The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: The First Half Of My Life [China]

This is one of those times when I feel like maybe not a lot of you guys would be immediately drawn to this show, but I feel it’s so good that I want to tell you all about it anyway.

The funny thing is, I wasn’t immediately drawn to this one either. My regular hairdresser hails from China, and he was the one who told me about this show. He said that it was really hot stuff in China when it aired, and that he’d marathoned the entire thing in less than a week when he went home to visit his parents, it was so good. He said it was very well-acted, and everything was portrayed in a very realistic manner.

It didn’t sound like my usual cup of tea, but after I got home, I downloaded it anyway, thinking my mom would be interested. She wasn’t. But I decided to give it a go all the same, just to see – and whaddya know, I love it. And I really, really hope that by writing this review, that it will entice at least some of you guys to give this one a chance, coz I kinda just want everyone to love it too. ❤

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Flash Review: Go Back Spouses

If my many hours of drama watching have taught me anything, it’s that, more than expensively-produced dramas that are all polish with very little soul, it’s the shows that lay their heart on the table, that tend to grab me, and then stick with me, long after the credits have stopped rolling.

In this sense, I’d say Go Back Spouses is kinda like the little drama that could.

There are no Big Budgets here, and Show isn’t even that elegantly written, to be honest. But, Show packs so much heartfelt goodness in its compact 12-episode package, that I find myself eager to sing its praises – and forgive its faults. Given that these days, I’ve been quicker to drop shows than ever before, I hafta say that’s No Small Deal.

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Flash Review: A Love So Beautiful [China]

Remember when I fell hearts-in-eyes in love with Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, for how simple and endearing it was? So many of us remarked, then, that we wanted more of such simple and endearing shows like it, to love.

Well. Guess what, you guys? I think I’ve found a pretty strong contender for your affections, in this sweet lil drama.

And, I honestly think it doesn’t even matter if you don’t usually watch Chinese dramas. I feel pretty confident that kdrama fans will find it pretty easy to love this one too. Coz, first of all, there are familiar elements in it, that will make this one feel extra accessible to the average kdrama fan; to me, this show kinda-sorta feels like Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Answer Me 1988 and Playful Kiss all got together and had a cute baby.

Second – and most importantly – of all, aren’t simplicity and warm fuzzies universal, after all? 😉

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Year In Review: 2017

You guys might remember that this time last year, I pinky-swore-resolved to make better use of my drama hours – and better use of time in general – in 2017. Now that 2017 has flown by in what feels like a flash, and it’s time to check in all over again, I’m happy to report that I think I did.. pretty ok, all things considered. 🙂

Some of you know that I went through a drama-cum-blogging slump somewhere in the middle of 2017, and ended up not only neglecting the blog in a big way (I’m really sorry you guys! I did read every single comment, even though I didn’t respond to any, during my slump), but not watching a whole lot of drama either, for about 2-3 months (gasp! The horror!).

When I was watching dramas, though, I paid a lot less attention to what dramas were trending at the moment, and a lot more attention to my mood, and how much I was enjoying the dramas on my screen – or not. This meant that I ended up dropping more dramas this year than I have in previous years – if I just wasn’t feeling a show, I’d be much quicker to drop it –  and, it also meant that I missed out on some good dramas because I just wasn’t in the right mood. On the upside, though, I found that I ended up feeling happier in general, with my 2017 drama-watching experience. That’s not a bad trade-off, right?

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Flash Review: Because This Is My First Life

The experience of watching this show is similar to what I imagine it would be like, to be on an exceptional winning streak in your favorite computer game: you are in disbelief as you clear round after round, trouncing the system in ways that you didn’t think possible. You start to wonder if you will – gasp! – actually be able to pull off a perfect game – a feat that is only rumored to be possible. You make it to the final rounds – OMG am I almost there?! – ..only for the system to beat you in the end, after all. *sadface*

And then you console yourself that, yes, you didn’t make it all the way through this time, but you still did really well – and maybe, just maybe, you’ll make it next time.

Sigh. That’s how I feel about this show, you guys. There was so much to love in this one, and it felt so surprisingly fresh in so many ways, that I thought we might actually have a thoroughly amazing drama on our hands. Alas, Show wobbled a fair bit in its final episodes, to my eyes. I’m disappointed about that, but just like in the analogy of the computer game, I’m consoling myself that being awesome for 14 episodes is still head and shoulders above most other dramas. Right?

