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Joseph Yuan-Chang Cheng,
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In a bid to reacquire her childhood home, a free-spirited, unemployed, young woman agrees to a sham-marriage with a selfish neat-freak actor. Their daily lives are complicated by overlapping love triangles and comic misadventures.
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Makino and Domyoji have decided to marry, but are they really ready to take that step? F4 (Flower Four), 4 close friends, are crucial to helping them determine if they are ready to make a lifetime commitment to each other.
Meteor Garden (Taiwanese adaptation of Boys over Flowers) is based on the Japanese comic series Hana Yori Dango written by Yoko Kamio. Meteor Garden is the classic love story; rich boy (Dao Ming Si) falls for poor girl (Shan Cai). Rich boy Dao Ming Si attends an exclusive university and is the leader of the worshiped and feared group, the F4 (Flower Four). The F4 members Dao Ming Si, Hua Ze Lei, Mei Zuo and Xi Men are heirs to powerful Taiwanese businesses. At a perceived or real slight, the F4 will issue a red card giving the go-ahead for the student body to bully the red-carded person. Poor girl Shan Cai stands up for a bullied friend and receives the feared red card. Stunning the F4 and the student body, Shan Cai bends but does not break at the repeated bullying incidents. Instead she declares war on the F4 earning their respect and Dao Ming Si's affection. Written by
Meteor Garden is a Chinese drama/comedy set in Taiwan and is based on a Japanese Manga series called "Hana Yori Dango" (Boys Over Flowers). There are 27 episodes in the first season, all of which I watched on YouTube over the course of about a week (my roommate's bad influence- this was definitely a guilty pleasure stint). The storyline revolves around a poor college student, Shan Cai, and her run-ins with "F4", a clique of four rich male students whose parents founded the school they all attend. Naturally, there's a typical love triangle... more like a love octagon in this series.
I really feel like I should explain my rating. You have to go into this series realizing that most of the actors are actually models (with one or two exceptions). The budget is low. There are a total of about three songs used in the entire soundtrack (very catchy, very cheesy- by the end I had the tears flowing like clockwork when the "sad" music would start). The storyline gets ridiculous sometimes and the characters act like lovestruck middle schoolers. HOWEVER, as for addictiveness, I give Meteor Garden a 10. Like I said, some strange sick force kept me searching on YouTube for episode after episode. I suppose the romantic in me holds onto the dream that the hot, rich boy will actually fall for the plain, poor, and innocent girl.
The popularity of Meteor Garden is actually real- it spawned a mini-series called Meteor Rain, a second season, a Japanese Version of the same show, and the most talented boy band to ever grace the planet, F4 (formed by the original four cast members).
SO. I recommend this series for:
1) Lovers of Mystery Science Theater who have a lot of time on their hands. There's a lot to poke fun of. 2) Lonely single girls with romantic souls and who want to brush up on their Mandarin 3) Bored college-aged kids with nothing better to do over their fall break than waste bandwidth and try to guess whether Daoming Si and Shan Cai will ever get together (guess that's me).
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