Boys Over Flowers: Episode 6, Part 2

Part 2! Time to get to the second half of the episode, and no, this half of the episode doesn’t get any better from the first half as far as liking Jan Di goes. To quote the great Antoine Dodson, “You are so dumb, you are really dumb.”

“For real.”

It’s post-vacation, and Ji Hoo and Jan Di meet at their usual spot – an outside stairwell. Here’e where something good actually happens: they both apologize to each other! THANK YOU! This is when you realize that character development is real in this series! Jan Di apologizes for going to look for Ji Hoo on the beach that night. YAY! She’s admitted her error! Ji Hoo turns around and says that he is the one who should be apologizing because he was the one who kissed her, which you know is true if you’ve seen that part of the episode, since she just kind of stands there while he goes for the kiss.

Then she turns around and says “But I’m the one who hurt Jun Pyo.” They both did, honestly, but I’m so glad that they’re both admitting that they’ve done something wrong. Sometimes in a series like this you’ll get the excuse of “We just couldn’t help ourselves, we didn’t do anything wrong, why are you making such a big deal out of this?” which always leaves me with a sour disposition towards those kind of characters (and those kind of people)!

But what I’m really, really excited about in this episode is how much responsibility Ji Hoo takes for his actions and the extent to which he engages with the world around him to fix the problem! Ji Hoo “has autistic tendencies,” which they only said once a few episodes back, and they explain where he got them from in future episodes. Right now, all you need to know is that Ji Hoo usually prefers to stay out of things and let life pass by him while he sleeps and looks pretty in white. But this incident, he’s stepping up and taking control of the situation that he admits he caused. And so I start to like and respect him, which is a HUGE improvement on my half, since I’m usually an All-Jun-Pyo-All-The-Time kind of girl.

Also, we see more evidence that Jan Di actually, you know, cares for Jun Pyo, since she and Ji Hoo draw a caricature of Jun Pyo in chalk in the stairwell, and while it’s funny at first, she has to fight back tears because she’s more upset than she’s letting on. Oh, don’t worry, this sympathy I have going for Jan Di doesn’t last long. Just wait.

Meanwhile, Jun Pyo decides to throw gasoline on the fire and announces to the entire school that Ji Hoo is no longer a part of F4, and that he’ll expel Jan Di and Ji Hoo from Shinhwa High by the end of the week. Woo Bin and Yi Jung are taken aback by the news, since Jun Pyo didn’t bother to consult them, and neither of them are really okay with this form of punishment. At the same time, they admit that Ji Hoo (and Jan Di) did wrong, but Jun Pyo isn’t making anything better.

Now, here’s something that will really surprise you: the plastics say something useful! I know, shocking, right? But seriously, I hate the plastics (the fake-y overly popular and vicious group of 3 high school girls, who’s leader is a girl named Ginger), but they really do say something that everyone is thinking at this point: they marvel (disgustedly) at the fact that Jan Di is so fickle and can’t pick and stay loyal! They’re mad at her for being disloyal to her boyfriend Jun Pyo, and mad that she dragged Ji Hoo into the situation. They look at her like panthers about to jump on their prey and ask who will take responsibility for her actions?

Then Ji Hoo comes up behind them and says “I will.” I’m starting to love him. He goes one step further and says that he’ll figure out a way out of this situation, because “now I have a reason not to sit back and concede quietly.” Okay, now I’m really starting to love him, and hate Jan Di more. Basically, Ji Hoo just told her that she’s his reason for engaging with life more actively. SHE is the one who has pulled him out of his slightly autistic state (which is normally Seo Hyun‘s job), and on top of all that, he’s also trying to tell her that he likes her. But she’s dumb, because she assumes that he’s talking about wanting to stay with the F4.

