chinese drama

C-Drama: ‘Meteor Garden First Impressions

meteor garden first impressions

Meteor Garden First Impressions

I’ve been quietly watching Meteor Garden from behind the scenes. So far, I’ve watched 21 episodes and I wanted to go over what I think so far. I broke this down into three parts just to make things easy for me. It’ll be The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

I’m a bit behind, which I apologize about. I meant to get up Meteor Garden First Impressions two weeks ago, but that never panned out. While I enjoy the show for the most part, sometimes my interest wanes and I need to take a break to take in everything that is going on.

To keep things relatively spoiler free, I haven’t gone into many details about this drama. If you’re interested in seeing more of my posts regarding Meteor Garden, please be sure to leave a comment below. I’m happy to do future posts going into details of the episodes.

***At this point, 30 episodes are currently available on Netflix.***

The Good

I love Shancai (played by Shen Yue). From the moment she flew through the air and kicked Daoming in the face, I cheered in victory. She’s a strong person and she doesn’t let someone like Daoming Si walk all over her. In fact, the two are constantly bickering and misunderstanding each other. It’s fun to watch that Daoming Si is more or less teasing Shancai and isn’t as extreme on the bullying front. Still, he does bully Shancai, and I want to make it clear that it’s not okay.

As they start spending time together, Daoming Si develops feelings for Shancai, but he’s kind of an idiot that makes things worse with his anger issues.

Daoming Si is actually refreshing for me. I haven’t seen the original Meteor Garden, but here, he’s less of a tool. Yes, he’s still kind of a jerk, but he’s so much better than Go Jun Pyu from Boys Over Flowers. Here, we don’t have the suicide scene nor the extreme bullying. This is extremely refreshing and a major bonus.

As far as F4, I like the gang so far. Huaze Lei is one of my favorites. Darren Chen who plays Huaze Lei has apparently hit it big in China with this adaptation of Meteor Garden. I have to say, he does really great at playing such a quiet, yet opinionated character. He’s the first of the F4 gang to befriend Shancai, and I really adore their friendship. It’s so much better when both are on the same page and it’s a purely platonic relationship, phew!

The production value in Meteor Garden is actually really nice. A lot of money was spent to produce Meteor Garden and I feel that it shows. Nothing has felt cheap so far. I loved where they travel to Canada to Daoming’s place during winter. I even loved the scenery and the snow. It was really beautiful and is one of my favorite parts of this adaptation so far.

The Bad

A lot of crazy stuff happens. If you’re familiar with the origin story and it’s multitude of remakes, it’s pretty clear that one crazy thing after another occurs. Whether it’s evil mothers, kidnapping, lies, or misunderstandings, it’s all present here. I find some of the episodes jump from one crazy event to another. We just recover from one thing and another crazy matter erupts.

If you like a lot going on in your dramas, this can be a good thing. For me, I find it drags out the story and avoids focusing on story lines I actually care about. The other bad thing is that there are a lot of episodes, so the story is likely to jump around from one thing to another to another. I’m only 21 episodes in, so I hope things settle down a bit.

I can appreciate the diversity in content, but sometimes it makes the story feel a bit jagged. My disappointment is that the story doesn’t flow as well as I was hoping. Of course, this could be just me being nit picky. I figure it’s important to note. If you love the crazy, Meteor Garden is right up your alley.

The Ugly

The dubbing. Oh, China, why must you dub over your own language for a more unified dialect? I haven’t watched all that many Chinese dramas, but the fact that there is dubbing over the original actors/actresses voices kind of sucks here. Once you know it, it’s hard to un-see. And it’s distracting. I’ve been trying to train myself to ignore it, but it’s easier said than done. My sincerest apologies in advance if you weren’t aware of this.

Some of the acting is cringe-worthy. I’m not going to call out anyone. For this scale of a drama, I was honestly expecting a lot more. Like I said, it’s not a deal breaker. No one is perfect and we all have room for improving, but some of the acting could use some work. As the actors begin to become one with their characters, I’m hoping this will get better. There is still time and I’m hopeful.