Hardcore fans of Boys Over Flowers are screaming foul. Don’t desecrate a timeless classic, they implore.
This was in response to reports that another TV adaptation of the popular Japanese manga will begin filming next month -- in the US, and starring a new American “F4” group.
Originally titled Boys Before Flowers, the US drama series was renamed Boys Before Friends early this month after the public backlash, reports The New Paper.
Fans of the hit Asian TV adaptations from Taiwan (Meteor Garden, 2001), Japan (Hana Yori Dango, 2005) and South Korea (Boys Over Flowers, 2009) have slammed the US remake because they feel the manga’s plot that centres on “pure, romantic love” will seem “ridiculous” if played out in a Western setting which celebrates sexuality.
Wrote one netizen named Shengitsu on the dramafever video website: “OMG. I am soooooooo dreading this.
"Because of the huge cultural gap between the Western and Asian worlds, the whole idea of ‘pure, innocent love’ that encompasses the drama will be lost. Americans will over-sexualise and over-dramatise it.”
Boys Before Friends is set to air in the US at the end of the year. But it has received so much flak that the show’s creators were forced to release a statement on its website, addressing the barrage of unrelenting online criticism.
They said: “The amount of racist comments, venom and negativity aimed at our cast, crew and production staff has been harmful and hurtful for no reason and most of it has no basis that was grounded in fact.
Who would make an ideal Singapore F4 if the show ever got made here?
Ten local fans of the Asian F4s have their say. And the winning foursome are...
Desmond Tan as Soujiro Nishikado: “Tall, dashing, handsome bad boy with a weakness for beautiful women. Need I say more?” — Bank officer Chris Tan, 39
Ian Fang as Akira Mimasaka: “I know only one actor here who exudes the showy, playboy feel of Akira Mimasaka. Please tell Ian he was meant for this!” — Business owner Alexia Martin, 23
George Young as Rui Hanazawa: “This character is one who is brooding, says few words and is the most charismatic. George can speak with his eyes so I can totally imagine him in this role.” — Interior designer Wong Shumei, 28
Tosh Zhang as Tsukasa Domyouji: “You see the way he shouts at the recruits in Ah Boys To Men, you can tell he will be perfect to play the loud, brash, leader of F4.”
Read the full report in The New Paper.