Television and Radio Criticism

Media Review #2 - Gavhar Hushvaktova

Loneliness. Society makes us believe that happiness is everywhere, it is obtainable. So, what does it mean for those of us who weren’t able to obtain it? What are we considered? Are our thoughts of loneliness valid, or are they mere fiction for others?

Push through. Keep going. But what if it all becomes too hard? You don’t know how to put an end to it. Countless nights spent in tears, and pain. Depression. It takes over your soul, and leaves you empty. Walking down bustling streets, you feel so lonely. You keep pushing daily.
End of a day becomes the loneliest in your life, your will to keep pushing waning each passing day. In “End of a Day” you can feel all of these emotions and more in the short four minutes that we get to live in the shoes of our protagonists. Whether they are a couple or not, is not the importance of the music video. It is rather the subtle ways you can see their depression wallowing them up.
In most traditional music videos, the scene is in one lens, but in “End of a Day” we have half a frame for the two protagonists, and we can follow them as they ultimately end up together, and cry on one another shoulders.
You may have seen several shows, or music videos that circle around the topic of depression, but the way they confront it is the end result, the ultimate death of our protagonists. What makes this music video so compelling, is how the protagonists are set up side by side, so you can see the unfolding of their end of the day. Many people, even today, brush depression aside as a phase that people go through, when it simply is not the case for those who live with it.
Although Jonghyun has several other music videos, and songs that confront the topic of depression, this one by far stands out. In his other songs, the lyrics and the music is either very loud, or soft, and his music video “Lonely” confronts the topic of feeling lonely in a relationship and being unable to get through to your partner. But we do not get any or much context clues for this music video, it dwells on the topic as it is by itself, no interference of relationships.
A lot of people struggle with depression in our society, but confronting the issue, or talking about it is still a hush hush. We all go through rough patches in our lives, and we need to let it all out. If you are hurting, you are not alone, this is what the song is about. You can push through it all, is the ending message at the end. The song is very touching, because of its simplicity and it’s message, that you are not alone and that you have a shoulder to cry on if you ever need it. “You did a good job today, you worked so hard.” These is the words that Jonghyun leaves of us with.
Do not brush this music video over as another ballad, or as a boring song. We are so used to hearing dense music, with so much computerized sounds, or a lot of intricate song details and so forth. What you don’t normally hear, do not mean that it not worth the listen or worth as much love and attention as other songs. Understanding the message and understanding what the song is trying to confront is much more important than the music composition and the simplicity. Many people have brushed it aside, stating the only reason for them to listen to the song was because of its artist. This song does not talk about love, lust, money or fame, etc. This song was made to help those who are going through a rough time, if you cannot truly understand that concept, then it may not be the song for you.  
Although Jonghyun is known for making catchy and intricate songs, from his singles to his albums, this song is not subpar to his other tracks. Does it have a simple melody and lyrics? Yes, yes it does. But does the song fall short in lyrical beauty and being raw on a controversial topic (although it shouldn’t be)? Yes, it absolutely does. Some listeners may think, oh we already know about this topic, should also know that depression is a shunned topic in Korea, so for this song to be put out is quite brave overall.

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