In the second of four retrospective articles, we recall some of the entertainment stories that caught our eye in 2015. We’ve left out a few of the more scurrilous stories.
Also, a few sad deaths of people outside the entertainment industry.
- Ode to My Father became the second-biggest box-office hit of all time, boosting tourism to Busan. Some criticised it for having a right-wing bias.
- Oh Dal-soo became the first Korean actor to draw 100 million moviegoers, thanks to appearances in The Attorney, Miracle in Cell 7, Thieves and Ode to my Father.
- Big Bang’s T.O.P got a Prudential Eye award for his contribution to visual culture and fellow band-mate G-Dragon collaborated in an exhibition at Seoul Museum of Art.
- Two young women were jailed for attempting to blackmail Lee Byung-hun.
- The debut single of 2NE1’s CL in the US lauded the virtues of a chilled fizzy drink. Her follow-up was to do with greeting female dogs.
- In the same week the Moranbong Band’s performances in Beijing were cancelled (depending on whom you believe, the DPRK were offended that Chinese attendance was downgraded because of the DPRK’s announcement that they had the H-bomb; or the girls were offended that the Chinese wanted to change the programme to exclude some of the paeans to the DPRK leadership), South Korean band Oh My Girl never made it through immigration at LA Airport. It was first reported that immigration barred them for apparently being sex workers, but subsequently it was because they didn’t have the right visa to do their planned impromptu performance.
- Celebrities under the age of 25 faced a ban from appearing in alcohol commercials.
- Korea Communications Standards Commission received complaints from viewers about a lesbian kiss in the TV drama Seonam Girls High School Investigators.
- Girls Generation topped the Billboard World Albums Chart with their album Lion Heart and rookies Red Velvet reached No 2 on the same chart with their debut album.
- The Wonder Girls relaunched themselves as instrumentalists as well as singers and dancers.
- IU was reported to be dating Jang Kiha, and Lee Min-ho and Suzy admitted they were seeing each other.
- Sulli left f(x) to focus on acting, and JYP’s boyband 2AM disbanded after two members left the agency.
- Min-a from girl group AOA set the record for slimmest pop idol waistline at an unhealthy 17.9 inches.