Category Archives: Review

Review: A Business Proposal

THE SHORT VERDICT:

When Show is at its best, it’s light, fun, slurpable and really quite cracktastic, in the best way.

The good news is, Show is at its best, for most of its run.

Both romantic pairings are cute, entertaining and swoony in their own ways, and the chemistry between both couples is excellent as well. On top of that, Show manages to feel fresh and fun, even as it serves up and plays with rom-com tropes.

The not-so-good news is, Show isn’t quite at its best, in its final stretch. Everything feels less cracky and absorbing, and coming off a cracktastic high, this can feel disappointing and underwhelming.

Show still works out to be fun and watchable on the whole, however, so I’d still recommend this one.

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Review: Pachinko

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A tale that spans generations and borders, Pachinko curiously manages to feel epic, yet everyday, at the same time.

The execution and handling is deft, the storytelling is tender, and our capable cast brings the characters to life in manner that feels organic and believable, across the various timelines in our story world.

Importantly, this story feels representative of all those who’ve ever left their homeland, in search of a better future for themselves &/or for their families.

Overall, not an easy watch, but a worthwhile one.

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Review: Twenty-Five, Twenty-One

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Nostalgic, fresh, and so full of feels, Twenty-Five, Twenty-One is the show that I didn’t know I needed, in my life.

The writing is thoughtful and tender, and combined with great casting and excellent delivery, our characters pop with so much life and heart, their relationships feel so raw and real, and their journeys feel so familiar and relatable, that I couldn’t get enough of it all.

To top it all off, the music is pitch perfect and excellently applied, making the already great feels land with extra oomph and amplification.

Some lens adjustments are necessary (and so important!) – which I’ll talk more about shortly.

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Review: Confession

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Confession might look like a standard crime thriller sort of show, but as it turns out, it’s more heartfelt and more melodramatic, than one might first expect.

With your expectations tweaked (very important, and more on that in a bit), Show works out to be a solid watch that’s both interesting and absorbing.

Junho and Yoo Jae Myung anchor this story, and they are excellent, both individually and together. Their enemies-to-partners journey was one of my favorite arcs in this show; I just loved the idea of them putting their talents together, and working towards a shared goal. 🤩

Plus, the music in this show is a force to be reckoned with; I loved the atmospheric, dramatic nature of it all, and how precisely it’s all applied.

An underrated drama that deserves more love than it gets.

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Review: Rainless Love in a Godless Land [Taiwan]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

I do think that Rainless is a pretty special snowflake of a show, in that I don’t think I’ve come across a similar drama, among the hundreds of dramas I’ve checked out, in the last 15 years.

Show manages to weave its story, while providing a good amount of educational insight into Taiwanese indigenous culture, and it also manages to make statements about environmental issues without being preachy. That’s pretty impressive.

I think it’s helpful to mention that you either really love this one, or you don’t. And you’ll figure out which camp you fall into, reasonably quickly.

Even though I appreciated Show’s strengths, I have to confess that this one never stole my heart. Still, I would say that this turned out to be a worthwhile watch.

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Review: Soundtrack #1 [Mini Series]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Short, breezy, and polished, Soundtrack #1 is a friends-to-lovers nugget of a drama that should scratch that drama itch nicely, particularly if you:

(a) like Park Hyung Sik &/or Han So Hee;

(b) enjoy friends-to-lovers stories; &/or

(c) just want something quick and easy as a drama snack.

Really quite satisfying, for a short little thing of just 4 episodes of 45 minutes each.

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Review: Reset [China]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Reset is a time loop fantasy mystery-thriller that manages to be so much more than the sum of its parts.

It’s smartly written, such that the fantasy mystery remains interesting and intriguing all the way through, yet at the same time, Show demonstrates a surprising amount of heart and emotional heft.

That heart and emotional heft is what lifts this watch experience from simply being interesting and fascinating, to become something more engaging, thought-provoking, and even a little personal, as we start to feel for our various characters.

A cracky gem of a show that manages to engage both the heart and mind in equal measure. Very well done.

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Review: Uncle

THE SHORT VERDICT:

At its heart, Show wants to be a heartwarming, feel-good sort of story, in a Disney-Hallmark sort of way, but ultimately, it feels that Show was never confident enough, in its own skin, to just do what it most wanted to do.

Instead, Show attempts to spice up its story with feints towards darkness, and even makes an attempt at makjang, in its later stretch. These were not my favorite things, by far.

However, Show’s characters and relationships are just warm enough, that I was persuaded to stick with them until the very end, even when I was most underwhelmed by Show’s uneven tone.

It’s a pity, though, because Show could have been so much better, if it’d just stuck to the heartwarming stuff, because that’s what it does best.

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Review: NordVPN for my drama needs

Hi everyone!

This is a different sort of post that I have for you guys today, because instead of talking about a drama or a movie, I’ll be talking about a VPN service – that helps me get my drama game on, heh.

Today, I’ll be talking about NordVPN, the service that I personally use to get my grabby hands on as many of the drama offerings out there, as possible.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I paid for my NordVPN subscription with my own money.

HOWEVER! If you use my affiliate link to purchase your own subscription, you’ll get to enjoy up to 60% off * your subscription, AND, this will also give me a modest commission, at no extra cost to you, which helps to allow me to keep on doing what I love, here on the blog. Win-win! 😃

* This used to say 73%, but because NordVPN’s changed the way it calculates the discount, it now says 60%. BUT, it’s the same great price, starting from US$3.29 a month!

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Language Books Review: Learn to write Korean

Hi everyone!

We’ve got a different sort of post today: a language workbook review!

Basically, a while ago, I received an email from the author of these Korean language learning workbooks “Learn to write Korean,” asking if I was located in the US, and if I’d be interested to receive a free copy each, of their Korean writing workbooks, in exchange for a fair review.

The books are described as:

“A fun two-volume Korean workbook series, tailored specifically to those who want to learn the dialogue they hear so often in Korean dramas. Each volume features 100 of the most common words and phrases from K-dramas, and provides definitions, pronunciation guides, and tracing practice (with ample space) for each word or phrase!”

I thought that sounded like a potentially fun and useful resource for us kdrama fans, and accepted the invitation. However, because I’m not located in the US, Trent (who is!) kindly agreed to receive the workbooks, in exchange for a fair review – and here it is!

Big thanks to Trent, for reviewing these books for us! I hope you guys find this useful! (Links to purchase the books are at the end of the review.)

KFG ❤️

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