I kind of love 2PM. Watching their live performances is like going to a male strip club without the cheap booze, stale cigarette-smoke-saturated air, and the need for crumpled dollar bills to stuff in the least greasy one’s g-string. After a two-year sabbatical following two somewhat lackluster releases–the monotonous “I’ll Be Back” featuring the Running Man (for real; I can’t make this shit up) and the GTop knockoff “Hands Up”–they’re back, and they’ve truly outdone themselves this time. With A.D.T.O.Y. (All Day Think about You), 2PM have mastered the fine art of being parodies of themselves.
WARNING: This recap has lots and lots of pictures!
A.D.T.O.Y. really is the epitome of “What Straight Men Think Women Find Hot.” Yeah, yeah, “hotness” is subjective; clearly some women must go for it or 2PM wouldn’t have the sheer amount of fans they do, blah blah. I know. And I fully admit my own taste can be… questionable sometimes. But in terms of general tendencies I’ve observed in my many years of consuming pop culture, I can say that the male-dominated media machine has certain ideas of what women find hot that… are not as universal as they might think.
I know I’m atypical, and that nothing makes me slam my knees together faster than your typical alpha male. Muscles and baby oil just ain’t my style, you know? I tend to like ‘em scrawny and Eurotrash, and my U-KISS stanning is starting to make a lot of sense now. But I digress. The problem with the whole “What Straight Men Think Women Find Hot” thing is that they’re taking what straight men find hot in women and just flipping the genders. And as seen in various parodies of men in stereotypically female poses… it doesn’t really work (although I must say the Hulk is workin’ it).
Continuing along this vein, I’ve also noticed that A.D.T.O.Y. (which is looking more and more like the name of a XXX shop every time I type it) is similar in concept and visuals to girl group 9Muses’ recent “Wild” music video (and no, I’m not trying to imply that anyone “copied” anyone else… it’s not the point, and I don’t think anyone did). Let’s take a look.
Granted, some cursory attempts were made to up the alpha male quotient in A.D.T.O.Y. (frequent and gratuitous scenes with a female model, which was probably the least successful endeavor at the not-gays since U-KISS’s “Shut Up”), but for the most part, the MV was only slightly less ridiculous than the above linked parodies.
Which begs the question–why, as a woman ostensibly attracted to men, do I find the 9Muses MV sexy and the 2PM one ridiculous? The answer, I fear, is neither clear-cut nor brief. In fact, I could go on for paragraphs about gender and male gaze in popular media (both Asian and western), but that would make this recap longer than a T-ara MV and ultimately as meandering. I will say that I personally believe that a combination of social constructs of masculinity/femininity along with the overwhelming dominance of male gaze in popular media have shaped our perceptions of what is “sexy” so much it’s become second nature, even for people who are aware of what’s going on. Something about the juxtaposition of brawny alpha males and stereotypically female poses and situations–basically, men rendered as objects–makes people uncomfortable. At best, this discomfort tends to manifest itself with humor (as seen in the above parodies and this recap) and at worst with homophobia (which is a whole other can of worms I don’t plan on opening in this recap).
So let’s delve a little deeper into this MV, shall we?
Hehe. I said deeper. *is 12*
I personally found the song a bit repetitive and overwrought, but was too distracted by the spectacle of the video to pay much attention to it. I watched a few live performances and the same thing ended up happening. So yeah, only strengthening my suspicion that the appeal of 2PM does not lie in the music (at least, not since they went the Magic Mike route–I do enjoy some of their older songs). I have to say that the overwroughtness actually really makes A.D.T.O.Y. enjoyable. During “I’ll Be Back” and “Hands Up” I was merely bored; they had my attention this time. So props to you, 2PM! And while it might sound like I’m panning the MV I actually really love it. Granted, I love it mostly for its unintentional hilarity, but I will give props where it’s due–it’s a quite well-made video. Granted, it’s not as visually exciting as “Wild” (which makes wonderful use of b/w and color) but it’s nicely shot and the frenetic pace of the cuts matches the song well. The parts with the female model don’t really work, in my opinion, but like I said, we all know she’s just here for the not-gays. And at least she’s hot?
So we’ve got intimate scenarios between the female model and whoever’s rapping/singing at the time in various locations (including what has to be one of the cleanest and largest public restrooms I’ve ever seen). Between that, we have the guys on a stage set featuring… folding chairs. Seungrisus H. Christ, are you guys so damn lazy you have to sit around on chairs and not do any actual dancing? What is this, a One Direction MV? No wait, 2PM are manly; scratch that.
I mean look at this. Nichkhun back there is even catching some Z’s while filming.
After about a minute in, and we finally get some dancing! Yay!
Yeah, I’ma just leave it at that.
Hey look, T&A:
About halfway in, it was apparently decided that it was time to put to rest all that bunk about 2PM’s vocals being less-than-stellar. So the way to do that is… extreme falsetto!
No really, you guys, you gotta hear this to believe it. It’s so great. Unfortunately, it’s the first thing to fall victim to the cut monster when it comes to music shows. Man, music shows, why you gotta?
Khun apparently drew the short straw and had to wear the jaunty manly sailor hat:
Considering the whole gay club-casual chic they got going here for most of the pimp chair shots, I’m not quite sure where a jaunty sailor hat fits into the look. Ahh, coordi noonas work in mysterious ways, I suppose.
I mean, I could only think of one possible inspiration for Wooyoung’s hair.
So I guess that’s all there is to say about A.D.T.O.Y. Do look up some live performances of it; you won’t regret it.
This ahjumma feels me: