Wow, I’ve gotten more questions about reality TV show Produce 101 and their associated group I.O.I than just about anything else in this blog’s entire history! So here a post where I tackle all 238672 questions that I received about this shithouse TV series. Read on and enjoy, or be completely fucking bored out of your brain like I was when I wrote this! Yay!
[note: insert some kind of preamble here, maybe with a personal anecdote or whatever, just something to draw readers in so they’re willing to tolerate the fact that the rest of this blog is just a bunch of boring questions and answers that nobody cares about]
So what is Produce 101?
Produce 101 is some dumb fucking reality bullshit show for fuckheads where some girls compete to be in some girl group or some shit. At least that’s what I think it’s about, I sure as fuck didn’t watch any more than a few minutes of it. Maybe it’s not about this. Maybe it’s about elephants doing cartwheels. Fuck, who knows. [note: edit this if I ever actually watch the show]
What do you think of the song “Pick Me” that was released at the start of the TV series?
I expected to see “Pick Me” on your worst of 2015 songs list, why wasn’t it there? Did you forget about it?
It wasn’t shitty enough to get on my worst songs of 2015 list or even gain a dishonourable mention, only because there was a LOT of crap that came out last year so competition was very tough, the song sucked but it didn’t stand out.
Some people say Produce 101 was staged, was it?
All reality TV is staged.
You mean that they follow a script?
In some cases, yeah. For instance in some tiny section of Produce 101 that I accidentally watched which I can’t find because I can’t be fucked finding it, I remember watching two girls walk across the front of the stage as if nobody was around going “wow, this is the stage where we’ll be competing” or whatever, but of course there was someone around because a TV camera was there. Fucking obviously staged bullshit trying to pass itself off as some “spontaneous” narrative-building bullcrap.
[note: if someone could be fucked finding that bit of footage I might put it in this space, or not]
Of course, most reality TV “staging” isn’t with a fixed script, it’s more about generating setups of archetypes and situations that create drama “naturally”. Western TV shows search for genuine archetypes carefully but I’m not sure if the Korean ones give that much of a shit, however having a story to tell is something that they all definitely need. If a story isn’t there “genuinely”, it can always be “created” by the editing process.
They don’t “coach you to cry” but what they can do is build a “narrative of tears” (or joy, if that’s appropriate).
What about the contracts, were they fair?
Hahahahaha no. Reality TV contracts are never fair, with so many people wanting to be on such shows the laws of supply and demand will ensure this is always the case. However, on the bright side at least the newbie girls who were on that series didn’t have any trainee debts to worry about, they got a brief inside look at reality TV bullshit and then walked away with nothing to show for it, but nothing was lost either except a few weeks out of their lives. On the other hand the girls who were already signed to agencies were already subservient to a completely different set of legal agreements, of which Produce 101 would have been just a small part, and they probably all have enough debt each to pay for a new car or two each. More info in my post about marketing idols because I couldn’t be fucked going through all that again.
What did you think about the 12 contract terms that the Korean Fair Trade Commission thought were unfair?
Well here they are at this link but they’re all in Korean so I don’t know what they are exactly.
From what I’ve been able to ascertain from other media articles and poor-quality translations, plus guesswork, here’s the
11 secret herbs and spices 12 unfair terms and conditions and what I think, not what I think “morally” speaking because that’s the boring domain of other bloggers with actual morals, but what I think in terms of what they are, why they’re included and how they got in there:
- The show can edit shit any way they want and if you’re a contestant and you don’t like how it makes you look, too bad. This clause would be essential for the building of fake-ass narratives and something like it would exist on all reality TV shows. They’re obviously not going to give contestants say over the all-powerful editing process which is the engine that drives all reality TV (see the Screenwipe video above). There is no chance of this clause changing, the show literally can’t exist without it.
- Not sure
- Something about how if trainees come up with original works while under contract, those works belong to Produce 101. This clause is a pretty common clause for any employment contract within a large corporation of any kind – while you’re working for them, anything you create is their intellectual property. In other words girls, if you’re a songwriter, wait until you get booted out before you write that hit single.
