Friday, November 1, 2013

TDrama Review: Meteor Garden 2



The Gist: Everything seems to finally be going right for poor girl Shan Cai (Barbie Hsu) when her wealthy boyfriend Dao Ming Si (Jerry Yan), flies her to Barcelona to propose. Good luck doesn’t last long when Si is in a car accident that wipes his memory. That leaves him lost and in the care of wandering artists Ye Sha (Michelle Saram), the other victim of the accident. Shan Cai calls in Si’s best friends and fellow F4 members Hua Ze Lei (Vic Shou), Mei Zuo (Van Ness Wu) and Xi Men (Ken Zhu) to help find him. Unfortunately, by the time they are able to locate him back in Taiwan, Si is not impressed with what he’s learned of his past self and wishes to stay lost with his new love Ye Sha. Even as Ye Sha tries to help new friend Shan Cai get Si’s memory back, she secretly loves him too. Shan Cai and Si end up torn between the relationship they had and the new mess they’ve fallen into.

Love:

1.F3












Seriously the only redeeming thing about this season is the dedication of Dao Ming Si’s awesome friends. The way they look after Shan Cai is heartwarming and heartbreaking all in one fell swoop. The other versions don’t build as much of a friendship between them and I actually really liked that choice for this show. They do all the cute things for Shan Cai that Dao Ming Si is too dumb to do, like the Valentine’s Day radio dedication that almost had me in tears. Not only that, Mei Zuo’s romance and Xi Men’s father issues make up the best story lines, even if they only show up super late in the series. If there’s anything to like about this series, it’s the boys.

Meh:

1. Qing He (Edward Ou)










Still fairly annoying, Qing He manages to not be totally expendable this season! With her romance in a catastrophic mess, Shan Cai needs all the friends she can get and Qing He is always happy to help. It plays up nicely when new girl Mimi (Megan Lai) takes to him to help lessen the tension between him and Shan Cai. Their scenes were pretty much filler, but it was at least a pleasant distraction from the horror show that was going on with the rest of the series.

Hate:

1.Amnesia/WAY Too Long












 It’s hard to even know where to start with the things that I hated about this season of this show. First off, amnesia is the WORST plot device ever. It undid all the development up until that point and instead of building their relationship, you end up spending the series just trying to get back to where we started. Now if you have to do amnesia, keep it to an episode or two. MG2 spends the ENTIRE season on this one plot problem and it is painful. It takes them almost ten episodes to even find the darn guy after his accident and then it takes a whopping 25 episodes for him to get his memory back (that’s twice as long as most series!). Nothing about this is done well at all. I have never before this skipped scenes or episodes as I was watching, but I would never have gotten to the end without doing so. Just awful.

2. Poor Ye Sha









Oh my gosh. This poor character. She is spunky and nice and actually a pretty good match for Dao Ming Si (which is a dumb move, half the reason you love this story is because Shan Cai is the only one for him). If this was told from her perspective, it would be an absolute tragedy. A hot young guy falls in your lap, as much as you try to do the right thing and help him remember, you can’t help but fall for him. When she finds out he has a girlfriend, she willingly steps aside. She is awesome. However, the show only gives him his memory back in time to remember that he loves Shan Cai right after Ye Sha confesses. It’s awful. All the moments you want between Dao Ming Si and Shan Cai happen with Ye Sha. They travel, build a home together, have moonlit dinners. This whole show is romance between Si and Ye Sha only to have poor Shan Cai broken in the background the whole time. At the end of it – NOBODY IS HAPPY – everyone is worse off than when they started.

3. Poor Hua Ze Lei










 
One of the things I liked about season one was Lei wasn’t in such competition for Shan Cai’s affections. He steps aside for his friends’ happiness, but as Si is an idiot through this entire show, Lei is the constant pillar there for her. Like Ye Sha, Si’s memory only returns just in time to crush any chance he had with Shan Cai. Lei is the nicest, best character and he gets totally shafted this season.

4. Poor Shan Cai












I’m just going to keep on feeling bad for everyone. Shan Cai is interesting to watch because she’s hardworking and feisty. She’s like a zombie this season, eaten alive by sadness and there is just no advancement for her except to get beat down harder and further. After spending so much time with her and season one, it was awful to see her go through so much abuse.   

