Meteor Garden 2018 Male Lead Dylan Wang is the Breakout Star of Otherwise Mediocre Adaptation

I don’t know if the character of Domyouji Tsukasa (Dao Ming Si in Chinese) is what attracts the most unique and charismatic of male actors or its said actors elevating what would otherwise be an average role. Once again the breakout star of a Hana Yori Dango adaptation is the actor playing the male lead role, this time Dylan Wang (Wang He Di) of Meteor Garden 2018 joins the ranks of Jerry Yan in the original MD, Matsumoto Jun for HanaDan, and Lee Min Ho in Boys Before Flowers in making an indelible mark and prepping himself for meteoric success to come. To a lesser extent one can argue Hans Zhang also played said role and is successful now but goodness no one is remembering Let’s Go Watch Meteor Shower. Dylan is the only reason I’m watching MG2018, though the other three male leads are solid as well but the story and directing isn’t working for me and I’m rather annoyed at female lead Shen Yue‘s mouth agape look, overly plucky attitude, and annoying drama friends. Dylan makes everything better even the egregious dubbing for every single character, I can’t wait for a TW-airing version with real voices.

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Meteor Garden 2018 Male Lead Dylan Wang is the Breakout Star of Otherwise Mediocre Adaptation — 34 Comments

  1. What I found disappointing is the lack of chemistry between relationships eg. friendship, family, especially between the main couple and F4 members. I feel like when they’re acting, there is so much disconnection that i don’t feel anything for the characters. I would say all the adaptation were over acted in a lot instances but at least I felt some emotion. This version just left me stone cold regardless of how much i tried to warm up to it. I love the original meteor garden so i wasn’t expecting too much in this version, I’m just sad!

    • I disagree. As i reviewed the previous Meteor Garden films, the 2018 hit the crowd and the leading couple became the most
      liked & loved in Asia as well across the globe. Shen Yue and Dylan had the best chemistry ever. The setting of the 2018 Meteor Garden shown more elegant than the earlier one. People all over seemed addicted with the new MT as i noticed their open conversations everywhere. Shen captured the crowd with her simplicity, cuteness and unique beauty not everybody noticed. But she is on top 5 as The most beautiful girl in the world while Dylan ranked the 6th in male section. So i admire these 2 young actor/actress,with their captivating personality & beauty aura, despite of their young ages, everything they hold turns to gold. 💛🌟💛🌟💛

  2. Dylan is very handsome with lots of charisma and Dao Ming Si is a very attractive role to act in. This version is similar to the original Taiwanese version so in terms of storyline there is nothing special. I also like the actor who acts Lei, he is cute also.

  3. I have to agree totally about Dylan Wang stealing the show. The subtleties he is bringing to the character remind me more of moments in Matsumoto Jun’s portrayal of the character…but I also feel like he’s doing well at making his own version, and making it probably a bit more real (or as real as very cartoonish characters can be). I don’t actually mind Shenyue’s portrayal – of course I don’t think anyone can compare to Inoue Mao – but I much prefer her’s over Gu Hye Sun’s totally cartoon version. I am enjoying Huaze Rei character more as it has gone on – so far – but at first there was really nothing there…and the bromance really feels like it’s lacking in this version. I don’t think any of the F4 guys are necessarily doing a bad job…but they just don’t have on-screen chemistry together. It feels kind of the same with most of the relationships – outside the love triangle. The family doesn’t really feel connected, the friendships don’t seem there. Whether that is the writing, editing, actors, or a combination, I don’t know. I quite enjoy most of the plot differences, and feel like the pace is generally quite good. There have been some huge editing mistakes though. Often times it feels like we have skipped over some rather important scenes, and are just meant to accept that something has happened – maybe they’re telling, rather than showing, sometimes? but these moments feel very jarring and I think could be a bit confusing for some. These could all just be me haha But I definitely love Dylan’s work atm and hope he continues to develop in his future works too.

  4. 100% Agree that Dylan is indeed the breakout star of this version, and probably 70% of why I am watching the show (the other 25% is simply nostalgia and remaining 5% is for the others. haha)

    I always feel like the character of Domyoji is a very interesting example of a confusing conundrum. He’s violent, short tempered and rude, like if i were to meet a real person like that in real life, i don’t think i will like him/her that much. But yet he’s adorable, his childish ways endearing, and he is extremely devoted to his one love. Which I guess is really the key as to why girls love this character, it’s just the utter complete devotion he has towards the heroine that completely blinds us to the rest of his faults (plus he is freaking rich!), never mind that his love and actions towards the heroine is really borderline obsessive and possessive. And so here we are again, once more attracted and rooting for Domyoji (DaoMingSi) despite his obnoxious, arrogant and crazy ways! ^o^

    It’s natural that the most charismatic character will land the Domyoji role, but in a way the character setup itself makes it easier as well for the actor to be likeable despite his flaws (including subpar acting). Dylan definitely has the “it” factor, he has charisma and that twinkle in his eye that sends hearts aflutter, so I think he has potential for more growth and greater things to come in the future.

