The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Something about 1% [1% of Anything]

For the most part, I have trouble understanding dramaland’s penchant for remakes. I mean, if something’s that good, why mess with it? Conversely, if something’s not good, why remake it? Uh, right?

In this case, though, I’m very pleasantly surprised by how much more I enjoy the remake, versus the original.

I’d tried watching the original some years ago, because I’d seen enough affection for it as a classic kdrama, to be curious. BUT. I couldn’t make it through even episode 1, no exaggeration. Mainly, I remember being bored by the slow pace, feeling somewhat thrown off by retro-everything (from styling, to production values, to storyline), and being shallowly unimpressed by Kang Dong Won’s rather gigantic eye bags.

Now fast-forward to the remake, which I inhaled in what can only be described as a giddy marathon. Woah. What a turnaround, right?

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Flash Review: Love O2O [China]

Thanks to the cracktastic Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, I realize that I no longer have CGI-aversion issues when it comes to dramas, woot! The unexpected result – unexpected to me, at least – is that I suddenly found that I have a whole new world of dramas to explore. As a drama fan who’s been feeling a little on the jaded side of late, this is good, good news indeed.

Lots of my drama friends loved this show when it first aired last year, but I’d missed that train because of this show’s CGI-heavy gaming scenes. I’d poked at this tentatively, but fled hastily at the CGI. Not this time, my friends. This time, I found myself actually rather enjoying the fantasy gaming scenes.

I know. What have you done to me, Peach Blossoms?

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Flash Review: Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms [China]

So recently, a funny thing happened. I found myself marathoning Chinese fantasy drama Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. This, when (a) I’ve lately found myself floating in and out of a moderate drama rut, with most shows just not captivating me as much as I wanted them to; (b) I’ve previously had serious difficulty appreciating any kind of C-fantasy, and lasted all of 10 minutes, the last time I attempted to watch one; and (c) after 10 years of consistent drama-watching, I rarely ever really marathon dramas anymore. I usually ingest just 1 episode of a show each day (maybe a max of 2, if there’s a particularly exciting cliffhanger), and easily move on to other shows and other things.

Not this time, my friends. At my peak, I was watching 5 – five! – episodes of this show in a day. I watched the episodes back-to-back, and even stayed up past my usual bedtime, risking next-day panda eyes and accompanying fuzzy brain, to watch “just one more episode.” Not only that, I also watched this show almost exclusively, through all of its 58 episodes. Woah, right?

This is completely and utterly Nelly‘s fault, I say. She was the one who got me to watch this in the first place (thank you, Nelly. I ❤ you).

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Flash Review: Age Of Youth

You know how the after-effect of watching a particularly lovely drama can (ironically) put you in a bit of drama rut, purely because everything else just pales in comparison?

That’s what happened to me after I watched Nirvana In Fire (so awesome that it ruined me for a fair while, for other dramas), and more recently, that’s also pretty much how I felt after the wonderful hearts-in-eyes experience of Weightlifting Fairy. Despite the slew of new dramas that came out after that drama cycle, I felt like nothing much was grabbing my heart. Which is when I decided I ought to check out this drama. After all, everyone had been recommending this to me, including people who know my taste in dramas well, and they all promised that I would love this.

Thanks to all of you who suggested this one to me; I did end up loving this. It’s true that sometimes – or oftentimes – friends know you best. ❤

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Flash Review: Your Name [Japanese Movie]

When I read about the passionate response this movie was getting from its audiences and how it was basically breaking the Japanese box office, so much so that it spooked its writer-director Makoto Shinkai and caused him to come out and say he wasn’t satisfied with his movie and he hoped no more people would go see it because it wasn’t worth the furore it was creating, I knew I had to watch it, if only to see what the fuss was about.

Now that I have seen it, I just have to say: this is So, So Good, you guys. ❤

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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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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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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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