Boys Over Flowers Review
English Title: Boys Over Flowers /Boys Before Flowers
Korean Title: 꽃보다 남자
Number of Episodes: 25
This was my first k-drama. This drama was extremely popular in Korea and no wonder why, the Korean version is actually the 5th adaption to TV. There’s a Taiwanese version called Meteor Garden, and Japanese version called Hana Yori Dango. Both those series have sequels. All of those series are based on the Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango written by Yoko Kamio.
Character List (not full list):
Lee Min Ho as Goo Joon Pyo – hero of the story; leader of F4
Ku Hye Sun as Geum Jan Di – heroine of the story
Kim Hyun Joong as Yoon Ji Hoo – second in command of the F4
Kim Bum as So Yi Jung – the “Casanova” of the F4
Kim Joon as Song Woo Bin – the “Don Juan” of the F4
Kim So Eun as Cha Ga Eul – Jan Di’s best friend and co-worker
Kim Hyun Joo as Goo Jun Hee – Joon Pyo’s older sister
Lee Hye-young as Kang Hee Soo (President Kang) – Joon Pyo’s and Jun Hee’s mother
Jung Ho Bin as Jun Sang Rok – President Kang’s secretary (he’s also important)
Lee Min Jung as Ha Jae Kyung – she’s important
Han Chae Young as Min Seo Hyun – Ji Hoo’s first love
Ahn Suk Hwan as Geum Il Bong – Jan Di’s father
Im Ye Jin – Jan Di’s mother
Quick Synopsis: Jan Di’s family owns a dry cleaning business, and one day she has to take a delivery to upscale Shin Hwa High School which is exclusively for the rich. Shin Hwa is run by the F4 and the leader of the F4, Joon Pyo, is the heir to the global corporation the Shin Hwa Group. Actually all the members of the F4 are heirs of some elite and well-known company. So while Jan Di is going to the school, we see a boy who has received the infamous F4 red card, which makes him a target of the F4.
Once other students see the card they immediately corner him into a bathroom and beat him. This shows how powerful the F4 really are. He escapes, and goes to the roof to commit suicide. As Jan Di is arriving there are students gathered watching him saying things like “I knew he wouldn’t last long”. It’s pretty harsh. They do say his name, and Jan Di recognizes it and runs to the roof. Before he jumps Jan Di says “That’ll be $30 please!” This person has the dry cleaning delivery. They have a short conversation, and just as the boy jumps Jan Di saves his life and thus becomes a hero. News spreads quickly and Jan Di is given a scholarship to Shin Hwa High School by President Kang (presented to her by Secretary Jung). And don’t believe the scholarship was given out of the thankfulness and kindness of President Kang’s heart. It wasn’t. Jan Di does not want to go to this school. She absolutely opposes it, but through some coaxing (forcing) of her parents, she goes. There she encounters the infamous F4, and she gets off on the wrong foot. Thus, the story really begins.
The infamous F4 and Jan Di standing outside Shin Hwa High.
The Good: The drama is addictive (which I guess can also be bad). I was watching this during a fall semester at my university and often found that I would watch this when I should have been studying. The fact that this drama was 25 episodes was not easy either. It has been my longest drama so far. However, my favorite part of this drama would have to be F4 themselves. Even though they were mean, and had some rivalry, and were all kinda of conceited, they were still there for each other. And the fact that they were childhood friends makes it that much more heartwarming.As much as I love Lee Min Ho, Joon Pyo was not my favorite character. Ji Hoo definitely took the cake! He was perfectly cast. I think Kim Hyun Joong did a wonderful job and I felt that the role was actually pretty natural for him. Gradually Joon Pyo grew on me, but Ji Hoo was instant. I actually think the cast was pretty great and played their roles really well. Also the storyline was indeed dramatic. I remember going through every emotion towards the middle of show. Frustration, anger, sadness, fangirl and happiness the whole nine. This drama did an excellent job of making your heart skip a beat and then crushing it. Also the side-stories. Though I wouldn’t want them to be individual dramas like Osaka’s from Secret Garden, these side-stories were great. Getting away from the crazy romance of Jan Di and Joon Pyo was refreshing. Though the side-stories weren’t the happiest at times, it was still nice.
