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[Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2018] Meteor Garden 流星花園

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A couple of things don't make sense to me.. 


 

Spoiler

 

1. If they're upper middle-class/upper class/super rich, why would F4 need or be awarded scholarships? (Judging from what Amber Kuo's character said in Ep 1)  

2. Shan Cai was reckless.. not checking who wore the green leather shoes before grabbing Babitt/Babite.. That's just reckless.

 

Li Zhen and Shan Cai took the selfie on the stairs and Li Zhen had her back against the steps? Seriously? While holding a cake? And couldn't Shan Cai have packed the cake in a box or stg? I cannot believe how senseless and idiotic they're making the characters.. MG2001 was at least more realistic in this scene..

 

And how can she blame the sexual harassment by strangers on Daoming Si? Sure, Daoming Si was wrong to call her out on a fruitless run and mock her family biz but sexual harassment can happen at anytime and any place. It happens everywhere. 

 

Why did they make Shan Cai sooo... lacking in common sense in this version?

 

 

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2 hours ago, zoeraindasher said:

A couple of things don't make sense to me.. 


 

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1. If they're upper middle-class/upper class/super rich, why would F4 need or be awarded scholarships? (Judging from what Amber Kuo's character said in Ep 1)  

2. Shan Cai was reckless.. not checking who wore the green leather shoes before grabbing Babitt/Babite.. That's just reckless.

 

Li Zhen and Shan Cai took the selfie on the stairs and Li Zhen had her back against the steps? Seriously? While holding a cake? And couldn't Shan Cai have packed the cake in a box or stg? I cannot believe how senseless and idiotic they're making the characters.. MG2001 was at least more realistic in this scene..

 

And how can she blame the sexual harassment by strangers on Daoming Si? Sure, Daoming Si was wrong to call her out on a fruitless run and mock her family biz but sexual harassment can happen at anytime and any place. It happens everywhere. 

 

Why did they make Shan Cai sooo... lacking in common sense in this version?

 

 

 

LOL! This was all I was thinking about when I was watching the episodes. I really think we're supposed to suspend our disbelief when it comes to this version - they removed so much of the bullying  as well so I guess they had to concoct these awkward/weird situations in order to circumvent what the bullying did for the original version. :huh:

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1 hour ago, silfeeah said:

 

LOL! This was all I was thinking about when I was watching the episodes. I really think we're supposed to suspend our disbelief when it comes to this version - they removed so much of the bullying  as well so I guess they had to concoct these awkward/weird situations in order to circumvent what the bullying did for the original version. :huh:

I'm starting to think that these changes were made to accommodate SARFT's rules: 

https://qz.com/630159/chinas-new-television-rules-ban-homosexuality-drinking-and-vengeance/

 

I think the bullying was really, really toned down in this version. Everything is so mild. Even the cyberbullying is mild. It's just a few comments here and there. 

 

 

Daoming Si's sense of entitlement can at least be attributed to his wealthy background and upbringing.. I think the rest of F4 is rich too.

If they'd already planned to go to Hawaii (only watched the first 3 eps so far), then they def have at least 50,000 Chinese Yuan/7,500 USD lying around. Other clues like the fact that Tengtang Jing is living in Paris... and that they've all hung out in the same social circles since young being best friends and all.

Again, any Chinese citizen who can afford at least 1 annual vacation in US and other countries.. is not middle-class. 

 

Shan Cai is believably middle-class and Qing He is still a 暴发户的儿子  as in his family's all new money. he's funny but I miss the old Qing He... aaaah old Qing He acted way more like someone who'd just become a millionaire overnight.

 

And Shan Cai's parents' reactions to Daoming Si ... =/ not as funny as in the 2001 version. 

 

 

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In every version I watched, I never really understood why Jing being a lawyer in developing and underdeveloped countries is an obstacle to a romantic relationship with Lei. And rejecting your inheritance of Tengtang Corp doesn't mean you have to reject a relationship with Lei. C'mon, Jing. It's the 21st century. 

