Boys Over Flowers

TV review by
Amanda Dyer, Common Sense Media
Boys Over Flowers TV Poster Image
Lighthearted Korean drama features bullying, gossip.

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Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

One of the running themes of the series is that money can't buy love. This is a noble thought, however the moral of the story is often betrayed by the plot. Jan-di is pressured into a relationship with the person who bullies and abuses her, her family, and peers because of his wealth. She also often forgives serious transgressions too easily after receiving lavish gifts.

Positive Role Models

Gu Jun-pyo, a notoriously spoiled bully, slowly learns how treat others with respect and kindness. However, his kindness if often dictated by his mood, and any change he experiences completely vanishes when something doesn't go his way. Despite Gu Jun-pyos character growth, it is difficult to forget that the series begins with him bullying a student so badly they are driven to commit suicide.

Violence

The series highlights the various ways the wealthy students bully each other. The first episode begins with a student being bullied so badly they attempt to commit suicide by jumping off the school rooftop. Teens are beaten until bloody, either with fists or tools like hockey sticks. Characters are pelted with eggs, and their property is set on fire. Characters are often drugged, and kidnapped. One character is drugged at a club and taken to a hotel room where photos of her in her underwear are shared online. Characters make several attempts to forcefully kiss other characters.  

Sex

A rumor is spread that a student is pregnant after sleeping with several men. Photos of a student in her underwear in bed with a shirtless man are displayed around the academy.

Language

Name calling and some gateway language, such as "idiot" and "damn." A character is called a "whore."

Consumerism

Children of the rich and elite attend a prestigious academy. Wealthy characters display their status with name brand clothing and accessories. They throw lavish parties inside rented-out clubs and yachts. Characters will take any opportunity they can to show off just how rich they are.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teen drinking and drunken behavior. Characters are drugged and kidnapped.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Boys Over Flowers is a Korean soap opera that has valuable lessons about the abuse of privilege and power. In classic soap opera fashion, many elements in the series can be over the top. Characters' behavior includes bullying and gossiping. High school students are often beaten until bloody, and characters are drugged and kidnapped. The show is ultimately a romance, but the forceful elements of the relationship may send mixed messages to younger viewers.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byChristinamaya September 18, 2021

What's the story?

Korean drama BOYS OVER FLOWERS is a re-adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series by the same name. It follows the story of Geum Jan-di, a high schooler from a struggling family who is admitted into a prestigious private academy after saving the life of a student there. While attending, she makes enemies with the wealthiest group of bullies known as the Flower Four. Gu Jun-pyo, leader of the F4, makes it his mission to torture Jan-di. However, after witnessing her resilience Jun-pyo begins to see her in a different light.

Is it any good?

This internationally recognized series is praised for its quirky and passionate lead. Geum Jan-di has a strong inclination for justice. Watching her persevere against her entitled upperclassmen is what makes Boys Over Flowers a surprisingly empowering series. However, as the show goes on Geum Jan-di gets more involved in the personal drama of the F4 and the moral of the series is lost. Although seeing clumsy Gu Jun-pyos’ transition from a spoiled brat into a more considerate human being is entertaining, it is difficult to forgive and forget some of his past atrocities.

For younger teens beginning to explore complex relationship dynamics, the series may send mixed messages about dating and romance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullying. Have your teens witnessed or experienced cyberbullying or more traditional bullying? In what different forms can this behavior present itself? What defenses can you use against it?

  • Characters are defined by their wealth and status in the series and rarely intermingle. Why do you believe there is this separation? Is it realistic?

  • Families can also talk about courtship. Gu Jun-pyo often pushes a relationship onto Jan-di without receiving her consent. What are some problems with this approach? What are some proper ways to court someone you're interested in?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love teen dramas

Themes & Topics

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