The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

FULL REVIEWS

Hey there, welcome to my collection of reviews. There are just 3 things you need to know.

1. Not all the reviews are created equal

This is sad, but unfortunately, true. My earlier reviews are a lot skimpier than my later ones, and I just don’t have the time to go back and redo the earlier ones. This means that even if I say very little about a show in a review, it’s not because it’s not a good show. I probably just wrote that review really early in my blogging journey.

2. There are spoilers, but you can avoid them if you want

The reviews are split into 3 sections each: The Short Verdict, The Long Verdict, and The Final Verdict.

The Short Verdict and The Final Verdict are spoiler-free, and if you haven’t seen the show, these should be enough to give you a general feel for my opinion of a show and whether I consider it a worthy watch. The Long Verdict explores my thoughts on the shows in more detail, and this is the section that contains spoilers. I give clear spoiler alert warnings [BIG RED LETTERS!], so if you’re avoiding spoilers, you could still read The Long Verdict if you skip the spoiler sections. Basically, I like to offer something for everyone; whether you’ve seen the show or not, whether you’re spoiler-phobic or not. Read the reviews in the way that works for you!

3. The Rating System

Understand more about my rating system here!

Hope that all helps!

~kfangurl

A

A Gentleman’s Dignity B-

All About Eve A-

Angry Mom A

Answer Me, 1988 [Reply 1988] A

Answer Me, 1994 [Reply 1994] A-

Answer Me, 1997 [Reply 1997] A-

Arang and the Magistrate A

B

Bad Guys B+

Beautiful Days A-

Big B-

Bride of the Century A-

C

Chuno [Slave Hunter] A++

Cunning Single Lady [Sly and Single Again] B+

D

Dating Agency Cyrano B-

Descendants of the Sun B

Dream High A

Dream High 2 D+

E

F

Falling For Innocence B+

Fated To Love You A-

Feelings [Neukkim] B

Fermentation Family B+

Flower Boy Next Door B-

G

Gaksital [Bridal Mask] A+

Goong [Princess Hours] B+

H

Haeundae Lovers C+

Healer A+

Heart To Heart B+

Heirs C+

Her Lovely Heels C-

High School King C

History of the Salaryman B+

Hot Young Bloods [Movie] A-

I

I Do, I Do B-

I Hear Your Voice A+

I Need Romance 2012 C-

I Need Romance 3 B-

It’s Okay It’s Love B+

J

K

King’s Daughter, Soo Baek Hyang B

King of Dramas [The Lord of the Drama] A-

L

Let’s Eat B

Let’s Eat 2 B+

Life Is Beautiful A+

Love Rain C

M

Marriage Contract B+

Marriage Not Dating A

Master’s Sun B- | That Far Gone [Master’s Sun Fanfic] A+

Misaeng A

Miss Korea B+

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo C+

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds A

My Love Eun Dong B-

N

Nine [Nine: Nine Time Travels]  |  Trading Thoughts: Nine A-

O

Oh Hae Young Again [Another Oh Hae Young] A-

Oh My Venus C++

Ojakgyo Brothers A+

One Warm Word A

Operation Proposal B+

P

Padam Padam A

Panda and Hedgehog C-

Prime Minister and I B-

Q

Queen In-hyun’s Man A+

R

Rooftop Prince B+

S

Sassy Go Go [Cheer Up] B

School 2013 A+

Secret Love Affair A++

She Was Pretty A

Shut Up Flower Boy Band A+

Sungkyunkwan Scandal A

T

That Winter, The Wind Blows C+

The Equator Man C

The King 2 Hearts A

The Moon that Embraces the Sun A-

The Princess’ Man A

The Suspect [Movie] B

The Technicians [Movie] B

The Three Musketeers B

To The Beautiful You B

Twenty Again A

Two Weeks A-

U

V

Vampire Prosecutor A

Vampire Prosecutor 2 B+

W

Warrior Baek Dong Soo B-

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo A+

What’s Up? B

White Christmas B-

Who Are You – School 2015 B

Wild Romance C+

Witch’s Romance A

X

Y

You From Another Star [My Love From Another Star] A+

Z

YEAR-IN-REVIEW

Guest post: kfangirl’s 2012 Drama Awards

Year In Review: 2013

Year In Review: 2014

Year In Review: 2015

53 thoughts on “FULL REVIEWS

  1. Hey
    I have been following u and ur sweet reviews for a long time
    Keep it up
    I was wondering if u have watched innocent man and i miss you

