Split Screen: Almost Paradise

We’ve finally made it, Split Screen readers. The end of Boys Over Flowers is nigh. We kept you waiting I’m feeling weirdly emotional as I write this intro, because watching this absurd k-drama with Emma has been such a lovely, hilarious experience over the past year. I’ll miss hanging out with Jan-di, Ga-eul, and the dumb boys they love for half an hour every week. I’m not sure how I’ll replace them in my heart or in my tv schedule. At least the crazy kids of UA High are here to keep me company and show me around their ridiculous dorm rooms. I think the friendship energy is going to survive after all, folks. 

(New to Split Screen? Binge Boys Over Flowers and catch up here!)

Boys Over Flowers Episode 25 (yup, the whole dang thing)

M: It’s over! Can you believe it?

E: It’s really the end of an era in our lives. 

M: We’ve been watching Boys Over Flowers for over a year. 

E: Oh man, has it really been that long?

M: I think we started in June 2018. 

E: That’s really crazy. But at the same time, it feels like it’s always been there.

M: I do feel a bit of a hole in my life. 

E: We can save final thoughts for the end of this section though. I’ll just say that I’m glad the whole amnesia subplot was wrapped up by halfway through the episode.

M: As Boys Over Flowers episodes go, this was a pretty satisfying one. There was a bunch of manufactured drama and then some feel-good callbacks and plenty of slo-mo. 

E: I was getting the feeling at the same time that a lot of these things would have been more satisfying if any arc was given any real focus and depth. Like the whole swimming stuff is functional, right? The bare bones are there, so it works at the end, but it would have worked a lot more if that was a big focus throughout the show instead of just popping up when they needed it.

M: I think lack of focus is both the show’s fatal flaw and a large source of its joy. 

No, the largest source of joy is obviously the food faces

E: Yeah, you’re never bored watching Boys Over Flowers, that’s for sure.

M: I appreciate that the writers went back to what they know best for the finale: ridiculous, high-stakes drama. As much as I would have liked to see the show take on a reconciliation between Mama Gu and Jan-di, I think they had dug too deep a hole for that to feel satisfying squeezed into a single episode. It was better at this point to just see that her alive husband and her retirement had mellowed her out. 

E: The coma dad just turned out to be a device to humanize her at all when the writer’s realized that she was too evil and they couldn’t redeem her.

M: You know who I just realized didn’t get a freaking happy ending? Manager Jung!

E: Man, the wasted potential of Manager Jung.

M: He didn’t even take Jan-di to her graduation. That could have been the moment. And what happened to Jan-di’s dad?

E: He died on the fishing boat, I guess.

M: If you’re choosing which questions to leave unanswered, those are fine, I guess. Now that I’m thinking it through, maybe a ninety minute finale could have given just a bit more fleshed-out closure?

E: This episode, while satisfying, did feel like the writer’s room hadn’t realized this was the last episode until they were writing it. 

Real image of us watching this finale

M: To actually dive into the content, I know you have concerns about the amnesia relationship arc. I share them, but I can’t deny that it injected some very urgent drama. It reignited, just for a moment, the possibility that Jan-di would consider being with Ji-hoo, and it allowed some really classic Jan-di/Jun-pyo bickering. I think overall it was a useful device to energize the finale. 

E: For me, it’s just that using a cardboard cutout gold-digger girl for tension, right after they flubbed Jae-kyung’s character so much (at least in my opinion), leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I know it’s romance show, so a lot of drama has to come from romantic rivals and tension, but it just feels a little icky. I guess. It did work though, I just wish they’d found a different way to do it.

M: It’s definitely gross, and I think it would have worked better as a multi-episode arc that brought Mama Gu and Jan-di together. I thought that’s where this was going. At least it was clearly a device. There was no pretending we were going to get to know this random girl, unlike Jae-kyung, which was a huge swing and a miss.

E: Yeah, I’m glad she just departed suddenly and hastily too. No need to yell at her or throw her in the pool. I mean, I kind of wanted Jan-di to, but that’s a separate thing.

M: I’ve got respect for Yu-mi. I can’t say I would have acted differently if put in that situation. I might have, but I can’t say for sure. 

E: I did appreciate that she was just clearly jumping at an opportunity rather than maliciously planning the whole thing out. I was a little worried they were gonna be like, “she collaborated with random Shinhwa hating man”

M: In the end though, all that angst was worth it for Jun-pyo remembering Jan-di. I liked her little monologue with Ji-hoo about thinking that Jun-pyo’s love was so strong that it would overcome amnesia, but if it didn’t, he would fall in love with her again anyway. 

