News / Stars on TV / Movies / Drama

Remembering 'Boys Over Flowers': The Best K-Drama Cliché

By Elsa B. | November 22, 2014 01:12 PM EST


Let's take a moment to imagine this scenario.

You're a broke high school student with four millionaire best friends. The first is a musical prodigy, the second is a mob boss's son, the third is a renowned artist, and the last is a spoiled-rotten brat set to inherit one of the country's biggest conglomerates. Yes, please!

There are so many wonderful clichés in KBS's Boys Over Flowers, the 2009 K-drama starring Goo Hye Sun, Lee Min Ho, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum and Kim Joon that became a global phenomenon.

Did it have an evil mother determined to separate the main couple? Check. Was there a childish male lead who is cold and evil in the beginning but slowly warms up to the tough and spunky female lead? Check. Did an accident lead to amnesia? Check. Were there a couple of kidnappings? Check. Was the backdrop a boarding school for the selfish offspring of Korea's most affluent families? Check. Were there beautiful trips overseas that led to "accidental" romantic scenes? Check. Orphans, orphans everywhere! Check. What's that? You have a fever? Let the female lead take care of you. Check. I need to stop here or this list will never end.

Okay, one more. Was the female heroine relentlessly bullied and then suddenly rescued by the male lead after being bombarded with balloons and having her bike set on fire? Seriously. Check! #RIPJandi'sBike

There's a reason Boys Over Flowers is my favorite Korean drama despite being a cheese-fest of overacting and ridiculous plot lines. I mean, for the love of god, Lee Min Ho's arranged-marriage fiancé had a lion as a pet! The drama recreates every amazing clichés that has ever existed but serves it with a tongue-in-cheek execution. The actors are laughing along with you at the absurdity, even if they can't show it.

The story revolves around Goo Hye Sun's character, Jan Di, a hardworking girl who earns a scholarship to the richest high school in the country, Shinhwa High School. This opportunity was given to her after she saved a student from jumping to his death from the school's roof. The suicidal student was relentlessly bullied by the Flower 4, or F4, the school's richest and most popular boys. Poor Jan Di finds herself under the powerful quartet's wrath as soon as she arrives.

The group leader is Lee Min Ho's character, Jun Pyo, a slow and childish young man whose hair is so curly you know he secretly carries a curling iron everywhere. Kim Hyun Joong's character, Ji Hoo, was the soft spoken violin player with a sad past, who is destined to not get the lead girl despite being infinitely nicer. The main cast is completed with Yi Jeong (Kim Bum) and Woo Bin (Kim Joon) - the Casanova artist, who once refused a purchase offer from the Queen of England, and gangster's son, who produces a throng of bodyguards with a snap of two fingers, are the extra spice of the crazy group.

Every other episode either Jan Di was kidnapped, a long lost lover appeared, or someone had a flashback to when they were suicidal and tried to jump off a bridge. There was never a dull moment in this drama. Either you were laughing at the hilarious antics of the characters or the totally unexpected dramatic turn the story had taken.

There's a reason this drama was such a big hit back when it aired. It's that guilty pleasure drama, like the song you don't tell your friends you like because you know that the production quality is extremely generic. But you love it, nonetheless. There's something about it that captivates you. So what's addicting about Boys Over Flowers? It's probably Jun Pyo's brazen greasiness. He makes SHINee's Jonghyun look tame.

I've re-watched Boys Over Flowers an unhealthy amount of times. Despite the unrealistic turns, the story was really about the strong bond of true friendships, the hard choice of choosing love over family, and overcoming the stereotypes branded into one's social and economic standing in society. Jan Di was poor, but she was happy. It wasn't until she got sucked into the luxurious world of Jun Pyo that she began to truly suffer. If there is one very important lesson Boys Over Flowers can teach you, it's that you can't count on money to tell you who you are. The things you buy don't define you. You have to find your own meaning and purpose because one day you might be stripped of all your recognitions and advantages.

And if that's not a good reason to watch this drama, the OST is amazing. T-Max's "Paradise" will haunt your dreams and SHINee's "Stand By Me" will become your anthem for a least a month. Oh the memories...


About the Author: Elsa is the founder, head writer, and editor of She's a coffee addict, K-pop enthusiast, fashion lover and one of the few remaining members of the Church of Kristianity.

Tagged :  boys over flowers, Lee Min Ho, Goo Hye Sun, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum, Kim Joon


07.11.18 | 12:13AM EDT

Lee Seung Gi Successfully Held His Fan Meet In Singapore

Lee Seung Gi Successfully Held His Fan Meet In Singapore

07.11.18 | 12:12AM EDT

WANNA-ONE To Return To Singapore For Second Tour

WANNA-ONE To Return To Singapore For Second Tour

See Now: BTS: 41 Fun Facts You Must Know About The Most Successful Kpop Boy Band (Bangtan Sonyeondan)

Real Time Analytics