My thoughts on Meteor Garden | Thoughts on TV

meteor gardenMeteor Garden (2018)
Country: China
I watched it on: Netflix
number of episodes: 49 (DVD/Netflix version)
genre: romantic comedy
rating: 3.5/5 stars – I liked it

An ordinary girl is admitted to the most prestigious school in the country where she encounters F4, an exclusive group comprised of the four wealthiest and handsomest boys in the school – Dao Ming Si, Hua Ze Lei, Xi Men and Mei Zuo.

Shan Cai is an 18-year-old girl from a family that’s barely able to make ends meet. Due to a turn of events, she gets accepted into a school that only accepts the upper class elites. She immediately clashes with her classmates especially Dao Ming Si who is spoiled, arrogant and a bully. She remains defiant even after becoming a target of a series of pranks intended to torment her and just when she’s about to give up, Hua Ze Lei always seems to show up to lend her a helping hand.

Eventually, the four boys begin to acknowledge Shan Cai’s unyielding personality that is like her namesake which is that of a weed that can never be brought down. She also begins to see the good in the boys, which paves the way for friendship and an eventual romance.

my review

If you’ve never heard of Meteor Garden before, it’s a Chinese drama that centers around Shan Cai who goes to university for the first time. She wants to study nutrition, so she can help her family with their restaurant and improve their dishes even more. When she attends the school for the first time, she learns about F4. They’re a group of 4 guys, who are incredibly popular. They are the top of their class, rich, and handsome. One day, Dao Ming Si (one of the F4 members) steps on Shan Cai’s phone, breaking the screen. She confronts him and asks him to apologize. That’s where her relationship with the guys begins.

There are some things about this series I truly loved, and some I didn’t like. Let’s get started on the things I loved.

⭐️ friendship. I am a big fan of friendships in media, because my friends are so important to me. Every time a show centers around a friend group, I’m already intrigued. I enjoyed the friendship between Shan Cai and her childhood best friend who works in the same store as she does, the friendship between the F4 guys, and especially the friendship between Hua Ze Lei and Shan Cai.

⭐️ romance. While I did have my problems with the romance, I found myself shipping it anyway. They’re so cute! Actually, I was torn when I hit the middle of the show. I wanted her to be happy with Dao Ming Si, but I also wanted her to be with Hua Ze Lei. CHOICES.

⭐️ family. I’m lucky enough to be very close to my family, and have a good relationship with them. That’s why I love watching family dynamics on TV. I enjoyed how Shan Cai’s parents were so proud of her for getting in to the school and the dishes she made. I also loved Dao Ming Si’s relationship with his sister. She loved him so much, and tried to protect him without coddling him at the same time.

⭐️ addictive. I know this sounds weird, but trust me. This series is so addictive. I start watching it one evening in my hostel while traveling, and ended up watching 5 episodes in a row. I stayed up for hours just to watch this.

Now for the things I didn’t love…

💥 it was too long. This series could have been 25 or 30 episodes instead of 49. Honestly, at some point I got really annoyed. How many bad things can happen to one couple?? I’m not used to Asian dramas being this long. The majority of dramas I’ve watched had 20 to 35 episodes and I feel like that’s a great length for a storyline like this one.

💥 alpha male/aggressive behavior. This happens so often in these dramas, and I’ve learned to deal with it. That doesn’t mean I have to love it though. If you’ve seen an Asian drama, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about (not that Western shows don’t have these problems): grabbing and dragging the girl by the wrist, caging her in, yelling at her instead of talking to her, etc. It’s not healthy, everyone. It’s not.


Ultimately, I enjoyed watching this show. I binge-watched it, and have zero regrets. I’m still a little bit in love with Hua Ze Lei… Have you watched this show?

13 thoughts on “My thoughts on Meteor Garden | Thoughts on TV

  1. You managed to put my thoughts on Meteor Garden into words perfectly! I agree 100% with everything you said! I loved this series, it was so addictive, the friendships were amazing and Huaze Lei is THE BEST, but it definitely felt too long. For the final episodes I was no longer watching for enjoyment, but just to finally get to the end. Maybe that’s also my own fault, since I watched Boys Over Flowers not too long ago, so it felt VERY similar haha *oops* But overall, I quite enjoyed it.

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  2. GAHHHHHH loved this show!! Hahaha I totally know what you mean about how many awful things can happen to one couple. I did think they kept mixing it up well but it was still a lot. I actually liked the more episodes with the slightly shorter length show. It’s harder for me to sit for a show exactly an hour than it is to watch 45 mins, so it works for me. But compared to 16 episodes its sooooo long. I also watched Ode to Joy and its that long but sooooo good, just as good as Meteor Garden but all about females. ❤

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  3. As an Asian this was huge when I was really young. Now, rewatching this one I found myself feeling super bored. I thought everything was over the top as well! I think I’m just not a huge fan of drama and romance in general, so it just wasn’t for me. Glad you yourself enjoyed it! 😀

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    1. I agree with Ayunda, I was really into Hana Yori Dango and Boys over Flowers when they came out but now watching Meteor Gardens — I really feel like this story has had its time.

      However, thank you Jolien. This was an excellent review and I definitely agree with the male aggression being problematic. Is it too much to request that males do not yell at females for every little thing?

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        1. There are always the guilty pleasures😁 and there is nothing wrong with it. Have tried watching Korean Dramas? They are all either 16 or 20 episodes.

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  4. I really enjoyed the OG Meteor Garden that aired in the 90s/00s, but my memory was pretty blurry :/ However, I loved Boys Before Flowers, the korean adaptation of the story. It’s the first k-drama I’ve watched and finished on my own! Despite the story of hana yori dango being adapted over and over again, I’d love to give this one a try for the nostalgic feelings. I mean, they keep Dao Ming Si’s hedgehog hair and the OG soundtrack! ❤

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  5. Great review! I haven’t heard of this one, but to be honest I’m not that familiar with Asian drama at all – this is something I’d like to change, though, because they look like so much fun. I really want to get into Korean dramas, in particular, but I think I might become a bit too addicted…

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