Earlier this year, we reviewed their SM labelmate Super Junior’s documentary and while the show was more on the struggles and success of the group after they shot to fame, NCT 127: The Lost Boys documentary is more of a focus on the childhood days of the nine members of NCT 127 before they became famous K-pop stars.

A sub-unit of NCT (Neo Culture Technology), they have soared to global popularity with hits like ‘Kick It’ and ‘Sticker’. Their albums ‘Regular-Irregular’ and ‘Neo Zone’ both debuted at No. 86 on the Billboard 200 chart, making them the first K-pop boy group to enter the chart with a full-length album.

For the uninitiated, the title of the show references the characters from Peter Pan who were lost by their parents. Like The Lost Boys, many K-pop idols never have the opportunity to experience a regular childhood as they join K-pop agencies at a very young age––Johnny, Mark, and Haechan were around only 13 years old when they became trainees.

Besides having to go through rigorous training including vocal, dance, acting, and language lessons, idols are typically subject to strict control by their management companies or agencies. This can include control over their personal lives and financial control, and above all, they are expected to maintain a positive public image (for instance they usually aren’t allowed to date publicly). This means that fans or NCTzens in this case, aren’t usually given a glimpse into the members' emotions and thoughts.

This is why the four-part documentary series is a fascinating look into the experiences of the nine members––Taeil, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Jungwoo, Mark, and Haechan––as they talk about their past and experiences growing up in various cities around the world.

Each episode focuses on two-to-three members of the group in never-before-seen interviews and exclusive footage will also be revealed for audiences to enjoy. We had an exclusive preview of Episode 1 with an introduction of the whole group, the difficulties of weathering through the pandemic, and a preview of the other upcoming episodes before it zooms in on Mark and Haechan, the maknaes of the group who are also members of NCT Dream.

Instead of the cheeky and bright personas that the two usually give off in public, Mark gets raw and real about the difficulties of being in two sub-units and the mental strain it puts on him. The Toronto-born member even shares about his mother’s conception dream, which is said to foretell the birth of a child. Then, Haechan also shares how his parents met and his unconventional and lonely childhood.

While I expected a typical documentary with backstage views and a behind-the-scenes insight into their concerts, I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of the typical format, the documentary is an eclectic mix of theatre, animation, dance, song, and performance art which are used to depict the boys’ colourful lives. What NCTzens will love about the show is the personal touch added to it, such as audio clips of the boys’ mothers. It also acted as an unorthodox therapy session, making the members realise things they never thought of about themselves.

For the first time ever, the members speak of their childhoods, a look behind the curtain of their cookie-cutter K-pop star lives. You come away from the episode realising that behind all the glitz and glam, the life of an idol is not all it appears to be. We finished the first episode wishing it was longer, and we’re already looking forward to watching the other members tell their stories!

Watch the official teaser trailer here:

The first two episodes of The Lost Boys will be released on August 30 exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar. The final two episodes will be released a week later on 6 September.