Episode two of Real miss A follows Min as she gives a tour of the JYP Center. The premise of these short episodes is to show the individual members of miss A in their regular, mundane lives in the most authentic way possible. You can guess what Min's real interests are by what she chooses to film: Being an Idol. The JYP Center gives us a glimpse of that idol life.
The JYP Center is cavernous, with many stairs and hallways. She takes us to one of the recording studios, one of the training rooms, she even annoys G.Soul for the betterment of the video ("Would you like stop," he says, flatly, as she films him upon arrival). The video is aimless, which may be the point of these vignettes - to show these stars unscripted - to gauge their "real" personalities when they're not under the limelight.
When we looked at last episode with Suzy, I wondered if this show could really have authenticity, especially in light of Suzy's relationship revelations and the secrecy behind such an important aspect of her life. But Min is not the girl the next door. She does not hold the title of the Nation's First Love. Min's life could very well be one devoted to miss A and to being an idol. You can tell by the way she scans one of the rooms for miss A's albums. She focuses in on the pyramid Hush - "That is...!" she exclaims, and there is pride there, unmistakably. Dedication. The camera stays on Hush, like a proud parent filming their baby's first words.
Min has always been an interesting figure for us at Critical Kpop. It came as no surprise to us when it was heavily rumored that Min would be getting a solo debut last year (rumors that proved to be unsubstantial, thanks AllKpop). We didn't even doubt the rumors, though we should have, considering the source. Instead, we had to make due with a few fun, racy dance covers of Beyonce songs.
There was Partition (goodness!)
What's interesting with these covers is certainly not that Min did a few Beyonce covers - but that she posted the videos on her own private account, and that the videos were made with a sophistication and quality beyond most choreography videos that we see produced of Kpop idols (that of a single cam in a practice room). Usually videos like these are made by newer idols that are trying to stake their claim in the business, or by fans who wish to emulate their favorite stars. At this point of her career, Min has very little to prove, so one can reach the conclusion that she made these videos for her fans, because she herself is a fan. A fan of pop, a fan of the industry. A fan of music and dance (and slaying, maybe).
Min made these videos for fun (and maybe because she was bored) and that's saying something about Min's love for being an idol. While others may become idols to land CF's or transition to movie roles, Min is exactly where she wants to be. Which is not say she won't do variety shows or act in dramas, but that they are more like perks to being an idol instead of the final reward.
Though one cannot be sure, it seems clear that Min loves being an idol and loves being in miss A. That's why she shows us the JYP Center, plays piano for us. And when she tells us that she'll work hard for this comeback, I'm inclined to trust her above anyone else. In miss A, or other groups as well.
So, yes, the second episode of Real miss A is as boring and aimless as the first. But we are getting something essential about these idols, sometimes even despite themselves. Though we have considered Suzy's perception as the Nation's First Love and her real identity, there is no mistaking Min. Being an idol is essential to, and quintessential of, who Min truly is.
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.