5. Who the heck are these people?









 
Seriously, just when the show tries to make any kind of progress, it throws in a whole mess of ensemble characters we don’t like or care about, and then spends a bunch of time with them. The restaurant workers at Si’s job and the country bumpkins Shan Cai stays with are two prime examples. Their story doesn’t add to the main one, but rather pulls us way off course. I honestly jumped every scene with these characters after getting the gist because this show was already WAY TOO LONG.

6. The Ending

So, after all this ranting, you must be thinking, why did she watch this whole show if it was painful? Hope. I had hope that this tried and true loved story would pull out a redeeming ending that made it all worth it. But did it? NO. *Spoilers* After starting with an almost proposal, I can’t believe they didn’t ever actually get back to him proposing. If I’m going to sit through 30 episodes of garbage, there better at least be a happy marriage montage at the end. But no. It was just like welp, sorry I love someone else too. I thought for sure when he got his memories back he’d run to Shan Cai, apologize, and love her. Instead, he doesn’t tell anyone and just mopes that two girls love him instead of one. BOOHOO YOU SUCK. 

So:


So… it finally happened. My first F. This show is not only a complete an utter failure, but a long drawn out betrayal. Hana Yori Dango is my most favorite and I can’t stand to see the show butchered like this (it was actually worse than the Korean version omg). It’s like having your own sister kill your dog. It’s not just sad, it’s personal. Nothing about this show works and I wish I had amnesia so that I could forget all the hours I spent on it. Just. Awful. 


Final Grade: F

23 comments:

  1. Absolutely spot on analysis, couldn't agree more. I finished watching all episodes in a few hours, skipping 80% of the scenes, wish I had not watch this or only watch 1st and the last episode. OMG what were they thinking, a real flop to say the least!

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    1. I so agree! I find it hard to believe anyone actually enjoyed this. It was so bad - I wish I could warn everyone about to watch this and just say STOP!!

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  3. If I will be given a chance to revise the story.
    I will make it shorter like 21 episodes only and even though he had amnesia and interested in ye sha or dated her, he will still fall in love with shan cai all over again. and give it a phrase "What the mind forgets, the heart remembers." He will give a chance learn the people in his past and will be confused and ask shan cai to make him remember his past self and their relationship. (of course with the help of f3). In the end he will remember everything and found the lost pair of the meteor ring propose to shan cai and fast forward to 5 years from the proposal scene. Dao ming si and shan cai came back to Spain and reminiscing the struggles and how they over come all of it and still together and ever.

    because in the series he had to remember everything first to finally acknowledge shan cai and his friends and that was so devastating.
    like what the heck if I will have an amnesia I would like to know my past for christ sake!

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    1. Ah! I wish they had put you in charge of doing this show! It honestly just breaks my heart still thinking about it. Those poor characters. Plus, it's not like he could run from his past forever. So many bad decisions!

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  4. I am a Meteor Garden Fanatic since 10 years ago and until now! I feel like 10 years younger because it's aired again on ABS-CBN. The Meteor Garden F4 are still cuties by the way, especially my greatest crush Jerry Yan. Yeheyyyyy!

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  5. I really don't get why amnesia plots are so important in dramas (they even have this plot device in western movies like Divergent) but I read somewhere that it has to do with fear of losing a loved one, and how the person copes, etc. So there's a fascination for it in female oriented stories. I think I can understand it (to an extent), and the story can even be good if the amnesia is handled well.

    But the way they did it in MG II was terrible because it lasted the whole season, save for the first and last episodes. In the manga, it happens for a short time, and Tsukasa/Dao Ming Si falls for Tsukushi/Shan Cai all over again. I think it's much preferable this way because he was written in character, even telling the other girl to get away because he instinctively knew he didn't like her.

    MG I is good because it stays true to Kamio's work; it's my preferred version of Hana Yori Dango, followed by the japanese live drama. I wouldn't recommend MG II to any fan of HYD though, because none of it was based on the comic, and the leads (especially Ah Si) are pretty much out of character for the entire thing. :0

    Anyway, it's nice to see a review of Meteor Garden. I remember when it showed in my country, everyone was crazy for it (even my office mates would stop work to watch!); nowadays, most Asian drama fans tend to discuss and post online content on the japanese and korean versions- so once in awhile I'm glad to see something on the taiwanese.

