[kpop/musings] why do I bother fangirling SHINee anymore.. ?

attention: hardcore Shawols, this post will probably upset you, so avoid or read with salt. The things I talk about are highly subjective, so even if you get butthurt and try to tell me I’m a bumbling poopie, and Minho is the super-angel-death-ray-ultimate-prince-of-the-universe, I probably won’t change my mind. I am not insulting anybody, like “Minho is a bumbling poopie”, but keeping it within professional courtesy– I judge them by their personality and music, both of which they are paid as paid idols to keep up.

This post has actually been a long time in the brewing, since the beginning of June. I’ve been thinking about this for a while.


I’m having a crisis of faith.

My blog’s first anniversary just passed around a month ago; my first few posts were about sanitary posture, and some imaginary pudding on Minho’s face. I’ve come a long way since then, and when this summer first started, I set out with the ambitious goal of “watch all SHINee stuffs.”

I diligently made my 30 posts on shineee.net, and I accessed the MVP Vault. So far, I’ve only gotten through 1/4 of it all, and I have no plans to continue. Instead, I watched half of City Hunter, three-quarters of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, rewatched Idol Maknae Rebellion, watched bits of Japanese Hana Yori Dango, my favorite old episodes of Dragonball Z, and started with Veronica Mars again.

I suppose it’s disenchantment.

Onew uses the same gags over and over again. Right now, he’s not really the great MC that South Korean tabloids make him out to be– if you watch him on Night Owl, he’s perpetually cut out. Onew is not especially a strong leader, these days, it feels more like a title rather than a position of power; it’s different in Big Bang– you think GD checking members cell phones. This is not a bad thing, SHINee is a balanced group, so having to call one a leader is a bit superfluous.

I tried watching Dream Team, but unless you’re glued to Minho‘s looks and subtle hyungwhoring, there’s really nothing else.

Key is funny in that ‘diva’ style, but I much prefer Onew-style gags, silly and immature. Key is more of a niche rather than mainstream entertaining (sorry to the seething Lockets out there).

Taemin.. um.. he has a massive amount of fans now, and if I can read correctly on tumblr, most of it is because he has finally morphed into sexy and mature. Fine. But his personality hasn’t gotten any funnier or has shed that ‘innocent-doe’. Now that I’ve gotten deeper in the kpop industry, I’m highly skeptical these ubiquitous cutesy personalities are real. I know a great many of born-in-Korea-lives-in-Korea-Koreans, and none of them act like a typical ‘cute’ kpop idol. So the appeal of his personality to me isn’t that great.

Well, how about my ultimate bias within SHINee, Jonghyun? Surely I haven’t lost my pork chops for him, right? Honestly, after my three Immortal Song reviews, I seriously questioned whether I could love him as a singer first and foremost. He amazed me in the beginning with his ability as a singer, but lately he has been lip-syncing and just stagnating in general. I don’t believe it’s enough to be great at what you do, you need to be continually pushing the limits and improving; something that Lady Gaga definitely understands.

Yet, the reality show that I absolutely loved everyone on was Hello Baby— though earlier this year, I reached the conclusion that it was heavily scripted. Indeed, if you watch their show appearances from their debut era, like the New Zealand photoshoot, Flower Boys’ Generation, they’re really not that funny or entertaining to watch– as the name of the latter show suggests, most viewers are tuning in because they are very pretty boys-next-door.

Other than Jonghyun for a fleeting while, I’ve never really thought of them as personally attractive to me. Yes, they are all very handsome, but I have weird tastes and I have man-crushes on people like Tamaki Hiroshi (whenever I say Chiaki-senpai, it’s literally a squeal), Matsumoto Jun, Mizushima Hiro, Daichi Miura, Lee Minho. So, just staring at SHINee’s pictures on a computer screen isn’t enough for me.

I also freely acknowledge that SHINee musical repertoire isn’t that great either. They’ve got only one classic song: Replay. When SHINee stops its activities, the only song that people will sing in karaoke is Replay. Sure, the diehard fans will continuing hitting replay on other songs, and electronic freaks (me) will bang out Lucifer once in a while, but really. I’m not quite sure people will blast Juliette and Ring Ding Dong.

