Meteor Garden

Reviewed by: Tammy

May 19, 2007

Rating: five

Barbie Xu Xi Yuan (Big S of ASOS)as Shan Cai
Jerry Yan Cheng Xu as Dao Ming Si
Vic Zhou Yu Min as Hua Ze Lei
Ken Zhu Xiao Tian as Xi Men
Vanness Wu Jian Hao as Mei Zuo
Rainie Yang Cheng Lin (from 4 in love)as Xiao You
Winnie Qian Wei Shan as Teng Tang Jing
Ke Huan Ru as Xiao Zi
Wang Yue as Shan Cai's mother

Cast Description:

Shan Cai – an ordinary girl with a strong and kind personality. She has no siblings but two parents who are always longing to see their daughter marry a rich man. She has a few best friends, Qing He (O Ding Xing), Xiao You and Li Zhen. She is Dao Ming Si's love interest.

Dao Ming Si – the obnoxious leader of F4. He thinks that money can buy anything until he meets Shan Cai and realizes that he cannot 'buy' Shan Cai. He used to have a fiery temper and almost killed someone in the past. However, Shan Cai is the only one who can make him control his temper.

Hua Ze Lei – the quiet one in F4. He is the kindest one out of the four and is a very good friend. His first love interest is Jing but they had no good ending. In the middle of the series, he falls for Shan Cai but remains a good friend because he knows that Dao Ming Si really loves Shan Cai.

Xi Men – the womanizer of the four. He has a new girlfriend every single week. However, when a courageous Xiao You confesses her love for him, he sort of changes for a while. But at the end, he is still the 'womanizer'.

Mei Zuo – the joker of the four. He's similar to Xi Men except that there's no female character for him. He is also a very loyal friend.

Xiao You – Shan Cai's best friend. She is bubbly, cute and a loyal friend.

Brief Summary:

This is a modern Cinderella story except for the fact that there is no wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Instead, there is a very complicated and confusing relationship between the female and male leads.

The female lead, Shan Cai, is a very strong and generous girl who often stands up for her friends. However, when she enters Ying De University, she becomes meek and tries to keep a low profile. That's because in Ying De, there are four bullies who call themselves, F4. They consist of the obnoxious and emotionless Dao Ming Si, the quiet and indifferent Hua Ze Lei, the womanizer and flirty Xi Men and humorous and loyal Mei Zuo. They warn people by giving them 'red notes' which has the words, 'You'll Be Dead' on them. Besides that, they are from the richest and most prominent families. They can kick anyone out of the school, including teachers.

Shan Cai gets in entangled with them and this is what starts the complicated relationships. First, she develops feelings for Hua Ze Lei because she thinks he's different from the three. He's quiet and has no interest in other people's business. However, when she stands up to Dao Ming Si, she becomes the love interest of Dao Ming Si. Because of her, F4 separates for the first time.

Although Shan Cai has feelings for Hua Ze Lei, there's no way she can be compared to his first love, Jing. Jing has both intelligence and beauty and Shan Cai knows that she's nothing compared to her. So she decides to encourage Lei to follow Jing when Jing decides to go back to France to complete her doctorate's degree.

Dao Ming Si tries to court Shan Cai but she dislikes him too much. During the time Lei is in France with Jing, Dao Ming Si asks Shan Cai out and she agrees to go although she dislikes him. Dao Ming Si misunderstood and thinks that she wants to be his girlfriend. However, her mind is still preoccupied with Lei.

Lei returns and the relationship between Shan Cai and Dao Ming Si become more and more complicated. Once again, Dao Ming Si and Lei's friendship breaks apart. Dao Ming Si tries to get Shan Cai and Lei out of Ying De and forces the principal to do so. His sister, Dao Ming Zhuang, thinks that her brother is totally insane for doing this just because of a girl. She thinks up a plan to settle all this. She decides that they should have a basketball game. She appoints Dao Ming Si, Xi Men and Mei Zuo on one team and Shan Cai, Lei and Qing He (Shan Cai's friend) to another team. During the game, Dao Ming Si sees that Lei is always helping Shan Cai and gets jealous. Lei noticed that he's jealous and uses this advantage to score more points. Lei treats Shan Cai even nicer and this distracts Dao Ming Si. In the middle of the game, Dao Ming Si stops and he tells everyone that it's a stupid way to settle the situation.

Dao Ming Si decides to go to New York to study. Actually, he thinks that Lei and Shan Cai are a couple and wants to leave. Shan Cai doesn't know why but she gets upset when she hears that he's going to leave. She sarcastically tells him to leave early and stay there as long as he wants. Before he gets on the plane, Lei pulls him aside and tells him that the guy Shan Cai probably likes is him not Lei. He gets on the plane along with his sister and thinking about what Lei said to him, he decides not to go to New York. His sister beats him up twice for that.