    Like

    • Hi there, ahmed! Thanks for your encouraging words, I’m glad that you’ve been enjoying the reviews on the site! 🙂 I attempted but didn’t finish I Miss You.. You can check out the Dropped post here. I did manage to finish Nice Guy/Innocent Man, tho! Your comment reminded me that I still haven’t posted a review about the show, so I’ll be putting up a Flash Review for it in the next week or so. Hope you’ll enjoy the post when it comes out! ^^

      Like

  2. Conspiracy in the court
    10/10
    Thank you kaiaraia. for suggesting this.
    Dialogue and story are what made this for me. The dialogue, because for the most part, it soinds like it could hace come from the period the drama is set in. Although “moppet”, “shut your gob” and probably other modern sounding phrases do find their way in.
    Of the cast, I found the lead actess rather limited. I see that she was also in Chuno. But I can’t remember what I thought of her in that. Although that was 3 years later. so she could have got better. Well, I’ll try to be more specific about her performance. The scenes set in the past, when she was a nice characer, I wasm’t convinced. I particularly didn’t buy her smile.
    She was better in some of the more quiter moments. Her best scene is probably when she has to commit a deed that she doesn’t want to. For me the best female performance came from Im Seo-Yeon, who I have decided to look upon as the real heroine of the piece.
    Of the male cast, the two leads are pretty good. But the performances I enjoyed the most were those by Ahn Nae-Sang, Kim Ki-Hyeon, and I think Park Chul-Min, if he’s the guy that Jin Yi-Han’s worked for.
    Question. Why was Bae Sung-Woo’s character always smiling?

    Like

    • You’re welcome Martin. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I liked almost everything about the drama – the writing, cinematography, directing, and acting even from the three young leads considering all were relatively new in acting then. What I found bemusing was, yes, I had the same question, why did Bae Sung-Woo has to smile all the time? Also, I found the queen mother too evil. When what I really loved about the show is how almost all of the characters where made so human with their strengths and weaknesses and all, she was totally evil.

      Like

  3. Was it the same version ie director’s cut that you saw. I think it was the same subbing group you mentioned. I watched it through the drama cool website, if you want to check.
    I have two theories (1) It’s supposed to be menacing. (2) During a battle/fight, some nerve was hit, thhat made his face like that. I think it would have been hood though if at least one character had said something like “That guy gives me the creeps.
    SPOILER coming up.

    I should say I did not have any sympathy for the lead female. Heck even Dexter just killed
    bad people, But for the sake of vengence she killed innocent people as well. At first, I wanted her to meet her demise. Then I thought, No, I want somebody to tell her to lead a better life, to make up for what she had done. Well, I won’t say, anymore than that. Oh, I see Drama cool gets a mention on the site.

    Like

  4. PROTECT THE BOSS
    8/10
    POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

    The acting. The two leads are good, particularly Choi Gang-Hee.
    Of the second leads, I found Kim Jae-Joong, wooden at times, buit overall, he did an okay job.
    The smiling to himself was overdone. But I will say that he is a very good singer.
    Wang Ji-Hye is somewhat better
    I had some reservations about No Eun Seol’s character. Sure it’s nice to see a female who won’t take bullshit from people. But I did wish that she wouldn use physical force so often.
    Where this show scores for me is the reason I decided to watch it in the first place. ie, how it treats the drama cliches.
    eg. the secatary’s who dare to speak back to their boss.
    The second female who although she still cries, is a sympathetic character.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing, Martin! 🙂 I remember I liked it moderately, and I agree that Jaejoong was rather limited in his acting range. Also agree on the physical force. I guess the reason I didn’t love as much as most folks, is coz I don’t always appreciate Korean humor, and there’s a fair amount of Intended Funny in this show. Still, I’m glad you enjoyed your watch of Protect the Boss! 🙂

      Like

      • Possibly my latent sexism rising there, as regards leading female using physical force. There is a scene where she punches this guy called secetary Jang twice in the stomach. Now he’s the cause of her problems. But in truth he’s a rather weak character. Still she never gives him up. At the same time, would I have the same reaction if it had been a man doing the punching. I hope so. I do like
        action heroines eg the thai movie choclate. I think it just boils down to, I don;t like to see weak people getting hit, even their actions justify it being done to them. I know they are different types of dramas. But i much prefer a character like Dong Yi, who I guess uses her intelligence.

