Meteor Garden II


Reviewed by: sukting

July 20, 2004

Rating: two

How long
30 episodes

Foreword
This sequel is a big letdown. Only watch it if you are a diehard F4 fan. But even so, you may not like it. Many have said that 2003 was a dark year for Meteor Garden fans. Thousands have lost the man of their dreams when Daomingsi lost his memory in a car crash in Spain and wakes up as a different person. Some members have started wearing ties or suits to work. It is still interesting to see how they work in their family company in their new image.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Daomingsi - Yan Cheng Xu

When we first get to know him, he was arrogant, badtempered but sweet in his single-minded, relentless pursuit of a willful lass, Shan Cai. He can move out of his palace to live in a shack next to her to protect her when a burglar tried to break into her home. But those days are behind us. Here, this is the same dimpled smiled man but minus his memory, arrogance and undying affection for her. He becomes another fool!

Now he falls for artist Ye Sha, Worse when Cai Zhi Ping finds it necessary to put him into several "poverty builds character' tests. He is no longer the poor rich boy. He tries to learn how to tie his shoe laces, fry eggs, waits on tables and cleans up messes! Please, the last thing we want is reality and a doormat for a boyfriend. We want fun, romance and fantasy. But he is transformed into a meek Cinderfella.

Daomingsi has been brainwashed totally. Can you believe it? He can be so nice to Teacher Liang - which I find it fake. He learns to cook - this is not what I want too. My last straw comes when he reluctantly agrees to stay with Feng if Ye Sha is found. I feel like hitting him. How can he go through the engagement ceremony - to please her or himself ??Agreeing to work in the family business is another stupid ploy. I simply disapprove of the way that Daomingsi listens meekly to all Feng's instructions. Where has our Daomingsi gone to? Has he disappeared into thin air?

Yan's acting improves but this role is not as comforting as the old Daomingsi. Actually I don't mind him to be any woman. But I detest of arrangement of taming him - I like him with lots of passion and fire.

2. Hua Zhe Lei - Zhou Yu Min

He is still the caring and adorable Lei that we know all along. Except that he can be harsh to Jing for ditching him - no one can blame him since she lets him wait one day in vain at the church for her. Shan Cai should have accepted him when she is rejected by Daomingsi.

Knowing that Shan Cai is lonely on Valentine's Day as Daomingsi is missing, Qing He sings on radio. F3 dedicate messages to her .Lei's gesture is the most special - he manages to get a tape of Daomingsi's voice saying that he will protect his future wife forever. This moves her to tears.

When Shan Cai's father commits a stupid mistake, he is there to clear his name as a thief. When she stays in a village to bear with the sorrow of parting with Daomingsi, he immediately keeps her company in this small town. He enjoys her company to earn money for the first time and gives her flowers with his first pay. Let's remember that he is the young master of one of the four reputable families like Daomingsi. He likes sleeping in a comfortable place but this time round, he can sleep anywhere!

He is helpful to Ah De and Ah Mei - but not without a purpose. To bail Ah De, he wants the ring in return. He has done a lot for Shan Cai but wins her friendship instead. The scene where he kisses her to console her under the banana tree is so sweet - causing anger and jealousy to Daomingsi who comes for her!

Shan Cai knows that Lei likes a violin very much but the owner refuses to part with it. He lets it go reluctantly. She takes pains to get for him will be his valuable gift ever. He also assists her in Japan's iterary to help in her tour guide job.

Many have said his acting in "Meteor Garden' is bad. He acts as well as his looks this time and some of his scenes makes up for compulsive viewing. Many will like this compassionate man. He knows that Shan Cai can never accept him but he is still caring towards towards her. Actually I have wished him to be with Jing again since she is willing to change for him.

3. Xi Men - Zhu Xiao Tian
He works hard as a manager to prove himself. He can never forgive his father for being a womanizer to cause misery to his mother. He even puts his father into a fix in public. Xi Men company is having a celebration and Mr Xi Men appears with his mistress. Xi Men says he is nasty to keep his mother waiting at home in vain. He even says that his philandering ways are inherited from him.

Xi Men works too hard to have stomach ulcer and has to be hospitalized. This is then when he knows the truth and stays with his father after his parents' divorce. His mother loves another man but Mr Xi Men forces her to marry him. However, her heart is not with him so he looks for other women in despair. Xi Mei becomes mature. He is no longer fun searching but is the capable assistant to help his father in business.

Xiao Tian improves slightly in his acting but unluckily, the scenes are very few and minor.

4. Mei Zhuo - Wu Jian Hao
He has been reluctant to go to work. Unlike Xi Men who is eager to learn and he really knows the ropes within a short time, his job in the office is only to sign documents and stamps on them. His family finds a nice girl, Xiao Qiao to pair him with her. He has all along opposed to arranged matches and spites back at her. But all his plans backfire and he ends up loving her.

Can you believe that he becomes her chauffeur and even helps her to retrieve her valuable cello from a river?? Do you like the change in him? I certainly don't like to see this.

Strangely, Jian Hao is better in kissing scenes than others. I still dislike his wooden expression and the "plastic' way that he delivers his lines.

