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Special Edition Bible Study: Eternal Sunshine

[Note: This series originally started as a project on Reddit. You can find an explanation of what Bible Study is all about here.]


So, it's been a minute. In addition to the absolute inundation of ATEEZ news every time we wake up, we've also been busy in our own corners with all the nonsense that comes with being grown. But we did find some time to watch and discuss what is perhaps ATEEZ's most underrated and overlooked title.



Bobby: Wow. We skipped the entire month of March

We're entirely different people than we were when we watched Deja Vu

GD: We had to in order to develop the incredible insight we will arrive at today

The brain must rest and all that


01: what is the overall story of the diary?


[You can find a story recap on our Deja Vu post.]

 

02: what is the overall story of the MV?


GD: Time for eternal sunshine



Bobby: Well my soul is healed

I am upset though that everyone ignored this song

There's no reason it shouldn't have been all over Korea

GD: I agree

I need to see it again

Bobby: I did not pay attention to the lyrics at all

Jongho is live

Terrible timing


[We get fully distracted by Jongho for the entirety of his live]


Bobby: Well

What a precious human

GD: Couldn't agree more

Bobby: Shall we eternal sunshine or are we permanently derailed?

GD: I have to watch it again

But we do only have 2 hours now, so do you think we can get through it in that amount of time?

Bobby: I don't remember DV taking that long

Perhaps I am fooling myself.

But let's give it a go

I'm actually more concerned there might not be that much to discuss

GD: Jongho's high note is so beautiful it makes me want to weep every time I hear it

This is the song that added him to my bias line

Because I watched a fancam of him

Bobby: I'm sad that we have three whole MVs where Jongho has to sit out of the dance portions

Actually four

Okay, so we've already done the story of the diary with DV

So I think we start with ES narrative?

GD: Right

I want to just state some facts

They walk around in pairs, they see things that look exciting to them (like the city from the train, the signs in the city), they all come together at various times. There are only a few solo scenes, with the notable exceptions seeming to be rapline? We have many weather changes.

I know this isn't a story

but I feel like... a story isn't the right word for what happens in Eternal Sunshine

Bobby: Well, to me there are some obvious parallels with DV

There's sort of an indication that something is happening or is about to happen

But they're two different sides of the same coin

DV is dark and secretive; it seems likely they're on a mission

ES is bright and cheerful; feels like a vacation 

Both prominently feature modes of transportation

And a cityscape


 

03: what are the thematic connections?


GD: They are mostly alone in all of their music videos, but somehow the quality of the aloneness in ES has always felt different to me.. like, there is no one else but them in the whole world, not just the music video

Bobby: Part of that is budget, I think. We don't really start to see indications of life outside of Ateez until The Real. Or Turbulence if you think about it

We could also say it represents Strictland and the plight of its people becoming more real to them?

GD: Yeah, I don't know why it feels different to me. Like there's not really anyone in DV either.. Maybe it's just the contrast of the aloneness vs the brightness that's more stark than it is in DV

Bobby: Well, we clearly see a whole city; it's not the middle of the night like DV; it's bright daylight. So we expect to see people. It also looks like a tourist spot, which makes it weirder that it's so empty

GD: Tourist spot reminds me of the diary

Bobby: Yes

GD: How the island where the cromer is kept used to be a tourist spot

Bobby: It makes me think that ES pictures Strictland before

Before everything started going wrong

GD: I think it's interesting that they're paired up so much

Bobby: Very atypical--until we get to Bouncy

GD: Maybe because of how they paired them off in Will

Bobby: They're also distinctly paired in CF

Also The Real

Diary 3 is where we really start to see them gel as a group, don't you think? They've been through the trials of pt 2 and that's made them closer, so they feel less alone?

GD: That seems right

I've always found Mingi's bit with the cell phone very interesting

I've never really known if it meant anything, but it does have me thinking about the scene with Hongjoong and the cell phone in Not Okay

Bobby: It makes me think of how we use our phones to keep our memories--pictures, concert videos, reminders, etc.

