The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: Answer Me, 1994 [Reply 1994]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Despite its flaws and indulgent streaks, Answer Me 1994 is a lovely little show that’s peopled by likable, bubbly characters that not only feel real, but also feel like they’re real friends with one another.

The characters and their relationships are the shining jewels crowning this show, and together, they shine so brightly that it’s not hard to overlook the occasional uneven writing, the consistently bloated episodes and the dreaded Who’s The Hubs game that Show inherited from its predecessor Answer Me 1997.

Far from perfect, but still So Lovable.

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22 Comments

Review: Misaeng

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Measured, slow and deliberate, Misaeng isn’t the kind of show that lends itself to marathoning.

Allow it the time and space to demonstrate its unique brand of awesome, though, and you’ll likely find a lot to like. Understated in its plotting and realistic in its execution, it’s the character and relationship moments that really shine in this show – and get under your skin as well.

Im Si Wan is quite the revelation in this, Lee Sung Min is just plain wonderful, and the rest of the cast is pretty fantastic as well.

Absolutely worth savoring.

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Review: Marriage Not Dating [Marriage Without Dating]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Wacky fun with a lot of heart.

Marriage Not Dating’s strength is really in its execution and its primary cast’s committed performances. Han Groo and Yeon Woo Jin both turn in heartfelt performances while being fully committed to The Funny, and the result is cracktastic, laugh-out-loud hilarity with an inner core of true emotion.

Props to Show for maintaining its breezy pace consistently from start to finish, and ultimately giving us an ending that felt true to our characters while delivering the all-important feelz.

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Review: The Technicians [Movie]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Quite smartly written, but not quite so smartly paced, The Technicians might feel underwhelming for those looking for a zippy, jaunty caper movie.

Despite its relatively slow set-up and its consequently somewhat sluggish feel, though, Show boasts a cohesive narrative with heart, and it doesn’t even ever get too melodramatic while going about it either.

Add on a cast of likable main characters and a good dose of pretty (Woob! On my screen! Eee!!), and The Technicians is still a solidly entertaining watch.

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20 Comments

Review: Sungkyunkwan Scandal

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Light, frothy, fizzy fun, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is perfect for viewers who are new to sageuk and feel intimidated by period / historical settings. Dressed in Joseon robes but possessing a fresh, modern, rom-com sort of feel, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is easy to love, even for the sageuk noob.

Helped by a breezy, ear-wormy OST and a pretty great cast, SKKS manages to pack a lot of fun – and heart! – into a zippy, peppy package.

Plus, everything – and everyone – is just so darn prettyyy.

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17 Comments

Review: King’s Daughter, Soo Baek Hyang

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Despite being dressed in regular sageuk robes, and possessing a political context that is key to its narrative, King’s Daughter manages to remain engaging and accessible to the average viewer.

On the downside, production values are on the lower side, the writing is slow at times, and the acting prowess across the ensemble cast is patchy in spots. Look past those flaws, however, and there are some pretty wonderful characters and relationships, delivered with so much heart and finesse, that it really does make it all worthwhile.

An engaging and pretty easy watch, despite its length.

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6 Comments

Review: Bad Guys

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Slick, dark, and appropriately fierce, Bad Guys is a short little series that packs a pretty big punch.

Everything is carefully and beautifully filmed, and for the most part, Bad Guys manages to hit that sweet spot where the writing is complex enough to be interesting, yet simple enough to be accessible to the average viewer. Add a pretty excellent cast to flesh out the interesting premise, and Show is a winner in almost every checkbox.

My beef with the show is that it gets too melodramatic at parts, which detracts from its unique brand of cool, and instead places it closer to standard kdrama fare than it needs to be. The cinematography also feels less deliberate as we get into the later episodes. Despite its shortcomings, though, Show remains an interesting and engaging watch.

Gritty and disturbing at times, yet heartening and uplifting at others, Bad Guys manages to be badass with heart.

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Review: Dating Agency Cyrano

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Breezy, light, and just a little bit quirky, Dating Agency Cyrano is a fun little show for when you’re in the mood for a bit of mindless fluff.

Plot logic regularly requires some suspension of disbelief, but there are enough plus points in this show to still make it an enjoyable watch. More than the overarching story, and more than the cases of the day, it’s the characters and their warmth that wormed their way into my heart, then resonated and lingered with me.

Far from cracktastic, but still a good dose of fun.

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51 Comments

Year In Review: 2014

If there’s one thing that everyone seems to be able to agree on, it’s that time is flying. Like, seriously. Where has 2014 gone?

I can hardly believe that 2015 is almost here, promising/threatening gifts of dramas chock-full of vampires, multiple personalities, and other psychological disorders goodies.

Before 2014 makes her exit, though, I wanted to come out and give credit where it’s due. Coz as much as so many of my friends in dramaland have been talking about a meh drama year, I feel like I had a pretty good drama year, actually.

I know. How did that happen, right?

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20 Comments

Review: High School King

THE SHORT VERDICT:

High School King is definitely a drama that is better in concept than in execution.

While the idea of a high schooler going successfully undercover as a sharp-suited corporate warrior is intriguing, the hijinks unfortunately come off as more try-hard than amusing. Characters are treated in broad strokes for the most part, and we get a lot more campy and theatrical than layered and nuanced.

There are definitely some moments of heart, but you’d need to be patient to find them in the midst of the comedic intent, which sometimes feels like it’s on steroids.

On the upside, Seo In Guk looks great in a sharp suit.

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