Rating:
Average user rating 3.5
221

Boys Before Flowers: Episode 1 [Korean Hana Yori Dango]

Word of warning: Lower those expectations, folks. Episode 1 of Boys Before Flowers was not a home run.

I’d say it got off to a choppy start, with good and bad points and a couple nice surprises. I’m not terribly disappointed, but I also wasn’t expecting gold, either.

On the other hand, I think I’m going to have a blast watching this, regardless. (Let’s just say: Before this drama, Jeon Ki-sang directed Delightful Girl Chun-hyang, My Girl, and Witch Amusement. Two of those were good, one was terrible — but all were hilariously watchable.) Either way, I’m set.

 
CAVEAT

Now that the drama has started, I’d like to write about it as its own entity, away from the established details of the Hana Yori Dango universe. (There are a few exceptions to this rule, but I’ll explain when I get to those.) The reason is, while it was fun to speculate and make comparisons before its broadcast, I recognize that one can only say “Well, in the original series…” so many times before it gets really annoying. Plus, it alienates people who are watching without pre-existing knowledge.

Of course, you’re free to say whatever you like — these are mostly ground rules for myself.

 
BACKGROUND

In the spirit of that decision, I’ll be describing everything as though it were new, so fans of Hanadan, please bear with me.

The title “Boys Before Flowers” (or the Japanese hana yori dango) refers to the privileged quartet who rule the roost at their elite private school. They’ve adopted the name “Flower Four,” which gets shortened to F4, and are in their last year of high school at the incredibly exclusive school for the insanely wealthy, Shinhwa High School. It’s so sought-after that aspiring attendees are placed on a waiting list practically upon birth. The school starts with Shinhwa Kindergarten and goes straight through Shinhwa University.

Apparently “hana yori dango” is a Japanese adage meaning that food (dango) is more important than flowers (hana) — or rather, sustenance comes before superficial beauty. The manga twisted that to suggest that boys (dango) were more important than flowers. A third reading suggests that these four characters are “boys” before they’re “flowers” — that is to say, their roles as people are more important than their collective fame as Flower Four.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

In this world, Shinhwa Group (“shinhwa” meaning “legend”) is the most powerful corporation in Korea, perhaps best compared to real-life Samsung, only bigger and more powerful. Shinhwa makes cars, owns department stores, and is virtually everywhere — its empire even includes an elite school. At the beautiful Shinhwa campus, pampered students flaunt their wealth and band together in cliques.

Unfortunately, just being rich isn’t enough to survive the teen tyranny at Shinhwa — outsiders or loners are often marked as targets by the bored uber-clique F4. Once a student is delivered F4’s “red card,” it signals the rest of the school to go all out in harassment and bullying.

This guy, having just received the dreaded red card, is immediately chased by students and beaten. He’s cornered into a bathroom, puts up a good fight, and manages to escape.

Geum Jan-di (actress Gu Hye-sun) arrives at the school bearing a dry-cleaning delivery, amazed at all the splendor. Students talk excitedly about the newest F4 victim, joking that they’d known he wouldn’t last long. Recognizing the boy’s name, Jan-di follows the crowd outside, where they all look up at the rooftop, where the battered guy stands poised to jump off the building.

The guy shouts to his audience, “This what you want, isn’t it? Fine, I’ll give you what you want.” He starts to step off the ledge — but Jan-di bursts on the scene, yelling to get his attention. She’s got his dry-cleaning! That’ll be $30, please!

Jan-di isn’t too quick on the uptake, because she doesn’t grasp the severity of the moment until the boy tells her to get the money from his family after he dies. At this, Jan-di gasps in horror: “Are you about to die? Why? You go to such a nice school.” He tells her, “This isn’t school, it’s hell.” Jan-di corrects him, saying, “Excuse me, but the real hell is outside.”

He asks if she knows what F4 is (she doesn’t), and explains that their red card makes you a hunted man. Finally realizing that this mysterious F4 is why he’s all bloody and ready to jump off a building, Jan-di indignantly asks, “And you’re going to let them get away with that?” If this was her school, she’d show them who was boss. The guy tells her that her friends are lucky to have a friend like her — and then jumps.

Everyone gasps — Jan-di lurches forward — and grabs him on his way over the ledge. Saved!

Photos are uploaded, news spreads quickly, and pretty soon, Jan-di is hailed as a hero in the media, a sort of Wonder Woman for the working class. As this occurred on a Shinhwa campus — and worse, a Shinhwa heir is involved (albeit indirectly as F4’s leader) — citizens denounce the Shinhwa Group. Housewives agree to boycott Shinhwa stores, candlelight vigils are held, people demonstrate.

Jan-di’s best friend Ga-eul and her boss cheer her on (the girls work after school at a neighborhood restaurant). Ga-eul wistfully wonders if the F4 boys are as cute as they say, but Jan-di is not at all impressed. She calls them Fly Four instead — dung flies.

