What ‘Shut Up: Flower Boy Band’ Left in Its Wake
TvN’s Shut Up: Flower Boy Band aired its last flower boy-filled episode on March 20.
Just like Beat, which starred Jung Woo Sung and Go So Young and was about the lost youth of the 90s, Flower Boy Band related to its teenage and adult viewers by portraying the growth of the new generation through music. It wasn’t just a simple music drama with great visuals; it was a serious piece about the delinquent rock spirit and the beauty of youth.
Flower Boy Band gathered a stable 1 percent in viewership ratings, but the loyalty of its big fans didn’t fall behind that of fans for higher rating main channel dramas. Keywords related to the drama kept appearing on keyword search charts in portal sites, and the members’ profiles and the cartoon produced under the same title for the drama all made issues.
How did Flower Boy Band manage to start off as a starless youth drama but then manage to draw in the spotlight three months later as a star-birthing mature drama?
Flower Boy Band is the ‘sequel’ to Flower Boy Ramen Shop. Flower Boy Band gained some interest thanks to the halo of Flower Boy Ramen Shop, which starred many flower boys such as Jung Il Woo and Lee Ki Woo, and brought in a rock group called Easy on the Eyes full of more self-absorbed flower boys to be its main lead group.
Oh Boy Project was the production company behind both dramas. The company’s Head CEO Park Sung Hye succeeded in making the sentiments connected with flower boys an actual brand, and concentrated all her efforts into digging up new stars for Flower Boy Band. Thus she came up with the new cards Sung Joon and Jo Bo Ah.
It was a risky cast, but the drama concentrated on having a big impact for its beginnings by having Lee Min Ki cameo for the first two episodes. The baton was successfully passed to Sung Joon, and women who had become hooked on flower boys were instantly caught up in Flower Boy Band’s Easy on the Eyes. It was a success brought on by calculated design, but also the hard work of the actors, the story’s seriousness and its creativity.
“The actors, staff and producers boasted a great teamwork and filmed the drama happily. The rookie actors were especially serious about their work, continuing to think over their acting, and helped perfect the quality of the drama,” producer Bae Jong Byung of Flower Boy Band said,
Music, cartoons and film, all in one
Flower Boy Band was also unique in that it used the one-source multi-use method. Its success mainly came from its flower boy features, but the music that acted as a medium in the drama, its beautiful camera work and a strategy that involved releasing a cartoon at the same time as the drama all came together in a synergy effect.
Lee Min Ki’s Not in Love, Sung Joon’s Jaywalking and Two Months’ Ye Rim and Infinite L’s Love U Like U were popular even outside of the drama.
Inquiries regarding the OST for Flower Boy Band and the band’s studio album are bombarding the company even after the end of the drama, as music director Lee Jae Hak’s sensual choice of music helped the drama become an emotional youth drama. The cartoon will be continuing the success with an epilogue of what happened to the Easy on the Eyes members after the drama ended.
Viewers were very sorry the drama was coming to an end, leaving comments such as, ‘The realistic ending was sad and it was great’, ‘I’m looking forward to how the Easy on the Eyes members will mature after going their separate ways’, ‘I wish I had a mentor like Rock Kim (Kim C)’ and ‘My eyes and ears were pampered; now I don’t know what to do’.
Kim Do Kyun, guitarist of the rock band Baekdoosan, also proved he was a big fan of the drama. In a section he owns on a portal site, he said about Flower Boy Band, ‘Each piece of background music was full of band sounds, and it told the real story of the concerns, conflicts, hope and love that arise when you’re in a band during your youth through careful close-up cuts of the instruments and the story’.
The producers of the drama said, “Rather than make it a simple youth drama about teenagers, we tried to cover school violence, the rich-poor gap, a thirst for dreams, their gap with reality and other social problems the teenagers of Korea are going through without exaggerating too much. Thanks to that we got favorable reactions from the viewers, and in the February before the drama’s end we even exported the publication rights for the drama to a Japanese broadcasting company at the highest price ever in cable history. For next time, we’re putting together a story not about school, but about flower boys who have just started on their jobs. Please continue to look forward to the flower boy series.”
Photo credit: CJ E&M