Review: Shut Up Flower Boy Band


It took me a couple of episodes to feel completely engaged and get used to all the characters in the ensemble cast, but once I hit that point, this drama was just fantastic.

I love Dream High (a lot), but I think this is even better. This manages to be more grounded, relatable and true to life than Dream High ever was.

There is an OTP in this drama, as with most dramas, but the OTP doesn’t take centerstage. And that works in this drama. Shut Up is more about growing up and about friendships and bonds, and it is heartwarming and heartbreaking all in one, depending on where you are in the drama.

Yes, sometimes it hurts, but it hurts so good.


Perhaps it was the raised expectations that resulted from all that internet love. And perhaps it was the fact that I’m generally not a fan of rock music. But I didn’t fall in love with Shut Up rightaway.

3 episodes in, I liked it quite well, though I wasn’t in love.

Lee Min Ki is absolutely magnetic in his extended cameo in episodes 1 and 2. I feel like everyone else is kind of left in his shadow after his cameo ends. He is intense in every sense of the word. I mean, look at him:

Now, that is some intensity going on right there. So much screen presence, he’s practically stepping out of your screen to sit next to you.

Sung Joon, whose character takes over Lee Min Ki’s as band leader from episode 3 onwards, is quite fierce on his own too. But honestly, after standing alongside Lee Min Ki’s oodles of screen presence for the first 2 episodes, he somehow paled in comparison.

By episode 5, though, I felt that Sung Joon had blossomed a bit more, and was holding his own as the band leader.

I like how the drama develops not just the plot lines, but the various characters. Each character shows layers, bit by bit, and the relationships aren’t one dimensional, which is harder to do in an ensemble cast like this.

Somewhere around the halfway mark, the hook that makes me want to watch back-to-back episodes bit me. I was in love. But Shut Up is the kind of show that made me want to fight that urge so that I could savor each episode. That’s a pretty special quality in a drama, as far as I’m concerned.

The OTP is very cute, and I enjoyed their romance very much. And the amount of time we spend with them feels just right. It doesn’t take away from the focus on the friendships among the characters, and that is where the drama really shines.

What really hooked me was how the drama delves deeper into the characters and their relationships with one another.


Even though the ending is somewhat open, it is a satisfying ending that is thoughtful and honors each character’s individual hopes and dreams. It felt satisfying, wistful and moving as I walked with the characters through their decisions as they searched to find what meant the most to them.


In the end, this was a drama that I felt like lingering on. Even though I’d finished it, I didn’t want to move on just yet, because I wanted to hang around in their world some more. That is a rare quality in a drama, and I was really impressed with this one.

I didn’t just feel like a spectator given a glimpse into their world.

Somehow, I felt like a part of their world. And that is so cool.


Friendships and dreams aren’t things that you outgrow. Definitely recommend.



What’s a review of Shut Up without a taste of their music? I loved the music in this show, and I don’t even like rock all that much. That says a lot about how big a role the music played in the show, and also, how accessible the music director made it.

So. Good.

Watching this video just catapults me right back into their world. Love it!

39 thoughts on “Review: Shut Up Flower Boy Band

  1. pizzahxxi

    I can’t believe I went into this drama without knowing that Lee Min Ki was an extended cameo 🙁 when his character died I thought it was a dream or something until I went online and found out that he was only a cameo!

    After I overcame my shock, I found myself really enjoying this drama. It was fun and fresh and I loved how the focus was on the boys friendship. The songs were awesome also 😀

    The only thing that I was unsatisfied about was that the rich guys did not get punished for Byung Hee’s death. I understand that they couldn’t really report them but it was just sooo sad ;(

  2. Fae

    I feel exactly the same as you did after finishing SUFBB! Even though it’s over, I find myself wanting to go back and watch the next episode. 😂 I even still have “Jaywalking” stuck in my head.

    Yoo Seung-hoon’s character (the leader of Strawberry Fields) was quite interesting to me. It was obvious that he was used to being the “main character” and I enjoyed watching his conflict and development over the show as he realised he was actually an antagonist.

    Sorry for commenting on a post from so long ago. 🙈 I really enjoy your reviews and I’m so glad to have found this blog!

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks for enjoying the reviews, Fae! 😀 And YES, this show just knows how to hit you right in the feels, doesn’t it?? It’s been years since I watched it, and I still remember the raw, pulsating quality of this show’s energy. Also, can’t blame you for having Jaywalking stuck in your head – that was one catchy song! 😀

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  4. Alena

    It really surprised me how much I fell in love with Sung Joon as Kwon Ji-hyuk. I know a lot of other people were really disappointed when Joo Byung-hee was killed in episode 2, but I felt relieved because I hadn’t felt a big connection with him. Then, as we got to know Kwon Ji-hyuk more and more, I began to adore him. I found him so hearfelt, attractive and intense. It was wierd, because at the beginning of the show I didn’t give him a second look and didn’t think he was very good-looking, but because of the character he is now one of my biggest kdrama crushes. Sorry to dredge up an old post!

