Meteor Garden


Reviewed by: Kay_Thi

March 25, 2006

Rating: four

This Taiwanese series is based on the manga "Hana Yori Dango" ("Boys Over Flowers"). F4 was formed because of this series. I watched the series in Vietnamese so this review will have names in Vietnamese.

Cast
Tham Thai: Barbie Hsu
Do Minh Tri: Jerry Yan
Hoa Trac Loi: Vic Zhou
Tay Mon: Ken Zhu
My Tac: Vaness Wu
Thanh Hoa: Edward Au
Dang Duong Tinh: Winnie Qian
Tieu Uo: Rainie Yang

Other Characters
Minh Tri's mom
Tham Thai's parent's
Do Minh Trang
Chi Ngoc
Li Trang
Tieu Tri


Plot:

The series started out at the rich Anh Duc University. In the university there is a group of four boys- Do Minh Tri (Jerry), Hoa Trac Loi (Vic), Tay Mon (Ken), & My Tac (Vaness). They are the richest and most powerful students in the school, even the teachers are afraid of them. Whoever gets in their way will either get tortured within the school until they are forced to quit.

Tham Thai (Barbie) is in this rich, elite school, although she is poor. Many students look down upon her because of that, except one student, Li Trang, who got in because she has a scholarship. Tham Thai doesn't want to go to this school but her parents made her go even if they can only barely afford it. Tham Thai has a job working at a bakery with a high school friend, Tieu Uo (Rainie Yang)

One day Li Trang accidently spilled black powder on Minh Tri. She tries to apologize but he refuses and even pushes her to the wall. Tham Thai saw this and stuck up for her friend and told Minh Tri off. He left warning her while the other F4 members looked at her in amused disbelief.

The next day, Tham Thai recieved the trademark F4 red ribbon saying "You'll Be Dead". She immediately knew she would be dead. So the tormenting begins. This includes gluing her arms to the lunch table, gluing her hand to the phone, locking her in a restroom stall, and so many other things the other students do to her. You see, F4 doesn't torment her, it's the other students that pick on her just because F4 doesn't like her. But out of the 4, Trac Loi doesn't pick on her and even helped her in one situation. This made Tham Thai believe that he was different from the others, and so she started developing feelings for him.

Through all that Li Trang is afraid to talk to her, even though Tham Thai got into all this trouble because of her. Tham Thai doesn't blame her and even though F4 did all that to her, she starts fighting back. She challenged Minh Tri and tells them she's not scared anymore. Because of that Minh Tri started liking her. He told her to be his girlfriend and he'll give her anything she wants. Tham Thai sees this as an insult because it's like he's buying her. She refuses because she likes Trac Loi.

Then Dang Duong Tinh (Winnie Qian) comes back from France. She is the one Trac Loi loves and when Tham Thai sees this, she is really sad. Thanh Hoa (Edward Wu) is Tham Thai's high school classmate and starts going to school at Anh Duc, because his family got rich. He's had a crush on Tham Thai since high school. They immediately started hanging out and became friends. Minh Tri sees this and gets jealous. He gives Thanh Hoa a red ribbon. He starts getting tormented too.

Tham Thai and Thanh Hoa decided to go on a cruise for their break. Ming Tri wanted her to go with him to the class trip to Hawaii. She told him she was going on a cruise. Surprisingly, when Thanh Hoa and Tham Thai got to the docks, they found out Minh Tri bought the whole ship. F4, Dang Doung Tinh, and these 2 girls from Anh Duc were there. Doung Tinh wanted Tham Thai to come. She and Thanh Hoa decided to go. That night there was a party on the cruise and Doung Tinh helped Tham Thai dress up. At the party, they played a game where you turn out the lights for 10 seconds and then they can kiss whoever they want. When the light went out Tham Thai got pushed and fell on Minh Tri and so ending up kissing him. She immediately regretted this because that was her first kiss and she hates Minh Tri. And it was in front of Trac Loi.