 

Separating yourself from your family corp doesn't mean cutting ties with your friends and potential lover. aargh.. maybe she's being a noble idiot.

Sure, long distance relationships are tough but that doesn't mean you can't date... Hello.. even in those pre-Internet days, people wrote love letters...

If two people are really in love, they'll do whatever it takes to make it work.. 

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Is anyone watching this drama on Netflix? Is the drama dubbed or are the actors using their real voices in the Netflix version? I heard a rumor that the streaming version was not dubbed, so I'm wondering if that is true.

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3 hours ago, Table122000 said:

Is anyone watching this drama on Netflix? Is the drama dubbed or are the actors using their real voices in the Netflix version? I heard a rumor that the streaming version was not dubbed, so I'm wondering if that is true.

I'm watching on Netflix. I think the voices are dubbed since it is from China? I can be wrong. Yeah this version, the bullying is tone down, which it's okay with a little change. So far, I like it. I think their acting are good, considering this is the first acting gig for maybe all of them. They are so young!!! Those that read the book, is this version following the book, considering the 48 episodes?? In the Tawainese version, DMS disnt lost his memory, but in the book he did, so maybe he might in this one?

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I'll have to say that the actor who played Lei looks a bit like Vic Zhao. Also, he portrays Lei quite well too. DMZ in this newer version isn't as annoying or cocky as played by Jerry Yan. But, I'm only on ep 4 so my opinion may change later. Hmmm I didnt recalled Shang Cai having a guy best friend in the Tawain version?? I wish more people would comment and watch this too lol.

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2 hours ago, rosierosie said:

I'll have to say that the actor who played Lei looks a bit like Vic Zhao. Also, he portrays Lei quite well too. DMZ in this newer version isn't as annoying or cocky as played by Jerry Yan. But, I'm only on ep 4 so my opinion may change later. Hmmm I didnt recalled Shang Cai having a guy best friend in the Tawain version?? I wish more people would comment and watch this too lol.

 

Qing He existed in the Taiwanese version.

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Qing_He3.jpg

 

 

Gotta say I have to disagree with your comments. Shen Yue and Dylan are ok.. Okay, well.. Shen Yue has that "deer caught in headlights" look which kinda betrays a lack of nuance, but I'll cut her some slack since she is quite expressive in some scenes..

Wu Xize (Ximen) is okay .. 

The weaker ones are Guan Hong (Huaze Lei) and Connor Leong (Mei Zuo).. In many scenes, Guan Hong is a little wooden.. His body language, movements.. everything.. I mean, he's serviceable but not on the same level as Vic and mind you, Meteor Garden was Vic's debut project as well. He'd never acted before that. Guan Hong's not like Vic Chou or Oguri Shun who just exuded sorrow and melancholy. I remember those days when I'd cry just because Huaze Lei was looking out the window. Even the way Vic walked was so Huaze Lei.. Guan Hong's Lei/Rui is.. not as bad as Kim Hyun Joong's but certainly not as good as Vic Chou or Oguri Shun's.

 

Sun Yihan (Tengtang Jing) who has acted in four films is also a little disappointing. Again, she's serviceable. I don't really feel the age gap between Lei and Jing. She doesn't have that same sophistication of someone who's a few years older than F4. In real ife, Guan Hong is 23 and Sun Yihan is 20. 

 

The chemistry between F4 is also not as natural as in the Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean versions...Watching Meteor Garden 2001, I feel like F4 had known each other for years and years.. Like they'd actually grown up together. And of course, the chemistry got even better in the 2002 sequel. 

 

 Of course, I'm not even taking into account the unofficial Chinese and American adaptations of HYD. 

 

 

 

I checked out their profiles on Baike.. and most of them do have at least a few acting credits.. supporting roles..  

 

Shen Yue is def the most prolific one of them all.

