Scene Stealers: Bleeding Flowers

Those who know, know.

Those who don’t know, should watch.

Right now.

Some performances steal a scene.

Some an episode.

Some steal an entire damn show.

And in this particular month on this particular site, there’s only one scene stealer I could possibly write about.

And you already know who it is.

I can’t say the incident was unspoiled. Not for me. I’d heard enough about it in traumatic whispers and mutterings about ToDs and Guyliner.

Any defence of the Truck of Doom always comes with this single but significant caveat. The ToD has done serious public service over the years (most recently in About Time). Everyone acknowledges it but… still. And it’s a big, big still.

Nice work, ToD but… still.

How could you?

Lee Min-ki's character in Shut Up Flower Boy Band stands in the street about to be hit by a ToD
Shut Up Flower Boy Band

I went in knowing how this ended; I even knew when it ended. The cast credits make it pretty clear. So even as I pressed play, I knew what was coming and when.

But knowing when the trip ended didn’t prepare me for how amazing the journey was. That was unexpected.

Frankly, without this performance this drama would be yet another high school musical. It’d be listed alongside a hundred other shows as an enjoyable but average show about people brought together by music. Cute boys, love triangle, pot plant love interest. Next.

But then there was this. This… luminescence.

Lee Min-ki in Shut Up Flower Boy Band
Lee Min-ki in Shut Up Flower Boy Band

Effortlessly combining English rock punk with perfect pulchritudinous Kpop, he was a walking testament to the show’s central conflict while also being a living, breathing three-dimensional character.

Beneath the swagger, the stark eyeliner and the self-possession, he was damaged and sensitive; sad, intense eyes undercutting his confidence and speaking of an adolescent bravado that masks who we really are with how we want to be seen.

Music and muses and makeup and mateship. Spinning beautiful castles of big dreams to mask our true small ones – friendship, family, security, love. The dream of Glastonbury in the end was just a dream of the lasting power of friendship, not a dream of fame or success. He knew already what the others took 16 episodes to learn. He was incandescent and so of course he burnt out early, as all good rockers do.

Who knows what this character’s parts looked like on the page. But I doubt it came anywhere near to the sum given to us by this performance. It was mesmerising; every minute he was on screen overshadowing everyone else until they seemed like nothing more than cookie cutter second male leads walking in the true lead’s shadow.

It was pure charisma but despite all that an almost understated one that makes it somehow more impressive. He never dominated the stage physically or attempted to steal the limelight from other actors. He often hunched his shoulders and clenched against the world even as he was dancing around it. He just was this character in all its complex, sexy, punk rock glory. And after he was gone, his absence – the absence of a sun – sucked the others in toward the singularity left by his passing.

So in any month devoted to scene stealers, we should give tribute to the greatest of them all.


Lee Min-ki in Shut Up Flower Boy Band
Lee Min-ki in Shut Up Flower Boy Band


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top