So when I first wrote this, I was outside enjoying the sunny and rather warm winter day – gotta hand it to California for good weather, for sure – on a lazy Sunday evening and figured it’s good to spend time writing. I meant to write about WINNER TV earlier but honestly, it’s not like there’s actually much or anything substantial to write about the show, you know what I mean?
The show is a real treat, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just them boys being boys. There are no battles or stressful situations like in WIN: Who is Next – thank goodness! – rather we’re given glimpses of their day-to-day life, namely their travels around Japan as part of the BIGBANG Japan Dome Tour.
Occasionally the producers will create or give them missions or activities to do but frankly, we’re in it for the boys even if they don’t do anything but laze around and the production team knows that. I’ll readily admit it: personally I can watch the boys do nothing all day long ha, but I’d definitely sit and watch if they give me more scenes where they’re just interacting with each other because it’s their team bonding that reels me in and something I’m such a sucker for.
There are plentiful things I love about WINNER TV and one of it is that the boys are allowed to be themselves and most importantly, they’re happy. It makes a world of difference, trust me because contrast the boys here versus when they were in WIN: Who Is Next and it’s now obvious just how cruel and grueling that was for them.
By the end of the former, when I was in so deep with Team A (newly crowned WINNER boys), I thought I had a pretty solid idea of their personalities and strengths – whatever I gaged through a reality show that uses emotional manipulation, that is – but seeing them on WINNER TV pleasantly surprised me, because all of them are actually so much livelier, jovial and happy-go-lucky. When I tuned in to WIN: Who Is Next, I watched it because of Kang Seung Yoon, got emotionally reeled in by Kim Jin Woo, soon after lured by Nam Tae Hyun and Song Minho‘s voices and slowly grew to appreciate the reassuring presence of Lee Seung Hoon.
Watching WINNER TV though, is like falling in love with all five boys, over and over again. I can’t quite explain it and I’m not stating this while in fangirl mode – please, spare me the side-glance. I don’t know what it is about them, but the best reason I can come up with is this: I think they have an earnestness that’s still pure and untainted. It’s the sincerity and passion they have towards not only music and everything about it, but also how they behave when it comes to things like popularity.
Speaking of popularity, they’re aware of their growing popularity, that much is obvious, and it’s not that they’re unaffected – even I wouldn’t buy it if they ever claim they’re not. It’s that they stay humble despite all the changes which are taking place around them, especially now when lots of attention and eyes are on them. There’s a level-headedness in not one or two but amazingly, all five boys that’s just so damn satisfying to note and I think they keep each other in check about this too, which is all the more awesome. I think this characteristic speaks of their own self-confidence, each of them, and shows just how self-assured they are in their craft and themselves, and I’ll tell ya something – in my book, confidence is sexy. Self-worth and humility mixed together? Mad appeal.
From the five episodes that’s aired thus far, I’ve had so many thoughts and realizations about the boys, new discoveries I suppose you could call it haha, on their personalities. For instance, I’ve always been attracted to Nam Taehyun frankly but when the fandom exploded with overflowing love and cult-obsession towards him (and one-fifth partner in crime, Song Minho) I never went that far. I understood and recognized his appeal, but couldn’t get behind the rabid fascination. Then WINNER TV happened and now I keep finding myself increasingly drawn to him – he’s indeed absolutely fascinating because he is just so damn sassy.
Here are some of the thoughts/observations or just internal gushing I have about each boy, in no particular order – I love them equally! -:
Kang Seung Yoon
- My favorite thing about Kang Seung Yoon is still his voice, but a second favorite is his maturity and depth. I am so, so glad that he is the leader because I think he is the most level-headed one in the group.
- One of his best leadership trait is how he leads – he’s not the in-your-face kind of leader. He understands that his role means he’s pushed to the limelight simply by default as the brand and face of WINNER, but he doesn’t hog all the attention. Instead, he’s the sort who’d stand behind the members, quietly and carefully pushing them forward and looking over them from a distance.
- I find his smartness appealing and an advantage to the group. His fluency in Japanese, for instance, reflects this.
- I do think he’s toned down on his 4D personality somewhat since being made leader, but I don’t find that a shame. I like it that he’s now even more aware and astute on when to be serious, and when he can goof around. Plus, it’s not like we see everything that takes place so I’m sure he’s still his oddball self off-camera.
- The dynamics between him and Taehyun are so much fun to watch! I don’t think they’re awkward around each other or that they’re not close – I think both of them just value personal space a lot, so when they room together they just do their own thing because well, they like it that way? That’s my guess, though I must say the rooming ordeal in the first episode was hilarious.
Lee Seung Hoon
- I admit I was largely indifferent about Seung Hoon in WIN: Who Is Next. I’ve said this before, I think he is talented but is constantly overshadowed by the others in the same craft; for instance, Mino‘s more powerful rapping skills and lyrics, Taehyun‘s stage presence and Jin Woo‘s uh, visual appeal.
- But he pleasantly surprised me, him in WIN: Who Is Next and WINNER TV which again, must mean the stress of the competition hit him really, really hard. He was quiet and careful in the former but here he’s awesome, funny and one-half of the Dumb & Dumber duo – so friggin’ endearing, I heart this boy so much now.
- This is what I think of Seung Hoon‘s role in the team, apart from choreographer and rapper: the stabilizer of the group. There’s something very reassuring about his presence and this especially translates when he’s with this group mates.
- Plus, he makes the best comebacks and retorts! Always so witty and sassy, but a different kind than Taehyun.
- I’m slowly starting to appreciate his dancing and choreography skills. Since I’m not a dancer/singer, I’ve no clue about this but now I look at him with newfound appreciation ha, because people who are more familiar with dancing seems to think highly of him. In my book, that means he must actually be pretty good, if not great.
