This show breaks my heart, in the best way. The boys face their first brush with success, and it tests their loyalty, one by one. Our major relationships encounter some crossroads as well, as Su-ah makes a decision and Ji-hyuk finally confronts the question he’s been too scared to face about Su-ah: is liking her the same as betraying his bestie Byung-hee?
SONG OF THE DAY
Hot Potato – “고백” (Confession) — in honor of Kim C’s cameo [ Download ]
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Seung-hoon’s noona at HR Entertainment offers them the contract—for Ji-hyuk and Hyun-soo—and tells them to think it over. Ji-hyuk says it’s not necessary, and rips it up in her face. Kyung-jong can barely hide his smile. Aw.
They get up to walk out, and she tells them she’ll be here when they change their minds. “Think carefully, whether you’re doing music because you want friends, or if you have friends because you want to make music.”
Er… how ’bout you have both, lady? Not everyone’s gotta be a hermitty genius who gave up bromance for rock. Once they’re gone, she makes a call to someone saying that she’s got a band worth seeing. Hm.
They trudge back to their basement, where Woo-kyung is on pins and needles, ready to celebrate their new success. They tell her what happened, Kyung-jong happily reliving Ji-hyuk’s loyalty…
But Woo-kyung turns it around on them, asking if they’re really Ji-hyuk’s friends. She asks what the big deal is to be separated now, when they really should be scrambling to help any one of them get up out of this basement.
She actually says the words, “You’re blocking Ji-hyuk’s path,” and Ji-hyuk grits through his teeth for her to stop and walks out. Hyun-soo sighs, and I’m thinking he’s not entirely on Ji-hyuk’s wavelength on this. Urg, I’m scared he’s going to cut loose and take the deal.
While Hyun-soo sleeps, his mom comes in and finds the HR Ent contract sitting pristinely on his desk. Oh noes! Don’t do it, Hyun-soo! She tells his dad excitedly, and Hyun-soo sighs, clearly thinking about signing it.
Ji-hyuk walks home and Su-ah catches up to him and calls out his name. He doesn’t turn around so she runs up, winding up to throw an egg at his head… I hope that’s hard-boiled… But he turns around just in time to catch her egg-handed.
She erupts into hiccups immediately, and tries to cover it up by casually offering him an egg. He takes it, and then cracks it on her head. Hee. She frowns that she’s always the victim, but he says hey, at least her hiccups went away.
Ha, that is the very definition of the Korean saying, to give the illness and then the medicine. He smiles and says he was having a crap day, but she just made it better. In her room, she smiles at her bag of eggs, and then sees Seung-hoon’s notebook. She puts it in her bag, clearly having made some sort of decision about it.
At school, Eye Candy continues to music-video-strut down the halls because pretty people just walk in slow motion, don’t you know. The girls squeal in delight, and one decides bravely that she should ask for their autographs before they become too famous.
So her friend launches her into their path, where Hyun-soo gives her an icy stare, and then Ha-jin stops to coo over her and make sure she’s okay. Ha. So true to form. Strawberry Fields looks on jealously.
The rumor of their HR Ent contract has spread throughout school, and Pyo-joo asks if Seung-hoon’s sister would really betray them, as if brotherly loyalty would mean anything to her. Seung-hoon just sighs and walks away.
But the contract continues to loom over Eye Candy’s heads, and things finally come to a head between Ha-jin and Hyun-soo, who still haven’t quite smoothed things over fully since the festival.
Ha-jin says that if someone hadn’t messed up their concert, she would’ve witnessed his awesome bass skills. Hyun-soo gets the implication loud and clear: it’s all his fault. Ha-jin asks if he’s not really dying to sign the contract and go be famous, and Hyun-soo speaks frankly that of course he does—is that so wrong?
What’s great is that you can see plainly both sides of the argument and why they’re both right. But it kills me that the group is getting fractured more and more by the day. Ji-hyuk tries to stop them, and finally Do-il gets fed up and stalks off silently.
