Meteor Garden 2018 (Chinese Drama) Review

Meteor Garden poster

Drama

  • Genre: ROMANCE, Youth, School
  • Date Released: 9 July 2018
  • CDrama: 48 Episodes
  • Remake of Taiwanese drama (2001) of the same title, based on Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango
  • OST: For You by F4

Cast: 

Many are already familiar with this drama as it has been remade by several countries over and over.  It is based on a Japanese manga called Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)

Meteor Garden 2018 is a remake/reboot of the Taiwanese version of the Hana Yori Dango

It is about a girl, who came from an ordinary family and now enrolled in a posh and prestigious school for the children of the  rich and famous.

The school is ruled by four uber gorgeous boys, known as the F4.  They reign in terror amongst the children of the rich.  Anyone found lacking is given a red card, which means his/her life and happiness within the school are in jeopardy.  The victim would then rather transfer to another school or bear with all the punishments until the F4 get bored and cease the tortures.

Shan Cai is a brave girl who went against the F4.  Despite the red card, she stood her ground and gave Dao Ming Si a good kicking.  Instead of giving her an even harsher time, he fell in love with her. 🙂  She was the first one who ever tried to put up a fight.

Hua Ze Lei actually was helping her in the background and she knew it.  She had a bit of a crush on him.

Thus the drama developed into a love triangle.

I can’t wait for this new Shen Yue drama! Roll on 9 July 2018!

Four episodes are now on show but with no English sub/ huhuhu


Netflix got rights for this drama.  They will start showing them on 13 July!  Yey, can’t wait.

Meteor Garden 2018 (Chinese Drama)

The first six episodes subtitled in English are now available in Netflix.  It is about 24-35 minutes each episode.

This is the second major drama for Shen Yue, who catapulted to stardom playing Shao Xi in A Love So Beautiful, which is also available to watch in Netflix.

I have to be honest, I am still bias towards ALSB.  It is still the sweeter and cuter drama.

Shen Yu’s Shan Cai is really super annoying and excruciatingly embarrassing most of the time, I am yet to warm towards her.

I came to this drama, unsure of Dylan Wang, having seen a behind the scene’s video of him being too boisterous to Shen Yue with her hoodie.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised! Dylan Wang is the best actor of them all.  He was able to project a spectrum of emotion.  He is vulnerable, snarky, immature, kind, jealous and proud.  He is certainly an actor to watch.

As to Shen Yue, I am not sure what happened but she’s only produced half of the charm she had in ALSB.

This version is more true to life.  The F4 are gorgeous, tall, rich young men, who excel in their field.  They are more spoiled rather than out and out evil.  They are more ‘ordinary’ that the other versions. Probably I was spoiled by the Korean and Japanese version.

Episode 1-6

Shan Cai’s mother is a very good cook.  She makes a living from her homecooking and delivery.

Shai Cai wanted to help her mother build her business up.  So she enrolled in the Nutrition Department of the best and most exclusive university in ‘China’ called Ming De University.

There she had a reunion with her former schoolmates.  Chen Qinghe is her childhood best friend. while Li Zhen was a high school acquaintance.  They decided there and then that they will be best friends in college.

During orientation, a famous man called Mr Bobbit came to speak to the students.  Shan Cai and the rest of the attendees were in ecstasy in the presence of this famous American man.

After the talk, just outside the auditorium, still excited with their good fortune of listening to Mr Bobbit, another ecstasy inducing event happened, the F4 came sauntering into the school, much to the delirium of the girls.  In the chaos, Shan Cai’s phone was nudged out of her hand into the ground.  Crawling into the floor in between commotion of legs running towards the F4, Shan Cai tried to reach for her phone.  She was inches away towards it when a green crocodile shoe stepped on it causing it to break.

Shan Cai was so annoyed, she runs after the owner of the shoe.  She saw him in a  huddled crowd.  Without much thought, she grabbed the man in the middle, which happened to be Mr Bobbit.  She was quickly restrained by the bodyguards.

Shan Cai was persona non grata for assaulting such an important man. She was being gossiped about for her misdemeanour.

