Oh boy, story time. see what I did there
I had no plans to follow these boys. I checked out How Old R U when it was released but purely for giggles. Of course I saw they were incredibly talented, but overall I just thought, okay, JYP's weird Chinese partnerships, whatever. Fast forward to mid-October and I'm super stoked for Stray Kids, right? So I see this clip on Twitter of Felix hugging/carrying one of the Boy Story members, and I'm all aww at it.
And somebody in the Twitter comments was nice enough to point out that the member was named Xin Long. So in early November, I gave How Old R U a second watch, just to try and pinpoint him. I realized he was the main? dancer of the group. Seems that way, since he got that nice dance solo near the end. So again, I just thought, okay cool. Still had zero plans to follow them in any way.
This past weekend, I'm at my older sister's house hanging with my nieces, who are 13, 11, and 7, and all three are obsessed with BTS. They have been since late 2016 after discovering them through some cousins. I've always had... shall we say, some reservations with just how into BTS they are, since not all of the group's thematic content is kid-friendly. It ventures into dark/sexy/brooding/existential/etc., so I was always like eh... some aspects of BTS are definitely too mature for them at this stage in their lives. But whatev, I'm not their mom, so it wasn't my place to police it.
So there we are in the living room, watching random K-pop videos (not just BTS, but GOT7, TWICE, etc.) and we get to a lull where we've exhausted all the songs/artists that they know and like. So I'm going, hmm, who can I introduce to them that would be age-appropriate? I'm thinking, who's the youngest group in K-pop? NCT Dream? The East Light? So we watch one East Light MV and the girls seem interested, so they're all, "Any more?" And finally, I remember Boy Story. I went, "Oh! These boys are actually your age! And they're Chinese, but they train in Korea. At JYP."
"Where GOT7 is from?" says the 7-year-old. And I'm so proud after hearing that, I'm like, "YES! Gold star for you!" I actually put on "Can't Stop" first, since it was brand new and I hadn't seen it yet, so it would be a first watch for all of us.
The MV starts and right off the bat, the boys are killing it with the choreo, so my nieces are just . They were so riveted, it was like they had never seen any other groups. I'm jamming along, trying to narrate helpfully wherever I can, i.e., "I think the tall one is 13? And the shortest one is 10. And all the others are somewhere in between." They don't say much other than "wow" and "whoa," but finally, around the second chorus, the 11-year-old, Heidi, snaps out of it and goes, "Oh my god, this is actually affecting me!"
Then she and the 13-year-old, Emma, immediately jump into deconstructing their newfound bias group.
Emma: "I like the one who was doing martial arts, he was cool."
Heidi: "I like all of them. No wait, I think my favorite is the one in the sunglasses."
Emma: "I feel like such a potato now."
Heidi: "I know, right?"
Emma: "Why can't the boys I know be like this?"
Heidi: "I KNOW, RIGHT?!"
I'm howling with laughter by this point and I start going, "Heidi got bias-wrecked by a 12-year-old!!!!" And, "Aw, is BTS going to be your second favorite now?" Because yes, I'm the messy, tactless Auntie. #noshame
Anyway, song ends and all three of them are in a fangirl daze, so I just go, "Wanna see their other video?"
And off we go, How Old R U starts. They like that one much more, since it's brighter lighting and they can see all the members clearly. Just the song, too, is a lot more melodic, so they're jamming along, totally smitten. We follow it up with the dance practice, and then clips of the boys having fun/training/in their dorm, etc. And that's how we ended up watching every English-subbed Boy Story video on YT, I'm not even joking. I learned all their names, their ages, their general personalities, the whole deal. I guess this makes me the equivalent of a fanmom?
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad my nieces can stan someone their own age, and I don't have to be concerned about anything too mature/suggestive coming from them. I just never thought I would get to know a group like this so well, to the point where I'm now looking forward to how much they improve. There was already a noticeable skills upgrade between How Old R U and Can't Stop, imo.
My sentimental favorite is Xin Long, since this whole revisiting process kind of started with him. Thanks for being a hyung, Felix! They're such dance bros, just look at 'em.