[NOTE: I am not going to go into details of what has happened in either episodes to avoid spoilers. Everything I talk about has already been hinted during the documentary’s previews/trailers]
I re-watched episode 3 last night with my husband. And then I watched episode 4. I knew, from the previews, #4 was going to be intense and I wanted to prepare myself before watching it with my daughter.
Because it was pretty intense. In this one, there’s an argument – and the emotions are pretty damn high.
I mentioned I was a bit worried BTS’ documentary might be critiqued as a typical reality show (using drama to fuel ratings a la ‘Real Housewives’ style – though not to that extreme of course as I have faith in BTS). We all knew we would be seeing their personalities sometimes not in the best light. And this definitely comes out when two or more members start to argue.
Going into this, I was fine with the whole concept of showing their different sides. I only wanted to see some resolutions. If BTS are to uphold their reputation of being a strong team and family, I expected them to also display proper conflict-resolution after such disagreements in order to not just avoid fall-outs but to strengthen their relationship further. I expected RM, as the leader, to ensure the resolution is attempted as a group. This is what they are supposed to do. Without leadership and conflict-resolution, they would have been doomed to failure a long time ago.
I was not disappointed.
So after watching the last intense episode, I was reminded of a recording of PD Bang as a keynote speaker, where he answers questions from other professions regarding his strategy in bringing together BTS and his leadership role:
Overall, I’m very pleased with Burn the Stage. As much as I love k-pop – both the music and the entire subculture – the ideology of idol perfection has never sat well with me. I did feel it was a lie – not one which I blame the idols themselves. This is, basically, what k-pop is all about. It wouldn’t be it’s own genre without making these idols god-like. They achieve near-perfection, or at least the image of perfection, to feed their fandom what is almost like a new religion.
Fans seek these idol-like traits to worship. It’s both scary and fascinating at the same time. I’m coming to accept this fact – without this type of worship what would k-pop be like?
Yet… BTS is doing the opposite here, aren’t they? Mind you, they needed to bring their popularity up to a point in order to do this. Regardless of their ‘ugly sides’ they are showing through Burn the Stage, their fans will continue to support them and their haters will continue to hate them. Nothing will change that reality on either side of the coin.
So what makes this documentary so special? For me, I feel relief. I feel encouraged. I always knew each idol out there are just humans. But to see BTS’ bravery in showing this side to the world is like they were just waiting to exhale. Yes, they are human and here’s how they are going to show everyone how human they are – imperfections and all.
Honestly, this was such a good move for them. They have used baby steps to branch out of the manicured idol group mentality and through Burn the Stage they continue to show they are true artists with control of their creativity (of course, huge thanks goes out to Big Hit for allowing them this liberty, unlike many of the known entertainment companies in the industry).
If you are from the states, a reminder you can sign on with YouTube Red for 2 months free subscription. I am not certain but read the schedule for each Burn the Stage release date is about every two weeks. With a total of 4 more episodes to be released, you might be able to watch all 8 if you time your free subscription correctly. For the rest, you may need to pay per episode. Here in Canada it is $2.49 CAD for each. I felt it was worth it! I now will own each episode and I’ve already watched each one at least 2 or 3 times!