Su-ah comes to Seung-hoon’s practice room, his notebook and mp3 player in hand. She sits down at the piano and starts tinkering away, and suddenly Seung-hoon appears behind her, wrapping his arms around her to play the song for her.
She stops and tells him that he sure has a way of stealing her thunder, and he just says he thought she wanted to hear that song. She points out that this is exactly his problem—he doesn’t consider what the other person wants, and just DOES.
Seung-hoon doesn’t get it: “Isn’t that more convenient?” Because of course, pampered rich boy doesn’t understand why a girl wouldn’t just want things to be easier. Sigh.
She gives him back his class notes and the mp3 player, which she says she lost, but has replaced with money from her part-time job. She tells him that she didn’t realize how much she had been accepting from him without thinking about it, and adds that she won’t be accepting anything from him anymore. “Because I can’t accept your heart.”
Oh thank GAWD. I really thought she might ride the wishy-washy two-timing train for a while longer. He asks, “Is it because you’ve found someone else you like?” She pauses… “I think I have.” Wow, I didn’t expect her to say that. I like her even more.
Do-il tells Ji-hyuk to stop thinking of them and just sign the contract. Ji-hyuk sighs, running his hand along one of the pool tables, recalling Byung-hee. He says so what—he’d get up on stage to sing, and Hyun-soo would play guitar… but who would play the drums?
“I can’t sing unless YOU play the drums, you ass.” Pfft. I’m laughing and crying at the same time.
Do-il smiles, and Ji-hyuk says that if they want to show Byung-hee’s music to the world, they’ll need that witch, but no matter what, “We run together.” He calls the band for a meeting.
Ji-hyuk announces that they will get a five-member contract out of “that witch.” She’s never really seen a true performance from them, so they’ll show her what they’re really made of, and if she still says no, then they’ll have tried their best and can give up cleanly.
Suddenly a strange man pops up, “You’re gonna give up that easily? Hey, do you have any booze around here?” The boys jump back in shock. OMG, it’s Kim C!! Kim C’s back on my tv? Oh happy day.
They ask who the weirdo ajusshi is, and then Do-il does a double take: “Isn’t that… Rock Kim?” They stare dumbfounded, rubbing their eyes, and Rock Kim scoffs, “Have you seen a ghost?”
He says that he heard they were the neighborhood punks so he came to check them out, but they look on the verge of breaking up. “There’s no fun, no booze… I’m outta here.” He says they should call him when they break up and want to sell off their instruments—he’ll get them a good deal.
They stand there bewildered, wondering if they just hallucinated, musing that there’s no way Rock Kim would be in Korea. Hey, I’m as surprised as you are. I thought Kim C was in Germany. They wonder if maybe it was just some guy that looks like him.
Ji-hyuk says it doesn’t matter, ’cause if they don’t want to end up selling their instruments like the man said, then they have to work their asses off, do or die. Hyun-soo and Ha-jin look over at each other… and break into smiles. Yay!
Ji-hyuk throws his fist in the center, and they join in. Kyung-jong throws in his other hand too, “This one’s Byung-hee’s.” Urrrrumph. I’m not crying!
Ji-hyuk: “Shut up, and run!” And run they do, each logging in more practice time than ever.
Meanwhile the HR Witch fields a call from a music program PD who wants to feature Eye Candy, but she says it’s still early and they’re not hurrying to put them out there too soon. Hm, why are you acting like their agent when you’re not their agent?
At school, Teacher Kim overhears Pyo-joo and Maro griping about Eye Candy, calling them the poor kids, and Teach gets all huffy. They treat him like a bug, so he yells at them not to disrespect a teacher, and brings Pyo-joo down to the ground.
That of course causes a giant fuss, with students taking pictures and Pyo-joo just laughing. Ji-hyuk runs up and holds Teach back, but I think the damage is already done. Argh. Just when he was turning around to be a good person, too! Is he gonna lose his job over this?
