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Meteor Garden (流星花園, 'Liu Xing Hua Yuan' in Mandarin) is a Taiwanese drama that began its broadcast 12 April 2001 on China Television. It is based on the Japanese manga Hana yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers - Which is a pun since Dango also means sweets). It stars Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Vanness Wu, Ken Chu and Barbie Hsu. The plot is centered around a plain and poor teenage girl called Shan Cai, who goes to a university basically for rich people as forced by her parents. In fact, the university is dominated by a gang of handsome but arrogant students called F4, because they are the heirs of the most influential families in Taiwan.
In the beginning, Dao Ming Si, the gang leader, hates Shan Cai so much that he makes everyone in university play tricks on her with all efforts. However, Shan Cai's persistence (and ignorance actually) gradually gains Dao's respect and later he falls in love with her. Like many other TV series, the lovers end up getting together after going through tons of painful challenges.
Meteor Garden was very popular in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, the four main male characters, with a band called F4 (band)|F4, had a sold-out concert. Filipino audiences may not understand their songs but listening to them makes all girls shout for more. Due to the popularity of the series throughout Asia, two sequels, Meteor Rain and Meteor Garden II, were produced.
The main antagonist is Dao Ming Si's ever judgmental, arrogant mother Dao Ming Feng who is somewhat based on Kaede Doumyoji in Hana Yori Dango. However unlike in Hana Yori Dango, she is seen to be not as evil compared to the Japanese version.
- Barbie Hsu as Shancai
- Jerry Yan as Daoming Si
- Vic Zhou as Huaze Lei
- Ken Chu as Ximen
- Vanness Wu as Meizuo
- Zheng Mei Dai (Belinda Cheng) as Baihe
- Zhang Ruo Zhen as Qianhu
- Ye An Tin as Lizhen
- Wang Yue as Shancai's Mother
- Teng Chi Xing as Shancai's Father
- Zhen Xiu Zhen as Daoming Feng
- Edward Ou as Qinghe
- Rainie Yang as Xiaoyou
- Winnie Qian as Tengtang Jing
- Ke Huan Ru as Xiaozi
- Mary Hsu as Daoming Zhuang
It commences with Shan Cai not being content with the prestigious university she just enrolled in, partly because of her mother's goading. She dislikes the mediocre professors and her arrogant and incredibly affluent classmates, especially a crew of four males who call themselves F4, which has an atrocious notoriety. It gets worse when one of her classmates gets kicked out of the university because he challenges F4. However, it was the day following this incident, Shan Cai, got her first genuine, even though very brief, taste of F4, when her clumsy professor unwittingly bumped into Dao, the alpha male of F4, and by a fluke, overturned his can of soda onto Dao. The professor, was horrified, and while he was stuttering, he tried to apologize and was immediately silenced when Dao made a slight move; he foolishly thought Dao wanted to pummel him. The professor's courage failed, and he stumbles back and falls into Shan Cai and Li Chen, who are bystanders. They were carrying a basket filled with basketballs, which the maladroit professor knocked over, scattering the basketballs everywhere. Dao then punts the empty basket out of his way and F4 follows behind in close quarters, all of them smirking, except for Lei, in the back of the group. Shan Cai was stymied by their actions, and outraged especiallly towards Dao, but she was bewildered when Lei stopped to put the basketballs back into place. <p>Later on at Italian Tomato, where Shan Cai works with Xiao You, Shan Cai informs Xiao You about her life at the university, especially relating to the morning incident with F4. Xiao You comments that Shan Cai had become a totally different person upon entering the university. She used to be a fearless, benevolent girl but now she seems to mind only her own business. <p>At home, Shan Cai’s mother keeps on pestering her about her social life at the university. Her mother is set on the fact that she will find a rich man through the university and marry him. Shan Cai tries to persuade her mom to let her stop attending the university. However, Shan Cai's mother lends a deaf ear and forbades