There are so many topics in Monstar that we can explore for so many reasons. This week we would like to discuss “Idols and Fans: Themes in Monstar”. Lore, Cypsis, and I will dive into this topic from different perspectives, but similar thoughts. Let’s do this!
First Batter Up:
Unni: Monstar’s story is built on idolatry. The only reason Seol Chan started attending school is due to an obsessed fan. His experience in school is largely brought on by his profession: girl’s fan-girling over him, boys jealous of him, and the entire class watches his performances during break. It is clear that being an idol affects Seol Chan constantly and it affects the people around him too.
I feel sorry for Seol Chan in many respects, the pressure to not live a “normal life” is hard to fathom. Not being able to date, talk to a girl, or take part in a battle of the bands must be terribly hard when you are surrounded by people your own age, that can do the things you want to do
without a CEO being notified within seconds of your actions.
On the flip side (or should I say fanside) Eun Ha’s fan fiction writing, her pleas for Oppa to stay single, and her fantasies of someday dating Seol Chan attest to how a whole lot of teenage girls feel about an idol, singer, or actor. They find an outlet in the group they like, a set of unattainably perfect boys that keep their daydreams alive, and make possible the adolescent question of “What if?”
Eun Ha's character is a constant reminder of the love fan's feel for the object of their fandom (in her case Seol Chan). And I love that she is a character in this show. Not a crazy fan like the one who threw herself in front of Seol Chan’s car and not a girl who is unaware of the whole fandom all together (Se Yi). Eun Ha is...a normal teenage girl; a healthy example of how idols capture their fan’s hearts.
From idols to fans, Monstar highlights both sides of the story, another reason I love this show so much. The narrative is not one sided and attempts to give viewers a look into what it is like from both ends of the spectrum; a person trying to underplay their fame and a person trying to keep their fan-girl dream alive. With opposite motivations it will be interesting to see how the fan and the fantasized fare as our story progresses. Here is hoping they both meet at an interesting and happy middle ground.
: I like how Eun Ha shows the fan-side—not wanting him to date others, but at the same time imagining she is dating him in the future. Also, the fact that in her fan- girl "imagination" she is always prettier and more talented than in real life (to be worthy of him). I find that the reason why she and fans dream these things for the future is that they hope and wish that by that time it will become reality. It is like a little ray of sunshine on the rainy day to have such thoughts.
Last to Bat
: Idols are people too… though this thought doesn’t seem to be the case in other countries. I can be a fan girl just like the rest (Middle and High School I was all about some N’Sync), but when does the love and appreciation become borderline obsession, to full blown “What the hot pocket! You just pretended to get hit by a car and sexually assaulted this kid!”?
Monstar lets us see into the imagination and reality of idols, artist, and fans alike. I agree with Lore that Eun Ha is a normal girl who loves her Seol Chan Oppa, though I did feel some kind of way when she asked him to “remain a single star shinning for all to see.” (E-kun’s translation: “You are a god who can never dwell with us mere mortals here on earth…look what happened with Zeus and Hercules…”) My concern is that Eun Ha has the opportunity to really know Seol Chan as a person, artist, and friend. Don’t squander your time of getting to know him by keeping him up on a pedestal; it will hurt so much more the moment you think he “betrays” you.
Seol Chan… My heart really bleeds for this kid. Not only does he have the emotional scars from his past, he also has to deal with being an artist in his “idol” world. You can tell that Seol Chan is not a part of his group “Men in Black” to make money; he really does love music and being able to share it with the world. He just happens to be an idol doing his passion as a profession. I will never deprive him of the title “Artist”; that kid works too hard to only be 17- 18 years old. The reason I refer to him as an artist is because he is SO emotional. Music, dancing, acting, etc., is an outlet for him to express the way he feels; which is why he always throws a tantrum when things do not go a particular way. This can also be said of our leading lady Sae Hee.
I find her to be the most interesting when she is strumming her guitar by herself. It gives us a mirror into her inner- most thoughts and feelings. Her melancholic vibe is what I love most about her (perhaps because I see myself as a very melancholic person too)! Sometimes, her past clouds her judgment as well. I think that she and Seol Chan can be a force to reckon with as friends or something more (I love teenage angst couples!), but because of the way they met her view of him is severely skewed.
The thing that I hate the most about this show is how it shows kids using their gifts and talents solely for advantage. All for One is crazy talented, but the way they view music, the other kids who are musically inclined, and how they turn up their nose at difference is quite disgusting! As a musician and artist I was taught there is ALWAYS someone better than you—it doesn’t have to take away from the passion of what you are doing in life or that you are less than (nuggets of wisdom for all my dongsengs out there).
It is hard enough to be a teenager, but to add almost adult like worries into the mix is a total mess. Poor thing these kids will have to be in their late 20's to early 30’s to realize that the things that are stressful and important now were blips on the grand scale of their lives. Join us next week as we dive into episode 6!
More from the MONSTAR Drama Club:
Episode 5: [ Part 1
] [ Part 2
] [ Part 3
] [ Part 4
Episode 4: [ Part 1
] [ Part 2
] [ Part 3
] [ Part 4