    Apart from Dylan, i thought the actor playing Lei is also quite memorable. In fact i find him better looking than Dylan, but less charming. The other 2 F4 members are so so, but again these two characters don’t really have much to do other than being around as daomingsi’s entourage so there’s really not much room for them to shine. overall it’s not the best adaptation, but nevertheless for all its flaws it is still enough to get fans stupidly addicted to it once again (myself included unfortunately) LOL

  5. Dylan Wang is only 19! How is he just 19? I have to keep reminding myself that he’s the same age as Kim so-hyun because he’s been styled to look late 20s or maybe its the characters that look like some young CEO. The only scene he looked his age was the flashback scene in the school uniform for the cooking competition back story. I almost couldn’t even tell its him!

  6. He’s definitely the most good looking F4 leader. The pictures alone radiates his charisma. I hope he’ll have a successful career as that of the past Domyouji/Daomingsi.
    I tried getting past the 1st ep but Shen Yue just couldn’t engage me. Although they seem to have the chemistry. I’m really after the female leads in all Meteor Garden version as they drive the story. Main reason I can’t pick up the Kversion.

  7. This version feels more “down-to-earth” than the Taiwan, Japanese and Korean version. Maybe thats why it feels boring to me. Meteor Garden’s charm was its extravagant plot and characters, and somehow this version made it seem like a normal rom-com.
    Imo this version’s F4 is imo the most attractive one (a very very close competition with Korea’s version) but they share the least chemistry.
    Shen Yue is also a very awkward actress and turns me off.

    I agree with the comments that Dylan is very charismatic.
    The one acting as Huaze Lei is cute, although very wooden.
    I didn’t get far enough to see how good is the actor for Ximen and his chemistry with Xiaoyou.

  8. Bravo! Dylan! He is only reason I’m still watching the show. He has pure talent and charisma. Others are just meh. The worst acting performance is done by Shen Yue, followed by Connor Leong. Darren is so good looking, but no charm with wooden acting. Casear seems okay. Story and directing itself is awful.

  9. I love Dylan but it’s like watching your child figuring out homework, it’s painful and endearing at the same time. I really don’t think he’s a good actor – yet, but his charisma and charm more than makes up for it. Most actors can learn acting, but not charisma, so he’s gifted in that way. I love Shen Yue! I think the writing doesn’t do the actress justice – she’s way more likable than Shan Di (kdrama version), but Barbie Hsu and Inoue Mao definitely set a high bar.
    The editing drives me nuts, and while I understand the toning down of violence and ridiculousness of the story, like others said here, that was part of the charm of Hana Yori Dango. F4, esp. Tsukasa, were DARK people, and it was so epic that Tsukushi was able to change them. If they were normal to begin with, what’s even the point -_-

  10. They chose the right Dao Ming Si and Shan Ci for this adaptation. It’s the writing that is really bad. Dylan can go far as an actor but when you take on the role of Dao Ming Si, it’s so iconic, you can’t break out any other roles with people thinking oh that is the Dao Ming Si guy. So good luck to him after MG airs.

  11. Koala in SO glad you made this post. I thought I was the only one who wasn’t enamored with this version. It’s not that I hate it. But I really can’t stand the changes that were made for the China censorship laws. I went back to the 2001 version and was surprised by how much I still enjoyed it despite it being dated.

  12. I just can’t get into this version. I love Hana Yori Dango, I seen all 3 versions and it’s my favorite manga but after the first episode I was out.

  13. This is my crack drama of the summer! Although the plot is pretty predictable, I’m actually glad there’s less bullying, the world is dark enough, right now.
    IMO the two leads are way better than the K-version, I couldn’t root for that main couple at all. But, definitely watching this one for Dylan! You can’t help but cheer for him.

  14. I’m enjoying the intelligent and amusing comments here. Thanks for being objective, though the love for the manga shows! I agree for a first role, Dylan did well. I agree with all other comments on mediocre co-stars. Let’s see how this batch will go down in MG nostalgia history. Time will tell… Now, if you can excuse me for finishing MG2001 re-watch for the __time!

