A sojourn through Dimple Couple @ Baidu produced this little gem of an article, which proved to be quite an interesting read, so I decided to do a quick translation from the Chinese translation to share. I am a little lazy to do the grey boxes hence am just hyperlinking to the thread on Baidu in case anybody wants to have a look at it.
The extracts of the article located at the top of the Chinese translation has been omitted because being a ‘highlights’ portion, it just repeats what was said below. The sentence structure of some parts have also been changed while translating to make for easier reading while retaining the original meaning of the sentences as a whole.
WGM’s PD Kim JunHyeon’s Revelation : Researching an Artiste’s Ideal Before Deciding a Match
What is the common factor between Alex and ShinAe, Crown J and Seo InYoung, Kim WonJoon and Park SoHyeon?
All couples that appeared in MBC’s ‘We Got Married’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘WGM’) became the topic of ‘real romance’ rumors after their appearances.
And what is the reason for them being frequent targets of such ‘love rumors’? We met up with WGM’s PD Kim JunHyeon at MBC’s Dream Center in Ilsan, Gyeonggi-do, and he said “The reason as to why people are able to find such ‘talking points’ is because WGM is a programme that runs on a ‘matching ideals’ model.”
The WGM production team, when deciding on new participants, will do research on the side on their targets’ ideal types. PD Kim said “Each participant is asked as to what their ideal partner should be like before a pairing is decided. No matter how good a pair looks standing next to each other, if they are not each other’s ideal, they will not be confirmed as a pairing.”
In fact, as a result of such research done by the production team, there have been cases where an initially favoured, ‘visually appealing’ pairing has been passed over due to a lack of match between their ideals. It also follows that Lee JangWoo and EunJung, LeeTeuk and Kang Sora, who are now appearing on WGM, all belong to types which are closest to the other’s ideal. It is also because of this that artistes who appear on WGM, unlike any other variety, tend to not leave immediately after filming ends. This is also why there are many beautiful occurrences happening which are unknown to others. PD Kim said “WGM couples tend to not have the mindset of leaving immediately after filming ends.”
The production team however also emphasizes that till now, none of these make-believe couples have transited into real ones. PD Kim said “Even though they are each other’s ideal, an act is still but an act. ‘Love rumors’ are just as the term describes: a ‘rumor’.”
Due to the level of comfort in which they are working together in, participants tend to have their own ideas on things. EunJung’s hidden camera special was something which Lee JangWoo prepared on his own. For MBC’s WGM, EunJung was brought onto the set of KBS2’s ‘Man of Honour’. PD Kim said “For us to be filming at the location where another company is shooting is something very difficult. Lee JangWoo specially persuaded the KBS crew for it, which was why everything turned out so beautifully.”
I fancy that the first reaction that people will get upon reading this is that they will start getting depressed over this “confirmation” over TeukSo not being real because the PD said that relationship rumours arising from WGM are simply rumours. I am not one to encourage over-active imaginations and neither am I supportive of the same, but I think that most detractors seem to have conveniently forgotten about the Gundam Couple, ie JunJin and Lee SiYoung, who had a short-lived but real relationship arising from their time on WGM. Real relationships can and have sprouted from WGM, just that it was not during PD Kim’s time at the helm.
That said, I am not about to say either that what PD Kim said is untrue. What he said is 100% true because the whole premise of WGM itself rests on the fiction of there being a marriage between two individuals. Fiction is fiction. The individuals appearing on WGM are NOT truly married and that is where the acting lies.
I would like to stress though, that this DOES NOT equate to WGM being scripted nor the happenings aired during the programme to being fake. They are two very separate things and I actually feel that the article supports the ‘non-scripted’ stance that viewers like myself have been taking. Simply put, if WGM were scripted, there would be no need for a matching of ideals between participants because all they would have to do is just act based on the script, and the most ‘visually appealing’ couple can be written into the show simply because there is no need for them to have to like each other to be on it. Why bother wasting time and resources doing background research on a person if that person’s opinions do not matter?
Further, if it was the case that WGM was scripted, things like EunJung on the ‘Man of Honour’ set for WGM would not have happened because, like the PD said, filming on the set of a rival station’s production is just difficult. Why would the WGM production crew agree to it if not for JangWoo having seen to things first, making sure that everything would be okay for EunJung to visit the set for WGM? For TeukSora’s case, Teukie’s ring presentation is the best example because who in their right mind in SM would agree to piss ELFs off by letting their Teukie oppa give Sora a ring in the middle of their (ELFs’) concert just because MBC said that they wanted it so? Nobody would. DC fans would have just gotten the backstage scenes between TeukSora and no epic “OMG!!” moment on tape if Teukie had not planned and executed the whole thing himself. And from what we saw post-concert, even his brothers had no idea of the stunt he was going to pull. So no. WGM is NOT scripted.
In any case, this article was also very interesting for me because it relates back to an older post which I wrote on Teukie’s observations about what was happening to his own feelings on WGM which he shared with ShinDong. From what PD Kim described with regards to people’s tendency towards post-filming loitering, I think it is clear that Teukie’s not the only one that suffers from the real/reel blurring, especially since it is now confirmed that the pairings are being made after matching each individual with his/her ideal. Which makes sense because if you are going to create a reality series based on the fictitious premise of a marriage, the two individuals involved have to have, at least, a very basic attraction for each other in order for it to work. This might sound a little convoluted, but the possibility of a real relationship has to be there for the fake one to exist. And what better way to do it then to pair them off with someone that matches their ideal?
Which brings me to my next point. During the year end special, both Teukie and Sora said that the other was not their ideal. Teukie said that Sora was not his ideal because she is tall and his expectations was for someone who was more petite. Sora said that she had no ideal type but I think she should have given some indication as to the type of guy which she prefers during the pre-pairing interview, and for whatever reason, Teukie somehow falls short of it. But, the fact that they did get paired means that they were the closest match to the other’s ideal so I think fans should rejoice in that.
Like I said before, I am not one to encourage illusions. But I will say this: WGM is, in itself, an opportunity for those who choose to participate in it. To put it crudely, it is almost like a dating service for celebrities who otherwise find it difficult to date either because they are too busy or find it tiring to hide under the radar while attempting to date. With WGM, they can date because it falls under the ‘work’ category and they need not hide because it is ‘work’. So the way I see it is that WGM presents, to both parties, the opportunity to really hit it off. As to whether it happens still depends on the parties themselves and whether they decide to pick up on it.
For TeukSora, I believe that the possibility is there but I also believe that steering of the direction in which that possibility goes lies mainly with Teukie. He is the one who has been more vocal and expressive about his positive feelings towards Sora, hence my gut feel that if anything, he will be the one who will take action. And I trust that if he does take action, he will see it all the way through to convince Sora that it is the right thing for the both of them. But he is also the one who has more expectations to manage and deal with because he is the idol. And of course, there is also the military service gap to think about as well, though I think chances are he will end up being 9-5 like Heenim. So if anything, even though it is primarily his decision to make, it will not be an easy one to jump into simply because of all the factors involved.
Which is also why I think the majority of WGM couples failed to transit into a real relationship not because of a lack of chemistry, but because there are just so many things to think about. Either that or they simply missed the chance by losing momentum after filming ended and fell out of touch with each other post-WGM. Gundam were, unfortunately, the exception and not the norm.
In any case, one shall just continue keeping an eye on both their following lists on Twitter to keep myself informed on how this develops. The both of them have proven to be quite adept in the ‘Delete’ and ‘Unfollow’ buttons so whether those get touched will probably be anybody’s best gauge as to how things are between them. For now, let us just continue to wish them well and hope for the best.