Have you heard these phrases before? They refer to the KBS drama Boys over Flowers. Boys over Flowers is a story in which a girl who grew up in humble background enters a rich high school and meets the ‘F4(Flower 4)’ of pretty-boys.The drama is based on the best-selling comic book Boys over Flowers, written by Japanese writer Kamio Yoko from the 1992 to 2003. It was very popular and was made into two animations, two movies, one novel and three drama series. Boys over Flowers attracted a lot of love and attention both before it began broadcasting and after starting broadcasting. It has brought about a huge sensation both on- and off-line. Now, the craze about Boys over Flowers has been sweeping the nation.
Enthusiastic people on-line
The syndrome started on-line. Main actors of the drama were ranking high on the real-time internet hit list as well as getting a continuous stream of visitors to their personal websites. Also, netizens’ active participation became a hot issue around town, involving such topics as main characters’ imaginary websites, structures of the brain and name divinations. Also, netizens captured the scenes and restructured them. They didn’t simply watch the drama, but reproduce the new contents. In addition, the original soundtrack of the drama ranked highly in on-line music charts as soon as it was released and reaped more than two billion won in sales.
Huge fever off-line
It attracted the attention that Boys over Flowers are active in off-line as well as on-line. The ‘preppy look’, the characters’ so-called fashion, is the most representative of that phenomenon. The ‘preppy look’ is derived from traditional casual wear, which means ‘traditional’ and ‘antique’ style, and refers to the simple and classic fashion that American students wear. F4’s fashion expressed individuality and their personalities: the edgy-looking black suit and fur of Koo Jun-pyo; the bright-colored, classic, modern look of Youn Ji-hu; the refined navy suit and handkerchief scarf of So Lee-jeong, and the brown velvet and leather of Song Woo-bin. The fashion is popular among people in their twenties and thirties, especially university students. Actually, in a survey conducted by a fashion mall on matriculation ceremony fashion of female freshmen, the ‘Preppy Look’ style was top, with 28 percent. Besides fashion, there were a variety of goods produced related to Boys over Flowers. Many people expressed an interest in goods such as fountain pens used as drama props, champagne that main characters drink, cell phones, cars and New Caledonia and Macau travel packages.
Reason for syndrome, secret of popularity
-The fantasy for romance
First of all, young women viewers with a fantasy for romance helped the success of the drama. According to a local ratings company, main viewers of Boys over Flowers were women from ten up to their thirties. The cause of this phenomenon was that this drama aroused the sympathy of teenage girls by setting up the main actors as rich pretty-boys.
- The faith to the original comic book
Boys over Flowers was literally faithful to the original and viewers has shared their feelings on the original. Love between the ordinary girl and conglomerate’s heir, a love-triangle and a unique character have all proved popular. The main characters’ unrealistic background were not like common high school students: the successor of SHINHWA Group, a major conglomerate in Korea; the grandson of the former president, who has the premier league team; a young artist to be assigned by UNESCO; and the successor of a property conglomerate. They go out to a club, have sports cars, etc. Some people didn’t understand. However, Boys over Flowers started on the basis of funny characters and concepts since the initial stage of planning, so ‘fun’ is most important thing in this drama. Actually, looking at the popular drama, viewers have been more enthusiastic about fun and dramatic stories than reality or social criticism.
-The victory of planning
The production company for Boys over Flowers tried to produce a good drama that keeps in step with the young viewers. In particular, the casting of ‘F4’, four pretty-boys, received a favorable evaluation. Distinct from other countries’ who produced other Boys over Flowers, those of Korean cast were rookies. Some people criticized the lack of performance. But that was the reason why the Korean version was more glorious than those of Taiwan and Japan. It was due to the perfect casting, close to the original character, and great good looks.
The syndrome related to Boys over Flowers affected various genres. The fever of the drama influenced many fields of society such as fashion, music(soundtracks), travel, and so on. This phenomenon was extremely rare. We have to live a tight life usually, but, simultaneously, we want something new and special. Do you think that ‘something’ was Boys over Flowers? It might be right.
However, we have to go back to reality.
Hey, girls and boys! Get your head out of the clouds and move on!