Cr. - KDramaStars
It would be hard to continue our series of Classic Kdrama 101, without mentioning the mega hit "Boys Over Flowers." While there may be few drama fans that missed this wildly popular series, it is possible.
So, just in case, you skipped the drama many fans call the "gateway drama" to a kdrama addiction, here's the lowdown on why it's so popular.
The first reason for its popularity is that it's a fun Cinderella story. Because the heroine, a poor hardworking girl, saves the life of a student, she gets to attend Shinhwa High School, a school for wealthy pampered kids. The entire student body at Shinhwa High is terrified of the four princes who pretty much run the school, the members of the rich, arrogant F4 (so called for being the Flower 4).
The appealing story is based on the best-selling manga, "Hana Yori Dango" and its sequel "Hana Yori Dango Returns," written by Kamio Yoko. The comic ran from 1992 to 2003. The story so struck a chord in readers that it was animated twice, made into two movies, a novel and three drama series. One of those series was set in Japan, while another became the popular Taiwanese series "Meteor Garden" and "Meteor Garden II." But fans say the best truest adaptation of the manga is the final Korean version.
Part of the story's appeal is the quirky fearless heroine Geum Jan Di, who personifies the "Fighting!" spirit. Played by Ku Hye Sun, she has no patience for the rich arrogant F4 leader, Goo Jyun Po, played by Lee Min Ho. She's loyal to her friends, hardworking and fights any perceived injustice. She also falls in love with the sensitive tortured Ji Hoo, played by SS501 member Kim Hyun Joong.
Which brings us to the next reason for watching "Boys Over Flowers." F4 was well cast. Although audiences were already familiar with Kim Hyun Joong, it was Lee Min Ho's breakout role and he does such a good job of acting in it that you don't even think he's attractive until he starts behaving like a decent human being. The other two members of F4 are also appealing. Kim Joon plays Song Woo Bin and Kim Beom plays So Yi Jung.
Not only did the show win the 45th Baeksang Awards but Lee Min Ho won Best New TV Actor award and Kim Hyun Joong won Most Popular TV Actor Award.
The KBS series ran for 25 episodes and got quite a few fans addicted to the love triangles, and Candy girl stories that are a staple in kdramas.