It’s fairly well know among my friends that I am a huge fan of boy bands. Not literally boy bands…but the genre. New Kids on the Block is my all time favorite boy band. Some might consider the guys in New Kids ‘Men’ but the fact that they are still singing songs with the phrase “Gonna get to you girl, really want you in my world.” might technically make them boys. I love New Kids so much that even when I got to meet and ask my boy band Adonis (Jordan Knight) for his autograph and he dissed me…I still can’t help but love him. I’m a glutton for punishment. And lets not forget the time I accidentally told Kevin Richardson from Backstreet Boys that he stunk….But I digress!
The title of this Kdrama seemed to be full of the fluff that I’ve come to associate and love with Kdramas. Boy, was I wrong.
Real name/character name/nickname I give to keep them all straight.
- Sung Joon as Kwon Ji Hyuk/ Dear Leader
- L as Lee Hyun Soo/ Justin Bieber
- Lee Hyun Jae as Jang Do Il/ White kid
- Kim Min Suk as Seo Kyung Jong/ Mama’s boy
- Yoo Min Kyu as Kim Ha Jin / The Tall One
- Lee Min Ki as Joo Byung Hee (cameo, ep 1-2) / Skeletor
- Jung Ui Chul as Yoo Seung Hoon/ Musical Savant
- Kwak Jung Wook as Jung Maro
- Kim Hyun Joon (김현준) as Park Pyo Joo
- Kim Hyo Seok (LED Apple) as Drummer (cameo)
- Jo Bo Ah as Im Soo Ah / Poor Little Rich Girl
- Kim Ye Rim (김예림) as Kim Ye Rim
- Kim Jung Min as Bang Woo Kyung
- Jung Ji Ahn as Jo Deo Mi
- Ma Dong Suk as Silva
- Dong Hyun Bae (동현배) as Sharkpa boss
- Kim C (김C) as Rock Kim
- Yum Jung Ah as Ji Hyuk’s mom (cameo)
Ok, let me introduce you, if you haven’t already met, to the characters of this Kdrama. The first characters seen in this Kdrama are the gentlemen in the boy band called ‘Eye Candy’. They are an underground rock band. Yeah, named Eye Candy. Not sure how many punches in the throat that deserves, but I’m pretty sure its a lot. ANYWAY, there are 6 members, and they aren’t your average garden variety boy band. At least, not in the States.
These fools play their own instruments! I’m not used to this sort of trickery. I like my boy-bands dancing in unison only. Musical instruments only confuse and frighten me.
First off, there is the “leader” of Eye Candy named Skeletor.
Perhaps you can see why I’ve bequeathed him this name. He’s tall, skinny and odd…much like a skeleton. Regardless of his name, he’s the driving force of Eye Candy. Always the first one to get the group into a fight and then get them out of trouble with the law and school (oh, yeah, they all still go to school). But the heartbreak here, is that he is, hands down, the most likeable character out of all the Eye Candy dudes. He’s the type of guy that has the most ambitious dreams, gets others to believe in those dreams and then sabotage himself from accomplishing those dreams. But ultimately you just don’t care what dumbass thing he just did cause he’s cool. AND they kill him off the second episode in. THEY KILLED OFF THE MOST INTERESTING CHARACTER TWO HOURS IN!
Well, Kdrama, you’ve gotten my attention now and I’m not happy.
So, since Skeletor is gone, the group needs a new leader. Enter Dear Leader .
He’s a kid living on the wrong side of the tracks, taking care of himself cause mama was convinced by his older brothers to disown him. WTF mom?! Abandonment issues much? Needless to say, he’s the one with a chip on his shoulder who is full of angst and is supposed to make all the girls want to hold him and take care of him. Meh. But since he was Skeletor’s best friend, he becomes the next leader of the band. It’s his determination to make Skeletors dream (of Eye Candy becoming a big band) come true that drives this Kdrama.
As Dear Leader tries to get his band signed to a label, he falls in love with Poor Little Rich Girl.