GD: I feel I want to look up the lyrics

Bobby: Whereas Hongjoong's phone in Not Okay was like a constant reminder of what he lacked

Mingi's rap is particularly interesting to me

GD: The "I'll get you a star" stuck out to me every time I watched it

I remember looking up that Christmas in August is a popular Korean movie

Bobby: I think the genius lyrics are slightly different from the official translation

GD: Upsetting

We obviously do have a lot repetition of themes in Mingi's lyrics

Star, waves, purple

How you were saying about this being the strickland of the before times

There is a lot in the video that has always reminded me of Fireworks

Like you have the working subway car, and the place where they dance does have the same vibe as where they are in Fireworks

GD: And we know that the people of strickland did give up their memories, and that in this diary, ATEEZ is going to a place where those happy memories are being used.. so that all tracks for me

Bobby: This reminds me of what you said once about building new cities on top of the old ones. Because fireworks is mostly underground

I feel like perhaps I need to rewatch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

It's been so long I don't remember much about it

GD: I did watch it fairly recently

And I think that striking thing that it says is that you can remove the memory of a 'mistake' or 'bad decision' but you can't change the person that you are.. so you'll just do the same thing over again

Because you didn't learn from your mistake

Like people who take out memories of the person they had an affair with.. if they meet that person again, they'll just have another affair and cheat on their partner again

Bobby: Is that what the whole movie is about?

GD: Not the married affair bit, but basically

The main couple has been a couple before but they erase their memories of each other because it was too painful when they broke up

Bobby: I'm remembering it incorrectly then

GD: But then they meet and fall in love again

And history sort of repeats itself

But I think the overall thing they wanted to say is that you can't really ever remove your memories because they are a part of you?

Bobby: Okay. Then I did sort of remember it correctly

ES actually reminds me of Dreamy Day

GD: Yes, I would definitely put them both on the same playlist

"I wonder if I can make today last forever" definitely seems like ES

Bobby: Jongho really excellent in Dreamy Day

GD: Name a song he's not

Dreamy Day (not counting Everything obviously) remains my favorite song on Will

Bobby: Silver Light into Crescent pt 2 into Dreamy Day is about as perfect as life can get. Really. All of William

GD: Couldn't agree more

An aside

Yunho's hair is perfect.

Bobby: Yes. I was thinking that

Also Yeo

GD: It falls so beautifully

Both of them

My hair could never

Bobby: Every person who spoke against Yunho's hair shall fall

Shall crumble into dust

I just remember the summer of 21 when all atinys could do was cry about wanting Wave 2.0 and Ateez gave us Dreamers, they gave us Blue Summer, they gave us Be My Lover, and they gave us Eternal Sunshine. And atinys were never satisfied

Do we have any other thematic connections? I think that's what section we're in

GD: I don't think so

Bobby: Final thoughts then


 

04: what are your final thoughts and takeaways?


GD: This was short

Bobby: I suspected it might be 

GD: My final thought is that Eternal Sunshine wasn't appreciated in her time, but I believe that she will be remembered long after

Bobby: The thing about Ateez

Is, to my limited knowledge, they don't really follow trends in music

Like, sure, Treasure 1 has a lot of tropical house vibes, which I think was fading in popularity at the time, but it really made sense with the themes of the album

And they've done some 80s synth vibe throwbacks

But those have always been a thing in kpop

I think the concept of songs going out of style is quite stupid, but imo, Ateez's music always feels fresh and timeless.

GD: Well that's the thing about good music

It is good music no matter when it was made

And I do believe that ATEEZ puts out good music above all else

And yes, I know that 'good' is subjective, but it's incredibly layered and rich and has beautiful melodies, so whatever. I claim the word good to describe it

Bobby: Not to sound like a boomer or anything, but it really feels like a lot of the popular music today--the stuff that goes viral--is such a product of its time that it will get dated very quickly

Like commercial jingles 

GD: I am a boomer I fear

I do not like most of the more popular music right now and often struggle to understand why people do like it

Bobby: I feel like I'm fully on a tangent

But remember that Defunctland video I sent you about trying to track down the man who composed the Disney Channel theme?

GD: Yes

I still think about it a lot

Bobby: It was just four little notes that have been reiterated and reinterpreted and it was such a small part of his body of work in the end. And he wasn't even remembered for it.

I know that I'm dismissive of jingles but they do still represent a certain level of craftsmanship

I'm not certain I have a point

My murder board strings are there but I can't figure out how to tie them together

GD: I think...

No

I can't bring it home

I wanted to

Bobby: Perhaps my frustration is that even with the skill required, it sucks that it's the nothing songs with nothing lyrics that are too bored with themselves to last more than two minutes that become popular and are therefore deemed "good" because the gp isn't interested in anything meaningful

That composer put a lot more time and care into his own album of dark and atmospheric instrumentals, but no one listens to it

GD: Ah okay, I see where you're going

Actually

It sort of reminds me of tiktok in general?