  15. I’m so glad someone also agrees with me about the horrible dubbing that China loves to put on all of their dramas. It can make even really good actors seems really inept and sounds so out of place. Boy, I hope they broadcast a real-voice version in Taiwan.

  16. This isn’t Hana Yori Dango…. they’ve changed and missed out key elements to the story that it isn’t HYD anymore!! Even the the Taiwan version from way back had those key elements that made it HYD. I’ve majorly disappointment, but I like the actors playing F4 and Dylan is the main reason I continue to watch it.

  17. For sure Dylan is the best part of the drama. But did you notice that all the females in the drama are not good looking compared to the other meteor gardens? Shen Yue also has about the same look and expression in every scene. 2018 version is mediocre at best. I wish they would have changed up the story… nope they just injected a few contemporary references to make it for “today”.

    • Shen Yue and the girl playing Tengtang Jing are quite pretty IMO even if Jing looked more ingenue-ish and less sophisticated than the previous actresses in the role. I do like Dee Hsu as DMZ, almost as much as the original. I like the vibe she gives off. But I agree with Xiao Yu. I can’t help but compare her to Rainie Yang and Kim So-eun, and… yeah.

      Shen Yue’s Shancai is better than Gu Hyesun’s Jan-di mostly because she’s not as screechy and annoying, but she’s bland. Idk if it’s the writing or the acting (or a bit of both), but this Shancai doesn’t have the grit and fire of the original Shancai and Makino Tsukushi. She mostly walks around looking confused, and when she tries to be a spitfire like her predecessors were, the effort comes across as half-hearted.

  18. I do think the show has improved a bit as it aligned more with the manga, but the first few episodes were so, so boring. The HYD franchise is inherently problematic, but its over-the-top ridiculous nature is what makes it so addictive regardless of changing times. Strip the story of that OTT-ness all that’s left is your run-of-the-mill romcom.

    If there’s one thing they could have removed, it would be the forced kiss. That remains the most consistent red flag to me across all versions. But the rest, bullying included, are so OTT that to remove them would be to strip HYD of its essence.The enmity between Shancai and Daoming Si seems so poorly established in this version, and there’s very, very little of tough-as-nails Shancai making herself stronger and growing into the force of nature that turns everyone’s worlds upside-down. And I have to agree with the comments about the lack of chemistry among the F4 members. I felt the previous ones were really best friends in the drama, even in the poorly-written K-version. But here, I can see them trying but they’re just not clicking. Their interactions feel forced and their banter stilted.

    Dylan shines in this adaptation, and of all the Domyouji’s, I think he looks closest to the character in the manga. It’s a shame that the adaptation is so meh because he’s enjoyable to watch.

  19. Dylan Wang is also my only reason for watching Meteor Garden 2018 (Darren Chen who plays Hua Ze Lei is growing on me). Dylan’s actingn is rather weak but I think his charisma exudes Dao Ming Si. He is just literally Dao Ming Si personified.

    I am disappointed in Shan Cai but I think Shen Yue is doing her best with what she had been given, which isn’t a lot. This version makes Shan Cai so completely unlikeable, I just can’t even see why Dao Ming Si fell for her.

  20. Oh my! I saw the 2001 MD, HanaDan and BOF but myyyyyyy… Dylan is love!!! I kind of skip parts where he’s not on screen.

    I hate how they dub their voices it looks and sounds weird. So while the undubbed version is not available yet Imma go ahead and have my dose of Dylan!

  21. I watched the 2001 version and this version. I love both versions a lot but I love the charactors they picked for this version better. I love Dylan Wang and Darren Chen aka Huazi Lei. My only complaint is I wish they would have stuck a little closer to the 2001 version. It feels like they left a lot out, like in the other one Si actually did lose his memory and in this one he just pretends to for 5 minutes. Other than that I love both versions, but they def should have stuck closer to the other one and not left stuff out. Also where can you watch the version that isn’t dubbed?

  22. Y’all know that the 2005 version isnt the original. There is a 1995 movie I think. I love the 2005 japanese version though and it’s the only one that has a season 2 and an extra movie(where the main woman gets pregnant). But i literally watched every version and the new chinese one has to be the worst. There was literally no connection and it just felt fake. It felt like a middle school play. I would have to rate every Hana Yori Dango as this:
    Hana Yori Dango (1995 movie)
    Hana Yori Dango (2005)
    Meteor Garden(2001)
    Boys over flower(2009)
    Meteor Garden(2018)
    I think there was a filipino version or thai, but it don’t really know.

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