The Farewell of Goo Hara: A Look at the Eighth Episode of 'Hara On & Off'

Episode 8 Hara On & Off

*You can read about our look at other episodes of Hara On & Off here

This is it: the final episode of Hara On & Off: The Gossip, and we return to our little "DVD extras" segment that started with last episode, with Goo Hara sitting with her managers, commenting on the show and their adoration for each other. The misgivings I had with the show ending in this format continued with episode eight, except here we're given more substance from the managers, most notably the dance sequence one of the managers has with Goo Hara that is just about perfect.

Manager Goo Hara Dance

The rest of the episode is devoted to the production team's top three picks for best moments of the show, with, of course, Hara's tearful reaction to the fan video in episode six getting the top spot (which I probably would have picked too). And with Hara's own picks, which are telling for their own lack of auspiciousness.

3. Hara's interaction with her cats, Pico and Chacha

Cute Cats Goo Hara

In which we get a clip of them squeezed together in a cage looking vulnerable and cute. This makes sense that Hara would pick a moment with them, since she considers her cats family. But this moment?

2. Hara's selfie stick

Goo Hara Selfie Stick

In which we get various clips of Hara using her "selfie stick" (though it's not quite a selfie stick somehow), with Hara constantly complaining about the weight of holding the camera, and having to film so much to fill up eight episodes (really six, Hara).

1. The "Eating Broadcast"

Goo Hara Eating

In which we get a montage of Goo Hara, international idol, eating. The show has aired this "Eating Broadcast" in various episodes and somehow feels compelled to make it more humorous and engrossing then it actually is. But idols are people. And people gotta eat.

Those are Hara's picks, and one strains to wonder why she picked these three aspects of her life instead of, let's say, when she cried with her fans or her solo performance in Japan. Something of substance, something worth remembering. But maybe that's just it. What could be worth remembering for Goo Hara are those quiet, unremarkable moments. Of playing with her cats, complaining about a camera's weight, or eating, just taking the moment to enjoy some good food. With her hectic life, moments of quiet could be more valuable than gold.

And really, those moments make the show so worth watching. If I had to pick my three favorite "scenes," my focus would undoubtedly turn to those moments of quiet, when Hara has time to unwind, when she could rest that performative side of her, sit the heavy camera by her side and film her watching a movie, washing her cat, or cleaning her house. I would enjoy these moments over the framing interviews, or her adventures in Japan, or even her interactions with the other members of Kara. Hara, being Hara alone is endlessly fascinating. Seeing anyone alone, freed from the performance of their lives, is always compelling.

Hara Goodbye

But Hara isn't really alone here, is she? We're watching and we've been invited to watch. And Hara knows what we'd watch. This show has been skillfully edited. So can we really say we've seen Hara being Hara? Or has she given a performance for us too? What I'm trying to ask is: Have we really seen Hara On & Off?

Who can say? But what I do know is that I'm going to miss watching and writing about this program. And that when Hara says goodbye to her audience, in her farewell address to the camera, alone in bed, I want to say goodbye too, and I feel a melancholy here as the show ends.

So long, Hara.







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.


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