Alright, truth be told I don’t know why I’m even writing about the second episode in the first place. I just watched it, and I seem to have some free time on my hands (not).
Anyhow, I found episode 2 to be pretty all right, even by my high, high standards. To justify that, I can actually remember the names of the two main characters – Jandi and Junpyo. Yaaaaay. Now to learn Rui’s name, and also the names of the remaining two F4 guys. Lol. And I did some background research on the cast, and turns out I was right in guessing that the actor playing Rui was a boyband member. SS501 in fact. The actor who plays Akira is also from a boyband, although that band seems less popular than SS501 (seeing that even I don’t know who they are heh).
I am appreciating the fact that Soujiro and Akira in this Korean version look a whole lot better compared to the ones in the Taiwan and Japanese version. Makes it a lot easier on my eyes to focus on F4 as a whole. And Junpyo can be quite good looking too, when he isn’t retarded. Haha he showed more of the Domyoji silliness in Episode 2, which made him a lot more lovable than he was in the first episode. He wasn’t all that annoying in the first episode, to be fair.
A point that I noticed over the two episodes was the appalling use of English in the series. I know that they’re supposed to be of the upper class and everything, but that doesn’t mean that they have to spew out English, especially when they are not that good at it. Really. Akira’s frequent exclaimations of “yo yo yo!” and “what’s up!” was hilarious, although I’m sure it wasn’t intended to be. The bitchy trio of Ginger, Sunny and Miranda, whose existence is merely to worship the ground that F4 walk on and make life miserable for Jandi, are also guilty of bad English. One of them keeps going “Oh my god” in the most annoying tone possible, with a tinge of Southern thrown in too. *rolls over in laughter* Jandi herself isn’t much better off, although she does have the excuse of not born privileged (but I’m sure she’s had had sufficient English education). She pronounces F4 in an odd way which sounds like eh-pu-pore. In fact, the rest of the cast can’t pronounce F4 well either, but Jandi’s take on it was outstandingly weird. Heh. But I figured that it’s because the Korean language doesn’t really have the right phonetics to pronounce F, so words like ‘fighting’ comes out weird too. It’s like how the Japanese can’t really pronounce their Ls in the middle of a word.
Another noteworthy issue is Shizuka, who has made her appearance in Episode 2. She definitely reminds me of the Shizuka in the Japanese version, because she looks a lot like a manufactured (read: plastic) beauty. I don’t understand why the Japanese and Koreans would see these Shizukas as great beauties worthy of worship. The image of Shizuka is a near-perfect woman with great intelligence and beauty to boot. And also, she is a model. If their point was to contrast the ordinary girl (Jandi) against an almost-perfect woman (Shizuka), then their difference in status and lifestyle would be more than enough to show it. However, the fact that the casting directors for both versions of the show failed to find a woman with more wholesome, natural beauty was kind of puzzling. I wouldn’t say that Qian Wei Shan (who was Shizuka in Meteor Garden) was the perfect choice, but at least she didn’t look like a poster girl for a plastic surgery practice.
I heard that the drama will be 24 episodes long, so that’s about twice the length of the first Japanese Hana Yori Dango series already. I do hope that they’ll be able to stay true to the spirit of the manga while also maintaining a steady pace of the plot, without making us feel dreary. I felt that the Taiwan version was a bit draggy; I prefered the Japanese version more because it was more concise and to-the-point (like how most jdoramas are). As far as it’s going now, I kind of like the pace that Boys Over Flowers is moving, so we’ll just wait and see how it goes.