Editor’s note: This story is part of a week-long series The One Shots is doing on BTS. Each day, we’ll bring you a new feature focused on, what some would call, the DOPEst group in K-pop. In our Popping Cherries segment, we take a K-pop virgin and introduce them to a music video they’ve never seen. Our squad member, Theo, introduces her best friend Tracey to “I Need U” to see if she can come up with a theory about what’s going on in the MV.
Theodora: Okay. They are called Bangtan Boys. Also known as BTS. There are 7 members and the song I’ll be playing is called “I Need U”.
Tracey: Oh it’s a song…here I was thinking it was a short film.
Theodora: Sort of. There’s a whole storyline within this music video.
Tracey: Oh! That’s cool.
Theodora: Yeah but the thing is that the story is not in order. On Tumblr there were people trying to put together theories of what is actually going on. It’s not only in this MV. It starts with “Prologue”, yes the actual video is called prologue which was actually really beautifully done. There’s the storyline there then it follows with “I need you” then “Run” and then the epilogue which was called “Young Forever”. So there’s this whole story connecting with the MVs-
Tracey: *breaks out to singing “Forever young” *pauses* oh nice.
Theodora: So everyone on Tumblr is trying to piece it together the MV’s, to what the hell this whole story is about.
Tracey: *very intrigued* OOOOOoooooo.
Theodora: Sorry for throwing you in the deep end and only showing you “I need you” without showing you the “Prologue” or “Run” to follow afterwards.
Tracey: Nah that’s cool. Alright, let’s do this!
Theodora: Oh that’s the company.
Tracey: Big Hit.
Theodora: Rated 19
Tracey: Out of like all the Korean music
Theodora: *laughs* no! The age rating
Tracey: Oh! *laughs* Yeah we’re a bit old.
Tracey: Oh look at him thinking “Where’s my facial hair?”
Tracey: Ahh quarter life crisis mate?
Theodora: He’s the youngest of the group.
Tracey: *disappointed* oh. Actually, they all look very young.
Theodora: The oldest I know at the moment is 22 or 23, I’ll have to double-check on that.
Tracey + Theodora: I’m alone! *laughs*
Tracey: Awwww I smoke my life away. Drugs kill you, kids.
Theodora: It’s a lollipop *laughs uncontrollably*
Tracey: It is? *laughs*
Tracey: Look at him burning up the love letter.
Theodora: Yeah I should warn you this MV is dramatic.
Tracey: Oh! Flower petals! Nice. This is going to be depressing, isn’t it?
Tracey: [After heard “Fall”] Wait this is not all English, obviously.
Theodora: Yeah, it’s all in Korean but they will mix some English into the song.
Tracey: Oh okay gotcha.
Tracey: No, no! Don’t kill yourself! Oh my gosh! Life can’t be that bad… *mumbles* You’re hot
Theodora: One of the theories I read was that the flower petals represented each member.
Tracey: Woah that’s some deep shit.
Theodora: Yeah that’s how deep it can go.
Tracey: He’s looking really badass with the hoodie.
Theodora: Look at these friends.
Theodora + Tracey: *laughs out loud*
Tracey: I’m trying to figure out what they are saying…basically they are saying they need a girl and I’m assuming it’s a breakup. Are they all in love with the same girl-*guy bumps into Jungkook* Hey!
Tracey: Hey guys,
Theodora: That’s exactly the movie I thought of when I saw that scene.
Tracey: Look just because you need a girl, doesn’t mean you need to go and get beat up.
Tracey: The burning up of the petals has to be symbolic.
Theodora: Must symbolise-
Tracey +Theodora:- something
Tracey: I have to say that pink hair suits that guy.
Theodora: His stage name is Suga
Tracey: [about chucking of the fries] Don’t waste your fo- *pauses and looks to me* typical.
Theodora: *laughs uncontrollably*
Tracey: Suga *shakes head*why am I not surprised? When you think of sugar, what colour do you think of? Pink. Really like.
Theodora: *Too far gone in my laughter*
Tracey: Sugar and spice and everything nice.
Tracey: This one is killing my life. He’s looking like.
Theodora: what? That’s freaking random.
Tracey: No! Don’t die. Don’t jump!
Theodora: He really got beaten up here.