To get rid of her stress, she went on top of the building and vent her frustration by shouting her lungs out.  She was told off by a man seating nearby of the racket she was making.  He happened to be one of the F4.  He was Ze Lei.

During many instances, she kept meeting Ze Lei, who was rather kind to her unlike the leader of F4, Daoming Si.

Si seemed to delight in torturing her.  Shan Cai can’t take it anymore so she gave him a flying kick straight on his handsome face.

Si was not annoyed, he actually developed a grain of respect towards her, which quickly developed into tenderness.  So much so that he told her that he wanted her to be his girlfriend.  He listed all the pros of becoming his girlfriend, but Shan Cai was not interested as she was already half in love with the gorgeous and musical Ze Lei, despite him having a girlfriend already.

Yuan Zi, the girlfriend, was very friendly towards Shan Cai.  She includes Shan Cai’s to all her parties.

But hormones have taken over Shan Cai’s brain.  The friendship with the girlfriend was immaterial. Out with sisterhood!!!  Shan Cai was determined to pursue Ze Lei, which was noticed by Si.  This created a gulf between Ze Lei and Si’s friendship.

Si tried many things, which he does not usually do, to entice Shan Cai away from Ze Lei but it is becoming a losing battle.

Ze Lei had gone to Paris to be with Yuan Zi, who had decided to become a lawyer with a charitable institution, Without Borders.  She also willingly cut herself off from inheriting her family fortune.  Really nice girl, hear that Shan Cai!!!

Shan Cai misses Ze Lei so much that when out clubbing one evening with a secretly vengeful friend, Li Zhen, she became inordinately inebriated.  With drunken hazy sight, she sat down next to a foreigner, who was playing the piano. She was imagining that he was Ze Lei.

She woke up the next morning in a strange bed, with a note from Thomas, the foreigner, saying that he enjoyed himself.

Episode 7 – 12

Daoming found Shancai having a rather intimate conversation with a foreigner at the school.  Thomas came to see Shaicai after their misadventure the night before, where she ended up being tucked into bed by Thomas.

Shan Cai became the topic of gossips at school after her photos seemingly in bed with Thomas were posted on Weibo.

She was ostracised for being cheap and doing the dirty on Thomas especially when her boyfriend is Si.

Shan Cai said to Si that she doesn’t care about the gossips and the bullying as long as Si believes her.

It was found out later by Ximen and Feng Mei who posted the photos on Weibo.  Shan Cai was shocked to know that Li Zhen stabbed her in the back.

Episode 13

Awwww I am absolutely won over by this drama version of Hana Yori Dango.  And yes, the Shen Yue I love and adore is back big time in all her cuteness and brightness.

She is now my favourite Shan Cai (Makino Tsukushi) ever.

Dylan Wang and Shen Yue have a sizzling chemistry.  So good that I felt sad for Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen of ALSB.

Anyway…

In order to pay off the 1M Yuan Shancai loaned to her by Daoming Si, she hesitantly enters the C4.

Being a novice, she had to do a lot of preparation, practice and developing a positive mental attitude.

She had a perfect tutor from the ‘violent’ 🙂 Dao Ming Zhuang and Dao Ming Si himself.  Shancai moved in into the Dao Ming mansion.

Dao Ming Zhuang gave her a book to read called Book of Songs, which is actually a really old Chinese classic book of poetry.

Shancai found out what appetisers are for.  They are there to build the appetite and complement the main course.

A meal that is unforgettable engraves the cook and the food to the heart of the diner.

This is now really the beginning of a beautiful friendship and relationship between Shan Cai and Dao ming Si.

It was utterly cute the way Si made Shancai more confident in herself and in her abilities.

Standout scene: I love their flirty face painting during their card game.

Episode 14

Aww it is the day of the Chinese Cuisine Culinary Competition (C4).

Young ladies, mostly with previous culinary experience entered the contest.  One of these young ladies was Zhou Caina.

Zhou Caina was a girl who has being touted as the future bride for Tian Ye, the sous chef at the restaurant Shancai works at.

During the contest, Daoming Si was on tenterhooks.  He was supporting Shaicai 120%

Zhou Caina won the 1M Yuan as deservedly so but there was a surprise prize for Shai Cai.  She won a Special award and 500K Yuan as well.

