The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: How Long Will I Love U [Chinese Movie]

My inflight adventures continue, my friends, and today I met a movie that I wanted to tell you guys about, coz it’s cute, and there’s enough heart in here to bring on a nice case of the feels.

On a personal tangent, I’m kinda extra chuffed, because I basically decided on this movie today, because I recognized our leads’ names in the description. If you’ve been around here for a bit, you’d probably know that I only really started watching Chinese shows (mostly dramas) a couple of years ago, mostly as an addition to my main diet of Korean dramas. Which means that I often approach a Chinese show without having seen at least one of the leads before. And today, I recognized both leads’ names and where I’d last enjoyed their work (I saw Lei Jiayin in The First Half Of My Life and Tong Liya in Nirvana In Fire 2). Woot! Achievement unlocked! 😀

Ok, but seriously, this movie is a sweet lil one, which I hope you guys will like.

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Flash Review: Terius Behind Me [My Secret Terius]

I almost missed out on this one, you guys, and I’m so glad I didn’t.

I first attempted this drama when it was airing last year, but the timing just wasn’t right for me. I was in the midst of trying to get myself out of a bit of a drama rut at the time, and unlike my usual more patient self, I was much quicker to decide whether I was feeling a drama or not. Unfortunately, as some of you would likely know, the other bum thing about a drama rut, is that you often just don’t feel a drama, even if said drama is very decent. Same thing for me, with this show. I gave this show a try while it was airing, and didn’t even make it through episode 1. Oopsie.

Happily, the story doesn’t end there. Fast-forward several months, when I was properly out of my drama rut, and I found myself liking this show quite a fair bit, on my second attempt. Everyone was right; this one is a cute lil gem. ❤

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Flash Review: Memories Of The Alhambra

So, funny story, you guys.

I was late to the party, and started my watch of this show when everyone else was well into Show’s middle stretch. I struggled enough with Hyun Bin’s character in this show’s first two episodes, that I was legit on the brink of dropping this show. And then, Show ended, and there was such a heated furore among viewers for Show’s reportedly terrible-horrible-couldn’t-be-worse-let’s-boycott-this-writer-forever ending, that I was so sure that I had dodged a bullet.

But then, I saw a couple of tweets by viewers who actually felt satisfied with Show’s ending. Well, now. That sure got my attention. If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you might know that I’ve been known to, on at least several occasions in the past, buck general audience trends by feeling completely differently about certain shows versus the majority of viewers. It was like that when I started the blog in 2012 (my first ever post was for Operation Proposal, which I really liked – and which most people hated), and it was like that recently too, when I’d been very solidly satisfied with the ending of The Third Charm – which most people also hated.

So this curious cat (with a reasonable amount of FOMO) decided to do an experiment. Instead of dropping the show, I adjusted my viewing lens using all the fragments of information I had, and jumped in for a marathon. The big question I wanted to put to the test was: With the right expectations and the right lens adjustment, would this show – could this show – actually turn out to be, well, good?

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Flash Review: Let’s Eat 3

Imma be honest; the reason I started this show was because I have a huge soft spot for Doo Joon playing Goo Dae Young, and my unreasonable desire to be loyal to Dae Young, is why I stayed till the very end.

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you’d likely know that I really enjoyed Let’s Eat and Let’s Eat 2. Sigh. I’m sorry to say that Let’s Eat 3 wasn’t quite the heartfelt foodie romp that I was hoping for, and I’m feeling generally quite underwhelmed, now that I’ve finished my watch.

I have a few thoughts about this one, so let’s break it all down a little bit, shall we? I’ll be brief(ish). I promise.

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Flash Review: Familiar Wife

I don’t know about you guys, but I think I have a definite soft spot for do-over stories. I really liked Go Back Spouses, and I really liked this show as well.

To be honest, I think it’s because there are some decisions in my life that I regret making (don’t we all have some of those?), and these decisions have most definitely helped to  shape my life into what it is now. I don’t dwell on it a lot (and for the record, I am happy with my life now, so don’t worry!), but when I pose the question to myself, about what my life might be like now, if I’d made certain different choices back in the day, I get.. intrigued.

What do-over dramas give me, is a chance to vicariously experience a do-over, via our characters. Sure, they’re dealing with different issues and decisions, but it still gives me a taste of what doing things over might be like. Plus, while characters in these stories inevitably come out the other side better and wiser for their experience, these stories also often emphasize that you don’t need a different life or a different spouse to be happy, and you’re exactly where you need to be. I like that.