He lands in New York and takes the next flight back to Taiwan. When Shan Cai returns home from work at the bakery, he's standing there waiting for her. He claims that he loves Taiwan but in fact he doesn't want to leave her. He gets sick from the plane rides and Shan Cai's humorous mother sees them and she invites him into the house for a rest.

Okay, honestly I am a LAZY person and I don't want to bother much with the small details.

Anyway, Dao Ming Si's mother, Dao Ming Feng, returns to Taiwan and she hates Shan Cai. She thinks that Shan Cai is too poor for Dao Ming Si. However, no matter what his mother does, Dao Ming Si will not leave Shan Cai. Then Dao Ming Feng forces a marriage between Dao Ming Si and another rich girl, He Yuan Zi aka Xiao Zi. Shan Cai becomes good friends with Xiao Zi. Since Dao Ming Feng dislikes her, Shan Cai decides that she should give up Dao Ming Si and let him marry Xiao Zi. He gets angry and does ask Xiao Zi out (probably just to make Shan Cai jealous). Xiao Zi falls for him but no matter how Xiao Zi tries, she cannot replace Shan Cai in his heart. Xiao Zi tells her mother to cancel the marriage because she cannot marry a man who will not love her. So, Xiao Zi stays as friends with both Shan Cai and Dao Ming Si.

After this incident, Dao Ming Feng goes to London for a meeting. During that time, Shan Cai's parents moved out to a fishing village and left her alone. Dao Ming Si insisted that she live in his mansion with him. When he takes her home, Yu Sao (Auntie Yu) is in charge and makes Shan Cai work if she wants to live in the mansion. Time passes and Yu Sao realizes that Shan Cai is a very good girl unlike the way Dao Ming Feng described her.

One night, Dao Ming Si takes Shan Cai to his balcony and using a telescope, the two of the them watch the meteor rain. He gives her a very beautiful necklace and asks her for a chance. They'll date each other and after two months if they find that they can't stay together, they will break up. Shan Cai agrees but everyone think it's funny to have an 'expiration date' for a relationship.

Unfortunately, Dao Ming Feng returns and is furious to find out that Shan Cai has been living in with Dao Ming Si. She is also furious to find out that Yu Sao actually likes this girl. Dao Ming Feng uses bribery and Qing He's and Xiao You's fathers lose their jobs. The only way to save them is to have Shan Cai leave Dao Ming Si. So, on a rainy night, Shan Cai breaks up with him and she is forced to tell him that she never loved him (but she does love him). This has hurt him so much that he returns to his old self-–the mean bully.

Shan Cai goes to the fishing village to find her parents. There, she meets Ah Song (played by HK native Wallace Chung Hon Leung). The both becomes friends. After a while, Hua Ze Lei and Qing He find out where Shan Cai is and persuades her to return. Finally, she returns. However, when she sees Dao Ming Si at school, she tries to run away from him. She knows that running away from him won't do her any good so she confronts him. She gives back the necklace that he gave to her. He throws it into a fountain. And after he leaves, she goes into the fountain to retrieve the necklace back with Hua Ze Lei's help. Hua Ze Lei thinks up a plan and tells Dao Ming Si that he will chase after Shan Cai. Dao Ming Si acts like he doesn't care but he does. He decides that he cannot live without Shan Cai. One day, as Hua Ze Lei and Shan Cai go to her house, she realizes that the whole house is decorated with tiny lights into the shape of the necklace that Dao Ming Si gave her. Lei tells her that Dao Ming Si did this for her. She feels touched. Later, Lei leaves for Japan to help his father's business.

Qing Yong enters the story now. Xiao Zi takes Shan Cai on a blind date. One of the guys is Qing Yong and every action he makes reminds her of Dao Ming Si. Qing Yong tells her that he's Dao Ming Si's cousin. But he is in fact someone hired by Dao Ming Feng to break up Shan Cai and Dao Ming Si. Because of his appearance, her love for Dao Ming Si is more certain and she returns to him. As they happily go on dates, Shan Cai's best friend, Xiao You is in deep pain. Xiao You fell in love with Xi Men after when he helped her to beat up her former no good boyfriend. However, Xi Men rejected her in a harsh way. She tells him that her whole family is going to immigrate to Canada. After a spending night in his arms, she leaves the next morning.