 

But I really like Dong Xin (the girl who plays Li Zhen).. she really conveys that "I'm a victim" mentality that Li Zhen has. Apparently, this is her first role.

 

________________________

 

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1 hour ago, rosierosie said:

I'll have to say that the actor who played Lei looks a bit like Vic Zhao. Also, he portrays Lei quite well too. DMZ in this newer version isn't as annoying or cocky as played by Jerry Yan. But, I'm only on ep 4 so my opinion may change later. Hmmm I didnt recalled Shang Cai having a guy best friend in the Tawain version?? I wish more people would comment and watch this too lol.

 

I think you and I really have different tastes and standards. Jerry Yan's portrayal of Daoming Si is one of my favourites. I loved how cocky and arrogant he was.. To you, that may be annoying. But Jerry's Daoming Si had such a sense of entitlement.. he was so cocky and arrogant but such a child at heart. He was someone who lorded his wealth and power over others because he had no idea how else to keep others near him. And you could tell he was really lonely.. BTW, in real life, Jerry Yan's childhood is nothing like Daoming Si... Jerry grew up pretty poor.. His dad died young and his mom, a seamstress raised him and his sis alone. He worked jobs throughout high school to support the family too. When I think of how different his background was from Daoming Si and how different his real-life personality is from Daoming Si's, I just have so much respect for his acting. Lee Min Ho and Matsumoto Jun did well with this too. 

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2 hours ago, rosierosie said:

I'm watching on Netflix. I think the voices are dubbed since it is from China? I can be wrong. Yeah this version, the bullying is tone down, which it's okay with a little change. So far, I like it. I think their acting are good, considering this is the first acting gig for maybe all of them. They are so young!!! Those that read the book, is this version following the book, considering the 48 episodes?? In the Tawainese version, DMS disnt lost his memory, but in the book he did, so maybe he might in this one?

 

According to Angie Chai...they're following the manga but honestly.. due to SARFT's guidelines, so many changes have already been made.. Did you watch the 2002 sequel to Meteor Garden? Because Angie Chai adapted the memory loss part of the manga into a whole sequel.. but she made Ye Sha a lot nicer than the fake gf in the manga. Part of Hana Yori Dango's magic is this love story between 2 people from vastly different socio-economic backgrounds and different lifestyles bridging this super wide gap and making it work despite all obstacles. Hana Yori Dango's a commentary on socio-economic inequality and the effects on people's lives.. With the focus on the bullying.. the power.. and the money pretty much reduced or moderated, the message just isn't the same. 

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@zoeraindasher lol I agreed we have diff taste and we see things diff. The Tawainese first version was one of my favorite F4, but I gotta say I like the Japanese much more because of how all the leads portray their characters, and the way the story developed in that version. I didn't watch the Korean or the 2002 versions. This new one is okay so far. I agreed the acting could always be better. I really like the point you make on the characteristic of DMZ and Lei. Keep your reviews coming, I enjoyed reading them. 

And omg Qing He!! He was so young and diff. Def the style and tallness makes him look diff now. 

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As someone who has no attachment to HYD and has only watched a few episodes of BOF and Meteor Garden, here's my take on things. I think the drama has been watchable but feel the pacing has been kind of rushed so far.

 

As for the characters, based on their characterizations I feel like the actors portraying DMS and HZL are doing fine so far. WHD is doing fine with the whole cocky and arrogant vibe, HZL with the withdrawn but considerate vibe. I actually like Sun Yi Han's in her brief scenes so far and in my opinion she does give off a more elegant and mature vibe especially when contrasted with F4. I don't fault the character for wanting to pursue her own dreams either, she clearly states that she doesn't value or prioritize love at this point in her life. That doesn't mean she doesn't care for HZL but would rather concentrate on her goals and dreams. LDR is an option but some people prefer their significant other being close by, to be physically intimate and so on. Maybe she knows she's going to be preoccupied with pursuing her career so she knows they won't have much time together or she doesn't want him waiting around. Some people date with the intention of marrying so if she doesn't plan to anytime soon maybe she thinks dating is a waste. Ultimately, I appreciated that he didn't try to force her to stay but it was his own choice to follow her. As for the other characters, it's still pretty early in this drama, they're still settling in their roles and need more material to work with before I can comment on their acting.