This all culminates towards a minimal point in my love for SHINee nowadays.

So if I have quibbles about their (fake) personalities, questionable musician abilities, why do I still fangirl them.. is it a habit? Do I actually have a deep-seated obsession that can’t be erased? Am I doing it because I just have this horribly out-of-control Jonghyun bias?! None of these choices are very good.

Of course, I just spent $175 and bunches of other monies on hotel and transportation just to see SHINee in SMTown NYC.


37 thoughts on “[kpop/musings] why do I bother fangirling SHINee anymore.. ?

    • well, most of the reason why I don’t like their Japanese promotions is because how irritating SM has been about promoting certain members. I still like SHINee as a whole, and wouldn’t be petty about how they are promoted.. it’s more like their individual personalities.. I’ve sort of become desensitized and don’t really see much to squeal over anymore.


  1. Michelle, I know how you feel… lately I’ve been feeling like I’m falling out of “fanboy love” with Key. I agree with everything you’ve stated about SHINee in general, it’s just… I don’t know. Eh. You’ve said what’s been on my mind for the past few months more eloquently than I ever could have, so thanks for that. (:

    • no, it’s not because of Japan– as I said in my reply to TS Luna’s comment. I actually started thinking about and writing this post way before I even wrote my diatribe on SHINee’s Replay or even started to watch their Japanese activities. In fact, last night I just changed some things that dated this post (I was originally publishing it on my anniversary).. and then just published it as is.. in its form that took place in late May / early June.

      my disenchantment is with who they are portrayed as and how they act.. which I feel is such a repetition– all a show that I’ve seen before. Even if SM just declared Taemin as official frontman, though I would be pissed off, I wouldn’t become disenchanted with the group SHINee.. just be pissed off at management and still continue to love SHINee for who they are.. the problem is that I am slipping out of loving them for who they are T___T THAT I find troubling.

      Really? I haven’t kept up to date with SNSD and HoMin ==” or other people.. they didn’t really bias towards TVXQ when they went to Japan, so I don’t know why they really took this route nowadays :(

      sigh.. thanks for reading and commenting ^^; depressing material

  2. Hello Michelle… I like what you written. I’m just like you. I kept question myself about the feeling. Especially after SHINee’s Japan debute, the feeling just getting worse. I’m Onew bias. To give up on them is not easy unless they did something very offensive. At present they just seems very dull not shining.
    Still going to the concert after what you feel toward SHINee?
    I was at their concert when they performed in Singapore & I’m just dying to hear your opinion if you still plan to attend….

    • C: of course I will attend! Check back in late October, and I will definitely be writing post(s) on my experiences.

      I totally agree with what you have said. I don’t feel like I can really give up on them either, but at the same time, they’ve turned ‘dull’, as you’ve termed it.. I hope they make a Korean comeback this year *___*

      thanks for reading and commenting ^^;

  3. I enjoy the SG concert but at the same time very disappointed with Jonghyun, Taemin & Minho.
    Especially during their solo performance. Sorry!!!….Jonghyun – too much falsetto (not my cup of tea). Taemin – still very weak & not enough confidence with his singing & Minho – he did not even sing only dance (which is stupid when this is the best time for him to prove himself).
    Let’s hope they give a better performance in NYC.
    Send you some funds. Enjoy ……….

    • ;~; I’m so touched!! thank you so, so, so much for your donation!! Hopefully they will, since they’re only one of many more acts.. I hope SM will have them rested enough to perform well. From what friends have told me, SHINee is always very tired but try their best.. though I am disappointed too when I watch fancams and it’s mostly like, “Minho showed his abs!!!” rather than “Minho is such a great rapper/singer!”

      yep, I agree. Sometimes Jonghyun wails too much, he did that during Immortal Song ><""

      ^^; thank you so much again!! sigh, I wish I could express my gratitude in something other than words..

