Author Archives: kfangurl

About kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

Flash Review: When My Love Blooms

If you’re a fan of this show, let me apologize in advance; I.. did not end up loving this one.

I mean, I did like this one at first, and quite a lot too, and that’s why I kept on watching. Sadly, though, try as I might, I didn’t manage to sustain my initial good feelings towards this show. It’s taken me the entire series to come to a conclusion as to exactly why this one didn’t work for me, which I’ll tell you about shortly.

So.. at least I tried, and at least I learned something from it? 😅

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Dear kfangurl: How do you choose which dramas to watch?

Might I spy with my little eye.. a drama that’s worth watching..?

Beez writes:

Dear Kfangurl,

I need help! I know my K-bloom isn’t totally off the rose but I feel as if it’s hanging on by only a couple of wilting petals. I’m not tired of Kdramas but I find I can’t easily decide what to watch these days. At this stage in the game, where my biases (actors that I watched in ANYthing they starred in next) are getting older so filling less leading roles, I find myself with less that I’m interested in watching unless the synopsis snags me with a unique subject matter or hobby or career/lifestyle that I’m interested in. So how do you (I’ve noticed you’ve become more selective) choose the shows that are worth your busy time?

For example, I see you reviewed My Unfamiliar Family. I haven’t read your review yet because 1) I never read reviews of shows I have no intention of watching and 2) I never read reviews beforehand of a show I intend to watch. So looking at the synopsis on AsianWiki for My Unfamiliar Family – sounds like a total snoozefest. And I learned to never rely on video teasers as they are totally random and can set me up for disappointment when a teaser is hilarious but the show turns out to be a drama and vice versa. So, how do you decide what’s up next to, not necessarily review, but to watch?

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Flash Review: Timing [Web Drama]

With so many new dramas flooding the dramascape these days, I honestly wasn’t sure if you guys would be interested in a review of this web drama. After all, most of us are already drowning in our monster watch lists, right?

But, it really isn’t often that a little web drama with a total running time of less than an hour (54 minutes and 57 seconds, to be exact – yes, I calculated!) manages to not only make an impression but leave a thought-provoking sort of aftertaste, so I thought it’d be worth putting out there, just in case some of you are looking for a drama snack, in between your full-length dramas.

Fair warning that this one leans bittersweet, so if poignance and pathos are your thing, you might like this one.

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Flash Review: The Romance Of Tiger And Rose [China]

Funny story, you guys.

I started watching this drama because of all the enthusiastic tweets and related spazz that I saw others heaping on it. Everyone seemed so highly amused by this show, and I didn’t want to miss out. You guys know my FOMO is real, right?

But as I watched this show, I was bemused to find that I was, at best, enjoying this one in a very moderate fashion. I began to wonder what I was missing, since everyone before me seemed to have nothing but love for this show. That curiosity kept me going (ie, kept me from actually dropping this show), even though I found myself taking long breaks between episodes. I didn’t feel the loss of this show on my screen much at all, since, as you probably know, I usually juggle a whole plateful of shows at the same time, and so I had plenty of other dramas to keep me occupied between episodes of this show.

It was only at the episode 19 mark, when I decided it was time to finish this show already, and write its review, that I hit on one of the key things I’d been missing. It wasn’t my viewing lens; it was my viewing technique.

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Dear kfangurl: What’s an anti-hero and why do we like them?

Hmm.. This is a great question.

Snow Flower writes:

Dear Kfangurl,

I like reading your witty and thoughtful musings on dramas and their fans. I would like to read your take on one of the most popular drama tropes, the anti-hero (or heroine). I admit that I am fascinated with conflicted characters because I think that inside each of them is hidden the possibility for redemption. And redemption and character growth are the bread and butter of good storytelling. So if and when you are able, please share your insights about what makes a good anti-hero and why do the drama fans like them.

