber. But notice the English title is “I Just Wanna”. More than likely, this song was originally written and sung in English. It had to be translated, re-written, sung, and fit with the Korean language and music sound.

Now, if f(x) members had to go on tour, they would have to memorize a song like this one, along with many others. So now Amber and Victoria would have to learn the pronunciation of this ONE song, and then, once they pronounce everything right, they would have to memorize it, and then see if they can perform it with the choreography… If they had a tour, they would have to go back into the archives and remember old songs, songs that they had a tough time memorizing to begin with! Do we see why they only have one comeback a year? I hope I’m making this clear.

It’s also clear why Amber didn’t sing in “Good-bye Summer”, though she wrote the song herself…

Issue #4-F(x) Gets Less Promotion Than Other SM Artists

This one makes me laugh until I crap all over myself.

We have Amber as the MC on We Got Married Global Edition. We have Sulli, Victoria,  and Krystal filming for dramas and posing for ads. Luna has been on Immortal Song 2 how many times? Everything that f(x) gets involved with has millions of views because they have so much personality.

They just finished a photo shoot recently!

We definitely can’t say they get less promotion individually, but maybe not enough promotion as a group.

But again, promotion as a group requires there to be a song that is written, composed, translated, and memorized in order to be performed over and over again at select venues. How can this happen often at a rapid pace when some of f(x)’s members can barely read Korean, let alone write it? Personally, they might have better success in China! Then again, that’s where Sulli and Luna would struggle. Krystal has been around, and she seems to catch on to languages quickly.

That’s like when the non-English girls came to America. People were so angry that none of the girls interacted with fans except for Amber and Luna. But Amber was born and raised in America. Luna was Amber’s roommate, so I’m sure she’s learned more English than the others. Krystal speaks English well, but she’s been living in Korea since she was six! She was raised there! Her culture is still different. But fans couldn’t wrap their minds around the fact that sometimes the idols weren’t being rude, they just have different ways of displaying manners. In this case, they also can’t wrap their minds around the fact that f(x) has foreign members that won’t adapt easily to a new culture.

Look at how BoA was treated when she came to the USA. BoA had a thick accent and barely understood the culture or language. She came out with a USA movie, but how many years has she been working on her American impact? FIVE YEARS. The same amount of time that f(x) has been working on their music. In fact, most of the foreign artists have a harder time coming out with music at a rapid pace and having tours as frequently. Look at Super Junior-M and Electro Boyz. Look at Ailee. Let’s keep it 100% real. EXO-M may eventually suffer the same fate. I don’t honestly think they would be able to stand without EXO-K.

I’ve been watching anime RAW for 12 years now. I’ve learned a lot of phrases, but have I mastered the language? NO. My friends have been taking a foreign language for years, and I have a family member that has lived in Japan for 2 years. Has that family member mastered the language? No. One of my friends is just starting to get the hang of writing the language in it’s actual form rather than with Latin lettering!

So please, before we burst with conspiracy theorizing and flying off in a tangent, let’s step back, and look at the bigger picture.

THE BEST PART

While f(x) may not come out with tons of singles, albums, and concerts every year, we get the satisfaction of knowing that they will take their time to come out with QUALITY work. What matters most? The quantity of how many albums, singles, or tours every year? Or quality work, where they have months to find inspiration for great albums like Pink Tape?

I would rather take the latter. I also have full faith that when f(x) finally does come out with a concert, they will all be fully confident in their abilities, ready to take on the challenge of traveling from city to city, and it will be BIG news considering how long f(x) fans have been waiting. It will also be a concert that is amazing to see because there will be so many songs to hear and so much time and effort will be put into making it an entertaining time. Just look at the bigger picture, then the present doesn’t seem as bad.

So f(x) fans, this is just some words from Generation Next for you to think about. Okay, maybe EXO does get better treatment. But EXO has a Korean group. F(x) is a bit foreign and strange. But isn’t that what we like about them?

F(x)’s Potential

The one thing SM IS guilty of is not allowing the girls’ talents to shine. The girls all have amazing talents that aren’t being conveyed. I posted some articles meant to put some shine on f(x)’s talents.

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

Even though some of the girls struggle with the Korean language, hopefully, the girls’ talents will speak for them. After all, music is a universal language.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your opinions are!

And don’t forget to help me trend #bfx2us on twitter, instagram, facebook, tumblr, reddit, pinterest, wordpress, or any other website you can think of…heck, I’ll even go with Myspace if that’s still around.

