Sunday Drama Review – Shut Up Flower Boy Band

(닥치고 꽃미남 밴드) Shut Up Flower Boy Band 

Flower Boy Edition #2

Bad Boy Rock Star Flower Boys = Every Teenage Girl’s Dream

Summary: SUFBB (1)

“Shut up Flower Boy Band” tells the endearing story of six boys in a high school rock band, appropriately named “Eye Candy”, and their journey to make a name for themselves. After their high school gets closed down, the delinquent boys are transferred to another high school. But this one is an elite private high school for the smartest and the richest, two traits that none of the musicians have. The boys initially refuse the transfer and decide to drop out and continue their quest to stardom, when they find out their rivals, another high school rock band called Strawberry Fields, attends their new school. They realize it might be more fun to play around with the rich kids, mess with their enemies, and conquer the hearts of their female classmates with their flower boy looks.

Characters:

SUFBB (2)Joo Byung Hee (played by Lee Min Ki) is the crazy, eccentric member of the group and also the leader of Eye Candy. With a true artist’s heart, he doesn’t ever obey the rules or uphold the expectations of society and does whatever feels right to him, and whatever inspires him. He meets a high school girl named Soo Ah who he instantly declares his “muse”. However, she is currently being courted by the leader of Eye Candy’s rival band, Strawberry Fields.  Kwon Ji Hyuk (played by Sung Joon) is the second in command of the band. He is also extremely passionate about music, and very loyal to the friends he holds dear. However, he soon finds himself attached to his best friend’s “muse” and has to hide his feelings from his fellow band members.

SUFBB (3)Lee Hyun Soo (played by Kim Myung Soo) is the band’s “Ice Prince”. He is often with a frown on his face and has a very serious, mature personality. He tends to think of the future and doesn’t live on just the present like his fellow members. He is protective of his friends and also his little sister that he takes care of, when he is not practicing the guitar.SUFBB (4) Jang Do il (played by Lee Hyun Jae) is the drummer of the group and son of a powerful mob boss. He is also very serious, is very quiet most of the time, and likes to keep his privacy, even from the members. He sleeps on the couch of his father’s billiard hall to avoid going home.

SUFBB (5)Kim Ha Jin (played by Yoo Min Kyu) plays the bass and is the band’s playboy, constantly flirting with the group’s fans and any pretty girl he meets in a club. Until he develops a sincere crush on solo singer, Ye Rim, who only treats him as a friend. SUFBB (6)His best friend is Seo Kyung Jong (played by Kim Min Suk) who plays the keyboard for the band and is the “country-boy” member. He is the baby of group, not only because of his height but because of his innocent nature. He often tries to be the peacemaker whenever the boys get into fights among themselves.

Im Soo Ah (played by Jo Bo Ah) is the shy classmate at the band’s new school. Because of her family’s tight financial situation she is forced to live in hiding from loan sharks while her father flees the country to try and make some money to pay them back. She struggles to hide her situation from her judgmental classmates with the help of the Eye Candy boys and ends up developing a strong bond with the boys, especially with Kwon Ji Hyuk. Bang Woo Kyung (played by Kim Jung Min) is a longtime friend and supporter of the group who has an interest in Kwon Ji Hyuk that she never tries to hide. She is very loud and often nags the younger boys but she is very fond of them and genuinely cares about them. She is unaware of a different member’s one sided crush on her.

 Themes:

“John Lennon said, ‘The Beatles are more famous than Jesus.’. We’re not famous or special, but we’re just doing what we want, right now. The world that surrounds us is gray and we can’t see our futures. But for now, we just shut up and run – to the time that’s waiting for us.” – Ji Hyuk.

Future: The Eye Candy boys are still teenagers, and like all teenagers they are worried about their future and most are still unsure of what path to take, what job to have, and what kind of life to live. These boys do not have social connections, family that can help them, nor do they care very much about their education. These boys love music and that’s what they are passionate about. They can’t predict how their futures are going to end up, but they can only live in the present and continue to do what they love.

Fame: When the possibility of fame and recognition is presented to the boys, all of them are willing to take it, but at what cost? They have to sacrifice their creative freedom to get their music known, and some of the members are willing to do what is need to become famous while others would rather start from scratch. Fame has tended to be the downfall for many singers and bands worldwide, and now once again, it approaches Eye Candy to test their friendship.SUFBB (9)

Friendship: The strongest emotion in the entire drama had to be the intense amount of loyalty these boys had for each other. They weren’t just friends; they were all like family to each other (especially since some of them didn’t have any family to begin with). These boys were never afraid to defend one another, instantly jumping into a fist fights and other altercations, to back up their friends even if they were right or not. Of course their friendship was tested several times with the usual seductions of life: money and girls.