Seung-hoon storms into noona’s office to ask why Eye Candy, and she just breezes that she’s planning to make something out of them, and besides, it’s not like she can sign Little Bro, not with Dad looming over them with his big plans.
He blows up at her, asking why them, but that just makes her want to sign Eye Candy even more, guessing that Seung-hoon sees something in them too. He says that they’re just kids playing around with instruments, but she sees the appeal in that—they know how to have fun, which in itself is a talent. She leaves him fuming.
Eye Candy practice their hearts out, feeling ready to go find that witch and show her what they’ve got. No need though, ’cause she comes walking right into their basement, having heard them play already.
She says they’ll take it slow and offers to put out their single. The boys cheer, and Do-il asks to be sure—is she acknowledging their skill, on drums, bass, and keyboard? She smiles.
Flashback to her office, where Rock Kim sits watching their festival performance. So he’s the sunbae she called after all. He tells her not to split them up, and she’s shocked that he’s figured that out already.
He points to his head, “You may have this, but you’re a little lacking here,” and points to his heart. “There are times when the heart wins out over the head.”
Back with the boys, she answers that they can go ahead and consider it an acknowledgment of their talents.
They go back to rejoicing, only to have Noona’s assistant remind them to show up with their parents, since minors can’t sign contracts without their parents’ permission. That brings them back down to earth pretty damn fast.
It’s clearly a bigger issue for some of our boys, like Do-il and Ji-hyuk, who look at each other and sigh.
Su-ah waits on her rooftop for Ji-hyuk to come home, giggling when she sees him down below. She runs up to him outside his door, hands him a banana milk, and then cracks an egg on his head.
She giggles, “It’s revenge!” and sticks out her tongue before running away. How cute are you? He goes running after her.
He chases her down into the street, where they run smack dab into Do-il, Woo-kyung, Ha-jin, and Kyung-jong, on their way to throw a party. Woo-kyung makes her disappointment clear, and Ha-jin adds insult to injury by noting that they look just like they were in the middle of a round of catch-me-if-you-can.
Ji-hyuk comes up with a lame excuse about her needing to borrow something, and tells Su-ah to go home. Kyung-jong invites her along, since she’s Byung-hee’s muse, but Ji-hyuk grumbles, sighing at that tired use of “Byung-hee’s muse.” Aw. She clearly hears it as I’m sick and tired of you, which is so not what he’s saying.
They awkwardly part ways, leaving Su-ah alone in the street. Woo-kyung trails behind and Do-il waits for her, of course, letting her vent. She sighs that Ji-hyuk was smiling—he never smiles like that when he’s with her.
Do-il says it’s probably just ’cause they’re neighbors and they’re friendly, but Woo-kyung knows better and says it makes her nervous.
Su-ah stands outside on her rooftop, listening to the happy ruckus coming from Ji-hyuk’s room, feeling lonelier than ever.
At school, the video of Teacher Kim’s unfortunate outburst spreads, and Kyung-jong admits to feeling kinda sad about it. Ha-jin: “Do you want him following us around for the rest of our lives?” Kyung-jong: “No, not that… but still…” The conversation shifts to parents, and Do-il asks Ji-hyuk if he called his mom. No answer, just an exit. Ruh-roh.
Teacher Kim gets his ass handed to him by the principal, with Pyo-joo and Maro snickering behind him, no less. He begs to keep his job, and the principal says he can, but he’ll have to take a six-month leave. Poor Teacher Grumpypants.
It’s contract-signing time for the boys, as they each show up with their parents. Haha, the array of family members is truly comical. Hyun-soo shows up with his nightclub-singer parents, whom we’ve met before.
Ye-rim sees him come in and grabs his hand, asking if he’s okay now, if he can still play guitar. He treats her as icily as ever, and she apologizes again for that night.
Ha-jin shows up with his gaggle of noonas in tow, (this time his real ones, not the sugar-mamma kind), and Kyung-jong comes with his embarrassingly loud mommy.
