Gu Jun Pyo, Yun Ji Hu, Song U Bin, and So I Jeong are the elite at Shinhwa High. Members of the pre eminent families in Korea, they have the power to drive anyone who crosses them out of the school with nothing but a signature red card in their locker -- a signal to the rest of the student body to target that individual. Geum Jan Di leads a simple life delivering dry cleaning for her family's business, but when one of her orders takes her to Shinhwa, she is confronted by the cruelty that F4 (as they're called) inflicts on innocent people. Forced to catch the latest victim as he attempts to jump from the school roof, Jan Di is hailed a hero, and Shinhwa Group offers her a scholarship as hush money. This delights her family, but Jan Di herself is less than eager until, being a swimmer, she is eventually seduced by the school's large pool and feels obligated due to her family's enthusiasm. It isn't long before headstrong Jan Di is standing up to the shocked leader of F4, Gu Jun Pyo, both angering him and sparking his interest. A thoroughly uninterested Jan Di informs him money doesn't buy everything -- least of all her. Jan Di begins to fall herself for the sensitive Ji Hu, but Jun Pyo's uncharacteristic earnestness to gain her approval also begins to win her over, confusing her even more.
(DISCLAIMER: I've just started to read the manga to see what are the big changes they made in the Kdrama, and I have not watch the japanese version)
I really wanted to like this one since I've heard so much about it. But after about 6 or 7 episodes, it was really really difficult not to be either angry, disappointed or exasperated. It kinda made me think of Full House (that's usually not a good sign at all).
After a few episodes, it's a terrible mess and it gets really repetitive, just like the soundtrack. But at least, everytime "Almost Paradise" came up, it made me laugh. I cannot say the same for all the other stuff that happen over and over again.
Unlike many of you, I kinda like the actress that played Jan Di. But other than that, the best were mainly supporting characters (and even then, just a few) : Kim Beom as So I Jeong, Kim So Eun as Ga Eul, Lee Min Jeong as Ha Jae Gyeong and Kim Hyeon Ju as Jun Pyo's sister. The butler was kinda good too. But that's about it for me.
I was really disappointed by Min Ho performance (or maybe it's just the hair, gosh...) and Hyeon Jung. Y U never feel anything Hyeon Jung? Y?! Acting is not his best card.
The Geum family is really really loud and boring. I couldn't care less what happens to them. I get that their the background story of Jan Di, but they could be a little less loud and it wouldn't have hurt anybody. It seems they are in the manga, but being loud on paper and in live action is 2 different thing. They could have tone it down a bit.
I hate the fact that the main relationship is basically just a never ending story of lessons not learned properly : I doubt you; you prove me wrong somehow (or someone else does); I trust you and swear I'll always do; I doubt you again and won't let you explain (or you don't want to explain yourself); then we miraculously get back together even though nothing as really change or the obstacles that we're the cause of the problem are still there... Seriously guises? There's a writer somewhere that got really lazy at some point. Just think about the weird absence of the mother at the end. If you're to create that big of an obstacle, at least have the decency to have an explanation for its vanishing...
Then everyone is always a victim, all the time. They need other to save them (and I'm not just talking about the girls here) and can never take action by themselves. I would have slapped a few people in this drama, either because they were mean or because they just wouldn't slap people that deserved a good slap. Though punches and kicks are distributed about every now and then for any other given reason. But I feel like, to compare a bit with the manga, Geum JanDi isn't "bad ass" enough. In the manga, she actually acts against some people that are mean to her (like the mean girl trio)... I don't know why they change that. There was a change though that I actually was okay with because it made Jun Pyo look a bit more human in the few first episodes (about the "rape" part, it's a bit different in the manga). But I don't see how making Geum JanDi so powerless is an improvement...
So, somehow, it didn't make any sense a lot of the time. And it was really long too. Even around the tenth episode, it was already dragging a lot (and I'm generous, I could even say 6th or 7th episode). I almost thought about dropping it.
The few last episode were kinda useless for me. When you introduce new characters to the story when it's going to end in one or two episodes... There's obviously a problem.
So, I would still say to watch it since it's kinda of a "classic" (like Full House), but don't get your hopes up, it drags a lot and it's not really well written...
Boys Over Flowers is a strange paradox of a show. On one hand, it's pretty apparent that the show is lacking on many fronts; both acting, directing and, to a lesser extent, in story. Yet there's a huge appeal that defies the deficiencies and keeps you hooked. I'm not quite sure how Boys Over Flowers pulled it off, but however it did, it was done right.
Despite having strong source material, and many previous adaptations on which to learn off of, Boys Over Flowers had the tough task of distinguishing itself from all the others, and while not always successful, the show manages to remain true to the original Hana Yori Dango manga and retain the essence. While many scenes and aspects were quite clearly taken from the Japanese drama, there's still enough variance to keep you interested. So in some aspects, a sucess, while in others, logic should be left at the door.
The acting was one of the weakest points of the show, having relative newcomers cast. Often times the secondary characters stole the spotlight, leaving the main leads behind. However, the true breakout star was Lee Min Ho who managed to sell Gu Jun Pyo as the stunted man-child who honestly believed the world was his, and who didn't know any better. Say what you will about Gu Hye Seon's and Kim Hyeon Jung's acting, Lee Min Ho hit it out of the ball park and quite deservedly earned his praises.
Directing was a pretty weak point as well, with some scenes be blatant rip offs from previous shows and the music choice being terrible (when your choice in music becomes a running joke, you know it was a bad idea). However, it's never too detrimental, although the less said about it the better.
While Boys Over Flowers may not be the best Hana Yori Dango adaptation out there, it's definitely not terrible. Despite all its many flaws, and cringe-inducing moments, there's something oddly captivating about this show. Maybe its the popularity of the franchise carrying over, or maybe there's something about the show's heart, but regardless, no matter how much you laugh at the series, it's one that's a fun ride.
Both series have a similar feeling to them, featuring gangs and deep friendship bonds between childhood friends as their central themes. Also, both series have a son from a rich family falling for someone coming from an average family.