I know I have complained at some point that any video I put effort into on tiktok never gets more than 1,000 views

But nothing videos that I post after 10 seconds of thought always break 10,000

It's not the same because it's not like I'm putting a ton of artistry into these tiktoks

But still

Bobby: Did you feel more creatively fulfilled with the effortful videos?

GD: I suppose

Sometimes I have videos I want to make, and I make those for me, and then I post them and they never do very good. It's always the silly nothing jokes that do well

And I do think that's a bit disheartening

Bobby: But making tiktok videos isn't like your life's work

So maybe it doesn't translate the same

GD: Yeah, I don't think it does

But perhaps it's a symptom of a larger problem

Bobby: I used to be active in sewing blog circles 

And I remember one person saying that she would get so many compliments on simple things she made like t-shirts, but people would rarely comment on anything complicated that she took a lot of care to make like detailed dresses or coats

And it makes me think that it depends on what outcome you're looking for

I can whip up anything out of knit fabric in like no time. But the things that I'm proudest of myself for making are my white button up shirt or my ridiculous fuchsia coat. Because it's not about whether other people like them or not. It's about doing something difficult and feeling accomplished afterwards

So I think I have to believe, at the end of the day, regardless of whether they've gone viral or won tons of awards or gotten those streams they so richly deserve, Ateez and Eden-ary have to be proud and pleased with the work they've done

GD: I really think that they are

I mean, hard to say with Edenary but I can't imagine they'd be doing this if they weren't

with ATEEZ, they seem very proud of their music, and I do think that must be fulfilling in its own way

Bobby: I am thinking very hard of how I can bring this all around full circle

And I do not think I can

GD: I know

Well, perhaps it would be best to go the opposite direction

And just proffer a different, unrelated takeaway

I find the ending of Eternal Sunshine charming, and it reminds me of Jongho's live today where he apparently said that he doesn't like accessories but he'll always wear his team ring. And a quote I noticed for the first time ever at my son's ninja warrior class. It was something like, 'the strength of the team is the individual members, the strength of the individual members is the team'

And I think if you can connect the Eternal Sunshine MV to the movie, you could come away with a theme of.. we will always find our way back together?

Which ends up being true. In this diary, Yeosang disappears... and they find a way to get back to each other.

Bobby: 'the strength of the team is the individual members, the strength of the individual members is the team' This is actually remarkably deep for a ninja warrior class, lol

GD: I KNOW

They have several inspirational quotes on the wall that I'd never bothered to look at but that one stuck out to me

I suspect I have not been on enough teams to have heard it

Bobby: I wonder if it comes from somewhere

GD: I'm sure it does

It had a person's name who I of course didn't remember underneath it, which is a little ironic given what we're talking about

Bobby: Next time you're there, take a picture

There it is--we brought it around

GD: Heroic efforts

Bobby: Shall we wrap up then? I think you're running out of time if I remember correctly

GD: Yes

 

05: closing


GD: What's our wrap up?

we've already picked our patron saints for the week

Bobby: Since we already have patron saints, what if we do a praise

GD: I would like to praise the return of Wanteez

Bobby: It has been really delightful

GD: The... what's the word?

Determination?

In the power walking.. it really filled me with joy

Bobby: I love how no matter how silly the thing is they're being asked to do, they will give it 110% effort. Except, apparently, for Jongho, lol

But he will still do well

So you know how you rediscovered Crazy Form?

GD: Yes

Bobby: I do this regularly with Ateez songs. I'll just hear a song after I haven't heard it for a bit and it just HITS.

It hasn't even been that long, but I really am re-obsessed with Not Okay every time I hear it

Like, how is it so good?

It actually gave me a blog post idea that I thought about exploring

How Ateez is just SO GOOD at catharsis

GD: I agree

Not Okay really, really hits for me

The like... chanting?

It's not really chanting

But idk, that thing they do, it brings relief to my soul

Bobby: It's just unison

But their unison is ridiculously powerful

They don't use it very much at all, but when they do. .  .

It's one of the (many) reasons Black Cat Nero is so, so good 

Anyways. Not Okay is my praise 

GD: And a prayer? Is our prayer just the rosary?

Bobby: Just a rosary

GD: My actual prayer is that they're having a really nice time in LA though

Bobby: They always do

LAtinys keep it together

GD: They normally do. It's good that the masses haven't traveled in for coachella yet

Bobby: I believe my babies nacific has arrived

GD: Nice!

Well on that note

8 makes

Bobby: 1 team

GD: Be the light

Bobby: Halazia




 

Thank you for joining us for this shorter than normal deep dive into Eternal Sunshine. We'll be back someday with the beginning of the final Fever diary. Until then, friends.


Be the light.


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