5. Shan Cai - Xu Xi Yuan (Big S)
I find Shan Cai getting very reasonable. She flies into a temper when Daomingsi chides her for forgetting her passport at the airport when they are going to fly off. She threatens to return home to force him to apologise to her. She deserves to face so many changes because of her horrible attitude.

Firstly, she loses Daomingsi. Then she has to work part time to support her family and to raise money to place advertisements to search for him. When she sees him, he can't recognize her and is very upset. Despite all the things she has to try to help him regain his memory, she is crushed upon seeing what he has kept for Ye Sha. She is later arranged to work in Daoming company and quits her studies. She sees him often and their friendship blossoms. But he still keeps a distance from her. Finally, when he knows who she is, he is with Ye Sha and unable to be with her. But fear not, she is with him at the end of the serial again.

She asks for it for being so fiery tempered. The first part has an unreasonable Shan Cai who is sulking even though Daomingsi is with her. Later, she can be so stupid to believe that Daomingsi is in Feng's hands when he is missing. The way she questions her really makes me laugh. She promises to leave him if she tells her that he is safe. Of course, I will do the same as Feng to lie to her too!

I am not touched when she works so hard to try to help him to regain his memory. I don't understand myself. Maybe I have put up long enough with her bad temperament. Sad to say, Big S disappoints me here as she looks distant from Yan. She has not tried hard enough and pales in acting as compared to Part 1.

6. Ye Sha - Michelle Saram (Zheng Xue Er)
She is Budan's princess and is very protective towards her freedom. Her parents will not let her out of home so she flees to Spain. She accidentally knocks Daomingsi down and causes him to lose his memory. She helps him to do basic tasks and also the search for his family or friends. She falls for him in the process but learns that she is going to die soon of a muscular hardening illness.

Can you remember Zong Zhe - Xiao You's ex boyfriend who cheats her of her feelings so Daomingsi boxes him? This man kidnaps him for a ransom. He also beats him up. Ye Sha uses her looks to seduce him to give her the key. I feel sickened when she hugs and kisses Zong Zhe to steal the key. No sympathy but disgust instead as she is so unnatural. And also puzzled that Daomingsi can forget his fighting skills but never loses his table manners (when he is tasting Sha Ge's food), ability to speak Spanish (when he is in a hurry to leave Span with Ye Sha at the airport.) and his skillfulness in appraising wine.

She is determined to return Daomingsi to Shan Cai. After their engagement, Daomingsi senses that she is bad tempered and tries hard to please her but she deliberately avoids him. She even tries to act unreasonable to treat F3 coldly to make him dislike her. But through a drowning incident, she saves him again and realizes how much she loves him. She becomes so selfish to keep him by her side even though Shan Cai escapes from home and Daomingsi wants to search for her.

I am a Singaporean too and had wished to give Xue Er my support. But Xue Er is really bad. It is so unbearable for all of us. Fans of Tin Lok and Yan feel that their idols have wasted their voltage on her. One fan could say so harshly that she must be a rock/a piece of wood/granite valley in her pastlife. I also feel that she is not cut out for acting. How on earth did she land up to pair with dudes that many fans adore?

7. Mi Mi - Lai Ya Yan
Qing He pays for her school fees and she falls for him. She idolizes Shan Cai as she thinks she is a role model in working hard for success. However, she is an illegible daughter and has to be a dancer at a nightclub to raise her school fees. Qing He is unhappy to know about it and promises to take care of her.

This actress's plan to act cute backfires. By right, she is helpful to come up with ideas to help Qing He to assist Daomingsi to regain his memory but I find her very irritating instead. Most of the time, it seems that she is reading her lines from a text. She resembles Wu Chen Jun in looks except her beady eyes.

8. Teng Tang Jing - Qian Wei Shan
Jing flies to Spain upon knowing that Daomingsi is missing. She realises why Lei chooses the same church for Daomingsi and Shan Cai. Lei has unrequited love from her and thus hopes that the two can land up together. She is touched and wishes to return to him. She has a shock when he brushes her hand away when she tries to touch him. He replies that everything is over. They can never return to the past.

This shows that sometimes chances can only come once. Jing is too harsh to Lei once and thus has to endure loneliness in the end. I still think that Wei Shan is quite raw in her acting.

9. Yin Xiao Qiao - Wu Nian Ci
She is a rich man's daughter who is a good cellist. At first, she lies about Mei Zhuo helping her to get presents for the elders and sending her home. He is helpless and vows to seek revenge. Can you believe that she actually causes Mei Zhuo to jump into the river to retrieve her cello? She tames him in the end.

This character only requires her to smile so it is hard to gauge her acting. However, she looks too demure even in angry scenes - especially the part where Mei Zhuo kisses her unexpectedly in front of F3 and she slaps him. Or maybe this is the way that those grow up due to good upbringing will behave?

10. Chen Qing He - Ou Ding Xing
Still as simple minded as ever and is still rejected to be F5. But in here, he begins to show his wits. Xi Men and Mei Zhuo have wanted to seek Daomingsi out but the last few numbers of the contact handphone is unclear because Shan Cai's parents accidentally dirty the newspaper. The two suggest to him to use different combinations to make the call. He shakes his head - why don't they go to the library to extract the information instead? They praise him for the first time.

