Are you ready? In our third installment of watching ‘Real miss A,’ Jia takes us on a business trip to China. We watch as Jia kills time waiting for an interview, eating sunflower seeds and telling stories. We watch her interact with fellow celebrities. But the question we keep asking ourselves during every episode of Real miss A is why this moment? Why these particular scenes? What do these few minutes tell us about Jia? We’ve seen Suzy buying hats in London, Min drifting around JYP headquarters, and now we have Jia on a business trip in China.
Well, the Chinese connection seems obvious, at least. Jia, if you don’t know, originally began as a trainee in China for the (unofficially named) group, Sisters, along with Fei. The group was considered a Chinese version of Wonder Girls, but after several member changes, plans for debut were canceled. Jia and Fei joined miss A instead, and the rest is history. Jia, or Meng Jia, is now one of the best known Chinese celebrities in Korea.
So that connection seems obvious. Even if we’re not witnessing much (all we see is fog!), we’re being asked to make a connection to Jia’s heritage, her origins. Jia interacts with several Chinese celebrities during the episode, and each one good-naturedly tries to interact with the camera through obvious language barriers. In fact, their attempts at speaking Korean are just bad enough to remind us exactly how impressive it is that Jia has so easily taken Kpop (and Korea) by storm.
But more than heritage, I think what sets Jia’s episode apart from the others is one very important thing: intimacy. We spend the majority of the episode in bed with Jia!
Let me explain. As an audience, viewing Jia through the lens of her camera, our perspective becomes that of a partner resting on the opposite side of the bed. Without a doubt, it’s an unbelievably intimate experience. So much more so than Suzy or Min’s episode. Jia truly invites us in to her life. She does it without much artifice, without any hint of awkwardness. Jia talks directly to the camera, asking if we, too, like eating sunflower seeds. She eats them in front of us without embarrassment. Jia reveals that she loves the sound of sunflower seeds being eaten, that she could write a song about that particular beauty. It’s the kind of intimate detail you only expect to learn of someone you know extremely well. Jia offers this all to us without hesitation. And we are grateful.
In episode three, and for the first time in the series, I feel like Real miss A is living up to its name. This feels like the real Jia! Which also makes this the best episode so far. Forget driving through London. Forget wandering through JYP headquarters. If you’re looking for “real,” then you’re looking for Jia’s take. Buy yourself a pack of sunflower seeds, and press play. It might be the closest to an idol that you’ll ever feel.
Zander Stachniak is a southern-born, Chicago-based writer who first discovered Kpop through ShoutCast Radio. His biases are f(x) and Block B.