Still going crazy over Exo-M member Kris and his decisions? Read a good article on it:

http://twitlonger.com/show/n_1s1pa3b

Still going crazy over Baekhyun dating? Read an article about that:

Baekhyun’s Dating affects Ticket Sales

Which f(x) Member Are YOU?

9 Apr

tumblr_m64x26eyfr1rw1et4o1_500

Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m f(x) obsessed. I can’t help it. I love this girl group. I can’t even explain why. Maybe it’s when I see them live, they just blow me away.

Or maybe when I see them interact with fans, I just fall in love with their personalities all over again.

Or maybe I just have ultimate respect from watching them in Amazing f(x) (bungee jumping and sky diving? How many females try that?).

Or I get entertained for hours watching them in Funny or Die

To my list of f(x) articles, I’m adding this one: the personality quiz! YAY!

f(x) has their own style

f(x) has their own style

F(x) is known for their individual charms, and their distinct styles. I find f(x) to be bursting with individuality. Each girl let’s her own light shine, which is what I like.

As the saying goes, “There is someone out there for everybody.” In f(x)’s case, there is someone for everyone to relate to. This is how I feel about their music, especially with the album Pink Tape. If you are an edgy, urban person, “Pretty Girl” would be your thing. If you like Dance Pop, “Airplane” might be your favorite. If you love meaningful ballads, “Good-bye Summer” and “Ending Page”. If you like a little whimsical and different, “Shadow” might be a favorite. If you’re into retro sounds, “Snapshot”, “No More”, and “Signal” gave that flavor. See? Just something for everybody.

This is also why this article was so much fun to do research for, and why I thought a personality quiz would be interesting.

So, give it a shot!

To Learn more about f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

f(x) Pink Tape Review 

f(x) Red Light Review

Amber Beautiful Review

*****************************************************************************************

Okay, on with the quiz!

So which member do you think you’re most like? This 7-question quiz is based on a series of interviews and biography profiles that have revealed some interesting things about the girls.

So are you a fun-loving leader, like Victoria? Sexy and mischievous, like Krystal? A sensitive cutie-pie, like Sulli? Soulful and romantic, like Luna? Or popular and charming, like Amber?

f-x

Take this series of polls I designed into a quiz to find out who you match!

I know right? Where are your results? First, “Return to Poll” for each question above. Highlight the “blank white space” below to find the results! Can’t Highlight? click the link below the space!

If you chose mostly the first answers, you are mostly like the proud Krystal. You are confident, detail-oriented, and you always put effort into everything that you do. You have a strong presence no matter where you go. You tend to work well with people on an intimate level, even if others don’t readily see it. You have a strong feminine side, or if you’re a guy into women, you may really be into feminine women. You are sensitive to your own thoughts. You might focus too much on things that you can “see” rather than things that are deep or hidden. Sometimes, if you can’t see it, you won’t assume or try to understand it. You can be quite the perfectionist. You aren’t the cutesy type, but you do like to look attractive to others. Others might find you to be cold, but you’re really just shy. You have quite the mischievous streak. It’s easy for you to get away with things because you are so quiet and secretive.

If you chose mostly the second answers, you are mostly like the sharp and boyish Amber. You are cool and you always try your best at everything that you do. You have a deeply serious and sensitive side, but you are always fun and playful. You are popular and it is hard not to like you. You have a lot of confidence and you love to challenge yourself. You are quite the rebel. You are honest, but easy-going. Because you like to be yourself, you may not like complex social situations. If you are a female, you are probably tomboyish. If you are a male, you are probably an alpha male! You may desire things that are more feminine (in a man’s case who likes women, perhaps he wants a more feminine girlfriend sometimes), but somehow, you just end up feeling more comfortable with more “masculine” pursuits. For a man who likes girls, you may want a girl who is a little loose sometimes, and not so girlish all the time. 

If you chose mostly the third answers, you are mostly like the beautiful and unique Luna. Respect is of utmost importance to you. You are super hard-working! You have the ability to look inside yourself, make changes, and you are always willing to grow to be a better person. You are open-minded and willing to to learn and try something new. You are someone who is beautiful inside and out! Compassionate, kind, and full of energy, you are the “vitamin” of your group of friends. If there is anyone who loves what they do, it’s you. Your interests may focus too heavily on external things, especially your appearance. You often have to be reminded to put more confidence in your abilities, and you often doubt yourself.