Knowing that Shan Cai is down without Daomingsi on Valentine's day, he decides to dedicate a song to her over the radio to cheer her up. He wants her to know that friends are always around to support her although her boyfriend isn't present. F3 sneer at his wild idea and condemns it. He isn't discouraged and insists of going ahead with his plan. But when the DJ is about to read his note to her and play his off-key singing, he gets out of his car and leaves her to listen to it alone in tears. Later, F3 supports his idea and follow suit.

He likes Mi Mi when he gets angry and jealous when clients try to get fresh with her. He pulls her away and promises to help her when in need. He doesn't look down on her and tries hard to cheer her up.

It is strange that Daomingsi can recognize him after his accident and not the rest! Is it because he is too comical all along? Daomingsi is annoyed when he tries reminding him too often about his incidents with Shan Cai. But if not for him, Daomingsi may not regain his memory so soon. Qing He suggests all to go for a swim. Daomingsi happens to see a ring at the bottom of the pool and memories flood back, to make him remember Shan Cai.

He is loveable in "meteor garden' but is so irritating in here. I also dislike the "in' hairstyle with plaits that he has in here. You may visualize him in the look at ex-energy member, Toro dons. Qing He is supposed to look more like a country bumpkin. Why the change out of a sudden?

11. Dao Ming Feng - Zhen Xiu Zhen
She never changes her style. She is still as cunning and heartless as ever. But I must refer Shan Cai and F3 as morons because they choose to believe that she has Daomingsi. Can she be so stupid to use the same tactic twice? She tries to bring Daomingsi home after he loses his memory. She locks him up and wants him to inherit the family business. However, he escapes upon knowing that she is going to erase his information in Taiwan. Still, she is concerned when he is kidnapped and tries to save him.

Although Budan has lost its influence in some way, she doesn't mind it. Daoming family has the riches so what they need will be fame. She forces Daomingsi and Ye Sha to get engaged. (Actually you may feel disgusted that Daomingsi is the willing party in this incident.) She even agrees to the 3 months arrangement for Ye Sha to stay because she knows that Ye Sha's life is short.

Feng has intended to frame Shan Cai at work - or rather to humiliate her. But Shan Cai manages to hang on and refuses to give up. Although she is forced to work overtime and is unable to attend Xi Men's company celebration, the guys meet her to prepare champagne to have a small party on their own after the reception.

However, we can't deny that she is concerned about Daomingsi. When she knows of the drowning case, she visits him immediately in hospital. But the company still matters to her more than his happiness. Daomingsi is disgusted that she knows of Ye Sha's illness all along and condemns her but she still doesn't realize her mistake till the end.

She is the BEST in this whole serial. She shines here as in "meteor garden'. She reads her lines clearly and acts well. She is like a fire in the darkness and it is so hard not to notice her. But her wig can be so fake to pile up so high on her head. Wonder whose crazy idea?

12. Sha Ge - Xu Xiao Shun
He is a wonderful chef who brews wine at Barcelona and also Ye Sha's great pal. He knows of Ye Sha's illness and keeps from the rest. When Ye Sha's life is coming to an end, Sha Ge pleads with him to stay with her to make her happy through her remaining days. He later opens a restaurant during her last days and misses her. But this place becomes a favourite gathering area of F4 upon Daomingsi's return.

13. Grandmother - Jiao Jiao
She is a kind but bad-tempered old woman who puts Daomingsi and Ye Sha up at her home. She even provides clothes for Ye Sha to let her celebrate with Daomingsi over his first success of finding a waiter job. I find her very petty over a small matter. Just because her lover gets the cakes that she dislikes (or can't remember the favour she likes), she refuses to give in to him for 30 long years! The poor man gets chocolate and other favours and forgets that she likes sponge cakes instead.

14. Mr Gao - Tsang Kong
He is successful as the businessman and Feng's business contender but he loses in love life. He has courted his love for 30 years without success. Luckily, Shan Cai helps him to win her back. I really laugh when Feng is annoyed with him entertaining Shan Cai instead to make her wait for him for hours!

15. Da Xin - Chen Jian Zhou
Daomingsi's friend at the fastfood outlet. He is a good basketball player but is also impressed with F3 for being able to play the game well too. He hits off with the 3 within a short time.

16. Ah Mei - Li Kang Yi
Shan Cai stays with her when she copes with the harsh fact of Ye Sha being together with Daomingsi. She admires Lei secretly and is frank to tell him about it. Although she gets rejected, she doesn't blame him for liking Shan Cai.

17. Ah De - Liu Gen Hong
He is Ah Mei's brother and also the thief who steals the ring from Ye Sha. He gives it to Ah Mei as a birthday present. Shan Cai is devastated to see it but still decides to keep it from Ah Mei. Lei knows what it means to her so he wants it back from Ah Mei after bailing Ah De out when he steals money from others.