Do-il and Ji-hyuk trail behind, no parents in sight. They ask each other if anyone will show. Shoulder shrugs all around. But the next to enter is a scary-looking mob boss with two henchmen on either side of him, so I guess Do-il’s dad is a rather supportive mobster daddy after all.
It’s even funnier when they all get into a room together, like they’re competing for most embarrassing parent of the year. Each of the boys takes his turn cringing. It’s a hilarious mess of “My baby’s a born singer,” and “My baby needs skincare,” and “Mo~m, just sign it and go home!” Pffft.
But it’s also really sweet, ’cause sure they’re embarrassing, but they’re all really supportive and loving, except for Do-il’s dad who kind of talks about him like an underling proposing a business deal rather than a son. But hey, he showed up and pushed his gangster weight around.
Through all the hubbub, Ji-hyuk hangs back in the corner, totally alone. Gah, somebody hug him, please.
It doesn’t look like anyone’s gonna show, but then the assistant walks in and hands over Ji-hyuk’s contract, signed by Mom and delivered via lawyer. Aw, puppy. Well, at least she signed.
But the meeting gets cut short with a news bomb: Seung-hoon’s name gets splashed all over the internet as the mysterious “genius songwriter” Ryu. Guess he’s figured out ways to circumvent Noona after all.
The school buzzes with the news, and when Noona calls, Seung-hoon says she might be afraid of Daddy, but he’s not. “From now on, I’m not going to hide the things that I want to have, and want to do.”
Pyo-joo and Maro walk in, just as surprised as everyone else. They ask eagerly if this means he’ll debut now, and wonder what they should do to prepare. But Seung-hoon cuts them off, “I debut alone.”
Oh dayum. And herein lies the difference between Ji-hyuk and Seung-hoon. His friends gape, asking what they are, what Strawberry Fields is, then. Seung-hoon: “A high school memory.” He lays it out plainly, that his future road isn’t one they can share. Pyo-joo fumes, and Maro smirks, “How like you,” disappointed but hardly surprised.
Su-ah sits in a café, mulling over the news that Eye Candy signed contracts, which Ji-hyuk never told her. She thinks back to his dismissal the other night, when he said he was sick and tired of her being called Byung-hee’s muse. Aw, if you only knew why.
The boys celebrate their success over chicken in their basement, and talk turns to Seung-hoon. Kyung-jong says that Su-ah must be happy since they’re dating, and Ji-hyuk oh-so-casually mentions that she denied it in front of all of them.
But they all agree that was probably bullshit, which annoys him enough to get up and leave. Heh.
Su-ah comes home to find Seung-hoon waiting for her. He says that he rushed things and that he’ll wait for her. She tells him not to. Good girl.
But he’s not about to take no for an answer (grar) and takes her hand: “I’m not going to back down now.”
Suddenly Ji-hyuk calls out, “Let go of that hand.” Su-ah pulls her hand away. Seung-hoon tells Ji-hyuk to go home, while Su-ah tells Seung-hoon to go home.
But Ji-hyuk’s already in a foul mood and he spits out, “This is why school’s lined with rumors. You’re running around stuck together, and still, you’re gonna say that there’s nothing between you two?”
Oh, foot in mouth, buddy.
That pisses her off royally, so she fires back, “What’s it to you whether or not we date? I’m plenty tired these days without either of you, so you can both leave me alone.”
While all this has been going on, Woo-kyung has arrived just behind Ji-hyuk, and she calls out to him now. Seung-hoon sees her and laughs, as he turns to go.
Woo-kyung follows Ji-hyuk upstairs and says “Not her.” She says it’s not the first time she’s dealt with some other girl being by his side, but this one’s different: “She’s the girl that Byung-hee liked!”
She asks if he can tell the other guys about her. He can’t answer. She warns him to end it. Aw, I get that it’s not the most kosher of girlfriend choices, but it’s not like Byung-hee had anything but a totally one-sided fantasy crush on the girl. Clearly, this is more about dealing with the fact that Byung-hee’s gone than it is about moving in on his girl.