Naturally, the outcry is a pain in the neck for Shinhwa Group’s CEO, Kang Hee-joo, who happens to be mother to F4 leader Gu Jun-pyo. She vents her ire on her secretary, Mr. Jung (perfectly cast, by the way): “You know why public opinion is frightening? Because they’re ignorant!”

What, then, can be done for damage control? Offer the commoner a scholarship to Shinhwa High School, of course!

Jan-di’s family is thrilled. Jan-di is not.

She refuses to go to the school, preferring her life as it is. Her parents, on the other hand, think it’s foolish for her to pass up a free education that even the rich and powerful would kill for. Plus, they wheedle, the school has a swimming pool… and remember how much she liked swimming? Jan-di is not so easily bought, but still, the end result is a foregone conclusion. The next day, she arrives at her new school.

Predictably, she is a complete fish out of water in this place where students flash luxury vehicles (Jun-pyo arrives by helicopter) and designer clothing.

Jan-di wanders around, searching for the swimming pool, when she hears the strains of a violin. Curious, she follows the sound and comes to its source: It’s Yoon Ji-hoo, dressed all in white, playing his violin out in the woods. As we all do.

When he sees her, she asks in a flustered tone for the pool, and he points her in the right direction. She runs off in mortification, but also impressed at Ji-hoo’s skills sensitivity pretty face.

Now for the Grand Entrance:

F4’s appearance sends all the girls squealing and everyone rushing to the entrance to welcome their overlords. No seriously, you practically expect somebody to genuflect at their feet. As it is, F4 arrives in a blaze of glory and glamour-shot backlighting.

Jun-pyo looks over at one of the bystanders, who immediately quivers in fear. In a supremely bored but authoritative voice, Jun-pyo asks Woo-bin for the rest of his juice, then pours it all over the hapless student.

(The guy had been bragging earlier about wearing a shirt only he and Jun-pyo owned, and Jun-pyo is not pleased to be caught similarly dressed.)

Afterward, Jan-di sputters at Jun-pyo’s assiness. She calls him a crazy bastard, then wonders if everyone else is also crazy, watching his reign of terror without saying anything.

This attracts the attention of the school’s three queen bees, who introduce themselves as Ginger (the leader), Sunny, and Miranda (or Shinhwa’s “jin, sun, and mi” — a way of saying they’re the most beautiful). Ginger’s affectation is to make horrified exclamations in English (e.g., “Oh. My. God.”), while Sunny’s my favorite because she seems vaguely dim. They stick up for F4 and tell Jan-di to watch what she says.

Deciding to acquaint herself with the members of F4, Jan-di and her brother surf the internet for their bios:

Song Woo-bin (actor Kim Joon) is heir to a construction enterprise; his father is a real estate magnate.

So Yi-jung (Kim Bum) is a pottery genius who comes from an artistic lineage; his grandfather also owns a famous art museum.

Yoon Ji-hoo (actor-singer Kim Hyun-joong) is the grandson of a former president, and the sole surviving descendant, as his parents died in car crash when he was five. His family owns a variety of rich-people toys, like an art center, a European soccer team, and a major league baseball team.

And then there’s Gu Jun-pyo (Lee Min-ho). The others are famous among rich society, but Jun-pyo, as the heir to Shinhwa Group, is known to practically the entire country.

Finding out how privileged F4 is sends Jan-di into a rage — life’s too unfair. She takes particular umbrage at Jun-pyo for being such an asshole, because if he was born so lucky, he should be thankful and act kindly to others.

Too late, Jan-di looks down the staircase and spots a set of legs — someone’s taking a nap on the landing below. It’s Ji-hoo, who saunters up to her, telling her in his soft-spoken way that she’s disrupted his sleep. He heard the whole tirade, such as her calling them flies, and tells her the guy’s name is Jun-pyo, not Jung-pyo — if she’s going to rail against him, she ought to at least get the name right.

Lunchtime. The Bimbo Trio make it a point to hover and comment on Jan-di’s poor-person lunch. The cafeteria serves gourmet offerings, but Jan-di ignores them in favor of her plain lunchbox (rice, egg, Spam), which they now ridicule.

Unexpectedly, Jan-di receives a friendly overture from another new girl, Oh Min-ji, who is sweet, pretty, and recently transferred from Germany.

Ga-eul expresses relief that Jan-di made a friend; she was afraid she’d wind up an outsider. Jan-di replies glumly, “I am an outsider.” Still, she figures she can lie low until graduation, which prompts Ga-eul to ask what happened to the fearless protector who used to always stand up for her in elementary school.

But Jan-di figures she’ll have to stick it out. Her father’s absurdly proud of her fancy uniform (as a dry-cleaner, he can appreciate quality), while her mother pushes her to work on her looks so she can snag a rich boy. (Nobody ever said kdramas were feminist.)

