Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First Thoughts: Boys Before Friends (American Version of Boys Over Flowers)

Despite horrid reviews and wails of disappointment across the internet, I decided to give the much anticipated (whether eagerly or warily) American version of the ever-popular Boys Over Flowers.

To begin, I want to say that this series has some real potential and I'll be looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Yes, it's obvious that this was low-budget. Yes, the acting isn't that great. Yes, the camera angles and clarity of shots could use some work. Yes, the difference in volume between characters' lines and the music made it difficult to listen to. Yes, there is a lot of inconsistency (I mean, Zoey shows up at the school 6 months later in the same outfit that she auditioned in? C'mon!)

I could deal with all of that because I went in with those expectations. I can and do, however, appreciate some of the changes made from the original story to try and cater to an American audience. I like that Zoey is a bit fiercer than the original Makino/Jan Di. I also think giving Zoey a support system in the form of the Z3 has potential for an interesting story. Setting it at an arty school and making Zoey a dancer also has the potential to be quite interesting. However, I do not think grad school is the right setting. Even undergrad might have been pushing it. The original Boys Over Flowers storyline worked with the characters as high school students because the pranks and the actions of the characters will seem vastly childish otherwise. Having recently graduated from college. I know DAMN WELL, I am NOT risking my scholarship to play stupid games with some idiotic, rich boys! Lastly, I'm not sure about the title. I don't think I quite like the message being sent: boys before your friends? I don't think so!

The ending was exciting and full of enough tension that I will definitely be watching the next episode. Though, I've heard the actor for Zoey will be changing and that this first episode will be refilmed. In any case, I will keep following the series, despite the disappointment in the quality of the final product for the potential that I see within. Let's hope that potential is achieved.

Give it a try yourself here:

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