Globalization/Delight: surprise Korean boyband cameo in Mexican telenovela

Posted in fandom, globalization/delight on March 7th, 2009 by Xiaochang Li – Be the first to comment

I’ve realized recently that I really do need a special category dedicated to the intersection of globalization and awesome. For the complex routes of global media flow occassionally spawn some of the many unexpected and strange (and I have add, because I’m a killjoy, not unproblematic) combinations. This past week, in particular, has been full of such surprises.

First was the discovery of the hugely popular Brazilian telenovela set in India, Caminho das Índias (Paths to India), which apparently features a “Portuguese pop song about sadhus” on it soundtrack. Then came the report about use of “Rising Sun” — a song performed by Korean super boyband Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK) — on the upcoming installment of the Fast and Furious franchise (though admittedly, the surprise here has less to do with the “global” element than the combination of car-chase action movie and, well, boyband).

But by far the most awesome and most surprising cross-cultural media pastiche was found in episode 97 of the Mexican telenovela, Mañanas es para siempre. In one scene, a character shows another their class photo from art school in Florence, Italy. The photo is a clearly photoshopped composite of random individuals, including one terribly familiar face:

surprise!: Junsu

For those who don’t follow Korean Pop music, that’s not just any other random Asian dude, that’s actually “Xiah” Junsu, of Korean Boyband and Asian supergroup, DBSK (And, not to mention, the star of two of my absolute favorite mobile phone ad campaigns — Samsung Anyband and Samsung Haptic Scandal). Whether the product of a fortuitious google image search or a stealth fangirl on the production crew, this is one of the most unexpected global media cross-overs I’ve ever encountered.

View the clip of the scene here.