- He is such a dork! But a really, really cute (and tall!) dork.
- Now he’s basically up there in favorites and as the fandom likes to think of him, it’s so true: “Lee Seung Hoon, ruining your biases one at a time”
Kim Jin Woo
- So WINNER TV confirmed my suspicion – he’s neither the brightest bulb, nor the most talented. However, he makes up for that with his earnestness, truly and wholeheartedly. There is… an innocence in his character and frankly I’m still surprised we’re the same age (I’m a cranky 22 year-old ha), and that he’s the oldest of the five boys.
- I don’t have a problem with his lack of sense of direction because I’m more or less the same way haha.
- In a group with overflowing individual talents, I do feel that even though we love him, at the back of our minds – okay, mine – I sometimes still ask, but what does he contribute to the team? Especially when the group is being marketed as singer-songwriters, producers whatever else and whenever they categorize who’s what… Jin Woo‘s name isn’t in any of them, so they try to play nice by stating things like “the visual” or “the balance” or whatever other useless terms.
- However, like I said before in an older Timeout, he’s proof that even if one lacks talent (compared to others, because it’s not like he’s a terrible singer), one can still succeed through hard work, passion and sincerity. I like that best about him.
- I am genuinely most surprised by him, when comparing his WIN: Who Is Next self and his WINNER TV self. He must’ve been REALLY affected by the show because he was quiet, timid and lacked presence in the show. In the latter though and I suspect this is his true self, he’s incredibly happy-go-lucky! Very simple-minded, but hey there’s nothing wrong with that.
- This dude, OMG he is HILARIOUS! Someone get him his own TV show, or get him on Kvariety stat!!
- I LOVE that he’s all of these: 1) a rapper teddy bear (he has a soft toy on his bed!), 2) a goofball, 3) the Dumber in Dumb & Dumber duo, 4) the mood maker and 5) the glue that connects all five boys to each other.
- He’s all that and more, of course, but these five points struck me the most time and again through WINNER TV. I liked him a lot in WIN: Who Is Next but now I officially love him and would love to be friends with him in Real Life, haha.
- Plus, this must be pointed out – how extremely cute is it that he keeps a diary?!! Jots in them everyday too, or seems like, and carries the tiniest notebooks with him, probably to write his lyrics whenever inspiration strikes.
- I love how he loves the camera, but isn’t narcissistic about it. He’s not trying to be all cool and swag on camera, because ironically or amazingly, he just ruins his image each time he’s on haha. Like in episode 5 when he wanted to model for the rest, but no one paid him any attention! Poor boy but gamely, he struck poses by himself and goofed around happily anyway.
- Love, love, love that he is a goofball. I can watch him pull stupid moves all day long haha, plus the expressions he make in the presence of food? No one messes with Minho and his food, yo.
- SO SASSY!
- This is what I think of him: an enigma. He’s fascinating because he’s all sass and chic, and it’s very obvious he’s embarrassed at just about everything and anything, like when the Dumb & Dumber duo strikes or when they’re required to pull fan service.
- But on occasions, suddenly we see sides of him we wouldn’t have associated with what we think we know of him. Like his gruffness and lacking-aegyo self, or my favorite is that he’s the youngest of the five but acts like he rules the roost.
- What’s even better? The four hyungs basically let him act however he pleases with and to them, ha.
- I am fascinated by him because he has flower-boy persona written all over his appearance and then bam! He has that tattoo of that graffiti artist, and his recent one, Stay Gold, strikes a chord with me because it is a throwback to one of the most defining young adult fiction, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. If he took inspiration from that – damnit Nam Taehyun, you’re slaying my heart here…
- He has attitude, plenty of that. I hesitate to call him a diva because I generally dislike that term, but he definitely has his moments. I always thought that Koreans are big on age, i.e. it’s a big deal who is younger and older, but this dude just struts his way and acts however he pleases to his hyungs, like when he screamed and pretty much ordered the rappers to quit talking and sit down in episode 4 and they… obligingly did so, hahaha OMG that was epic.
- In my opinion, based on what I see of him through WINNER TV, he obviously thinks highly himself i.e. has boatload of self-confidence. I thought so even when I watched him in WIN: Who Is Next, but now I know this for sure.
- What’s great is that he’s on his way to become an idol, i.e. he has an image, persona and whatever else to maintain but given his personality, he’s not about to listen on how to act and behave like another puppet in the entertainment world. Doesn’t mean he will act stupidly, but I think his sense of self is solid and even better, he’s strong-willed about keeping it that way.
- Finally, can we please talk about his handwriting – am I the only one who thinks it’s so… artistic? Has anyone noticed his signature for example, how it’s not fancy or cute or obviously tries to appeal, but just… as if lazily written, yet comes out looking like an artwork? Am I in too deep with this boy or this is true? Someone back me up here, haha.
Okay, there you have it, my loose thoughts and opinions or feedback after watching – on average, three times per episode haha – the first five episodes of WINNER TV. Thanks to the show, my Fridays (new episodes!) and Mondays (re-watch episodes with subs!) are now happy days.
This week’s episode looks very, very fun because of the WINNER/BIGBANG interactions but honestly I’m more excited about seeing them work on their début album – I’m hoping those photo shoot bits are for the new album, please be so! I just love seeing their dynamics when they’re busy at work, like when they’re in the studio or throwing ideas back-and-forth during brainstorming sessions.
Those were my favorite moments in WIN: Who Is Next so I hope in this second half of WINNER TV, the PDs will change gears and give us behind-the-scene glimpses of them working on their anticipated mini album, supposedly (but knowing YG…) coming our way in late February. I hope it’s true, but I’m keeping my expectations low.
WINNER boys, I heart y’all so, so much!