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Archive for December, 2013

Boys Before Friends (US Remake of BOF) – Review/Rant

A little over an hour ago, I saw that Viki had the US remake of Boys Over Flowers, Boys Before Friends. So I decided to watch it. I tweeted this, “I’m gonna try the BOF remake. can’t be worse then the originals.” How very very wrong I was.

I hope proper drama reviewers/recappers take on this challenge but here is my rant.

Disclaimer: Please note I despise Boys Over Flowers, so this isn’t a “they ruined my favorite show” rant, this is a “How did they manage to make my least-favorite show even worse” rant?

Disclaimer 2: I don’t really know anyone’s name, and I don’t really care to.

Disclaimer 3: This is going to have spoilers, but come on, it’s BOF, you know what is going to happen anyway.

Problem #1:

It is apparently set in a grad school (the best grad school in the entire country). So the characters are mid-20s (at least); therefore, they don’t have the excuse of young & stupid. This isn’t HS pranks (not that it ever was just pranks to me), this is full on “go directly to jail, do not pass go” assault.

Problem #2:

Minor characters make absolutely no sense (or have Stockholm Syndrome – I’m not sure). 6 months ago, a black guy (as I said, don’t know the names) was given an F4 notice by some blonde witch but he doesn’t know why and decided since he had only one year left to put up with being assaulted until they find a new target instead of doing the adult thing and calling the freaking cops. (Come on. You’re in grad school, so aren’t you supposed to be intelligent. Did you use up your brain cells on the GRE?). 4 months later, his friend is now the target and he is the first one to assault his friend. Nice.

Speed up two months, and Zoey (lead girl) gets the notice. And you remember the locker room scene, right? Yeah, he is one of the instigators of the planned gang rape. So in 6 months, he goes from being assaulted for no reason to hitting his friend to rape. What!

BTW, that scene was despicable in the original, (I know people you can say they were HS boys & were just going to scare her), but it is much worse with adult men. Rape isn’t a joking matter, and anyone attempting to rape someone should have their testicles removed, through their throat. Seriously, someone tries anything with you, knee them until you hit brain.

Back to rant: So he has 3-6 months left to graduate and he decides that instead of graduating he should just go to prison. Or were they just going to kill her? And it’s not like the F4 will protect him. Yeah, I know she’ll be saved in the next ep by a request for a pancake or some other type of recipe; but he doesn’t know that. He is intending to commit rape. Or let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, he is only intending to pretend to rape her, but he’s already crossed the line into false imprisonment. Bye bye future.

Then you have the rest of the supporting cast, women fawn all over the F4 and act as their messengers. and the men call them “Master” while fetching them coffee – BARF! At least one person in authority, a TA, participates by calling Zoey trash in class. And then you have the coffee shop guy, who freely doctors people’s drinks. Poor guy. He’s afraid of getting an F4 notice; he should be afraid of going to jail. Doctoring people’s drinks is a crime! and “just a laxative” won’t be accepted in a court of law. People have gone to jail for that. But he didn’t know it was a laxative, it could have been Rohypnol or arsenic, so he could have been an accomplice to rape or a murderer. Nice, really nice.

Problem #3:

F4 are jerks as always, but they are jerks in modern day America, not the fantasy land of BOF. In the US, you assault people, you get arrested. Or if you are famous, then people tell the media and you get trial by media. Even something as simple as “he cut off my ponytail” would result in a ton of bad PR that isn’t easily swept under the rug. Heck, the big black guy (need to find a better nickname for him) could have said “they are assaulting me cause I’m black” and people would have believed it. Heck, it makes more sense then “they are assaulting me for no particular reason except they are jerks.”

Problem #4:

bad writing, bad story, bad acting, bad sound, bad camerawork, bad editing, bad bad bad. Just everything that could be bad is bad.

