Friday, March 16, 2012

K-Drama Review: Shut Up, Flower Boy Band, Episodes 13-14

Read episode reviews for:

Shut Up, Flower Boy Band, Episodes 1-2
Shut Up, Flower Boy Band, Episodes 3-4
Shut Up, Flower Boy Band, Episodes 5-6
Shut Up, Flower Boy Band, Episodes 7-8
Shut Up, Flower Boy Band, Episodes 9-10
Shut Up, Flower Boy Band, Episodes 11-12
Shut Up, Flower Boy Band, Episodes 15-16

Contains Spoilers for Episodes 13-14

It's episode 13, and we're at a big press conference for the band Eye Candy. They are truly catching fire in the public consciousness and everyone wants to know more about them. The guys are worried that the reporters will ask questions about drummer Do-Il's father, who is a mob boss, but instead it's leader Ji-hyuk who gets the tough questions: "Do you have a girlfriend? Because we have photos of you leaving a residence with a certain young woman, which makes it look like you were cohabiting while still in high school..." The trouble is, Ji-hyuk does have a girlfriend, but though the photos of him and his girl Suah only prove that they were hanging out together, he's still a bit guilty because he hasn't told even his bandmates that he's dating Suah. So what does Ji-hyuk reply to the nosy reporter?

"Yes. I have a girlfriend." Yay! Woot! Honesty is so hard for characters in K-dramas, and for Ji-hyuk in particular, so it's nice to see someone being transparent for once. But people are still scandalized by his admission, and they all assume the worst about him and Suah. At school, people are looking at Suah like she's a woman of ill repute, and when her best guy friend Seung-hoon asks her if she's living at Ji-hyuk's place, she tearfully nods yes. Which is dumb, because Seung-hoon assumes the worst and Suah could have cleared up the confusion just by saying "I'm living in Ji-hyuk's old apartment while he is living elsewhere, in his record label's dorms." But noooo, tearful nodding is all we get. Where is that spine that Suah grew in episode 12? Where? Oh, well. 

Haeri Noona suspends Eye Candy's promotions because of Ji-hyuk's reckless talking to the press. Hyunsoo is upset that all his solo promotions have been cut off just as he's needing money to pay for a surgery his baby sister needs. Ji-hyuk finds out about Hyunsoo's dilemma, and he knows that the only way Hyunsoo can earn the money he needs for Baby Sis is to go solo. So as the leader, it's Ji-hyuk's job to drive Hyunsoo to the point where he'll leave their scandal-ridden band and strike out on his own lucrative solo gig. Ji-hyuk does this by making Hyunsoo incredibly angry.

Suah suggests that they she and Ji-hyuk break up--she's doing it to save his career, and he's agreeing to it to save her reputation. *sniffle* Ji-hyuk has lost both Hyunsoo and Suah, so all he has left are his remaining band members. Do-Il wonders if they should even keep making music if it's not fun anymore, but for Ji-hyuk, almost nothing is going to be fun if he has to do it without Hyunsoo or Suah. So now Ji-hyuk is imbalanced, Suah is heartbroken, and Hyunsoo is falling to pieces because he hears that the band is breaking up permanently.

Then Ji-hyuk returns to his old apartment to retrieve his favorite guitar, douse it in gasoline and set it on FIRE. Episode 14 ends there. You slay me, show. Your final two episode better be glorious, because Ji-hyuk has been through enough!

Poor Kid Looks Miserable-Verging-on-Sick.

Things I Loved:

1. Hyunsoo/Yerim. I support them very strongly. Yerim's a great singer and she's also a sweetie but not clingy (unlike Wookyung), and Hyunsoo never really gave her a chance when she said she liked him before. So I like that he's being forced to see how cool a person she really is and how well they get along. It's good to hear them singing so prettily in their duet, and it's especially nice when Hyunsoo nervously notices that he and Yerim sound good together. I love that he can't make eye contact with her for any length of time--it's nice when the Ice Prince is flustered and bashful.

Super-Cute, and They Sound as Good as They Look.