Get ready for some Yi Jung! Ji Hoo and Yi Jung start talking, and Yi Jung reveals that he’s really angry about the fact that Ji Hoo consciously and willfully kissed Jan Di, knowing that Jun Pyo liked her, and he actually says to Ji Hoo that he “can’t tolerate you messing with a friend’s girl.” YI JUNG!!!!!!! Yi Jung is the group’s playboy, always going out with several girls at the same time (often on the same date), and more of his backstory will be revealed later, but on the whole he tends to be really open about his playboy-ness so the girls he messes with know he’s like that and he’s never seriously attached, unlike this situation. So he’s pissed. Ji Hoo says that he’s trying to think of something to stop getting Jan Di kicked out of school (not mentioning himself, by the way, it’s all about her) and Yi Jung says that no one’s going to help Ji Hoo out this time. 😦 That part makes me kind of sad, but everyone’s mad at everyone, so it makes sense, and Ji Hoo proves his worth and really works to set things right, which I love.

Woo Bin goes to try and talk sense into Jun Pyo, which is a smart move: send the mafia-affiliated kid to handle the tough jobs! I love Woo Bin. You will too, just wait. 🙂 So he goes to Jun Pyo to try and make him stop all this “expelling” nonsense, and Jun Pyo *sigh* my wonderful man, says that he’s doing all this to Ji Hoo because Ji Hoo used Jan Di: “That jerk didn’t do that because he really likes Jan-di. He was just using her because of Seo-hyun. That’s more unforgivable.” DO YOU SEE HOW IT’S ALL ABOUT HER!? Both Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo are going to try and get their way because they both want to ‘avenge’ Jan Di in some way! Woo Bin is forced to back off of Jun Pyo, so the situation is starting to hit its critical point.

Aaaaaaaand scene. Yep! That’s the end of this episode! Which still kind of makes me mad, because there are still a lot more incidents in the next episode that essentially involve Jan Di continuously swaying between Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo. So I’ll give a little preview: Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo do a couple of “face-offs” (I’m not going to tell you how or why) and Ji Hoo wins one of them. Ga Eul is all excited, then looks to Jan Di and see her being…..meh. That’s the best adjective I can think of for it, her reaction is just “meh.” Ga Eul looks confused and asks Jan Di, “Isn’t this what we wanted to happen?”

And Jan Di continues to be “meh” in response. DO NOT LIKE. But I’ll go ahead and relinquish my dictator-like grip on BOF to CeeFu, who will do the next episode more justice than I would. So, look forward to the posts for Episode 7!

Boys Over Flowers: Episode 1

Originally published on High Yellow February 4, 2011, Written by CeeFu

You know, some things never get old. Like pimptastic, overindulged Korean privileged boys entering their high school backlight with a halo of light, as they stroll in in suits and ascots.  Oh, yeah, I guess I should say something about Jan Di first.

Yes, she’s plucky (kinda), I know as the audience we are supposed to side with her and her “positive” attitude.  But her habit of being ambivalent isn’t attractive.  F4 treats her badly, like they treat everyone badly in the beginning, but somehow that doesn’t make me like  her more. She’s all for the underdog, but do you see the way she screams at her parents? You know THAT ain’t going down in the average Korean household.

One thing I forgot is that Jan Di also declares war on F4, this is after she finds out they are affluent, and before the real abuse from Jun Pyo really starts. She’s no innocent. And I also forgot how the rest of F4 laughs at Jun Pyo. I think they know he’s got issues, and secretly want Jan Di to beat him down. I also remember thinking, “Jan Di is too trusting of people she shouldn’t trust, and can’t bring herself to trust the people she should.” She calls herself a loner, and so this must explain her utter inability to deal with people in a sane way.  Oops, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Nolan Nabi, what you got?

Boys Over Flowers: Episode 4

Originally published on High Yellow on March 20, 2011, Written by Nabi

I have so much love for this episode! It’s packed full of treats and SO much happens. A lot happens in every episode, but I guess that’s what you get when you have episodes that are over an hour long.