 

As for the commentary on the gap between DMS and SC socially/economically, I don't think it's necessary to include extreme levels of bullying in its different forms just to show this gap. The differences in the sizes of their houses, the fact that he could to Hawaii for vacation on a whim and pay for her ticket as well, his yacht vs his fishing boat and so on are enough for me to get a clear view that they're from "different sides of the tracks". I would rather not have to see a character get put through the ringer, dumped on and suffer just to illustrate those differences especially if it's already been done. 

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26 minutes ago, rosierosie said:

@zoeraindasher lol I agreed we have diff taste and we see things diff. The Tawainese first version was one of my favorite F4, but I gotta say I like the Japanese much more because of how all the leads portray their characters, and the way the story developed in that version. I didn't watch the Korean or the 2002 versions. This new one is okay so far. I agreed the acting could always be better. I really like the point you make on the characteristic of DMZ and Lei. Keep your reviews coming, I enjoyed reading them. 

And omg Qing He!! He was so young and diff. Def the style and tallness makes him look diff now. 

Ikr! This conversation is making me want to binge-watch the Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean versions all at once.. And the anime too.. And re-read the manga as well..

 

I'm still interested in the current version .. maybe I'm just way too attached to the manga and anime's original story to accept these changes. Who knows how we would have reacted if this new version with Shen Yue and Dylan Wang is the first adaptation of Hana Yori Dango we ever saw or if the manga had never existed at all?

 

Yea Qing He! Hahaah... so adorkable.  

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1 hour ago, jayells said:

I don't fault the character for wanting to pursue her own dreams either, she clearly states that she doesn't value or prioritize love at this point in her life. That doesn't mean she doesn't care for HZL but would rather concentrate on her goals and dreams. LDR is an option but some people prefer their significant other being close by, to be physically intimate and so on. Maybe she knows she's going to be preoccupied with pursuing her career so she knows they won't have much time together or she doesn't want him waiting around. Some people date with the intention of marrying so if she doesn't plan to anytime soon maybe she thinks dating is a waste. Ultimately, I appreciated that he didn't try to force her to stay but it was his own choice to follow her. As for the other characters, it's still pretty early in this drama, they're still settling in their roles and need more material to work with before I can comment on their acting.

 

As for the commentary on the gap between DMS and SC socially/economically, I don't think it's necessary to include extreme levels of bullying in its different forms just to show this gap. The differences in the sizes of their houses, the fact that he could to Hawaii for vacation on a whim and pay for her ticket as well, his yacht vs his fishing boat and so on are enough for me to get a clear view that they're from "different sides of the tracks". I would rather not have to see a character get put through the ringer, dumped on and suffer just to illustrate those differences especially if it's already been done. 

 

Thanks for the new perspective on Jing's choice. I guess that makes a lot of sense.. since some people need to be in the same city with their significant others especially if they have marriage on the mind.

 

Bullying in the original story has multiple purposes. 

1. Daoming Si, having grown up in a pretty empty home with no one but his big sis and his servants for company, would always act out by getting into fights.. 

2. It's also an example of how Daoming Si abuses his influence and power.. 

3. It sets the stage for Shancai's challenge (in this version, Shancai's challenge feels all out of proportion to Daoming Si's actions..) In the original story, Daoming Si set the whole school against her.. so it was really a Shancai against the World kinda environment.. with everyone trying to curry favour with Daoming Si. So when Shancai finally stood up to Daoming Si and challenged him, I felt like, "Yay, she's standing up for herself and all the underdogs Daoming Si bullied before!" 

