The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Dear kfangurl: Why do we like kdramas?

I just.. can’t help it? 😍

liability writes:

Hey KFG♥️

Whenever I talk about kdramas with people who don’t watch them, they’re always like ‘why kdramas specifically?’ which I’ve never been able to answer that well, I’ve never really looked that deep into it, I just say that ‘I enjoy them more’.

So to phrase my question better, ‘What makes kdramas more appealing than western dramas?’ I don’t know if a lot of people can relate to this but ever since I got into kdramas, I honestly can’t watch anything else, I still watch some western shows but it’s not the same, I’m not as drawn in. I know that everyone has got their different reasons for why they prefer/enjoy kdramas but I would really like to hear your take on it, maybe I might able to understand more about why I do as well.

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Flash Review: My Holo Love

If you’re on the market for a light, simple romance with some A.I. leanings, and you’re not fussed much at all, about suspension of disbelief or stretches in logic, and don’t mind having some more of Dramaland’s recent favorite affliction, face blindness, on your screen, then this show might be for you.

I decided to check out this show coz I’d seen quite a few of my drama friends remark that this one is a short, sweet little show that they enjoyed quite well, and were glad to have checked out.

I.. am quite sure I enjoyed this in a more.. shall we say, moderate fashion than most, but I will also say that after a slow burn to start, I did eventually enjoy my watch more, in Show’s last third or so, and now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I can honestly say that the ending was satisfying enough, that I don’t regret checking it out. That’s.. not bad, overall?

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Inner Workings: Practical Factors That Affect Onscreen Chemistry

I’m so, SO excited to announce this guest post, everyone! 😀

Today, our very own Jesse is taking the stage (page?), and he’ll be shedding light on some of the nuts and bolts of the workings of our beloved dramas. 

This post was born of a comment that Jesse had written in response to Beez, breaking down some of the practical variables that contribute to (or detract from) the chemistry that we see on our screens. I loved what he wrote, and asked if he’d be willing to expand that into a post for us, and he graciously said yes!

Granted, Jesse’s exposure has been in the US film industry and not in Korea, but from what I understand, the processes that he describes are also practiced in Korea, if not down to the minutiae, then in large part. I personally found his post illuminating and very educational, so I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

THANKY, JESSE!

~kfangurl

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Dear kfangurl: What are some romance dramas featuring regular guys?

Today’s post is inspired by Jesse!

In the course of one of our chats scattered across the blog, where I was trying to think of dramas to recommend to Jesse, I’d suggested Romance Is A Bonus Book. He’d ultimately sounded quite happy with this suggestion and said that he would probably check it out soon, but, he’d also said this, about the first time he’d considered watching the show:

“I remember at the time that I came across the show in a search awhile back, I saw the word “success” (as in Cha Eun-ho is a successful author) and completely lost interest. I didn’t want to see successful characters! I wanted to see losers and average Joes, because that’s who I could relate to at the time. I wanted to see love interacting with unremarkable people so I could nod and say, “See, Jess – it happens. Just you wait…”

..And that made me realize that Dramaland’s been so focused on creating everygirls and everywomen to give the female viewers (traditionally a majority) someone to identify with, that it’s forgotten that our growing number of male viewers would also appreciate an everyman to identify with. So I set about coming up with a list of dramas featuring regular guys – instead of the usual chaebol prince, or requisite geeenius – as romantic leading men.

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Dear kfangurl: What are some dramas the man in my life might be willing to watch?

This post is thanks to MeriJ, who suggested the topic “K-Roms Your BF/Husband Might Be Willing To Watch With You.” I’ve also come across many drama fans who do sincerely wish that their significant others would share in their passion and watch dramas with them.

And since many of us are spending a lot more time at home these days because of the pandemic, and also because we recently had a great time helping Amethystwaves shortlist dramas to watch with her mom, I thought it’d be a good time to attempt to answer the question:

Dear kfangurl,

What are some dramas that the man in my life might be willing to watch with me?

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Update: Of t-shirts, clarity and thank yous

You guys. You guys made my heart swell, so much, after my last post, on needing your help to support me and the blog.