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Flash Review: 20th Century Boy And Girl

If you’ve read my recent posts, you’d probably know that of late, I’ve been bucking the trend in terms of not loving shows that everyone else seems to love. I was really kinda bummed that even though J-drama Rich Man, Poor Woman and C-drama Shan Shan Comes To Eat are crowd favorites, they just never became one of my favorites.

Well whaddya know. I’m bucking the trend again, with this show. But this time, it’s a happier event for me (woot!), coz while lots of folks seemed to be pretty underwhelmed by 20th Century Boy and Girl, I actually really liked this one, you guys. And I mean, in a solid, I’m-sorry-to-say-goodbye kinda way, too.

Maybe with the right lens, you might also end up liking this one. You never know?

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Dropped: Temperature Of Love

I am calling it quits on this one, you guys.

26.5 episodes into this show’s 40, I have hit a Serious Brick Wall. I just can’t with this show, anymore. Now I kinda wish I had been less patient with this show. Like, if I’d been quicker to judge this one as boring and underwhelming as so many other viewers did before me, maybe I wouldn’t have ended up wasting so much time on this one, y’know?

Oh well. I suppose this is one of those times when you guys can maybe learn from my mistakes.. because then it wouldn’t have all been for nothing?

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Flash Review: Rich Man, Poor Woman [Japan]

I conclude that I might be one of maybe 3 people in the entire dramaverse who doesn’t love this drama to bits.

I really wanted to like this one, especially after long-time drama pal DDee told me that she loved this so much that she felt like going right back to the beginning of this show, once she got to the end. In my experience, that’s serious high praise for any drama, and not to be taken lightly. So I promptly moved Rich Man, Poor Woman to the top of my watch list and dived right in.

Sadly, I never felt the same kind of love for this show that just about everyone else seems to have. I do concede that Oguri Shun can be very sexy, though.

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Flash Review: Shan Shan Comes To Eat [Boss & Me] [China]

Expectations count for a lot in drama-watching, I’ve come to find. If a show exceeds your expectations, it’s always a happy thing. But if a show doesn’t live up to your expectations, it can feel like a real disappointment. The problem is, expectations can be.. a rather tricky thing to manage.

Lots of drama friends – bloggers and readers alike – had recommended this show to me, and all of them had enthusiastically assured me that this one was Stinkin’ Cute, and that I would absolutely love it. That kind of created a bit of a challenge for Show, since with all that glowing praise, my expectations unconsciously inched higher with each positive pronouncement I heard about it.

That then inadvertently put Show on an instant uphill task in my head. From the first minute I dipped my toes into this watch, Show had to prove itself worthy of all the squee. And that’s an unnecessary challenge that just helps nobody, amiright?

…Which is why I’m here to help. I’ll help manage your expectations so that hopefully you’ll end up enjoying your watch more easily than I did. We drama fans gotta help one another out, after all. 😉

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Flash Review: The Best Hit

Y’know, I will always think fondly of the year 2012.

It was a pretty great drama year, serving up a good number of shows that I truly enjoyed, like Arang and the Magistrate, The King 2 Hearts, Gaksital, and Padam Padam, among many others. On top of that, 2012 was also the year I decided to try my hand at the whole drama blogging thing – and hey, look at where we are now, eh?

But. There is one thing that I kinda hold against 2012.. coz 2012 is the year that time travel took over the dramaverse. Suddenly, it felt like time travel was everywhere. Queen In-hyun’s Man, Rooftop Prince, Faith, Dr. Jin, and even Operation Proposal all got in on the time travel action in 2012, with varying degrees of success. Let me just say that there’s nothing inherently wrong with using time travel as a concept, but honestly, it now kinda feels like time travel has become the Trend That Will Not Die.

For the record, I’m not hating on The Best Hit. In fact, I even rather enjoyed this show. It’s just that the whole time travel thing here feels particularly gratuitous – almost pointless, even. I personally feel that this show didn’t need the time travel conceit, to tell the slice-of-life, found-family story it wanted to tell. In fact, Show might’ve been better off just picking one time period and staying there. A pretty novel concept these days, I know. 😉

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