The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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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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Flash Review: Life On Mars

Once upon a time, I used to categorize Jung Kyung Ho in my head as Dramaland’s go-to beta male, especially after seeing him in 2009’s Smile, You, where he was the sweetest beta male love interest to Lee Min Jung’s feisty broke chaebol. (Twas a sweet and cute story, pity about the whopping 16-episode extension, which then resulted in lots ‘n lots of pointless and frustrating filler. Boo.)

Back then, I liked Jung Kyung Ho well enough, but mostly in a casual, almost cursory sort of way. Compare that to today, when I would quite literally check out a show purely because Jung Kyung Ho is in it, y’know, because he is just so wonderful and brilliant and so good at what he does. *hearts in eyes* What an amazing evolution, eh?

So did I check out this show purely because Jung Kyung Ho is in it? Why, yes I did. Did I know what I was in for? No, can’t say I knew much at all, going in. Did I eventually understand everything about this show, and its somewhat fantastical premise? I’m gonna hafta say, No, I do not.

But did I enjoy it all the way through anyway? Oh yessiree. I sure did. ❤

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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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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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