Boys Over Flowers (2009) — A 10th Anniversary Overview

SUMMARYTHE BOYS OVER FLOWER SAGAWRITER & DIRECTORCASTFILMING LOCATIONSWHERE ARE THEY NOW?K-DRAMA REFERENCESMEDIA REFERENCESCULTURAL REFERENCES: MAKING KIMCHI & EATING RAMYUNKDL CREDITS SUMMARY Boys Over Flowers/Boys Before Flowers [꽃보다 남자] Written by Yoon Ji-ryun, Directed by Jeon Ki-sang Based on the manga Boys Over Flowers/Hana Yori Dango [花より男子] written by Yoko Kamio Production company: Group 8 January […]

SUMMARY

Boys Over Flowers/Boys Before Flowers [꽃보다 남자]

Written by Yoon Ji-ryun, Directed by Jeon Ki-sang
Based on the manga Boys Over Flowers/Hana Yori Dango [花より男子] written by Yoko Kamio
Production company: Group 8
January 05, 2009 ~ March 31, 2009 [Mon]
25 episodes

The formidable F4 — Goo Jun-pyo, Yoon Ji-hoo, So Yi-jeong and Song Woo-bin — are considered to be the richest, most good looking, most popular, and highly untouchable quartet of Shinhwa High School. When new student Geum Jan-di unknowingly crosses paths with Jun-pyo, she and her best friend, Chu Ga-eul, are gradually introduced to their extravagant ways and opulent lifestyles. Would the ladies be able to help the four be more down-to-earth, or would they be (too quickly) swept up in waves of affluence?
— Mich KDL

THE BOYS OVER FLOWER SAGA

The source for the South Korean version of Boys Over Flowers is the Japanese manga of the same name (1992–2003) that entered into its second season in 2015. Prior to its Korean adaptation, the manga was already adapted for TV through the Taiwan’s Meteor Garden in 2001 and Meteor Garden II in 2002. These  were followed by the three-volume Japanese interpretation of Hana Yori Dango (2005), Hana Yori Dango Returns (2007) and Hana Nochi Hare (2018). China eventually jumped on this trend (though much later, in 2018) and brought Meteor Garden to its small screens.
— Marion KDL

WRITER & DIRECTOR


by Marion KDL

Scriptwriter Yoon Ji-ryeon

Scriptwriter Yoon Ji-ryeon/Yoon Ji-ryun (윤지련), born in 1972, started her rather short career in K-Drama production with Boys Over Flowers, of which she adapted the original Japanese manga version to a television format. Two years later, she adapted the Japanese drama Operation Proposal (プロポーズ大作戦) to the same-titled K-Drama (프러포즈 대작전 in Korean), which was broadcasted on TV Chosun in 2012. In 2014, she wrote her first drama, Angel Eyes (엔젤아이즈) (SBS, 2014) — which also starred Goo Hye-sun in the main role.

PD Jeon Ki-sang

Jeon Ki-sang (전기상) (1960-2018) started his production career as an assistant director in 1991 at KBS with the drama Tingling Fingertips (저린 손 끝). He stayed with KBS for the next 14 years, until 2005. Other notable dramas included 2003’s Bodyguard (보디가드), followed by another 2000s K-Drama hit, Sassy Girl Chun-hyang (쾌걸 춘향) in 2005. That same year marked his move to rival broadcasting station SBS as a director for My Girl (마이 걸) (2005-06). This drama also marked a turning point in his career as he was known to have kicked off the ‘romantic comedy’ trend in K-Dramaland. This was followed by Witch Ma (마녀유희) (SBS, 2007) and Boys Over Flowers two years later, for which he earned the ‘Drama Directing Prize’ [드라마연출부문 대상] at the Seoul Cultural Arts Awards 2010 [2010년 서울문화예술대상].

After Boys Over Flowers, Yoon stuck with manga-based dramas and struck gold with To The Beautiful You (아름다운 그대에게) in 2012. His last attempt to produce a drama was Gangnam Style (강남스타일) (2013), also based on a webtoon, but this never made it to television screens.

In 2013, he was nominated as an adjunct professor at the Broadcasting, Film, Design and Arts Department (Broadcast Video major) of the Korea Art Conservatory [KAC — 한국예술원].

He died in a traffic accident in January 2018.

CAST

Boys Over Flowers (2009, episode 15)
Note that this is not the full cast credits for this show — only those mentioned on KDL!