Back at school, the tormenting continued. Tham Thai is invited to go to Doung Tinh's birthday party. At the party, Doung Tinh announces that she will be returning to France to fulfill her dreams. Trac Loi hears this and became really sad. Tham Thai tries to convince him to tell Doung Tinh to stay, but he knows Doung Tinh already made up her mind. At the airport, F3 (Trac Loi didn't seem to be there), Tham Thai, and Thanh Hoa saw her off. Trac Loi suddenly comes out after she leaves and announces that he will be on the next flight to France to be with Doung Tinh. Everyone is happy for them, especially Tham Thai.

Minh Tri asked her out and waited for her for 4 hours. Their first date was really cute. After their date, everything was pretty good. People were nice to Tham Thai because they thought she was Minh Tri's girlfriend. But in the joy, Li Trang secretly framed Tham Thai for cheating because she liked Minh Tri and is jealous of Tham Thai. Minh Tri actually believed her! This made people torture Tham Thai even more than before for betraying Minh Tri. He finally realizes Tham Thai wouldn't do that and tried to find out who would try to hurt her. When he found out, he and Tham Thai confronted Li Trang. Out of shame, Li Trang quitted school.

In a turn of events, Loi comes back from France. He's different than before - instead of being quiet and keeping to himself, he flirts more. His return confused Tham Thai because she doesn't know who she likes. She ended up picking Trac Loi. This made Minh Tri really mad and he kicked Trac Loi out of F4. Minh Tri's sister, Do Minh Trang comes back to Taiwan because of her brother's behavior. She meets Tham Thai and takes a liking to her. When Minh Tri try to make the principal kick Tham Thai and Trac Loi out, Ming Trang stopped him and decided to have a basketball game to end this. It's F3 vs. Trac Loi, Tham Thai, and Thanh Hoa. In the game F3 was winning but at the last second Minh Tri decided to quit the game and said they can do whatever they want.

That night, F3 (Loi, My Tac,& Tay Mon), Sis, Tham Thai, and Thanh Hoa celebrated. Trac Loi realized that Tham Thai is still in love with Minh Tri, she just doesn't know it. Minh Tri decides to go to New York and study abroad. At the airport, Trac Loi told Minh Tri that Tham Thai still likes him. On the plane, Minh Tri wanted to get off but it was too late. He had to fly for 2 days in a row to get back to Taiwan. Tham Thai was so happy to see him and she was the first person he went to visit when he came back.

He did come back but they didn't start dating, instead she has to take up another job to repay her family's debt. She meets this younger guy and becomes friends with him.

He causes Tham Thai and Minh Tri troubles because it seems like she picked him over Minh Tri, which wasn't true. It turns out he only wanted to kidnap her to get revenge on Minh Tri. Minh Tri went to save her and got the first beating in his life.

Minh Tri's birthday is coming up and he invited her to his party. He wants her to meet his mom, who is really selfish and mean. At the party, Tham Thai got in an accident and broke many plates. Minh Tri's mom disliked this. From then on she tried many ways to break Tham Thai and Minh Tri apart. They did a couple of times but as she tried harder and harder, their love got stronger and she gave up. With the help of F3, Chi Ngoc (the head maid in Do Minh Mansion), his sister, and Tieu Chi, they finally ended up together.

Characters and Actors:

Tham Thai- Barbie Hsu
Tham Thai is just a normal (but very poor) girl. I really like this character because she was really tough. She stood up for her friend and for the guy she loves. In the end, she was the only one who knew why Minh Tri would stop eating and drinking so he doesn't have to marry Tieu Chi.

I think Barbie Hsu portrayed Tham Thai pretty well. At least I can't imagine anyone else in this part. She was really cute, especially when she screamed; it was really funny.

Do Minh Tri- Jerry Yan
Minh Tri is hot-tempered. He doesn't like Tham Thai hanging out with any guys other than himself or the other F4 members. I think he really scared Tham Thai at first, but then his character got very likeable because he was so devoted to Tham Thai. Even when she broke up with him time and time again, he would still protect her.

