F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers
For fans of South Korean drama Boys Over Flowers (Netflix, Viki, Tubi, Hulu) or the Taiwanese (or Chinese) Meteor Garden (Netflix) or indeed the original, Japanese Hana Yori Dango, there’s now a new version of the classic story on 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 honoring 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, possibly 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 8 Release Info
F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers are in the swing of a regular weekly schedule, so we expect Episode 8 to run on Saturday, February 12th at 8.30pm – we’ve seen 8.45pm in reality as of late – (Bangkok Time) – 8.30/8.45am (ET) and 1.30/1.45pm (GMT). The simultaneous international release on YouTube will come ready with English subtitles, so you’ll be viewing right along with audiences in Thailand.
Episode 8 Preview
Coming up in Episode 8, Kavin goes to the flower store to ask about Gorya, who’s not been around much. Thyme tells his mother that he’s found out about what she’s done.
She claims to have been negotiating with Gorya’s family but she tells them their family is in trouble. Thyme is the star of his 18th birthday party. And a new guy appears, telling Gorya that if something is beyond her reach, she should walk away.
If you’re watching live… this week’s episode started at 8:45pm Thai time on YouTube, rather than 8:30pm. Over the last few weeks we’ve noticed a delayed run time that includes a countdown. Building the anticipation? I haven’t seen anything definitive confirming it will always start at 45 minutes past, but it does give an extra few ticks to get your snacks and edge your screen to just the right angle.
In case you’re a few moments late, 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 you could be missing a scene or two.
As we shift from one bit of story to the next, the link to the following chunk zips by super-fast. 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 channelling 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 7?
See the recap and review here: F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers Episode 7 Recap & Review. Watch for recap and review stories each week after airing.
Episode 7 Random Thoughts: A different yet familiar view
Without having been ‘caught’ even Gorya doesn’t really know why Thyme has cut Ren from F4. In last week’s random thoughts we pondered whether the scene on the roof represented the original scene of Rui and Makino kissing on the beach. It looks like that may be the case as misunderstanding leads to all-out war between F4 in an episode squelching with ‘what the?!’ moments.
Also, the bits with MJ punching the wall and sitting on the other side of Thyme’s door were nods to the Meteor Garden versions of the tale. But this time MJ plays scenes that were previously the Thyme/Dao Mi Si and even Gorya/Shancai role. Poignant and fitting the narrative – but interesting for the juxtaposition.
The team at F4 Thailand are working their hardest to bring in all the familiar moments without having to recreate all the other 30-ish episodes they don’t have space for in this version. Or maybe similar visuals will turn up in later episodes, appropriately assigned. Is it enough? Are you feeling the love?
Next week is Thyme’s birthday party so lots of good drama to come.
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.