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    1. Ah! I hate amnesia plot devices (as you may have noticed). I still feel sad in my heart when I think about this season of this show. The first season was so good! I agree, the first season of MG and HYD are definitely my favorites. That's interesting insight on the amnesia plot and I am willing to deal with it in small doses, but COME ON. This season almost killed me. So sad :(

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  6. Thanks for saving my time with your review. I came here by googling for MG2 reviews after watching 6,5 episodes and feeling horribly bored. The first season was awesome, it was interesting to observe how main characters were interacting! But now I'm tired of never seeing them together at all, and I fail to feel interested in Si's situation. And after reading your review I'm sure I don't want to watch further, even though they will interact. It's a shame. Maybe the idea for this season was that they'd trade places, so that the girl chases the boy, and not vice versa, but I do not find that interesting, especially without a real resolution.

    And I wish they came up with something else, amnesia is such a lazy tool to create more drama.

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    1. It honestly is so not worth it. I kind of wish I could bleach this season from my memory. The first season was so promising! I wouldn't wish this season on anyone, especially not fans of the original work. Everything they did was wrong. So much. If you want to just jump to the last episode to feel some sense of closure, you can, but it doesn't make up for hours and hours of heartbreaking lunacy.

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  7. Hi :) I came across your blog by chance when I was looking for some support (like, yeah, psychological support) while watching this drama. Having painfully reached episode 13, I could seriously not take it anymore (I even skipped scenes, just like you did, to go faster; which is something I usually never do either). That's why I needed spoilers (again, for the first time EVER) to give me a reason to stop watching it (more like to confirm my decision). I also wanted to know if I was the only one who thought this season really sucked...

    That's just what your review did for me, so THANK YOU for saving my time and comforting me in my own judgment!
    Reading your opinion really made me laugh!! Even though I didn't go as far as you did, I could really relate to everything you said. There's nothing to save in that season but the touching friendship between Shanzai and the boys. And that's IT.

    I was so disappointed. After years of worshipping HanaDan, I finally gave a chance to MG (BOF was just okay to me. I've also read your review about it- funny enough, I have the same thoughts: I had to watch it twice to really get into it. The first time, I didn't like it at all.)
    Anyway, I was thrilled by MG first season (although there were some details I didn't appreciate, like how Daoming Si could sometimes hits Shan Cai -ok, he slaps her twice + forced kisses on her twice as well - that violence was a real turn-off). Still I liked it, some moments were just great, Barbie Xu is really a good lead, and the rest of the F4 is great.

    Seeing as I could not even get through the end of it just makes me sad. Sad for me, sad for everyone who watched it, and sad for everyone who participated in making this drama. What were the writers thinking?? I kept ending each episode, hoping that the next would FINALLY resolve the damn amnesia. Wishful thinking. Instead it just kept sinking deeper and deeper into an alternate reality where nothing we loved from the original show existed. Such a shame. It's like Si was better off not remembering his past life and his past love. He found a new lovely girl, became a better person, lived a simple life that made him truly happy. So why would we even want him to go back to his old life??!! oh yes, I remember now, because the rest of the cast is aching all over! Seriously, I don't get the point of making 25 episodes that denied all the things we loved. *sigh*

    So after that painful experience, I did what any sane person would: I switched to full HanaDan mode and raced through both seasons and the movie. That was the treat I needed to get over my frustration.

    I'm glad this whole thing happened though, since I could find your blog. I really enjoy reading your reviews of the drama I've already watched, to see if we agree. Most of the time, we do! (so I know I can trust your recommendations). Plus, your comments really make me laugh ^^

    Keep up the good work :)

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    1. Thank you so much for the very sweet reply! I literally just read this whole thing out to my husband because I was so touched. I love connecting with people who feel the way I do. Honestly, you'd think after all this time I would get over how bad this season is, but really I am still really enraged. I could throw a chair through a window just thinking about it. It's honestly made me really question shows with any amnesia plot points at all (though I'm enjoying Sensory Couple/Girl Who Sees Smells currently despite that).