Standout: Shancai choosing pineapple to add to her recipe as she looked at  Daoming Si.

Episode 15

Shancai and DaoMing Si’s romantic whole day date was scuppered by the appearance of a random child, who needed babysitting.  What was this about?!!!

Episode 16

Shancai literally almost froze to death but saved by DaoMing Si.  Though Shan Cai almost met her maker due to hypothermia,  her skin to skin contact with DaoMing Si for some heat was hot! 🙂 Unlucky lucky Shancai indeed!

Despite the skinship, Shancai continues to play it cool with Dao Ming Si, which infuriates him to the limit.

Episode 17

Shancai is proving popular with the boys, another one is vying for her attention much to the jealousy of Dao Ming Si.

Despite Dao Ming Si telling her that he likes her, she walked away with the new boy.

Episode 18

It was a bad decision because Shan cai got kidnapped.  It turned out that the new boy was in collude with the kidnappers.

Standout scene 🙂 The F4 pranked Shancai; pretending that DaoMing passed away.  Shan Cai was upset and telling DaoMing that she won’t allow him to die on her as she had not apologised to him yet and that despite his so many transgression in the past…  The ‘corpse’ of DaoMing can’t take it anymore that he had to say something.  Shancai ended up in bed astride Daoming trying to strangle him.  He told her that it hurts to have her sitting on top of him as he broke three ribs.  Awwww

Episode 19

It was DaoMing Si birthday and after a quick makeover on Shancai by Lei, Ximen and Feng Mei Zuo, Shancai was ready to meet DaoMing’s mother.  But it turned embarrassing as Shancai ended up prostate on the floor when Daoming’s mother entered the ballroom.

She forbade them to see one another again as Shancai comes from another ‘world’.

DaoMing Si left his own party with Shancai. She then gave him her baked cookies as his birthday present.  DaoMing was in high heavens, he said that it was the best present he had ever received.

DaoMing Si’s mother can’t be thwarted though because the next day she went to meet Shancai parents’.  She tried to bribe them with 5M Yuan to make Shancai stay away from Daoming.

Shancai’s parents humiliated DaoMing Si’s mother by pouring flour over her head.

Episode 20

DaoMing Si’s mother really can’t be stopped.  She is now bringing in the big guns in the form of an arranged fiancee for Dao Ming Si.

During a lunch with the girl’s family and Dao Ming’s, Shancai was invited too to witness the marriage arrangement.

The girl was actually just Daoming’s type, as feisty and lippy as Shancai.  And rebellious as well.  The girl got up and left followed closely by Dao Ming Si leaving a confused and sad Shancai inside the private dining room.

Daoming realised that he run off with the wrong girl when he noticed that he was holding on not with Shancai.

Shancai had a confrontation with Daoming Si telling him that the fiancee is just perfect for him and that he should marry her.

This really broke Daoming.

In the end, the girl, who became rather weirdly friendly with Shancai reported that DaoMing had agreed to date her.

huhuhu

Episode 21

Episode 22

Episode 23

Shancai was homeless and Dao Ming Si brought her home.  She ended up as a maid in Dao Ming Si’s mansion much to his displeasure but Shancai insisted that she wanted to earn her keeps.

This episode is where they watch a meteor shower.  The romantic Dao Ming Si surprised Shancai with a diamond encrusted necklace in the shape of a meteor (I think, no subtitles available yet)

Apparently, Dylan Wang personally designed the necklace to give it to Shen Yue for her birthday.  Awww

I have to say Dao Ming Si is gorgeous but he is becoming even more good looking as the drama progresses.  How is that possible?

(I adore Hu YI Tian but I am now totally seduced by Dylan Wang! LOL)

Episode 24

Episode25

Episode 26 – 27

In this episode, it was the first time that Shancai initiated a kiss with Dao Ming Si by pulling his necktie and gave him a sweet kiss on the lips.  Awww

It was a reward for trying to convince her to move out of the mansion with him.  It was the sweetest scene.

Can you imagine Dao Ming Si afterwards… So cute.

Unfortunately, it did not last long as Dao Ming Si’s evil mother interfered.