Jan-di’s patience is tried the next day, when F4 struts in looking cool, as usual, and a shy student presents Jun-pyo with a homemade cake and hopes that he’ll “accept her feelings.” Jun-pyo stares at her in his blank, haughty way, and takes the cake, as though accepting — to the girl’s excitement and the Bimbo Trio’s horror — until he then smashes the cake into her face.

Jun-pyo walks off, only to find Jan-di in his path, trying to do her best to tamp down her fury. She unleashes a diatribe:

Jan-di: “You! Don’t you even have the barest human courtesy? I don’t bother hoping you’d have any humility for your riches. But if you didn’t want to eat it, you could have politely refused. Or, couldn’t you think of the feelings of the person who made the cake and accepted?”

Unfortunately, Jan-di’s tirade is only in her head. When it comes time to say it, she backs down and mutters, “Never mind.” As Ji-hoo passes, though, he gives her a smile, as if knowing what’s running through her mind.

The next encounter isn’t so easily dismissed. Min-ji and Jan-di eat ice cream cones and chat cheerfully, when Min-ji slips and falls at Jun-pyo’s feet, getting ice cream all over his shoe. Immediately scared and apologetic, Min-ji tries to offer to pay for new shoes, then offers to do “whatever I can” to rectify the situation. When he tells her to lick the ice cream off his shoe, Jan-di steps in, saying he should accept the apology — it’s not like Min-ji fell on purpose. So Jun-pyo turns his derision onto Jan-di instead:

Jun-pyo: “Is it your thing to be obtuse and interfering? Why butt into someone else’s business?”
Jan-di: “She’s not just anyone, she’s a friend. But I guess they don’t include words like ‘friend’ or ‘friendship’ in rich people’s dictionaries.”
Jun-pyo: “Friend? Let’s see some of that great friendship in action. You lick it.”
Jan-di: “What?”
Jun-pyo: “If you do it for her, I’ll let this go.”

Resignedly, Jan-di starts to bend over as Jun-pyo waits expectantly, but stops mid-bow. Instead, she shoves her ice cream cone in Jun-pyo’s face, causing him to fall over.

Jan-di scoffs, “So what, did you earn all that money yourself?” And no, her “thing” isn’t to interfere, it’s to stand up to the behavior of rich punks who rely on their rich parents.

Furthermore, she takes out a couple of bills (equivalent to a dollar) and throws three at him, referring to his stained clothing: “Our business charges 2,500 won, but I calculated using Kangnam [rich neighborhood] standards. If it still won’t clean, bring it by.”

That night, Jun-pyo remains in a dark mood, trying to figure out how to get back at Jan-di. I’ll admit I burst out laughing when the song “Never Say Goodbye” came on, since it’s one of the main themes of PD Jeon’s previous series, My Girl, and he likes giving little nods to his previous works.

As the rest of the guys aren’t taking this seriously, they find Jun-pyo unusually fixated. Yi-jung suggests that Jun-pyo act in their “usual way,” and Jun-pyo’s gleeful reaction gives us our first glimpse of his, uh, not-quite-bright tendencies.

The next day, Jan-di gets the red card, but it doesn’t really mean much to her and she just tosses it away.

She finds out what the effects of red-carding are when she walks into class and her desk is gone. One of her notebooks is lying on the ground, graffiti’d with hate words, and when she bends down to pick it up, it jumps out of reach — someone’s tied a string to it.

Jan-di follows the leaping notebook out into the hallway, where her equally defaced desk is parked. Students start pelting her with eggs — and then a bucket of flour is dumped over her from above.

It’s the despoiling of her uniform that gets to her — she remembers how her father so proudly ironed it — and Jan-di shouts at them defiantly, “Go on! Keep going!”

When she looks to the crowd around her, Min-ji rushes off, too scared to show her support.

Meanwhile, F4 watches the proceedings on a television in their lounge. The other two (Yi-jung, Woo-bin) figure that’s the end of story, but Jun-pyo corrects them — it’s over when Jan-di comes begging on her knees.

I admit this is the scene when I totally fell for Lee Min-ho’s dunderheaded charms, because he’s absolutely convinced Jan-di will come through the door any minute now. He counts down, and his consternation when she doesn’t is hilarious.

Jan-di retreats to her shouty stairwell (“Do you think because my name is Jan-di [grass], you can trample all over me?!”). Again, she’s interrupted by Ji-hoo, who’s relaxing on the landing below.

Oddly, he asks, “Do you know how to make pancakes?” Confused, Jan-di lists the ingredients. Taking in her appearance, Ji-hoo peers at her closely, then wipes the flour from her face and uniform with a handkerchief. Surprised and touched, she promises to return it later; he answers that he won’t be coming back, since the stairwell’s gotten a lot noisier recently.

Jan-di’s mood lifts when she goes back to the now-empty classroom and finds a set of gym clothing and a stuffed animal on her desk. The toy has a voice-recorded message from Min-ji, which tells her, “I’m sorry. Forgive me for being a coward.”