One day after walking Shan Cai home, Dao Ming Si is kidnapped by his mother's bodyguards. She locks him up in a room and tells him that he will have to marry Xiao Zi in a week. The three friends sneak to his mansion and tries to rescue him but it is unsuccessful. Later, Xiao Zi comes to Shan Cai and tells her to give up Dao Ming Si. Xiao Zi also tells her that Dao Ming Si has refused to eat and drink and he depends on the liquids that the doctors injects in him. Shan Cai decides to go have a heart to heart talk with him. Dao Ming Feng allows her to do so, but they cannot see each other.

Shan Cai talks to him, asking him if they should abandon their relationship. He replied saying if he had the chance to abandon it, he could have done it when they broke up the first time. When she hears this, she decides to face the problem with him. If he refuses to eat, then she will too. Dao Ming Feng gets furious by her action. Shan Cai says that she will prove to everyone that she and Dao Ming Si will get over this problem together. She stands in the road at night and the rain starts pouring. Dao Ming Feng sees this, wondering how long can this girl wait. Dao Ming Zhuang comes in and yells at her, telling her that she thinks that Shan Cai is the kindest person she's ever met. She also tells her to let Dao Ming Si go. After she leaves, Dao Ming Feng thinks over what Zhuang says and decides to go back to New York.

The next morning, Yu Sao happily goes to tell Shan Cai that Dao Ming Feng left. She heads up to Dao Ming Si's room. She faints in his arms and he reminisces all the times he spent with her.

Okay, you probably noticed that I missed out on a couple things. Here are a list of scenes that I recommend.

1. Scenes where Shan Cai beats up Dao Ming Si (shows how strong she is and how bad he is).

2. Any scene with little words on the bottom. These are supposed to be touching and romantic scenes.

3. Scenes with Dao Ming Feng and her son arguing over Shan Cai.

4. The 'meteor rain' scene where Dao Ming Si gives Shan Cai the necklace.

5. The scene where Shan Cai is kidnapped and Dao Ming Si comes to save her. He gets beat up severely here. It's also a very important scene because it is where I think that he truly loves her.

6. The 'almost' rape scene with Dao Ming Si and Shan Cai. It's where for once in his life, he doesn't know what he's doing.

Artist Comments:

Barbie Xu Xi Yuan – I think she was average at her first try. At some angles, she looks like my cousin and some other actress whose name I forgot. I really enjoyed her portrayal of Shan Cai, so strong and so innocent. Her crying was pretty persuasive too.

Jerry Yan Cheng Xu – He claims that his real life personality is much like Dao Ming Si's. He's a man of a very few words. And like Dao Ming Si, he will do anything for his love. Like Barbie, his acting was average.

Vic Zhou Yu Min – Nicknamed 'Zai Zai' he is the probably the best out of the four. I am impressed by his acting. Hua Ze Lei is a very quiet person. And Vic, he's shy and quiet, but sometimes he would be very funny. As I watched the NG scenes, I saw that he had a hard time acting out some scenes. Also, he is a great singer too.

Ken Zhu Xiao Tian – Another good actor. I can easily tell when he's sad or happy. His expressions are easily read.

Vanness Wu Jian Hao – He is just like Mei Zuo, humorous and witty.

Others – most of them were pretty good at their first try.

Extra Stuff:

- They are currently filming part 2 which I think will be done probably during the summer.

- F4 has become extremely popular in Asia.

- F4 released 'Meteor Rain', four episodes about their own individual stories
– Dao Ming Si, Mei Zuo, Xi Men and Lei.

- Barbie has a younger sister, Small S, who is also in the business. They are a group called ASOS.

- Other countries have decided to release their own version of 'Meteor Garden'. Hong Kong's version might include: Alex Fong Lik Sun, Victor Chan Si Hon, Roy Chow Wing Heng and Shawn Yu Man Lok.

- Ken and Jerry were in CTS's 'Great Teacher'or 'Ma La Xian Shi'.

- The guys participated in the following manga turned dramas:'Ping Qiong Gui Gong Zi'(Vic and Ken), 'Marmalade Boy'(Ken), 'Peach Girl'(Vanness), 'Love Scar'(Jerry)

I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who is interested in learning Mandarin. I learned quite a few new Mandarin words by watching this drama! And because of this drama, I began to love Taiwanese Idol Dramas (O Xiang Ju). Besides this one, I would also want to see 'Tu Si Nan Zhi Wen' since a lot of people are comparing 'Tu Si Nan Zhi Wen's Li Wei (WeWe) to Meteor Garden's F4.

If you want more details, e-mail me or search on the net. I gurantee you that almost every search engine can help you find lots of info and pics on this series. I also recommend Ebuzz's site because that one has an episode summary.

Screenshots (Sina Entertainment Copyrighted)

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