The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: Fated to Love You

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A drama that’s fantastically cracky in its first half, but unfortunately meanders into Sad Angstville in its later episodes and never quite recovers fully from its detour.

Fated To Love You is extremely easy to fall for in its early episodes. Fabulously committed and nuanced deliveries by Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra not only bring the funny, but also land the emotional beats extremely well. Their lovely, very believable chemistry as our OTP is also a big draw. All of this, combined with a story that clocks a brisk pace, and finds time to serve up a variety of cheeky meta, makes Early Show one deliciously addictive package that charmingly sweeps us off our feet as it engages us in its confident, off-beat dance.

Unfortunately, the brisk pace slows to a crawl in the show’s last stretch, and it feels like our story gets weary from doing time on a Going Nowhere treadmill. On the upside, The Cute eventually comes back; Show’s just not quite as cracky at its end as compared to its glorious beginnings.

Depending on your love &/or patience levels, your mileage with this show as a whole is likely to vary.

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Sunshine The Second!

 

Guess what, everyone! The blog got a second Sunshine nomination!

Thanks to Indigo of Between Wor(L)ds for the love! And man, you DO ask some very tough questions!

I’m so pleased with myself now, coz after the blog’s first Sunshine Award, I’d told Lady G that I’d be getting her to play in future blog award type thingies.

Seeing Indigo’s tough questions, I’m mighty impressed with Past Me’s foresight. Coz I’m gonna need all the help I can get! Ha.

You’ll know what I mean when you see Indigo’s questions!

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Review: One Warm Word

THE SHORT VERDICT:

This is that rare breed of melodrama that doesn’t lay on the angst for the sake of angst, or pain for the sake of pain, but instead approaches its chosen premise with thoughtful sensitivity.

Populated with characters and relationships that are drawn and delivered with care and complexity, One Warm Word manages to ask many thought-provoking questions and raise several important themes, all while remaining a genuinely rich and engaging watch. There are some stretches which are angstier – and therefore harder to get through – but viewers who press through those times will be rewarded with a thought-provoking, ultimately warm watch.

Also, the show is a LOT prettier than the admittedly odd artistic sentiment expressed in its posters and OST covers. And I’m not even talking about the show’s very handsome men (yet).

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Review: Her Lovely Heels

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Her Lovely Heels is a short little mini-drama that boasts more atmosphere than actual story, more pretty than plot.

At just 12 short minutes per episode, the 10-episode mini-drama is literally only as long as a movie, yet tries to pack in as much as a regular drama in terms of OTP milestones, drama tropes and PPL. All of this, combined with its solid production values, pleasant OST and its earnest-but-stiff cast, makes watching Her Lovely Heels feel akin to watching a long infomercial. Show doesn’t have much meat on its bones, but it’s pretty, and it gets to its destination (while managing to hawk its products).

So why did I check this out at all? Why, for the Hong Jong Hyun Pretty, of course. I mean, just lookie at the Handsome:

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Pocketful of Sunshine!

Good mornin’, Sunshine!

You might’ve seen the Sunshine Award making its rounds in the k-blogosphere lately. Well, today it’s my turn to join the sunshiny fun!

But first of all, let’s get some context. (You guys know how much I love my context!)

I did a bit of poking around, and found that the Sunshine Award is given to bloggers who “positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”

D’aw~ That’s so nice, isn’t it?

Thanks to Snow of The Drama Corner for nominating me as a positive inspiration!

Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?

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Newly Charmed By: Hong Jong Hyun

YOU GUYS.

You know how sometimes the most unexpected things happen? Like how you think, Y’know what, I just don’t get the appeal of this actor, and I probably am unlikely to ever get it? And then, one day, something happens when you least expect it, and then you go, “OHHH.”

Heh. The last time something like that happened to me, I found myself falling – so, so hard – for Woob (full story here).

Ok, before you get too excited, let me just say that Woob is still very much holding court in my fangirl heart, so no takeovers or upsets of any kind there.

But I hafta confess that I am so, SO blown away by just how much I’m suddenly charmed by Hong Jong Hyun. Seriously. He’s been giving me a serious case of the goofy grins over the last two days, and I just have to tell y’all all about it.

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Review: Secret Love Affair

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A drama that is a lot more measured and contemplative than its title – or its poster – might suggest.

To my knowledge, a good number of viewers hesitate over this show for one or several of these reasons: it’s about adultery; it probably condones adultery; it’s probably salacious, titillating audiences with an affair between a much older woman and a much younger man.

Secret Love Affair is not at all the cheap watch that some might assume it to be. Thoughtfully written, expertly directed & executed and excellently acted, Secret Love Affair is an absorbing, immersive watch that is at once the story of a man, the journey of a woman, and an uncompromising study of human nature and what it means to really live.

Substantial, poetic and thought-provoking, and well worth your time.

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Review: Haeundae Lovers

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A drama that positions itself as a breezy rom-com, but that also happens to have birth secrets and corporate politics hidden up its deceptively fluffy sleeves.

Because of plot pacing that jerks between campy comedy and more melodramatic arcs, watching this drama can be a very uneven experience at times. Still, if you’d care to peel away this show’s flaws – layers made up of sudden melodramatic dips, lots of yelling and screeching by two-dimensional secondary characters, and more overacting than I’d care to mention – there might be just enough cute and just enough heart to keep you hanging in there.

Plus, there’s quite a lot of Kim Kang Woo pretty on display. Depending on where you’re coming from, that could potentially count for a lot.

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Dear kfangurl: What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great?

Today’s question is brought to us by Bakazen, who asks:

Dear kfangurl,

What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great? I just recently finished watching Doctor Stranger and realized 2 things: LJS is a good actor and I really didn’t like this drama. So why did I finish it? Because I was hooked by the bromance tease between LJS and PHJ.

My personal theory is they work well as substitutes for the sometimes overwhelming lack of affection we see between couples. Guys in bromances show affection, love, solidarity, joy, connection & (dare I say it) skinship! Nothing warms my heart like one of the F4s coming to a bros rescue, the F44s teasing each other or the leads in School 2013 (LJS & Woobie) saying how much they missed each other’s friendship. Besides, I rarely get that hooked into the female friendships (major exception, Noh Eun-seol & Lee Myung Ran from Protect the Boss). What do you think?

Bakazen

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Introducing: Lady G!

Yes, this is how I look celebrating with cake. Except maybe I’m not wearing a tiara ^.~

Everyone! I’m soo~ excited to make this announcement!

Are you ready? Drum roll please…

Ahem.

..Lady G is joining the blog as an official contributor!! Woot!

Yes, you read that right, the talent pool on this blog is growing, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Ok, so let’s backtrack a bit to get a bit of context around this.

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