‘Boys Over Flowers’ is must-watch for ‘Gossip Girl’ lovers

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Mikaela Rabizadeh opinion editor

After becoming available for streaming on Netflix, the hit Korean teen drama “Boys Over Flowers” has become a fan-favorite in America and is a refreshing take on the typical rags-to-riches romance. The single-season drama is a flavor-packed love story centered around a common girl, Jan-di, who winds up at the most exclusive prep school in South Korea.

“Boys Over Flowers,” which originally released in 2009, first debuted in South Korea and throughout Asia, only recently gaining recognition in the States and abroad. Despite having only one season with a total 25 episodes, the show has accumulated a die-hard fan base all over the world.

While it shares many similarities with American teen dramas, the show is entirely in Korean, making English subtitles a must for those who are not fluent. The subtitles may seem intimidating at first, especially for someone who isn’t used to watching foreign television or films, but after the first few episodes, the subtitles go unnoticed.

The plot puts a 180 degree spin on the classic high school love story, as Jan-di, played by Korean actress Ku Hye-Seon, falls into a dynamic love triangle with two members of the school’s most powerful clique.  Although the story essentially follows the clichè high school narrative, it’s accompanied by the exaggerated comedic elements of Korean television making for a entertaining watch. As opposed to western media, its dialogue is saturated with embellished reactions that set it apart from other dramas on Netflix.  Nonetheless, its balance of suspenseful scenes with ridiculous nuances can be appreciated by an American audience.

Its Cinderella-esque storyline of a poor girl who enters the elite world of old money in South Korea touches on issues surrounding social class. Under the surface, it teaches that money should not define self-worth nor can it buy love. Although it’s in a completely different language and takes place in a country on the other side of the world, its themes and character development can identify with almost any high school teen.

For anyone on the lookout for a dually suspenseful and lighthearted TV series, “Boys Over Flowers” is everything in one. Resembling a Korean equivalent to “Gossip Girl”, this watch is relatable for high school audiences.

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