 

Goo Jun-pyo (Lee Min-ho)
Student at Shinhwa High School and F4 member
— — — — — — —
Yoon Ji-hoo
Student at Shinhwa High School and F4 member
So Yi-jeong (Kim Beom)
Student at Shinhwa High School and F4 member
Song Woo-bin (Kim Jun)
Student at Shinhwa High School and F4 member
Kang Hee-su (Lee Hye-young)
Koo Jun-pyo’s mother
Goo Jun-hee (Kim Hyun-joo)
Koo Jun-pyo’s sister
Ha Jae-kyeong (Lee Min-jung)
Koo Jun-pyo’s fiancée
Yun Seok-yeong (Lee Jung-kil)
Yun Ji-hu’s grandfather
Min Seo-hyeon (Han Chae-young)
Yun Ji-hu’s first love and F4 friend
Geum Jan-di (Goo Hye-sun)
Student at Shinhwa High School and Koo Jun-pyo’s girlfriend
— — — — — — —

Chu Ga-eul (Kim So-eun)
Geum Jan-di’s best friend
Oh Min-ji (Lee Si-young)
Student at Shinhwa High School and Geum Jan-di’s classmate
Bom Chun-sik (Kim Ki-bang)
Geum Jan-di’s friend
Keum Il-bong (Ahn Suk-hwan)
Geum Jan-di’s father
Na Kong-ju (Lim Ye-jin)
Geum Jan-di’s mother

 
 
At the time of taking on her role in Boys Over Flowers, 25-year-old Goo Hye-sun (구혜선) had already acted in a couple of lead drama roles, like in Pure in Heart (2006), The King and I (SBS,2007) and Strongest Chil Woo (2008). For Boys Over Flowers, she won the ‘Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama’ and the ‘Netizen Award, Actress’ at the 2009 KBS Drama Awards, as well as the ‘Best Couple Award’, together with Lee Min-ho. For Lee Min-ho (이민호), Boys Over Flowers is typically considered as his breakthrough drama, as it was for Kim Bum (김범) (real name: Kim Sang-bum, 김상범) who also rose to prominence through it.

For its 10th anniversary, Insight Korea suggested a virtual re-cast of a 2019 edition of Boys Over Flowers, with Woo Do-hwan as the contemporary Goo Jun-pyo, Seo Kang-joon to take over the So Yi-jeong role, Cha Eun-woo as Yoon Ji-hoo and finally, Ji Soo as Song Woo-bin.
— Marion KDL

SHIPPING THE COUPLES

Boys Over Flowers (2009, episode 23)

As with every drama, fans are bound to support their favourite couple — be it the main leads, second leads, or even those involving side characters. Naturally, many Boys Over Flowers viewers may have hung onto every bit of Jun-pyo and Jan-di’s tumultuous relationship, or be entertained by the Woo-bin/Jae-kyung coupling (‘Monkey’, anyone?). But as for me, I was much more into the gradual love-blossoming between ‘Casanova’ Yi-jeong and ‘Country Bumpkin’ Ga-eul. Both taught each other different things over the course of the drama: he helped her get over her cheating ex-boyfriend, and she showed him that he didn’t have to be like his womanising father. While us So-Eul fans didn’t quite get the ending we deserved (sigh), this dear couple continues to live on in the imaginations of many ‘SoEulmates’, through the greater community. Am certainly proud to call consider myself a SoEulmate, even after all these years!
— Mich KDL

FILMING LOCATIONS

Boys Over Flowers (2009, episode 10)

The geographical landscape of Boys Over Flowers is clearly set as the supporting canvas to crystalize the class-divide that serves as its major narrative backdrop: Jan-di’s down-to-earth, lower middle-class background and the one-percenters of the F4. As such, all locations linked to Jan-di were firmly settled in residential neighborhoods of Goyang, and for a time, also in Seoul’s residential neighborhood Bon-dong. As for the F4 elite, they get to jet across the country (and beyond — see below), and are spoilt for choice with the most luxurious locations at their fingertips.

Boys Over Flowers (2009, episode 4)

This rationale aside, Boys Over Flowers also comes with some stretches in terms of location, particularly with its primary setting of Shinhwa High School.