    1. kfangurl

      Never apologize for commenting on an older post, Alena!! It makes me happy to know that the older reviews are still getting some love. 😉 And I did love this show a whole lot. Sung Joon really grew on me in this show too. I remember feeling like Ji Hyuk couldn’t quite fill the empty space that Byung Hee left behind, but as the episodes progressed, he really came into his own and grew into a character that filled up that space and very solidly too.

      Unfortunately, since Shut Up, I haven’t seen Sung Joon in as compelling a role. But, I’m still hoping! 😉

  5. neve

    This one was a bit of a letdown for me. I liked Dream High a lot, so I thought I would like this too. The whole thing was just meh to me… Everything got rather predictable after Byung Hee died. And you’re right, Lee Min Ki was a much more charismatic lead. Things were just really tepid throughout, for me. Even the ending was just really meh. I watched to the end just to enjoy the eye candies, INFINITE’s L and Lee Hyun Jae. I didn’t know who they were before this show, but dang they’re pretty!

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, really?? I’m sad you didn’t like this one, I remember loving it when I watched it. So angsty and full of heart and friendship and bromance, in all of its raw glory. <3 I found Dream High cracky and fun, but more on the manufactured side of things. Shut Up, though, felt more gritty and raw.

      Of course, just because I loved it doesn't mean that it'll work for everyone – but at least you found some new Pretty to enjoy, hee 😉

  6. totallyclueless

    I completely agree with everything! 😀 Especially re: Lee Min Ki’s cameo. His character here in this drama made a really big impact, it’s crazy.

    1. kfangurl

      YAY that you loved this show too, Yani!! 😀 And YES, Lee Min Ki is so magnetic and intense in this, EVERYTHING paled in his shadow! He deserved his own show, seriously. <3

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  10. Jemerald

    I love how the story focuses more on friendship rather than romance, considering the guys here are hot, and that’s the reason why I really like this show.. Honestly, i never expected it to be this good. Anyway, can anybody suggests drama about friendships?? Thanks

    1. kfangurl

      Yes, isn’t Shut Up a really good show?? I was honestly quite surprised too, by how much I enjoyed this one. 🙂 For another drama with friendship as a central focus, have you watched School 2013? It features my all-time favorite bromance in all of dramaland. ❤

  11. kaiaraia

    Whoah! Finally! After countless tries I finally went past the ala Boy George eyelined, window-jumping, cross-dressing teen ager which until recently got me scurrying away from the show. And the result, a record-breaking watch. It now holds the shortest time I spent in lapping up a show. Or should I say, devouring a show. Right, it’s the rawness and the roughness that made this show realistic. I just wished the actors were better at trying to sing. The lip syncs were so horrible. Yes, they were in sync but they looked like zoombies, so devoid of feelings, except for a little part where that boy who played KKJ in Big did the duet. Speaking of KKJ, I mean Kim Myung Soo, he’s one of the reasons I got invested in the drama. I really liked his acting in Big. I noticed he was, most of the time, missing in action in the first half of the show. Thankfully, he got lots of attention towards the end. This show, however, gave me a feeling that he might not be a very versatile actor. I hope I’m wrong. As for Sung Joon, I’m not as impressed with him here as I was with him in White Christmas. He was simply intense in that one.

    This show reminds me of School 2013. The bromance, the struggles, the angst, the hopes, the dreams… and I love them. And the ending… I likey. So so real. Kudos indeed to the writer and director. 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, I’m so glad you managed to get into Shut Up, kaiaraia!! 😀 I loved this show, it was teen angst done right. The acting isn’t the best, but the story and the tone of it all made up for it, for me. I liked Sung Joon a lot in here, but you’re right, he’s more mesmerizing in White Christmas. I loved him in White Christmas! ❤

      And yes, I really, really liked the ending of Shut Up! It was real, yet hopeful. I felt like each of the boys got a solid ending, and that it was thoughtfully written. No candy-coated glossing over, and no sad doom-and-gloom either. Just, real, and hopeful. Love ❤

        1. kfangurl

          YES! That’s a great way of describing it, kaiaraia! Shut Up has an indie sort of tone and flavor to it. It’s got that rough-around-the-edges, we-care-about-our-art sort of vibe to it, which is very indie ^^

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  13. jan

    Just watched the series few days ago (just started watching k-dramas religiously this year). The angst, the emotion, just so raw. Seems like the end is the beginning. There were some awkward acting moments but the heck, the show itself is somehow rough around the edges. That’s more like it! =)
    I have to say, the credit shouldn’t be given to the actors alone but to the people behind the camera, the director and writer/s themselves.
    Haha… a very late comment for a show that ended more than two years ago… =D

    1. kfangurl

      Never too late to check out a drama, imo! ^^ I’m currently watching a couple of oldies myself – dramas from 1994! Better late than never, is what I say 😉

      Yes, there’s a lot of angst in this drama, and it feels really raw and real.. It’s one of my favorite things about this show. And what the actors lacked in finesse and experience, they made up for with such endearing earnestness. And totally agree with you, credit does go to the folks behind the cameras too, for pulling it all together in such an engaging way. 🙂