E: Yeah, I do like that spin on it, right? People really do fall in love through specific sets of circumstances that wouldn’t necessarily happen all over again.

As a side-note, I just Googled for images instead of jumping through hoops to screen-cap this time and UGH what a relief that was

M: Really? Because I thought people fell in love by making food in the shape of the other person’s head. 

E: That too. That’s a requirement. Set down by a higher power.

M: That’s what love is. No argument here. 

E: I was really hoping she’d be mirroring Jun-pyo’s stunt when he pulled her out of the water this time. I wanted that Looney Tunes sound effect again.

M: Oh boy, I had forgotten the sound effect. That would have been delightful, but also completely tonally wrong for this climactic moment of the series. 

E: I got to watch him jumping in the water like six times due to technical difficulties.

M: Didn’t that increase the impact?

E: I was mostly preoccupied with his poor swimming form. 

M: Look, just because he knows how to swim now, doesn’t mean he’s good at it. 

E: How metaphorical.

M: After that, we pretty much got the happy episode you wanted. 

E: Yeah! I did actually kind of like the four year time skip we ended on. The boys and Jan-di all had a lot of growing up to do, and there wasn’t time to do that on screen. Ga-eul, meanwhile, has always been perfect. 

M: Even before the time skip we had some delightful throwbacks, some of which were Looney Toons levels of ridiculous. 

deja vu!

E: When the darn motorcycle went by, I just…

M: Do you think Jun-pyo paid someone to do that?

E: I’ll accept that as a valid headcanon.

M: Just incredible. Not one, but two important dates, almost ruined by passing transit. 

E: I really liked her dances with F3 too. I knew all along that they were going the Ji-hoo is her soulmate but Jun-pyo is her true love route. I mean, since the fortune teller episode, at least.

M: For a really ridiculous, over-the-top romance, Boys Over Flowers was ended up pretty thoughtful about what love can be.

E: I remember saying that I liked the concept when they first introduced it, and like a lot of things on the show, I think they could have been more graceful about it, but it managed to clamber its way to a satisfying message on that front.

M: As always, I wonder if part of the reason some of the themes seem so haphazard is that we watched on such a weird schedule. Would some of the themes and messages and repeated arcs have felt more coherent even if we were just watching a full episode a week?

E: Eh, I don’t think to a miraculous degree. It really is a show that jumps around everywhere, which keeps it fresh to watch, but not necessarily cohesive when viewed as a whole.

Anyway, such a big twist that she ended up with Woo-bin right?

M: I am deeply glad Jan-di and Jun-pyo returned to whatever that rail-car tower is. 

E: Where does it go? Does it circle around? Does it land somewhere?

M: It goes to true love. 

E: Ah, of course, True Love Junction

M: What’s your function? Picking up teenagers and making relationships function. 

E: You can’t rhyme function with function!

M: Doesn’t the original song do that?

E: It does once I guess. But otherwise it’s all slant rhymes. 

M: I’m not a good enough poet for that. 

E: I’m really glad that Ga-eul became a teacher too. Like, that wasn’t set up at all, but it’s a good career for her. Even if her kids are little backstabbers. Little gossips.

M: I’m glad she took four years for herself! Ga-eul has spent the whole series taking care of everyone around her, so I was pretty sure she was going to go to Sweden with Yi-jung. I was also pretty sure Jan-di was going to go to American with Jun-pyo. Respect to the writers for letting these women have career aspirations of their own. 

E: Ga-eul’s an expert at taking care of toddlers.

Ga-eul, pictured here training for her daycare career

M: That was probably the subject of her cover letter. 

E: I was also really glad to see them both making progress in their own lives. My headcanon is that Jan-di and Ji-hoo open a medical office together once they graduate.

M: If Ji-hoo is a year ahead of Jan-di, Grandpa must have died literally right as time jumped forward.

E: RIP Grandpa, you died off-screen.

M: My heart couldn’t have taken that. Neither could his!

E: Ba dum ch. Except there’s no ba dum. 

M: Ooooof. 

E: Despite all my complaints and wishes that the show had done a bit of a better job filling in the meat on all their arc bones, I really did enjoy watching this over the past year.

M: I’m trying to put my finger on why I liked it so much. It’s hard to quantify. 

E: Yeah, I don’t think I can offer much help with that. I think it’s just that it always had a lot of good ideas. The writer’s room was full of idea people but not enough who could follow through on the ideas. But because they were always introducing new and interesting things, it was always fun to see what could come up next.

