Published on January 7th, 2014 | by porninja0
Why WINNER TV is a winner in our eyes
For a group that hasn’t even made their official debut yet, we sure do see the boys of WINNER on our screens a lot. Previously know as Team A during YG‘s survival reality show WIN: Who is Next, Seungyoon, Seunghoon, Mino, Jinwoo and Taehyun went on to walk away at the end of the tenth episode as winners — in more ways than one.
Having premiered last year on December 13 on cable channel Mnet, WINNER TV seems to be a natural progression that many fans have already come to expect from the group, seeing as fellow YG Entertainment artists 2NE1 and BIGBANG also had TV series of their own (see Big Bang TV and 2NE1 TV). It mainly follows the boys in the lead up to their official debut, of which the date is still up in the air (although YG has announced that it will likely be next month).
WINNER TV has aired a total of four episodes so far (out of ten) and what I like best about it is how the PDs are able to take something so small and trivial and blow it up into 45 minutes worth of entertainment. I’ll explain what I mean…
Let’s sum this up into reasons why you should be watching WINNER TV (spoilers included):
1. It keeps you on the edge of your seat
We begin WINNER TV in Japan as the boys brace themselves for their first official performance as WINNER, serving as the opening act for BIGBANG’s Dome Tour. The show may be loosely plotted but right from episode 1, we get a sense that this show would be anything but boring.
The boys manage to turn the most mundane activity–picking their hotel rooms–into a fun game that actually gets me all excited and eager to find out the outcome. They’re told that they’d be given two rooms and one by one they’d take the escalator up and choose one of them. If no one else ends up choosing the same room, then they’d get that one room all to themselves while the other four squeeze into another. Sounds like a good enough prize to me. But of course, luck is never on anyone’s side and somehow, the three oldest (and noisiest) members end up in one room, leaving the two maknaes in the other. What’s interesting to note is how there seems to be a certain tension between 94-liners Seungyoon and Taehyun, which is understandably played up even more by the PDs.
2. You can’t help but root for the boys
Even though I started out being firmly biased towards Team B when WIN was airing, I ended up loving the other Team A members just as much. It probably has a little something to do with their undeniable charm and how they appeared as the underdogs. But now that they’ve won their first battle, the real one has begun as they step foot into the k-pop scene and will soon join the ranks of other rookie groups once they make their debut.
In episode 2, Taehyun and Seungyoon accept the challenge to busk on the streets of Shibuya in order to earn enough to afford a pair of couple tees, which they’d then wear to pose for sticker photos. When you watch the two struggle to capture the attention of their disinterested public, throwing in their own coins into their sad empty guitar case and singing and performing to an audience comprised mainly of three fangirls, it’s easy to sympathise with their predicament. At the same time, their wide-eyed awe each time they spot fans, whether it’s at the concert venue, in the streets of Japan, or even at the airport, it’s the look of people who still can’t believe they’re actually living their dream–it gets me right in the heart.
3. Getting to know the dynamics within the group as well as their personalities
After getting the roommate situation settled at the start, we then get acquainted with maknae line made up of Seungyoon and Taehyun. Both appear to be the more quiet and serious members of the team so it’s definitely interesting to watch their relationship develop over time. Within the other three older members, rappers Mino and Seunghoon seem especially close, probably due to their roles in the group as well as their similar extroverted and warm personalities.
Jinwoo, on the other hand, is an absolute revelation as we get to know a whole different side of him that we didn’t see much of on WIN. There, he was overshadowed by the others and is unfortunately probably remembered mostly as the teary-eyed nervous wreck who messed up JYP‘s lyrics in front of JYP himself. His screen time was minimal in comparison to some of the others so nothing could have prepared me for the ball of energy that he turned out to be. He’s smiley and full of natural aegyo, and has such an endearing personality. Through the episodes, we get to see how big-hearted he is and how despite being the eldest, he’s the type you can’t help but want to take care of–as demonstrated by his members’ worry when he sets off on his own in the second episode. Unsurprisingly, the guy’s not very good when it comes to directions, getting lost a bunch of times in Japan and somehow turning a ten-minute journey to Tokyo Tower into a three-and-a-half hour one. Ha.
4. The loyalty between the members
In episode 3, Taehyun confesses to being the member with the least amount of aegyo and because he doesn’t talk much, he feels like he makes the others uncomfortable…which makes him the perfect person to pull this next prank. At night, the PDs call Taehyun aside and tell him about their plan to have him go to the restaurant next door (since the members are not allowed to leave the hotel) and lie to the members, texting them one by one to tell them that he’s drunk a little too much and also forgot his wallet, and hyung, could you please come down and pay my bill without letting the rest know?
He predicts that Jinwoo would probably come without a doubt, Mino would stay where he was and Seungyoon would do the leader thing and report to the staff. Therefore it comes as a big surprise to him when all the members he’d texted actually ended up going to him without a second’s thought, moving Taehyun to tears at one point. Particularly touching is how Seungyoon, who’d Taehyun had initally thought would be the first to blow up, showed up promptly in his usual gruff manner and even wavered at the sight of Taehyun’s tears. On top of that, when he’d gotten caught by the PD on his way out, he’d lied and said that Taehyun was back in his room, sleeping. Awww.
5. You’ll laugh out loud
And finally, what’s a show without some laughs? Not knowing that the PDs and Taehyun are in another room watching his movements on a big screen, Seungyoon (who was alone in his room) had put on a jacket, making everyone panic before the plan had even been set in motion…except it turned out that instead of stalking out the hotel room to find Taehyun like they’d thought, he was actually dressing in the clothes he planned to wear the next day and proceeded to model outfit after outfit, striking silly poses and flexing. Hilarious. There’s also a cute bit where Mino, Jinwoo and Seunghoon were watching Answer Me 1994 and discussing whether the two leads had gotten together yet and getting giggly during a confession scene.
And in true Jinwoo-style, he not only gets lost sneaking out of the hotel to save Taehyun in episode 3, he also gets caught by the PD on his way out. He ends up following them to a convenience store and filming for the cameras before pretending to head back to the hotel, and sneaking out once again, only reaching Taehyun a full thirty minutes later.
Watch the Episode 1 of WINNER TV (the rest of the episodes can be found here):