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Flash Review: Your House Helper

One of the struggles that I keep mentioning to my friend Timescout, is finding the just-so, perfect balance between just watching what I want to watch, and liking what I like, and paying attention to positive buzz on – and therefore trying out – dramas that I wouldn’t normally have on my radar. Sometimes, that curiosity serves me well, and I end up finding gems that I would’ve otherwise missed (OMG I freaking loved Money Flower, and My Mister, and neither of those were really on my radar to begin with). Other times, though, I’ve lived to regret my curiosity, when the show in question just doesn’t grab me the way it’s grabbed other people.

So here’s the thing. Originally, I was going to give Your House Helper a pass, since the premise didn’t appeal to me that much. But then I saw a fair number of comments floating around, saying that this one is surprisingly good, so I felt almost compelled to give it a chance. Long story short, I had to work to get into this one, and while it had its moments in the middle stretch, by the time I got to the end, I have to confess, I felt a tad underwhelmed. Not underwhelmed enough to give this show a terrible review, but underwhelmed enough to feel like I could’ve maybe spent those drama hours better elsewhere.

I don’t know if I’ll ever find that elusive balance between having the gumption to fly solo, and wanting to follow positive buzz so as not to miss any of the good stuff, but I’m certainly gonna keep trying. In the meantime, let’s dive a little bit into my experience with this show, shall we?

Disclaimer: Like I said, lots of folks liked this one, so your experience might vary from mine.

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Flash Review: My ID is Gangnam Beauty

Not too long ago, lots of people on my Twitter feed were going gaga over Meteor Garden 2018, and so I dipped my toes in too, out of curiosity (yes, despite stating firmly that I had had my fill of the story via the J- and K-versions). I really liked the first episode, but found myself losing interest in the next few episodes, so much so that I ended up dropping out early, after just 4 episodes.

BUT! Plot twist!

I found similar tsundere-male-lead-campus-romance crack in My ID is Gangnam Beauty instead. This kinda-sorta gave me the addictive feels I once had over Boys Over Flowers many, many moons ago (ironically, I can’t bear to watch BOF now), but I liked this one better, and slurped up the first 10+ episodes back-to-back. Woah, indeed.

Yes, there are caveats, but they aren’t dissimilar to the ones you’d need to make for Meteor Garden 2018 too, so – fair play? 😉

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Flash Review: Keys To The Heart [Korean Movie]

I am on a roll, you guys. I had an inkling, from watching Show’s trailer, that today’s in-flight pick was going to pack a bit of a heart punch, but I had no idea just how much this movie would make me feel, once I hit play. By Show’s last stretch, I was gratefully serving up my heart on a plate, my emotions pulling in so many directions as I did so.

So. Good. ❤

Also, I’m starting to suspect that it’s quite possible that any show featuring classical piano as a key theme will turn out to be a good one. I mean, first, Secret Love Affair, then Page Turner, and now this? I might have to make it a point to check out any show featuring classical piano, going forward, for reals.

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Flash Review: Little Forest [Korean Movie]

I am so pleased with my in-flight pick today, you guys.

Lately, I find myself swopping out my regular drama nightcap (woah, right?!) in favor of the wonderful cooking videos by YouTuber 꿀키honeykki. Not only are her videos super relaxing to unwind to, I just love the focus on food and sound. The sound of ingredients being chopped; the sound of food being cooked; the sound of food being eaten with relish, which is how 꿀키honeykki ends all of her videos. Every night, after watching these videos, I feel so much more attuned to the sounds around me, as I prepare to actually put myself to bed.

This movie is like the almost-perfect marriage between two of my favorite things: the celebration of food that nourishes, and storytelling that feels personal and wholesome. Yes please, and thank you very much.

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Flash Review: Nirvana In Fire 2: The Wind Blows In Chang Lin [China]

Y’know, it’s tough being a sequel.

Everyone wants you to be everything. You need to be as good as the original; faithful to the original; not too different from the original; not too similar to it either. You need to be the same, yet different; faithful, yet fresh. That’s a tall order.

It’s even more challenging when the original is Nirvana In Fire, which is a drama that ruined me for all other dramas for a good long while, when I first finished watching it. It was so brilliantly written, so wonderfully acted, so beautifully produced (if you haven’t yet watched it, drop everything and watch it!), that when I heard that there was going to be a follow-up series, all I could think was, How does one follow an act like that? Talk about the tallest of tall orders.

So the million-dollar question is, does Nirvana In Fire 2 manage to fulfill all the criteria of a good sequel? I’m gonna say, Yes. It did an admirable job.

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