The mother targetted Shancai’s friends’ family.  Therefore, Shancai doesn’t really have much choice but to surrender to Dao Ming Si’s mother.

Shancai had a traumatic break up with Dao Ming Si in the pouring rain.

Shancai left the mansion, Dao Ming Si and Ming De university and gone to live with her parents in the countryside.

These episodes also are about the love triangle between Mei Zu, Caina and Terence.  Actually, it is more about Caina and Terence.  It was rather romantic.  Caina got caught in the rain in the middle of nowhere and ended up spending the night on a tent with Terence.  It was a one night stand but was rather meaningful, however, Caina refuses to acknowledge this fact.  It turned out that Terence is an internationally renowned designer.

Episode 28

Terence is gorgeous.  There can be said about maturity.

I think Caina think so too.  She can’t help herself but be attracted to Terence despite the devotion from the equally gorgeous and young Meizou.

Episode 29

Again this episode is about the burgeoning attraction between Caina and Terence.

Terence told Caina that he wanted her to go traveling with him.  She was about to tell him that she was willing to go with him but found him in the embrace of his pretty PA.

The poor Meizou was heartbroken but loved Caina enough that he wanted her to be happy even if not with him.

He told her that Terence really loves her but he was leaving at that moment.

Episode 30

ShanCai is back but it seemed Dao Ming Si has finally given up on her.

Episode 31

It is the graduation day for the F4.  The F4 were really sweet allowing photo opportunity with their juniors.

Huace Lei asked Dao Ming Si blessings to pursue Shancai himself.

There was a scene where he serenaded Shancai with his violin playing, which enraged Dao Ming Si

Episode 32

Dao Ming Si changed his mind again.  He went to Huace Lei’s house and found him still in bed. Dao Ming Si told him that ShanCai is his and that Huace Lei should not butt in.

Dao Ming Si looked for Shan cai everywhere but the crafty Huace Lei told her to turn off her mobile phone for 48 hours.

Dao Ming Si finally found her with Huace Lei at a bus stop.  He told her that he loves her and wanted to be with her but Shan Cai chose to board the bus an leave him absolutely devastated, running after her bus.

He was tired and upset crouched on the road when Shan Cai appeared.  They were happy about to reconcile when it was aborted by the sudden presence of the police who was about to arrest Shan Cai for thievery.  To find her Dao Ming Si reported her for stealing the diamond-encrusted meteor necklace.  Hilarious ending.

Episode 33

After Dao Ming Si cleared the misunderstanding with the necklace with the police, Shan cai and Dao Ming Si reconciled.

She finally realised that Dao Ming Si did really work to keep their relationship going almost single-handedly.

She finally had the courage to blurt out that they should start dating officially.  Dao Ming Si almost choked on the mushroom and ham roll he was eating.

They did agree that they should keep their relationship just between the two of them.

Because their friends are unaware of this new closer relationship, they tried to create a situation for Dao Ming Si and Shancai to be together including locking them in a room.

Episode 34

Finally, Dao Ming Si was in seventh heaven.  ShanCai told him “Yoshi ai ni”.

Epidose 35

Shancai’s friend, Xiaoyou has sex on her brain.  No matter how much Ximen try to tell her that she is not really his type, she clung to him.  They ended up in a hotel room.  They were about to go to bed but Ximen halted their awkward situation, saying that he knew that she’s not ready and not the kind of girl to sleep around.

But Xiaoyou said that she was hesitant because it would be the first time but she would get better.  She would do anything to please him.

In the end, Ximen left her in the hotel room as he can’t reason with her.  I just want to slap her!  Really.  I supposed XiMen looks really delicious.  But where is her pride?

Dao Ming Si moved in next door to ShanCai’s.  They were both thinking of going to each other room but just too shy to really do it.  So cute.

Episode 40

Shan Cai went to London to see Dao Ming Si.

Episode 41

It was the end of the road for Shan Cai and Dao Ming Si.  They spent a loving fund day in London but both knew that they had to part.  Dao Ming Si had to sacrifice his happiness in order to not lose control of the Dao Ming Corp’s hotels worldwide.

