Meteor Garden is an adaptation of Hana Yori Dango.
Hana Yori Dango is most notably known as Boys Over Flowers. (This is also a Japanese shoja manga of the same name.) This story has gotten the small screen treatment a few times. The original Meteor Garden was a Taiwanese Drama that aired back in 2001. I have yet to see the original small screen adaption, but it’s worth noting that Meteor Garden 2018 will be a remake of it’s 2001 counterpart.
Depending on when you arrived on the Asian drama scene, the Koreans took a stab at adapting the manga and scored a mega hit with Boys Over Flowers in 2009. This was 5 years before I began my descent into the wonderful world of k-dramas. Boys Over Flowers is one of those dramas that most of us have in commen. For me, it was the second. This was ultimately the turning point that led to my interest in k-dramas and Lee Min Ho. Still a bit peeved over the ending and the story got a bit crazy at times, but it’s a memorable drama – whether you loved or hated it.
Who can ever forget the surly, rich, curly-haired chaebol heir Go Jun Pyo that was intent on making Jan Di’s life a living nightmare.
It seems the F4 culture is still alive. Thanks to Netflix, we get to see a rebirth of the original Meteor Garden in a current, modern setting. On Friday night, I couldn’t sleep and I binge-watched the first six episodes on Netflix. New episodes are available every Friday, phew! Nonetheless, I went into Saturday with less than three hours of sleep. It’s the first time I’ve got to follow this story while it was currently airing, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it varies from the version I know best – Boys Over Flowers.
That said, I don’t really want to blurt out spoilers, but I think this Chinese adaption is pretty decent so far. Dao Ming Si is actually not as bad as I remember Go Jun Pyo being, so that’s always a positive. There’s only so much spoiled, chaebol heir a girl can take, especially in a high school setting. I don’t watch many high school dramas these days. I’m 30 and it’s hard for me to relate, but there are exceptions that I will give a fair shot. And this is one of those exceptions.
Let’s break down the basics if you have no idea who F4 are or even what Meteor Garden is about.
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.
-Credit to My Drama List for summary.
My thoughts so far.
Now, don’t expect this to be the most groundbreaking or original story. If you’ve ready to sit back and just enjoy a drama without having to pick apart and dissect everything, this seems to be a solid choice. Plus, it’s fun to watch Shan Cai stick it to Ming Si. A strong-female lead that doesn’t take anyone’s crap is always a bonus in my eyes. I will say that I found the beginning a bit choppy and disjointed, but there is a nice level of production value present.
To be honest, I devoured the first 6 episodes. I wish I had paced it better because I have to wait until Friday for new episodes to be available or Netflix. This drama is a whopping 48 episodes. Each episode averages out to around 45 minutes, so there is going to be a lot of content here. I don’t do well with dramas that are this long, so I’m holding the hope that not knowing the original Meteor Garden story will make this a bit more fun and unpredictable. There’s no knowing how things will turn out. It’s also way too long for me to recap this drama episode-by-episode.
I will do my best to post about the episodes as much as I can. To be fair, I’m watching a lot of dramas so it may take me some time to put something together. I’m more than happy to get up a first impressions post with some of my in-depth feelings on Meteor Garden.
If you’re like me and couldn’t resist binge-watching all available episodes on Netflix, please chime in below. I’d love to know what you think.
Will you be sticking around? Not interested in this type of story? Are you feeling underwhelmed? Maybe the original Meteor Garden or Boys Over Flowers reign supreme? Whatever it is, let me know how you’re feeling.