  4. well i did have second thoughts about the shinee being “dull” part. but i think it’s because they are in japan. I feel that they haven’t been showing us their fun and shining sides there. I’m sure they’ll be shining once again once they make their comeback. :)

    also, i think hello baby wasn’t heavily scripted.. maybe their agendas and activities and “sleeping” time were scripted but the rest is just them. I can’t really argue with the things u said about each member coz they are not my bias and i dont really pay much attention to them.. but i’ve been fan girling for jonghyun for a long time but i never once became bored with him. i still love him now and i continue to see his good sides despite the bad sides i see in him. i even sometimes find it cute – like his falsetto singing in singapore (also not my cup of tea).

    • aww, unlike you, I have no nice feelings of obligation or niceness, or toleration for big mistakes.. maybe that’s why.. I can overlook a few lip-syncings and a few missed notes, but now that I look back, it’s all rather too much for me, so I’ve been slipping out. Yes, I know SM works them too hard.. but sometimes human sympathy is contained, and that’s why I don’t burst into tears all the time ==” dammit, I sound very mean after this comment.. sigh I hope the same, they will show their most shining side when they debut in Korea again. Or at least have a really good Japanese single written for Japan market. ^^ I do love Japanese TVXQ and BoA.. much better than their Korean tracks, actually

      thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Pingback: [kpop/review] Japanese Lucifer, SHINee. More fangirl fodder in slightly different flavors « the innocent lam

  6. Hey there, I agree about hello baby being heavily scripted, but as a taemint, I’d like to give some opinion. I know that you know koreans that actually live and grow up there, but hey, my own cousin is one of them. And her cousins too. Although I’m not a korean, I think that Taemin’s personality is similar to mine. I can be really crazy and fun with my friends, but when I’m with someone I don’t really know, I’ll be extra polite. It’s not fake. For me, I’m just shy. This is my opinion =)

  7. Hey,
    Just wanted to let you know…That what you said might be offending but,Hey!
    Who am i to judge right?
    Everybody has their own opinion.
    I’m glad you shared this.
    I’m a shawol.Always have and always will be.
    But,i like the way you have shared your opinions with confidence.
    I love all of the members very much and this is actually my first time reading something like this about shinee.
    Good to know.

    • thank you for not being mean about it, I really appreciate that, and you are a great Shawol! I think some Shawols are having feelings such as mine, and it’s hard for them to express it because so many other fans are so passionate and they feel like they are left in the margins, so I hope this post made them realize that they are definitely not alone.. it’s okay not to like a group as much as before.

      thanks for reading and commenting!!

  8. I actually went through a ‘falling out of love’ phase with SHINee a year ago, after they made Lucifer… because I started liking them in their Replay/A.MI.GO days and I was a Freshman in high school, it wore off quickly and I spread to other K-pop/other music.

    But the thing with SHINee & me is that I always begin to miss their personalities if I’m away too long. Even though said personalities may or may not be fake, a terrible day for me can be turned around by Jonghyun’s smile or Onew’s antics.

    Although they are pretty manufactured as boybands go, I feel that you are able to find ample glimpses of them here and there over the internet of who they might actually be.

    Thats what makes me feel that they are different, I guess.

    But I went running back to SHINee after a year, so… I guess my mind will never be rid of them.

    • d’awww thanks for reading and commenting.. yep, some days a random Jonghyun comes on shuffle and then I’m like, “all hail Jjong singer”! :)


  9. Pingback: jujugal closed up shop. | the innocent lam

  10. This comment is awfully late, but I understand where you’re coming from. Tbh, I went through this phase of confusion and maybe even some disillusionment. I wondered whether I was fangirling due to habit or maybe my huge bias for ONew. x) (Tbh, I’m still not the biggest fan of Key.. ._. And their looks aren’t my cup of tea either.)

    I think a lot of my faith in them was restored with this latest comeback in Korea. For one, Jjong’s voice sounds so much better. I never questioned that he wasn’t pushing himself, but I think there’s only so much you can do. To put it in a clearer way, I think he wanted to push himself, but he was frustrated because his body was incapable. The Lucifer period was just way too long and strenuous on his voice. :( Also, they really have outdone themselves with Sherlock. I have so much respect for them for being able to perform it well live. (And Jjong for writing the lyrics for 2 songs this time around. ^^ Good chance for him to stretch himself musically. I know he sometimes gets frustrated with SHINee’s music!)

