06 January 2014


BoF (Boys over Flowers): The American Edition (A SnarkCap)

Posted by bcook on January 06, 2014
bcook: Watching bad dramas so you don't have to.
If you haven't heard, an intrepid group of kdrama fans (aka people on kickstarter who should really know better) decided to make an American/western version of the kdrama catastrophe classic that is BoF (Boys over flowers, Boys before Flowers, the drama where LMH has permed hair, oh and KHJ is in it too).
JoAnne: Seriously, how could this be a bad idea?

Why? why? why? Money? Somebody thought it'd be a good idea? Who knows the real reason but it's out there on Viki...for the whole world to see. You may have heard how horrible passable it is from friends but haven't had the nerve to check it out (Good decision) but you're still curious right?
JoAnne: Just stop. Stop right there, change the channel, do not pass go. That question I asked? The answer is bad, really bad, horribly bad, so bad it's embarrassing to live in this country.
Guys, because I love you so much, I made the supreme sacrifice  effort ... I watched it so you don't have to. Now I only watched the first episode because I love myself too much I have a lot going on in RL so if you want to know what happened....go watch the original version (and by original I mean korean).
JoAnne:  Did you watch it before I did and tweeted my incredulous reactions? Or were you inspired by my shock?
bcook: I'd been thinking about it before you tweeted but that was definitedly a push.

*cough* *stretch* Here goes.

Ok. We have 90's type opening credits going on right now. Guise Guise! Right away, I'm thinking these guys are not hot at all and they really didn't get enough money on kickstarter for rich kid looking clothes. But hey, Saved by the Bell had something similar and that turned out pretty ok right?
JoAnne: Sigh. Slater would have been an AWESOME Gu Jun Pyo.

Typical LA/California montage. Beach, Hollywood sign. Yes we're in America. Brunette girl (Zoey...female lead) can't wake up. Her roommate? is telling her to wake up off camera. She has an audition that she's forgotten about (who does that?). We're entertained with a full 2 minutes of her getting ready. Then she runs through the stage set of a kitchen, out of the doors and into a school audition. What just happened?
JoAnne:  she wakes up in more eye makeup than I have ever worn, combined, but then goes into the bathroom to add more.
A very low volume monologue explains that this school is the best of the best. Best cooks, best tech, best dancers. They only invite students, you don't get to apply but once a year they allow the "common people" to audition. Zoey does a very bad impression of a dancer a little dance to some random music (I'm not quite sure what genre of dance) in front of fuzzy people ...
JoAnne: Ooh, ooh, ooh, I know! I know! It starts with P...
... then finds the time to open a very wooden door to take a very fuzzy peek into a very dark room. Some blond guy walks out of the darkness to close the door in her face. How she got from audition room to that door only the director knows. The music also fades so you can hear the door slam. So considerate.
JoAnne: I must have blinked and missed that.
I pause to laugh at the viki comments. 

6 months later, we see the laziest editing work ever as Zoey walks through the doors of this amazeballs school wearing the exact same outfit, the exact same expression and walking in the exact same way. Viki commenters snark immediately.
JoAnne: I really should have watched this with the comments on, because I was snarking too. Kakashi said they were flying so thick and heavy you couldn't even keep up with them.
The school has marble floors and bullies. There's a random guy in glasses holding books. Wait, this is graduate school right? 1. Who carries books (they're usually too heavy to lug around) and 2. Who gets bullied in grad school? Random guy getting bullied is fake tripped and his bullies fake laugh. Zoey reaches forward to help him when Suddenly!! We're transported to 2 months before. Huh?
JoAnne: Random time jump aside, I stand firm in my conviction that it's not just the film creatives who are on drugs, but Viki.  This is not a grad school.  
So this is the current time line. It started some time in the past, then jumped six months, then went back 2 months....got that? 
JoAnne: So they couldn't have just gone forward 4 months and been done with it?

It's a cafe, Black guy and white guy are talking about something not important. A thigh pops into view and slams/slides something on the table. Black guy stops smiling. Wait, was one of them just saying "cray cray?" Who says that anymore?
JoAnne: People actually ever did? Sound note: WOW bad
Scene cuts to three girls sitting on chairs looking bored. Lead girl I'm assuming she's leader because she's in the middle and wearing an ugly fur jacket...cos that's what lead girls do is look extra bored. Red t-shirt and jeans that's all I see ok. No face...just clothes walks up to her, gives her a piece of paper and says "It's Chris". She gets up, snaps her fingers and her minions get up too.
JoAnne:  Do girls like this exist anywhere on the planet? With the finger snapping bitch faces and slutty outfits that are supposed to pass for designer wear?
bcook: Well TV is an exaggeration of real life right? I hope I never meet anybody like that
I'm getting chills 'coz it's so bad. Hong sisters the script writers are not. Actually, writers they are not. It's really simple guise. Just follow the original script as closely as you can without getting sued. I'll also like to add that I watched with subtitles because I could barely hear.
JoAnne:  I began to treasure those moments of mumbly silence.