        Like

        • Oh, I’m definitely with you there, Martin. I dislike the use of violence in general. Of course, like you said, it doesn’t apply to action genres or swordfighting and martial arts in period dramas. I also don’t like to see characters using their physical strength to intimidate or bully a weaker character, whether it’s a male character manhandling his romantic interest, or a female character hitting someone else. I think that’s one of the things I didn’t enjoy about PTB, when I watched it.

          Also, if you enjoy a character like Dong Yi coz she uses her intelligence, I think you’d enjoy Nirvana In Fire, which is full of highly intelligent characters, and our main character gets what he wants using his intelligence. It’s a period drama and there’s lots of fighting and sparring too, but it’s definitely not just about the fighting 🙂

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  5. Hi KF. I think it also has to with context. For instance let’s say, in PTB, that the male lead had been kidnapped, and was under some kind of death threat, and secetary Jang knew where he was being held, and the only way she could get the info was by hitting, I could probably accept it a bit more.
    I guess I don’t have as straightforward a view as yours. I guess I’m one of those people who have to see things from every angle.
    I guess I would have liked to have seen two things in PTB. One, where she develops as the story progressess into someone who uses her fists, into someone who learns to do things different.
    and two, where she met someone who could have actually stood up to her. But then korean dramas
    don’t always give the results you are looking for.
    Yes if was to get rid of one korean drama, it would be the wrist grabbing.
    One Nirvana in fire. Yes, I have it bookmarked. Right now though I’m about 5 episodes away from the end of the third part of the singapore “The Journey” and I have about another 97 episodes to go on “The immortal Lee Soon Shin” This was a drama, I put on hold. Putting a drama is not necessarrily because the drama isn’t doing anything for you. It could be because, you read about some other drama, and it’s only ten episodes. But the drama you were watching goes out of your head. But right now, this drama “Lee soom shin” could end being one of the greatest dramas I’ve seen. The pace is very different from any korean drama I can recall, just very unhurried. Anyway 97, episodes is a long way to go, and I won’t be surprised if it goes on hold again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for all the missed words. But I hope you understood what I was trying to say. Pity there is no edit option.

      Like

    • Ah, sorry there isn’t an edit option.. It’s one of the limitations of the WordPress theme I’m using. But, I understood you perfectly, so no worries there! 🙂

      Oh yes, I definitely agree that situations and circumstances play a part in terms of whether violence comes across as acceptable to me.. The scenario you described is a perfect example of one where I’d feel violence from a character would be acceptable. Also, I agree some character growth would’ve made PTB a more satisfying watch.

      I’ve heard about The Immortal Lee Soon Shin! If memory serves, this was Kim Myung Min’s breakout drama. He is such a committed actor that it’s always a pleasure to watch him. I can totally imagine what you mean about it being one of the greatest dramas you’ve seen! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to check it out, mostly because I haven’t found it on my usual sources. May I ask where you’re watching it? 🙂

      Like

  6. On where I;n watching Lee Soon Shin. That takes a a bit of explaining. I’m not watching it through a browser. I’m watching it using the video addon “dramago” through the media centre program Kodi, formerly knowm as xmbc.
    But searching for a decent link for you brougt me here
    http://kissasian.com/Drama/The-Immortal-Yi-Soon-Shin.
    Note. Looks like the next ep will be the one where I see Lee Soon Shin as a young man. The series starts off with him in a sea battle against the japanese. Then it goes back into his childhood. Then it looks like ep 7, where we see him as a young man. But I don’t know if that’s the same actor you are referring to. So far though, the actor
    I have really impressed by is Jung Ae-Ri , who is superb as his mother.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing, Martin, AND for sending me an email! This original comment (and the subsequent ones) were flagged by WordPress as spam since spam often contains links, and I’ve unspammed this one in case there are other readers who are interested in checking out the show 🙂

      Kim Myung Min acted as adult Lee Soon Shin, so it’s quite possible that it IS him that you’re seeing as a young man. I haven’t seen the show yet myself, so I can’t be super sure. 🙂

      Like

  7. On Lee Soon shin. So far very impressed by superb performance of Jung Ae-Ri as his mother. Story starts of showing Lee Soom Shin in battle against japanese.Then it goes back to his childhood. Ep 7, seems to be where we first see him as as young man. But I don’t know if that is the actor you are referring to, or if another portrays him later on. Still though, if it’s his breakout role, it probably is the actor who plays him as a young man.

