Boys over Flowers (2009)
Country: South Korea
I watched it on Netflix
Rating: 6/10 – I liked it
Set at a famous high school for the super-wealthy, this is a puppy love story centered on a poor girl and the F4 gang of rich kids headed by the rough and fearless Jun-pyo Koo.
Geum Jan-Di (Hye-seon Ku) is a girl from a poor family but has an unrivaled sense of optimism and drive and is by chance admitted to a prestigious private high school.
There she meets the infamous group of four astonishingly good looking and rich boys who are known as F4. The group’s leader is Koo Jun-Pyo (Min-ho Lee), who is a spoiled heir to world-leading conglomerate Shinhwa. He is joined by mysterious and breathlessly handsome Yun Ji-Hu (Hyeon-jung Kim), So Lee-Jeong (Kim Beom), and Song Woo-Bin (Kim Jun). Their love story moves from Seoul to New Caledonia to Macau.
Please don’t kill me for this review. I know this is one of the most loved K-dramas out there! I know that so many people adore it. I’m already scared to write this review since I gave it 6/10. However, as you’ll see in my review the reasons I didn’t end up loving it are mostly circumstantial. If I had watched this drama under different circumstances or in a different situation, I might have loved it.
Here’s what I liked about the show!
⭐️ the story itself. I know it may seem like a dumb bullet point, but I don’t care. In itself, I love the story. It’s filled with tropes and cliches I happen to adore. Girl from a poorer family gets in to a private school and ends up pissing off the most popular and rich guy in school – the leader of the so-called F4. Obviously, they end up falling in love. I’m a sucker for hate-to-love stories.
⭐️ backstory of the side characters. If you’re unaware, this is not the only adaptation of the shojo manga that exists. In fact, there are many. I liked that this one had a more elaborate backstory for Yun Ji-Hu.
⭐️ enemies-to-lovers. Like I mentioned before, this is one of my absolute favorite tropes in romance stories. I’m such a sucker for it, and this show is no exception.
Now, on to what prevented me from loving this show.
💥 it wasn’t the first adaptation I watched which means I already knew what would happen. One could argue that you can always tell what’ll happen in these dramas, which is true. Most of them have a HEA-type ending. However, I knew most details of the story already so nothing ever surprised me.
💥 an ‘older’ version of the story. No, I’m not saying that you can’t love older shows. After all, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars are some of my favorite TV shows still. However, the remake of Boys Over Flowers I had seen prior to this one was released in 2018 which means that it’s an extremely modern and relatable take on the story. That’s not this show’s fault at all but it did leave me less connected to it. Like I mentioned at the start, the reasons I didn’t end up loving this are mostly situational. If I had watched this when it first came out, or even before watching Meteor Garden, I would have loved it more.
💥 the acting. I wasn’t a huge fan of the acting in this show. It felt a little bit over-the-top, especially Hye-seon Ku’s portrayal of Jan-Di. I’ll definitely try more of her shows in the future, just wasn’t a big fan of her in this one.
There you have it, my slightly controversial opinion on Boys over Flowers. As I mentioned a few times, I didn’t end up loving it due to the circumstances I watched it in. I’m sure I would have loved it more if I had seen it in 2009 – or simply before watching the most recent remake. Have you watched this show? Is it a nostalgic one for you? Let me know (and please don’t kill me)!