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Emergence of qualified idol stars: is it good or bad?

Posted November. 07, 2013 08:06,   


I have met many “idol stars” in their 20s lately.

Cho Seung-hyun, a.k.a. Top, of the boy’s group “Big Bang,” starred in a movie “Alumni” released on Wednesday. He acted as a spy with an appealing look. His acting was worth noting. Choi was serious like the character in the movie. He was quite silent but understood this reporter’s intention and gave the “right” answers. Being right means his seasoned technique to say something that can help promotion of the movie while not saying anything that could tarnish his image. I had a prejudice because of his big and bright eyes and sharp image but the interview changed my perception.

I met Lee Joon of MBLAQ at the Pusan International Film Festival last month. He acted a tumultuous life rising from nothing to a celebrity and then falling to the bottomless pit in the movie “Rough Play: Actor is an actor.” He is only 25 years old and it was his first main character. His acting deserves an award. “Idol stars are good actors.” He is as good as a seasoned 39-year-old actor Uhm Tae-woong who acted in the movie “Top Star,” which has a similar plot.

Lee was confident during talks over fried chicken and beer. It was impressive to hear that he quit a dance major from the Korea National University of Arts and see his serious attitude towards acting. I thought, “His heart is warm and his thoughts are balanced.”

Yoo Ah-in who starred in “Tough as iron,” a movie released last month, was a good speaker. He is not reserved about social issues on social networking websites. He said in an interview, “Being an actor is good because I can reflect on myself and break the walls of understanding,” and “As I get higher, people criticize less on me. It seems difficult to grow unless I become objective and cool.” Suddenly, I came to think by myself, “Was I as confident and rational as Yoo when I was in my 20s?”

Celebrities used to say, “I’ll do my best,” or “I know I’m not good but will do better.” It is a sea change now.

Idol stars are tall and handsome. They are good speakers. They have good manners. Management agencies train them to do so. But training cannot make them good impromptu speakers.

I personally think that idol stars became more qualified because talents are flocking to the entertainment industry. Lee Je-hoon and Song Joong-ki graduated from a prestigious university. The entertainment business is now attractive to men, too.

Many young people flock to the entertainment business probably because those who are called the “880,000 won generation” or the “surplus generation” cannot get a decent job and climb the social ladder. Are they targeting the cultural sector, which is relatively easy to enter rather than taking away the economic and political areas from older generations? Am I the only one who cannot simply welcome the emergence of qualified idol stars?