    Like

    • The immortal yi soon shin.
      I finished it on friday.
      10/10
      What a drama. What a man.
      Wow, I’m stunned by the quality of this drama. It goes straight to the top as the best Korean drama I’ve ever seen, and in 2nd place behind Soredemo ito yuke as the best drama.
      Why. Well, there were some that niggled at me
      One. Having japanese characters laugh in a kind of way, to remind us, that “Hey, don’t forget we’re the baddies here”
      How are the Japanese portrayed overall. Well, first of all, they have great uniforms.
      Some of the best scenes in the movie, are the japanese sections/
      They are portayed as both honourable and brutal.
      two. The “comedy” didn’t really work for me. This is one of my biggest gripes with
      Korean historical drama. I guess what you would call “light relief characters” are a staple of thise types of dramas. I’m not saying they never make me laugh, but more
      often than not they don’t. I’m referring here to Park Chul-Min. Although there are scenes when he wasn;t trying to be funny, and in some of those, you could see that there is a pretty good actor in there. There were also 3 actors who I thought of
      as the three stooges, but once they, or perhaps just one or two of them, did some
      straight acting, i was more impressed.
      3. Characters dissapear from the drama.
      4. I can’t make up my mind about the performances of Kim Kyu-Cheol,Lee Han-Wi,and Ahn Yeon-Hong. At first I thought She was rather weak, but in some scenes I thought she displayed some good acting skills.
      I also wasn’t impressed at first by Choi Yu-Jeong. I just thought she was too bland.
      But once she married Yi Soon shin, her performance seemed to get better.

      5. Well, this is not really a fault. There are so many great performances in this, but not all of them are great all the time. I guess it’s because their characters become less interesting.
      (a)Jung Ae-Ri. She portrays Yi’s mother. In his childhood scenes, she’s terrific, but later as he grows to adulthood, her performance for me. didn’t hold the same impaact
      (b) Jeon Ik-Ryeong. This for me was the most dissappointing aspect of the series.
      Her character as the feisty courtesan Chung-Hyang was I thought astonishing. It was my facourite character in the drama. But then basicaLLY, she stops becoming a courtesan, and her performance, well, let’s kust say, she doesn’t get the same opportunities as an actress. But for her performance as the courtesan, I believe she gives the greatest performance. Believe me, in this, that’s no easy feat
      6. The beards. The beards all look at the same.

      This drama has so many excellent performances in it. Besides the aforementioned, please stand up Choi Jae-Sung,Lee Jae-Ryong,Kim Gyu-Ri,Gi Ju-Bong,Jeong Dong-Hwan wonderful as the wily Yoon Doo-Soo, Choi Cheol-Ho, Lee In, showing that there are good young actors in korea and many others.
      Oh, I nearly forgot Kim Myung-Min in the lead. He holds the whole thing together. He is the centre. It;s really a terrific performance. It;s only when I watch the flasback scenes, showing the difference between the older Yi, and the older, that I can really appreciate his acting.

      The screenplay is terrific, with some wonderful dialogue
      AT First, I thought I preferred the story before he came Admiral. But, no, the series doesn;t falter. It actually becomes more fascinating. eg, the building of the turtle ships, yi’s battle stategy, the aforementioned japanese sequences.

      The Battle scenes.At first, these were okay, nothing special. But as the series
      went on, they became better, bloodier.It’s as if the makers of the series became
      more confident, in what they could show.
      I should warn people, that this series is one of the most graphic I’ve ever seen.
      That’s not something, that bothers me, but it may others. I’ll give you an example. In other korean historical series, if someody is about to be excuted for example, we see the sword coming down, and then perhaps the person lying dead.
      Here, we see the blood.
      .

