A week of Meteor Garden, day four: the sort of spin-offs

“My Everything” by Lee Min-ho | All right, this is cheating. Lee Min-ho, of course, is Korean. I could have talked about the other cast members of the Meteor Garden series – I already wrote about Rainie Yang before; Barbie Hsu was a singer (with her sister) before getting into acting; even Michelle Saram, the other girl on the second season, did some songs – but that’s missing the wide impact of the whole series altogether. Meteor Garden, of course, was based on the manga series Hana Yori Dango. The Taiwanese love their Japanese culture (really, it’s everywhere) and transferred that to television first; the Japanese did it next (the theme song was Arashi’s “Wish”), and then the Koreans followed suit. That meant Lee Min-ho singing a song from the soundtrack (but not any of the theme songs; T-Max did the opening, while both ending songs were from SS501, whose member, Kim Hyun-joong, stood in for Vic Zhou’s role). That also made him really popular here in the Philippines. Min-ho became like Jerry, complete with Bench endorsement deals. So, you know, parallels. And yes, there are two more versions: mainland China has its own, and even India does. As for us, well, we didn’t do our own version of this, did we? [NB]

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