18. Mr Xi Men - Li Guo Zhu
He has forced Mrs Xi Men to marry him through force. She loves his subordinate but can never be with him. So she ignores him after marriage. Mr Xi Men is angry and thus goes out with different women. He is strict but actually concerned over Xi Men.

19. Mrs Xi Men
She is a very quiet person who only waits at home for her son, trying to cook the food he likes to please him. She has no love towards her husband and are only together for Xi Men's sake. She regains her freedom only when he realizes that he can never win her love.

20. Shan Cai's parents
Still funny but more irritating. Shan Cai's father is working in a car purchasing firm. He runs into trouble when he brings Shan Cai's mother on a spin with a client. Luckily Lei is there to claim that the car is his.

Most favourite character
Lei, for being so self-sacrificing.

Most hated character
Shan Cai for being so rude to Daomingsi. The first runner up is Feng for trying to break up Shan Cai and Daomingsi. The second runner up is Daomingsi for being such a weakling when he loses his memory. I really laugh when Lei says that he is like a helpless baby when he can't remember them. It is obvious that he still remembers martial arts and knows how to protect himself. What is there to worry about???

Song
The theme song is "I can't lose you - ¾ø²»ÄÜʧȥÄã' by F4. I find it much better than the subtheme song "the season with fireworks - ÑÌ»ðµÄ¼¾½Ú' by F4 too.

Scenes that cause sweet memories/heartaches/disapproval/complaints/rage/disappointment???

F4 arrive late for their graduation. There are wordings made by F4 fans on the road - F4 don't leave! But their convertibles crush over them causing all to flutter in the air. This is done through computer effects. They are arrogant and rude to cut the principals' speech to demand for their graduation scroll. Later, they have 4 helicopters which are named F4 to let go of flower petals fro m the sky. Qing He finds it romantic and others find it cool but Shan Cai disagrees.

Shan Cai refuses to let Daomingsi pay for her trip and only agrees to make it a loan and she will continue to work part time to pay him back.

In Barcelona, both share a cake and Daomingsi eats an extra strawberry, He says he will spend his whole life to repay her. It is touching to see both wiping each others' lips with the napkins.

Daomingsi and Shan Cai sleep in the same room together but he still sleeps on the sofa - just like how they did in the holiday resort the other time.

When Daomingsi goes missing, Shan Cai finds the Daomingsi faced biscuits that she gave him on his birthday in a photo frame. She breaks into tears.

Daomingsi to lose his memory. That is the most stupid arrangement that I see so far.

Jing is touched upon knowing Lei's arrangement to bring Shan Cai and Daomingsi together in the church. She wants to return to Lei but he tells her that everything is over. I never expect him to be so cold to her. Maybe he is seriously hurt by her rejection a few years ago - when she left him waiting at the church for her for one whole day in vain. It is a sad scene where he sits alone with flowers in a suit but the doors close on him. Zai Zai's fans must be attracted by it.

Daomingsi always missing meeting Shan Cai. We like the dosage in Korean dramas but not in here. This can be frustrating. Some examples as shown below :

i) Daomingsi is no longer in the hospital when F3 comes to look for him after the car accident.

ii) At the Spain airport where he flies back with Ye Sha but Shan Cai decides to stay upon knowing
from Daoming's elder sister, Zhuang that he isn't in America as claimed by Feng.

iii) He wants to call Shan Cai but Mei Zhuo is angry that Shan Cai receives prank calls and scolds him. He
hangs up the phone then without talking to her.

iv) Shan Cai and F3 rush to the house where he is kidnapped by Zhong Zhe but he is no longer there.

v) Ye Sha wanting to introduce him to her at the bakery on a few occasions but he doesn't turn up.

Our young master Daomingsi is unable even to tie his shoelace. Later, he is desperate to find a job. He becomes a waiter but can't cook. So he has to learn how to fry an egg. Do you like him to wait on tables and mop the floor? I certainly don't enjoy it.

Teacher Liang is shocked to see Daomingsi serving him and is uneasy over the change. So do I.

Daomingsi cooking for F3 for the first time. They are touched but still miss the old Si and wants him to say his classic line - do I need your opinion to do anything?

Shan Cai gives Daomingsi the box of memories that they share but he shows her the things that he shares with Ye Sha. Later, she tries to help him regain his memory at the ice-cream shop but he is there to return all the things to her. She is overjoyed that he is closer in thoughts with her but is dismayed at his decision.

Shan Cai accepts Feng's challenge to work in Daoming enterprise in order to help him regain his memory. But he chooses to escape from reality to avoid thinking moments with her although there are flashbacks. He tells her repeatedly that he will not love her though he may remember everything as he loves Ye Sha now. He even wants to return all things that they both shared before because he has new things with Ye Sha now.

Daomingsi gets engaged to Ye Sha - this act sure breaks Shan Cai's fans' hearts.

Daomingsi agrees to Shan Cai's suggestion of giving a treat? This is madness! I still don't think a gentleman should do this! Especially when he is rich now.

Daomingsi is unhappy that Ye Sha has changed to an unfriendly person, not wanting to go to Xi Men's party with him. Her words of declining to know F3 hurt him and he wonders since she likes freedom so much and is so selfish, why consent to their engagement? He is so upset that he hugs Shan Cai for consolation although he still only treats her as a friend.