When she goes for a swim, Jan-di finds the pool littered with trash — it’s Jun-pyo’s next phase in the Jan-di Tormenting Regimen.

In fact, Jun-pyo’s so into his plans to ruin Jan-di’s life that even his friends are surprised he’s still so fixated on them, a week later. Yi-jung muses, “Isn’t she the first to really stand up to F4?”

(Ji-hoo isn’t with them because he’s off sleeping in a new location, although how anyone can sleep with legs crossed like that is a wonder. Way to go, Ji-hoo.)

All the while, Jan-di cleans out the pool, picking out all the empty bottles and soda cans. By the time she’s dressed in the locker room, she’s visited by more of Jun-pyo’s minions, who grab her, ignoring her screams, and start to carry her off.

 
THE BAD

(1) Why hello there, familiarity. Waaaaay too much direct cribbing from the Japanese Hanadan. I was hoping they wouldn’t, and unfortunately, there were enough similarities that none of the plot points packed any punch. I suspect the drama will take off once it sheds the similarities, or so goes the hope.

(2) Character mimicry. As with the point above, it seems like a few characters have been lifted directly from the Japanese drama. Kim Hyun-joong playing Ji-hoo is fantastically cast — he looks and sounds the part completely. Only, it’s kind of like him acting as Oguri Shun, more than him acting as Rui. He’s pretty good, but I wish he’d do something to distinguish himself — add a little character tic, a variation or nuance — so that he isn’t just going to be labeled Shun #2.

(3) The overacting. There’s a lot of it. Jan-di, Jan-di’s family, the Tarty Trio — everyone’s laying it on rather thick. Gu Hye-sun actually looks fine as a 2nd-year high school student — but it’s her acting that’s the problem, because it’s like she’s acting 12 to overcompensate for being 25. If she just pulls back, she ought to be fine.

If you base the story in real emotions, you can carry the audience through some extreme plot turns, but if you never ground those emotions (and keep exaggerating everything), it’s a lot harder for us to get invested. There were some moments that broke through that cartoonishness (Jan-di’s reaction to being egged, for one), so let’s hope they go in that direction.

(4) The English. Oh my God, the English. There’s a scene where Yi-jung, ever the player, makes a move on an older woman in a store as she shops for china plates. He, the ceramics expert, suggests a better selection, and combined with Kim Bum’s questionable English and the white lady’s questionable acting, the scene was unwatchable. (The mute button and embarrassed laughter came into play.) Ginger the English-spouting Mean Girl gets a little embarrassing as well, although I suppose it’s her character to be absurd.

(5) Kim Joon, wassup man, that’s da bomb, yo yo yo! Let me reiterate: Oh my God, the English. I wonder if they’re, um, incorporating Kim Joon’s pop-singing background into his character. And don’t get me wrong, I am ALL in favor of giving F4 some added flair — letting these actors make the characters their own, and whatnot. I am NOT, however, in favor of bastardized gangsta-rap-inflected Engrish. Please. Stop.

The apologist version: If one were to make a defense against those complaints, I suppose one could argue that some scenes are just so iconic that even if it’s a repetition, it’s so much a part of the story that one shouldn’t just ignore it. For instance, the red cards in the lockers. Also, I think that Episode 1 requires a lot of setting up, which necessitates repeating many elements that are familiar to those who know Hanadan. When Boys Before Flowers did diverge from the familiar moments, it did much better. Hopefully things will improve once the series really gets going.

 
THE GOOD

The casting, hands down.

Surprisingly, the best part of Boys Before Flowers (for me) was Lee Min-ho. I was worried about him the most, but ended up totally relieved. He — unlike Gu Hye-sun, the Tarty Trio, Jan-di’s parents — did not overact. Also, he — unlike Kim Hyun-joong — seems to embody his character more than as a mere imitation of the Japanese Hanadan. He’s great playing the snide, arrogant leader of F4, but he’s also showing real promise at the character’s thick-headed, slightly ignorant side — he doesn’t play the character’s dumbness as overtly as Matsumoto Jun did, but it’s enough to be pretty funny. He totally looks the part, and acts the part, but so far isn’t just copying Matsumoto’s interpretation.

Despite my comments in the “Bad” section above, I’m actually pretty pleased with the overall acting. There don’t appear to be any glaring, unfixable deficiencies — I think flaws can be adjusted with some toning down and fine-tuning. Kdramas have typically done better (in my opinion) when they focus on the down-to-earth aspects of stories rather than the outlandish — Goong was better when it was about the troubled teenage marriage than when it was about monarchial conspiracies — so once the story gets going in earnest, I hope the drama finds its feet.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , , , ,

221

Required fields are marked *

wait...

a couple of ppl have said they watched this subbed...

where can i get this subbbed??!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh my god! Someone subbed it sooo fast!! Ladies and gents go to this page for (hopefully) updated links to episodes raw or subbed:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-431098/Episoden-Links.html
Episode one is subbed! Hurrah! I finally get a more complete understanding of what they're saying.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Although Goo Hye Sun's over-acting is a bit annoying, I still thought the first two episodes were pretty entertaining. IMO, episode two was better than the first one, with everyone settling into their characters. Lee Min Ho is the standout so far, and Han Chae Young is also spot-on as the korean Shizuka (although, it's not exactly a very challenging role).