 Symbols:

Rooftop Apartments: Based on the reactions of the classmates, apparently living in a one room rooftop apartment is considered the lowest one can go (economically). Both the male and female leads live in one room apartments on the rooftops of buildings next door to each other, which is how they become friends. Both of them live there because they can’t afford to live anywhere else, however Kwon Ji Hyuk isn’t ashamed of where he lives while Soo Ah tries everything she can to hide her housing situation from her peers. The immense amount of pressure to keep up appearances forces high school students to live very stressful lives. They  are always striving to be better than their classmates.

*Spoilers* (Do not read if you don’t want this drama spoiled for you, you have been warned!)

SUFBB (11)

Things I didn’t like:

  • The reason I’m starting off with this one first is because frankly, I couldn’t find anything I disliked about this drama. At least nothing very obvious that came to mind, so if there was something then it was so minuscule to the point where I don’t remember it being an annoyance. The only recommendation I can give is that perhaps it would have been best to introduce all the characters one by one in the first episode. Right from the beginning you get a lot of new faces/names thrown at you that might make it hard for some viewers to distinguish between the characters. And then they have to spend the rest of the drama “catching” up to what is happening.

Things I liked:

  • SUFBB (8)The Ending of Episode 2: If you have seen this drama then you know exactly what I’m talking about. The plot twist from the very start where they killed off the supposed “main lead”, Joo Byung Hee. His death completely caught me off guard and I remember just staring at my computer screen in horror when he got hit by the truck. And even though this move was quite drastic from the scriptwriters, it successful had me hooked onto this drama to find out what happened next, because I was quite curious on how the boys were going to react to their leader’s death, and as well I was left pondering if Eye Candy was even going to continue. But this drama did a great job of focusing the entire next episode on the mourning period for the boys. The heartbreaking moment was when little Kyung Jong wrapped his jacket around Byung Hee “to keep his friend warm” – that made me take out the tissues.
  • The Ending: This drama already revealed to the audience that it wasn’t afraid to kill of characters, so therefore I was a bit on edge about the ending. Are they really not going to follow the traditional happy ending? Turns out they didn’t do a traditional ending, but it was the most realistic ending I have ever seen in a drama. The boys break up Eye Candy and decide to pursue their own careers but they are still best friends and in each other’s lives as much as they were before. To me, even though it was a bit bittersweet that the band could not go on, I was still very much pleased with the results.
  • Jang Do il/Bang Woo Kyung: I’ve seen this drama several times, and the first time I saw it I didn’t really realize Do il’s crush until halfway through the series. Watching it again, I saw all the little subtle hints that Do il gave Woo Kyung. I thought their relationship was very cute and I was kind of hoping we could see more of what happened to them after Do il confession of giving her a surprise kiss. His shy affection towards her was one of my favorite things.
  • Silva: Teacher Silva was played by Ma Dong Seok and he was one of my favorite secondary characters. Initial I thought this character was only going to appear in the first episode since he was their old high school teacher, but then he ends up transferring to the same school as the boys so I was really excited he was going to continue being their teacher. He kept a “tough love” type of relationship with the boys; he was always on their case as their teacher, but you could tell he had a soft spot for the boys and genuinely cared about them.
  • SUFBB (7)Im Soo Ah: She was a sweet young girl, but also seemed very mature for her age and not stuck up like her peers. I thought she was perfect in her role, and most importantly, her romance with Kwon Ji Hyuk helped the story-line instead of taking over it and stealing the entire spotlight.
  • The Music: I am not usually very conscious of the OSTs (official sound track) in dramas; however since a lot of the background music was also the same songs Eye Candy performed, I got to hear them throughout the drama and get used to them. I’m not a huge fan of rock music but both “Wake Up” and “Jaywalking” are still playing on my i-pod.

 SUFBB (10)Author’s Final Remarks: 9.7/10

This is probably the highest score I’ve ever given a drama and I feel like this drama is probably going to stay up there in the top position for a while. It is my personal favorite of the “Flower Boy Series” because of the strong friendships throughout the drama. I was completely captivated by all the boys (not only because of their looks….well maybe a bit) through their dynamic personalities and the loyalty they all held for one another. All of the secondary characters, from the teachers to the classmates were also important in their roles, and the drama was able to balance between all the characters giving them enough character development. I would write so much more if I could but then I’d be writing a 20 page essay on everything I loved about this drama. If only Eye Candy was real, then I know I’d be a fan.

~Millie

Author: Jini

So Cal 1.5 Generation Korean-American / Teacher-In-Training / Freelance MC and Kor-Eng Interpreter

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