The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Under The Hawthorn Tree [Chinese Movie]

The interesting thing about my adventures in-flight entertainment, is that I never quite know what I’ll stumble onto. Not all of my in-flight picks are good ones, to be sure. But sometimes, I find a gem that I probably would’ve never watched if I hadn’t been a captive audience on a flight.

Today, I randomly decided that I was in the mood for a bit of Chinese nostalgia, and picked Under The Hawthorn Tree without knowing much about it at all. Essentially, all I knew about this movie, was that it was set in the past, that it involved a girl who went to the countryside and fell in love with a boy, and that it was directed by famed director Zhang Yimou.

Little did I know that by movie’s end, I would be willingly serving up my heart on a plate all over again – just mere days after serving it up to Japanese movie “My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday.” 

Well done, In-flight Me. Well done.

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Flash Review: My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday [Japanese Movie]

It looks like my in-flight entertainment adventures are becoming a bit of a series. (Does 2 posts in a row – written on 2 flights in a row – count as a series?)

Today, once again, I picked a movie on a whim (the food was a teensy bit better this flight than the last – emphasis on teensy), and liked it enough to write it a review right away while still in the air.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an understatement.

It’s more like I innocently signed up for what I thought would be a sweet, slice-of-life romance with a possible time-traveling twist, and ended up feeling like I was sucker-punched into serving up my heart to these characters on a plate. In a good way.

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Flash Review: Suddenly Seventeen [Chinese Movie]

My adventures in in-flight entertainment can be pretty random. After all, I’m a captive audience with a limited array of shows to choose from, and honestly, I just want something to watch while I eat my (usually unexciting) in-flight meal. This means that In-flight Me sometimes has a pretty different show selection process than Non In-flight Me.

Today, In-flight Me had a Single, Completely Frivolous reason for checking out this show. Simply, Wallace Huo is in it, and I’ve been told by people in the know, that I would absolutely fall in love with Wallace Huo once I saw him on my screen.

So did In-flight Me’s selection process pay off this time?

Well.. sorta. The in-flight meal was even more unappetizing than usual, but the movie was actually quite a bit more enjoyable than I’d expected.

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Flash Review: Midnight Diner

When Real Life eats up my available drama hours, one of my go-to alternatives is the web drama. Most often, that translates into a fluffy, simplified version of some kind of rom-com. And that can work quite nicely, too. Noble, My Love and Go Ho’s Starry Night are two little web dramas that I found very enjoyable indeed.

Sometimes, though, I want something that isn’t a fluffy, simplified rom-com. Sometimes – especially if I’m feeling physically or mentally worn out – I want the warmth of a family drama, but without the commitment. This little show turned out to be quite the perfect fit for that.

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Flash Review: Something about 1% [1% of Anything]

For the most part, I have trouble understanding dramaland’s penchant for remakes. I mean, if something’s that good, why mess with it? Conversely, if something’s not good, why remake it? Uh, right?

In this case, though, I’m very pleasantly surprised by how much more I enjoy the remake, versus the original.

I’d tried watching the original some years ago, because I’d seen enough affection for it as a classic kdrama, to be curious. BUT. I couldn’t make it through even episode 1, no exaggeration. Mainly, I remember being bored by the slow pace, feeling somewhat thrown off by retro-everything (from styling, to production values, to storyline), and being shallowly unimpressed by Kang Dong Won’s rather gigantic eye bags.

Now fast-forward to the remake, which I inhaled in what can only be described as a giddy marathon. Woah. What a turnaround, right?

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Dropped: Hwarang

Ordinarily, I’d be the first to agree with the age-old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – or, as the case may be, “Don’t judge a drama by its promos.”

After all, sometimes, the watch experience of a show really doesn’t jive with its promo material. Some shows have uninteresting promo material but turn out to be excellent watches (I mean, just think about the old-fashioned, ugly poster that belongs to the fantastic Healer), while other shows have amazing promos but turn out to be duds in the watching (Joseon Gunman comes to mind, among many others).

In this instance, though, I really should’ve paid (much more) heed to this show’s low-rent bad wigs and cheesy posters. On hindsight, I think they were trying to warn me that this show wouldn’t be worth spending hours of my life on, and – silly, foolish me – I didn’t listen. Which is how I ended up wasting 13 hours of my life trying to make the best of this show, before I realized that Show’s best really, really wasn’t doing it for me.

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Flash Review: Love O2O [China]

Thanks to the cracktastic Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, I realize that I no longer have CGI-aversion issues when it comes to dramas, woot! The unexpected result – unexpected to me, at least – is that I suddenly found that I have a whole new world of dramas to explore. As a drama fan who’s been feeling a little on the jaded side of late, this is good, good news indeed.

Lots of my drama friends loved this show when it first aired last year, but I’d missed that train because of this show’s CGI-heavy gaming scenes. I’d poked at this tentatively, but fled hastily at the CGI. Not this time, my friends. This time, I found myself actually rather enjoying the fantasy gaming scenes.

I know. What have you done to me, Peach Blossoms?

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Flash Review: Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms [China]

So recently, a funny thing happened. I found myself marathoning Chinese fantasy drama Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. This, when (a) I’ve lately found myself floating in and out of a moderate drama rut, with most shows just not captivating me as much as I wanted them to; (b) I’ve previously had serious difficulty appreciating any kind of C-fantasy, and lasted all of 10 minutes, the last time I attempted to watch one; and (c) after 10 years of consistent drama-watching, I rarely ever really marathon dramas anymore. I usually ingest just 1 episode of a show each day (maybe a max of 2, if there’s a particularly exciting cliffhanger), and easily move on to other shows and other things.

Not this time, my friends. At my peak, I was watching 5 – five! – episodes of this show in a day. I watched the episodes back-to-back, and even stayed up past my usual bedtime, risking next-day panda eyes and accompanying fuzzy brain, to watch “just one more episode.” Not only that, I also watched this show almost exclusively, through all of its 58 episodes. Woah, right?

This is completely and utterly Nelly‘s fault, I say. She was the one who got me to watch this in the first place (thank you, Nelly. I ❤ you).

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Flash Review: Age Of Youth

You know how the after-effect of watching a particularly lovely drama can (ironically) put you in a bit of drama rut, purely because everything else just pales in comparison?

That’s what happened to me after I watched Nirvana In Fire (so awesome that it ruined me for a fair while, for other dramas), and more recently, that’s also pretty much how I felt after the wonderful hearts-in-eyes experience of Weightlifting Fairy. Despite the slew of new dramas that came out after that drama cycle, I felt like nothing much was grabbing my heart. Which is when I decided I ought to check out this drama. After all, everyone had been recommending this to me, including people who know my taste in dramas well, and they all promised that I would love this.

Thanks to all of you who suggested this one to me; I did end up loving this. It’s true that sometimes – or oftentimes – friends know you best. ❤

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Dropped: Thumping Spike 2

Considering how little I knew about Thumping Spike (essentially, only that it exists, and that Song Jae Rim is in it), I was, to say the least, surprised to find myself actually watching Season 2 of this show.

I guess chancing on someone’s positive comment on this, plus the fact that I’m an incorrigibly curious cat, plus the fact that I dig Lee Won Geun’s eye-smiles, meant that I really had no choice but to check this out.

For the first few episodes, I even thought I might really like it, too.

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