    As for being manufactured, admittedly, they do repeat the things they do a lot. (like onew’s gags) Primary reason being that they need to get out there as much as they can. Most people haven’t seen Night Star and probably don’t know about his ddakbams, etc. Stuff like that. To fans who watch all of that material? Sometimes it comes off as quite repetitive. ^^

    Overall, I think that the boys have eased into themselves and their true personalities have come out. I like watching them in relaxed settings like radio. I also think that their true personalities did come out in Hello Baby, which is why it was so funny. ( I don’t question the fact that it was scripted, but their interactions were not. No way you can anticipate what a child is gonna do haha. ) oh and omg Jjong’s twitter is just too funny XD;

    ANYWAY, this comment has become much too long, but lastly, I’d like to say that you don’t need to feel bad for not feeling the way you used to. Kpop fandom is about having fun. If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it. That being said, I hope that you still enjoy SHINee as a casual listener. ^^

    • don’t worry about it! (:

      ah, it’s been happening nowadays too. They appear on so many variety shows, and they do the same gags over and over again. So annoying t__t However, I dutifully watch everything, so I know absolutely everything and no one can show me up. haha.

      Agree. They really have established that SHINee is one of the major forces in kpop, and that SHINee will be even larger in the years to come. I hope Jonghyun will get opportunities in the future to move towards a more solo career as a singer or songwriter or whatever he wants.

      Jonghyun is a huge troll =.= you could see it in Hello Baby, but my gosh.. he really released all of his dorkiness .__. I didn’t know that that much could exist in a person.

      Thank you for the nice words! I still think I am way beyond a casual listener >.<"""

  11. I know I’m late to reply with you, but I somewhat agree with you.
    I think I have a bad habit being so loyal to one group. To be honest, SHINee is the only group I’m following in Kpop so I fail to appreciate other groups.
    I even thought before that they’re the biggest Kpop liars. They’re so play-safe. I remembered watching Flower Generations, they never answered questions about girlgroups they like but FT Island answered without hesitation.
    Also when I watched FG before, I laughed so much, but when I watched it again, I feel somewhat disappointed.
    I never tried to watch their very first reality show,I don’t know but it feels like it’s another overly scrpted reality show. Though I love Hello Baby because Yoogeun is cute, I also think it’s overly scripted

  12. I completely agree with every single word in your post. This is exactly what I feel right now. The first kpop music video that I watched was SHINee’s RDD. From that time I only followed SHINee, but only recently have I actually began to check out other groups. I found out that there are many other groups who suit my taste better. To be honest, the only SHINee song that I actually listened to was Replay, which proves your point about SHINee’s music quality. However, I do like one or two songs from their new album Sherlock.
    I think that the only reason I follow SHINee nowadays is because of Jonghyun, even though I’m starting to doubt my fangirl feels for him.
    I would also like to mention (I wouldn’t like to start something but I’m going to be completely honest) that the relationship between the SHINee members is that of a work relationship. They may seem very close, but if they weren’t bound by strict rules and a contract, they would probably not be together today. There is definitely something going on between Jonghyun and Onew as they have not willingly spoken to each other for over a year now. I understand that most of the kpop groups have similar relationships among their members in a way, but the only one that does not completely fall into that category for me so far is Big Bang.

    • I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. I was doing finals and then I had to go to China for more school.. and I just finished their finals.. ><""

      ah, I wrote a review on Sherlock. I did love the single very much. I thought the whole album was pretty cohesive, maybe not the best thing, but it is loads better than what is currently released now. Nonetheless, Sherlock is definitely not going to be a kpop classic. It was clearly intended for only a one month release. (https://theinnocentlam.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/review-shinee-is-soooo-back-with-sherlock/)

      mm I haven't noticed the weird Jongyu relationship. They seemed all right to me TT__TT In fact, I think they get along pretty well because of age, and that they are both really silly. Yeah, I agree for the most part that they are together for work, but nonetheless, I still do believe that their relationships are true and not something faked. They are not best friends, but they are friends. I wouldn't worry about it, all of the fandom feels this way, secretly or not. Even Key has said it several times, and hosts always ask, "What do you want to do on your day off?" and they all are like "Hang out with our other friends." Meh.

