SHINee “Why So Serious?” Music Video Review

It’s just not the same without Jonghyun. 😦

Song

I can honestly say that I really liked a lot of this song.  The beginning didn’t waste any time in grabbing my attention with its lively sound.  I loved the hard guitar in the background of the video.  I also liked the chorus and the fast-paced lines in between each repetition of “Why so serious?” as well as Taemin’s fast line after the first chorus.  All of these parts were really good and had great musical qualities.  Together as one song, however, they didn’t fit.  The beginning of the song sounded like a rock song, and the suddenly trumpets started playing and they all broke out into a synchronized chorus.  The marching band chorus completely contradicted the edgy image of the beginning of the song.  Then Taemin comes out of nowhere with his super fast, funky-sounding line that was a completely different genre.  Later in the song they go back to their Sherlock and Dream Girl sound with Minho’s rap.  These different sounds made the song seem very messy and it was just hard to me to keep track of what was going on.  It could have been a little bit better if they had delayed each chorus by half a second, but instead it cut off the previous line which made the difference in sound much more obvious.  I would have loved the three different songs that could have come out of this one, but as one song it was too messy to enjoy.

Score: 3/5

Story

The story begins with a mysterious girl walking into SHINee’s secret clubhouse.  All of the members are initially surprised to see her and once they let her in, they all take turns playing with her or trying to impress her.  The five of them then have a dance party which appears to call the attention of a police officer.  Everyone hides and the police officer leaves, allowing the four members plus the girl to continue dancing.  At the end of the video, the police officer comes back only to find the girl dancing in the room by herself.

Yes, it had a story.  Yes, there was a beginning and an end.  No, it didn’t impress or entertain me at all.  The simplicity of the story was not worth the effort of going back and re-watching the video over and over again.  Most of the story is of the SHINee members staring at the door, either at the girl or the police officer.  The ending  left me more confused than mystified.  What happened to the SHINee members?  If we are supposed to assume that the entire video happened in the girl’s head, they shouldn’t have had the story told from SHINee’s perspective.  It was SHINee who were scared when the police came, not the girl.  As hard as it was to figure out the story during the video, having the girl alone at the end just made it even more confusing for me.

Score: 3/5

Cinematography

While the rooms looked very nice, the editing of the video was a huge part of why I found the story so confusing.  The story scenes didn’t even start until the chorus began.  During the story itself, when the members are hanging out with the girl, the camera is obstructed by the different objects in the room which makes it hard to see what is actually happening.  Editing inconveniences like this make it really hard to follow a story in any video.

Aside from the editing and camera work, I really liked the physical rooms themselves.  The dark room looked eerie to fit the zombie dance shown in that room.  The room of the story was also very fun and added to the fun atmosphere of the members enjoying time with the girl, especially the childish props.  I also really liked the fact that the words of the title were on the wall in a couple scenes.  It was a good way to tie the song and video together.  Unfortunately, the niceness of the rooms couldn’t mend my frustration while trying to follow the story.

Score: 3.5/5

Wardrobe

I was incredibly impressed with this video’s wardrobe.  For SHINee, it was surprisingly good.  I cannot express how much I loved the black and red outfits of the first scene.  Taemin stole the spotlight with his fashionable shirt, a first for him.  I also really enjoyed Key’s and Onew’s outfits in that scene.  All four of them fit the same concept, yet had different outfits to complement their different personalities.  The story scene also had pretty good outfits.  Taemin’s was my favorite again.  The zebra print on the white suit reflected Taemin’s youth in his mature group.  The rest of the white outfits were appropriate in showing SHINee as world-renowned entertainers while still having that playful element. (However I could have done without Minho’s extremely tight checkered pants)

The one scene I could not stand was the second dancing scene with the gray suits.  No matter how I look at it, I couldn’t find anything to like in those outfits.  Nothing matched anything and they didn’t flatter the members at all.  Minho’s skinny pants made him look freakishly tall instead of impressively tall like the white suit.  While there were colors, the mix of gray, tan, and green made the suits very dull in my opinion.  They also sent a completely different message from the youthful darker outfits of the first dance scene. The outfits, while mostly good-looking and fun, contradicted each other too much for my liking.

Score: 3.9/5

Dance

This dance started out very strong.  I am always impressed when dancers get down on the ground and use their entire bodies in a dance which is exactly what SHINee did at the beginning of the video.  The entire first half of the dance was very entertaining for me.  The zombie dance, while totally random, worked well for SHINee.  They made those seemingly random moves appear natural.  However, during the chorus, the dance moves suddenly looked extremely choreographed.  Obviously the entire dance is choreographed, but there wasn’t a natural flow from move to move during the chorus as there was in the opening verses of the song.  I found the same almost stiffness during Minho’s main rap.  Something about the second half of the dance seemed awkward and rushed.  The one part that I could not believe I saw was during one of the last lines of the song when all four members stop dancing and break out in air-guitar.  They were not synchronized at all and didn’t even have the same energy level.  While Onew lunged his whole body forward, Key remained upright and lightly strummed his “guitar”.  By the end of the dance they just seemed worn out and disorganized.  I really liked the beginning of the dance, but the end seemed to have fallen apart.

Score: 3.5/5

Overall, I was just surprised by this video, in both good and bad ways.  So much of it I either loved or hated.  I just didn’t like that it took me more than five times of watching the video to hear any sort of pattern in the song or to understand what story they were trying to tell.

As a side note, I am just so proud of Taemin in this video.  If you go back and watch Replay, it’s hard to believe that the shy kid from that video is this same charismatic dancer in Why So Serious?.  His confidence level is bursting in this video and I hope he keeps it up.

Overall Final Score: 3.4/5


Question of the Day:

Any thoughts on Jonghyun not being in this video?

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