Shan Cai from dropping out. <p>At this moment during Shan Cai's quarrel, F4 is hanging out at a pub, but their fun soon ends, seeing as they have to defend themselves against the males whose 'girls' had been courted by Ximen 'just for fun'. <p>The next day, Shan Cai has another encounter with F4, this time more horrific - Li Chen accidentally slipps on the staircase, and the ink she was holding hit Dao, leaving him a mess. She tried to apologize, and she was stuttering very badly, not unlike the professor, but arrogant Dao pushes her away, silencing her into a red world of embarrassment. Shan Cai could not help it - her tongue suddenly caught fire at Dao's rudeness and she began scolding him until he was speechless. Dao became incensed at her behaviour. Shan Cai knew the trouble with him was just beginning. <p>Shan Cai arrives at school the next day, and she feels ectastic. She did not discover a red tag in her locker bearing the symbol for F4 and the words "You'll Be Dead". However, she notices something very strange as she walks into school. No one dared to look, or talk to her. Then Li Chen pointed to Shan Cai's back. The red tag was stuck onto her back - for the rest of the day, everyone played mean-spirited tricks on her, where in one, she was locked in the bathroom. Shan Cai, at the end of the day, felt exhausted and drained, when Li Chen came up to her, and gave her a miniscule white teddy bear, secretly apologizing to Shan Cai. Shan Cai then gathers up her courage and her braids flying, she headed up to the rooftop to shout her thoughts and denounce F4. To her amazement, she sees Lei up there alone. He offers her his handkerchief to clean her face, Shan Cai takes it, feeling very touched and a mite confused. <p>On her way home, Shan Cai bumps into Dao who tells her that he was impressed that she was able to last this long, and sneering, tells her to prepare for tomorrow - an even more brutal attack. After much thinking, Shan Cai decides to declare war on F4 and challenges Dao by sticking her own self-made red tag, which sports a gray cross and bones, onto Dao’s forehead. <p>At the Italian Tomato later that day, Xiao You was very pleased to hear that the old Shan Cai had emerged once again. At the pub, Ximen and Mei Zhuo bet with Dao that he would not be able to play Shan Cai out because they were very much alike; strong-headed. At the university, Shan Cai received her biggest surprise when two guys sent by Dao tried to rape her (Dao only wanted to scare her). Lei came in time to rescue Shan Cai and her boldness came tumbling down. In order to get Shan Cai to stop crying, Lei taught her to do a handstand to stop the flowing of the tears. <p>The next day Shan Cai waited for Dao at university and punched him on the face, scolding him for his immmoral trick. Dao went into total shock, his ego wounded, and then came up with a plan. <p>The next day, Shan Cai headed up to the rooftop, disappointed, because Lei did not show up at the rooftop that day. She was then wandered around the university when she saw Lei practicing violin at the music room. Lei was not especially pleased to have her as his audience. Shan Cai expressed to him that she would wait for him at the rooftop everyday till he appeared again. <p>After class, Shan Cai was kidnapped by Dao’s men and brought to Dao’s house. It turned out, Dao’s plan was to offer Shan Cai the right to be his girlfriend, which of course, she thought was ridiculous and turned him down with a vicious gleam in her eye.
<p>Shan Cai arrives to her class boldly - only to find degrading words on the blackboard about her virginity. Shan Cai was seething - she did not even stop to reason and ponder the predicament and went, in a rage, to look for F4, thinking it was their work. Incensed, she bellowed at the top of lungs to Dao, 'I’m still a virgin', and since she couldn't reach him from where she was, instead, she gave Mei Zhuo a painful kick.
<p>Back at class, Pai Her and Chien Hui suddenly became friendly towards Shan Cai to the extent of inviting her to their party. Shan Cai thought that they were sincere and went to the party only to be humiliated by both of them. Shan Cai being herself, stayed tranquil, and with a wicked smile, in turn, humiliated both of them by behaving badly at the party.