The bridge card game becomes more of a joke.. whereas the red card in the original story had an entirely different significance. 

4. It also shows how different Shancai and Daoming Si's lifestyles and priorities are..Whereas Daoming Si abuses his popularity and power to bully people he doesn't like, Shancai uses her popularity with her school friends to stand up for others and call out what's wrong and unjust. But Shancai and Daoming Si are more similar than they realise.. 

5. Daoming Si abusing his influence and power is learned behaviour. He saw how his mom abused her influence.. and picked up on it.

6. It's also, in my opinion, a way of foreshadowing the ways Daoming Feng will abuse her influence to change the lives of Shancai's family and friends. 

 

 

 

So yes, to me, the bullying is necessary for the storyline and when so much of the story has been altered due to censorship and China's gov policy.. I really question whether it's worth adapting the story at all. Isn't it ironic that China has to restrict free speech and expression in order to curtail the focus on inequality and its aftermath? Isn't that just another form of bullying.. on a federal level? I'd really like to know what sort of adaptation Angie Chai would have made if China does not restrict freedom of expression. I wonder what Yoko Kamio thinks of this adaptation.

 

Of course, I could really do without some things like the sexual assault..Bullying exists through the ages.. It's a societal problem. Just because we ignore it doesn't mean it gets resolved by itself. I don't feel that Hana Yori Dango romanticises bullying. I think it actually shines light on how problematic this behaviour is. I'd rather not brush it under the rug if we can call it out and address it properly. 

 

Hana Yori Dango isn't a perfect story. It's problematic in some ways (romanticising violence but heck so does every Hollywood blockbuster and many tv shows) but it does call society out on its worship, pursuit, and abuse of wealth and power. 

 

Despite the changes made, I hear netizens in China are still criticizing the amount of violence .. worship of wealth etc. They're still criticising with everything so.. toned down and mild.. and diluted, why even bother adapting it again? 

 

 

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oops double post. anyway I realised after reading lots of comments on various blogs and platforms.. it's not just me.. the more attached you are to the story, the more disappointed you'll be with this version

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I signed up an account just to comment on this thread ^^;

I agree with zoeraindasher, I watched 1st episode and already not liking it. The storyline is too exaggerated that it's almost comical and the actors are too ...childish? Dunno how to say.

 

I watched the Japanese version and while I don't really like that one it's still ok. This one I can't even finish episode 1.... :(

 

I can't feel the 'soul' of the characters in this one, unlike the Taiwanese version where I instantly got hooked up and I binge-watched it.

 

To me this is more like an effort by mainland China to prove they can make a good version of Meteor Garden. The TV series Meteor Shower that they made in 2009 received lots of bad reviews - I didn't watch it because I can't be bothered, the poster puts me off. In saying that, I can't see them redeeming themselves with this new 2018 version :(

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9 hours ago, zoeraindasher said:

 

Thanks for the new perspective on Jing's choice. I guess that makes a lot of sense.. since some people need to be in the same city with their significant others especially if they have marriage on the mind.

 

Bullying in the original story has multiple purposes. 

1. Daoming Si, having grown up in a pretty empty home with no one but his big sis and his servants for company, would always act out by getting into fights.. 

2. It's also an example of how Daoming Si abuses his influence and power.. 

3. It sets the stage for Shancai's challenge (in this version, Shancai's challenge feels all out of proportion to Daoming Si's actions..) In the original story, Daoming Si set the whole school against her.. so it was really a Shancai against the World kinda environment.. with everyone trying to curry favour with Daoming Si. So when Shancai finally stood up to Daoming Si and challenged him, I felt like, "Yay, she's standing up for herself and all the underdogs Daoming Si bullied before!" 

The bridge card game becomes more of a joke.. whereas the red card in the original story had an entirely different significance. 