In real life, the campus of this elite school stretches all over South Korea, being filmed at Paju, Yangpyeong and Daegu. The school buildings are a mix and match of those at Daemyung Campus [계명대학교 대명캠퍼스] and Seongseo Campus [계명대학교 성서캠퍼스] of Keimyung University and ChangeUp Campus — Yangpyeong Camp [체인지업캠퍼스 양평캠프]. In contrast, the canteen of the school — located at Artinus Farmer’s Table [파머스테이블] — as well as the F4’s meeting room — at the now closed-down Neverland Bookstore [네버랜드책방]– are both in Heyri Art Village, with the school garden being The Botanical Garden BCJ [벽초지 문화 수목원], all which are located in Paju.
— Marion KDL

OVERSEAS LOCATIONS

 
Nothing says “I’ve got money to spend” like a jet-setting lifestyle, and our F4 is certainly no stranger to heading overseas at a drop of a hat. In Boys Over Flowers, Jan-di, Ga-eul — and by proxy, us viewers — were taken to the beautiful island of New Caledonia, and the historical (and somewhat flashy) city of Macau. While both countries are clearly on opposite ends of the global spectrum, it was a refreshing break away from the cold, dreariness of wintery Seoul (for the actors too, we bet!). And thanks to the popularity of the show, these places became highly sought-after travel destinations among Koreans!
— Mich KDL

This overview will be updated when new locations are added.

Last update: 18/11/2019

SEOUL

DONGJAK-GU [동작구]
Bon-dong [본동]
House at Noryangjin-ro 26-gil no. 2 [E18-19]

JUNG-GU [중구]
Hoeyeon-dong [회현동]
Seoul Station [서울역] [E19]
Stairs to Namsan Tower [삼순이 계단] [E24]
Myeong-dong [명동]
Shinsegae Department Store—Main Branch
Sogong-dong [소공동]
SeMA — Seoul Museum of Art [E18]
Taepyeongno 1(il)-ga [태평로1가]
Seoul Finance Center [서울파이낸스센터] [E2]

MAPO-GU [마포구]
Seogyo-dong [서교동]
Eoulmadang Street [어울마당로] [E9]

SEOCHO-GU [서초구]
Banpo-dong [반포동]
Banpo Bridge [반포대교] [E23]

SONGPA-GU [송파구]
Jamsil 3(sam)-dong [잠실3동]
Lotte Hotel World [롯데호텔 월드] [E2-3]

YONGSAN-GU [용산구]
Cheongpa-dong [청파동]
Ssangdaepo Restaurant [쌍대포 본점] [E9]
Hannam-dong [한남동]
Grand Hyatt Seoul [그랜드하얏트 서울] [E4+E16]
Ichon-dong [이촌동]
Dongjak Bridge [동작대교] [E18]
Namsandong 2(i)-ga [남산동2가]
Namsan Cable Car [남산 케이블카] [E4]
Yongsandong 2(i)-ga [용산동2가]
Namsan Tower [N서울타워] [E4]

YEONGDEUNGPO-GU [영등포구]
Yeouido-dong [여의도동]
Kensington Hotel Yoido [켄싱턴호텔 여의도]

GOYANG

ILSANDONG-GU [일산동구]
Janghang-dong [장항동]
International Exhibition Hall Overpass [E10]
Jeongbalsan-dong [정발산동]
Jandi Total Cleaning
Dardan Park [닥밭공원] [E7-9, E12]
ILSANSEO-GU [일산서구]
Daehwa-dong [대화동]
Ilsan Seo-gu Office Intersection [E15]

INCHEON

JUNG-GU [중구]
Unseo-dong [운서동]
Incheon International Airport [E2]
YEONSU-GU [연수구]
Songdo International Business District
Songdo ConvensiA Convention Center [송도컨벤시아] [E23]

CHEONAN

Mokcheon-eup [목천읍]
The Independence Hall of Korea [E1]

CHEONGJU

Munui-myeon [문의면]
Cheongnamdae Presidential Villa [청남대]

DAEGU

DALSEO-GU [달서구]
Sindang-dong [신당동]
Keimyung University — Seongseo Campus
NAM-GU [남구]
Daemyeong-dong [대명동]
Keimyung University — Daemyung Campus

DAMYANG [담양군]

Damyang-eup [담양읍]
Damyang Dynasty Country Club

GWACHEON

Galhyeon-dong [갈현동]
ClayHouse [클레이하우스] [E18,20, 21]
Makgye-dong [막계동]
Seoul Grand Park [서울대공원] [E22]

NAMHAE COUNTY [남해군]

NAM-MYEON [남면]
The Ananti Namhae [아난티 남해] [E2-3]

PAJU [파주시]

Gwangtan-myeon [광탄면]
Pottery Studio A Heart-Drawing Island
The Botanical Garden BCJ [E1]
Tanhyeon-myeon [탄현면]
Artinus Farmer’s Table [파머스테이블]
Hotel Wiz [위즈호텔] [E4]

YANGPYEONG COUNTY [양평군]

Yongmun-myeon [용문면]
ChangeUp Campus — Yangpyeong Camp

JEJU ISLAND

The Seaes Hotel & Resort Jeju [E22]
Phoenix Jeju Island Resort [E21]