      What other groups have you checked out? Maybe I can look at them XD it sounds like we may have similar taste (:


  13. So, I’m a k-drama fan and stumbled across an Inkigayo episode on Dramafever. Watched it, was bored until Sherlock came on went, OOOH CHOREOGRAPHY AND NICE EXECUTION. I also am a musician and a huge MJ fan and the harmonies were so reminiscent with that whole jump to major for the curious chorus. Really clever writing and good singing and live, they are actually pretty in tune and the tone quality ain’t too bad.

    I guess I dont’ get fangirling. My music choices are always based on musicianship, quality of writing, and as a studio musician, production value. These guys have WICKED production. Onew has lovely tone quality, Taemin can MOVE. I guess I don’t much care about t.v. personalities as much as the musical/dancing/ artistic product. Or like the mixing in Lucifer, BADASS. I’m still exploring their other albums. I just started getting into them (and kpop). I’m a boring old classical musician so me and popular anything….hehe.

    I’m a Taemin fan cause he moves like water. So amazing. And then Onew’s vocal timbre is lovely. I dunno, the whole idol personalities and stuff doesn’t really entice me. I mean, sure, Jonghyuk semi-macking on Taemin in that concert was hot and made me take a cold shower, but that’s fanservice.

    Are you a musician by any chance? The way you write about the music is kinda …musician-y. Yeah, that’s a word…*shifty eyes*

    • I’m a pianist, 14+ years in the trade! Is it that obvious? Ha.

      Thank you very much! I hope you stay in touch as you discover more of SHINee. I’m a classical music fogey too.


      • To an 18+ years cellist, yes, it’s obvious! I have peeves with people writing about music and talking about it inaccurately. I noticed that while you’re not super heavy on the musical verbage, you are super accurate and that made me suspicious…in the best of ways! I’m arranging Sherlock for cello now (transcribing first…why did you make it so complicated production team why? I need to chat with the engineer…). It’s my project. I’ve never arranged before…I need SHINee powa!



        • wow! It’s nice to meet you :D good luck on your arrangement! I also play carillon on the side, and I’m thinking of arranging a SHINee song for it. The best one seems to be Replay :X

          I think avoiding musical terms comes from the fact I am a pianist, and not a singer, so I’m not that great when it comes to singing terms. I can sort of ‘describe’ what is good and what is bad ^^


  14. I’m not going to comment on anything but the music repertoire since it’s strictly your opinion. Not trying to offend you but … SNSD, the top girl group has produced 2 (Gee and Genie) cult songs/ Super Junior, has produced 1 (Sorry Sorry)/ 2NE1 has produced NONE…and yet they’re at the top…

      • oops, sorry, didn’t know you had replied .s
        “I also freely acknowledge that SHINee musical repertoire isn’t that great either. They’ve got only one classic song: Replay. When SHINee stops its activities, the only song that people will sing in karaoke is Replay.” I was referring to this. You say SHINee doesn’t have a great musical repertoire and that they only have 1 hit song (and I will have to disagree because at least Ring Ding Dong was a hit in Korea), but so do all the other groups. The top tiers have 2 under their belt – 3 the absolute max . So I think it’s safe to say SHINee is in a great place and there is no need to worry about how many hit songs they have produced, because they are definetely not getting left behind. Either way, I respect your opinion. Thank you for being so polite about it :)

  15. Everyone improves. Not everyone stays the same okay??!! Of course when they just debuted they aren’t as good as now. If u don’t appreciate SHINee’s songs….. you shouldn’t call yourself a Shawol in the first place. Hello baby isn’t overly scripted. How sure are you??!! How sure are you jjong is lip sync-ing?! How sure are you?! And lastly….. Their personalities aren’t fake. Have you ever seen them in their dorm on SHINee’s wonderful day?? I bet u think that is scripted too… But how sure are you??!! i know you gave me like a warning or read it with salt. But you know what I really can’t. If u don’t like it then keep it in your heart. You don’t like them and you go around posting this stupid post and offending other hardcore shawols. Don’t you have a brain???? DUMB!!! STUPID!!! IDIOT!!!

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