The biggest let-down for me is the choice of music.... it's appalling!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ep 2 is so much better...I guess everyone just had to settle into their roles a bit.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

episode 2 was better, in my opinion. i never judge dramas by their first episodes. if i did, there are a lot of dramas I ended up loving that I wouldn't have ever watched.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

With regards to Kim Joon's ghetto English, I don't know if the director did this on purpose but Kim's equivalent in the Taiwanese verison of this often broke out into ghetto English, so maybe the director is parodying that? Or maybe a little far -fetched?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

to be honest..... Tsukasa's hair is really ugly in this one. lol. not to be mean or anything. lol. and he looks a lot older than anyone else in the band. wowie....

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes!! You were wright!!!
I fell in love with Lee Min Hoo as Doumyouji on the counting scene.
So far....Min Hoo physical appearance and approach to Tsukasa character is the closest to the Manga. Looooveeee it.

Rui is still a big disappointment......
His innocent childlike pure autism (woow...that complicated huh?) character has not been captured by all Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean actors.

Inoui Mao is still the best Tsukushi in my opinion...

But its Hanadan nonetheless...... so I'll bound to love it anyway..... ^_^

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I just finished both eps and I was extremely surprised at Gu Hye Sun's rendition of Makino...she's doing it well!! She's much more spunky than the Japanese Makino and I think that's what sets her apart. I think I was expecting her to be really really bad, so consequently I was really surprised.

By the end of the second episode, I loved 2 things...Lee Min Hoo (who is much better casted as Domyouji than MatsuJun (IMO)) and KIM BUM (ARRRGHH. He's SO HOT.), I really really really hope they give his character more screen time in future episodes, he totally deserves it.

But the one thing I could not stand was Kim Joon's ENGRISH. OMG, i swear I laughed so hard, green tea came out of my nose. It came out of NO WHERE and what was the purpose?????
Kim Bum's english was much better than I expected, even though I was still cringing a little as he talked.
Javabeans, ur hilarious take on the engrish was SPOT ON; it REALLY was "bastardized gangsta-rap-inflected Engrish". LOL!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i couldn't finish watching the episode because I had to go eat dinner but from what I did see, I liked it a lot. I think this is the best lookin group of all the F4s (and I say that even though I absolutely adore Matsumoto Jun!). The acting was pretty good. The queen bees...they were a bit much. I guess that would go under "overacting." It was like someone kidnapped some annoying antagonists from an anime and put them into the drama. The family is sorta funny though.

Ok one point I really, really disliked, and it's probably the only thing...the violin playing. I know! It's an extremely small part but I feel that it's really important because that's the first time that Jan-di meets Ji-hoo. I think their relationship is really important since a lot of the problems between Jan-di and Jun-pyo(sp?) stem from her feelings for Ji-hoo, so I thought that the scene where they meet should be the most important. I didn't see that scene in the Japanese version (did they have that scene in there?) but I saw it in the Taiwanese version, and I'm a little disappointed that they didn't make it look a little more real. The sound of the violin sounded like someone was playing it in the woods...not like a professional recording or anything, but the movement, the fingerings...it was just off.

Yes I play violin and I do think that that's why I disliked that scene so much. I just think that Jan-di and Ji-hoo's relationship is the best one in the series so it shoulda been better.

But overall, I love it. The girl is cute the guys are cute, it's awesome!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm giving this a try despite my utter impatience.

So far for the 20 minutes or so the acting is a bit... too much but overall I seem to enjoy it. The setting is different than the other two versions so I didn't actually passforward anything.

Anyway, since I have heard that they are pretty "raw" in acting so I will cut down on the criticism but they should be better soon (hopefully).

Thanks for the review!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

So, is that Jung Eui Chul as the jumper at the beginning? Whoever he was, he was really handsome.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

wow... you said exactly the things i though after watching the first episode.

the scene when Jun-Pyo is waiting for Jan-Di to come in an apologize really sold me on this guy..... since i didnt know anything about him and the pics really made him seem out of place, i was really skeptical about him. but he really emboddied the character. and like you said, he didnt take anything from matsujun's rendereing of the character.
the reason why i loved that scene was bc you can see his face changing, all the confidence you thing he has, just crumbling away, his expression, his voice.... it was great. i loved it. so far he's my favorite character.

and the girl playing Jam-Di is waaaay to over the top, but at times that makes her really funny and unique from the image i have of makino. i particularly loved the part when she calls them dung flies, the face she makes is priceless.

so.....thanks for your review!!!

