Review: Shut Up & Let’s Go

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I may be 26, but I’m still a huge fan of young adult novels. They make up a vast majority of books that I’m reading. And, for whatever reason, I tend to lean towards series that are mostly marketed for the teen demographic. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy programming and books that are targeted for adult audiences as well, but there is something to be said for a series that I can relate to so earnestly.

Shut Up & Let’s Go (also known as: Shut Up Flower Boy Band), hit the right notes—for the most part. Things got a little muddled in the middle with fame and other complications, but the series smoothed out the rough edges by the final episode. This is a series about life, love, happiness, friendship and pursuing your dreams.

It was really heartwarming to see this group of guys come together. When Eye Candy reunited on stage and played their first song “Jaywalking,” (that was mostly written and coded by Byung-hee) I couldn’t stop crying. Despite parting ways to pursue their individual interests, they were still able to play on stage with the same intensity and love that radiated from the group when they played at the Rock Festival—even before. A part of me is going to live in my own little world where they still write songs together here and there.

Some things worth noting:

Eye Candy decided to break out of the underground scene when their lead singer, Byung-hee, was tragically killed very early in the series. The remaining members wanted to share Byung-hee’s song as a way to honor their friend after Ji Hyuk realized that Byung-Hee was working on a surprise for the group: trying to get them a slot at Rock Festival. I also feel like fulfilling their friend’s dreams helped the members find a healthy way to cope with Byung-hee’s loss.

Byung-hee wasn’t mentioned an awful lot as the series progressed, but it seemed natural to me. The band never forgot him, and it seemed like the show tried to include Byung-hee without making the characters constantly mourn and be stuck in the past.

I really wanted more backstory on Ji-hyuk and his mother. That one scene they shared presented more questions than answers.

Ji Hyuk made me crave apple lollipops, and apple is my least favorite lollipop flavor. In fact, every time I see a gif of Ji Hyuk with the darn apple lollipop in the mouth, it makes me crave one too. What has this drama done to me?!

Also, I think I’ve bested Su-ah with the number of times she listened to Eye Candyin one night. I think I’ve surpassed 30. (In fact, I’m listening to both Wake Up and Jaywalking while I’m writing this.)

I am a sucker for romance, but the friendships between Byung-hee, Ji Hyuk, Do II, Kyung Jong, Hyun Soo, and Ha Jin was the best part of this entire series. No matter what happens, they work out their differences and support each other. Sure, there were plenty of times when they disagreed, threw punches, and thought they hated each other, but it was a friendship built to last. It weathered plenty of storms, and the most satisfying part was seeing them all together in the end. That moment made this drama very, very special for me.

Darn you Ji Hyuk and your self-sacrificing selflessness. He was a “true” leader for the band, and he really stepped up with the death of Byung-hee. Even when the band doubted him, he always acted in their best interest. Sure, Ji Hyuk is rough around the edges and a little abrasive and a little too honest to a fault sometimes, but you can’t help but love the guy for being a good friend and most of all: a good person.

Hyun Soo was so broody, but I found him most attractive when he actually smiled. He was the cutest thing… next to Kyung Jong of course.

Shut Up and Let’s Go is a phrase all the guys say together in the final episode. It seems to be a very fitting international title. I do have to admit that the title made me, initially, postpone this drama. But it’s growing on me as I can see the significance of it after completing the series.

The soundtrack is flawless. One of the things I love most about k-dramas is the way they recycle the same music throughout a drama. Instead of feeling tacky or overused, the songs are familiar and really help keep me connected from beginning to end.

Also, Sung Joon can really sing. I doubt I will ever get these songs out of my head. I even listened to Wake Up on repeat while I was doing laundry. It was probably the happiest I’ve ever been while doing laundry. I have no idea why I even admitted that, but Ji Hyuk was always honest to a fault, so it seemed like a smart move.

If you’re looking for a teen drama with a solid, positive message, then this is the drama from you. I give it an A++. I loved this more than City Hunter at times, and City Hunter is my absolute favorite k-drama so far.

Note: gifs aren’t mine. I couldn’t find the sources, so if any of these are yours, provide links and I’ll credit you accordingly. Thanks!

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