Towards the end of the episode, someone used a taser on Dao MIng Si.  With the shcok of it, Shancai fainted.

Episode 42

When they both woke up, they found themselves on a seashore, a la Blue Lagoon.  They were having a whale of a time, no not really.  They were puzzled who kidnapped them and dumped them on a deserted island.

It ended up that they were not kidnaped at all but pranked by Xiaoyou in connivance with the other F3.

Now they had a whale of a time but shortened by the arrival of authorities as their supposed kidnapping had gone viral internationally.

When they returned to Shanghai, it was total mayhem.  In the chaos, DaoMing Si was left bleeding from a stab wound.

Episode 43

Dao Ming Si pretended that he had amnesia.  Shan Cai was really upset but finally realised how much he means to her.

Episode 44

This episode for lack of a better word is boring.  I have to admit I have lost my appetite and excitement for this drama from a few episodes back.  The story with Ximen and Xiaoyou is so tedious.  If you think the romance between Shan Cai and Dao Mng Si is not really believable.  Ximen and Xiaoyou are just wrong.  How could a womaniser, gorgeous, rich young man fall for a conniving little madam, who doesn’t have anything to show for?  She is the most annoying character.  She is so lazy at work and always on a depressing day-dream.  Why give her so much screen time?

Episode 45

Episode 46

Episode 47

Episode 48

Episode 49

I have to admit that I have gone off with this drama because of Xiaoyou and Ximen storyline.  But I am still curious how the ending went.

I am sure I am going to watch the missed episodes at some point.

Anyway, as can be expected it is a happy ending with Shan Cai having a wedding with the gorgeous Dao Ming Si.

It looks like there was also a reconciliation between the ogre mother.

This mother-in-law even attempted to cook breakfast for the newlyweds as her way of a farewell treat before she goes away to find herself as she travels the world.

Ximen is now happily in a relationship with Xiaoyou (in real life it would have never happened or at least it would not last 🙂  bitter much) LOL

Mei Zuo would continue his search for his ideal, the perfect older woman.  🙂

As to Hua Ze Lei, he is still rather lackadaisical about his ideal woman.  He will wait for her to come to him rather than searching for her ….


Though this version is visually pleasing with gorgeous young actors, but compared to the previous ones, this, I am afraid, is lacking in depths.

It is only mediocre as it has undergone drastic political correctness, which sadly took its heart and soul.

The F4 are supposed to be the all-powerful band of flower boys, not only within their locale but inclusive of surrounding schools as well as they are well known for their unbelievable good looks, fame, and fortune.  They were treated like gods and behaving like one, often egotistical, despotic and utterly self-centered.  They would often issue punishment for even the littlest of things when it took their fancy.

The new F4, though extraordinarily gorgeous, lack the power and pizzazz of the previous F4s.   What we’ve got in this version are four handsome young men, who can be just anybody with good looks in any school.  They are not mega-rich vengeful boys.  They don’t punish/bully anyone but instead, they challenged anyone who gets their attention to a game of bridge!  They don’t make you quake in your boots.

Part of the F4 charms is their being clothes horses.  This time around, their wardrobe is very moderate and can be copied by just anyone who has a sister or a mother, who has a penchant for long woolen cardigans and dress shirts. 🙂

Having said that the F4 did a good job especially Dylan Wang and Cesar Wu.  They have both the right amount of swagger and arrogance.

As to Shen Yue, she is charming and cute but I think she needs to take more acting lessons and acting workshop.  She also needs to correct her posture.

Overall it is enjoyable but something that will not last in your psyche as the previous version.

 

 

Comments

  1. Strongly agree,,I’m a big fan of meteor garden/hana yori dango.I seen the 5 version ,the anime of japanese hana yori dango,meteor garden taiwanese version,hanayori dango of japanese,boys over fliwer of korea and i watch this new meteor garden chinese version 3x .among the 5 version ,this mg2018 is the best.looking forward for meteor garden season 2 this 2019.congratulations to the production team.

  2. Woah the confrontation between Shancai and DaoMingSi’s mother was so satisfying even if I did not a understand a word of it. Come on Netflix, release the subbed 21 & 22 episodes please.

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