If you chose mostly the fourth answers, you are mostly like the irresistibly charming Victoria. You appear nice and innocent, but it’s hard to read you. People may take you at face value. You are honest, and you are truthful with others. You might be a bit simple-minded and young at heart. Full of energy, no matter how old you get, you maintain a healthy spirit. Despite your friendly nature, you are quite independent. You might have flexible limbs, but sometimes it’s hard for you to be a flexible person inside. You are very focused on what you see. Sometimes, you are so focused on the present, that you have a hard time understanding other people’s thoughts. You are mature, and are often called upon to lead others. It’s not hard for you to make compromises for those you love. You love to make others happy.

If you chose mostly the fifth answers, you are mostly like the “goddess with the feminine touch” Sulli. Even though you have a feminine side, you also have a casual and tomboyish side as well. You are joyful, bright, and were shown a lot of love in your life. You are very attractive and cute, even if you may not realize it! You are very honest, but you have a hard time listening to others. You defend your opinions strongly, and are quite blunt. You are very focused on the present, and you’re a bit moody. You’re sensitive and others’ opinions of you affect you strongly. You have a strong self-image. You know who you are. You may always feel treated like you’re in “last place”. You may look young for your age. 

Can’t highlight? Click me!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to help us f(x) fans trend #bfx2us and put your town behind it on any website you can think of! We f(x) fans really want a concert! 

For more f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

Black History Month: The American Girl dolls, Addy and Cecile

1 Feb
Addy (left, 1864)and Cecile (right, 1853)

Addy (left, 1864)and Cecile (right, 1853)

MLK’s birthday has passed, and black history month is here, and so the focus may be on “black pride”.

Many children today really don’t understand their history, or rather don’t care about it, whether they are African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, Native American, Jewish  etc. It’s a shame that I even had to witness African American children fall asleep during Dr. King movies. I’ve witnessed this recently at a school. They really take for granted the privileges they have obtained thanks to him. MLK would roll over in his grave if he could see how some of our young African American children are today.

The American Girl dolls and books to me are a great way to educate young girls about their history in a way that relates to them. Through the eyes of two nine to ten year old girls, little African American girls can learn to value their history, to be proud of themselves, and to work hard to achieve great things. I’m also happy to note that American Girl has honored Addy and Cecile for MLK’s birthday.

I’m not telling you to go out and purchase an expensive doll for black history month. But maybe you could read a story with your girls. You can purchase the books at any store or get them from the library.

Some parents don’t see the importance of their young girls knowing history, but knowing what others have gone through helps them to develop admirable and likable qualities, such as compassion, empathy, understanding, and intelligence. They realize that everything isn’t going to be handed to them, and that it is up to them to make a future for themselves, no matter how challenging life gets.

Question: Which story is better for my child?

Well, I feel both stories are important and can help in the development of mature young ladies. But both stories have different vibes about them.

Most people are uncomfortable with the topic of slavery in general. And I must warn you that from Meet Addy, it doesn’t begin nice at all. While most parents think this is too much for their kids to read or listen to, and they worry about it destroying their child’s innocence, I feel in this case innocence needs to be pierced for the sake of an education. This is why I recommend Addy strongly. Addy’s stories are the main heart of all African Americans, whether many want to face it or not. Over half of the African Americans living in the USA had ancestors who came to the USA as slaves. I encourage people to teach their children such an important topic, especially if their schools aren’t focusing on it.

The main thing that turns other African Americans away is that they find Addy to fit into what they call “stereotypes”. Many black people want to teach their children “the best” or more “positive” history, and want their African American children to see that blacks weren’t just a bunch of “uneducated, poor” slaves. Cecile seems to offer something that doesn’t fit into that stereotype, just because she is wealthy. Well, I feel this view is distorted.

Whether black people want to face it or not, African Americans were slaves in the United States, and there were slaves all around the world at that time and before (African or not). I also find it distorted to say that Addy proves to be “uneducated”. Addy didn’t speak the “proper” English throughout her series, considering she spoke the language of the “South”, but it didn’t make her dumb or less educated. That goes for Addy and all the other slaves in Addy’s stories. It took not only courage, but a clever mind for slaves to outsmart their masters when running away. It is truly distorted to consider Cecile more educated than Addy, as I’ve heard many African Americans saying. Cecile, a character who hates her private lessons more than anything, is considered more educated? No way. Addy has proven her intelligence in school throughout the series. Addy appreciates school, and values her mind above all else.