Sincerely,

Snow Flower

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Review: My Unfamiliar Family

THE SHORT VERDICT:

My Unfamiliar Family is a drama that feels familiar and yet fresh at the same time, to my eyes.

It feels like a lot of the things I like in family dramas, condensed into a more efficient 16 episodes rather than a sprawling 54 episodes, presented with more polish, and sprinkled with a harder dash of reality, than the average family drama. Show has more surprises up its sleeve than the average kdrama, which makes this almost (but not quite) feel like a soapy watch experience. Yet, at the same time, there is a solid amount to unpack with this show, which makes it feel meaty and serious.

Altogether, Show feels kind of spicy and interesting, while managing to remain raw, heart-hitting and thought-provoking, at the same time.

An unusual combination of drama flavors that makes for a refreshing watch.

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Review: It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A meaty, dark, whimsical melodrama that examines the difficulties faced by people suffering from trauma and mental illness, It’s Okay is not an easy watch at all. There is lots to unpack, difficult feelings to feel, and even internal biases to examine. So if you’re looking for a fluffy rom-com, this is probably not for you, for right now.

However, it is remarkably satisfying to witness our characters’ journeys, because those journeys are teased out so organically, that all of the growth and progress feels earned and true. Fantastic performances by our cast – with a special shout-out to Oh Jung Se for his impressively amazing interpretation of an autistic character – brings everything to life, and it’s not hard to get invested in our characters’ journeys.

There are a few bumps in the road, but overall, this proved to be a very satisfying watch.

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Review: Find Me In Your Memory

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Find Me In Your Memory does a rather unusual thing, by tapping into one of Dramaland’s favorite sources of dramatic tension – the stalker arc – and then using it as a platform for our main characters to work through the healing that they need. In this way, Show sets itself apart from other healing dramas, which tend to be more introspective in vibe, by being comparatively more action-heavy instead.

Despite a tendency to use tropes in its narrative, Show manages to serve up characters and relationships that feel real and relatable, where growth feels earned and true. The OTP relationship is portrayed as sweet and restrained, and taps nicely into the chemistry between Kim Dong Wook and Moon Ga Young, which feels sweet and natural. As a bonus, the secondary loveline between Kim Seul Gi and Lee Jin Hyuk is super cute.

Not groundbreaking by any means, but a solid watch overall.

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Update: A couple of things, just so you know

Hi everyone,

I just thought I’d give you a couple of quick updates.

1. New ad network

Today I experimented with a new ad network, and apparently things went wonky. 😛

I thought I’d approved selected rows of ads interspersed into each review, but Beez alerted me that she saw literal entire pages of ads. 😱 How awful. 😫

If you encountered that today, I’m very sorry.

I’ve since deleted everything and started over, and now, what I have in place – supposedly – is single rows of 3 ads, to be allowed every 1,000 words, plus a single row of 3 ads, at the very end of the post. I’ve removed pop-unders, and I’ve also removed the banner ad at the top of the page.

Do let me know if the updated ads format isn’t working, and I will see how to fix it.

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Review: Hi Bye, Mama!

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Hi Bye, Mama! is the kind of show that makes you face difficult emotions and feel all the difficult feelings – and then make you grateful for having felt it all. Show has a bittersweet premise, and treats it with sensitivity and poignance, with a side of levity. For the most part, Show manages this delicate balance well, and makes me laugh and cry, often within the same episode. The performances from our cast are strong, and I am particularly impressed with Kim Tae Hee and Lee Kyu Hyung; this is literally the best I’ve seen from both of them. And Kim Mi Kyung, is, as always, a treasure to have onscreen.

On the downside, I felt we spent too much time on stuff to do with the ghost community, and that ended up feeling like filler. I also feel like Show suffers from some pacing issues, causing the last third of our narrative to feel somewhat stalled.

Overall, though, in spite of what I feel are its downsides, Show still manages to feel like a solid, worthwhile watch, with a lot of good ol’ heartachey feels.

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