<p>Shan Cai visits the rooftop again, astonished to find Lei. Both of them talk for a while, keeping a good distance from each other, but they do not know Pai Her and Chien Hui were recording them. Later, Pai Her and Chien Hui brought a fashion magazine featuring Teng Tang Chin to show to Shan Cai. From them, Shan Cai learned of the existence of Lei’s love life; Tang Chin. They both scorned Shan Cai and said she could never compare to Tang Chin, not even one hair could match her beauty. Then Pai Her shoved Shan Cai, and she stumbled into Dao, who appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Dao declared to both Pai Her and Chien Hui that Shan Cai was 'his' and whoever spit on her, spit on him also. At that point, Shan Cai was trying to digest the news about Lei’s love life (she had a crush then), and instead of behaving amiable, she started a calamity unto Dao.
<p>At home, Dao took a relationship quiz with the help from his personal assistant. The result: he sucks. Luckily the book offered guidance - one of the 'guidances' being that he should dress in 'cute' clothes.
<p>On the following day, Shan Cai discovers more about the Tang Chin and Lei's relationship when Mei Zhuo and Ximen invited her to hang out with them, sitting on the grass and sipping god-knows-what.
<p>That same night, Shan Cai bumps into Lei while on her way home; he was standing in front of a picture of a model, staring intently at it. Lei had just received a text message from Tang Chin informing him that she would be home soon from Paris. Ecstatic, he spontaneously kissed Shan Cai on her cheek, leaving her perturbed. It was a definite snafu.
<p>The day following that, at the university, Dao wearing a 'cute' cartoon shirt, met up with F4, who all laughed at him, poking fun at his clothes. Then, Lei received a phone call from Tang Chin telling him she had arrived at the university. He ran over to where she was standing, in awe of her beautiful figure. F4 was reunited once again with their childhood playmate. Shan Cai, who accidentally passed by, saw the whole reunion scene and was speechless, seeing the exquisiteness and the soft glow of Tang Chin.
<p>Shan Cai had a pleasant surprise when Qing He, her old classmate came to study at the university. Both of them had lunch together and were seen by an outraged Dao, who was just passing. Straight away, Qing He received a red tag at his locker. Shan Cai knew what it meant, and she dragged Qing He, telling him to run for his life. Shan Cai then demanded that the red tag be taken off, shaking her fist at the jealous Dao; but he would not take it back. Both Shan Cai and Qing He were sprinting away from the mob when they bumped into F4 and Tang Chin. Shan Cai was embarrassed of herself, but turned increasingly startled when Lei stepped out to help them, yet again. Dao and Lei each grabbed Shan Cai and started pulling on her, in a fight, trying to assert dominance over one another. Shan Cai yells for Dao to let her go, and Dao does, and immediately severs friendship ties with Lei, dividing F4.
Tang Chin helps Shan Cai to clean up (after being dumped in the trash) and they become friends. Lei goes up to the rooftop, followed by Shan Cai, who thanks him for his aid. Both of them just sit there the whole day until night. At night, Lei lights some fireworks to brighten up the dark sky. The next day, Shan Cai who was not feeling very well, fainted at university, while talking to Qing He about a sea cruise trip. Dao was surprised to learn that Shan Cai had came down with a high fever and decided to visit her at her home.
- DMS : ( whispers slowly ) I like you. I like you so much that even I think it's weird. In my eyes, I can only see you. Shan Cai, I know I can be very annoying. But I want you to know, if you run away, I will go after you. No matter where, even if it's hell, even if you run to the edge of the world, I will be there. I want you to know one thing, that is I want you for sure.
- SC : Dao Ming Si, I don't care what other people think, as long as you believe in me.
- DMS : I believe you, if you say you didn't do it.
- Lei : When I was young, there was a friend who told me that if you can't hold back your tears, You can stand upside down. In this way, the tears that would fall will stop.
- SC : Flying a kite is like watching somebody from afar. Even though it's far away, there's always hope. Because you know the string you're holding in your hand is like an unbreakable bond that connects the two of you. Chin is like this kite. Even though she's far away, there's a string in your heart that connects you to her.
- DMS : Say it ! Just a simple I like you, say it ! You really hate me that much? You really like Lei so much? Why Lei? Why my best friend? I feel like a fool, why I would like a girl like you. I am Dao Ming Si, the best in the world. I can't believe I fell in love with a girl like you. I am a fool. Don't even say you regret this. Tomorrow's game, I will give my best. Be careful.