- Something about how contestants can’t sue for breach of moral rights, whatever that means. Fuck, I dunno.
- The show can boot your ass out at any time, no matter what. It’s a “competition” so a clause like this seems kind of normal in this context.
- Something about excessive damages but it’s hard to say, could mean a few different things.
- I think this is something to do with other companies who make agreements with Produce 101’s company can hire the girls out for promotional shits and giggles or whatever and if you’re a contestant you can’t object.
- I don’t understand this one even a little.
- If somebody is injured or dies, this clause absolves the creators of the show from any legal liability. They’re basically waiving duty of care to look after the health of the contestants. Don’t go on any ferry rides, girls!
- If the show makes you as a contestant look like shit by saying that when you were ten years old you raped chickens when you really didn’t, and you gain a reputation after the show ends as “that chicken rapist”, you can’t sue the show. Basically anti-defamation-suit clause, it’s there because all narratives need heroes and villains, so they want freedom to make someone a villain if necessary to save the show from shit ratings.
- If you’re a contestant or an immediate family member of a contestant, you’re not allowed to go online and blab about all the show’s dark dirty secrets and about how the stage manager made you pee into a teapot and drink it that one time. Just more ways for the show to protect themselves.
- No idea what the last clause is but who cares.
[note: will edit this if I get better translations]
[note: that was a big list so I could probably find another stupid picture and put it here to break up the text, maybe I can find an excuse to use Hyomin and Jiyeon in those white t-shirts, then I can save the pictures for later use, or maybe I’ll just forget about it]
What is I.O.I?
I.O.I is the name of the girl group that was formed out of the TV series with all the “winners”. Although after looking at the trainee contracts maybe they should be called I.O.U.
What do you think of the I.O.I song “Crush”?
Quite boring really.
Do you have a bias in the group?
What do you think about the controversy about some girl in the group being an attention whore?
I haven’t investigated this because people who think they can tell someone’s true personality just by watching them on TV are the lowest grade of moron so their views don’t concern me. Gaining attention however is the entire fucking point of the show for these girls, surely. Sounds like she was the only one who had the right idea.
[note: A guy I know got jailed for murder last week. He hated k-pop too, he’d always tell me that my radio show sucked. Of course, he was right. What a shame to see someone with such great music taste mess up his own life like that, hope he’ll be okay in jail. Just mentioning this because this is way more interesting to me than some bullshit TV show and I’m trying to keep myself awake through this post so I can finish it. Also I’m going on tour this weekend so I won’t be on ask.fm, make sure you leave lots of pointless questions for me, preferably not ones about Produce 101 or I.O.I thanks.]
Do you like I.O.I’s new song “Dream Girls”?
It’s not out at the time of writing. Here is their teaser video.
I haven’t watched this because I don’t watch teaser videos [note: insert convoluted unfunny explanation of why I don’t watch teaser videos here]. When the full MV comes out I’ll probably devote about two thoughtless sentences to it in Kpopalypse roundup.
What did you think of the songs on the “35 Girls 5 Concepts” mini album that came out partway through the show?
In The Same Place – generic and boring bullshit, like an Apink filler album track
24 Hours – also reasonable, like a mix of old and new T-ara, although not as good as either
Why did Cathy and Chaeyeon leave DIA, wasn’t the whole point of them being in Produce 101 to promote DIA?
The road of MBK girl groups is the road of maximum determination. I couldn’t cope with it if I were a girl group member and neither could you. Cathy and Chaeyeon probably found themselves lacking in determinations, they are probably taking some time out in the Bad Thoughts Room to study the brick.
Are you bored of Produce 101 questions on ask.fm?
[note: try and insert some kind of meta content here to wrap the whole post up that suggests how boring the whole concept of a Produce 101 post is, and generally insinuates in a rude cunty unpleasant way that anyone who actually read down this far is severely lacking in common sense, try and make it abusive enough for dark humour value without actually losing readers. I guess if I can’t think of anything I could ramble on about some irrelevant bullshit, whatever]