Shan Cai works overtime and F4 comes to look for her after Xi Men's company celebration. Mei Zhuo forces Shan Cai to drink more wine. Lei and Daomingsi quickly stretch their hands at this time, wanting to grab the glass from her to offer to drink on hr behalf. They are so sweet and gentlemanlike. They hesitate at the same time, only to help a drunk Mei Zhuo to the toilet.

Daomingsi can recognize Qing He in their first meeting but can't remember what he did to him in the past.

Daomingsi remembers everything upon seeing a ring at the bottom of the pool. He recalls how he tried to reach for the ring under the car seat during the accident. He imagines seeing Shan Cai and tries to touch her hair, only to discover that she is Ye Sha instead. But he chooses to escape from the 2 women as he can't bear to break Ye Sha's heart even though he loves Shan Cai.

Deliberate arrangement of Ye Sha having a muscular hardening terminal disease to keep Daomingsi by her side. This is so unoriginal. At first, she has wanted to return him to Shan Cai. But after saving him from the pool from drowning, she can't conceal her love for him anymore.

Lei does so much for Shan Cai - lying about buying the car from her father as he takes the car to go for a spin with her mother, consoling her when Daomingsi is missing in Spain, staying with her at the village when she is coping with grief. Yet, she rejects his love.

Daomingsi comes to look for Shan Cai at the village. He is jealous to see Lei kissing her. Both promise if they see a meteor shower, they are reunited. If not, they part. They wait for a night in vain and see nothing. They walk in opposite directions and don't notice the meteor shower which comes at this time!

Daomingsi evading from tragedies - he feigns that he hasn't remembered the past as he doesn't know how to reject Ye Sha. He knows he likes Shan Cai but doesn't know how to tell her that.

Shan Cai is nearly attacked by bulls in Barcelona. She is surprised to see a hand with the meteor ring saving her and he is Daomingsi. Both later kiss at the church. This scene should appease all fans' anger.

Interesting facts

This serial didn't follow the manga and Cai came up with her own script. Author of Hana Yori Dango, Yoko Kamio gave Cai the exclusive rights to take the characters beyond the plot of the manga in Meteor Garden 2. Maybe she will regret her decision now if she knows how terrible the plot has become.

Cai spent NT$7,000,000 to produce the rich F4. (I don't think Mei Zhuo or Xi Men look rich to me, though). They flew to Spain, rented a President's suite for Shan Cai and Daomingsi's intimate moments. The late Ke Shou Liang was in charge of the accident scene as the stuntsman - the car was worth NT$200,000, which was ruined within seconds. Yan felt a pinch in his heart and had wished that the car been given to him instead as he would take good care of it.

Jian Hao was a fast runner. When F4 were dining with Xue Er in Spain, he spotted a thief who ran away with Yu Min's bag. He quickly ran and caught him.

The 4 luggage of the casts' clothes were missing so they had to reshoot many scenes. Xue Er also lost her handphone to a thief thus lost all her friends' telephone numbers. Since only Xiao Tian and American born Jian Hao could speak good English, they took time off to visit the country while Yan and Zai Zai slept and watched vcds. But before leaving for Spain, the four penny-wise guys cut up their credit cards so as not to go on spending sprees.

Famous director Hou Hsiao Hsien had claimed to wish to help out but it didn't turn out the way he wanted and he left midway. He didn't even turn up on promotion day - was he unhappy with the way they worked? It could be a wise decision to abort working on it.

F4 had to look glamorous after their graduation so the make-up unit had image consultants to redesign their images. The Spain trip caused NT$100, 000,000 in the 20 days. The accident scene caused NT$400,000. The director reshot 11 episodes to delay for 2 months, wasting NT$1500,000,000. This caused Cai to be troubled, saying that money is wasted to make sounds in the sea.

The graduation scene was shot at Jia Yi Zhong Zheng University campus - this cost NT$100,000 to shoot. The four arrived with Xi Yuan at 5.30 a.m. 200 F4 fans acted as the students - 30 of them were from Hong Kong. F4 looked more like idols without the robes. Comedian, Peng Qia Qia was asked to act as the principal. He joked that he acted against F4 and he was F5. His daughter even wanted him to get an autograph from them. Zai Zai wished that this graduation day would happen to him in real life soon.

When the serial was shown in Taiwan, pirated vcds came to Singapore and many fans complained about the quality. More complained because it was very expensive to keep the different sets.

Yu Min was hardworking to bring his books to Spain to study for his examinations. It was said that his school had enough of him skipping classes and the media stepping into the school grounds without authorization. He passed all his subjects. This was the best Christmas present for him as he had sacrificed his sleep during F4 China's concert tour to study hard. His Taiwan classmates were afraid that he might be stopping his studies again. So they had a 'Help Zai Zai All Pass' operation. They helped him to take notes when he was absent and also gave him free tuition. He was very grateful to them and gave them a big treat.

