Boys Over Flowers Dvd Box
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(Nov 17, 2009)
Jan Di is an average girl whose family owns a dry cleaning store located near the luxurious and well known Shin Hwa College. Jan Di meets the four richest and most spoiled boys known as the F4. After saving a boy from jumping off the roof of Shinhwa High School, she is admitted into the school on a swimming scholarship. Jan Di tries to avoid confrontation with the F4 at all cost because she knows what happens to those that stand against them. However, when Jan Di’s friend, Oh Min Ji, accidentally gets ice cream on the leader of the F4’s shoes, she’s forced to declare war on the leader of the F4, Goo Joon Pyo.
Top customer reviews
This show was the gateway drug for me into K-Drama land. Hallyu? Had no clue what that meant before this. I now totally know.
I watched it expecting something along the lines of a feel-good anime. I wasn't really too far off the mark (not knowing that this is the Korean version of a Manga).
Having now watched several other Korean dramas since this I can see the weaknesses and strengths of this show more clearly. BOF runs a little longer than the average drama with over twenty episodes (most seem to average around 18 it seems). It is the story of Geum Jan Di a very spunky girl who is from a working class family. Though some crazy circumstances she is forced to go to Shinwa High School. She isn't very pleased at this but does ultimately realise what an opportunity it is for her. Shinwa is owned and operated by the most powerful company in South Korea, Shinwa Group. (Just think of all the glitzy cheese that Donald Trump likes to flash.)
The son and heir of Shinwa Group, Goo Jun Pyo, also attends the high school, and he along with is three best friends make up what is know as F4 (the Flower Four--they are all pretty, talented, heirs). Up until Jan Di's arrival F4 has slyly bullied anyone they felt like, pretty much as a spectator sport.
Jan Di does not approve. She finds the whole thing ridiculous (which is understandable, even though they are in a school, the only adults I have memory of seeing are serving gourmet lunches in the dining are). She eventually musters up the gumption to tell Jun Pyo just what she thinks of him. In typical rom-com fashion this really get's Jun Pyo's interest. At first he messes with her the same way he bullied other people in the school (it is a total case of pigtail pulling this time around though). Jan Di just gets mad at him, and takes refuge in her surprising friendship with one of the other members of F4, Ji Hoo. Ji Hoo is styled differently from the other members of F4, almost always in white, his hair is a lighter color as well, he is clearly the sensitive one of the lot. And so we have our love triangle (which occasionally thanks to the addition of various other characters takes on a different geometric shape, but these are the three that really matter).
This drama is fantastic a few things, and is worth watching for them alone. First and foremost is Lee Min Ho as Goo Jun Pyo. The boy can act. As someone who doesn't know Korean and was depending on subtitles to let me know what was going on, his face filled in a lot of blanks the translators left. He owned this role. (Even after watching him in Personal Taste and seeing him as a very different character...Jun Pyo is iconic.) The character has the best growth arch of any in the drama, as well, and Lee Min Ho handles it masterfully. This show is the reason I can't turn away from the new Toyota Camry ads that pop up with him in them.
The other thing this drama completely excelled at was mis en scene. They, with costumes (fantastic wardrobes for the F4), the sets and locals and food even--created a world in which even The Donald might feel shabby. The weight of the difference between the world Jun Pyo grew up in and the one Jan Di comes from is made very clear in these things. The eye candy isn't just the F4 in this show, not by a mile.
I think this is the longest K-Drama I have watched so far. With that being said, it is not as tightly plotted as some of the others I have seen (I'm not familiar enough with the source material to judge it against that). However, a few elements seem to repeat a little more than is comfortable (oddly shaped love triangle, parental interference, Jan Di's complete denial of what she feels....). Probably what annoys me most about the whole show is Jan Di's character. I at first loved her spunk and at the same time was made a little uncomfortable by her total uncouthness. It seemed like she was trying to make herself look even more low class than she was (if that had actually been stated as a reason, I probably would have applauded it). But then she also protests too much, way too much, about her feelings for Jun Pyo. From a few points of view the romance seems to be entirely his doing with very little input from her (which it is at first, but from the melt down scenes we know she actually does care). The writing also doesn't make a few of the grayer relationship areas very clear (of course, as I am reading subs I am at a disadvantage, as perhaps they are clearer in Korean...)
In spite of its flaws I still think very fondly of this show and thank it for introducing me to Lee Min Ho and the crack that is K-Drama land.
And much as I love Lee Min Ho, it's kinda like watching Liam Neeson (whom I love, admire, etc). Then have Johnny Depp wander by. Kim Hyun Joong has the same effect. I mean, I know there are women who might not see him as a focal point. Not too many of us, tho. Kim Hyun Joong, who is NOT as good of an actor as Lee Min Ho (or Mr. Depp, for that matter), is STILL incredibly gorgeous, plus the part he plays is basically dream boyfriend material. And he sings so well...
Therefore I spent the entire show (which I watched w/my daughter) muttering 'really?' 'Is she just STUPID?". So. I DID watch it all the way thru, however, so have to give kudos to the production, acting & overall slick & gorgeous presentation. The lead actress is great, I just can't hate Lee Min Ho, the secondary character plots interested me, & Kim Hyun Joong wanders by a LOT.
So, get this - good intro to Kdrama. AVOID the anime. Really. & watch City Hunter & Faith. Because OMG.