Pao

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

engrish engrish engrish....
if u ppl are so bothered by it...n yes, almost only by this subject...
how bout going to english classes instead of watching a Korean drama?
lmao. how lame.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

hey
totally agree with most of ur points

the main girl really has to change the way she acts - whenever she yells it totally annoys me.
i think she's perfect for the role but she needs to learn to not overreact
her looks fit the character now she just needs to calm down a bit

and i know everyone loves kim bum and so do i (ever since east of eden)
but i think he's a bit stiff in some scenes - maybe playboy character isn't for him? but yah he's cute =D

the girls with their english..omg <--exactly
i was like =.= pleaseeeeeee

i like how they used the swimming pool (something different)

the first episode didn't make me go THIS IS THE BEST SHOW EVER
but it is pretty interesting
hana yori dango always had a good plot so it's difficult to mess up
the cast is very interesting as well
once the acting is better i think i will be hooked =D

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I just noticed that the guy who got beaten up was also in the movie Doremifasolatido (one of my favs)! He was a really angsty teen in that movie, I wonder if he'll appear again in this drama....

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

casting = "oh-so-great" (the boys are so friggin' hot)

the girl= "ahhh......okay......whatever" (she doesn't fit the role much.)

The Japanese HYD is one of my best loved series, and you're right about the rui here--he looks as if he's trying to be Oguri SHun number two.

Don't get me wrong, they're all hot.. but i also have to consider the "other" aspects..
but Lee Min Hoo was REALLY GOOD.. at least he's not MAtsuMoto JuN #2 (but being one isn't half bad.haha)

i'm gonna say it again, i really really loved the jHYD.. and i'm not expecting much here.. Meteor garden disappointed me, it was soooo long..and the season2 sucked) whereas jHYD left the scene with a great audience satisfaction.

in this series? let's just see what happens next...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i watched the j version which was directly based on the manga and although the first episode was awesome, the rest of it was mediocre but had a few cute moments that made up for it. it had very nice sets too.

on the other hand, this version was like torture but fun! it was just so lame, hyun joong with that ridiculous poker face, go hye sun demoting makino to a toddler, lee min ho was alright, the other 2...who cares! the family were on crack i think, the music played when f4 enter was just hilarious. it was even funnier when ki bum put in a cd that played the soundtrack of my girl. ive never heard of directors reutilising soundtracks like that.

people who are used to k dramas will never get just how bad it is. i dont get why its so damn long, 40 mins should be more than enough time to make a productive episode, i badly wanted it to end cos once i start somethin, i hav to finish it!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i agree with the english, when he was all like yo, yo and really loud, too i was like please don't talk anymore, but it was really funny
kim bum's english is passable, but that chef looked way way older than he was, cougar!
kim hyun joong needs to work on the acting, like seriously. oguri shun and vic zhou look good when they're full of angst, but KHJ looks like he's not breathing when he's mad or whatever feeling he's trying to put across (but i do love his smile) :D

gu hye sun surprised me, i like her acting, i like how she overdoes it and she's so cute, but for some reason whenever she acts like that, it just reminds me of sung yuri in hong gil dong o_O ...

at first, i really wanteed choi si won to be domyouji, but after watching the first episode, damn, lee min0ho has got the part down, i think it;s better than matsumoto's imterpretation, in reference to the manga of course

and i love how he doesn't put his own shoes on someone has to do it for him lmao

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

awwh i just finally got round to watching this! having come from a meteor garden rather than hanadan background i must say i was really really pleased by this. Jandi's family at least seems human enough, and there's enough familial attachment there for it not to seem ridiculous - in meteor garden her family was more of a burden to her and i always felt bad at how alone she was in facing her problems. That's why I was kind of upset at her dad's gambling problem - especially cos he's one of my favourite dad characters ever. Her kid brother is absolutely adorable though.

Lee Min-Ho was perfect. He really got his character's dimness, without hamming it up too much, so he gets to act cool as well. woot! I really didn't mind Kim Bum and Kim Joon (though i'll admit to being unable to get them straight lol), and I don't mind the gangsta rap. I just wish the Yoon guy would grow some expressions tho - unless that's part of the character?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Does anyone know the name of the guy who tried to jump off the building in the beginning?

His real name?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I enjoyed the first 2 episodes.
I don't mind Jand di's overacting...it's funny to me, and it makes me see the actress in a entirely new light as I didn't enjoy her as much in Strongest Chil Woo.
I like the director's head-on camera angles of the family and jand-di eating at dinner...it's very anime-ish!
I agree KHJ's version of Rui is a carbon-copy of Oguri Shun's. I never read the manga, so I don't know, this is the only Rui I know! :P All in white, lazy, and reserved......and now something new: autistic.
The English, yes, it's always bad, and awkward. I find no matter what kdrama I watch, the English is always awkward, especially in East of Eden since they speak so much in it. Even in Hana Yori Dango, the English was awkward/embarassing (seen the movie where Domyouji tells the truck driver to "f off!" ?) Yikes!
Soundtrack...yes, someone probably played around with the Witch Yoo Hee soundtrack and changed a couple of notes. They even used that song from My Girl! Compared to Hana Yori Dango which had a much more impressive orchestral score, this one bites the dust.