Let’s talk about Frick and Frack first: THEY ARE SO THUGLIFE. I love that they ‘tried’ to protect Jan Di (via her friend, who I also loved because she didn’t fall for Frick’s overwhelmingly cute smile!) and then they went about trying to find who was reallyresponsible for the scandal pictures! I know that this was more for Jun Pyo’s sake, but still. At first I was confused as to why Frick was suddenly playing the saxophone and Frack was dancing with the ladies, but then when the scene flashed to a back alley where the club owner (?) was getting beat up, it all made sense – why dirty their hands punching him themselves? They’ll provide the distraction while their minions take care of the dirty work. This was a really great episode for them because they got some more face time!

SS501…I completely forgot that they were supposed to make a cameo in this series, and I’m so glad it was THIS episode! Of course it’d be Baby Joon who would point to Jan Di out of the crowd. I’m kind of sad that Jung Min couldn’t be a part of it (what was he doing at this time? I know it was something…) but I’m glad our other three boys were able to showcase ‘UR Man’ and look so darn good while doing it!

Jun Pyo: I love him. Is there really anything else I need to say about him? Well, yes, because I love talking about him. I felt SO BAD for him when he waited the entire time out in the cold for her, and I really felt sad for him when he came to school, looking great with straight hair (although the man may be the only Korean idol I’ve seen so far who can pull of really curly hair) and a nice school uniform, all dolled up for her, and then he sees the photos and jumps to conclusions – who wouldn’t? – and is just so angry and insulted. Can we also talk about how he went Edo Japan on us with the random demonstration of swordpractice? I’m thinking this episode may have been trying to appeal to a lot of different people: the Green Peas (for SS501), girls who love Edo period anything, and those who want the more musical side to come through (for Frick and Frack). He ended up throwing stuff again. Which I loved. Is that bad? He also looked. so. fine. Just about everything looked amazing on him. Oh no…am I turning into one of the F4′s fangirls?! But I don’t want to wear super short skirts and white knee highs and high heels!!!!

Jun Pyo: there were also a few moments that I did NOT love about him this episode. Mostly one recurring one – why do you always have to grab for the girls’ throats when you want to talk to them? ‘Cornering’ Jan Di against a car is one thing, at least that’ssexy, but grabbing at her tie to make her tell you the truth? Throwing her Fake Friend to the ground after grabbing HER throat? Do not like. This second part I don’t like mostly because he did have a lot of reasons to be upset with her, and he’s not one to hold himself back, but I think it could have hurt her a lot more if he had just straight up ignored her.

Fake Friend: I will say that at least in the TV series she made more sense. In the manga, she’s almost bipolar – at school she’s ridiculously sweet and ‘naive’ (like a unicorn threw up a rainbow kind of sweet), but at the club, which by the way is supposed to be one of those ‘practically a stripper club but anyone can come on stage and shake their stuff’ kind of clubs, she’s overly sexualizing herself while being a complete flirt to the guys and a venomous snake to the girls. At least in the series they toned that down a little bit, and I think future episodes should reveal more things about her. I did believe her when she was asking Jun Pyo “Why is Jan Di okay but not me?”, but we’ll get to that in later episodes.

I tend to like those self-searching questions, ‘Am I really that loathsome?’ and ‘Why is she okay but not me?’ mostly because they are such honest and realistic questions. It’s as if I’ve stumbled onto some recorded diary entry of these characters, and these questions make them suddenly very human. I mean, these are questions that any person who has had a crush can relate to, but they were said so realistically (yep! I’m claiming that they were NOT melodramatic, which is usually the case for TV shows) that for a second I almost feel like they’re real people, too. You know, not just amazingly attractive models who are acting these specific roles in a staged television series.

Jan Di: Believe it or not, although most of the time I really, REALLY do not like her, in this episode she redeemed herself (to me) because of her interactions with, you guessed it, Jun Pyo. They actually have a real tete-a-tete going on in this episode! I love that she took care of him while he was sick and they were stranded in the cable car (?), maybe this time their interactions are more significant though because she wasn’t drunk and could actually call him ‘stupid’ or ‘punk’ back!

Fun Observation (although there’s a lot more in this episode to unpack, I need to leave something for my unni to write about!): Just how did they set the bicycle on fire sofast?!