I think Cecile is a lovely doll. She teaches people about the lavish lifestyles of African Americans in New Orleans. And while I think this history shows how far we’ve come in what we teach about African Americans, relates more to girls today, and is more positive, I hardly consider Cecile to be a better influence than Addy. While Cecile develops into a compassionate, brave character, she reveals a spoiled and bratty behavior in the beginning. I would hardly consider her the role model Addy is in the beginning of her series. While, true enough, this relates to the spoiled children of today, Addy’s stories encourage hard work and love.

And not all of Addy’s stories are depressing. Once you get over the bump of Meet Addy, you get a feel of some Civil War history and life in freedom. Many of Addy’s stories have happy endings. People also have the misconception that Addy wears rags throughout her stories. False. Eventually, her mother makes sure Addy has pretty things to wear. Addy’s mother is a hard-working woman, like many mothers today. Unlike some children of today, Addy appreciates her mother. On Christmas, instead of begging for something and getting an attitude when she doesn’t get what she wants, she was planning to buy her mother a beautiful gift with her own hard-earned money,  just because she recognized how much her mother deserved it. Not once did Addy think to ask her mother for anything. Much more than I can say about Cecile, who throws a tantrum because her brother got two outfits for his homecoming, and she only got one ball gown for Mardi Gras! We also see in Addy’s stories that not every African American was a slave, as we see in Addy’s desk partner, Harriet. Yea, true enough, Harriet was a snob, and made rich black people look bad. But would you be any better than Harriet to overlook Addy’s story because she doesn’t fit the African American ideal? Another thing that irritates me is when people consider Cecile better looking than Addy. So African American girls are less pretty when they have thick hair and wear their hair in braids? Or maybe it’s because Addy has darker skin? Another distorted idea, and really the catalyst as to why so many African American girls have low self-esteem. The beauty behind African American girls wearing braids is that they get to decorate their hair anyway they want with pretty hair barrettes. In Addy’s day, with pretty ribbons. Wearing one’s hair loose doesn’t make a person any prettier.

I’m not here to discourage you from reading Cecile. Like I said, she’s lovely. Throughout her stories, she shows true empathy, compassion, and courage. Ceciles stories also encourage girls to bridge the gap between themselves and someone else who is different. Many African Americans go around hating white people for years as they reflect on “how the white man treated them”. But when you hear Cecile’s stories, you recognize that not all white people, even in the South, treated black people harshly. You also begin to see that other African Americans owned slaves, and treated them harshly, as Cecile’s rival Agnes does. This helps African American girls become open-minded. They might find they have a lot in common with someone of a different ethnicity. Remind them not to be so insecure. Not every little comment is racist or prejudiced. Teach your child to avoid racist or prejudiced comments. Black or not, it is unacceptable. This doesn’t end with ethnic backgrounds, but also social class.

Cecile’s story begins rather fun and interesting. But after the first two stories, things get a little rough. Sickness plagues Cecile’s home, and the results are pretty devastating. For a child, the books may seem rather sad and scary. But Cecile’s life is pretty privileged in comparisons to Addy’s in many ways. Still, both are interesting in their own way.

I end this article by hoping you guys make the most of Black History month by honoring the black people in the world who made a difference in the lives of many people. Perhaps you can start with the American Girls. There are very few doll collections and books that are wholesome, and produce good role models. American Girl is rarely criticized for its messages, except from people who try to find something wrong with everything.

If only they had something like this for boys. Some of these males need it severely.

The Life of a Twin

18 Nov

Mary-Kate and Ashley

Two individuals born around the same time, from the same womb, that often look alike. That’s what a twin is for those who don’t know. There are two types of twins: fraternal and identical. Fraternal twins often look a little different. They also tend to be “boy and girl” twins. Identical twins often look exactly alike and are usually born no more than four minutes a part. Fraternal Twins come from two different eggs in the womb. Identical twins come from one egg that splits. That’s the science lesson for today. Siamese twins are twins that are connected. Their egg didn’t split all the way.

Twins are usually very close. When twins look alike, it is usually the most astonishing and often the most exciting thing for many people. Twins often get a lot of attention and are often popular too.

When people think of twins, many people think of two people who can read the each other’s mind. Or they might even think of two identical people playing mischevious pranks, like switching places on teachers or spouses.

I am an identical twin. And while I love my twin sister, sometimes it’s very hard to be a twin. It’s not all fun, but it isn’t ever boring.