Tracey: Why did he get beat up for? It’s not worth getting beaten up because of a girl
Tracey: Now he has fainted. Heatstroke man. Worth it over a girl? No.
Tracey: Ummm flood!
Tracey : *Gasps* Tangled!!
Theodora: Tangled? *laughs* That movie didn’t even cross my mind! (AN: Now I can’t unthink that)
Tracey: Hey! That’s violence against women. Australia says no!
Tracey: Oh no!
Tracey: Wait what happen to the other guy!? Yeah! Beat him to the ground! I’m assuming that’s his girl.
Theodora: Uhhh in the Prologue he had a photo which I’m assuming was him and his mother.
Tracey: Oh so is that his mum? Looks a little young.
Theodora: Yeah or maybe something happened to his mum and that maybe seeing another woman getting hit-
Tracey: Would’ve triggered that memory.
Tracey: They look so cute together as a group. You guys have each other! You don’t need a girl!
Theodora: One of the theories that I know of floating around was that one of the members die and this like thinking back and-
Tracey: Ohhhhh!!!! That’s deep! That would be so deep!
Theodora: That’s only one of the many theories.
Tracey: Does that mean the group has broken up?
Theodora: Maybe but we know they all have their own problems.
Tracey: But look as a group they have each other and it’s the happy moments and now they’re just all emo.
Tracey: Suga, no! Don’t burn your house. Suga is just burning.
Tracey: He’s just dropping lollipop on his money…Woah! Wait! Did that lollipop just turn into a cigarette?
Theodora: Yes!! You saw it too!!
Tracey: Yeah! They visually did that on purpose. I feel like it was a cigarette this whole time and symbolic of something…
Theodora: Like from young to getting older.
Tracey: Yeah…*gasps* yeah!!
Theodora + Tracey: Yeah!!! *point to each other like we’re so smart*
Tracey: That’s deep
Tracey: Awww wanting to be free like a bird.
Theodora: So that was it.
Tracey: Woah! What! Was that it! That was quick! What? No! There was no ending! Where’s the ending?!!!
Theodora: *laughs at Tracey’s meltdown* that’s what I meant that the video that follows this is “Run” and the epilogue MV. So you can imagine everyone after watching this MV for the first time.
Tracey: Oh!!! The whole piecing it together. *quiets* What! No?!
Theodora: *can’t stop laughing as her meltdown continues*
Tracey: No! But how could they end it like that?! They didn’t even- nope! Nope!
Theodora: *laughing uncontrollably at Tracey still shaking her head not impressed*
Theodora: Do you have an idea of what is going on?
Tracey: A little.
Theodora: Nah that’s cool cause no one really really knows. I don’t even think the members know.
Tracey: Oh okay. Well- the quarter-life crisis guy [Jungkook] is really having a quarter life crisis. Like him getting beaten up may not even be because of a girl. It might just be that he is struggling. They each have their own problems.
Theodora: Yeah that’s exactly what’s in the video.
Tracey: But when you see them getting together, they forget everything. No one is being trippy or suicidal or getting heat strokes. They are actually having fun together and throwing food at each other and wasting them fries.
Tracey: But hey if that’s what they want to do. I mean it’s not my thing. I would never throw my fries, I eat them.
Tracey: I think that’s the gist of it.
Theodora: I had first thought “I Need U” meant they need each other.
Tracey: Until they say, “girl.”
Tracey: Does that mean they also have girl problems but they don’t show the girl? I have to say the song and video are just like woah.
Theodora: What do you think of this song? I know you only know of PSY’s “Gangnam style” from the mainstream in Australia.
Tracey: Oh please, yes so different. Oh, what’s the name of that massive girl group?
Theodora: Oh Girls’ Generation.
Tracey: Yeah , Girls’ Generation. This style of music is so totally different from them [Girls’ Genertation]. Especially with this video and what I’ve seen of them so so long ago.
Theodora: *nods* yeah K-pop has changed especially with outside influence. These guys do dance as well but I think for me, becoming a fan of BTS was because they wrote their songs and produced. The flow and the lyrics that captured my attention back then, continue to do so.
Tracey: That’s so cool.
AN: We ended up watching BTS “Run” because she wasn’t satisfied with that ending of “I Need You”. You don’t want to know what happened after she watched that.