Previously, in a dad joke of an article, I proposed a few possible NCT units for giggles. Little did I expect to see SM Entertainment announce a super boy group featuring members from SHINee, EXO, and NCT. It’s practically NCT-SM. This sounds made up by a bunch of bored entertainment journos after one too many bottles of soju on a slow news day. I mean, fans of SM groups are easy to trigger. Why not just make shit up? Fulfilling their job KPI? Check. Getting a bunch of clicks from bored fans of SM groups? Check. Enjoying the thrill and excitement of causing mass hysteria? Check, check.
Enter me, the bored fan, taking the bait because it’s the weekend and that’s how I roll.
Now we have to wait since SM released a statement that they will release a statement in 6 days. Because statements that basically call for either a variation of “it’s true LeFou!” or “haha just kidding… unless?” need 6 whole days to be crafted.
Anyways. Since it’s already been established that I’m bored, let’s entertain the possibilities.
Statement 1: “It’s True, LeFou!”
Collaboration between older and newer groups isn’t exactly without any kind of precedence in SM. We had SM The Ballad and Younique back when EXO was just a wee bab. In a good ol’ case of [Jonghyun voice] deja boo, fans of older SM groups were just as miffed as some EXO-Ls are now by the idea of SM using their clout to promote their new babies NCT.
So… Why Are Fans of SM Groups Mad, Again?
It depends on who you ask. Some EXO-Ls are mad because it’s an accumulation of things gone wrong. This was released a week after a mostly unpromoted EXO-SC debut as well as barely promoted solo releases from Chen and Baekhyun. The lack of promotions for EXO-SC probably partly had something to do with the recent EXO concerts. Plus, SM was likely purely banking on Sehun and Chanyeol’s insanely competitive fanbases to come through. They must have figured that if Xunqis could afford to purchase advertisements on a plane, they could throw money in their direction without breaking a sweat.
This was all made worse by the fact that the news was released right after articles were published about SM Entertainment allegedly thinking of suspending operations at COEX Artium. Now, COEX Artium’s launch was basically SM flexing while attempting to provide a playground for fans of SM groups (and generate even more income). COEX closing down suggests that SM isn’t raking in enough profit, which then implies that SM is just using EXO and milking them for all they’re worth.
Older fans have said it already: all of this has happened before, and it will happen again. In a distant way, I get it. At the end of the day, it’s just business. Cash cows are there to be milked to allow newer ventures to grow. Of course, if we’re talking about the human side of it all, then that’s another story for another day.
Meanwhile, some NCTizens are mad because they’re worried that this will take away precious time and resources that could have been used to promote NCT members. Rumour goes that this new super boy group won’t interfere with their respective groups’ main activities. But SM hasn’t had that great of a record on that end either.
Shawols are probably tired at this point because it’s been mostly EXO-Ls and NCTizens making the most noise on Twitter. Can’t fault them if they’re thinking: “lol I told you so”.
Statement 2: “haha just kidding… unless?”
There’s that equally high likelihood that SM Entertainment flakes on us at the last minute and goes “haha sike it’s honestly not that different from Younique, we’re just wrapping it up in a different package with an equally ugly name”. In a lot of ways, NCT isn’t really all that different from other SM units except for the fact that comebacks are more frequent. And that NCT is a boy-only event. And that you will find fans leaping at each other’s throats because their favourite NCT unit hasn’t had a comeback and their bias is languishing away in the dungeon.
At the end of the day, though, f(x) is on life support and none of this truly matters.
But low-key I’d still take NCT-M(ark Lee).