Yan and Xi Yuan fell out with each other and this caused their fans to scold each other on the websites too. Yan was very upset that Xi Yuan said that he was difficult to get along and she didn't want to work with him again. She also stated that they were not friends, only colleagues. Many commented that the kissing scenes were realistic. But to her, Yan was too quiet and lost his temper easily without any reason. Thus she had to imagine him to be her real boyfriend, Lan Zheng Long to have the romantic feel.

Yan felt betrayed. His manager also found this remark surprising as he found the two chatting away in Spain. Filming was slow and he lost his temper but not on her. He was too tired for not able to sleep for days and thus this affected his moods. He gave people a weird feel because he was a boring person. He even had to be on the drip in the hospital for 3 days but had tried not to delay the shooting. He was so nervous that he often visited the toilet. He didn't understand how the rumours fly.

F3 knew that he was tired and thus they didn't disturb him during filming. After work, they called him to give him support. Those who didn't understand him would think that his expressionless face showed that he was angry with something.

Zhen Xiu Zhen feared that many will dislike her Feng character. But to her relief, an online poll showed that the fans thought Feng was tough and didn't really hate her. After this serial, she had many offers but she turned down because all wanted her to act as mothers and she wasn't in good health!

The shooting was delayed continuously. It lost many fans and Cai analysed that she didn't manage them well. If a person gets popular too quickly without control, things will go wrong especially when they are still young. The major problem was she gave F4 too much work and caused Yan's outburst. Yan had a press conference and wept, telling all that Cai had caused him to overwork, calling Cai a blood sucker. He was seriously ill and unhappy to reshoot scenes with Jiao Jiao, Tsang Kong and Xi Yuan because of the directors' demands. From being able to vent anger till he had no energy left, what more could they ask? It could become so serious that he forgot his lines and lost 4 kg.

Cai rebuked that she also had sleepless nights and got sick too but no one was concerned about her. However, she maintained that Yan was professional and wasn't late or left early. He was in fact the first to arrive at filming spots. To her, Jian Hao was caring and independent while Xiao Tian worked very hard. Only Yu Min was mysterious to keep to himself.

Jian Hao and Xiao Tian went to Hong Kong to promote this serial. Both said that F2 were busy shooting 'Meteor Garden 2 ' to miss the trip. They did not expect Yan to hold the press conference then. He was there actually to explain why he wasn't around on promotion day but ended up weeping and complaining instead. Some rumoured that he wasn't happy because Xi Yuan earned 3 times as much or he wasted his time waiting for her as she was always late. (But Xi Yuan's manager insisted that Xi Yuan was the one waiting.) That created the outburst but actually many knew that he earned the most among F4 but after the commission deduction, Xi Yuan still earned more than him.

Xi Yuan said that they didn't get have time so there was never a quarrel between them. However, the 2 weeks in Spain made her treasured her boyfriend, Lan Zheng Long. To be with him, she didn't wish to go anywhere. But many felt that she was unprofessional as for a new drama with Yu Min lately, she was late and always on disappearing acts. Although Yu Min defended her, many thought Zheng Long might have caused her to neglect her work and started to believe what Yan had mentioned.

Yu Min hinted that he wanted a normal life after citing that Yan was so restless that he had to be on a full packet of drip per day. Without it, he was lifeless. The Asia promotion day had the other cast present except Yan. Even F3 could not hide their weariness. The back crew claimed that Yan was acting but Yu Min revealed he was overtired. It was then the filming unit confessed that Yan had worked till 5a.m. and had to work again at 6.30 a.m. he could not take it anymore and thus had to be sent to the clinic for another drip. The blood vessels on his right hand turned black and the drip had to be inserted on his other hand.

The serial had both actresses liking Daomingsi but off screen, they fought to give him to each other. Xue Er spoke up for Yan too that Yan was very weak and they could not say that his sickness hindered the progress. It should be the delaying of the work made all ill. Why? The 6 months starting from April changed 4 directors. All felt it was impossible to film part3. Filming was so tough for this one and they would be mad to accept the next assignment. Xi Yuan said the first 2 months had a stop. Later, the return from Spain had another cease. She had discussed with Cai and felt it was better without a sequel. But she was willing to give the filming unit a chance to adjust. But since there was no changes, 2 directors quit.

She had not wanted to act in it to start work in 'A Chinese Ghost Story' but the contract was still existing. They spent 2 months to remake and it was supposed to end till October but they did not even finished one third of it. Partly because F4 was around Asia holding concerts to cause the delay. She didn't care much about the commission but wanted to finish the work early. Luckily, Cai had sincere chats with her for half a month. F4 also delayed other plans to focus their attention on the filming and thus she agreed to stay.

It was the first time for Xue Er to shoot an idol drama and first trip to Spain. In Taiwan, 800,000 viewers complained about Xue Er being the third party. The television station was forced to reveal that Shan Cai married Daomingsi in the end to lure the audience back. In the first 5 days, the official website had 300,000 complaints from all over the world. The television station nearly had to shut it down. Only when they got to see the note, their anger was appeased.