Overall, the show is meeting my expectations as fun and entertaining. It's slower than the jdrama, but that's expected too since kdramas are more draggy to begin with. Thumbs up from me!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the korean adaption of hana yori dango is fun and entertaining but overall, I'm kind of disappointed.
the over-acting makes me cringe and is it just me or do dramas usually portray koreans as thuggish brutes?
the soundtrack definitely sucks cause it's playing the same music that were used in other dramas, i wish they had hired the music director from coffee prince.
I also think they should have used the director from coffee prince, she was a genius and i think her style would have better suited this drama.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I hate the Hye Sun's overacting -- her expressions, the way she acts, the wat she reacts, everything.
I'll probably still watch the series because I like Min Ho (Domyoji), Kim Bum (Sojiro), and So Eun (Yuki). I just hope I can tolerate much more of Hye Sun's bad acting.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

@paola, his name is Jeong (Jung) Eui Chul-- he is now my wallpaper!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i have a feeling the guy who tried to jump is coming back. as the one who tried to get his revenge on min ho by kidnapping hye sun

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

oh yes i second you opinion on their english. It's just so strange to hear english yoyo rappin in a k-drama. haha was not expecting it at all..

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

You are so right about the english.
Especially the "yo yo das right it's the bomb yo" crap, i was seriously in total shock.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i just watched the first episode and although it was just OK i really really really didn't like Jan di's character. She annoyed the hell out of me always yelling and making that silly pout. U rite, lee min ho is the star of this drama...i noticed it the few secs he was on hahaha. o..and the english was horrible! it just sounded lame although i love kim bum :)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved your episode background info, you should def. write more! btw the house rulez song is AMAZING!!!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with lots of ya'll
but has anyone noticed, or maybe just me, how absolutely similar lee min ho and Jerry yan looks! lee min ho looks a bit skinnier though, but seriously they something about them two look a like, this is like the taiwan version and korean versions head F4 guy looks the same. I like how they really up-ed the rich scale, like yeah this is how I would imagine rich, I feel that they the first and second hana yori dangos (taiwan and japan version) were really cheap makes where is this really more closer to real life. Ji Hoo is definitely a mix of the japan and taiwan versions. I agree with someone earlier about the main girl being too exaggerated in facial expression it borders on ugly and disgusting it really ticks me off every time I see her do that, ruins the acting. There are some parts where I feel surprised and awed too, hope they have more in store.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Witch Amusement,
was good that show was better then this show i already saw some of this show i got to say the began is not that good as witch amusement started yes the ending of Witch Amusement could have been better but that show was well written.. yeah it was but all were hilariously watchable. yeah but i think boys over flower aka hana yori dango was kinda better than boys before flower korean version...
♥i love korean dramas about school its the best!! korean dramas about young people is good like my girl !!♥

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

just catching up right now on this series... it's not bad... getting exciting in fact. the differences from the chinese and japanese versions is really fun and amusing...

can't help my self to love lee min ho. for me, he's now the best actor that portrayed the F4 leader character. can't help but noticed though that he's very similar to Jerry Yan in terms of height and built but he's a better actor... ^_^

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Min Ho playing as Tsukasa is very diffrent from Matsumoto Jun. Matsumoto Jun plays the character as he supposed to do because Tsukasa supposed to be dumb and clueless although violent, very innocent and lonely deep down inside.

But Min Ho as Joon Pyo is very different. He's tall, smart (he's reading Wall Street Journal for God sake. -_-;;) and good-looking. There's no sign of dumbness like Tsukasa from the manga.

While Tsukasa get excited just by holding Makino's hand, Joon Pyo takes advantage of Jan Di whennever he can. Which is a major DISSAPOINTMENT. He's supposed to be innocent(?) but he's more like a pervert. -_-;;

And that makes lots lots of different.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm disappointed with the Jun Pyo character, he's not as funny or clueless as Matsujun's Domyouji...and I'm don't know how to put it, but his sincerity towards Jan Di seems...fake? I don't feel for them like I did in the Jap. version. Some parts are just awkward...like how Jan Di is siding with Ji Hoo like the entire time after he comes back, and then when she finally gets a date, she changes her mind. I know this is what happened in the other version too, but Makino didn't totally ignore Domyouji when Rui came back?? There was no "misunderstanding" like when Domyouji beat up Yuki's friend-- Ji Hoo just kissed Jan Di and she didn't even back down. Jan Di is sort of annoying at times, same with her family (although Makino's family was wierd too). And the storyline is slower...maybe I'm just used to the other one.