Jerry was pretty good in this series. Just a little stiffness was done, but it was bearable. At the beginning his hair was horrible. I was glad they changed it halfway into the series, but before that I was waiting for his hair to be wet so it would flatten.

Trac Loi- Vic Zhou
Trac Loi is a very quiet and observant character. He used to not have a care in the world, other than F4. But then Tham Thai came and he swore that he would protect her. I felt sorry for his character because after he left for France, everything went great for him and Doung Tinh. Then when she started her studies, she left him alone. He had no choice but to go back to Taiwan. He was faking while flirting with all those girls but he actually hated it. In the end, he ended up alone and had a great friendship with Tham Thai.

I really like Vic as Trac Loi. Especially his eyes. They were so observant and he portrayed both being cold and flirty pretty well. But like Jerry he was a little stiff.

Tay Mon- Ken Zhu
I love his character. He's the gentleman-like playboy. You'd think his character was unlikeable for being a playboy but he's not. Most women he's been with only like him because of his money. So for every girl, he breaks up with them after a week. He helped Tieu Uo with her boyfriend when he cheated on her. He gave her courage to stand up to him. So she started developing feelings for him. She declared her love and he didn't know what to do. He only told her his one week process of dating. After knowing that, she still wants to go out with him! He lets her and on the night they were supposed "to do it", she was shaking and he stopped. She told him that it was her last night there cause her family was relocating to Canada. All he did that night was hold her to sleep. It was so sweet!

I think Ken was perfect for this role. His acting wasn't that good because he was stiff, but he had the cutest smile so he can portray the gentleman-like playboy well. His clothes matched his character too.

My Tac- Vaness Wu
My Tac is the the most loyal to F4. He's the wild one out of the 4. He really likes dancing and when he walks, he has this type of jumping and gliding thing. It's very cool to watch.

Vaness was a good match for this character. Again, he was also a little stiff. It was a shame his character didn't have a lot of scenes. I really wanted to see more of him and his character.

F4 - I think they had a lot of chemistry. No wonder they became a group after this show.

Minh Tri's mom-
She was real mean in here. Just because she was obsessed with power, she would give up her own son's happiness. I don't know how there could be a mother like that.

The person who played her was really good. She looked mean and tough.

Tieu Uo- Rainie Yang
I love her character. She was kind of weak with love at the beginning but gradually got more courage and even confessed her feelings to Tay Mon.

Rainie Yang was cute in here. Her acting was pretty good and I enjoy watching her.

Do Minh Trang
She is a really funny character. She always hits Minh Tri when he does something wrong and is one of the few people who can control him. I felt sorry for her because she had to marry someone she doesn't love. I was glad when she finally confronted her mom and told her how much she suffered.

The actress who played her was pretty good but had too little scenes to really tell.

Thanh Hoa- Edward Au
He was really annoying. Always following Tham Thai and hiding behind her.

Edward portrayed this annoying character pretty well.

Favorite Scenes:
1. When Minh Tri finally believed Tham Thai about the whole cheating thing and told her he'll believe her.
2. All the scenes with Tay Mon and Tieu Uo together. They were all cute!
3. When Tham Thai got hit by a chair to protect Minh Tri.
4. The scene in the hospital where F3 pretended that Minh Tri died to trick Tham Thai. That scene was so funny.
5. When Minh Tri was dancing in his room and Tham Thai saw him. He was so embarassed.
6. When Minh Tri keep asking Tham Thai to say she loves him in the end. He wants to hear it even though you can tell she already does.
7. When F3 helped Tham Thai sell cakes when Minh Tri was away.
8. During Minh Tri's birthday party, his mom made Tham Thai play the piano to embarrass her. It backfired and Tham Thai played a beautiful song.

Conclusion:
I really like this series. The acting wasn't the best but it was passable. The storyline was really good. It was really cute. It wasn't too fast or too slow and the dialogues aren't draggy. The series is really close to the manga. The ending was abrupt but I think that is because the manga series isn't even over yet.. I would recommend it to everyone.


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