As you must have known, miss A is readying for their comeback which means JYP Entertainment is readying their promotional materials, which means we get a close look at the lives of one of our favorite girl groups in these mini-episodes that follow each individual member in ordinary activities.
And, of course, the first episode follows Suzy, known colloquially as the Nation's First Love. With that in mind, JYP cued the hearts and fantasies of South Koreans and Kpop fans the world over by titling the episode: "A Music Date with Suzy." This episode was posted on YouTube days before the news broke of Suzy and Lee Min Ho's relationship, making the video and its title seem oddly (or worse, appropriately) placed as the country reels from this new realization. Now we must ask ourselves: How does one perceive the Nation's First Love...when that person happens to be in love?
You can tell just from the name of the program that Real miss A is striving for authenticity. The mundane, even. This is the idol you thought you knew living their lives much like you live yours. Suzy struggles with the camera, to the top left of the screen we even have: REC.
This is Suzy, unfiltered. Suzy, the sun hitting against her face. Suzy in London, with her management team. Suzy with her camera is talking to you. As the title suggests, this is our long-imagined date with Suzy.
And it's...boring. Boring in that way relaxed relationships can be - when the comfort level is high and the stakes are relatively low. Suzy may just fit the title of Nation's First Love perfectly because she has the ability to mesmerize and put at ease simultaneously. There's an undeniable appeal to that and to Suzy's unique charisma. She may not be the most talented idol (though she does have tremendous talent), or even the most glamorous, but there's a reason she's also been known as the CF Queen. She can make a person nostalgic for a past that may never have existed. Suzy stirs a collective feeling of longing. She makes the perfect spokesperson because when would the girl next door ever lie to you? So buy already.
But that is the idea of Suzy - or, the Nation's ideal of Suzy. That's why we can watch, undisturbed, as Suzy calmly plays songs from her smartphone, jokes with her crew, views the drab sites of London, bored but content. This is Suzy being real with us, and, don't forget, we're on a date.
And then, miracle of miracles, Suzy gets out of the car. She lets us follow as she talks with herself (or us?) and even screams when it gets too cold. And then Suzy takes us to a vintage shop where she decides between some hats.
What do you think? This hat?
Or this one?
Suzy ultimately chooses neither, as she wouldn't have time to wear one of them and we are rudely interrupted with the video's end.
These episodes are little peeks into the lives of miss A and are meant more to create excitement for their upcoming comeback (which we are immensely excited for) instead of providing any revelations of our favorite stars. We are not ones to expect something really real in the Real miss A. But one can imagine. What if, instead of Dispatch revealing the relationship, we could have gotten Lee Min Ho and Suzy together, in London (yes, he was in London then too!), casually sharing a bowl of tomato soup, shrugging their shoulders when a crew member asks how their day is going. What if our favorite idols didn't have to pretend that their hearts belonged just to the nation? And what if it's true, as some wise girls once said, that they do not need a man? When they actually have a man must scorn inevitably follow?
Fortunately, besides the initial shock, the reaction over Suzy and Lee Min Ho's relationship has been relatively tame in comparison to, say, Taeyeon and Baekhyun's scandal or Sulli tied with anyone. For that, we should be grateful, as miss A's comeback will not be stalled - Suzy and Lee Min Ho will not have to apologize to their fans, faces mired in shame.
Still, this "scandal" is not without repercussions. Initially, JYP's stock took a significant hit over the news of Suzy's relationship, which makes sense because Suzy makes JYP tremendous money. The stock has since bounced back, but that concern remains. If the fantasy of being the Nation's First Love dies, what will fans make of the proverbial girl next door? Though fans may be light on condemnation, they may respond by holding onto the only real causality of this relationship: Money.
Timothy Moore writes from Chicago. He blogs at Read My Blog Please, and edits at Ghost Ocean Magazine. His biases are T-ara, Block B, Nine Muses, Brown Eyed Girls, and Girl's Day.