The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? [Why Secretary Kim]

A phrase that’s sometimes said around the dramaverse – and maybe you’ve said something similar yourself, at some point – is, “I could literally just watch these two be cute for sixteen hours.”

Well. Except for a backstory involving childhood trauma (kidnapping trigger alert, coz some folks might be sensitive to that), this show pretty much gives us exactly that: Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young being cute together, pretty much all of the time, for 16 episodes.

Yep. It’s as fluffy and angst-lite as it sounds. So if you’re up for something that’s light on plot but heavy on cute, this just might be the show for you.

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Flash Review: A Poem A Day [You Who Forgot Poetry]

If you’re on the market for a show that’s small, simple and sweet, this drama just might be the one for you.

As those of you who’ve been around the blog for a while would likely know, I am always on the look-out for suitable drama nightcap material. Yes, I like my dramas exciting too, but suitable drama nightcaps are just as important to me; I need a show that’s not too complicated nor intense, so that it won’t keep me up, but still engaging and interesting enough, that I’ll still enjoy the watch.

I first tried this show as regular drama fare, and to be honest, it didn’t grab me much, in its first episode. But once I tried it out as a drama nightcap, it fit the bill quite perfectly. Not only did it strike just the right balance between interesting and easygoing, it even has a sort of (found-) family drama feel to it, thanks to our story being more character- and relationship-focused than patient-focused. Not bad at all, I say.

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Flash Review: Lawless Lawyer [Lawless Attorney]

Sometimes patience does pay off, you guys.

After feeling pretty underwhelmed by Lee Jun Ki’s dramas in recent years – namely, 2014’s Joseon Gunman, 2015’s Scholar Who Walks The Night and 2016’s Moon Lovers – I was starting to seriously wonder if I would get to see Lee Jun Ki in a show that I truly enjoyed, ever again. (I didn’t check out 2017’s Criminal Minds, but I heard that I didn’t miss much.)

Now, I’m really pleased to report that I did enjoy his 2018 outing, Lawless Lawyer, and quite thoroughly too. This, when I’m not even usually that drawn to the action / legal genre. Not bad at all, I say.

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Review: My Mister [My Ahjussi]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

This show is like its titular protagonist; both start out quiet, gloomy and unassuming, but over the course of 16 episodes, both reveal themselves to be beautiful, moving heroes who show us the power of kindness, and the grace of humanity.

Assured writing, tender directing, and outstanding performances from the cast all come together to make My Mister an absorbing watch that feels organic, real and raw. The OST, which is delicate, thoughtful, and ethereal in turn, is meticulously crafted and applied, and effectively lifts the watch to another level.

Dark and beautiful. And at the same time, warm and beautiful. A must-see.

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Review: Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food [Something In The Rain]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show starts out pretty adorable, with an excellently delivered cloud of cute around the birth of a noona romance. Show then switches gears in the middle stretch, into melo and angst territory. In principle, it all feels warranted, with things like societal norms, family expectations, and even workplace harassment taking the spotlight. The problem, for me anyway, is, most of these things aren’t resolved in a manner that feels satisfying, by the time the final credits roll.

The writing does not feel assured, unfortunately, and is, I think, one of the main reasons this show suffered. Also, the background music becomes terribly grating, from overuse.

To be fair, Show does have its fans. So just because it didn’t work so great for me, doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you?

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Flash Review: My Husband Oh Jak Doo [My Husband, Mr. Oh]

Every so often, I like to pop a weekend drama on my drama plate, because the weekenders tend to lean simpler (though that’s not always the case), and those simpler dramas tend to make good drama nightcaps. Usually, they’re easy on the brain, aren’t so intense that they’d keep me up, but just interesting enough to make me want to keep on watching. The only downside is, most weekenders clock in at 50 episodes on average – a major deterrent if you’ve got limited drama hours to spend.

So when My Husband Oh Jak Doo showed up, I thought this fit the drama nightcap bill perfectly. Not only did it seem to fit the weekend drama simple sort of type, it also starred a pair of leads I liked individually, and it clocked in at only 24 episodes instead of 50. Pretty much a no-brainer win, yes?

..well, no, not really. This one ended up being better in concept than in execution, unfortunately, and I found myself dragging my feet to the finish line. Darn my completist streak for rearing its untimely head.

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Flash Review: Moonshine And Valentine [The Love Knot: His Excellency’s First Love] [China]

Remember about 2 months ago when I wrote about my misadventures with Chinese drama Across The Ocean To See You? I sat through all 44 episodes of that show, against my better judgment, and lived to regret it.

This.. is kinda another one of those times, my friends. Sigh. I watched all of Moonshine And Valentine, and now with 20/20 hindsight, I’m sorry to say that I don’t think it was a good decision after all. I mostly didn’t have a good time with this one either, unfortunately.

On the upside, this one was 25 episodes instead of 44..? 😛

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Flash Review: Suits

If you’ve known me for a while, you’d probably know that I don’t generally do well with legal-themed dramas – even if they are very good. Case in point: 2016’s The Good Wife, which I started watching, and which I found very good indeed – but which I also never got around to finishing.

So it definitely says something that I not only enjoyed Suits quite well, but I even – gasp! – finished it! And I’m not even that behind the live airing schedule either. Woah, right?

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Flash Review: Mix [Mixed Doubles] [Japanese Movie]

Because today’s in-flight offerings leaned mostly dark, with most of the Korean movies that I hadn’t seen having to do with death, murder and such (eep), I found myself giving Japanese movie Mix (also known as Mixed Doubles) a whirl. I’m admittedly not much interested in table tennis, but I do have a fondness for Aragaki Yui after loving her in adorable J-drama We Married As A Job. Plus, an uplifting movie didn’t sound like a bad thing – even if the medium was a sport that I had little interest in.

Even though it did take me a while to get into this one, and even though our story ran a fairly predictable course, I must say that by the end, I did finish the movie with a smile on my face, and thoughts swirling in my head. I even pulled out my laptop to capture said thoughts, right here on the plane.

That’s.. not too bad, wouldn’cha say? 😉

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Dropped: Greasy Melo [Wok Of Love]

Many moons ago, when I was in college, I picked as many film courses as I was allowed, coz they were the coolest, and also, the funnest, and therefore, I got to watch a whole lot of movies as part of my curriculum (see? Film really was the coolest and the funnest, heh. Especially when we got to the part on animation and sat around watching cartoons together).

To tell you the honest truth, though, I never was a great film student, and I often didn’t see the genius in certain films, unless it was pointed out to me. I mean, while most of my classmates were blown away by the brilliance of Prospero’s Books, a strongly avant-garde adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, I was sitting in my seat, trying to digest – what was to me, anyway – a very, very weird film. I didn’t naturally geddit, y’know?

Kinda the same thing with this show, for me, methinks. I know there are folks who love this one, and some who even revel in its reportedly clever use of metaphors and imagery, but I think it’s time for me to admit that I just don’t geddit, with this one.

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