2. Hyunsoo in general. I'm just terribly biased about this character. It was nice to get two episodes chock-full of Hyunsoo and Ji-hyuk emoting, because they have a very important friendship that has been carefully developed and explained over several episodes. Unfortunately, Hyunsoo is always the first guy to get pushed to the outside of the circle because the others always suspect that he's the least loyal of the group, though that's not true. He rarely creates actual problems for the band--he just looks like he's about to create a problem.

Not Causing Trouble Yet, but You Can Tell He's Considering It.

3. The Emotions. Oh man. It's hard to keep from crying when such weepy things are going on. Suah asks Ji-hyuk if they should break up and Ji-hyuk's face is very telling--he looks stricken. His friendships mean more to him than to the average high school kid because he doesn't have any family. When he loses everyone, Ji-hyuk breaks down crying. Later, Hajin cries, Wookyung cries, Suah cries, and Episode 13 ends on Hyunsoo's tear-stained face. Are you trying to rip my heart out, show?

This Flaming Guitar Represents the Emotional Intensity of SUFBB.

4. The Music. Best K-drama soundtrack ever, without a doubt. "Wake Up" is totally likable, and Hyunsoo and Yerim's duet of "Love U Like U" was quite lovely. Check it out:


1. Seung-hoon. He's one of my favorite characters and I don't think we get much from him in these two episodes. He lets Suah stay at his sister's spare apartment and he also asks Haeri Noona to stop the Ji-hyuk/Suah rumors for his sake, since he cares for Suah. But aside from that, we see very little of Seung-hoon. I'm thankful that he's not doing anything creepy or villainous since he's not a bad guy, but I had hoped to see more development from him.

At Least He's Not Fighting With Suah Anymore.

2. Not Enough Ji-hyuk/Suah. When Haeri Noona comes to tell Suah that she should break up with Ji-hyuk for his own good, it's not as dramatic a scene as it might be because unfortunately, we haven't seen enough of them lately to miss them being a couple. The actors make up for the lost scenes, though, and really make the loss believable.

Absent: Her Other Half. He's Off Angsting By Himself.


Leadership/Sacrifice:  As the leader, Ji-hyuk is expected to make life go well and smoothly for everyone, which is a tall order sometimes. Hyunsoo says he regrets following Ji-hyuk as a leader, but Do-Il knows better; Ji-hyuk gave up his dream of having the band together so that Hyunsoo could make enough money for his sister's surgery. That's a brave sort of sacrifice.

Carries the Weight of the World on his Shoulders.

Peacemaking: Do-Il stops Ji-hyuk from punching a jerk at school, and Kyung-jong is always trying to talk Hajin down from fights. Do-Il and Kyung-jong tend to be the guys who remind everyone else to stay calm and keep their heads down, so when they get angry, it means that balance has been lost and everyone's headed for trouble.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Hyunsoo fights to stick by his friends through thick and thin, only to be pushed out of the band for his own good. Do-Il has been pining after Wookyung for forever, and when he finally works up the nerve to actually kiss her--he ruins it by saying he's sorry, so he and Wookyung are probably worse off and driven further apart than they were before. Everyone advances, only to lose what small gains they've made! Noooo.

Cultural Observances:

Kai Bai Bo: In Korea, rock-paper-scissors is called Kai Bai Bo, and the guys in the band play this to see who has to clean up after a meal.

New words: "Unnie" means "older sister" if a female is speaking, but girls can also use "unnie" to refer to any other older girl, even if they're not acquainted. Doemi speaks of Wookyung as an unnie, though she has only seen her once and has not spoken to her. "Majayo" is "that's right" or "you're right". "Yeoja taemune" is "because of a girl"--Hyunsoo asks Ji-hyuk if he'd really break up their band just because of a girl.

Episode Evaluations:

Oh, so very painful, but so rewarding! This show has some great friendships, great romance, and great music, so it's a winner all around. I heart Shut Up, Flower Boy Band and I hope that the final two episodes live up to the great set-up of the previous ones.


  1. I might cry just from reading your review!

    1. :-) This show, I tell you! It can reduce strong women to weepy, sniffly masses of jello. The finale better make everyone happy again, or else!

  2. I really love how you converse with the show/the characters/yourself during your write ups. Really funny in a good way :)