  14. shwewen

    Even after 3 years later, seeing the mv brings back fond memories 🙂 makes me wanna revisit it again

    1. kfangurl

      Ikr?? It’s one of those feel-good dramas that I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of. I loved loved loved the bromance and friendships and all that raw, youthful angst and spark. ❤

  15. Janey

    Hi kfangurl! Sorry if I’m unearthing old posts, but I love your review! This is my favorite Kdrama eveeeeer, and I feel all warm inside just by reading your little review. It makes me want to watch it again! And yes, the OTP is very cute and I love how it takes the backseat to let the friendship and music take center stage. 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks Janey! That’s really nice of you to say, coz I wrote this review way back when I first started blogging, and I do feel like I didn’t do the show justice with this very brief review! So to hear you say that you enjoyed reading it just makes me happy 😀 I absolutely think Shut Up is worth a rewatch, it’s such an awesome show. The bromance and friendships just makes this show for me. The characters and friendships all felt so real and organic and believable, and I loved the band together. ❤

    1. kfangurl

      Oh yes, Lee Min Ki was Magnetic in this, with a capital M. He was so magnetic, in fact, that after his character was written out and Sung Joon’s character takes over as band leader, I found Sung Joon paled in comparison in the charisma department, lol. But, Sung Joon definitely came into his own, and it wasn’t long before I was fully onboard with Sung Joon and developed a bit soft spot for him 🙂

      Oh, I watched that Special! The memory is kinda hazy now, but I remember really enjoying it! I’m so glad you found it and that it gave you a chance to relive the bromance in the show. Sooo good. I need to rewatch this drama sometime! ^^

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  17. birdysbooks

    I hate the female lead. Her real life personality isn’t innocent enough to play the character. When I first saw her I didn’t even give a thought that she was going to be the lead. It made me pretty annoyed that the director would chose her. Bcs she stinks at it. Does no one else see this? That she’s not female lead material?

    1. kfangurl

      Wow, birdysbooks, your comment brought a lot of different thoughts to my mind.. I couldn’t decide in which order to share those thoughts with you, so, in no particular order, here they are:

      – I don’t know Jo Bo Ah outside of her role in SUFBB, so I didn’t have to struggle with reconciling her role with her real life personality. I actually found her likable in the role.. Maybe that’s where not knowing too much about actors might actually be helpful, in terms of enjoying a drama? I know for a fact that *at the moment* it’s harder for me to watch a Park Shi Hoo drama because of this year’s scandal. At the same time, I do feel that it’s fairer to judge an actor based on his or her performance alone, rather than match their real life to the character. I mean, most of our kdrama heroes aren’t as cool or charming or charismatic in real life as we’d love them to be, unfortunately..

      – I didn’t see Jo Bo Ah’s character as the female lead per se, in the sense that I felt the boys and their bromance was the central focus of the show. I was more interested in what happened among the boys and saw the romance as a side story, almost. I guess in that sense, I expected less from Jo Bo Ah than if I’d seen her as a main lead. Since I had lower expectations because of that, maybe that’s why I didn’t get disappointed?

      – In terms of appreciating / disliking certain actresses that other people seem to love, I can totally empathize with you. While I didn’t have any issues with Jo Bo Ah in SUFBB and in fact found her likable, I do personally struggle with certain other actresses who have a huge fan-base, but I fail to understand their appeal. As one example, I have struggled with every role that I’ve seen Lee Bo Young in. I have been underwhelmed by her acting and don’t find her a very appealing actress. But, her fan-base is huge, and she’s won acting awards. I can only say that I don’t get it. And maybe I will, sometime. Or not. I plan to check out I Hear Your Voice since it got so much positive buzz. Maybe IHYV will be the drama that makes me change my mind about her? We’ll have to see how that shakes out. ^^

    2. Ronx

      Uh what? Innocent?? I am amazed at this comment. What does it matter how she is in real life? She can play the part well and that is enough. Only an innocent actor can play an innocent role? Only a mean guy in real life can play an evil role? And so on.. That is absurd.

  18. yvette

    Hey you dumb people who prudoce this show how dare you kill the cuetiest. Guy in the second episode I should smack yall

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, I feel your pain yvette!! I went into the show *already knowing* that Lee Min Ki was only doing an extended cameo and even then, I gasped out loud when his character, er, left. It’s still a great show, though, and totally worth the watch. It takes a little while, but Sung Joon does come into his own, out of Lee Min Ki’s shadow. One of my all-time fave dramas!

      If you’d like to see more of Lee Min Ki, I do recommend Dalja’s Spring, if you haven’t seen it. He’s male lead, so you get lots of time with him. Plus, kisses! ;D

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  20. mawiie

    Here I come, commenting on an older post again! I loved SUFBB as well! Freaking awesome soundtrack and a heartbreaking band of brothers <3 I luuuufff you Show!

    1. kfangurl

      I know, right?! This show was so awesome that it surpassed my already high expectations! The boys were all so adorable and so amazing together – love!! <3

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