Boys Over Flowers (TV series)

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Boys Over Flowers
Boys Over Flowers (TV series) poster.jpg
Promotional poster for Boys Over Flowers
Also known as 'Boys Before Flowers'
Genre
Based on Boys Over Flowers
by Yoko Kamio
Written by Yoon Ji-ryun
Directed by Jeon Ki-sang
Starring
Theme music composer T-Max
Opening theme "Paradise" by T-Max
Ending theme
  • "Because I'm Stupid" by SS501
  • "Making a Lover" by SS501
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 25
Production
Location(s)
Production company(s) Group 8
Release
Original network Korean Broadcasting System
Original release January 5 (2009-01-05) – March 31, 2009 (2009-03-31)
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Website
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja 보다
Revised Romanization Kkot Boda Namja
McCune–Reischauer Kkot Poda Namja

Boys Over Flowers (Hangul꽃보다 남자; Hanja꽃보다男子) is a 2009 South Korean television series starring Lee Min-ho, Ku Hye-sun, Kim Hyun-joong (of SS501), Kim Bum, Kim Joon (of T-Max) and Kim So-eun. It aired on KBS2 from January 5 to March 31, 2009 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 22:00 for 25 episodes.[1]

It is based on Japanese shōjo manga series Boys Over Flowers (花より男子 Hana Yori Dango?) written by Yoko Kamio. The series is the fifth television adaptation of the manga following the Taiwanese Meteor Garden and its sequel Meteor Garden II, and the Japanese Hana Yori Dango and its sequel Hana Yori Dango Returns. It spins the modern-day Cinderella tale of a poor, but spunky schoolgirl at an exclusive academy who attracts the interest of the four ultra-rich and ultra-handsome princes of the school known as F4.[2]

Plot[edit]

Hardworking Geum Jan-di (Ku Hye-sun) attends the exclusive Shinhwa High School through a scholarship she obtains. She finds her shallow, privileged classmates unbearable, especially the notorious F4, consisting of four rich and handsome men: the arrogant Gu Jun-pyo (Lee Min-ho), the quiet Yoon Ji-hoo (Kim Hyun-joong), the charming So Yi-jung (Kim Bum), and the flirtatious Song Woo-bin (Kim Joon), the F4 is considered to be the Kings of the school and no one dared to challenge them. However, after witnessing her friend being bullied, Jan-di told off F4's leader Gu Jun-pyo, thus becoming entangled with him. Through their interactions, the proud and persistent Jun Pyo falls for feisty Jan Di, but instead she shares a connection with the quiet and sensitive Ji Hoo. Through Jan Di's encouragement, Ji Hoo goes abroad to join his model girlfriend Min Seo-hyun, and in his absence, Jan Di and Jun Pyo grow closer. Jun Pyo and Jan Di slowly begin to fall in love. Soon Jan Di realizes that it is Jun Pyo that she truly loves and not Ji Hoo. But numerous difficulties arise, threatening their relationship. Jun Pyo's mother, a cruel and selfish businesswoman, who is also the President of Shinhwa group, disapproves of Jan Di's lowly upbringing and tries her best to split them up. A newly single Ji Hoo also returns to Korea, prepared to declare his feelings for Jan Di. Many obstacles stand in their relationship, but there is also true love blossoming between these two young hearts. Will their love survive?

Cast[edit]

Lee Min Ho portrayed, the main character, Gu Jun-pyo.
Ku Hye Sun portrayed, the strong minded, Geum Jan-Di.
SS501 member, Kim Hyun Joong played, the golden boy, Yoon Ji-hoo.

Main characters[edit]

Gu Jun-pyo is the leader of F4 and heir to ShinHwa Group, one of the most powerful business groups in South Korea. As leader of the most popular and powerful clique in ShinHwa High, he torments Jan-di after she stands up to his bullying ways, but ends up falling madly in love with her. His family is one of the richest and most elite in the country.
Geum Jan-di is the headstrong daughter of a dry cleaner. While on a delivery run to Shinhwa High School, she saves a bullied student from committing suicide. She is offered a scholarship to attend the prestigious school, and ends up getting on the dark side of Gu Jun-pyo.
Yoon Ji-hoo is a member of F4 and the grandson of a former president of Korea. His musical talent catches Jan-di's attention and she begins to develop feelings for him. He has a driving phobia after being involved in a car accident that killed his parents and left him the only survivor. He is initially in love with Min Seo-hyun, but eventually falls for Jan-di and acts as her protector.
So Yi-jung is F4's Casanova. He is a skilled potter. His family owns the country's biggest art museum. He eventually changes his playboy ways, when he realizes that he is in love with Chu Ga-eul. Although he doesn't develop romantic feelings for Jan-di, he does grow very fond of her and they become good friends.
Song Woo-bin is known as F4's Don Juan. His family runs the country's largest construction company, which Woo-bin later admits has strong connections to the mafia. Like Yi-jung, he eventually befriends Jan-di and becomes caring and protective towards her.
Jan-di's best friend who works with her at the porridge shop. She falls for So Yi-jung after he helps her get over her cheating ex-boyfriend. He eventually reciprocates those feelings at the end of the series.