- DMS : You are so stupid. If I fight back, I will lose. Then there is no way I can protect you. Taking care of them is easy, but I just want to hold on and not fight back, because at that time I was only thinking I want to protect you. If I die today, don't be sad. Do not cry either.
- DMS : So you will know I like you. Knows to play the piano or not, daughter of CEO or not, I don't really care. Because I really like you.
- DMS : I finally found you. You always have an excuse to run away from me. I don't even know what I should do with you. Could you stop running away from me? Let us solve the problem together. Just leave yourself to me.
- SC : No, I don't feel good at all. I am Hurt. Ever since I saw them kissed, I have a scar in my heart. Dao Ming Si's love is so strong and heavy, so heavy I can't breathe.
- DMS : The shooting star surrounded by the light, symbolizes the wings of Cupid. So before the meteor falls off, if it was seen by the couples, they would be closely locked together. Like having the wings of the God of Love holding them closely, they will be marked with the sign of love.
- DMS : I was once willing to give up anything for her. Even give up the Dao Ming Family business for her. But now I understand, there are some things that can't be forced. The more you put in, the more hurt you will be.
- SC : ( thinking to herself ) I like you ! For a second, I am about to say it out loud. Abandoned my friends and family, abandoned my pride and dignity. Because I really like you.
- DMS : Xi men, what you said may make sense, but I just couldn’t do it. I didn't let myself sink deeper because I never came out of it. I just realized that if I lose SC, then I might not even have the strength to breathe.
- SC : I really like him, there are a lot of times that I want to say it loud, but I can't. I like him and it's not sympathy.
- DMS : I am not afraid of all those obstacles. My only obstacle is San Cai's heart. But I won't think much of it now. No matter what person she likes, I will go after her. No one can stop me, Stop my will to go after her.
- DMS : I am not lonely at all now because I have you. I don't want anything but you. This is the first time I have that feeling, pretty unbelievable right? ( Blushes ) Who dares to interfere and I will kill him.
- DMS : Listen, this woman belongs to me. Try touching a strand of her hair, and you'll get the red slips tomorrow.
SC : I hate your stupidity, I hate your fish eyes, I hate your conceitedness, I hate everything about you. You're the kind of person that everybody hates in those psyche tests. I hate you! I hate you! (runs off) DMS: (quietly)Am I really that hateful?
- DMS : Tell me, why did you betrayed me ? How can you be so mean ? How can you be so cruel ? You crushed my heart in just one night. If breaking my pride is what you're after, Congratulations, you did it ! How can you ask me to trust you ? What do you want from me ?
- SC : If I let you protect me, then I will lose that equality.
DMS : What am I supposed to do with you, why can't you be like other girls ? A bit more gentle some times, more dependable ? Forget it, that's why I like you in the first place. SC : Actually I understand your thoughts, and I am very happy too. So... ( Kisses DMS voluntarily for the first time )
- DMS : Don't you know that I'm worried ? Our relationship has a deadline. Day after day, everything seems to be going the wrong way. Even if you try to cooperate with me at school, or we are with F4, nothing is right. I even think if we are finished... Forget it, this is so embarrassing.
SC : ( Embraces DMS from behind ) Dao Ming Si, I wanted to tell you this, Thank you so much !
- SC : I have something to tell you, I can't be with you anymore.
DMS : What are you talking about? SC : I will leave your home today. DMS : Why ? Why did it turn out this way ? Didn't we left together today ? Do you still remember ? You said you want to have equal status with me and told me not to move out. Didn't you ? So the reason you don't want me to protect you is that you want to break up with me ? SC : No, I meant it at that time I really want to have a steady relationship with you. DMS : Why did it turn out this way ? Tell me. How do you expect me to deal with this ? Tell me ! SC : Dao Ming Si, I already decided I don't want to have relations with the Dao Ming Family anymore, I have also decided, I will not be able to be with you. DMS : I cannot accept this. How could you do this to me ? Shan Cai, did you ever really like me ? Throw away my family, my mom, everything all away. Did you ever really like me ? SC : Actually I never really like you. If I do like you, then I wouldn't be leaving like this. ( Cries and thinks to herself ) Actually there were many times I felt like I am in love with Dao Ming Si.