4. It also shows how different Shancai and Daoming Si's lifestyles and priorities are..Whereas Daoming Si abuses his popularity and power to bully people he doesn't like, Shancai uses her popularity with her school friends to stand up for others and call out what's wrong and unjust. But Shancai and Daoming Si are more similar than they realise.. 

5. Daoming Si abusing his influence and power is learned behaviour. He saw how his mom abused her influence.. and picked up on it.

6. It's also, in my opinion, a way of foreshadowing the ways Daoming Feng will abuse her influence to change the lives of Shancai's family and friends. 

 

 

 

So yes, to me, the bullying is necessary for the storyline and when so much of the story has been altered due to censorship and China's gov policy.. I really question whether it's worth adapting the story at all. Isn't it ironic that China has to restrict free speech and expression in order to curtail the focus on inequality and its aftermath? Isn't that just another form of bullying.. on a federal level? I'd really like to know what sort of adaptation Angie Chai would have made if China does not restrict freedom of expression. I wonder what Yoko Kamio thinks of this adaptation.

 

Of course, I could really do without some things like the sexual assault..Bullying exists through the ages.. It's a societal problem. Just because we ignore it doesn't mean it gets resolved by itself. I don't feel that Hana Yori Dango romanticises bullying. I think it actually shines light on how problematic this behaviour is. I'd rather not brush it under the rug if we can call it out and address it properly. 

 

Hana Yori Dango isn't a perfect story. It's problematic in some ways (romanticising violence but heck so does every Hollywood blockbuster and many tv shows) but it does call society out on its worship, pursuit, and abuse of wealth and power. 

 

Despite the changes made, I hear netizens in China are still criticizing the amount of violence .. worship of wealth etc. They're still criticising with everything so.. toned down and mild.. and diluted, why even bother adapting it again? 

 

 

 

Thanks for providing more context since i',m not familiar with the original. Maybe it helps that I haven't seen the previous versions or read the manga so I have nothing to compare to but either way I prefer to watch this with an open mind.

 

I find it more interesting to view how the Chinese version has been adapted with what they believe will be more suitable for Chinese audience taste. Some people may find this version neutered and that's fair if they like the source material but this version feels distinct and specific to China because of the regulations they've had to follow in order to make this more of a reflection of the society in China today.

 

It's still early but i've already gotten a sense of DMS' entitlement and abuse of power and how he prioritizes messing with other people just for the fun of it. He's been shown trying to come up with multiple scenarios and pranks to get back at SC and each time the other members of F4 haven't participated and found his attempts immature and pointless. Showing him isolated in his big empty house with only a servant to boss around already shows me how lonely he is and why he's trying to get attention. That incident at Jing's birthday, with the businessman trying to get his mom to join forces also shows me how he could've picked it up from his mom. He seemed to take joy in the fact that a lot of people want to see his mom but can't and instead are going through him, feeding his ego.

 

I think the bullying still exists in some forms its just been toned down. I understand that the extreme forms of bullying are inherent in the source material. And I agree that showing it doesn't mean you're condoning or trying to normalize it especially if you're trying to call it out. But that doesn't mean I want to sit through and watch it either. The little bits of bullying here are already enough at least for me.

 

Why bother making any piece of work if you're afraid of people criticizing it? I at least applaud them for trying to put their own spin on it and adapt it for the current times. A lot of the negative reaction from Chinese viewers is an overreaction to me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but from my observations they tend to react negatively and strongly to any slight changes to the source material. I think a lot of people have rose tinted glasses on when it comes to the previous versions. Meteor Garden was that first big drama for a lot of people and I tried watching it earlier this year in preparation for this drama and it was tough for me to sit through. I think for some Chinese viewers if they just watched the other versions they could just see it as escapist entertainment but when it's adapted to reflect their own society, it might be hitting a bit too close to home. it's obvious that materialism is an issue in China but I don't think what has been shown so far is promoting or condoning it.

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