Teacher Kim fills his evenings with a new part-time job as a designated driver, and gets called to pick up Rock Kim… who recognizes him immediately as Kim Soo-bo, a drummer who used to play at the same clubs he did back in the day. Awwww, yeah! Teach rocks out? Nice.
This time it’s Ji-hyuk’s turn to wait for Su-ah on his rooftop, calling her over and over again, to no avail. He tries to sleep but can’t do that either, and ends up running like crazy to her restaurant, and waiting there until close.
She finally comes out after what seems like an eternity, and he trails after her, asking if she’s mad. She gives him the silent treatment, so he asks peevishly why she isn’t answering her phone.
Su-ah: “You told me not to go anywhere! You made it so that I wouldn’t go anywhere and now you’re sick of me?”
He tries to explain that, but she just says he’s always doing whatever he feels like: “So now I’m not going to be swayed by you anymore.”
She whirls around to go but he stops her, turning her back to face him. Ji-hyuk: “I don’t know how things will turn out either! Whether this is right… my head is upside-down and backwards… I’m going crazy! I’m going crazy… because I like you.”
Yay, good for you for confessing your feelings. Because as much as we see the drama from Ji-hyuk’s point of view, Su-ah has no cause to believe he’s anything other than a big ol’ playboy flirt, given his actions. Yeah, Seung-hoon’s always around, but so is Woo-kyung, not to mention the groups of screaming girls left and right. He certainly needs to do more to win her, especially now that she’s turned Seung-hoon down. (My one massive gripe is that the result of her being very clear in rejecting him is that he just becomes more dogged. Hello, message! How many ways can a girl say no before you become creepy?)
The question of her being Byung-hee’s muse is an interesting one, I think, not because he’s got some claim to her from beyond the grave, but because it makes Ji-hyuk face the fact that Byung-hee’s gone. The boys sort of function with that heart-wrenching thing they do, like including Byung-hee in group fist-bumps, as if he’s still there. They have to, and it fuels them in a positive way to live out his dream and put his music out in the world.
But it’s going to cause a problem when they find out that Ji-hyuk’s in love with Byung-hee’s muse – like he’s saying that Byung-hee is gone even though they’re acting like Byung-hee is with them, every day. It already breaks my heart knowing the clash that’ll come of it, which is why I get his conflict, and love where they’re going with it, much more than the traditional Seung-hoon/Woo-kyung love square.
I really like all the ways the boys’ loyalty gets tested, whether it’s bloody concerts or contracts for fame and fortune. It says so much about Ji-hyuk that he never considers signing alone as an option, compared to Seung-hoon, who actively sheds his bandmates even though no one is asking him to. I like the range of conflict within Eye Candy too, and I don’t fault Hyun-soo for being tempted to sign without them, though I’m severely relieved he never got a chance to. His ups and downs with Ha-jin always keep me on edge in a good way, because I never know how far one of them will go in blaming the other or spitting out something hateful that they can’t take back.
The Do-il/Ji-hyuk friendship has also been one of my favorite developments so far, and though it’s a subtler one with fewer fireworks, I like how they support each other quietly. They’re both taciturn guys anyway, so I like that their friendship is one of silent knowing looks, like being the odd ones out when it comes time for embarrassing parent meetings, or sharing a memory of Byung-hee. That’s why it kills me when Ji-hyuk tells him directly in so many words that he can’t sing unless Do-il plays the drums, to make it clear he’s not going anywhere without him.
I don’t know if Rock Kim will be hanging around for more episodes, or if Teacher Kim’s rock past means the guru mantle has been passed to him, but either way I’m excited for the prospect of a mentor for these guys. Bring on the rock guru hijinks, karate-kid-style!
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 7
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 6
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 5
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 4
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 3
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 2
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 1
- Shut Up adds Loveholic rocker as music director, releases long preview
- Press conference day for cast of Shut Up: Flower Boy Band