After my “You’re Beautiful” obsession, I searched for more Asian dramas to watch. I’ve always wanted to try watching Boys Over Flowers because I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Since I was completely obsessed with “You’re Beautiful” when I started watching BOF (and because I already had an idea of what the story was about, having watched “Meteor Garden”) I didn’t think that I would like it that much, but I actually enjoyed it.
The story begins when Geum Jan Di, a “commoner” working at a porridge shop , is offered a swimming scholarship to Shin Hwa high school, a prestigious academy made exclusively for the children of the elite members of society. This includes the infamous F4, a group of four boys led by the notorious Goo Jun Pyo. F4 is well known throughout Korea for their good looks and the power they have over society. When Jan Di’s friend, Oh Min Ji, gets into trouble with Goo Jun Pyo, Jan Di sticks up for her and ends up declaring war against Jun Pyo. Completely new to the idea of someone standing up to him, Goo Jun Pyo finds Geum Jan Di’s strong will interesting and soon starts to develop feelings for her.
- Koo Hye Sun as Geum Jan Di
- Lee Min Ho as Goo Jun Pyo
- Kim Hyun Joong as Yoon Ji Hoo
- Kim Bum as So Yi Jung
- Kim Joon as Song Woo Bin
- Kim So Eun as Chu Ga Eul (Jan Di’s best friend)
- Kim Hyun Joo as Goo Joon Hee (Jun Pyo’s elder sister)
- Lee Hye Young as Kang Hee Soo (Jun Pyo’s mother)
- Han Chae Young as Min Seo Hyun (F4’s best friend/Ji Hoo’s ex girl friend)
- Lee Min Jung as Ha Jae Kyung (JK Group’s CEO’s daughter and Jun Pyo’s fiancee)
- Lee Jung Gil as Yoon Seok Young (Ji Hoo’s grandfather)
- Jung Ho Bin as Jung Sang Rok (Kang Hee Soo’s Chief Secretary)
(I’m too lazy to write about all the characters, so I’ll just talk about F4 and Jan Di)
Geum Jan Di (Koo Hye Sun)
Honestly, Koo Hye Sun confuses me a bit. There are times that she looks so plain and unattractive, but every now and then she looks adorable. She’s not your typical “cutesy” girl. Or maybe it’s just in this drama, because she’s supposed to be playing the part of a commoner. I have seen a couple of pictures of her on the internet where I found her pretty. I guess she’s an acquired taste, she just takes some time getting used to. (Although my sister liked her instantly because she looks “different”, I don’t know what she meant by that though.)
As for her acting, it was okay. She did an decent job portraying her character, I feel she could have done better. She did the angry, resentful face really well though. Other than that I don’t really have much to say about her.
Goo Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho)
Okay, I have to be honest. The main reason I started watching this series was because of Lee Min Ho. Seriously, can you blame me? XD
Overall, I think he did a fairly good job, especially if you consider the fact that he’s a newcomer. He played the spoiled, neglected kid well. I really felt that he was just misunderstood and that his violent way of handling things was his way of seeking attention. I also loved his facial expressions, especially when he’s being stupid and childish. His unnaturally curly hair and extremely furry wardrobe made me cringe at first, but I got used to it after a while.
I read somewhere that the producers initially wanted Jang Geun Suk (Hyungnim!!) for this role, but he was after the part of Yoon Ji Hoo. Unfortunately, Kim Hyun Joong (kyaaaaah~) had already been cast so Jang Geun Suk ended up doing Beethoven Virus instead.
Yoon Ji Hoo (Kim Hyun Joong)
The “Hua Ze Lei” of this series. At first I didn’t understand why Jang Geun Suk wanted this role when he was offered the lead male part, but after watching it, it became clear to me. Yoon Ji Hoo played a huge part in this series. I mean, I did watch Meteor Garden so I know that Hua Ze Lei was an important character, but I don’t remember him having that many scenes after the first few episodes. Yoon Ji Hoo played such a big part in BOF that sometimes I forget he’s just a secondary character in the show. He was always there to comfort Jan Di during her hard times, until the very end of the drama. He also had that “dramatic reunion” thing with his grandfather, which showed a different side of him. Yoon Ji Hoo’s character made my heart melt in so many ways. Goo Jun Pyo may have been the leader of the group, but F4 would not be the same without Yoon Ji Hoo.
