Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Drama Review: Flower Boy Next Door

I finally finished Flower Boy Next Door, tvN's third installment of the Flower Boy series and to be brief with my opening words, I want to talk about it now.

When I started writing for this post I actually didn't realize I've actually written a First Take on it way back when. Last year actually when it was airing. If you missed out on that, you can read it here.

I know this drama came out last year and I'm late to the game. The scenario was I did watch it when it was on, then I got stuck at the halfway point and gave up. Recently I got in a drama kick (believe it or not I'm watching 3 dramas "live" while they're airing) and decided to pick this drama up again since I had a hankering for cute rom-coms. While it's not my favorite of the three Flower Boy dramas, it most definitely isn't my least favorite.

Flower Boy Next Door begins on the floor of an apartment building where Go Dok-mi (Park Shin-hye) lives. She lives a lonely life as a freelance editor, very rarely leaving her house only to get necessary groceries. Next door lives Oh Jin-rak (Kim Ji-hoon) and Oh Dong-hoon (Go Kyung-pyo), not related but are webtoon artists and work partners. Jin-rak holds a crush on Dok-mi for a few years but can only love her from afar. On the other hand, Dok-mi has a crush on Han Tae-jun (Kim Jun-sang) and she would frequently watch him from her window. When Tae-jun's cousin Enrique Geum (Yoon Si-yoon), a game designer from Spain, stayed over, he spots Dok-mi spying on them. Enrique gets curious about Dok-mi and tries to figure out who she is.

Well, that's the basic premise anyways.

I thought the premise was really cute, the girl who just wants to be left alone suddenly have all these boys cornering her every which way. It's more reminiscent of the first Flower Boy drama, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop in that it's mostly about the cute bubbly romance. I mean, the title is even similar. It's definitely got the rom-com vibe that the Ramyun Shop has, not the teenage angst goodness Shut Up! Flower Boy Band was.

I actually don't like Ramyun Shop all too much, as I've mentioned previously. I just watched it for Lee Ki-woo. True story. I thought the plot was very cliche in more reasons than I'd like to say. The characters were borrowed from a stock pile. It was just another run of the mill Korean rom-com filled with many, many beautiful people. Shut Up! on the other hand was great. It has angst, a ton of bromance, a great story with awesome characters. It was gritty, edgy, and in many ways, fresh.

I'd like to say Flower Boy Next Door is some kind of odd mix of the two. It has romance that will soothe all illness (probably), but it also has character development that makes the story line interesting. It's a rom-com that offers a little more than that.

Anyways, I honestly don't have much to say about this drama. It was cute at first, and got slightly tiring towards the end. I love the fact that the characters are clearly flawed and the drama did try to make them a better version of themselves. The last half got boring, and the last quarter was just damn confusing. Maybe I drifted off to sleep or something, but there just wasn't an urgency towards the end. Like the story was finished a couple of episodes before. Lack of urgency is boring in stories, remember that self.

The performances though was pretty great. Yoon Si-yoon was annoyingly cute in some moments (in the best way possible), and was sensitive in others. Park Shin-hye made being a hermit very adorable. If only I can do so myself. And Kim Ji-hoon just makes Jin-rak a pitiful yet endearing character. I'd say everyone did a great job and despite the trailing end, everyone performed awesomely.

One thing I have to note is the color palate of the drama. It is sepia for miles on end. I'm not exactly sure why the chose that color palate. Is it to reflect Dok-mi's dark room with a bit of color and hope? Or create a moody feel? For some reason it bothered me in the end. Probably the exact reason it's hard for me to swallow Miss Korea. That drama needs new lens or filters or something.

And that, my friends, is what I have to say about Flower Boy Next Door. As a closing note, I'd like to compare this drama to a bag of candy. It tastes sweet and great at first, but gets kind of sickening by the end. It makes you feel happy, but it's also empty calories. But I'd say it's still worth it.


  1. I felt a little gipped out on the end, when so many drama bloggers ended up raving over FBND. I, on the other hand, kind of loved the beginning and was dully bored by the second half. So much so that I resorted that drama-water's friend.. the fast forward button.

    I guess most dramas get that drag, but I couldn't find much to save this one from the same fate. With time behind me now, I recognize that the characters in the drama were way unique and endearing, and I genuinely liked a lot of things about it - the side characters, the bizarre love triangle, that Dok Mi was.. well, who she was.. and that Enrique was bubbly throughout. Shrunk down to maybe 10 episodes and I might have liked the whole thing better.

    1. I think a lot of dramas can benefit from trimming excess episodes. Bring on the mini dramas.