The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Seven First Kisses

The moment Lotte Duty Free announced this little web series for the festive season, I knew I’d be tuning in, no matter what. I mean, to have Lee Jun Ki, Park Hae Jin, Ji Chang Wook, Kai, Taecyeon, Lee Jong Suk and Lee Min Ho in the leading men line-up? Even the most big-budget blockbuster movie production would have trouble pulling that off.

So tune in I did; which wasn’t hard to do, really, with each episode topping out at a very compact 7-8 minutes. And y’know what, for what it is (an unabashed, extended CF for Lotte Duty Free, in case you were wondering), this show’s a fun little ride.

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Flash Review: Love For A Thousand More

Tis the season in dramaland, it seems, for the spotlight to be on immortals and their human love interests. I mean, just look at Goblin and his bride, his roomie Reaper and his Sunny, and the Mermaid and her human con-man. I guess it doesn’t surprise me that much, that the trend has reached web dramas as well.

What does surprise me, though, is how this little web drama – with its limited budget and screen-time, and its greener cast – manages to be more engaging and thought-provoking than its bigger, buzzier, full-length drama cousins. That’s some serious skillz, and I’m duly impressed.

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Year In Review: 2016

If there’s one conclusion I’m drawing this year, it’s that dramaland is literally exploding with new dramas on a regular basis, and it’s just not humanly possible to watch every drama that’s out there.

My drama instinct has always been to try to balance the urge to follow drama buzz (the niggling question of, “Omo! Am I missing out on something?”), and the desire to follow my heart (the “I don’t care that nobody cares about this show, I just feel like checking it out”). These days, with more drama offerings floating around the dramaverse than ever before, I think it’s even more important that I remember to stay true to my drama instincts. From here on out, no more hanging on pointlessly to a show that just isn’t quite working for me. It’s just not efficient spendage of drama hours – or time in general.

Next year, I will be more efficient with my use of drama time – and time in general. Ahem. *pinky swears* *resolves*

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Flash Review: Five Children [Five Enough]

When you think about it, family dramas are pretty expensive in drama hour terms, aren’t they? I mean, they cost the equivalent of at least 3 whole prime-time mini-series’ worth of drama hours, after all.

Which is why, even though I really enjoy a good family drama every once in a while – not the makjang-fests where screaming, scheming, kimchi slaps, birth secrets and trucks of doom are regular everyday features, but the kind of family drama that’s warm, comforting, hopeful and tends to make you feel all toasty-warm inside – I don’t often actually commit to one.

This is one of those rare times where I did commit myself to one, and I’m super pleased to report that Five Children is solidly worth the drama hour spendage.

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Flash Review: Doctors

If there’s one thing that Doctors has taught me, it’s that medical dramas are really not my thing.

I mean, I already knew, going in, that I’m generally not one to get at all excited about medical emergencies and the like. Still, the positive buzz and high ratings got me curious enough to dive in (sometimes I am too curious for my own good, I think!) – and when I eventually became bored with Show at large, Kim Rae Won’s strong, leap-off-my-screen warmth persuaded me to stay.

His deep velvety voice and crinkly, cozy-toasty smile didn’t hurt either.

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Review: Moonlight Drawn By Clouds

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Well-written, well-cast, and well-handled, Moonlight Drawn By Clouds is a fun fusion youthy sageuk with a boatload of heart. Show not only knows how to bring out the best in its story and its characters, it knows how to engage the heart and bring on the feels too.

The main cast is excellent and our lead couple is exceedingly cute together, but this show’s standout is definitely Park Bo Gum, who is simply wonderful as Crown Prince Yeong. There’s a spot of drag in the latter episodes, but it doesn’t last for too long. Importantly, Show never loses it’s emotional core, and is quite cracky-delicious the rest of the time, to boot.

This show makes me smile, period.

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Flash Review: Go Ho’s Starry Night

Sometimes, when you just need to get away from Real Life for a while but don’t have the mental bandwidth to commit to a full drama, a well-done little web series or mini drama can totally hit the spot.

I’m happy to report that Go Ho’s Starry Night is a great little bite-sized option that not only comes in short little 20-minute servings, but, given a little bit of time to settle, also possesses a pretty solid cracky flavor that had me clicking on the next episode, and the next – and then the next.

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Review: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A highly-buzzed, high-profile drama project that boasted strong credentials, a big budget and an even bigger cast, but which ultimately failed to deliver the expected awesome.

Patchy writing, jerky direction & execution, and uneven acting all contribute to Show’s general lack of oomph. For the tenacious viewer, though, there are small stretches of soapy crack to be had, and quite a lot of pretty to gaze at, for the most part. Lee Jun Ki is mesmerizing and quite wonderful in this, despite his character getting off to a somewhat shaky start.

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Flash Review: W-Two Worlds

I’m thinking that we all have that one friend; you know, that one person that we know, who’s so unpredictable on a regular basis, that after a while, they become almost predictable in their unpredictability?

I mean, in the beginning, it’s all very surprising, and you find yourself rather stunned at said friend’s antics, and you sorta look forward to the kind of stuff said friend will get up to, coz it’s always something so unexpected and fresh. As time goes by, though, you can’t help but start to expect the unexpected from said friend, and it just becomes that much harder to feel surprised anymore. Said friend is still pretty much the same; just, you’ve gotten used to it, is all.

W is that friend, for me.

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Flash Review: Bring It On, Ghost [Let’s Fight, Ghost]

In a drama landscape where big budgets and loud buzz grab most of the spotlight, Bring It On, Ghost is, quite literally, the little drama that could.

Nestled in the midst of other dramas boasting bigger names, bigger budgets and bigger hype, it’s easy to overlook this show – everyone’s got limited drama hours to spend, after all, and isn’t it natural to gravitate towards the dramas with bigger names, bigger budgets and bigger hype?

If you’ve ever been bitten by a show that starts out fabulous but then crushes your drama hopes to smithereens by derailing partway through, though, you might just appreciate Ghost. It’s got its flaws – minor inconsistencies and some pacing issues – but it just chugs along in its understated way, and is relatively consistent from start to finish. Which, if you’ve been hurt by a drama before, is a pretty solid achievement not to be sniffed at.

As a bonus, Taecyeon and Kim So Hyun are surprisingly cute together, too.

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