The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


Review: Healer


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


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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Review: Marriage Contract


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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Review: Descendants of the Sun


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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Review: Answer Me, 1988 [Reply 1988]


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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Review: Oh My Venus


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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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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Review: Twenty Again


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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kfangurl’s 2012 Drama Awards [Repost]

So this might be the mother of all throwback posts on this blog. (Wait, this might be the only throwback post on the blog, actually!) Basically, this post had first appeared on Stephanie’s blog Crazy for Kdrama, when she’d invited me to guest on her 2012-in-review series. I’d been super excited, and Stephanie’s invitation basically was the catalyst that inspired me to even start this blog (you can find the blog’s origin story here).

Long story short, Crazy for Kdrama suffered from a takedown a while ago, thanks to DMCA bots, which sucked.😦 But, Steph’s since dusted herself off and has started over at Kchat Jjigae.

This post, though, was lost with the original blog. That’s been niggling me for a while, since this post has a special place in this blog’s history. That, and the more OCD parts of my brain felt uncomfortable that the link to my 2012 year-in-review on the Full List page basically led to nowhere. Happily, those same OCD parts of my brain had thought to save my original draft somewhere, so it wasn’t all that hard to reproduce the post here.

So now, for old times’ sake, and for the sake of having my 2012-in-review post available somewhere, I present to you one of the earliest blog posts I ever wrote, in its pure, original state. I’ve simply added links to reviews where available. Hope you guys enjoy the walk down memory lane with me!🙂

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Review: Sassy Go Go [Cheer Up]


Sassy wasted no time in stealing my heart, to be honest.

Yes, it’s not very inventive, in that its plot isn’t anything very new, and feels vaguely like a mashup of Angry MomWho Are You – School 2015, and Shut Up Flower Boy Band, with a bit of Dream High, and even mild shades of School 2013, thrown in for good measure. But I genuinely enjoyed all of those shows, and any resemblance, in this case, is not a bad thing. I loved that Show is breezy, and showcases endearing characters and their heart-tugging relationships, and I was effectively smitten for much of Show’s run.

It’s unfortunate that Show loses its footing somewhat, in the last quarter. That made me sad. After everything is said and done, though, I still felt wistful in saying goodbye to these characters, and that definitely counts for something.

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