In one episode, Joon Pyo spends the night at Jan Di’s house. He bathes with Jan Di’s father and younger brother. No curly hair, and a shirtless Min Ho. I approve.
The Bad: As much as I love this drama, there’s some bad I can’t look past. First off, Joon Pyo’s hair. I hated it as much as Jan Di, if not more. The curls NEVER grew on me. From the moment I saw them, I was just not feeling it! There were rare moments, like during one episode in a bath house (and the above screen cap), where Joon Pyo’s hair wasn’t curled and I loved those moments. Every time he was on screen, which was quite often, I would be like let me attack his hair! I don’t mind curly hair on men at all, but Joon Pyo’s curls just angered me. Angered.
Second, Jae Kyung. When she was first introduced as a character ,I loved her. I really did. Then by the end of the series I didn’t like her. She even had the audacity to ask Jan Di to be… I can’t say it, but it happened Episode 21 and I was so upset. She did have her redeeming moment, but by that time I was thinking, “That’s the least she could do.” I was so over Jae Kyung.
Thirdly, Jan Di’s behavior. Towards Joon Pyo, and the F4, it was great. Towards characters like Jae Kyung and Joon Pyo’s mom it wasn’t. I can understand a level of respect for President Kang (though she showed zero respect for Jan Di), but for Jae Kyung. No. Jan Di should have stood her ground a lot more. I understand they started as friends but friends don’t do what she did.
And lastly, Joon Pyo’s mother! Out of all the K-dramas, I watched she is the worst. The absolute worst. I actually scale other K-drama crazy mothers on a scale of 1 to Joon Pyo’s mom. I believe it was partially her that made some of this drama unbelievable. The lengths this woman went to, not only to separate Joon Pyo and Jan Di but just to be in control. To her family. I was just blown away. I applaud the actress that was able to pull this off, but it was really too much for me. It was hard for me to watch because of her, and I think that’s kinda what the creators intended. This horrible woman that you can focus all your anger. She was really horrible, almost to the point where you can pity her… but then you get mad again and you can’t.
Joon Pyo and Ji Hoo in Episode 10. This was when I noticed that Ji Hoo cut his hair, and the glasses look great on him. Joon Pyo looks good too (despite the hair). Very brotherly, those two! I liked this scene a lot.
The Fangirl: Triple S (SS501 fanclub name), you enjoyed this drama, right? Seeing our wonderful leader being very suave and romantic. Ji Hoo dressed the best and when he cut his hair I was more in love than I already was. Honestly, I’m a recent fan of SS501, Jung Min is my bias, but when I found that Hyun Joong was also Ji Hoo, I was screaming. I was actually watching an older episode of Strong Heart (a popular Korean variety show) and 3 members from SS501 were there. And as Hyun Joon was talking, discussing the show and sharing some other stories, I thought “Yes, he’s really Ji Hoo. Perfect, that cast was perfect.”
And I LOVE Lee Min Ho. This was my first K-drama, and since then I’ve seen Personal Taste and (currently watching) City Hunter. Yeah, Min Ho is a great actor. I will probably watch everything he’s ever done. Also the necklace Joon Pyo gives Jan Di! It was beautiful; I was screaming and then the kiss! It was too much. And Min Ho’s shirtless scenes…I ’m telling you my roommate thought I was crazy. Especially on the beach, that entire scene was great, and to top it off with a shirtless Lee Min Ho. I was truly happy. Fangirls everywhere were happy.
Overall: I give this drama 3 out of 5. What!? Yes. Though I loved Min Ho and Hyun Joong this was not everything I would have expected, especially compared to other K-dramas. Joon Pyo’s mother did knock it down a notch for me, and Joon Pyo’s curls knocked it down even further. Not really, but I didn’t like the ending either. It could have ended better and there were a few loose ends I was worried about. And there were some plot things that I was like “Wait, what?” So that did it for me. As far as accuracy to the original, I don’t know. I read the first, maybe 10 pages, of the manga. It didn’t start the same and I couldn’t get past the drawing of Joon Pyo’s hair so I had to stop. But I do recommend this drama! It gained so much popularity for a reason; it’s really a story about the power of love and what lovers must do and overcome and so many good mushy things like that. So watch it!