Poor Little Rich Girl grew up rich in a big house and rich friends and was pretty much Paris Hilton of Korea. Her dad got slammed for corruption and all that money is gone. Poor Little Rich Girl is poor now. She moves next door to Dear Leader and they begin an angsty relationship filled with sayings like “Don’t look in my underwear drawer.” and, “Why are there thugs standing outside of your apartment?” Oh, and also, they break up and make up over mega legitimate reasons like, ‘the success of your boy band is more important than your relationship with me so I’m breaking up with you.” Legit, right? If by legit, I mean incredibly stupid and rage inducing. Eff that noise! Eff it right into the ground!!!! You don’t dump a guy because you want him to be better at his job. That’s his problem to worry about. Poor Little Rich Girl annoys me.
Because she was friends with Musical Savant for ages and even though he offered soooo many times to help her out financially, she refused until she almost got in a shit ton of trouble.
Hey there, Musical Savant. I remember you from Boys Before Flowers as the psychotic stalker of Jan Di. Glad you came up in the world and stopped trying to kill people. I thought it was super cool you loved your friend, Poor Little Rich Girl, for all those years and were so nice to her even after she gave you hint after hint that she just wasn’t interested. Must have sucked, huh. You were by her side for years and were best friends and even though you have a crap ton of money and are really good at producing music, Poor Little Rich Girl chose the Emo poster child, Dear Leader. I mean, what does he have that you don’t? He’s the leader of Eye Candy and you are the leader of Strawberry Fields, an equally talented boy-band. Maybe it’s the fact that your band only has 4 members and his had 5. Or maybe its the fact that you chose to fall in love with an idiot. Either way, you’re probably better off without her. Cheer up and go get ’em, Tiger!
Additional members of Eye Candy include, the whitest actor I’ve seen in Kdramas thus far.
I mean, he has to have some flavor of Caucasian in his gene pool. Unless the Korean’s have finally found a way of appearing white to throw us ignorant ‘Murican’s off… Very tricksy.
Regardless, White kid is the drummer and son of a gangster. Apparently being the kid of a gangster makes him somewhat of a pariah in polite society. However, with the pool hall gangs, he’s a king. Well played, White Kid. Well played.
There really is no other reason for me to write about him. Just thought it was interesting to see a Caucasian face in a Kdrama.
Don’t care if he’s not part Caucasian. For all intents and purposes of this blog, he is the White Kid. Hush, you!!!
Another member…Justin Bieber!!!
Justin Bieber played the most talented and ambitious of all the Eye Candy gentlefolk. There were a few times he could have broken the band up if he wanted to because he was offered an individual contract. While the other guys were busy with girls or fighting people, he was going on talk shows and making all the girls swoon. Which, you know, kinda makes sense in the end of the Kdrama that he’s the only successful one. Cause, derp, hard work = success. Throwing punches = jail and no music contract. (in Korea, apparently. Throwing punches in America will get you a boat load of free press and increase record sales…more on this later)
And, well, he fights with his forehead. That’s what the kids do nowadays, right?
There are two other band members, but they aren’t that consequential to me or this post. In other words, I just don’t care enough to put them on here.
So, lets get to the quick summary.
Eye Candy has 6 members. They are friends in high school who like to fight, screw (not screws) and play music in their band. Eye Candy’s high school closes and they are all forced to attend the ultra posh school that Musical Savant and Poor Little Rich Girl attend. Skeletor falls for Poor Little Rich Girl and writes a song for her called “Jaywalking”. Musical Savant, leader of his own band, ‘Strawberry Fields’, is also in love with Poor Little Rich Girl. Musical Savant and Strawberry Fields beat the crap out of Skeletor and as he runs for help, he gets hit by a car and dies.
I’m sure people cried.
(Total rebels… RIP Skeletor)
Dear Leader becomes leader of the band and enters Eye Candy into a ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest. In order to get practice room for the contest, he must beat Strawberry Fields at their school. Dear Leader forsakes the band to rescue Poor Little Rich Girl from thugs searching for her to get to her dad who has skipped town to avoid jail time for defrauding people. Eye Candy questions Dear Leader’s commitment to the group. Drama is haz’d
At the Battle of the Band’s contest, Eye Candy loses because Justin Bieber majorly eff’s up. Strawberry Fields wins and gets a recording contract. Justin Bieber is now the punching bag of all the guys in Eye Candy. Can the band survive? They do. Video of his eff-up and the bands desperate attempt to fix it goes viral and all the girls swoon over Eye Candy. A record company takes notice. They offer contracts only to Justin Bieber and Dear Leader, not Eye Candy.