Next scene. Black guy has a black eye. Why? I don't know. I'm assuming he's Chris. There's a very nice rosy tone to everything like they shot it using an instagram filter. There's a brown haired guy who asks Chris (?) what he's going to do. He's not going to the dean (coz what can the dean do) he's just going to suffer through it... like a man. Brown Hair is sympathetic but can't remember his lines so sighs a lot. Scene fades out with a whoom sound you know like the ones they use on NCIS. Usually it means high tension but here I think they had $50 left over and decided to spend it on some "cool sound effects". This is the only time it happens.
JoAnne:  Total waste of money, I didn't even notice it.
Suddenly Brown Hair is walking into a room asking what they're doing. His buddy is on the floor, they're using his mouth as a tee. He starts telling them off. Chris says he's fine. Turns out Chris bumped into somebody by accident. We hear our first "Dude". Confirming that we're totally in California. Brown Hair calls them childish and immature. I have a bad feeling about this but they just walk towards him until he backs out of view. Chris is still on the floor.
JoAnne: Is this a horror movie? First victim is always a black man.
Several viki commenters have stopped watching. I'm tempted to do so too but I'm curious about this trainwreck attempt. Is it the script or the editing that makes this horribly bad? (How can you tell they stopped? If they're there saying they stopped, they're lying...)

The three girls are walking in 'mean girl' formation. There are four guys walking behind them. They approach Brown Hair. Oh oh, Lead Girl is holding a piece of paper. One of the guys is Chris. Brown Hair mumbles something about how he (Chris) doesn't seem scared anymore. Chris says it's because they have a new target and then pushes his friend to the floor. He's congratulated by the other minions as the F4 looks on.
JoAnne: Biggest laugh of the night was that they were all standing on their marks as the scene started, and then on cue began their mean people strut. I don't think we're supposed to see the not-walking part... unless (even funnier) they all lined up IN THE STORY to begin the mean people strut.
They could have totally cut these scenes and used the money to invest in sound equipment. More evidence of their poor decision making skills.

Flash forward to the tripping scene. Oooh! Chris tripped Brown Hair. That's sad and I would care if I wasn't so tired. Zoey tries to help but is intercepted by Red Hair who tells her not to piss F4 off. Then they go to the library (because that's where you go to talk) and Red Hair explains who the F4 is. One guy is apparently linked to the underground mafia. They must be the mafia behind the mafia.  Blond Rich Guy is a musician who speaks bad french, Asian looking Rich Guy is sweet and an instrumental genius (their words not mine) and the American Go Jun Pyo (Liam) has nice muscles and a disgusting fake ponytail.
JoAnne: That hair.  I cannot even. He is Lorenzo Lamas frozen in 1987, if Lorenzo had undergone chemo and lost all his money and hair and could only buy a really bad wig. Plus I have a really strong feeling that #4 down there (bottom right) is Macauley Culkin's little brother.

The three girls stop by to have more 'mean girl' conversation and explain why they're called F4. It's the same reason as in the original. Zoey uses the non-word "stupidest". Lead girl asks if she just called F4 stupid. Before she can answer, F4 walks in and the 3 girls squeal. Somehow the effect is lost when it's just three girls. Also they're squealing in the library, that's just rude. I'm also confused because these girls were acting so diva two scenes ago.
JoAnne: No human actually squeals unless it's at a concert and Exo walks out or something like that. Well maybe I squeal a little when I see Rain's abs but only in the privacy of my own home.
There's a guy in a bad wig looking nervous. The girls are squealing. Liam spots him...oh he's wearing the same disgusting ponytail, that won't do. Liam cuts it off. We can see the wig move along with the scissor motion. The girls clap. Zoey is talking on the staircase about the F4. The American Kim Hyung Joon is listening. He finds her amusing. Wow this show makes me appreciate kdrama so much. Even the really bad ones. 
JoAnne: See that guy's face down there?  He's telling himself it's ok, it's a day's work at union rates - did he speak? That adds money.
Zoey spends 10 minutes moaning about F4 to her friends. They tell her to stay out of it and concentrate on graduating. She doesn't of course and so sadly there will be an episode 2.
JoAnne: I kinda like this girl though she's feisty, and her friends are fun. It's not her fault they made her wear her hair like a Bahamian Cruise reject.
The roommates have a dance party. She gets a call from her father. Where is he calling from and why is it so dark? He gives her some advice and then they go to bed and then she's walks into a room full of pizza boxes and solo cups, cleans it, does a celebratory dance at the cleanliness Yes, that is exactly how it happens. No joke. This is the first time i'm glad to see a Viki ad. Tit-bit. I read that one of the actresses will be replaced after episode 2 (?). It's like the hair style change....but with people.
JoAnne: And I learn that all it takes to go to 'grad school' for dance is a bad case of feminine itch, apparently.
There are no mirrors in the studio but she acts like there are. She comes out of the shower in a locker room. American KHJ is lying on a bench in a locker room. Is it the same locker room?
JoAnne: One can only wonder.
We'll never know because there's a quick cut to some event? F4 walks in, a girl offers ponytail a cake, he pushes it into her face. Zoey walks into him. Does she have something to say? She breathes his cologne in deeply. No she doesn't. The others walk past cake girl and toss out their lines. He only eats stuff from rodeo drive. I thought it was just shopping. Cake girl really inhaled the cream pie. Cake event finally happens. We're only 19 minutes into a 44 minute show. I want to shoot somebody. Not myself because owe myself a drink for watching this.
JoAnne: I made the exact same comment. Are these people even American?
Why is Zoey's roommate pretending to stroke the side of a cake. We get a recap of the days events. then we cut to Z dancing again. 
JoAnne: Cake lust. It's a thing. Google it.
Red hair bumps into ponytail and spills coffee. I did not see her holding coffee but she starts apologizing. She'll make it up to him somehow. Ponytail touches her inappropriately not like that! Dirty Minds! He's cupping her face. There's nothing she can do. Z gets in his face. He should relax coz she apologized. Ponytail has a british accent for a bit. If Z wants she can give them a private lap dance and maybe he'll forget everything. She calls him a "bastard of the lowest order" and he doesn't work and his parents pay for everything. Ooooh she just called him a loser, tucks $1 in his shirt and walks off. I think she hurt his feelings.
JoAnne: His friends approve already, look at their faces.
The rest of F4 says they like her but they're still going to have to bully her. To maintain their reputation and stuff.
JoAnne:  When they said 'We've never done it to a girl.' I began laughing really hard but I don't think that they meant it the way I took it.
At this point I can't take it anymore so I start fast forwarding.

They decide to terrorize Zoey. There are a lot of empty scenes. The title of the show is mentioned. She dances a lot.
(kakashi: a VERY lot, yes)
They actually drug her coffee and give her a laxative, turn her green. We not only see this happen but she recaps it for her friends so we get to live through this twice. Thanks writers. They make her take her final sitting on the floor and then throw paper balls at her. Her red haired friend is too scared to do anything about it.
JoAnne: I wonder if the friend will turn out to have been terrorized in kindergarten, too?

Her friends show up to help her prank them too.  She messes with their space. F4 walks into their inner sactum and it's been trashed. It's too dark to see exactly what they did. Z is sitting in the middle but Ponytail still has to ask who did it. She's declared war. What does 23 mean? She puts laxatives in THEIR coffees. It's incredible how fast acting these things are because they each take a sip and start rushing to the bathroom.
JoAnne: And yet, grad school.
They play a fake game of basketball. Viki comments snark on their bad playing. Not as bad as those male modes in the 2NE1 video. If you haven't seen it take a look. I've never seen guys play so badly. There are shower scenes. Somehow not as enjoyable as korean ones because they're not broody, stary showers. Also do all guys shower in the same way? Somebody must study this. The three friends do another recap of events.
JoAnne: I spent some time being puzzled about the vigorous scrubbing of skin and hair without benefit of any sudsing agent of any type.
bcook: totally missed that! Non-sulphate old spice? 

The dance floor gets "waxed" and there's a pretty funny scene of her flopping around on a floor that looks perfectly fine to me (kakashi: THIS IS MY FAVORITE!!!!). I wonder what kind of wax they used.
JoAnne:  Why did I think it was oil?  Wax makes so much more sense...the oil didn't mark her clothes and that irritated me.  This scene, by the way, was fucking HILARIOUS.

They do the fake rape scene which is even scarier and more horrifying than in the original. American KHJ saves her at the last minute. He tries to look like he's falling in love but it looks like constipation.
JoAnne:  It was really quite scary. I thought I watched to the end but I didn't see her get saved... I waited for credits and everything? And then I tweeted that it was a HELL of a spot to stop at.
kakakshi: is that in the 2nd episode?! Cause: not in my version of the first one!!! It ends with her screaming. OMG, are there different versions?! Like ... collector's items?! Director's Cuts?!
Shit. Really? 44 minutes and he doesn't even rescue her? Ok. I confess I couldn't watch till the end. It was too depressingly bad and my brain was screaming for something interesting so I watched C-span** for about 20 minutes. 

Final Thoughts: 

Ugh! The acting, the editing, the sound (or lack there of), the music, the transitions, the decor, the clothing the....everything!. Everything was bad. It's like they picked first years in acting school to star in this. This is even worse than a lifetime movie (and those things are baaaaad). Best actress by far was Zoey's roommate. I will give them props for what has to be the most diverse cast I've seen in a bad movie yet. This episode was so so horrible bad it made me want to watch the original which is a feat because I thought the original was very bad.
I cannot emphasise how bad it is. A couple of people on viki said to give them props for even attempting this. No. Let's not encourage this type of behaviour. You do not use a much cherished show as an experiment to see if that C your editing professor in film school was right. Nor do you take people's money and use it to produce a show lacking in such quality. There are a bazillion people on youtube working with less money and consumer (not professional) equipment that produce stuff better than this. 
You set a bad precedent and hurt my eyes. Steps off soapbox.
JoAnne: What she said.
kakashi: This? The most entertaining I've seen in 2014 so far. 
** For those of you who don't know C-span is the government channel. Cameras pointed at boring government officials doing and saying boring things is more interesting and engaging than this show. 

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