Meteor Garden 2018 is an ode to the classic series with a modern twist.
After a successful and groundbreaking run 17 years ago, Meteor Garden has made a comeback! Set in the city of Shanghai this time, the reboot revolves around the life of Dong Shan Cai (Shen Yue), who enters a prestigious university where she later meets F4 – a group of highly popular boys celebrated for their charm and wealth. Produced by Angie Chai and directed by Lin Helong, Meteor Garden 2018 is currently streaming on Netflix. Originally released on July 9 of this year, the show has gained over millions of viewers across Asia including countries like China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Korea and Japan.
You may ask: What is Meteor Garden 2018’s social relevance today? Why did it resonate to a lot of people, especially teens? Well, the show tackled a lot of things – things that are far more important than the “love story” angle between the characters. Let’s discuss why it’s one of the best Netflix shows to binge on:
Social commentary on today’s youth:
Women empowerment, fighting misogyny
In a world where millennials are often mocked for being too picky, indecisive or “always angry”, there’s Meteor Garden 2018. What sets it apart from other C-dramas is the fact that it tackled bigger issues that millennials are facing today.
From being bribed by money to being looked down for her status in life, Dong Shan Cai stood on her own ground. After realizing the need to help her family, she immediately applied for a job. She also decided to sell grilled squids to earn more money. She became a working student, but that didn’t stop her from reaching her dreams.
Meteor Garden 2018 also tackled the issue of misogyny. On the first few episodes, there are clear moments of abuse on the protagonist. But the good thing? Dong Shan Cai was brave and unstoppable. She fights like there’s no tomorrow. The show sends a message that it’s never right to put your hands on a woman. It also teaches women to fight for their rights and to never let any man disrespect them. A clear homage to the #MeToo movement.
Tencent, AI, QR codes, Incubator Programme
The show is also very timely: it tackled different tech advancements that majority of people enjoy today. This includes QR codes, technology-based payments and the use of Oppo and Vivo phones from the characters (which proves the fact that these brands topped the chinese smartphone market).
But if there is one revolutionary moment from the show, it’s when Dao Ming Si started a new perspective in life.
Together with giant company Tencent, he launched a business incubator programme called “The Shenzhen Tencent Technology Platform” to help startup companies with their finances, mentoring, office spaces and many more – something like Cyberport Hong Kong’s Incubator Programme.
It’s relevance to our world today? If we use all our resources to bring out the best in helping one another, through advanced business models and technology, the world will be a better place.
Dao Ming Si is one of the many faces of young entrepreneurs who are making a change in the world.
Key takeaways from the show that we can relate to real-life
Never underestimate the value of self-love, hardwork and new beginnings.
Millennials are the future of the world. We should learn how to embrace one another.
Businesses in Asia are rising and more entrepreneurs are investing for the future.
Technology is really evolving with time, and it’s great to have shows like Meteor Garden to give emphasis on new innovations.