Justin Bieber and Dear Leader tell the company president to eff-off. Company president falls for the bluff and signs the entire band.
The band releases ‘Jaywalking’ and it’s a hit. Eye Candy goes on a promotional tour but suck at interviews. Also, they get into a lot of fights. Company president doesn’t like her bands creating trouble. She forces the entire band into one apartment to live, eat and sleep music. (See, I don’t get it. All that publicity from gossip sites about Eye Candy and she’s freaking out cause its the wrong publicity. Just get the guys on ‘Intervention’ and make a reality show out of it. The song they create while in rehab will sell hundreds, I’m sure)
Here, the band’s cracks begin to show (not literal cracks, but figurative) Dear Leader is spending too much time with Poor Little Rich Girl. When he realizes he needs to focus more on the band, he neglects her. They break up. The other guys all end up doing their own thing too, not fully vested in Eye Candy. The only one really interested in a career is Justin Bieber and he becomes the spokesperson for the group.
White Kid’s gangster father gets publicly known and he’s shunned by his previously adoring fans. (fickle!)
Meanwhile, Musical Savant is trying his best to destroy Eye Candy and causes some problems but seeing as he’s stupid enough to fall for someone not interested in him, he’s not very successful.
The two other Eye Candy members, The Tall One and Mama’s boy (who I didn’t bother mentioning earlier because they are the Mary and Kitty of this Kdrama (extra points to anyone who gets that reference)) end up being a chef and something else but I can’t remember cause, again, I don’t care.
Company president is thinking of dropping Eye Candy after all the trouble they’ve caused. Eye Candy fights back and releases another song titled, “Wake up” (which is partly in English and I thought it sounded cool until I could understand the English and I then I decided it should have been entirely in Korean.) The song is a hit and Company president is satiated…for now.
She didn’t remain satiated for long because she ultimately decides to terminate the contract with Eye Candy. There is a chance for the group to get another contract in Japan if they all work really hard at it. Ultimately, the band decides to break up and go their separate ways.
A few things:
1. The company president decided to meet with Eye Candy in the first place because she thought they were ‘unique’ among bands. They seemed to really enjoy playing their music and she wanted to sell that to the masses. I didn’t see it that way. I though the band was rather typical. All the infighting, bickering and hurt feelings are sooooo typical of bands trying to make it. However, this Kdrama kept trying to tell me that Eye Candy was special. I say nay, they are not special. They are the rule, not the exception. Don’t try to force feed me your lies!!!
And with that in mind, I would have to say that despite the ridiculousness of this Kdrama, it is probably the most realistic one I’ve ever seen. The bitchiness between the characters seemed real. Not that the actors were really fighting, but that the problems they had in the Kdrama seem like problems that could translate into the real world. Its one reason I really liked this Kdrama. I thought I was going to get total silly fluff like in You Are Beautiful, but this one actually had legitimate drama involved. And I liked it! (getting old. *sigh*)
Also, as always, I must contradict myself and say it was also a reason I didn’t like it. I really wanted another You Are Beautiful. (fickle!)
2. The angsty relationship between Dear Leader and Poor Little Rich Girl irritated me. I think I’m just a cantankerous old lady watching this crap and judging all of the make up/ break up bullshit that’s going on. Rather than get on my soap box and give an entire dissertation I will just leave it at that. It’s a frickin drama, Mitzi! Get over it!
3. RIP Skeletor.
5. Confession time. I downloaded Jaywalking and Wake Up. I’ve put those songs on my regular rotation of songs I listen to when writing these things up. It’s good stuff. Have no idea what’s being said, but still good.
6. The ending didn’t leave me angry and bitter. I know, I’m shocked too! I actually really liked the fact that they didn’t stay together and were able to find their own ways in the world. It was a perfect ending to a Kdrama that was never meant to be saccharine-y sweet. The resolution to the Kdrama was bitter sweet too. Dear Leader was able to find his own voice (not follow Skeletor’s plan) and during his first solo gig, the rest of Eye Candy showed up and they had a little reunion, but everyone was glad to have gone their separate ways. Just sad to think they probably will never get together to play that song again. I felt that way years ago when New Kids broke up. (but now they’re touring again and I can hear all their songs live again if I want! Huzzah for reunions!)
Score: 8/10 Surprisingly awesome if you can look beyond the typical relationship nonsense that accompanies every single Kdrama.