I’m loving Flower Boy Next Door to pieces but it’s not a drama that leads me to claim perfection is in the making. It’s got too many side characters that serve a purpose rather than feel real and well-developed (Tae Joon, Seo Young, Watanabe) while others are slowly getting fleshed out but not in a way that piques my interest (Dong Hoon, Do Hwi). I would say that three leads of Dok Mi, Enrique, and Jin Rok are easily the best part of the show, and its great that they represent the majority of the drama so that the story focuses on what is most fascinating. I do have a bone to pick with the ridiculous amounts of PPL in this show (product placement), which isn’t isolated to FBND but is slowly becoming a pox on the industry. All the dramas I loved in 2012 (from The King 2 Hearts – donuts and Galaxy Note, anyone?, to Big – Vitamin Water please, to Nice Guy – Canon point-and-click to capture your honey in close up!) had astonishing levels of PPL that varied from truly invasive to easily ignored. FBND makes no bones about its PPL and here the cast even poses with the chocolate brand Market O which sponsors the show. Sigh. Oh who am I kidding? More pretty pictures of my precious babies is all good with me!
As much as I love Kim Ji Hoon, and also adore his character Jin Rok to pieces, my heart and soul has been given over completely to the cuteness and growing connection between Dok Mi and Enrique. They talk, they fight, they argue, they challenge each other, they hang out, they pretty much are the OTP of my dreams. The chemistry between Park Shin Hye and Yoon Si Yoon has surpassed anything I expected and blown me away even more with the potential that hasn’t yet been fully tapped. They connect even in silent scenes, but especially in the scenes where they confound each other when you can see this interest that neither even asks for. I just don’t see anywhere near the same level of chemistry between Park Shin Hye and Kim Ji Hoon, which isn’t their fault but merely the lack of similar amounts of interaction between them. Poor Jin Rok still hasn’t had a single meaningful conversation with Dok Mi, he’s so far behind in the game I just want to comfort him and then snatch him up for myself. Heh. As for the PPL, this drama is going gangbuster ratings for a cable show so hopefully the sponsors will get their intended exposure and keep supporting great indie shows like this.