      I just can't believe how hard this show fails when it has such a great foundation already. I really don't know how they managed to mess this up so thoroughly. It's like they were trying to make loyal fans angry.

      I'm so happy to spare anyone the pain and suffering of watching beloved characters butchered so badly. Thank you for letting me know I was able to help! I honestly wish I could bleach this season from my mind. AH! SO ANGRY STILL!!

      Thanks again for the comment, please comment in the future! I'd love to know what you think about other shows <3

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    2. I'm glad my comment pleased you :)
      It's been a very long time since I posted anything on the web (other than the usual "thanks" when downloading something). I used to have a blog myself a few years ago (mostly about j&k music and drama), and I remember how cool it was to be able to exchange with people who had the same interest in asian culture. But then I became too busy and left it all alone for a while. Now that I have more time, I'm back into it, and it feels so good, just like the old days (even if music-wise, a lot has changed) ^^
      And as I said, your articles made me want to react and share my views again, so thank you for your sweet reply as well!!
      I'll definitely try to comment on other reviews!

      I totally understand your feelings towards this season; I wish I could take back the 13 hours I spent on it too! I seriously wonder how the whole cast went along with it, and nobody raised the red flag to say "wait a minute, this is terrible!". But I try not to think about it, not to feel bad again.
      I'm actively working on memory control to deny the very existence of that second season (just like I denied the existence of Pocahontas 2 - if you like Disney movies and saw it, you'll know what I mean ;p)

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  8. Hey there!

    As with everyone, I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt the same way about MG2. After the car accident, I skipped practically all the parts with Ye Sha and Si and their budding love, bothered watching the parts where Si's friends and family are trying to find him, and only paused when Shan Cai comes in the picture for those moments to see if Si felt anything for her despite not remembering like in the office...and I was just sorely disappointed. I only completed watching an entire episode from 23 onwards when there were concrete developments between Lei and Shan Chai, and when the show is finally moving on with Si remembering, and showing us an actual struggle.

    I was so frustrated with the show by then, that I couldn't bring myself to slow down and catch up Ximen and Mei Zhuo's stories because I know it would require tracking from the start to follow.

    Something that grits my teeth a little as always was me hoping that Shan Chai could maybe just slip a really deep confession, like an actual "wo ai ni" or "wo ai shang le ni", stronger words instead of "wo xi huan" to Si himself, instead of only saying it when he isn't around. That's how the director, producers and writers always toy with our feeling, keeping it till the end for both MG1 and 2. Sigh.

    Nonetheless, I think Barbie and Jerry did a really great job, not to mention Vic. I agree with every point you mentioned and how you grouped them, and I agree with Cherry Cordero too - would much prefer her version. I wish they at least mentioned how Si managed to have a "clean break" with Ye Sha after the world tour too. And just wished that Si and Shan Cai could have exchanged a little more romantic words at the end for a nicer closure after such a shitty run of 20 over episodes of pain and suffering.

    Enjoyed this review, and reading the comments. Couldn't help but to join in as well. It's a nice closure for me after binge watching MT1 and 2 over this weekend, I always need these kind of reviews to close my heart after splitting it open to absorb the emotions from these serials. Gotta add, I'd replay the parts especially in MT1 when Si confesses his feelings, it always tingles my heart because we know how Si is like, and how he says it is so.... *_*....

    Alright I better stop before I continue rambling. Thanks so much for this. Appreciate it a lot!

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  10. Gruelling.....that's the pain I felt watching MG2 from episode 1 to 10. I really want to know what happens in the end but I'm so disappointed by the plot and the pace, right now I'm not sure I can but my curiosity might give in. It's like watching a tragedy movie that never ends. HYD is still my best version ever! I wish they introduced Xiayou again (I liked that girl) and dwelt a little more on her story with Ximen or something else worth looking forward to. The amnesia plot is just really dumb! The head might forget but the heart always remembers, right? The fact that Daoming Si felt more secure with Ye sha over F3 (yeah, i said it) and Shanchai really did not appeal to me. Plus, I don't like Ye sha's character, she looked fake to me, full of plastic slap-on smiles. I wish I could sue the writer...shame on you!

