Monday, February 17, 2014

[Kdrama Review] Flower Boy Next Door (2013)

File:My Flower Boy Neighbor-poster.jpg

What's it about:

Flower Boy Next Door is an early 2013 romantic comedy that aired from January 7th to February 26th and is based on a webtoon called "I Steal Peeks At Him Every Day." It has Park Shin Hye as Dok Mi, a young woman who has hidden herself away from the world. A past hurt has made her unwilling to interact with the outside world and other people and she spends her time editing manuscripts and peeping at her neighbor across the street. One day, her neighbor's cousin--Enrique Geum of Spain (played by Yoon Shi Yoon) catches her, while eating a Popsicle and wearing boxers and a panda-hat! That is the beginning of their weird relationship that results in her coming out of her shell and finding love. (Intrigued?)

What I thought about it:

Flower Boy Next Door is a gem of a drama that hasn't received as much attention as it deserves, overlooked probably by its early release date. However, it's a definite must watch.

At first glance, this seems like a fluffy, lighthearted drama, but the hilarity and weirdness hides a deeper plot that is engaging and draws viewers completely in. The core of that powerful draw is with the eclectic group of characters and the sweet storyline. Dok Mi is horribly lonely and separated from the world. Her neighbor Ji Rak is working on a webtoon that is based on the one-sided love that Ji Rak has for Dok Mi and her developing relationship with Que-Geum. There is also Ji Rak's roommate and assistant Doon Hoon and Watanabe who is in Korea from Japan to learn Korean cuisine. Each of the characters are unique and entertaining, real and wacky. However, they're not just funny. There is depth to each character, a history and a past that makes them who they are. The reveal of each character's past is what makes viewers fall for them and keeps viewers hooked on the drama. The secondary characters are also pretty unique and my fave character is the crazy editor.

More things that I loved about this drama:

  • The love confession was refreshingly direct. Actually, the entire drama is refreshingly direct. It's a simply story about a woman who is drawn back into the world of the living by love. But it is that simplicity that makes this drama a gem. Even without sudden amnesia, evil ex's or mothers, rich chaebols, servitude or separation, there wasn't a single part of the series that was BORING or less than interesting. There also weren't any of the typical Kdrama misunderstandins that last several episodes either. I really did enjoy the directness of the characters in Flower Boy Next Door.
  • The male characters were really in touch with their emotions and not afraid to cry. There were a lot of excellent, heartfelt tear scenes. 
  • Another drama that showcases crazy fans. This seems to be a thing in Korean dramas lately.
  • The ending episode was a really great wrap-up and left viewers with a lot of feel-good feels. I was smiling so much throughout the entire episode that my cheeks hurt.
  • I almost couldn't take how cute Dok Mi and Que Geum were together. I nearly died from cuteness overload! And Ji Rak's was freaking freaking adorable as well! It was sooo hard to choose who I wanted her with.
  • Best lines in any drama. Ever! (in episode 9): (The English major in me grins and agrees wholeheartedly.)
Doon Hoo: Ji Rak's phone 
Editor: Is the phone talking?! You should say 'This is Doon Hoon askwering Ji Rak's Phone'! Why doesn't anyone use proper grammar?!

Other related comments:

  •  I've always heard such harsh comments about Park Shin Hye's acting ability, especially in connection to Heirs. While I've yet to watch Heirs, I felt that Shin Hye's acting in this drama was pretty good. She was well-suited to the role of Dok Mi. Was she absolutely amazing? Not particularly, but certainly not horrible. I think she's definitely growing as an actress And plus, she was Go Mi Nam in You're Beautiful and Lee Gyu Won in Heartstrings--two dramas that I really enjoyed
  • I was surprised at my feelings of wanting to immediately rewatch Flower Boy Next Door. I've never rewatched a drama. While other kdrama fans rewatch their fave dramas 10, 20, even 30 times, I cannot compel myself to spend time rewatching a series that could be time spent watching a new amazing drama. With that being said, I think I have to watch Flower Boy Next Door again one day and that's certainly saying something about how much I enjoyed it.

Last words:

Go. Watch. This. Drama. Now!
Watch it over on Viki:
Or if DramaFever is more your style:

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