It’s clear that without Ji Hoo, Jan Di’s and Jun Pyo’s relationship probably wouldn’t have grown at all. He was always the one supporting them, despite the fact that he had feelings for Jan Di himself. He valued his friendship with Jun Pyo a lot, and he was willing to give up the girl he loved just to see her happy – kinda cliche, but you gotta love him for that. You can’t really say that he didn’t try to win her heart, he tried to hold on to her in his own way. He was just smart enough to know that Jan Di’s feelings for Jun Pyo wouldn’t change, and he didn’t want to risk losing either of them.
I may have started watching the series for Lee Min Ho, but I stuck with it for Kim Hyun Joong. I’m not saying that the show was bad, but there were times when it got a bit too dragging for me. Also, I’m not usually a fan of stories with this much violence towards the main character, but Yoon Ji Hoo’s kind words and dazzling smile was enough to keep me going. If I were Jan Di, I would be perfectly happy to just stare at his smiling face. His heart melting lines and sweet gestures made me want to reach into my laptop screen and hug him every time Jan Di rejected him. Seriously Jan Di, what is wrong with you?
Another thing, I loved the clothes he wore in this drama. It wasn’t as extravagant as the clothes Goo Jun Pyo wore, but that’s what I liked about it. I loved that he wore white most of the time, it gave him that “clean” and “pure” image.
I’ve read several blogs claiming that Kim Hyun Joong resembles Yamapi. I didn’t notice it at first, but after someone pointed it out, I felt so stupid for not seeing it! It was even more obvious after he cut his hair in one of the episodes. I thought “What the hell is Iwase Ken (Proposal Daisakusen) doing in BOF?”
Kim Hyun Joong vs. Yamapi
Yamapi (playing Iwase Ken) vs Kim Hyun Joong (playing Yoon Ji Hoo) – what do you think? XD
Ji Hoo’s and Jan Di’s wedding photoshoot totally reminded me of the promotional pictures for Proposal Daisakusen
Being the Yamapi fan that I am, I guess its only natural that I would go crazy over Kim Hyun Joong as well. But I’ve also found that it’s not just Yamapi that Kim Hyun Joong looks like – there are also times when he resembles Uchi Hiroki, Wu Chun, Akanishi Jin and even Oguri Shun. I guess it depends on the camera angle.
I gotta say though, I like Kim Hyun Joong better with long hair, which is a first for me. I normally prefer short hair on guys. Kim Hyun Joong is the first guy I found who looks better with his hair long.
(Okay, I think went a bit off-track there, sorry XD I’m a bit obsessed with Kim Hyun Joong atm. Back to my review.)
So Yi Jung (Kim Bum)
I was pleasantly surpised that his character had a pretty big role too. I think Kim Bum did a good job playing this character, although I had a hard time really seeing him as the “playboy” type. I agree that he’s good looking and that he has a killer smile but I find that his face looks too innocent to be a chick magnet. I must say though, Soo Yi Jung on the potter’s wheel – wow! He was correct when he said that girls find that image irresistable.
I also liked how they built up his little love story with Ga Eul from the start.
They’re so cute together. Honestly, I think the two of them have better chemistry than Jan Di and Jun Pyo, lol XD
Song Woo Bin (Kim Joon)
I can’t really say much about him. He was a minor character that was just always in the background. He occasionally said stuff like “Yo yo yo!” and “Wassup my bro?”, but other than that he didn’t really have any important lines. The only time we saw him shine was that scene by the side of the road when he thinks about his friendship with Soo Yi Jung. And that time when he scared off those gangsters trying to take advantage of Jan Di in Macau. Other than that, he was pretty forgettable.
I found that Kim Joon looked like Mr. Big from Sex in the City, lol. Maybe it’s the eyebrows?
Overall, I like the actors they chose for this drama. I think they all did a decent job portraying their characters.
