The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: Moonlight Drawn By Clouds

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Well-written, well-cast, and well-handled, Moonlight Drawn By Clouds is a fun fusion youthy sageuk with a boatload of heart. Show not only knows how to bring out the best in its story and its characters, it knows how to engage the heart and bring on the feels too.

The main cast is excellent and our lead couple is exceedingly cute together, but this show’s standout is definitely Park Bo Gum, who is simply wonderful as Crown Prince Yeong. There’s a spot of drag in the latter episodes, but it doesn’t last for too long. Importantly, Show never loses it’s emotional core, and is quite cracky-delicious the rest of the time, to boot.

This show makes me smile, period.

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118 Comments

Review: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A highly-buzzed, high-profile drama project that boasted strong credentials, a big budget and an even bigger cast, but which ultimately failed to deliver the expected awesome.

Patchy writing, jerky direction & execution, and uneven acting all contribute to Show’s general lack of oomph. For the tenacious viewer, though, there are small stretches of soapy crack to be had, and quite a lot of pretty to gaze at, for the most part. Lee Jun Ki is mesmerizing and quite wonderful in this, despite his character getting off to a somewhat shaky start.

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105 Comments

Review: Healer

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Healer is that special snowflake of a drama that manages to combine action, romance, and some nice spots of comedy, all in one tight little show. And it’s a mighty successful combination too, I might add.

Sure, the backstory runs a little bit melo and may not appeal to everyone, but the blend of adrenaline-pumping thrills, a truly sparky, heartfelt OTP, a deeply melty – yet flawed and believable – hero, and a courageous, strong heroine, makes for an exhilaratingly heady combination of feels that just sends my heart in multiple directions all at once.

Add on Show’s highly polished camera work and its very effective, very immersive OST, and it’s a combination that’s pretty darn hard to beat.

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56 Comments

Review: Oh Hae Young Again [Another Oh Hae Young]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

More than – and therefore possibly mis-marketed as – a typical rom-com, this show possesses a sensitive, thoughtful core that tends to lean melancholic. Empathetic writing, tender directing, and some outstandingly dig-deep acting come together to bring out the beauty inherent in the melancholy, and it’s quite remarkable to behold.

A deft comic hand to manage the broad comedic elements, a solid supporting cast, and a gorgeous OST round out this show’s appeal.

Not perfect, to be sure, but so worth the watch.

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29 Comments

Review: Marriage Contract

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A fairly typical contract-marriage-meets-terminal-illness sort of melodrama that doesn’t pack many narrative surprises. The surprises mostly come in the form of the fantastic deliveries by the main cast. Namely, UEE is flat-out fantastic in this. So is Lee Seo Jin, and so is little munchkin Shin Rin Ah. The chemistry between these three, any which way you slice it, is golden, and alone is worth the watch.

Heartfelt, heartwarming, and solidly engaging.

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84 Comments

Review: Descendants of the Sun

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Even though Descendants of the Sun is not very well-written and far from subtle, there are things to enjoy in this show, if you’re willing to close your eyes to its shortcomings. Things like appealing lead characters (most of them, anyway), character relationships, the romance and the bromance. And not forgetting Song Joong Ki in his most schmexy drama outing to date (ahem).

Flawed, but not without its charms.

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63 Comments

Review: Answer Me, 1988 [Reply 1988]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Answer Me 1988 feels like a larger, bigger-hearted story than its predecessors, thanks to expanding its focus to its community of characters, rather than simply fixating on the leading lady’s husband and the lovelines that feed into it. The adult characters get as much narrative care and attention as their kids, and that helps to make this drama world feel altogether pretty balanced and whole. The entire cast is endearing and committed, and – despite a touch of green in spots with the delivery – exponentially add to Show’s generous earthy winsomeness.

It’s true that the handling of the ending is flawed, but overall, I still found this show to be charming, slice-of-life retro at its best.

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43 Comments

Review: Oh My Venus

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Bursting at the seams with Pretty and Cute, Oh My Venus could’ve been a no-brainer shoo-in for cracky rom-com of the year. Especially since leads So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah have been proven to possess a combined chemistry of the electrifyingly sparky sort.

Unfortunately, the writing derails the drama (in so, so many ways), and Show turns out to be more Underwhelming Mess than Intoxicating Brew.

Still cute, but far from satisfying.

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62 Comments

Year In Review: 2015

I can hardly believe that 2015 is coming to a close and 2016’s almost upon us. I know I said this last year too, but seriously guys, time is flying.

Even more so when you count the year in drama milestones, or so it seems, since there are more dramas in dramaland than ever before, vying for our limited drama hours. Everything feels like it’s flying by in a blur, and even though I’m dedicated to my dramas, it’s just not humanly possible to stay on top of everything – and that’s before taking Real Life responsibilities into account!😄

Still, I’m pleased to report that I managed to watch at least as much drama as I did last year, if not a little bit more. I’m sorta behind on the reviewing front, but I promise to catch up on that, pinky swear!

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18 Comments

Review: Twenty Again

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An understated, quiet creature compared to its other prime-time cousins, Twenty Again manages to prove its worth while bucking quite a few drama trends.

Despite having a central romance, Twenty Again’s main focus is consistently about one woman’s journey of discovery – discovery of truth, discovery of self, re-discovery of her self-worth – and everything else, including the romance, fits around that in a satisfyingly organic, uplifting way. Wonderful performances by our leads bring that journey to life, and make it completely worthwhile.

Far from flashy, but winsome and inspiring in all the best ways.

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