Later, their attention was turned to Xue Er as Ye Sha's role was too much - they referred her as a Filipino maid. F3 didn't have the chance to display their talents. Daomingsi behaved like a tame rabbit/retarded child and lost his glamour. They would not listen even though Cai requested them to be patient. She said she was hardworking (I doubt so too like the rest) and had let the television station go over the script. Since Daomingsi and Shan Cai have a stable relationship now, they introduce Xue Er to spice up the plot.(Is that so and necessary???). She said that many commented that Yan's acting improved although he wasn't as cool as in Part 1 because Daomingsi lost his memory so the opinion is open to all.

The numerous scenes of them missing each other nearly turned them mad. Many were too involved in Part 1 so the creativity in Part 2 was not appreciated. Xue Er received the most complaints since day 1. Many suggested calling it 'Meteor stable' instead because of the terrible plot. Some found it insulting their ears to hear mushy words that Daomingsi related to Ye Sha and preferred reading the manga instead.

Ratings shot up when she dropped out of the picture temporary. The audience did not like her to smile all the time like a fool - was she so happy owning Daomingsi? They didn't want Daomingsi to forget Shan Cai to be with her. Some even called up the station to threaten that they would boycott the serial if Daomingsi marries Ye Sha. Luckily for Xue Er, she left Taiwan for Singapore before it was shown. She could only find out how the ratings went by smsing to the station. She was English educated and only surfed English websites. Even if it was in Chinese, she could only read the modern characters. Thus the television station had a special script for her to read in modern Chinese.

But she maintained that the script wasn't changed to please the crowd and let Daomingsi return to Shan Cai because of her. Only a few disliked Ye Sha. When they shot the scenes walking on the Taipei streets, many even thought they were a couple. Moreover, the serial had finished shooting when it started showing. How to change it then? Like it or not, all have to accept the ending.

However, many envy her to work with F4. She had the most scenes with Xi Yuan and Yan. After being friends with them, she had disregarded the thought whether they are good looking. Among them, she got along best with Jian Hao because both could communicate in English easily. He was lively, loved drawing sketches to make her laugh. Xiao Tian stayed in Singapore before so it was easy to talk to him about Singapore food and he was a great cook. Yu Min was cute and although he doesn't speak English but he could tell jokes suddenly to make all laugh.

How was her friendship with Yan? She saw him everyday. Before filming, she heard that he was a cool guy who would not initiate to talk. But she found him easy going and because they had many scenes together, they knew each other better and started to have the loving chemistry. He is professional and has high demands on himself but he isn't temperamental, as she has never seen him cry. She finds his warm smile attractive. Despite the complaints, she still had commercial offers after the showing.

What makes to be Xue Er's dream lover? Before acting this serial, she only knew F4 from friends. The best would be a guy possessing their qualities, looks like Brad Pitt and is able to speak English. The 6 month filming caused her to have stomach upsets and also placed on the drip.

Yan's script was often full of notes. He would remind himself of the important details. There was once Xue Er forgot to bring her script home and he kept it for her. After each scene, he would fold the clothes neatly and returned them to the clothes unit. Xi Yuan was observant and Xue Er was impressed with her acting.

Cheng Xu went to the Phillippines to promote the serial and even received a warm welcome from President Arroyo. He was flattered to be able to meet her and had fun having helicopter trips. He complained that 'Meteor Garden 2' only allowed F4 to sit in it. He was so interested that he even asked if the country had old or outdated ones on sale. He wanted to purchase one and learned flying it in Taiwan!

If given the chance, how will F4 write the script? Their reactions as follows

1) Cheng Xu - Daomingsi died in the accident and Lei married Shan Cai 2 years later. Shan Cai looked at Daomingsi's photos and wept. Lei promised him at his grave that he would treat her well. Xi Men married Ye Sha while Mei Zhuo became a successful businessman. (This is undoubtedly Cheng Xu as he wrote the least on his role as Daomingsi and wanted to tire Zai Zai till death to give him the meatest role!)

2) Yu Min - Daomingsi lost his memory and met Ye Sha. They met a monk to meet 3 days later at a fruit stall. The monk brought Daomingsi to a castle to make her recall his memories with Shan Cai. If he wanted to go to the past, he had to fulfill 3 promises - to be frank, devoted and love her always. If not, he would turn old, ugly and also became a mute. He returned to her and both reared animals in the wilds to have a simple life. Lei was still single. Xi Men married his working assistant while Mei Zhuo became a famous designer. (This was really the dream that Zai Zai had wanted all along.)

3) Xiao Tian - The womanizer Xi Men became very devoted and was a successful businessman. He was an attractive man with Ye Sha who loved him. Daomingsi and Shan Cai had a daughter after marriage but she died after a difficult labour. Daomingsi took care of her. 15 years later, the rebellious girl grew up. Xi Men treated her as a daughter but Lei was interested in her to transfer all his love on Shan Cai to her. She declared her love for Xi Men and he wanted to reject her at first. He changed his mind and decided to be in love for the last time after contracting cancer. However, Daomingsi and Lei opposed to it and the war in business/love started between the 4 families. (Xiao Tian wanted to make himself as popular as possible as a love saint. The plot invited tears but wouldn't this require the 4 to attach moustaches to look middle-aged?)

