Wednesday, January 23, 2013

First Take: Drama Flower Boy Next Door

Another tvN Oh Boy! series has come and grace upon us once more. Following the success of the popular Flower Boy Ramyun Shop and Shut Up! Flower Boy Band, tvN followed up with another adorable series entitled Flower Boy Next Door. With a title like that, pretty boys are ensured. But is it a good enough followup?

The story tells of a lonely Rapunzel-esque girl by the name of Go Dok-mi (Park Shin-hye) who traps herself in her home because of complicated matters of which we don't know. Her main entertainment of sorts comes from spying on her hot neighbor (Kim Jun-sang) an apartment away through her little yellow binoculars. The only human contact she has is with her boss by phone and with her next door neighbor Oh Jin-rak (Kim Ji-hoon) who sends her a milk carton and a cheerful post-it message every morning. Jin-rak is a rookie webtoon artist who's trying to find success all while rocking yesterday's sweatpants and totting around a narcissistic sidekick and self-declared pretty boy Yoo Dong-hoon (Go Kyung-pyo). Everything in Dok-mi's world turns upside down when Enrique Geum (Yoon Si-yoon), a proclaimed game creator, moves in with her little crush and catches her snooping into their household. Things get even more complicated when an unwanted old school acquaintance (Park Soo-jin) moves into her building.


Being the third installment of the ever popular Oh Boy! series, expectations for Next Door is high. While I enjoyed Shut Up! quite a lot, I wasn't too fond of Ramyun Shop. I thought it was too shallow for its own good. Even though I was expecting good things from this (it has Park Shin-hye, who is just adorable and has the best hair, and Yoon Si-yoon who is such a great actor), I approached carefully. I didn't even watch the trailers! How crazy! Maybe I wasn't that excited.

Nevertheless through the two episodes that I have watched, I'm impressed. It's light and fun, but still has potentially interesting story line. It's nice how most of the characters know each other to some degree. Basically the only "newbie" is Enrique who seems to be such a ball of happiness in one package. It's crazy. But oh so fun.

I think one thing this drama is trying to do is give you over the top things, from over the top characters, to over the top situations. But somehow, it just works. Maybe because the story is just crazy, we just let it be. But also maybe because it's over the top in a mild manner. Enrique is super bubbly, but not in a vomit-induced way. Dok-mi is so reclusive, but in a rather hilarious way. Jin-rak is sloppy and anti-second lead, but we all need a little Kim Ji-hoon everyday.

In a sense, the main four characters are unlike your average main characters. Our lead male isn't broody or a plain jerk, he's chirpy. Our lead female isn't a go getter or a sickly poor child, she just wants to be left alone. Our second lead male isn't your typical rich daddy long legs, he probably only owns one set of nice clothes. Our second lead female isn't a bitch, at least yet, she's someone who just wants to be liked. I guess there are elements of the average roles but overall I think they're pretty fresh.

Also, I have a feeling the story will be more revolving around our girl Dok-mi, unlike the first two Flower Boy dramas. Sure there's development on Yang Eun-bi, but probably not as much as Cha Chi-soo. Shut Up! is all about brotherhood and much less about Su-ah the character and more about Su-ah the muse. So I'm really excited for Next Door because I see Dok-mi as the character that needs the most growing. The others will too, probably, but at this point she's the one that need guidance out of her shell.

As for everything else, I really like it. Especially the camerawork and editing. How cool! I feel like the directing is somewhat similar to Reply 1997 which I like. It's soft and approachable, somehow feels like a dream. Sometimes I feel like I'm watching a graphic novel, much less a drama. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, but I like it.

I'm really liking the overall tone of this drama. It seems like a really good pick me up at the end of a stressful day. And come on, so much pretty? What's not to like?

One more thing, how cool is that the URL of their official website is No joke, that's a real URL.


  1. I knew something was up, but I hadn't taken the time to think about it - you're right, the leads are all NOT playing their stereotypical roles, particularly Jin Rak ("sloppy" - lol) and the oh-so-chirpy Enrique.

    I'm enjoying this - but it's not quite to love yet. I hope that'll change soon. :)

    1. Jin-rak is starting to be a stereotypical second lead in a sense he's just distant from our girl, but he's just too sloppy and wimpy to fully grasp the mostly dignified second lead.

  2. Im realli enjoying this drama,story wise its quite small and simple without big dramatic events occuring,but somehow it works for me.i hope it continuous to be fun till the very end

    1. I really hope so too. K-dramas tend to get way too dramatic during the second half so I'm just hoping this won't. At least it won't canonball into it. So far it has touch meaty stuff without feeling draggy, which is a good sign.