Meteor Garden (2018 Reboot) | I think I’ve been robbed of a proper ending

Posted April 21, 2020 by Sophia

meteor garden 2018 reboot review

If I’m going to be at home all the time, I might as well finish all the shows I’ve started, including Meteor Garden, which I started back in 2018? Early 2019? Wow, has it really been that long? 🤔

Apparently, yes, according to the standards to time, space and Netflix. Anyways, I’m stock-piled on book reviews and I feel like reviewing all the time can get exhausting. So we’re spicing things up just a little. 😌

The 2018 reboot of Meteor Garden is a remake of the 2001 Taiwanese version of the same name and based on the manga, Hana Yori Dango.

Other versions of the show include Hana Yori Dango (Japanese) and Boys Over Flowers (Korean), with the Korean one gaining wide success when it first released in 2009. Boys Over Flowers and Meteor Garden are both available on Netflix in the US, but may not be available in some countries.

boys over flowers f4
F4 from Boys Over Flowers (Korean, 2009)

Hana Yori Dango is the first Asian drama I’ve watched, so the show is dear to my heart; I’ve watched every version but the 2001 Taiwanese one. It’s also partially the cause of my K-pop obsession, first introducing me to Utada Hikaru with the OST of the series, “Flavor of Life.” This then resulted in YouTube suggesting similar groups, including K-pop girl group SNSD.

hana yori dango Tsukasa and Tsukushi
Main OTP from Hana Yori Dango (Japanese, 2005)

So when I heard about Meteor Garden being rebooted and available on Netflix, I jumped to watch the show. I wanted to see how the new version would fare, and I tried not to compare it to the others.

Chances are, you’ve never heard of the leading cast members.

Shen Yue, Dylan Wang aka Wáng Hè Dì (Dao Ming Si), Darren Chen aka Guān Hóng (Hua Ze Lei), Connor Leong aka Liáng Jìng Kāng (Feng Meizuo), Caesar Wu aka Wú Xī Zé (Ximen Yan) are the leading cast making up Shan Cai and F4. All five are relatively new to the entertainment industry with few (if any) titles under their belt. Don’t let that factor into your decision of watching Meteor Garden, though. The leading cast is talented, and I’m excited to see what future dramas they’ll be in.

meteor garden 2018 f4
F4 of Meteor Garden (Chinese, 2018)

While they haven’t been around for very long, they each brought fan-favorite characters to life; as someone who’s been a long time fan of the series, I enjoyed seeing their own take of the characters while remaining true to the original. True to being rookies though, there are definitely a few awkward moments, especially in the first few episodes of the series.

Meteor Garden is more “fully developed” when it comes to the rest of F4.

Anyone who has been a longtime fan of the series or have watched other versions know the ultimate OTP is Shan Cai and Dao Ming Si. In the Japanese and Korean versions, the character names are different, but the storyline remains the same: Shan Cai is admitted to a prestigious university where she meets F4, and eventually falls in love with their leader, Dao Ming Si. This doesn’t happen easily without the shenanigans that come with the enemies to lovers trope.

meteor garden shancai jumping

Too bad for the two lovebirds Dao Ming Si’s mother doesn’t approve of the ship and she does whatever it takes throughout the series to separate them.

We don’t go into much detail when it comes to the Dao Ming Si’s best friends. We do go into Lei’s life, but the others? Not really. In the 2018 reboot, though we do. While the main focus of the series remains true to the main OTP, we get the chance to see the love stories of the rest of the F4 as well. Finally, we can see the others get a happy ever after! Or… maybe not?

meteor garden f4 pineapple head
“So Soph, how did you come up with choking on a sharp pineapple?

In the 50 episodes long show, we go on a little detour for about 10 episodes about halfway through before the focus is brought back to the main ship. I enjoyed getting the chance to see the rest of F4 shine in addition to seeing the cast members get extra screen time, but it was a long, tedious journey going through those episodes. Unfortunately, that played a role in my stepping back from finishing the rest of the drama for well over a year.

The ending, however…

Y’all. I think I got robbed of a proper ending.

I enjoyed Meteor Garden overall, but the ending was a huge disappointment. You’d think knowing the storyline like the back of my hand would make things more clear. But no matter how many times I watch it over again and again, it’s confusing. I don’t even know what happened, and I’m honestly a little pissed and annoyed.

