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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Korea assimilation FAIL



I wanted to like it, I really did. After all of my female coworkers (and a few male ones) fell in love with the popular Korean drama "Boys Before Flowers" (꽃보다 남자), I gave in to peer pressure and watched a few episodes. And by "a few," I mean six.

Six hour-long episodes, out of 25 total in the series.

Jan Di wears cute clothes and is generally appealing but her mom and others are constantly carping about this 92-pound girl being too fat. And every time she eats, it looks like this.

The show -- it seems a lot like "Gossip Girl" -- centers around a wealthy Seoul school where the upper-class students are descended from prominent politicians and entrepreneurs. The most popular boys are in a gang called F4 (Flower 4). Yes, flower. Very badass.

Supposedly one of the sexiest scenes ever on Korean TV, Ji Hoo caressing an ad at the bus stop as sappy music played just made me laugh. Um, unsanitary? And they think that foreigners will spread swine flu?!

F4 rule the school and are treated like celebrities. Despite having supposedly known each other since kindergarten (the fictional school goes from kindy to uni), students burst into applause, cheers and near-fainting whenever the F4 make an appearance. It's like the hottest boy band in the world walking into the cafeteria... only this happens every single day.

By far the hottest member of F4, his character may be forgettable but baby-faced Kim Beom is probably the reason I watched as many episodes as I did.

Jan Di is from an average family and after she accidentally saves a student from jumping off the roof -- he was being bullied by F4 -- she is given a scholarship to attend the prestigious high school to cover up the suicide attempt.

As you can imagine, she quickly falls in with F4 and both romance and drama abound.

What's good: pretty solid acting from the young cast; two of the male leads are absolutely gorgeous and, quite possibly, my first Asian crushes; nice shots around Seoul; fantastic fashion; high action and fast moving.

Korean guys LOVE their perms. Jun Pyo -- the Godfather of F4 -- looks much better with straight hair and a hat, dontcha think?

What's not-so-good: Jan Di's family is meant to be buffoonish but is really just annoying


; we're supposed to root for F4 even though they're basically a teenage mafia; it's a cultural difference, but it kills me that no one being bullied stands up for himself/herself; the same three songs are used in every. single. episode.

I originally intended to watch all 25 episodes because my coworkers couldn't stop raving about how it kept getting better, but after giving "Boys Before Flowers" six hours of my life, I'm pinishee (thank you, Konglish). It's not the worst show ever but not nearly absorbing enough to commit any more time...

Attempt to assimilate with my students = major fail.

This guy loves to throw random English hip hop terms and chest thumps into conversation.

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