Tia and Tamera

Sharing

Most siblings have to share. If you’re an only child, you may not have that problem. But twins have ALWAYS had to share EVERYTHING since before birth. When my sister and I were in my mother’s womb, we had to share all the food. I, being more proactive, faster, and more selfish than my sister, took all the food. My sister was born much scrawnier than I was. From that time, my parents had to give her extra special care, and often she got more attention at an earlier age. The challenge was for my parents to give us an equal amount of attention. Twins always have to share attention.

As we got older, we had to share toys, clothes, underwear, everything. Reaching our pre-teen years, this was very difficult. We fought over everything. From sharing a room to liking the same boys, it was just hard. And many of the boys would say, “I have a crush on you TWO”, not “I like YOU”. To this day, if the guy tells me he’s interested in “us”, I really don’t give him a shot.

We graduated at the same time, so we shared our grad party. Because everything happened at the same time for us, we always did everything together.

When my sister and I got our first car, guess what? Unlike most people who get to drive their own car, we had to share.

Well, the upside through having to share so much is that in life you never have a problem sharing with your spouse. Even though most twins aren’t quick to get married (because they realize how much work a long-term relationship requires), they have the lowest divorce rate because understanding another person has always been a major part of their lives. They know that no relationship is easy, and that every argument shouldn’t end in a break-up all the time. Twins often have to make-up after disagreements.

The Veronicas

Awkward Moments

Yea, every one has awkward moments. But awkward moments are always a major part of being a twin. If you’re a “boy and girl” twin, a lot of times the boys are always called the girl’s name and the girl is called her brother’s. Many times, when they are younger, the only way to tell the difference is to look in their pants.

Twins who look more alike always have awkward moments. Many times, people who know my sister try to talk to me, even though I don’t know who they are. This makes things awkward. In the middle of their conversation, I could stop them mid-sentence, tell them “I’m not her, I’m her twin” and make them feel awkward. Or I could play it off like I’m her, and then tell my sister later that I saw someone she knew. Even though the latter is lying, so many things happen between us, that my memory becomes hers. So technically, even if my sister wasn’t there, because I tell her everything, it’s like she was there.

Here’s another awkward scenario: Someone is sitting in a cafeteria. I walk in, that person says “hi” to me, I say “hi” back and I leave out another door. My sister walks in the door I entered, and the person says “hi” again and asks, “Didn’t you just leave? Deja vu.” And she says, “Oh no, that was probably my twin sister.” Awkward.

And people always awkwardly stare at twins. Everybody hates to be stared at, especially by weirdos. Twins are always stared at, but I guess I’ve met a lot of friends that way…Just the other day, my friend was walking next to us. A police officer just stopped and stared with his mouth wide open. My friend, who is used to us, felt a little uneasy. I told her that “It was because we’re twins”. Yea, we get all the roaming eyes…and not because we’re bombshell girls (though I don’t think I’m ugly).

That brings me to my next point. Boyfriends…That awkward moment when your boyfriend accidently kisses your twin sister, thinking she’s you…Or when he gets mad because he can’t tell whether you’re cheating because he thinks he saw you with someone else, but he forgot you were a twin. Awkward.

And those awkward questions people ask twins all day long. “Do you guys, like, feel what the other person is feeling?” No. We don’t. Well, only once in a while.

And there’s that awkward moment when your own mother can’t tell you apart. This is especially bad when one of you are in trouble.

There’s also that awkward moment when I can’t tell myself apart on my own pictures. I look at my baby and kiddie pictures all the time, and I still can’t figure out which one is me.

I think Siamese twins have it more awkward than all twins. They are connected together literally. That’s gotta be painfully hard. And awkward.

Cole and Dylan

Pros

The upside is twins do get to play some pretty fun pranks. Switching places is fun on April Fools. Twins are also very close, so they don’t need a lot of friends. This is why many twins aren’t as pressured to fit in with their peers. Many twins always have someone to talk to, and many feel complete. Many spouses find this a problem, however, as it seems their significant other is being shared by their twin.

If I’m trying to get into a club and I forgot my I.D., I could always use hers and pass it off…that is, if she’s with me…

But in my opinion, spouses should think of it as a good thing. I’m willing to share my twin with my spouse. And I never get jealous about it. My sister and I are close like that. Only if it’s outside of us…JOKING. HAHA…I do get jealous! Twins should stay away from their siblings’ spouses! Period. It isn’t healthy.

So anyway, if you have any twins in your life or want to get to know any twins, now is the time to share your stories below!

Harry Potter Twins-Weasley Brothers

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