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 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, 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.
F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers Episode 9 Release Date
F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers are in the swing of a regular weekly schedule, so we expect Episode 9 to open on Saturday, February 19th at 8.30pm – but likely not start rolling until 8.45pm (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 9 Preview
F4 speculate that Thyme’s mother made the rushed engagement announcement specifically to get rid of Gorya. While at school, Lita befriends Gorya. She claims that she doesn’t like Thyme, but wonders if Gorya does. Meanwhile Thyme’s mother speculates that now that things have been set in motion with Thyme and Lita, everything will take care of itself. She really doesn’t know her son, does she?
If you’re watching live, over the last few weeks we’ve noticed a delayed run time that includes a countdown, effectively starting programming 15 minutes later. 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. Alternately, on YouTube you can turn off autoplay to give a little time to react before it leaps on to something else.
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 8?
See the recap and review here: F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers Episode 8 Recap & Review. Watch for recap and review stories each week after airing.
Episode 8 Random Thoughts: Side Characters and Poignant Themes
This week’s storyline of Thyme living as a ‘commoner’ is sweet and silly and the right balance for what’s to come. A last hurrah before things get serious and the barrier to a life with Gorya becomes real.
In the Episode 8 review, we noted the title ‘The Perfect Present.’ It’s not just the birthday gift we’re talking about here but those fleeting moments before Thyme turns 18 – before he must take on a man’s responsibilities. Yet here he is, effectively playing house with his love in the most innocent of ways. We know and he knows that bigger trouble is coming. Yet it’s still a wonderful sliver of time.
Meanwhile, always a little spark of light is Gorya’s younger brother Glakao. With the tiniest of roles, he continues to stand out. Who is that kid? Nattawat Jirochtikul, known as Fourth, is fairly new to the GMMTV team, having joined in 2019 after winning a contest.
At 17, he’s currently a student but has already been cast in a number of roles in 2022, including a lead role in Thai drama My School President airing sometime in November. Early information indicates it’s likely to be a Boys Love story, which seems to be a proving ground for young Thai male actors. It’s also a way to gain a virulent fan base, so they must have big plans for him. Good luck, Fourth!
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? Scribble ‘em below – we’d love to hear about it.