The entire time I watched the series, I kept comparing it to Meteor Garden. (I haven’t seen Hana Yori Dango so I can’t compare the two, maybe I’ll watch that next). But its been about 6 or 7 years since I’ve seen Meteor Garden so I’ve actually forgotten most of what happened. This turned out to be a good thing because Boys Over Flowers ended up seeming “fresh” to me. (My sister tried watching it and didn’t enjoy it so she stopped at episode 5. She claims that she found it boring since she already knew what would happen. Although that could be because she just finished watching Hana Yori Dango a few months ago.)
I would rate this series 4.5 out of 5, because although I found it amusing, some parts were boring and a bit unrealistic (and sometimes the characters are a bit stupid). Like the way Jan Di just kept willingly getting in random cars that stop in front of her without knowing who’s inside and where they’re taking her – not too smart. And the show makes it appear as though the entire student body lives to take orders from F4 and are not capable of thinking for themselves – this kinda annoyed me.
One thing that confused me a lot was the whole “soulmate versus husband” idea. There was a scene in the series when Jan Di had her fortune told during a vacation she had with the F4. The fortune teller told her that her soulmate was nearby, but he wouldn’t become her husband. Obviously, if you watched the show, Jan Di’s soulmate was Ji Hoo (this was confirmed in the last episode as well), but she still chose Jun Pyo to be her lover. This irritated me because I found it so stupid. Why marry someone else when you consider another guy your soulmate? It somehow feels like cheating to me. Maybe the Korean translation for “soulmate” has a different meaning, I don’t know.
Anyway, I suppose the main reason I enjoyed the series so much was because of all the eye candy XD
It took me a while to realize why I found the F4 guys so attractive – they were always wearing suits! I’ve already mentioned in my “You’re Beautiful” review that I’m a sucker for guys in suits. Some of my favorite characters in suits are
- Chiaki Shinichi (Tamaki Hiroshi) in Nodame Cantabile
- Iwase Ken (Yamapi) in Operation Love/Proposal Daisakusen
- Hwang Tae Kyung (Jang Geun Suk) in You’re Beautiful
- Yoshikawa Naoki (Mukai Osamu) in Seigi no Mikata
- Oikawa Sosuke (Nishikido Ryo) in Last Friends (he may have been an abusive boyfriend, but you can’t deny that he still looked good in his suit)
- Jang Zhi Shu (Joe Cheng) in It Started With A Kiss and They Kiss Again (alright fine, he didn’t wear a suit all the time, but his high school uniform resembled a suit.)
So now I can add Goo Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho), Yoon Ji Hoon (Kim Hyun Joong) and Soo Yi Jung (Kim Bum) to the list. (Sorry, I’m not really a fan of Kim Joon.)
Another thing I enjoyed was the soundtrack! I LOVE the songs they chose for this drama. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack nonstop since I watched the show. I’ve also started learning a few pieces on the piano. My favorite songs are “Because I’m Stupid”, “What Should I Do”, “Lucky”, “Stand By Me” and “Fight the Bad Feeling”.
Of course, I have to share some of my favorite scenes with you.
I love ALL of Kim Hyun Joong’s (Ji Hoo’s) scenes. I don’t really care what he’s doing, as long as he’s in the scene, I already love it XD But of course there are a few moments that I found really memorable.
- The first time Jan Di sees Ji Hoo. Violin + Kim Hyun Joong + dreamy music = kyaaaaah~
- Everytime Ji Hoo smiles ❤ The guy has perfect teeth!
- When he rescued Jan Di from being raped (or whatever it was those guys were planning).
- The time he let Jan Di borrow his shoes.
- Ji Hoo’s angry face. You rarely see it throughout the entire series. Of course I love his smiling face, but for some reason I also liked seeing him get angry.
- Jan Di’s and Ji Hoo’s wedding photoshoot (Ji Hoo in a white suit – need a say more?)
- The time when he took a bite out of the chocolates that Jan Di gave Jun Pyo.