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    1. HYD forever! I really wish I could just forget this whole season. I'd say if you can't handle not knowing, just jump and watch the last episode. I know that's like a cardinal drama watching sin, but you aren't missing much and you'll at least get some catharsis (read: SOME). Also, I never thought about it, but you are so right! He's picking Ye Sha over F4. AH. SO TERRIBLE. Everything about this is just so wrong. I want everyone to get all the feelings out! This has me so worried about any future remakes. How can you mess up so bad with such fantastic source material?? No to Ye Sha for life.

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  11. Thank you for this post. I felt better after watching the shitty MG2.

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  12. Season 2 of Meteor Garden was basically about changing Asi's ways. Because if you recall on season 1, Asi is hot-tempered and he gets angry easily. He and Shan Cai quarrelled all the time. He's just a rich boy who depended so much on his family's billions and riches. Season 2's goal was to change him in order to prepare him for the life he's gonna live with Shan Cai. And Ye Sha played a vital role in changing Dao Ming Si to a man who can stand in his own feet and not depend on the riches of his family. As the season progresses, you can see Dao Ming Si changing into a much simpler man, somebody who you can say is much a better pair for just a simple and poor girl like Shan Cai. So I appreciate that plot. But you're right, it's too bad Asi has to spend A LOT of time with Ye Sha when everybody was expecting a lot of Dao Ming Si and Shan Cai's moments. I agree they should've not lengthen the duration of amnesia. And instead of that, they should've showed us a wedding at the end. A ten-minute scene of them kissing on the church is not worth it. We waited too long for them to be together. I also think that it's a fair decision that they killed Ye Sha off the show. Although I felt bad for Hua Ze Lei. He should've ended up with somebody!!!! But he ended up with Shan Cai in real life anyways.


    Overall for me, I'll give Meteor Garden season 2, 3 out of 5 stars. And Meteor Garden season 1 maybe, 5 out of 5 stars.

    Lol I'm such a fan.

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  13. Hello everybody... I was so mad with this season I had the feeling since their vacation trip someting bad was going to happen... they made them so close together and they look so happy... the accident happened and I didn't even finish the episode just jump to episode 15 And guess what? he had other girl and the amnesia was still there... he even look so close to this girl... I was so mad.... he is actually kissing other woman.... and doing things he never experience with Shein Cai... Did he slept with her??? Don't know since I skipped tne whole thing made me sick.... hoping for something better jumped to episode 25 and guessed what he still not with his beloved.... the whole thing is a disgrace for the whole BOF- HANA YORI DANGO series... should be erease from every archive and lets pretend it never happened...thanks for reading needed to let go some frustration

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  14. i was a fan of MG 1 when I came across your blog. I hoenstly got frustrated when I read your post because I was a huge admirer of the show. I decided to re-watch I just to refresh my memories since it's been 10 yrs + since I last saw it; and then proceeded to watch MG 2 (wasn't able to watch the 2nd season, forgot why) the first episode was good until it lasted. PFFFFT What a horrible beginning, middle and end. I should have listened to you.

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    1. No! I'm sorry to anyone who watches this but it's almost impossible not to try after how good season 1 is. I'm happy my blog can still serve as group therapy for anyone who watches this 😊 (It's been years and I'm still angry!!!)

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  15. I am a big fan of MG1. This is my fith times watching it. The first time I watched MG1 is when I was 10 and now I'm 23, 13 years later and I still deeply fall in love with Dao Ming Si and Hua Ze Lie. I never imagine I can love a drama this much. I've just finished watching MG1 and of course I search for how the cast's real life in 2017 are. As I expected they change so much. Even Hue Ze Lie doesnt have his pure and innocent look in his eyes. I always wanted to have a love like Dao Ming Si, fight for his love and win her heart. But it never happen to me, I fought and lose because my boyfriend was not Shang Cai, he did not fight for me. Now that I'm more mature, watching the show all over again really bring me a new perspective about real life. I am glad to find out your review and happy to see it s still active until 2017. I decided not to watch MG2 again. Only MG1 drama will be forever in my heart and my teenager' memories. I hope to see all you guys in 2027 and we discuss about this drama <3

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