Overseas interest in domestic cultural content such as BTS, “Parasite” and “Kingdom” has increased more than ever. Recently, the country’s image has been improved by the prevention of coronavirus infection (COVID19). In the past, when describing Asian culture in the West, mainly Japan and China appeared, but Korean culture is often depicted with K-pop as the first.
“Troll: World Tour,” which will be released simultaneously to theaters and VODs on the 29th, has set K-pop as major genres such as pop and hip-hop. “Troll: World Tour” is a sequel to “Troll,” which was released in Korea in 2017, and is an animation depicting adventures in six troll villages. It features a variety of music-loving trolls, including rock, classical, country, punk, techno, hip-hop, smooth jazz, reggaeton and K-pop. Girl group Red Velvet has been cast as a K-pop troll character for “Troll: World Tour,” gauging the popularity of K-pop.
K-pop trolls, which matched their hair colors with the image colors of Red Velvet members, will showcase Red Velvet’s signature song, “Russian Roulette,” in the film. K-pop trolls, played by Red Velvet, will compete in music with reggaeton trolls played by Jay Balbin.
Released in January, “Spy Genius” is an animation depicting a team play between an agent who turned into a pigeon and an eccentric genius, and the main character Walter (Tom Holland) is depicted as a person who is deeply into Korean culture. In the scene where Walter experimented with his invention in the laboratory, girl group TWICE’s “KNOCK KNOCK” was played.
Nick Bruno and Troy Kwan, who directed “Spy Genius,” said they wanted to include a positive and uplifting song to reveal Walter’s bright personality, explaining why they chose TWICE’s song.
Following TWICE’s music, Walter says to his colleague, “This is the last episode of ‘Seoul’s Passion’ today.” “Seoul’s Passion” is Walter’s favorite fictional Korean drama in “Spy Genius.” Later, he is seen watching the final episode of “Seoul’s Passion,” all of the characters on the screen speak in Korean and draw attention as the typical ending of Korean romance dramas is depicted.
In the “Justice League” (2017), which features a large number of superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, the music video of girl group BLACKPINK appeared along with the song “As If It’s Your Last.” In the play, Batman (Ben Affleck) visits him to recruit Flash (Ezra Miller), and a music video of Black Pink’s “As If It’s Your Last” is playing on the monitor. Behind Batman’s serious face, the scene of Black Pink dancing in colorful costumes contrasts, drawing laughter.
Unlike the original Comics, Flash in the movie has been added as a K-pop fan. Ezra Miller, who played Flash, has revealed several times that she is actually a K-pop fan through various media outlets. In an interview video released ahead of the release of “Justice League,” Ezra Miller was also seen delighted to receive a Black Pink autographed CD. In addition to the film, the Black Pink song was used in American dramas, where “Whistle” was used as background music in the first episode of “The Bold Type.”
BTS, which has grown into one of the most influential groups in the world, has been mentioned in a number of foreign dramas and broadcasts. In 2018, the U.S. HBO drama “Silicon Valley” used BTS‘ “MIC Drop” remix as the background music for its official teaser for the season 5. The “Mike Drop” remix was participated by DJ Steve Aoki and rapper designers and is one of the songs that made BTS known in earnest in North America.
In the final episode ending, the drama “Uporia,” which aired on HBO in 2019, inserted BTS member Jungkook’s solo song “Uporia” as background music. Appearing in major scenes ending the season, “Uporia” played for about a minute, and immediately heated up SNS. Since then, major media outlets around the world, including the United States and Britain, have reported the news.
In addition, characters in the U.S. dramas “Nancy Drew,” “The Rookie” and “Team Cayley” mentioned BTS, drawing attention. In “Nancy Drew,” Charlie told his friends that he hid money under his bed for BTS. In “Team Cayley” season 2, a child expressed his fanhood on the sea, saying, “BTS Jin and Suga are both good, but I feel like I’m going to die when I meet Jungkook.”
In season 2 of “The Rookie,” Lucy asked the team watching the magazine at the hospital, “Who is your soulmate among BTS?” BTS, like other pop stars, can feel their status in the U.S. without any further explanation as a K-pop group from Korea.