“Meteor Garden” 15 Years Later: Reboot VS. Original

  • This 2018, “Meteor Garden” returns with a fresh, new cast and with a bigger, flashier adaptation.
  • So before we relive the feels of the series, let’s compare the 2001 Taiwanese version to it’s 2018 Chinese reboot.

Who can forget the epic love story of the poor teenage girl Shancai (Barbie Shu) and the rich but arrogant heir Dao Ming Si (Jerry Yan) that swept Filipino audiences off their feet fifteen years ago?

Who did not fall for Dao Ming Si’s three other rich, handsome but arrogant friends Hua Ze Lei (Vic Zhou), Mei Zuo (Vanness Wu) and Xi Men (Ken Chu), with their group collectively known as ‘F4’, short for ‘Flower 4’?

Who did not spend their weekday afternoons glued to their television screens while watching “Meteor Garden”? I guess we can all agree that everyone of us were smitten by the Taiwanese hit series which aired in ABS-CBN on May 2003, ultimately becoming one of the highest rated TV series in the country and shaping our generation.

Now, this 2018, “Meteor Garden” returns with a fresh, new cast and with a bigger, flashier adaptation. This Chinese reboot also known as “Meteor Garden Reborn”, based on the Japanese shōjo manga series Boys Over Flowers (花より男子 Hana Yori Dango) is produced by Angie Chai, the same producer of the 2001 Taiwanese version and is directed by Lin Helong.

The series started shooting from late autumn to early spring in 7 different international locations. Shooting of the series finished last March 22, 2018 for a total of 145 days. The series is set to be released this summer, and will be aired in ABS-CBN.

So now, before we relive the feels of the series, let’s compare the 2001 Taiwanese version to the 2018 Chinese reboot and check their similarities and differences!

The Reboot is Bigger and Flashier than the Original.

Aside from the new cast, the 2018 reboot is much, much bigger in terms of budget. It was reported that the reboot is budgeted at 720 million New Taiwan dollars (about US$24 million) with 15 million per episode, which is thirty times higher than the original.

The Reboot is Longer than the Original.

The first season of the 2001 Taiwanese version ran for 27 episodes. On the other hand, the 2018 Chinese reboot was announced to have 48 episodes.

It is still unknown if this is only going to cover the first season of the series.

The Relatively Young Cast.

The 2018 Chinese reboot features a young cast of actors compared to the 2001 Taiwanese version. Let’s take a look at each one of them.

Dong Shancai (董杉菜).

She is a hardworking, tough girl who always defends the weak. Her life in the university gets tougher when she collided with Dao Ming Si, but she just keeps enduring all their bullying, earning the respect of all the F4 boys and winning Dao Ming Si’s heart. In the 2001 Taiwanese version, she was played by Barbie Shu. In the 2018 Chinese reboot, she will be played by Shen Yue (from the series “A Love So Beautiful”).

Dao Ming Si (道明寺).

The stubborn, hot-headed leader of F4, always distrustful of everyone except with his three childhood friends. He always thinks money can solve anything, and uses his power to control everyone, all except Shancai whom he eventually falls in love with. In the 2001 Taiwanese version, he was played by Jerry Yan. In the 2018 Chinese reboot, he will be played by Dylan Wang.

Hua Ze Lei (花澤類).

The quiet, brooding but kind and sensible F4 member whose opinion Dao Ming Si relies on. His friendship with Dao Ming Si almost ends because the two of them were both pursuing Shancai when he became her protector and close friend. Plus, he’s good at playing the violin! Played by Vic Zhou in the 2001 Taiwanese version. In the 2018 Chinese reboot, he will be played by Darren Chen.

Xi Men (西門).

The fun-loving playboy of F4 that only date girls no longer than a week. He is the love interest of Shancai’s best friend Xiaoyou. Played by Ken Chu in the 2001 Taiwanese version. In the 2018 Chinese reboot, he will be played by Caesar Wu.

Mei Zuo (美作).

The long-haired joker member of F4. He’s also a playboy but is very loyal to his group of friends. Played by Vanness Wu in the 2001 Taiwanese version. In the 2018 Chinese reboot, he will be played by Connor Leong.

So which do you prefer? Are you already in love with the the 2018 Chinese reboot? Or does your heart still belongs to the 2001 Taiwanese version?

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