Netflix’s Take 1: K-pop is harder than it looks
A reality show that brings new perspectives on Korean singers
WHEN we think of the culture surrounding the Korean music scene, one of these few things come to mind; the fame and fortune, the body shaming, or just pretty girls and boys who got lucky being ‘found’. However, what we rarely see is the full process that they take from point A to point B.
Sure, there are documentaries made on K-Pop stars. To name one, Blackpink: Light Up the Sky, which was trending when it first came out on Netflix in 2020. But Netflix’s October release, Take 1, opens the door for Korean music fans to be exposed to a different side of these stars.
Featuring artists from various music genres like opera, pop, rock and soul, Take 1 brings a fresh perspective on the Korean music scene to its audience.
The concept of this Netflix reality show is to allow artists the opportunity to perform the performance of their life. “If you could perform just one stage before you die?” The catch? They can only choose one song, and will only have one take; no do-overs, no second chances, no editing.
Grammy-award-winning opera singer Sumi Jo. – Netflix pic
Among the seven episodes, the common thread among all the featured artists is their drive and desire to break boundaries and push themselves to greater heights.
Grammy-award-winning opera singer Sumi Jo bridged cultures when she incorporated Korean traditional music into Western Opera in episode one. Brother-sister duo AKMU highlighted the vast artistic talents by making the impossible possible.
Rain (Jung Ji-Hoon) proved to the world that nothing is impossible with hard work over time. Rock ballad singer Yim Jae-beom reminded us that artists are still human and go through very human struggles like depression.
And these are only a few of the hair-raising episodes within the whole series; each episode peels back the layers and shows the world what being an artist truly entails beyond the glitz and glam.
What makes Take 1 so special is not the insight into this exclusive industry, but the showcasing of the artists’ tenacity, persistence, and creative genius that they go through to deliver art and entertainment to the mass audience.
With each artist, a new vision, concept and aspiration take place; and with the artists being the brain behind the whole operation, their artistic flare and virtuosic talents are put in the limelight.
Girl group Mamamoo was formed in 2014. – Netflix pic
One episode that highlights the talents of these artists is when one half of AKMU, elder brother Lee Chan-hyuk, had the vision of creating an almost impossible music video/ stage with three different settings, 100 dancers, and skydivers.
Keep in mind that this is a one-take recording. No editing, no second chances and no do-overs.
The level of precision and synchronisation required left no room for error; sure they were able to test things out before D-day, but nothing was certain, especially when Lee Chan-hyuk wanted the skydivers to land at a specific place and time.
Moving from one set to another while still having the breath and energy to sing, ensuring that all hundred dancers were in sync, making sure that each camera switched and moved accurately; all aspects that could potentially go wrong.
Beyond just the logistics and the production process, each of these artists had an emotional aspiration upon partaking in this journey. One that particularly stood out was the episode with rock ballad singer Yim Jae-beom.
A heartbroken artist who went on hiatus upon his wife’s death, Take 1 became Yim Jae-beom’s gateway to coming back again and working through his emotional obstacle.
From something as fundamental as getting a haircut, to warming up his singing voice, I would say that this was the most emotional episode among the bunch.
Take 1 is not the type of reality show that brings you the drama, but it sheds a light onto the often negatively portrayed industry.
source – The Vibes