Did I miss something? Do I need to rewind a little? I think I tried replaying the part where everything got a little confusing and I’m still confused. The ending is pretty much the only issue I have with the reboot other than how long the series may feel. Otherwise, Meteor Garden is a good remake for those who have been around with the series for a long time and new fans interested in a romantic drama. Still pissed about the ending, though. I’m 95% sure I’m going to associate that with this version years from now when someone asks me.

meteor garden 2018 reboot review pin

Sophia started blogging in February 2012 for the hell of it and is surprisingly still around. She has a GIF for nearly everything, probably listens to too much K-Pop and is generally in an existential crisis of sorts (she's trying her best). In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor's in Communications and minor in Women's Studies. More of her bookish reviews and K-pop Roundups can be found at The Arts STL.

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16 responses to “Meteor Garden (2018 Reboot) | I think I’ve been robbed of a proper ending

  1. Clo

    “So Soph, how did you come up with choking on a sharp pineapple?“ *wheezes* I cackled aloud omg I can’t bhahahaha sharp pineapple fun times. Also that ending right?! We were robbed of an ending and I’m still pissed but I also want to rewatch the show…but the ending really ticked me off *grumbles* Thanksies for shoving this show at me like last year <3

    • Sophia

      Always! You know I’m going to shove all the good recs at you, haha. <3 (You should go watch Boys Over Flowers as well…)

      It's been about a month and I'm still a little upset about the ending; probably won't think about it and deny it ever happened. 😂

  2. I have not heard of this show and I am not sure that it is one that I would pick for myself. I am really bad at starting shows on NetFlix but never finishing them despite the fact that I did enjoy what I saw. I do hate it when a series ends poorly. It can really turn you off of the whole show. I am glad you enjoyed this one for the most part but do wish the ending was better.

    • Sophia

      You’re not alone! I don’t know how many shows I’ve started and enjoyed but then almost never get around to it later on (I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m a forgetful person either… 😅). I completely agree; a poor ending can definitely turn you off from the whole show, especially when it’s added on to other major problems (fortunately, there weren’t many here).

  3. If I’m going to be at home all the time, I might as well finish all the shows I’ve started

    Wow, why don’t you call me out Sophia?!
    Good on you for finally finishing the series though and getting over that episode detour of struggle. I am sorry the ending left you disappointed, that’s always the worst.

    • Sophia


  4. My friend and I binge watched Meteor Garden 2018 in the span of a week (it was super aggressive of us, haha) and I 10000% agree about the ending. I was hoping it was a dream sequence! -_- There were other storylines that felt so bizarre, too, like the tasering??? I loved the cute Dao Ming Si/Lei scenes in this version, but I prefer the Xi Men/Xiao You storyline in both the Korean and Taiwanese versions. The Taiwanese version is still my favorite, and the piano scene in it is incredible.

    • Sophia

      That’s what I thought too at first! I’m not sure if the dream sequence was their intention? It certainly seemed like it, but the more I thought about it and tried going back over, the more I got confused. The tasering wasn’t as bad as the ending since it got explained later in the next episode or two, but that might be my personal preference. I would’ve loved to see more of the Xi Men and Xiao You storyline in Boys Over Flowers though (I never thought too much of it since the main OTP was their main focus, but secretly I wanted more)!

      I have not seen the Taiwanese version yet; it’s the only version I haven’t watched. 😭

  5. You made me curious about the ending. Is the ending different from the earlier version of Meteor Garden? I remembered reading a book about it when I was in primary school lol.

    • Sophia

      I’m not sure to be honest! I never watched the 2001 version, but basing off the other versions I’ve watched, the ending is relatively similar. I don’t know what happened here though! It seems like it’s meant to be the same but it ended up more… abrupt and confusing rather than being clear about it.

      (It might’ve been the manga!)

  6. I HAD NO IDEA THIS SHOW GOT A REBOOT! This might be the best thing I’ve read all week. Oh my gosh I’m so excited. I honestly could only skim this review because I didn’t want to spoil it for myself. Can’t wait to watch and will report back! <3

    • Sophia

      I hope you’ll enjoy! I honestly didn’t know about it either until one of my friends mentioned it casually in a conversation and I went, “WHAT, THERE’S A 2018 ONE? WHERE.”

  7. I’m a huge binge-watcher so I finished the whole series in a week, and I have also watched Boys Over Flowers – I wasn’t gonna watch it at first but then, I wanted to because it had lee Min-ho (who is currently my most favourite actor, and I obsess over him madly) – it turned out great though! I’m glad I made the right choice of watching it! And well, the pineapple head, oh my god, that name is so amusing!

    • Sophia

      I’m glad you watched it as well! Lee Min-ho is also one of my favorite actors (although admittedly I haven’t been watching any of his other dramas or keeping up lately 😅).