MACAU

The Venetian Macao [澳门威尼斯人] [E13/14]
The Ruins of St. Paul’s [E14]
— Chapel of Our Lady of Penha [E14]
— Kun Iam Statue [觀音蓮花苑] [E14]
— Mount Fortess/Monte Fort [大炮台] [E14]
Macau Business Tourism Centre [E15]
Tea Plus [大聖豬扒包] [E15]

NEW CALDEDONIA

L’Escapade Ilot Maitre [E5-6]
Heart of Voh [Coeur de Voh] [E6]

CLOSED DOWN LOCATIONS

— Restaurant Little Xian [E1]
— Neverland Bookstore in Heyri Art Village [네버랜드책방] [E1, E2+7]
— 18Gram [18그램] [E21]
(37.548381, 126.920727)

CHANGED LOCATIONS

These locations do not resemble the location seen in Boys Over Flowers anymore

— Yanghwa-ro 10-gil [양화로10길] [E11]
(37.550397, 126.918073)
— City 7 Pullman Ambassador Hotel [더시티세븐풀만호텔] [E17-18] has changed to:
Grand Mercure Ambassador Changwon [그랜드 머큐어 앰배서더 창원]

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Talking about the Boys Over Flowers actors and how their careers evolved after the drama would be — in some cases– rather subjective; instead, we’ve chosen to focus on our main topic here at KDL: the locations.
— by Marion KDL

MAKING CLASSICS AND CARRYING ON THE TORCH

Boys Over Flowers (2009, episode 16)

Boys Over Flowers seems to be in two distinct camps when it comes to its K-Dramaland location legacy.

On one hand, Boys Over Flowers is deeply inscribed in the 2000s landscape of K-Dramas, having a considerable overlap with the locations in 2001’s Beautiful Days, such as the Grand Hyatt Seoul [그랜드하얏트 서울], Banpo Bridge [반포대교], Namsan Tower/N Seoul Tower [N서울타워] and Incheon International Airport (ICN) [인천국제공항].

It also caters to other K-Dramaland staples of its time, and especially those of the mid-2000s like Ssangdaepo Restaurant [쌍대포 본점], Cheongnamdae Presidential Villa [청남대], the Kensington Hotel Yoido [켄싱턴호텔 여의도] or Stairs to Namsan Tower — Sam-soon Stairs [삼순이 계단] and even one of K-Dramaland’s oldest staples, Keimyung University [계명대학교].

Chief Of Staff (2019, episode 1)

But at the same time, Boys Over Flowers has done much more. It actually introduced quite a lot of contemporary staples to K-Dramaland. Examples include the Damyang Reina Country Club [담양레이나CC] (opened in 2008), which has since served quite a lot of K-Dramaland characters as its mansion; Phoenix Jeju Island Resort [휘닉스제주 섭지코지], which opened in the same year and has appeared in a number of dramas since then; and even Artinus Farmer’s Table [파머스테이블] (opened in 2006), which continues to be one of K-Dramaland’s most favorite restaurants in 2019.

There are also places like the main branch of Shinsegae Department Store [신세계백화점 본점], which, since its Boys Over Flowers appearance and its 2007 renovation, has been a regular department store for K-Drama characters to visit; and Eoulmadang Street [어울마당로], which became one of the most popular streets in K-Dramaland to visit, listen to music and to hang out with friends and loved ones. The Botanical Garden BCJ [벽초지 문화 수목원] also became very popular among K-Dramaland characters in the post-Boys Over Flowers years, and the epic forced-overnight scene certainly also helped Namsan Cable Car [남산 케이블카] become a regular mode of transport for K-Dramaland’s residents.

BOYS OVER FLOWERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD LEGACY

Search: WWW (2019, episode 9)

Seoul’s satellite city Goyang [고양시] and its neighborhoods of Neunggo [능곡동], Daehwa [대화동] Janghang [장항동] and Jeongbalsan [정발산동] are clearly at the center of Boys Over Flowers’ architectural landscape as Jan-di’s town. Looking back on this past decade, Goyang could have made a household name for itself as a coherent city landscape in K-Dramaland, next to Seoul and Incheon or even Busan building on Boys Over Flowers‘ fame — but it didn’t.

Touch Your Heart (2019, episode 6)

In recent years, however, Goyang has not only introduced us to various K-Dramaland staples, but also started to carve out a niche for itself as a K-Dramaland’s café lover’s hot spot. And the cherry on the cake? Jan-di’s parents’ laundry shop is also a café now.

