Why I'm Glad Meteor Garden III Never Came To Be
When Meteor Garden started out as a 19 episode TV drama based on the Japanese Manga series series known as Hana Yori Dango, it became a big hit. Jerry Yan and Barbie Xu really had a great chemistry, most of the cast was great and even after Meteor Garden ended after two seasons, I still watched their other TV series. Vic Chou improved greatly as an actor, Jerry Yan has a lot of charm as an actor and Barbie Xu cries so beautifully on-screen.
Meteor Garden became so popular for so many reasons. The cast of F4 really make the characters come to life. I always felt like Barbie Xu's acting was really better than Mao Inoue's. Jerry Yan really makes the complicated character of Daoming Si come to life. The rest of the cast was really well done. The actress Zhen Xiu Zhen really knew how to make her character Daoming Feng as the most scary version of Kaede Doumyoji - she made Kaga Mariko look so mild! There was really a lot of good acting that made Meteor Garden memorable. The popularity of the series caused the rise of Meteor Garden II and the spin-off Meteor Rain. I felt the popularity was centered on Jerry Yan and Barbie Xu. Maybe older fans of Meteor Garden would have compared them to Taiwan senior celebrities Qin Han and Liu Xuehua. In terms of acting and charm, I've only felt like Jerry had Qin Han's charm and Barbie was the only actress who could match up to Liu Xuehua's performance.
Meteor Garden II was created in response to Meteor Garden's rising popularity. Then it happened that the second season was really more of a tearjerker. I felt like the series was weaker than the first considering Shan Tsai becomes a weaker character who had plucked her spines making her a defenseless porcupine. Daoming Si's amnesia developed him as a character to become more mature but I felt like other stuff got me mixed. I felt like there was a lot of inconsistency in the series where you laugh at one moment but you end up wanting to tear your heart out in the next. There were cool moments of suspense like who ends up with who. Then it ends with a plot dangler maybe because they were anticipating for Meteor Garden III.
I was excited at the thought of Meteor Garden III but later I thought it wouldn't work. There were a lot of questions left unanswered or was it? Then there was one stupid rumor after the other where it was easy to get deceived. Then the whole idea was junked. There were other fanfics written that really were nothing but recycled plots. I also felt that if Meteor Garden III were released, the career of F4 and Barbie Xu would stagnate. I don't deny that I do love the Jerry/Barbie tandem and that they really had good chemistry but there's more to F4 than just Meteor Garden. I mean Barbie would later have other projects and she would later be paired alongside Vic in the TV series Mars where they had a short relationship.
Jerry and Barbie would have probably done better if they were cast into Qiong Yao drama series. As I mentioned earlier, Jerry has the stylish performance similar to Qin Han and Barbie can cry as beautifully as Liu Xuehua. After seeing Romance in the Rain (another series that aired alongside Meteor Garden on 2001), I felt like they should have been Shuhuan and Yiping instead of Leo Ku and Vicki Zhao. If not Romance in the Rain, there were five other Qin/Liu TV series that they could have been paired into. Jerry and Barbie could have been paired in Ting Yuan Shen Shen or there's others that could be considered like Seagull's Home (Barbie could take the role of twin sisters), After Many Sunsets or The Unforgettable Character with a more age appropriate casting. I would have actually imagined Qin Han playing as Jerry's father and Liu Xuehua as Jerry's mother in Qiong Yao series. That would have been better.
If it happened, maybe F4 would stagnate in their career. It might end up in failure. The talent fee for F4 and Barbie Xu is pretty huge. Maybe paying Zhen Xiu Zhen to cast as Daoming Feng would be a real failure. Maybe they might want to try to get Qin Han to play as the master of the Daoming household. If they can't get Zhen Xiu Zhen, maybe they might want to get Liu Xuehua to play the part. The more I thought about it, there may not be any more fresh plots to insert into it. Daoming Si's decision to leave and now he's so used to the outside world, he might even live a simpler life after that. Then again, F4 would stagnate to the point they'll be so typecast to their Meteor Garden characters. I always felt like it was better that it never happened.
I'm just glad it never happened otherwise I'd be too stuck in Meteor Garden. Instead, we're seeing more TV series. Vic's career improved after Meteor Garden like I didn't expect not to really applaud him in Mars or in the Taiwanese TV suspense thriller Black and White. Barbie always had more interesting roles after Meteor Garden II like she plays weaker and stronger characters. I'll say that Meteor Garden III never came to be and good riddance.