“Boys over Flowers” class discussion Lili Ferguson, Taylor Friedlander, Jaeyeon Choi, Porsche Dames October 28, 2009
How the “F4” Enter: Japanese version: (@ 5:00) http://www.mysoju.com/hana-yori-dango/episode-1/part-1/ Taiwanese version: (@ 1:05) http://www.mysoju.com/meteor-garden/episode-1/part-2/ Korean version: (@ 4:01) http://www.mysoju.com/boys-before-flowers/episode-1/part-3/
Things to consider… • What themes appear in all clips? • What themes don’t? • Do we know anything about the “F4” thanks to their appearance, the staging of their introduction, and people’s behavior towards them?
Gender Construction-Male • Arashi music video (Japanese cast member’s band): • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4TnUdKa56E • Fire escape scene 3 ways: • http://www.mysoju.com/hana-yori-dango/episode-1/part-3/ • Japanese version @ 2:54 • http://www.mysoju.com/meteor-garden/episode-1/part-5/ • Taiwanese version @ 1:50 • http://www.mysoju.com/boys-before-flowers/episode-1/part-2/ • Korean version @ 7:10
Gender Construction-Female • The girls introduce themselves…what strikes you? • Korean version (@ 2:27): • http://www.mysoju.com/boys-before-flowers/episode-1/part-2/ • Japanese Version (@ 1:54): • http://www.mysoju.com/hana-yori-dango/episode-1/part-3/
Gender Questions • Masculinity: what features make the F4 alpha males? • Watching the music video: When people view these singers, do you think they view them as attractive 'males'? The degree of masculinity or femininity that can be found in the males: does this affect their sexual identity or gender construction? • Female Protagonist: How is the female protagonist portrayed? What does her actions and her clothing say about her? • Female Protagonist, or the good girl vs. the bad girls. How does aesthetics help bring out the two different types of characters? • Can you find any differences in the way the ideal male and female was portrayed in the three different series?
Social Class • Is it a requirement for this show to be situated in a very wealthy school? Would it “work” if it were a middle-class school and a lower-class protagonist? • Positive or negative connotations associated with upper class/lower class? Moral values associated with one or the other? • In a school where everyone but the “F4” wear uniforms, did you notice other ways people set themselves apart based on class? • Think about Fashion (note the capital “F”)…is this the ideal environment for the development of such a system?
Social Class:Consumerism and Money http://www.viz.com/onlinemanga/om.php?chap=bof-hi-chapter-1 • Is the show critical of status symbols? Or does it encourage them, in a way? • What does the show say about consumerism? • How does the consumerist mentality idealize the Western aesthetic? • Does this suggest there is something innately consumerist about “Asian” aesthetics?
Social Class and Home Life • Korean version, lower class family time (@ 3:38): • http://www.mysoju.com/hana-yori-dango/episode-1/part-2/ • Japanese version, upper class family time (@ 9:50) • http://www.mysoju.com/hana-yori-dango/episode-1/part-3
Family • How are family/familial relationships portrayed differently amongst the series? • How does the main female character in each series relate to the members of family? • What correlations do you see between familial relationships and class? • Who bears the burden of preserving traditional Asian culture in the respective families? • Compare the home life of the main female character and the lead F4 member in the Japanese version of Boys Over Flowers.
Last thought… Can you really separate these themes from one another?