F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers
For fans of South Korean drama Boys Over Flowers (Netflix, Viki, Tubi, Hulu) or the Chinese (or Taiwanese) Meteor Garden (Netflix) or indeed the original, Japanese Hana Yori Dango, there’s now a new version of the classic story coming to streaming channels straight from Thailand.
If you’ve watched Meteor Garden 2018 (Netflix – see mini-review here) early indications show F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers to have a similarly modern vibe attached to the classic manga story. To get closer to the source material, you can catch the anime version of Japanese Hana Yori Dango (translation: Boys Over Flowers) on Crunchyroll.
The story of F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers, centres around a school for the elite reigned by four guys with an overabundance of privilege, money and good looks. So much so that they’re both feared and revered by those around them.
A girl who isn’t from within upsets their applecart, clueless about the rules and not interested in knowing them. She’s just there to go to school. Until she clashes with the leader of F4 which begins a series of battles that eventually shows glimmers of romance.
Directed by Patha Thongpan for Thailand’s GMMTV, he’s noted an interest in honouring the classic storyline, adding a ‘now’ freshness and displaying a unique Thai aesthetic that meets the original.
What does that mean for us? Thai drama is known for its way-over-the-top ‘da-da-da!’ portrayal of stories but has more recently, particularly at GMM, gotten closer to a familiar highly dramatized reality in contemporary series like The Gifted or Kiss the Series. It’s delivered in a more believable, less day-time-TV fashion that’s way more watchable than some of the old-skool offerings.
F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers Cast
If you watch Thai TV, you may have spotted the same faces cropping up regularly on the same channel. Many actors are signed directly to a station with long-lasting contracts. Notably, GMM, which has a dedicated BL (Boys Love) drama following, has previously paired two of the F4 leads in BL series 2gether. So, it will be interesting to see how they fare in a drama where chemistry is crucial to live up to the brand.
Vachirawit ‘Bright’ Chivaaree plays lead character Thyme (Tsukasa Domyoji/Joon Pyo/Dao Ming Si). His counterpart in 2gether, Metawin ‘Win’ Opas-iamkajorn is the playboy Kavin (Sojiro Nishikado/Yi-jung/Ximen). Is it a miss that they’re not after the same girl?
It’s actually newcomer Jirawat ‘Dew’ Sutivanichsak, who plays Ren (Rui Hanazawa/Ji-hoo/Huaze Lei) in the love triangle. But content to date seems to throw more emphasis on the Kavin character than Ren, indicating a slightly different balance in the storyline.
Hirunkit ‘Nani’ Changkham as MJ (Akira Mimasaka/Woo-bin/Meizuo) rounds out the Flower Boys, but in this version he’s both playful and a fighter. And Tontawan ‘Tu’ Tantivejakul plays ordinary but forthright girl turned love interest, Gorya (Tsukushi Makino/Jan-di/Shancai).
According to the director, all of these actors exude their characters – so, let’s wait and see.
Where Can I Watch F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers?
This new series airs on GMM 25 on Saturdays for 16 episodes. It will simultaneously stream internationally through GMMTV’s official YouTube channel and on streaming platform Viu.
Episode 6 Release Info
F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers are in the swing of a regular weekly schedule, releasing Episode 5 on Saturday, January 22nd at 8.30pm (Bangkok Time) – 8.30am (ET) and 1.30pm (GMT). The simultaneous international release on YouTube will come ready with English subtitles, so you’ll be viewing right along with viewers in Thailand.
Episode 6 Preview
Chomping for the next one? The Episode 6 preview features a freshly returned Ren who’s amped his charm since the sojourn in France. Everyone’s noticed, particularly Gorya. Kavin and MJ counsel Thyme to speak to Ren rather than fight. Thyme calls for an ‘F4 kind of date’ with Gorya, which can only be extravagant. Yet when Gorya arrives, he’s already upset about something… And once again the petals fly.
If you’re watching live… be sure you’ve backed up to the beginning of each segment so you don’t miss anything. YouTube automatically sticks you at the live moment, so if you’re a few seconds behind you may be missing a scene or two.
Also, this recent instalment has the link to the next chunk zipping by faster than ever. If you’re watching via YouTube, you can back it up a second to catch the link and save yourself the trouble of having to search for it.
If you’ve got further tips, please add them in the comments section. Here’s to a smooth view for all😊.
Is There a Trailer for F4 Thailand?
If you haven’t caught it yet, there is a trailer for the series:
In addition to the trailer, the team have released an official soundtrack featuring the main cast. It’s certainly channeling the vibe and seems to be right on target to deliver everything Director Thongpan has promised:
Opening song, Who Am I?
And the more energetic tune Shooting Star.
What Happened in Episode 5?
See the recap and review here: F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers Episode 5 Recap & Review. Watch for recap and review stories each week after airing.
Episode 5 Random Thoughts: It’s all in the detail
This week’s random thoughts are around the devilish little details. On one hand, we’re loving that each break begins and ends with flying flower petals, as if someone has stirred them up. (Of course, she has.) The minutiae in each chunk of storyline, like MJ and Kavin finding proof about Hana’s background, keep us on track in short, sharp ways as well as threaded to the original story.
On the other hand, we’re confounded by the oddly super long days as we jump from morning to evening over a couple of scenes in this instalment. It feels a little off, as the script is typically tight.
And the one original detail we missed – and it feels like a bigger miss – was Thyme contacting Gorya’s parents to say she’d be staying the night. In previous renditions this solved several points: the worry of a high school girl being out all night; avoiding her parents seeing a beaten-up Gorya and giving them hope that Thyme could be more than a friend, potentially saving the whole family from poverty. Sometimes it is the little things that make a difference.
And as this section is for the truly random, it’s interesting to note that GMM TV is so carefully avoiding sharing the name of each episode in advance, as each is a poignant nod to the narrative progression. Although even if with a list it wouldn’t be cake to puzzle out. Hana’s easily breakable Glass Mask, for example, would not have been a give away as a title alone. But having absorbed it, it all makes sense – even wrapping with the appearance of Ren and his shiny Parisian glass mask. How quickly will that shatter in this fast-moving series?
We’ll continue to cover the series episode-by-episode, so watch along with us and tell us what you think. Any observations on the details that you’d like to share? Jot ‘em below – we’d love to hear about it.