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Kim Hyun-joo as Gu Jun-hee - Gu Jun-pyo's elder sister, and the only person he listens to. She wants the best for her brother and constantly shows him the error of his ways. She also supports his relationship with Jan-di, and acts like a protective, loving big sister to the latter.
  • Lee Hye-young as Kang Hee-soo - Gu Jun-pyo's mother and President of Shinhwa Group. She vehemently opposes her son's relationship with Geum Jan-di and does anything to stop them.
  • Ahn Suk-hwan as Geum Il-bong - Geum Jan-di's father and a dry cleaner. His friend takes out loans under his name, and as a consequence he is chased by loan sharks.
  • Im Ye-jin as Na Gong-joo - Geum Jan-di's mother. She is very money-minded and constantly pressures Jan-di to attract and marry a rich man.
  • Park Ji-bin as Geum Kang-san - Geum Jan-di's younger brother who is technologically inclined.
  • Han Chae-young as Min Seo-hyun - Yoon Ji-hoo's first love and a famous Korean model. He is still hung up on her when Geum Jan-di develops feelings for him. Like Jun-hee, she befriends Jan-di.
  • Lee Min-jung as Ha Jae-kyung - a successful CEO's daughter who becomes Gu Jun-pyo's fiancee. Although the engagement was arranged by their parents, she develops feelings for him, which he doesn't return. She also develops a friendship with Jan-di. Once she realizes Jun-pyo and Jan-di are destined to be together, she amicably ends her relationship with Jun-pyo.
  • Lee Jung-gil as Yoon Seok-young - the former president of Korea and Yoon Ji-hoo's grandfather. He believes that he caused Ji-hoo's parents' fatal car accident and has been too guilt-ridden to face his grandson ever since.
  • Lee Si-young as Oh Min-ji - Geum Jan-di's first and only friend when she transfers to Shinhwa High. However, she harbors deep feelings for Gu Jun-pyo and ends up sabotaging Jan-di to get closer to him. Although her friendship with Jan-di is never re-established, she and Jan-di do reconcile before she leaves the school after her sabotage is exposed.
  • Gook Ji-yeon as Choi Jin-hee (aka Ginger) - one of the three Mean Girls Trio (Jin Sun Mi).
  • Jang Ja-yeon as Park Sun-ja (aka Sunny) - one of the three Mean Girls Trio (Jin Sun Mi).
  • Min Young-won as Lee Mi-sook (aka Miranda) - one of the three Mean Girls Trio (Jin Sun Mi).
  • Im Joo-hwan as So Il-hyun - So Yi-jeong's estranged elder brother. He leaves the family home after Yi-jeong is chosen to take over the family business and stops contact with his younger brother in order to live a normal life.
  • Park Soo-jin as Cha Eun-jae - So Yi-jeong's childhood friend and first love. She winds up teaching pottery and crosses paths with Yi-jeong after disappearing for 3 years.
  • Kim Min-ji as Jang Yu-mi - a patient at the same hospital Gu Jun-pyo is admitted to after being hit by a car. She falls in love with Jun-pyo and pushes her way into his life by taking advantage of his amnesia.
  • Jung Eui-chul as Lee Min-ha / Lee Jae-ha (model Haje) - two characters played by the same actor. The former is the suicidal student that Geum Jan-di saves, and the latter his vengeful brother, who vows revenge against Gu Jun-pyo by hurting Geum Jan-di and he chases her and hurt her too.
  • Kim Ki-bang as Bom Choon-sik - Jan-di and Ga-eul's boss at the porridge shop where they work, whom they affectionately call "Master."
  • Haiming as Ming - Yoon Ji-hoo's friend from Macau.
  • SS501 - special performance of "UR MAN" (cameo, episode 4)

Differences from the manga[edit]