- DMS : San Cai, don't go. Don't go with him. I can't have you leave me. I can't lose you. Without you, I don't know what my life will be. I can't live a normal person's life, I really don't know what to do if I lose you. San Cai, listen to me. No matter what happens, I will protect you. You have to believe me.
SC : ( Leaves with Ya men on the bus , halts the bus and said to Ya men ) I don't know if love will really disappear. But because I don't know, I want to find my own answer. SC: ( Runs toward DMS ) ( thinks to herself ) I didn't have time to think. I don't care if I regret it or not, I just want to run toward him. Right now, my body and soul are connected; I don't want to lie anymore. I already crossed that bridge.
- SC : So many obstacles have created a bond between us. How I wish we had a normal relationship. But when I decided to be with him, I gave up that thought.
DMS : Is San Cai asleep ? Even though this place is old and crappy, but when I think that she's right next door then this place doesn't feel so bad. Even the air feels different now. I want to go over there and be with her. Even if it's looking at her face while she's sleeping. SC : I thought of crossing that bridge and forcing myself in his world. But Dao Ming Si flipped over the wall and came to my world. I am actually very touched. I really want to go there and tell him. But if I knock on his door, he might think I'm an easy girl.
- SC : Dao Ming Si, we had a deal about the time. If we still cannot be together, then we will give up. And you will accept what your family has arranged for you.
DMS : Why giving up ? If I will give up, I would have given up the first time we broke up. I don't even want to think about it. We will be together. SC : I got it. We will be together. DMS : I miss you so much. ( Cries while covering his eyes with his arms )
- DMS : When I refused to eat, I thought I was about to die. But if I die, I would regret it because you never said you like me.
SC : Is it important ? DMS : Of course it is important. How would you feel if you die knowing nobody likes you. SC : I like you. DMS : What ? Could you repeat it. SC : No, I already said it. Once is enough DMS : San Cai's ( pouts ) SC : Wo Shi Huan ni ! (and they embraced.)
Japanese Culture Portrayed in Meteor Garden
- F4's bond as a group.
- Zhen Xiu Zhen is frequently mistakened to be Liu Xue Hua by some fans in the Philippines. She seems to bear certain facial similarities to the mother of Girls Marching On. Whether or not the younger version of the mother in Girls Marching On still remains to be seen.
- Shan Cai had a younger brother in Hana Yori Dango who played so little parts.
- Shan Cai's mother sings the first two lines of Teresa Teng's song "When Will You Return" in some scenes.
- In the comics, Doumyoji never got a rebond but in here, Dao Ming Si does.
- Harlem Yu's song "Qing Fei De Yi" was used as the opening theme song for the first season of Meteor Garden.
- Doumyoji Kaede is a lot more evil than her Taiwanese counterpart Dao Ming Feng.
- In a scene of Hana Yori Dango, Kaede Doumyoji was slapped by Tsukushi. The reason as to why this scene was removed in the Taiwanese version is unknown, but is possibly due to it being considered too violent.
- Vanness Wu's first appearance on television was in a music video by Run DMC which carries the title "It's Like That" which was first seen early of 1997 on MTV and later aired on Channel V.
- One of the major differences is that in Hana Yori Dango, the ending is more concrete than the first season of Meteor Garden like where Doumyoji and Tsukushi are together, etc. or that Rui reunites with his first love unlike in the Taiwanese version.
- Vic Zhou is currently dating Meteor Garden Co-star Barbie Hsu.
- Meteor Garden remains as the highest rated Asian drama shown in the Philippines garnering a 57.4% rating, and with an Average rating of 42.9% which was shown over ABS-CBN.
- Spawned 2 sequels (Meteor Rain and Meteor Garden II) due to its high ratings in Taiwan.
- Official CTS Meteor Garden website (Chinese Text)
- SPCNET Review of Meteor Garden
- DramaWiki entry for Meteor Garden
- KrystalHeart site for Meteor Garden
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