Columnist Jung Seok-hee.
My main position in the team is the spoilt brat, but you’re calling me a role model…
Saying that is going to cause a lot of trouble.
Looking back, how sorry I should be to the very understanding members.ㅜㅜ
Credits: Dongwan’s Naver blog + Absolut Shinhwa
He must have just read this article below. I’m pretty convinced the writer’s a really really really avid Wannie fangirl~ ^^
7th August 2012
10asia Op-Ed: “I hereby appoint Dongwan-sshi as the role model for idols”
To Kim Dongwan-sshi from jTBC’s ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’
With the bullying controversy surrounding a popular girl group swamping the headlines this whole week, I couldn’t watch jTBC’s ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’ without much thought, as I do usually. Shinhwa, the group that has been together for 14 years without ever changing its member lineup. Why is it that they haven’t had disagreements, animosity and conflicts? Looking at many other cases, everywhere there are bound to be discontented people, either excessively lazy people or clean freaks. Moreover, if they live under the same roof, clashes are bound to happen. How can they hope for peace and quiet with all these different personalities and different voices? Even when the two kids that came from my belly start a fight in front of me, they say very different things.
The solution to overcoming these moments of crisis can be found when we watch ‘Shinhwa Broadcast’. The ‘Farm Channel’ edition of the show featured the Shinhwa members making their way to a farm, where the air is good and the water is clean, for some freedom and rest. This episode, titled ‘Shinhwa Outing & God of the Countryside’, is a parody of ‘Family Outing’ and ‘Countryside Diary’. Unexpectedly the members were catching and handling live fishes, and without batting an eyelid the fish was taken care of with a single stroke of the knife. Eventually, a meal that exceeded everyone’s expectations was skillfully prepared. Even though it was a parody, I like the fact that the members didn’t stick to following the formula and instead restructured things according to their own inclinations. Although 6 years has passed since SBS ‘Love Letter’, they have only gotten better. Of course, their youthfulness has decreased. But they have replaced it with plenty of confidence.
If you look at Shinhwa, you will see the secret to their longevity
When talking about the secret to Shinhwa’s group longevity, we first must look at the qualities of their leader. Though it has been mentioned on many talkshows, whenever the group is faced with an unfavorable situation, it seems like leader Eric-sshi is the one who prevents the group from disintegrating with his wit and charisma. But during this time that I’ve been watching the show, I realised that we cannot overlook the role of the members who have faith in what the leader says, and follow him accordingly. Particularly not to be ignored is the role of Kim Dongwan-sshi, who’s seemingly insensible but is actually more mature than he lets on; who doesn’t seem very funny but makes us laugh more than anyone else.
It was 1999 when Shinhwa was actively promoting ‘T.O.P’. Thinking that they were yet another cookie-cutter idol group, I was about to switch channels but the content of the interview was quite different and witty and caught my attention. They were quite different from the typical idols who repeated run-of-the-mill answers like parrots. At that time, I remember Dongwan-sshi who took the lead in the interview, and he had a dynamism that was very much unlike a rookie. After that, the way that Hyesung-sshi and Eric-sshi did the bungee jump caught my eye, and through that I gradually came to discover this group with their own unique charms. And so for a long time I thought Kim Dongwan-sshi was the leader of Shinhwa. A long time passed before I realised that he acts as the ‘behind-the-scenes’ leader.
The members are always teasing one another but they’re always looking out for one another
If you think about it, it seems like Dongwan-sshi is always reconfirming Eric’s sense of responsibility and leadership when he goes on talkshows. It’s Dongwan who testified that Eric had received a big contract offer after gaining much popularity for his role in MBC drama ‘Phoenix’, only to readily reject the offer, choosing instead to move together with his fellow members. Though excellent leadership is important, recognizing and being genuinely proud of his team-mate’s virtue, isn’t it another reason for the group’s longevity? Compared to sharing the sadness in times of sorrow, it’s actually more difficult to share the joy in times of happiness.
In every episode, he cracks lame jokes, he’s bad at games and so he becomes a ‘black hole’ and gets teased for it, but well-meaning Dongwan-sshi doesn’t get mad and is always taking care of the members. Recently, he has risen from his ‘black hole’ status to become an ace instead. Playing the role of patriotic poet Lee Yuk-sa in last year’s MBC Liberation Day special drama ‘The Peak’, he has received recognition as an actor. His acting was praised for being unlike that of an idol, but since his first acting stint in KBS drama ‘Children of Heaven’, Dongwan-sshi has never shown sub-par acting abilities. Though the few acting projects he headlined did not fare well in terms of viewership, Dongwan-sshi’s acting ability has been impeccable. He may not be the most eye-catching member in the team, he helps in maintaining the harmony among the members while quietly working hard to do well on his own projects – I think Kim Dongwan-sshi can be considered as the support of the whole team. I hope from now on, idol group members can look up to Dongwan-sshi as a role model, get along in harmony and grow together.
From: Jung Seok-hee
Credits: 10asia + Absolut Shinhwa