  • In the manga, the characters are in high school in season 1, but F4 (minus Domyoji) attends Eitoku University in season 2. In the Korean version, the characters are also in high school, but the F4 move on to Shinhwa University from episode 13 onwards. Shinhwa High School and Shinhwa University are located within the same campus.
  • The relationship between the two characters Sojiroh and Yuki (Yi-jeong and Ga-eul in the Korean version) is merely hinted. In the Korean version, their relationship gradually develops throughout the series, having their own significant plotline instead of acting as a subplot.
  • Yoon Ji-hoo has a more significant role in Geum Jan-di's life than the Taiwanese and Japanese versions, more strongly depicted as a romantic companion for most of the drama.
  • Woo-bin's family does not appear in this version, nor is he only interested in older women.
  • How Geum Jan-di came to attend the same school as F4 is changed completely. In the manga version, Makino's parents sent her to Eitoku against her wishes to attend another high school with her middle school friends because they thought in order to increase chances for Makino to marry a rich guy, she will need to go to a school full of rich people. In the Japanese TV series, Makino decides to apply for Eitoku after seeing Shizuka Todou at the briefing session, wanting to become an amazing person like her. Yet in the Korean version, Jan-di saves a student from committing suicide while delivering laundry (her family owns a dry-cleaning business), and in order to subdue the negative press from the incident, Shinhwa Group offers her a scholarship to the school. Geum Jan-di is reluctant to attend and at first declines, but complied because of parental pressure and because the school has a state-of-the-art swimming pool (she is a competitive swimmer).

Reception[edit]

Boys Over Flowers attracted high viewership ratings and buzz throughout South Korea during its broadcast in 2009,[3] and created another Korean Wave throughout Asia. The cast members became household names and shot to stardom overnight, and after the series ended, several of them became the faces of various endorsements and advertisements. The show is credited with launching the career of its lead actor, Lee Min-ho, who had previously appeared in a small number of low-budget high school dramas.[4]

During its broadcast, the series influenced South Korean men to take their appearances more seriously to copy the metrosexual or "pretty boy" image (kkotminam, lit. "men as beautiful as flowers") of the F4 characters in the drama. This led to an increase in South Korean males wearing cosmetics, preppy and cruise outfits, and clothing in traditionally more feminine looks like the color pink and floral prints.[5]

The drama's local filming locations became tourist attractions, such as Damyang Dynasty Country Club in South Jeolla Province; Ragung hanok hotel in Silla Millennium Park in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province; Hilton Namhae Gold & Spa Resort in South Gyeongsang Province; Grand Hyatt Seoul ice rink; Lotte Hotel World's Emerald Room; Farmer's Table in Heyri; and Yangpyeong English Village. The overseas locations featured such as New Caledonia and Macau also became sought-after holiday destinations.[6][7]

The series' international popularity extended to Japan,[8] Thailand,[9] Vietnam, Singapore, India, Nepal, Malaysia, Philippines,[10] Taiwan,[11] Sri Lanka[12] and among others. The cast members held various sold-out events across Asia, such as concerts and fan meetings.[13]

The Seoul chapter of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) criticized the series for being the epitome of materialism and the Cinderella complex, saying it sets a bad example for Korean dramas by depicting school violence, and teenagers indulging in pleasure and prejudice toward others based on their appearance and social class. The YWCA report also singled out the leading female character (Geum Jan-di) for being passive and dependent.[14]

Ratings[edit]

Episode # Original broadcast date Average audience share
TNmS Ratings[15] AGB Nielsen[16]
Nationwide Seoul National Capital Area Nationwide Seoul National Capital Area
1 January 5, 2009 14.3% 14.4% 13.7% 13.8%
2 January 6, 2009 17.6% 17.4% 16.1% 15.9%
3 January 12, 2009 20.8% 21.1% 18.2% 17.2%
4 January 13, 2009 21.4% 21.6% 17.7% 17.8%
5 January 19, 2009 24.8% 24.3% 22.2% 21.4%
6 January 20, 2009 24.8% 24.6% 23.2% 23.0%
7 January 26, 2009 19.5% 19.1% 18.1% 17.4%
8 January 27, 2009 25.9% 25.3% 22.6% 22.1%
9 February 2, 2009 29.7% 29.4% 25.8% 24.9%
10 February 3, 2009 30.5% 30.2% 26.7% 25.6%
11 February 9, 2009 31.5% 31.8% 26.2% 25.6%
12 February 10, 2009 31.4% 31.2% 27.6% 27.0%
13 February 16, 2009 31.5% 31.5% 27.6% 27.7%
14 February 17, 2009 31.9% 32.0% 27.7% 26.8%
15 February 23, 2009 32.4% 32.3% 29.2% 28.5%
16 February 24, 2009 33.2% 32.9% 30.1% 30.0%
17 March 3, 2009 29.9% 30.6% 26.6% 27.3%
18 March 9, 2009 35.5% 35.7% 32.9% 33.3%
19 March 10, 2009 31.2% 31.3% 26.6% 26.3%
20 March 16, 2009 32.6% 31.6% 30.6% 31.2%
21 March 17, 2009 33.6% 33.8% 30.8% 31.1%
22 March 23, 2009 31.8% 32.4% 29.9% 30.8%
23 March 24, 2009 31.8% 31.6% 30.3% 31.7%
24 March 30, 2009 30.2% 29.2% 29.0% 30.1%
25 March 31, 2009 34.8% 34.9% 32.7% 33.5%
Average 28.5% 28.4% 25.7% 25.6%