Director: Jeon Ki-sang
Written By: Jeon Ki-sang and Yoon Ji-ryun
Starring: Kyu Hee-sun, Lee Min-ho, Kim Hyun-joong
Boys Over Flowers? Ever heard of that? It’s an old Japanese saying that means that one should prefer substance over just a pretty thing like a flower. In this series, it means wanting a boy of substance over one that’s just cute or good looking. The Korean TV show Boys Over Flowers was made based on a Japanese series with the same meaning in Japanese. The series was released in 2009 and has remained popular for over a decade. In India, young fans have raved over the Korean TV series. Especially Lee Min-ho, our hero of the series has reached dizzying heights in popularity in India and around the world, with many, many fan clubs and groups.
The Storyline of Boys Over Flowers:
A girl next door, Geum Jan-di (Koo Hye-sun) is simple, honest and down to earth. She is from a normal ‘commoner’ family. Somehow people notice her innate decency and smartness so she gets the opportunity to study at the exclusive Shinhwa school meant for the rich and elite of Seoul. Her parents insist she make use of the opportunity and she reluctantly joins the school. The high school is dominated by a group of super-elite and wealthy boys, the F4. Their leader is Goo Joon-pyo (Lee Min-ho) who also happens to be the scion of the very powerful and wealthy Shinhwa Group. (the school belongs to the family) Goo Joon-pyo and his three best friends rule the high school as F4.
Geum Jan-di somehow falls into the purview of F4 and after a series of confrontations, she starts to like these elitist boys. She is first drawn to Yoon Ji-hoo (Kim Hyun-joong) and later realizes that Goo Joon-pyo is a good guy too. A love triangle forms between these three. Conflicts from economic status, cultural differences and family makes for a part of the plot line. Spunky Geum Jan-di stands up to the F4 and slowly love forms between their leader and Geum Jan-di. Yoon Ji-hoo hides his love for Jan-di when he realizes that his best friend Joon-pyo loves her. Will wealth and family stand between them? Will their love survive to maturity? These form the rest of the plot.
My Review of Boys Over Flowers:
I almost binge-watched this Tv series! I admit the plot is quite cheesy! Everything about the series is cheesy. BUT, I liked it! It’s strange how this series grows on you unintentionally. I ended up binge-watching the second half as the plot thickens! (haha, how’s that for a cliché!) I got a proper scolding from my husband for watching it till odd hours of the night 😉
The way the series opens with Jan-di cycling along, the way the F4 walk into school with their fur-lined coats. Jan-di’s antiques – every one of these is fun to watch. I laughed out loud at so many things in this series. Jan-di dresses up as a maid in Joon-pyo’s house and how he gets his revenge on her. How Joon-pyo is put in his place when he tries to outsmart Jan-di at school! These are just two of the funny things that happen in this series.
There’s plenty of sentiment once Joon-pyo starts to fall for Jan-di. There’s also the sadness of handsome Ji-hoo that draws you into a sentimental trap. We also get to see the other two F4 boys’ stories as subplots. Don’t forget the sappy background songs that are part of a hit album after this series aired. They add more drama to the plot. On the whole, I can understand why this show became and is still a hit. It’s like the TV series Friends – still popular years after it ended.
The Tv series Boys Over Friends is pure entertainment. But it does bring up debates about social class, privilege and the abuse of power. Everything is over the top of course – artistic license after all – but there are lessons to be learned here. Conversations on bullying in schools are something that every family should talk about. Abusing a girl in the name of love – is it right? But we do have the same kind of scenarios in our own Indian movies too – does not make it right, does it? How far should we go as parents if we think our child is with an unsuitable partner? When is the right age for love?
All of the above topics are openers for a great conversation between parents and teens. This of course does not take away from the fun of the show! Do watch it, I’m sure you will enjoy it as stress relief if nothing else.