Is this what they call love at first sight? Because I am in love. It was honestly everything I hoped for and more. I just wanna run circles around my house grinning from ear to ear from how much I really enjoyed that first episode. tvN, you’ve done it again!
It looks like Park Shin Hye really is able to tone down that exaggerated cuteness to deliver a female lead that’s subtle and sweet, and so so charming. I feel so invested in her Dok Mi and it’s only the first episode. I can’t wait to dig deeper into her past to find out why she holes herself up in her apartment and is such a recluse.
For those who weren’t keeping up with the pre-release promo materials, Flower Boy Next Door is the third in the Oh! Boy series and is based off a web-toon. It is basically about the lead girl, Dok Mi (Shin Hye) who on a daily basis, spies on Tae Joon (Kim Jung San), the good-looking guy living in the unit opposite hers. She saw him by chance one day and fell in love immediately and to her good luck, realised that he’d moved in opposite.
While that’s the main storyline driving the plot forward and shaping up the series, you also have your two male leads who’ll soon fall for her and fight over her in their own ways as the story progresses. The first is Enrique Geum (Yoon Shi Yoon) who is essentially the completely opposite of Dok Mi – he’s a people person, chatters on incessantly and has no qualms being the center of attention. He’ll move in with his hyung who surprise surprise, is the same guy Dok Mi has been crushing on, and that’s where he’ll catch Dok Mi in the midst of one of her “spying sessions”.
Meanwhile, Dok Mi’s next-door neighbour, Jin Rak (Kim Ji Hoon) is a web-toon artist who’s trying to get his pitch to be successful. His friend and drawing partner, Dong Hoon (Go Kyung Pyo) lives with him (and I don’t think the short haircut is really working for Kyung Pyo, because I remember him looking so much cuter in Operation Proposal). Jin Rak appears interested or at least, intrigued, by Dok Mi and I’m curious to know to what extent he knows about her since she doesn’t seem to know him and yet, he’s aware about her loner personality (and hmmm… Something tells me he may be the one that’s been leaving the milk cartons with cute post-its at Dok Mi’s door everyday. Innnnteresting.).
One of my favourite scenes in episode 1, was when Dok Mi was knocking at Tae Joon’s door and freaking out and crying because she’s so afraid his dog’s injured and then she turns to her side and gets a shock when she sees Enrique pretending to sob next to her. That scene cracked me up so bad. I also loved the moments when they were sneaking peeks at each other across the building apartments and at the end when he finally catches her staring, and he’s glaring at her with the “I’m watching you” hand gesture, while wearing his boxers and a fluffy panda hat. I’m not even kidding.
Dok Mi is so adorable, I just wanna pat her on the head and keep her in my pocket. And Shi Yoon’s Enrique is really really growing on me. I can’t wait till their two worlds collide and he slowly brings her out of her shell.
So far, I absolutely love this world of characters that FBND has created for us (Mizuta Kouki is adorable as the smiley Japanese guy who practises his Korean before he introduces himself to his neighbours) and we haven’t yet been introduced to Park Soo Jin‘s second female lead character, but I sure hope it’s not as meddling and infuriating as her one-dimensional character in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.
Although the drama has similar ingredients to Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, it doesn’t have that glossy sheen that makes everything look almost too pretty, which usually keeps me from really feeling for any of the characters because I’m so aware that this entire premise is set up. (Not to mention how over-the-top some of the characters were, I swear to God, I wanted to slap some maturity into Cha Chi Soo on so many occasions.) Oh please oh please, don’t disappoint.
If you want something sweet and charming, but not overly so, with a delightful heroine that’s easy to root for, and a male lead who’s… not exactly your typical K-drama hero, I highly recommend picking this up. Watch it with English subs here.
Here’s a bonus picture of our main couple looking absolutely gorgeous together for their InStyle photoshoot!