Look: BTS are a genuine global pop phenomenon. They can fill stadiums in every continent on the planet. (There are no stadiums on Antarctica, but if somebody built one, BTS could probably fill it.) Since they’re already huge in America, BTS shouldn’t need to subject themselves to the various indignities that America’s late-night hosts seem determined to foist upon them. After all, the Beatles didn’t have to do any of this bullshit when they made their White Album. And yet somebody in the BTS camp has decided that it’s a good idea for the group to participate in all of our humiliating reindeer games.
Just in the past few weeks, the members of the group have already played hide-and-seek with James Corden and done Subway Olympics with Jimmy Fallon. And now BTS have become the latest pop stars to sit in the car that James Corden often does not actually drive, playing along with his increasingly tired Carpool Karaoke bit. All seven members piled into a passenger van, singing a few of their own songs with Corden and also doing things like Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” and Post Malone’s “Circles.”
Now: You cannot do elaborate choreography while riding in a car. Also, it’s tough to do planned-out comedy bits when everybody in the group doesn’t even speak English. The whole enterprise does not exactly play to BTS’ strengths. RM, the BTS member with the best English, sat up front, gamely participating in all the nonsense, translating for the rest of the group and discussing how he learned English by watching Friends. There was also a dance-studio interlude. Nobody looked as transcendently bored as Justin Bieber when he did Carpool Karaoke last week. Still, whoof.
If there’s one moment from the BTS Carpool Karaoke video that’s worth watching, it comes early on, when Corden asks the group about the nicknames that their fans had given them. Jim says that he’s WWH — World Wide Handsome. Corden says that’s so weird, that used to be his nickname. Jin sits there, waiting for the joke to be translated, and then says, “Aaah! You a funny guy!” I don’t know if this was intentional ether or not, but I’m choosing to interpret it that way. Every time I see Corden on my laptop screen from now on — and, for work-related reasons, I see Corden a lot — I’m going to think, “Aaah! You a funny guy!” Watch the video below.
The new BTS album Map Of The Soul: 7 is out now on BigHit Entertainment.