M: And through it all, Jan-di and Ga-eul remained incredibly likable, while still being little weirdos. Plus all the men of the show were just stupid enough to be charismatic while also still occasionally being awful. I still think the great achievement of this show is making me forget how much I hated Jun-pyo for the first six or seven episodes. 

E: He was really a horrible human being at the beginning there.

M: But overall, is it because there’s a ton of Big Friendship Energy? Is that the driving force? And Big Ridiculous Energy?

See you, flower boys…

E: Those are pretty much my two criteria for enjoying a show? Get that prestige TV out of here. I just need Friends Doing Nonsense.

M: And in the end, that’s we had a year of FDN! With a wholesome happy ending for basically everyone. 

E: Yup! I’m glad they were all happy in the desert together.

M: Any parting thoughts?

E: I dunno what to watch next. What do we do?

M: I’m going to have to download the soundtrack for this one. 

E: ALMOSSSTTTTT- sing it Madelyn


My Hero Academia S3E13: Moving Into Dorms


M: This episode was the perfect complement to a season finale. So light, so airy, and yet also stuffed with Big Ridiculous Friendship Energy.

E: Yes, the dorms, while somewhat dangerous and ominous in ways, do provide a lot of fodder for these kids to hang out and be dumb together.

M: I will already say that this mixed-gender group of high schoolers is not under enough supervision. 

E: All they’ve got is Aizawa. 

M: They’re already running around in all of each others rooms. 

E: I feel like they at least need another female chaperone living with them and then also probably a live-in mental health specialist.

M: Maybe some pets too? Other than Koda’s rabbit. 

E: Therapy dogs! 

M: Wouldn’t that be weird when their principal and police chief are part dog?

E: It’s okay, they’re getting them from Endeavor and Shigaraki’s rescue center.

M: You’re right, I take it back. Speaking of the Todorokis, I’m glad the show is leaning in to Shoto’s status as an unwilling hunk. 

E: At the same time, it is nice to see him participating in group activities even when he’s not very in to them. He’s finally out of his abusive home, you know?

M: Maybe in time he’ll allow himself to have a normal mattress. 

he worked hard

E: I saw someone on Twitter when this aired having a huge brain moment in that those flashbacks from Todoroki’s childhood always showed him on hardwood with his father and tatami with his mother, hence why he feels more comfortable with the remodeled room. 

M: Wow, that’s frickin’ deep. Still not clear how he remodeled it like that.  

E: Uh, duh.

M: Don’t say it.

E: He worked hard.

M: I was hoping he was going to have one half of the room with a giant air conditioner and the other half with an ornamental fireplace. 

E: No way. In the words of Iida, “you’ll find nothing odd in here!”


E: His rows and rows of glasses were also very good. As was the fact that the girls put them on afterwards.

M: I didn’t see anyone with video games, that was disappointing. 

E: Future heroes aren’t allowed to have TVs. 

M: They talk about strategy in terms of games all the time. 

E: That’s just Shigaraki. Video games are for villains. Oh, I guess Bakugo has also used video game terminology. Oh no.

M: Look, we all know the effect video games have on people. 

E: Video games. Not even once.

M: As much as I enjoyed everyone having their own personalized decor, I think this would have been a lot more fun with roommates. 

This is from the manga, but in case you were wondering about layout. Why are there so many extra rooms?

E: Yeah, I wish it was like college apartments so you get the best of both worlds, right? Everybody has their own room and decor, but they also have to share their living area.

M: Someone give me some fan art for these shared rooms. 

E: Whose room was your favorite?

M: In terms of what?

E: Whatever. Give me a couple if you want to use different criteria.

M: I mean, I’m super psyched that Deku has no chill. He couldn’t calm down on the All Might stuff literally at hero school with All Might? Not even a little?

E: I’m convinced that Bakugo’s room probably has just as much All Might memorabilia. 

M: No, his is plain except he’s scrawled “Lord Explosion Murder” on the wall. 

E: I think that Jiro’s was my favorite room, aesthetically. Although her neighbors are probably going to kill her within the week.

M: I like that Sato has an easy bake oven. And I like that Tokoyami apparently wants to die. His room is so dark. 

He has a sword!

E: It just has to not be totally dark, and he has to not be stressed. It’s like he’s training his quirk all the time.

M: That’s a dumb way to use your room. 

E: Also, apparently he’s just a goth. 

