Over the past decade, K-pop and K-dramas become more and more popular outside of Korea with every passing year. As a matter of fact, 2015 is considered to be the best year for both, along with Korean culture in general, since 2009. Veteran groups like Girls’ Generation, Big Bang, EXID, and 2NE1 made either strong comebacks or stage returns, some after situations and scandals from the previous year. There were more successful K-dramas that averaged over ten percent in viewership ratings, including Pinocchio, Punch, Mrs. Cop, Producer, She Was Pretty, and of course, Yong Pal. Finally, both K-pop and K-dramas were factors in Hallyu Wave’s influence, thanks to international news sites dedicated to both, YouTube (for making K-pop music videos internationally accessible), and both DramaFever and Viki (for making K-dramas internationally accessible).
Apparently, K-pop and K-dramas (or the Hallyu Wave in general) are getting so big internationally, mainstream media and entertainment are starting to take notice. Some of it is good, like Emma Stone being a Blackjack (fan of 2NE1) or Justin Bieber specifically admiring CL. However, some of it can be bad, such as the multiple allegations Taylor Swift infringed on K-pop for her music videos. In this recent case, it is either or, as popular American cartoon show Family Guy featured the Hallyu Wave, where they specifically featured Sistar and parodied Hyuna. Though many K-pop fans found it entertaining, many others found it to be insulting.
For those who did not watch this episode of Family Guy, titled “Candy, Quahog, Marshmallow,” Peter, Quagmire, Joe, and Cleveland binge-watched a K-drama. Unfortunately, they were not able to finish it because they were unable to find the VHS tape containing the last episode. As a result, all four of them decide to go to South Korea to get the final episode. Once landing there, they discover K-pop, eat Korean food, drank soju, and did other things many fans dedicated to the Hallyu Wave want to do.
AllKpop detailed specific parts of the episode that featured or parodied K-pop acts. The first is when an edited cut of Sistar’s music video for “Touch My Body” was shown when Quagmire’s Korean girlfriend tells the other guys to watch K-pop music videos while she prepares dinner.
The second is when Peter, Joe, and Cleveland try to convince Quagmire to come back home to the United States. They do this through a parody and satirical cover of Hyuna’s music video, “Bubble Pop.” Within it, multiple other K-pop groups were referenced, including KARA, Girls’ Generation, Crayon Pop, miss A, f(x), Orange Caramel, Psy, EXO, and 2PM. Popular K-variety show Running Man was also referenced.
Apparently, many K-pop and K-drama fans did not appreciate how Family Guy portrayed both. They did not even like how the episode portrayed the fans in general, despite the fact all the negative parts were meant to be taken as satire. KpopStarz report that many fans took to Twitter to criticize Family Guy and the episode’s mockery of the aforementioned.
What many are failing to realize, or outright ignoring, is that Family Guy is known for being satirical to pop culture in general. They’ve made parodies of other shows like Big Bang Theory and The Walking Dead. Let’s not get started on what they did with the Star Wars Franchise. Still, such an aggressive stance by K-pop and K-dramas’ hardcore fandom should probably be expected, given the nature of any hardcore fandom in general. Just look at other hardcore fandom groups today or in the past to truly understand. Every popular boy band comes to mind.
For K-pop and K-drama fans who want to see this Family Guy episode but missed it, it is (or will be) available to watch on paid streaming sites like Hulu and Netflix. As for watching it for free, it is possible to find official tidbits on YouTube.
[Image via Sistar/Facebook]