Cutlural Differences in the 4th Wall

  • Apr. 5th, 2008 at 10:44 PM
naanima: ([Misc] Wanderlust)
Interesting meta post titled - The Long-Delayed Fourth Wall Meta. It discusses the crumbling 4th wall between fans and celebrities, and the possible repercussions of this disappearing wall.

As I said in my comment I find this topic unbelievably fascinating because this concern for the crumbling of the 4th wall seems to be a very western concept. Asian pop culture pander to their fans to the point that there don't seem to be an existence of the 4th wall; pop artists purposely play up the popular 'couples' within bands for their fans, fanfic and the love of m/m couples are so well known that they are often exploited for generating money and/or popularity on variety and talk shows.

Lately I have been saturated by Korean celebrities and their antics. After much viewing I have come to the conclusion that there is no 4th wall between fans and their favourite celebrities in the Korean entertainment industry. Celebrities are very open on television; embarrassing experiences are shared, sob stories come out, and an idea of their real personalities shines through. Stars share and let their vulnerabilities show, and fans latch on those moments with ferocity, creating a connection between them and their favourite celebrities.

There is a sense self-awareness on the parts of most celebrities, especially boy bands where the norm is to hug, pretend kisses (from certain angles they seem to be honestly going for it), and basically attempting to get fans (predominantly female) to scream out their little hearts. An example; Dong Bang Shin Ki parodied a scenario of a m/m fanfic about them in a short drama series, couple talks has been filmed and delivered in their official DVD release (they go so far as to use fan created acronym/shortened names to describe different couples). Super Junior members play kissing games with one another, pretend to kiss on national television, and fool around like romantic couples on camera. They know what they are doing, and they know there are fan followings based on a perceived closeness on the part of the fans, and they play it up to drive their fans to a near frenzy.

Both sides are quite aware of this; the Korean celebrities entertain their fans, love their fans, attempt to be truthful to their fans, and in turn their Korean fans love them, protect them and are the most organised and obsessive fans on Earth. There is a level of organisation on the part of the Korean official fan clubs that borders on the militaristic; presents for celebrities reaching 10s of thousand dollars, fan meetings that are regimented with booklets and schedules that your average OCD/perfectionist would kill to obtain, and a level of dedication to their icons that most dictators in the world would sell their soul for.

It is absolutely fascinating how differently the 4th wall is treated by western and eastern fans. I’d love to hear some feedback from people who are involved in RPS in both a eastern and western fandom.


naanima: (Default)
[personal profile] naanima
witty, somehow

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