In my continuing coverage of my adventure through China and Japan, I have to show you this video I saw five times in my hotel room in Beijing.
As you might suspect, television in the People's Republic is rather limited and controlled by the government. While the TV in my hotel had 40+ stations, all were showing Asian programming. I could get CNN International (I woke up to Anderson Cooper everyday!) and ESPN classic. Three stations were dedicated to pop music -- one traditional Chinese music, one classic/oldies and one modern pop, which was MTV China. Well, I had to dial that bad boy up often.
What I gathered from watching was that China has a serious love for boy bands and large all-female pop groups. Hey, somebody has got to keep the dream alive. You have your J-Pop and you have your K-Pop. The only difference I can gather is that J-Pop boy bands have really fucked up looking hair. They have that Kate Gosslin/Anime spikey hair that looks like it takes 3 hours to style.
So when I'm on vacation, I try to be back at the hotel by 5 or 6 for a little disco nap before I hit the town for dinner and drinking. I would put on the MTV China, which was a continous loop of selected videos.
My favorite that always showed up for from a K-Pop group called T-ARA.Their latest popular song is called "Roly Poly", which I was brainwashed to love after the third viewing. The hot Asian chicks dancing and singing -- the power is too much to resist. Now that I'm free from the mind control of the Chinese government, I can make a rational judgement on the song. They are still hot chicks. HA!
The song is bubble-gum, Disney-innocent fun with a nice nasty beat. The chorus isn't the greatest, but the long form 12 minute video is unexplainably awesome in that "I have no idea what's going on, but I'm still watching because it's batshit-crazy weird."
Let's watch the video together shall we.
Like any good dance video, it starts with vacuuming. The woman knocks over a book, which reminds her of her youth. The video is like the Joy Luck Club ... maybe the Joy Luck Disco Club. Then we see the honeys of T-ARA in a circle singing a lame song. They then escape and plan out their night. I like how you see them multiply in number, like getting a Mogwai wet.
We eventually hit the club, featuring the wacky disco club owner. He's kind of like Arnold from Happy Days. What's dangerous about this video is getting ideas. Like the DJ booth with all the colored vinyl behind him. I want that at headquarters.
The song kicks in at the 4:25 mark, and from there, it's just ... just ... soooo ... awesome. The choreography and that cheesy beat mixed with a group of cuties. Guys, a little back up here? Am I right. Since I'm a Saturday Night Fever fan, I recognize all the moves the girls of T-ARA are paying homage to.
The chorus goes something like:
Roly Poly Roly Roly Poly
Even if you push me away
I’m going to come back to you
Roly Poly Roly Roly Poly
You’re only going to see me
I’m going to show you who I am
The kicker to the video, the utter brilliance, is the Soul Train line dance towards the end. It's a beautiful.
Please feel free to comment on this video, and tell me I'm crazy ... or a genius. Now if will excuse, I'll by watching other K-Pop videos.