I like spotting the similarities between the different versions and those little details that make it nolstalgic. I still somewhat enjoy watching it , but I don't think it can top Hanadan...although the F4 guys are super cute. (yo yo yo...lol)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i agree with your review. although the parents in HYD japan overacted as well.
i dont see much of the play on the way domyouji makes errors with his words and i dont think they curled the korean domyoujis hair very well. so far i'd rate the korean version as number 2. with the japanese version being 1st and the taiwanese version being last. at first i thought the new tsukushi would suck....but im on episode 2 now and she's growin on me. something about spunk,sass and the korean language...goes very well together.

i think its funny though how the director from my girl is doign this and is basically reusing all his casts from choon hyang and my girl. the dad in the korean version was in both my girl and choon hyang. while shizuka is choon hyang herself! (who by the way is looking VERY different from choon hyang days did she have plastic surgery?) she does a good job of playing plastic old shizuka

the korean soujiro is PERFECT though and i cant stop staring at him. he looks SO MUCH like the japanese soujiro!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with Tam. That's what I'm thinking too, MatsuJun is the best among them all who played Domyoji Tsukasa and undoubtedly he and Inoue Mao have such great chemistry that it didn't feel acting or fake to me at all. With the korean version I felt that there's no chemistry between Jun Pyo and Jan Di even in real life...maybe it's just me and yeah this version is more dragging for me since korean dramas are longer.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i just wanted to ask on whether this kind of bullying really happens in Korea.
i have heard many stories that it is true,---but to what extent?

i think suicide has gone too far...

i love this seriees and story very much [i'm a hanadan & manga fan]
& i know that everything about it is unrealistic so i just wanted to know..

BTW, thank you so much for the recaps javabeans!!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you so much for taking the time to break the episodes down and explain the story. Knowing exactly what's going on is going to help me a lot when I get the transcripts out with Naver dictionary up to start translating as practice for my Korean ^_^

Just a shame that the scripts stray a bit from what is said on the show... Still with knowing what's going on from this I should be ok.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I couldn't agree with you more DramaBeans. I HATE the overacting of Jandi and her parents, and I absolutely couldn't watch that scene with Yi-Jung seducing the chef girl. When are they going to grasp on to the fact that they have audiences overseas like me who can clearly see that these English dialogues are terrible? Bleh! It was very disappointing since i LOVED Kim Bum's acting in East of Eden.
And as for Min-Ho, he has a gorgeous face, and his acting isn't as up to par but better than Hyun Joong's. Hyun Joong shines in reality tv.

only one more hour till i get out of work and watch more BBF!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

DramaBeans-how true your recaps were. If both parents and GJD just tone down their reactions, I would enjoy their scenes more.
I thought it was just KDramas to the max.

Yes, LMH did his research and wove himself with HYD Character so realistically. and such a joy to watch. I just FFW all the noisy people here....

But now, GJD is more reflective and has woven her realself into her character...it suits her well, me think.

Thank you again for your re-caps.....I am not playing down the f4's prettiness etc...but I enjoy the storylines communicated believably...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

HAHAHA you are hilarious and most definitely on point:

"Ginger the English-spouting Mean Girl gets a little embarrassing as well, although I suppose it’s her character to be absurd."

"(5) Kim Joon, wassup man, that’s da bomb, yo yo yo! Let me reiterate: Oh my God, the English. I wonder if they’re, um, incorporating Kim Joon’s pop-singing background into his character. And don’t get me wrong, I am ALL in favor of giving F4 some added flair — letting these actors make the characters their own, and whatnot. I am NOT, however, in favor of bastardized gangsta-rap-inflected Engrish. Please. Stop. "

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

hey : > where can i download the full version. or where can i buy the dvd? im from the philippines

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

hey, can you tell me where i can watch this show online or rather where to download the show with english subs? thanx.... =)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i like F4 [korean]

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

whatever.. korean boys before flowers surpasses all.
and everyone's saying that the korean one is too much alike the japanese one?
well.. it does have the same title for a reason. and it is called the "korean version" for a reason, how can you expect it to be different- it's purposely the same.
the only thing that has changed is the looks the characters have- much better.
Go Koreans, our celebrities are the hottest, the most natural faces rather than other asian countries

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I dont mind if this Korean version sucks when it comes to the portrayal of Tsukushi since my heart and mind go for Makino or Inoue Mao but I just cant help but like it because of So-Eul couple which makes me watch this series again and again....Its currently shown in Philippines and they are gaining more fans...The dubbing is great so I think it would be a success...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

this movie was the best from all.

P.S the attitude of sunbae ji hoo in this movie was so good to be true.I hope in reality he is that kind of person.but why is it that jun pyo was the partner of jan di in the end I hope there will be a continuation of the story!!!!!!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

hello poh to all the f4 korean your the best!!!!!!
KEEP IT UP!!!!!!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i like it

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *