Meteor Garden 2018 流星花园 has indeed transformed with the new remake. Compared to the old Taiwanese version, they changed a few things which for me, actually made it better. The plot progression was a bit faster than before, preventing it from being draggy and we are already met with iconic scenes in just the first episode.
Episode one starts-off with Shan Cai (Shen Yue) introducing herself. She is an 18-year-old girl whose dream is to be admitted to Mingde University so that she can make her mother’s cooking known. Shan Cai is shown to be really close with her family. She accompanies her mother to the market and delivers lunch to her dad.
Shan Cai works part-time at a milk tea store when she finally receives an admission notice through her phone. Her friend Xiao You (Li Jia Qi) also works there and dreams of being admitted to another school. They hold their phones to each other and look at the same time. Surprise! Both of them got in to their dream school.
It’s the first day of school for Shan Cai and the first day of bad luck as well. As students walk out the hall after a welcoming remark from their guest speaker, Shan Cai drops her phone in a sudden commotion. It’s as if a celebrity has visited their school as everyone is in a frenzy. She crawls down in search of her phone but as she is about to reach for it, a green shoe steps on it and it cracks! Shan Cai stands up but the crowd has already dispersed, leaving her with a broken phone.
Fuming, she searches the campus upside-down to find the owner of that green shoe. Thinking that she has spotted him, she mistakenly grabs the guest speaker and gets sent to the principal’s office.
Shan Cai learns that the shoe belongs to one of the members of F4. As she discusses F4 with her friends Chen Qinghe (Liu Yin Hao) and Li Zhen (Dong Xin), a senior (Amber Kuo) walks past and tells them all about the F4.
They are not only rich but each one of them is also incredibly talented in different aspects – Hua Zelei (Darren Chen), Feng Meizuo (Connor Leong), Xi Menyan (Caesar Wu), and the leader, Dao Mingsi (Dylan Wang). The four of them are childhood friends with high tastes and preferences; but as much as they are playful, they are still gentlemanly. With this, many envy them and so they set up a rule. One can only challenge them to a game of bridge if they receive a joker card. The loser will face punishments that can be quite extreme. So far, no one has been able to beat them yet.
Shan Cai shudders upon hearing this but doesn’t back off. She grabs Dao Mingsi’s attention and demands that Dao Mingsi pay for her cellphone.
Shan Cai: Hey! Green crocodile skin shoes!
Dao Mingsi: Yes?
Shan Cai: What is this? (shows her cellphone)
Dao Mingsi: A broken phone.
Shan Cai: Do you know why it broke?
Dao Mingsi: What does that have to do with me?
Shan Cai: How is it not related to you? It’s you who stepped on it.
Dao Mingsi: When?
Shan Cai: After the speech down the hall. The crowd pushed me as they went to take photos of you and my phone fell. And you just stepped on it!
Dao Mingsi: (walks away)
Of course, with this, Shan Cai gets angrier.
The next day is Li Zhen’s birthday and Shan Cai has baked a cake especially for her. As they were taking pictures, Li Zhen slips and the cake lands on Dao Mingsi’s head. Li Zhen apologizes profusely but Dao Mingsi shoves her out of the way and delivers his iconic line, “If apologies are useful, then why do we need the police?” Shan Cai steps up to defend her friend and calls Dao Mingsi a jerk. Later on, she is seen receiving a joker card from Dao Mingsi.
Shan Cai runs to the rooftop to shout her frustrations and unleashes a barrage of curses at F4. Suddenly, Hua Zelei makes his presence known as he has been behind her the whole time. She assumed that he would get mad just like Dao Mingsi, but instead, he simply walks away.
At home, Shan Cai’s mother calls her down to make deliveries. She arrives at an abandoned warehouse and learns that the one who placed the order was Dao Mingsi. Clearly out for revenge, Dao Mingsi mets out insults, which makes Shan Cai really angry as she calls him a pest of society. Dao Mingsi reacts by throwing the packed lunch on Shan Cai’s face. Speechless and close to tears, Shan Cai quietly leaves.
She is trying to get herself cleaned up when two men approach and start to harass her. Luckily, Hua Zelei appears and saves her from the two.
In the next scene, Shan Cai is crying and asking why Dao Mingsi is treating her this way. Hua Zelei hands her a handkerchief and does a handstand. He says, “When you feel like crying, just do a handstand, that way, your tears won’t fall anymore.” This is yet another iconic line from the original.
Shan Cai goes to school the following day raging and ready for battle. She runs full speed towards Dao Mingsi and soars with a flying kick that hits him squarely in the chin and knocks him out cold. She then she throws away the joker card and declares that she isn’t going to be playing his games. Everyone is shocked and the episode comes to an end.
Episode Recap -> Next