Bad writing. The writing is awful. Yes, I know the story is awful to begin with, but really, “I grew me some lady balls” – those are called ovaries, and we women are smart enough not to keep ours where they could be easily damaged. There are other lines just as bad.
Bad story. So how did she start in middle of the semester? why did she have to clean a room to dance in? what is her major? why is she only going to be there 9 months? If she is supposed to be poor, why is her apartment so fancy?
Bad acting. Ok, Zoey isn’t a horrible actor, but 99 percent of the rest of the cast is. It looks like they just used kdramas random white guy bad actor list and added other ethnicities.
Bad sound. In some locations, the sound is fine. In others, OK most, it sounds like they are “acting” inside a tin can. There are weird artifacts and sometimes they speak so softly, that you have to read the subs.
Bad camerawork. Most of the time, the camera work is OK, but one time in particular, it was awful. It was worse then home video quality, the camera was shaky. I thought maybe it was part of the plot (a hidden camera was planted in their apartment)
Bad editing. I got so confused at the beginning trying to figure out what was going on with the time skips. well, I got confused, but I didn’t care enough to be extremely confused, so “so confused” was probably an exaggeration.
Bad everything else. continuity for one. Her hair changes from one scene to another, yet she’ll wear the same outfit to her audition and to the first day of school. Instead of fancy time consuming hair styles, she should have kept to a simple (or at least single) style so it wouldn’t be so obvious. Yes, they looked cool, and I was wondering how to do them on myself, but they caused issues.
His wig is awful. Yes, I know; at some point, she’s going to go off on the ponytail & he’s going to cut it off, but couldn’t they have afforded one that at least looks real?
Bad language: Why on earth did they use the F word & other profanities? Come on, it is pretty bad when the subs bleep you.
Maybe the dancing was OK, I don’t know because I don’t dance, so I don’t know what is good or what isn’t.

Good Part #1:

I liked the prank war payback, well, except for the whole doctoring people’s drinks thing.

Good Part #2:

I’ve got nothing.

If you wanna watch it, it is on Viki. but don’t say I sent you and don’t blame me.

http://www.viki.com/tv/22268c-boys-before-friends

Side Note: I had earlier tweeted that this train wreck was beyond words; apparently, I was wrong then too.

Update:

Just learned that apparently, the Zoey character will change actresses sometime during the 2nd ep and they will reshoot the 1st ep & part of Ep 2 with the replacement later. Really? So they are ditching the only one who can act, in the middle of an ep!

I think we are guaranteed that this will be the only US remake of a kdrama. You’re Beautiful is safe.

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What makes an egg?

And no the answer isn’t “a chicken?” An egg is apparently a person who is white on the outside and yellow on the inside. Aka, a Caucasian who is interested in Asian culture and languages. Some sites said “a white person who wants to be Asian.” I was kinda speechless, but that has never stopped me before. Let me be perfectly clear. I’m “white” and interested in Asian stuff (specifically Korean stuff), but I have no desire to be Asian. And I think most people who are interested in kdramas and kpop aren’t thinking “I wish God had made me Asian.” There may be a few exceptions among teenagers, but even then I don’t think it is that many. Why does having an interest in learning another culture make you weird? Is it because the other culture’s typical physical appearance is very different from yours? Would it be Ok if a Korean was interested in Chinese culture? What about a white American interested in French culture or a white French person interested in British culture? (I know both France & the UK are multicultural – this is just an example.) Or is it Ok for a Caucasian to be a little interested in Asian cultures, but not too much. At what point does someone become an egg? when they start watching TV shows, eating the food, listening to music or learning the language? Or when they just become annoying? And annoying to whom? My friends and family are annoyed with me, but AFAIK, I haven’t annoyed any Koreans yet. I’m sure some Koreans have laughed at me behind my back for my hideous accent or for whatever. (I was wearing a modern hanbok yesterday and forgot I was wearing it until I got to the Korean restaurant and they mentioned it, so I bet they laughed at me. I think hanboks are pretty; sue me. [I love to wear salwar kameezes and watch Bollywood movies so what does that make me? an inside out coconut?]) Or this is what be just appalling, do you become an egg when you make friends with people from that culture? Come on! Why can’t we just like what we like? Why is it wrong for me to like Korean stuff because I’m a nonKorean? I love learning about other cultures; I have since childhood. This is part of who I am. I’d love to teach about US culture because I figure people might be interested in more then what they see on TV. I occasionally help a coworker out with some US cultural oddities that she doesn’t understand. I’m always researching stuff I don’t understand from a foreign TV or movies. I’ve looking up all sorts of things (e.g., AGAs in UK comedy, or red hair ribbons in a Bollywood movie, or “oppa” and red stickers in kdramas) Cultures are fascinating because they are formed by and influence people, and I have no plan to stop being fascinated. If that makes me an egg, oh well. —- Oh and please don’t take “I have no desire to be Asian” as an insult. It isn’t. It is a statement of fact, I have no desire to be someone I’m not. God gave me to Caucasian parents (and wouldn’t accept returns); therefore, I’m Caucasian. I look like my mom so I’m kinda short & dumpy; and I have my grandmother’s …um… chest and my dad’s nose. I know what I’ll look like until I’m 90 because I take after my mom who takes after her mom. Why would I want to give all that up? Besides, I’ll be supercute when I’m old. 😀