4) Jian Hao - An engagement ceremony for Daomingsi and Shan Cai took place on a planet. Xiao You made a 3 level cake for the couple. After eating it, they went into a deep sleep and died like Romeo and Juliet. This was Xiao You's act to poison it because she loved Daomingsi. With no love rival, she lived alone till the end. (Jian Hao's brain was full of weird ideas and was creative to go against the tradition.)

After showing the first episode, CTV claimed that they were having the top viewership for this drama among the 3 stations. It was the third among the 8 p.m. timeslot with other dramas but it was really the first as regarded to the percentage. F4's wish after filming was completed - to have a good sleep. This should be a stop to it so they had a book 'Meteor in Barcelona' to put a full stop to the story. This was a hot collectors' item for all F4 fans. It came along with Christmas cards and a 2003 calendar.

In August 2003, the Filipinos were crazy over F4 when 'Meteor Garden' was shown. Yan promoted Part 2 in November. To make sure that there was no disruption caused at the airport, Yan was sent directly from the airport to the hotel by a helicopter. He was amused - Daomingsi's home was so glamourous and the first episode of Part 2 had F4 receiving their scrolls after alighting from a helicopter. Can this be too much of a coincidence? He even got to meet President Arroyo.

Yan feels that he resesmbles Daomingsi in some ways. Both are shy, impulsive and devoted. When asked what was the biggest benefit of this trip, he replied that having a helicopter trip was an unforgettable experience. 'Part 2' only made F4 sat on a fake helicopter. He was so interested that he started asking around to find if there was an old or condemned helicopter around. Many wondered whether he wanted to learn how to fly it in Taiwan. It was a joke but they never dreamt that Yan really considered it seriously!

Differences between the novel and the serial - I read it before I watched the serial and found them

Definitely no mention of Mr Gao and Grandmother in the novel, I wonder why this is added as this is so redundant. Mr Gao's role does resemble a role in 'Meteor Garden 2' comic version.

This part is not in the serial as well. When Mei Zhuo's family faces difficulties, he is helpless. Although Xi Men tries to explain the information in simple terms, he finds it hard to follow although he tries his best. But he manages to improve himself. He has suggested to Xiao Qiao to break up with him. Xiao Qiao chooses to go through thick and thin with him.

Never does Xi Men expect his father to be involved in it. It tests F2's friendship but he manages to send his father to jail by sending his criminal evidence to the crime investigation unit. There is a part when all find it similar to "beauty or beast' when Zhen tries to get secret information from her father's laptop - Xi Men does it in here too. Finally he is relieved when Mr Xi Men assures him that he has done things that he deems correct. Xi Men's only consolation is that Xiao You returns to him in the end.

When Feng makes life difficult for Shan Cai in the home dinner reception (You have to read the novel to find out, ok?), Sha Ge comes to her aid and spice up dishes that all guests praise instead of reprimanding them. Even Daomingsi and Shan Cai help him in the kitchen to make it a success. This nearly causes Feng to burst her stomach when her plan backfires.

Ye Sha dies in the book and leaves a letter to Shan Cai to tell her why Daomingsi travels with her to spend her remaining days. In the serial, she finds a match in her blood cells in Budan and survives. She believes this is her retribution in breaking up Shan Cai and Daomingsi. So when she leaves them, the curse is lifted. Thus she urges Sha Ge to pass the meteor ring that he finds in the flea market to Daomingsi so that he can return to Shan Cai again.

Feng loses the company control in the book but this is not mentioned in the serial. In the book, Feng is power hungry and collaborates with Mr Xi Men to ruin Mei Zhuo's company. All are sickened by her ways. Daomingsi's father is so angry that he removes her duties from the company - good for all of us!

Conclusion

Fans of the first series will be left longing for Si and Shan Cai's romantic fireworks. But they are only greeted with the beginning and ending scenes. Many scream - why are they given the romantic moments in Barcelona and they are forced to break up from the 2nd episode onwards???

My advice - only watch Meteor Garden and avoid this one. It's bad enough that they don't follow the manga - what's more Cai comes up with her half-baked story? Luckily I watch this serial on television after I read the drama novel. If not, I might feel frustrated as well. Using Daomingsi to lose his memory is such a lame excuse. I hate it. He becomes so mild but yet also helpless when he is in the difficult situations.

The sight of him in a waiter uniform will certainly make fans upset. I am not a devoted Shan Cai/Daomingsi fan so it doesn't matter to me if they don't get together. Ye Sha and Daomingsi do match in looks but the process of him liking her is not convincing to me.

I don't see why Cai Zhi Ping must introduce so many characters in here. They don't help in the plot with their terrible acting. Sad to say, I watched most scenes with my eyes closed as I was already tired after work. I miss the old cast - why no more Xiao You? Why are Yu Shao and Jing only making a guest appearance? This is sure wasting rolls of film as the plot isn't developed properly and she even bought exclusive rights to produce the sequel on her own.

If Cai isn't ready, she should not give all fans disappointment. I don't know why do many sequels turn out this way. I feel sorry that she has thrown a valuable chance away as F4 has decided not to act together after this and Part 2 is a stop to it. What a waste!

sukting's ratings :

On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : * (Scale of 5)


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