I received so many lovely messages from you all, and I can honestly say, I legit choked up. I knew you guys enjoy hanging out here, and that you like the reviews, but I guess I never realized how loved I am. I am blessed to have you all, truly. ❤

I wasn’t able to write to everyone who contributed via Paypal, because I wasn’t able to trace every person’s email, so if you sent me a contribution and didn’t hear from me, I just want to say, thank you so much. Your gift means a lot, and I am very grateful for your love. ❤

Today, besides saying thank you, I also wanted to talk more about Patreon and help give some clarity over what that’s all about and how it works (now that I’m getting the hang of it), and I also have t-shirts to announce! 😀

Here we go:

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Update: How You Can Support This Blog

Heyyy.. can we talk, just for a bit? 😅

So you’ll notice that I’ve allowed ads on the site, for the first time in the 7.5 years that I’ve been here. And yes, I know that it’s not ideal, and not pretty, and creates visual clutter, and honestly, it’s why I’ve stubbornly kept away from having ads, all this time. I like this place to look clean and streamlined and pretty.

..But I’m deciding that I need to compromise now. I’m sorry, guys.

Basically, like so many other people around the world, my ability to work has been affected by the pandemic situation, and, well.. I still need to pay the bills.

This post is to let you know how you can help support the blog and keep it going. (Coz yes, it does cost money to run the blog, and also.. to keep my lights on and stuff.)

It won’t be hard, though, I promise.

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Review: Itaewon Class

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An earnest, underdog story with lots of heart, Itaewon Class feels like a breath of fresh air, for a good part of its run. Even though the backstory hinges on the idea of revenge, this always feels more like a story of an underdog trying to make good, while collecting a found family along the way. In particular, I really appreciate the diversity that Itaewon Class embraces, in the course of peopling our drama world. I don’t think I’ve seen the same degree of diversity in another drama, to date.

Oddly, I feel like this drama is at once a Park Seo Joon vehicle, and yet, an ensemble drama, at the same time. Our protagonist Park Sae Ro Yi is the backbone of this story, and it’s his journey, his thoughts, his philosophy and his unflagging determination that drives this story forward. At the same time, it’s the ensemble of endearing characters around him that makes this drama world pop and come alive in such a heartwarming way. Altogether, an unusual dichotomy which I’m happy to embrace.

I felt the OTP loveline was rather too forced in Show’s final leg, and I also feel like Show’s focus shifts in the last stretch, such that Show loses some of its original charm, but I still enjoyed this one very well, overall.

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48 Comments

Dear kfangurl: What are some dramas I can watch with my mom?

amethystwaves writes:

Dear Kfangurl,

I’ve been an active reader of yours since I got into K-Dramas, and I just have to say how helpful your reviews are to figure out whether a drama is worth my time or not. Your humor is very similar to mine, and I just love reading your in-depth explanations about what makes the dramas I love so squee-inducing. WITH THAT BEING SAID, we have a pressing problem at hand. I am a teenager, and because I am stuck at home with my parents and two brothers, we have been watching a lot of TV. My mom has expressed interest in watching a K-drama with me, and while I love her to death, I am not super inclined to have her watch me scream over a hot Korean man.

So, my question to you is: How can I enjoy a K-drama with my mom without it being weird? Also, what do you think are some good dramas to watch with the family?

I would love to watch one with her, and she’s not bad about watching kissing scenes and the like with us, but how can i do it without making it awkward? Anyways, sorry for unloading my familial insecurity onto you. Thank you for always being a reliable source for laughs, insight and good drama recommendations.

Happy watching,

amethystwaves

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283 Comments

Dear kfangurl: What are some OTPs that didn’t work for you?

So many of you asked for this after my last post on some of my favorite OTPs, so here goes – my attempt to answer the question:

Dear kfangurl,

What are some of your worst OTPs?

..Which I paraphrase to mean, OTPs that didn’t work for me / are not my favorite / are kinda blah. Coz worst is a strong word, heh.

Shout-out to Beez, for being the first to ask for this list!

Note: I fully expect that some of the OTPs that didn’t work for me, might be your actual favorite OTPs, and that’s perfectly fine, since this is all subjective anyway. But if you’d prefer to look away now, I won’t be offended, I promise. 😉

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