A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Name calling and some gateway language, such as "idiot" and "damn." A character is called a "whore."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.