Thoughts on Psy’s New MV “Gentleman”

psy gentleman korean

Last night Psy released his new music video, and, like people expected, it’s a follow-up to Gangnam Style.

I listened to the leak of this new song, called “Gentleman”, before the MV came out for it. Actually, it was better than I was expecting. It’s pretty catchy and seems to be some kind of cross between “Gangnam Style” and the “Harlem Shake”.

However, when it came to the video….

I thought the use of the dance from the song “Abracadabra” by the Brown Eyed Girls was okay, since it is arguably the most well-known dance in Korea, and Gain was there to represent the group.

However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that they were afraid to move too far away from “Gangnam Style” because of it’s previous success. They had the same characters though-out the video. A large part of the dance was one that was already popular. I also got the impression that they were trying a bit too hard, I mean, it just felt a lot more obnoxious than “Gangnam Style”. In “Gangnam Style”, things either seemed random, or poking fun, however, in “Gentleman”, it seems like they were just throwing stuff in because it was expected, like the elevator guy outside the window. He seemed random and funny in the first video, but in this one, he seemed to be there just because he was before.

So, is Psy selling out and just going to cater to the public now, or is he simply doing the complementary follow-up that people were expecting before he moves on to more creative things? We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Besides that, I just couldn’t love the video.

My first impression was, “Wow, this has a lot of that slapstick/physical humor that I’ve heard Asian countries generally seem to like.” I’m not really into body humor and stuff, but it was okay. Some of it was amusing, like when he pushed up on the coffee mug when the girl was getting a drink. It was mean, but nothing terrible.

However, I soon grew uncomfortable when he sexually harassed that woman around 1:20.

Yes, yes, I understand it’s trying to branch off of “Gangnam Style”‘s schtick, where he’s actually the opposite of what he’s labeling himself as. In “Gangnam Style”, it was that he thought he was high-class when he really wasn’t. Maybe “Gentleman” is trying to say the same thing, but I feel it actually seems to be saying he thinks he’s a gentleman when he’s actually a jerk, (compared to “Gangnam Style”, his character was pretty mean here).

Though maybe instead of thinking he’s a gentleman when he’s a jerk, it’s more like, he’s a complete jerk but refers to himself as a gentleman, which is really not very amusing. Why? Because there are people like that in the real world and we have to deal with them. I just didn’t find it comedic to see him ganging up on a woman to humiliate her by dragging her to the ground with that other guy in that restaurant, or worse, untying a woman’s bikini top. It was supposed to be funny, but it just made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t bad enough for me to hate the whole video, but I couldn’t really like it either.

It would’ve been nice if something had been done to balance it all out in the end, but, like “Gangnam Style”, he gets the hot girl. I suppose, (if you can actually get a moral out of a Kpop video), the lesson of both videos is to keep being yourself even if it’s bad, living in your own little reality, because somebody out there is sure to find you attractive.  However, while it’s an okay message in “Gangnam Style”, (I mean, he was just silly in that one; he wasn’t hurting anyone), I don’t think it’s something that should be sold to d-bags like he portrayed in “Gentleman”.

That’s just my personal impression though. What did you guys think of it?


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