To say k-pop is growing would be an understatement. After a series of uncertain strides, the genre has become a viral juggernaut thanks to social media and fandom culture. Bands like BTS and TWICE are thriving internationally and even being called South Korea's secret weapon. So, it is not surprising to learn about the BBC's interest in k-pop.
However, some may be taken back when they heard Radio 1 did a full-on documentary about the booming genre.
Late last week, the hugely popular BBC network released a documentary detailing all things k-pop. Adele Roberts dove deep into the fandom culture surrounding the ever-growing genre, and BTS found itself at the project's center.
The documentary, which can be watched above, gives a quick look at all the things which make k-pop, well, k-pop. From clothes to social media and choreography, Roberts and her team met with industry insiders to talk about the phenomenon that is k-pop.
Oh, and Radio 1 sat down for an interview with BTS to boot. No biggie.
While the rising k-pop group speaks humbly about their success, it is hard to look at all their achievements and feel letdown. BTS debuted back in 2013 under an unknown agency and has since become one of South Korea's most famous acts. Radio 1 details how the band's unique rise to fame is signaling a shift in how k-pop is received and how its fandoms embrace their top groups from around the world.
As you can imagine, k-pop fans were quick to react to the special documentary, and BTS lovers showed their support en mass. The group's fanbase, which is known as ARMY, turned to Twitter to rep their bias squad. And, as you can see below, fans were not afraid to gush over the global superstars.
"The most famous Kpop group in the world"January 19, 2018
"Over 5 million álbuns sold"
"#1 on itunes in over 65 countries"
"First Kpop group to break into UK top 50 & US top 30"
"over 30 million followers on social media"
Fans of BTS are happy to see the band get a shout out from BBC, but the fandom is also weighing the network's documentary carefully. The piece does explore all of the highlights of k-pop but also turns a careful eye to its pitfalls. Extensive oversight, cultural expectations, and strict management are all things idols deal with after they debut - and that is not even counting the countless hours they spend practicing.
For bands like BTS and EXO, their workload is an intimidating one that often goes unnoticed by the public. Making it to the top is one thing but staying there is a whole other game entirely, and the BBC's piece questions what it will take for k-pop's stars to maintain their status as the genre explores new heights in 2018.
What did you think about the BBC's coverage? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!