- When he accidentally walked in on Jan Di in the bathroom. I love the little note that he stuck to her breakfast tray after that ❤
- Ji Hoo in a doctor’s coat and glasses!! Aside from suits, guys who look good in glasses make me squeal~
- The times when Ji Hoo waited for Jan Di after her swimming training. The first time (I think) was when he was wearing a beanie – aww!! And the other time when he bought her some medicine because she was sick. (Made me miss the Lettuce Couple from We Got Married – JoongBo!!!)
- Ji Hoo offering to stay another year in school just so Jan Di wouldn’t be lonely – can this guy get any sweeter?
- Giving Jan Di a haircut – kyaaaaaaaaaah. I found that totally hot (and not gay at all) for some reason. (Maybe I should let my boyfriend cut my hair one time XD)
- Carwash scene with Ji Hoo and Jan Di. So much fun 🙂
I know that Ji Hoo wasn’t the main character in the story, but he was definitely my favorite. I could go on and make this list a lot longer, but I’ll move on to other scenes that didn’t focus on him.
- When Jan Di found Jun Pyo’s message on the cable car (during her date with Ji Hoo, lol)
- Jun Pyo’s and Jan Di’s helicopter ride. “Can u see it? my heart?” Awwwww~ i just melted!
- After protecting Jan Di from getting bullied (in which he was actually responsible for in the first place), Jun Pyo hugs her and says sorry. The way he said it was so sweet, and so full of emotion.
- Jun Pyo tending Jan Di’s wounds – funny, cute and sweet at the same time, especially when he kissed her on the forehead.
- The time when Jun Pyo slept over at Jan Di’s house. He looked so happy 🙂
- When Jan Di came to apologize to Jun Pyo. I liked how he wanted her to act all cute and she couldn’t do it. And the part when Ji Hoo took a bite out of the apple – such a mischevious smile.
- The times when Jun Pyo visited Ji Hoo at his house and found him standing near the entrance, lol.
- Jun Pyo and Jan Di’s first kiss ❤ Such a tender moment
- When Ji Hoo called Jun Pyo out to the movie theater. I liked this scene because it was (or looked like) the same movie theater where Hwang Tae Kyung and Go Mi Nam had their date in “You’re Beautiful” XD
- Macau! Our family went there last October, so I enjoyed seeing the places we went to appear in the drama. I laughed at the pick pocket scene because I remembered that our tourguide constantly warned us to be careful with our belongings while we were there. It was also funny to see Jan Di walking around Macau in those killer heels. It must have been a pain along Leal Senado, because of the cobblestone streets. (My sister wore boots with wedge heels when we went there and they cobblestones hurt her feet so much she ended up buying new shoes just so she could walk properly.) I was just thinking that Jan Di must have been wearing comfortable and sturdy shoes when they suddenly broke XD
- Hide and seek scene at the Venetian Hotel. They all looked cute in their masks and the Ji Hoo x Jan Di moment almost made me cry.
- Jun Pyo fighting with Jae Kyung to buy shoes for Jan Di. It was nice to see the old immature Jun Pyo again after all those scenes showing him as this heartless workaholic.
- Jun Pyo as Jan Di’s neighbor.
- Jun Pyo’s and Ji Hoo’s cooking scene. I’m not a yaoi fan, but I like scenes like this XD
- Jan Di as Jun Pyo’s personal maid. I thought the idea of being your ex-boyfriend’s maid was stupid, but at least it led to some cute scenes – cooking ramen, watching the horror movie and getting him out of bed.
- Jun Pyo’s and Jan Di’s date at the zoo. (Jun Pyo getting jealous over that kid – so immature and cute!)
- Jun Pyo’s and Jan Di’s picnic. Sweet~
It’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve seen the series so I forgot some of the other scenes I liked. Obviously the ones I listed were the ones that stuck with me. This review’s getting pretty long anyway, I should probably wrap it up.
I enjoyed the drama a lot. Some people (like my sister) say that BOF is overrated and that it’s not worth watching, but I disagree. I actually found it interesting and fun. I’ve just recently found out that an afterstory was released which took place after the last episode of the series. I’m looking forward to watching it 🙂
If you’re interested, you can watch the series on dramacrazy (here)