Flowers may wilt, but the F4 can save a life

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Flowers may wilt, but the F4 can save a life

I die whenever a relationship ends. Of course, I die mentally. How could you not? It’s the end of the world when a loved one leaves. But no need to despair. A whole new world soon opens. There are, however, times when a new world seems to be thousands of miles away. But I always have a good friend to rely on - TV dramas.

Most recently, a KBS-TV drama, whose title could translate as “Flowers Second, Boys First” (“Kkotboda Namja”), is one such consolation.

Based on a Japanese comic book series of the same title, it’s the perfect comforter for any girl with a broken heart.

Despite acquaintances shooting me text messages asking “So, how’s your boyfriend?” in the most carefree way that you can imagine, this show gives me strength. And what’s more, I heard that a Korean version of “Flowers Second” is being made.

I’m saved.

The story goes like this. There are four pretty boys who are known as F4, or “Flower Boys 4.” (I know, it sounds very Japanglish, but no matter. Why? They ARE pretty anyway).

One more thing. They’re not just pretty. They are filthy rich. Born with the finest silver spoons in their pretty mouths. And then there’s the front girl, Jan-di, the epitome of the girl next door, poor as a church mouse, cute in her own way but plain in most people’s eyes.

In other words: a survivor.

As you can imagine, the F4 leader, Jun-pyo falls in love with Jan-di and her indomitable spirit. But Jan-di fancies another F4 cutie, Ji-hu, and later falls in love with Jun-pyo, the leader. So there are double love triangles and a great deal of pretty and rich boys kneeling down before the Cinderella figure.

In a way, I’d like to refer to this story as the Marxist Cinderella story. “You guys haven’t earned a single penny with your own hands, so you should be ashamed of yourselves!” she yells.

Not surprisingly, this Korean version is not the first TV edition of the comic book. There have already been Taiwanese and Japanese versions. News has it that Japanese and Chinese viewers are already comparing the three versions.

I would vote for the Japanese version as the best, but I have to admit that I love the Korean girl character the most. True to character, she survives using her wits not her looks.

Plus, the F4 characters are killer actors - all four of them. Thank God for that. No wonder almost every girlfriend of mine has screen IDs like “Don’t talk to me from 10 to 11 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays,” when the show airs.

Well, you can’t blame them. This show is pure escapism.

Another virtue of the drama, aside from featuring the boys taking showers or swimming, is that it remains true to the comic book story. Just like its Japanese predecessor, the show follows the same storyline of the comic book. If it hadn’t, I wouldn’t have time to write this column, as I would be leading a protest in front of the KBS building in Yeouido, Seoul, for ruining the greatest comic book in human history.

So the world ends, but a new one opens pretty soon, because, thankfully, TV networks keep pumping out painkiller dramas like “Flowers Second.”


[sujiney@joongang.co.kr]

Four “flower boys” from the KBS-TV drama. [KBS-TV]

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