Parents' Guide to

Meteor Garden

By Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Chinese soap sends wrong messages about gender, bullying.

TV Netflix Drama 2018
Meteor Garden Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 16+

Abusive relationships glamourized

I watched the first 4 episodes of this show. It seemed funny and catchy at first yet the relentless verbal and physical abuse (abuse seems to be treated as bullying) crosses the line. This show targets teens as an audience yet it portrays the kind of relationship every girl must stay away from, yet it glamourizes it. This is not a show that has a good message. It was dissapointing to see the main character be verbally and physically abused (pushed, shoved, cornered, forced to kiss someone even when she asks his to stop etc...).Physical assault of women is neither entertaining nor acceptable! Netflix categorizes this show as romantic, charming and yet there is nothing charming nor romantic about abuse.
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+


If you allow children to watch please stay with them. Every episode is full of gender violence. It does not look like people see "the bad guy" for what he is. And the victim develops Stockholm syndrom, from what I gathered from other reviews. Children need to understand what they are seeing, and that this is not expected behavior in relationships. I was watching to learn Mandarin, but I am not sure I will finish.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9):
Kids say (15):

The current incarnation of this show is based on a Japanese manga that was adapted into a Taiwanese television series in 2009, so it's unclear where its problems originated, but problems it certainly has. Meteor Garden violates the fundamental dramatic principle of "show, don't tell." We're introduced to characters with voice-over narration that lists their personality traits instead of seeing those traits dramatically shown through behaviors or situations. It's all done with such precision (one character explains that the members of F4 are all 165 centimeters tall) that it would be funny if it didn't seem so amateurish. What's more infuriating is how the members of F4, arrogant bullies who answer to no one because the school values their unparalleled card game skills, are given so much power over Shancai. Dressed and photographed like fashion models, F4 and especially Si treat Shancai terribly. But because her willingness to stand up to them is deemed impressive, they welcome her into their midst -- and she goes.

What's the message here? The audience is also expected to forgive Si's bullying behavior when it's revealed that his father died when he was young and his workaholic mother neglected him. It's disturbing to see Shancai fall for this manipulative, volatile, but handsome, creep. Overall, Meteor Garden offers up some very regressive gender representations and dangerous messages about male/female power dynamics.

TV Details

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