M: I wish we got to see Mineta’s room. 

E: Ignorance is bliss. 

M: I’m also sad they didn’t make Aizawa compete. 

E: It’s just his sleeping bag.

M: Nah, he probably has a bunch of bags. 

E: It’s just a stack of sleeping bags.

M: Otherwise, not much to report this episode? Aizawa was a little harsh on the non-All-for-One-hunting members of the class. It’s not their job to keep their classmates in line. You know whose job that is

E: Well, what he was saying is that none of them came and told him what the students were planning. They kept their mouths shut about it. 

Those purple waves are Aizawa’s stink from not showering again

M: He was busy showering for three days. 

E: I don’t know what I’m supposed to say to that.

M: Checkmate. 

E: But, no, I understand the reasoning. No, they didn’t go. But in some ways, it would have been their responsibility if the Save Bakugo Troupe had gone and gotten themselves killed because they didn’t tell an adult. Tattle on your friends when they’re being big dumbos.

M: I’m just saying, he could have been a little gentler with these kids who just watched their icon get literally deflated on national television. 

E: We don’t have time for anxiety and depression, Madelyn. We’ve got provisional licenses to get.

M: You’re right, the only therapy these kids are allowed is from Kaminari courtesy of Dr. Bakugo. 

E: But who gives Kaminari therapy?

M: He’s gonna snap. 

E: Anyway, I appreciated that they took a moment for Bakugo to pay back Kirishima for the money he spent on his rescue. It was an appropriately aggressive and awkward way for him to say thank you.

A boy comes up to you with a scowl and thrusts a stack of money in your face, do you take it? (asmr)

M: All that’s left to talk about is poor Tsu. 

E: Gosh darn it, Tsu, I just said we don’t have time for your anxiety and depression.

M: Are they allowed to go outside at night? Seems dangerous. Tsu made them break the rules again. 

E: There’s probably like a radius. Like they all have ankle bracelets to keep them from leaving.

M: An electric fence. Like dogs. 

E: Exactly. But that does tie back to the whole expulsion thing. Like, she does feel responsible for the fact that she didn’t convince them to stay behind. Even though, I don’t know why she ever thought she could convince Kirishima and Todoroki like that.

M: I thought she felt bad that they thought that she thought they were villains. Wasn’t that part of it?

E: I think maybe it was part of it, but a lot of her turmoil was coming from not knowing how to interact with them after they did something that she so strongly disagreed with.

M: Which one of these kids will have a nervous breakdown first? Stay tuned!

E: A new game show!


M: Are we ready for Lawsuit Watch? Will this be the last one ever?

E: We’ll replace it with Who Will Have a Nervous Breakdown First! Show. 

M: There’s not much this week, is there? 

E: Mineta is going to get sued.

M: Yeah, but nothing he did this week was outside the realm of normal weird teenage boy behavior. 

E: Sure. It’s a future lawsuit. It’s my own prediction for the future.

M: Fair enough. Boys Over Flowers was pretty clean. Identity theft, maybe.

E: Does that count as identity theft?

M: Identity theft is not a joke, Emma. 

E: You’re right, it happens to millions of people.

M: Every year. 

E: But yeah! A nice clean lawsuit-less edition!

M: Bravo Boys Over Flowers and My Hero Academia. Keeping it law-abiding. 

E: You ready for next week’s episode title?

M: I’m gonna need it. No idea where this is going. 

E: Ahem. Season 3 Episode 14 is called “Create Those Ultimate Moves”

M: What on earth?

E: Predictions please.

M: Prediction one: Class 1-A has a dance battle. 


M: Prediction two; Class 1-A has to take a seminar on what their defining hero move is going to be. Deku tries to do an Arkansas Smash or something, and everyone is like “get your own move, dude.”


M: Prediction three: the kids try to sneak out for late night snacks, but they caught. Fortunately, it’s just All Might, and he’s chill. Not a narc. 


M: Prediction four: not a lot to go on here. Oh, I guess they’re entering year two, so maybe they’ll have a big ceremony where they become class 2-A!

E: I think it’s actually just second semester.

M: The prediction has been made. They’ll have a big ceremony celebrating everyone making it this far alive. 


M: And prediction five: the teachers realize this dorm thing was a bad idea, but there’s no turning back. 


Emma here. I can’t believe it’s over…We’ve got a double-header of My Hero Academia coming to you next, but we really gotta decide on what we’re watching next. Give us suggestions! We are desperate.

Next time! Time to get tested.

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