Boys Over Flowers (2009, episode 19)

Seoul’s neighborhoood of Bon [Bon-dong/본동], on the other hand, was only briefly introduced as a residential neighborhood with affordable rooftop apartments in episode 18-19 of Boys Over Flowers. This neighborhood made its K-Dramaland re-appearance and consolidated its 2009 representation with end-of-2010s K-Dramas like 2017’s Revolutionary Love, 2018’s Let Me Introduce Her and most recently, 2019’s Moments of Eighteen.

K-DRAMA REFERENCES

LEGEND OF THE BLUE SEA (2016-17)

Legend of the Blue Sea (201617, episode 9)

Legend Of The Blue Sea clearly plays off on Boys Over Flowers on a meta level, especially on two occasions. First, when Lee Min-ho returns to Shinwha Group’s department store, this time with his lover Sim Chung (Gianna Jun); and second (even more meta than the first), when he also waits for Sim Chung in the falling snow — as he did for Jan-di– at Namsan Tower/N Seoul Tower.
— Marion KDL

MEDIA REFERENCES

MOVIE THE MUSKETEER (2001)

Ji-hoo invites Jun-pyo over in episode 7 to watch the North American action-film The Musketeer (2001) by Peter Hyams, based on Alexandre Dumas’s classic novel The Three Musketeers. When Ji-hoo comments to his best friend that they have already seen it over 10 times together. Jun-pyo, knowing that Ji-hoo would clearly stay his rival in love, corrects him by saying it was 11 times and leaves the cinema. This could be a reason Ji-hoo watches the movie on his own in episode 11?
 

MOVIE RIDE AWAY (2008)

Ride Away (달려라 자전거), starring Lim Ha-jung (Han Hyo-joo) and Kim Soo-wook (Lee Young-hoon) as star-crossed lovers, is the film that Jun-pyo chose to watch with Jan-di in front of his house in a private open air cinema session, in episode 10. The kissing scene prompts the two to lean in… but are soon interrupted.
 

MOVIE SCANDAL MAKERS (2008)

Koo Jun-pyo and Ha Jae-kyeong watch the movie Scandal Makers (과속스캔들) at the cinema in episode 17.
 

MOVIE DEATH BELL (2008)

In episode 20, Jun-pyo tries to get closer to Jan-di again, this time proposing to watch horror movie Death Bell (고死: 피의 중간고사), which was Boys Over Flowers actor Kim Bum’s most recent film at the time. No surprises that they are interrupted, yet again.
 

BOOK C’EST TOUT (1995)

“I wanted to tell you,” reads Yun Ji-hu to dozing off Geum Jan-di from a book in episode 22, “… that I love you. I wanted to shout it aloud. That’s all.” This concealed love confession (without resonance for Ji-hu) is from a collection of sayings by French novelist, screen and play writer Marguerite Duras (1914-1996) that were noted by Yann Andréa when Duras during her two last years and were published in 1995. The original reads: “J’ai voulu vous dire que je vous aimais. Le crier. C’est tout.”
 

CULTURAL REFERENCES: MAKING KIMCHI & EATING RAMYUN


Ohhaeyoung (on Dramabeans) and I are probably not alone when it comes to the “memorable food moments” associated with Boys Over Flowers, as s/he puts it. To quite a lot of people, this drama was certainly a– ahem, THE gateway to kimchi-making and ramyun-eating (from the lid, of course!).

Long before kimchi  [김치] –a fermented spicy side dish mostly made with cabbage– became an internationally known culinary item and a global ‘superfood’, K-Drama families made it, ate it and brought it over from their mother’s house to their own fridges, and to the (international) screens of their watchers. Boys Over Flowers not only narratively cemented the family bonds of Jan-di’s family versus Jun-pyo’s empty family home by showing them making kimchi in full view of an astonished Jun-pyo (who probably thought — could families also be like this?!), but it also introduced K-Drama watchers to kimchi itself, motivating them to drive for hours to be able to taste it for themselves.

Another Boys Over Flowers food highlight (and probably the most unhealthy accompaniment to kimchi), ramyun [라면], also clearly underlines the class divide in the series, as Radioplayon points out. But Junpyo’s ramyun obsession probably made more people wonder (instead of dissecting it as a meta narrative) if ramyun really tastes better when eaten home-cooked and from the lid … or even uncooked.
— Marion KDL

KDL CREDITS

Locations: Marion KDL, Mich KDL
Photos: Florence, Mich KDL, Thom Musni
* * *
Any other information to add? Or any thoughts about the drama and its locations?
Let us know in the comments!
Boys Over Flowers (2009, episode 21)

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