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, 10/10!! That’s a big endorsement, martin! Sounds like a must-watch to me, particularly since it was a career-defining performance for Kim Myung Min, who is such a dedicated method actor. Thanks for breaking down for us what you liked and didn’t like so much, about the show! 🙂

        Like

  8. Hi! I’m looking forward to read your review on Healer soon. 🙂

    Like

    • Eep! It’s on my list! As in, I was about a third of the way through writing it, then got stalled, and then got sidetracked. I’ll target to get back to it and finish it within the next few weeks. Hopefully you’ll see it sooner than later! 😛

      Like

      • Yay! Thank you. 😊 Maybe you can also add a flash review on Descendants of the Sun. 😅 We know you’re busy. That’s why we really really appreciate you. Thank you again.

        Like

        • I do plan to write a quick review for DotS, actually. And it should be out sooner than the Healer review. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement, it’s always great to feel appreciated!! ❤

          Like

  9. Dramaworld
    8/10
    This is an affection homage more than a parody of k-dramas. it talks about the many cliches, but in a way that recognises them as part of why people love them.
    It was nice to see a white character who had some acting chops. The fact that she had red hair and freckles didn’t hurt either. Personally I think We need more leads with freckles and red hair [Smile]
    I thought that at times Sean Dulake delivered lines a little stiffly.
    I’m afraid the guy who played lily hewson’s father was pretty bad.
    Luckily he is not in much of it.
    Overall I enjoyed it very much.

    Like

    • Hi there Martin! I only checked out a few quick episodes of this before I got distracted, but I do agree with your assessment – Dramaworld definitely comes across as an homage rather than a parody. I thought it was quite a fun concept, and all the tongue-in-cheek in-jokes would’ve tickled many a drama fan, I’m sure! I plan to go back to it sometime, when the right mood hits, and when some space clears up on my crazy-full drama plate!

      PS: you’re right about freckles and red hair – they can be so adorable! ❤

      Like

  10. Thank’s Kf.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Since i see, there is not just K-dramas reviewed here. Well, at least in the flash section, i hope it’s okay to post some reviews of non korean, but obviously still asian stuff I’ve seen.

    The Rose (taiwan)
    8/10/
    There is a line in this drama. which sums up at least part of it.”love is an unstoppable and painful need”.It comes in the penultimate episode, which happens to the best. In many of the episodes ,it’s hard to guage some of the acting,particurly those of Jerry Huang and Joelle Lu. But here, they are given a chance to shine. In The lead, Ella Chan is a natural and likeable performer. Although at one stage, the crying got to be a bit much Only in Asian dramas, would a character like her be called fat and ugly. This episode also contains the longest kissing scene I’ve ever seen in an asian drama, and a very sensual and sexy bed scene.
    The drama in some respects is quite complicated. I don’t mean in terms of plot, but in terms the feelings of the characters.
    It also deals with incest. or the the the threat of incest, in a way, you ain’t never gonna see in an american drama.

    Long vacation (j)
    10/10
    Yes, it goes a bit overly melodramatic in the last episode, and the character of Momoko Koishika,the heroine’s flaky but of course insightful girlfriend is one you could find enderaring, or want to strangle. But oveall, this is an excellent, slice of life drama.

    Jam Loey Rak.
    A thai lakorn.
    6/10
    SPOILERS.

    Overall I’m not happy with how this drama ended up.
    I thought it was creepy the way he pursued her. If He had any decency, he would have let her go. But I guess it’s not supposed to be realistic. But that doesn;t mean I have to like it
    When I saw the ending, I liked it, because she gets her back on him. But for me, it was the wrong ending.
    So I guess what I’m saying, the ending made me smile when watching it.
    But I don’t think it should have the kind of ending that made me smile.
    does that make sense?

    Hi My sweetheart. (ttw)
    7/10
    I liked the cast, particularly Teresa Daley, and Choclate Lai. But I think it’s more down to looks, than any particular acting ability.

    time spiral (j)
    8/10
    introguing. The cast were okay with 2 exceptions, Kayoko Kishimoto who is excellent, and Gact, who is, well let’s just say, he is good at being creepy, even when he isn’t supposed to be creepy.
    I thought the ending was a bit of a copout.

    hormones (season 2) (thai0
    7/10
    The cast are very good.
    I would give 10/10 for the cancer sequences, which I thought was beautifully and realistically done, and 8/10 for the abortion sequence which was very honestly portayed.

    Hormones-season 1.
    8/10
    Not your usual thai drama to say the least.
    This is inspired (i suppose would be the correct word) by the british tv series Skins.
    It’s set in a thai school and deals with issues such as homosexuality, drinking.
    and sex. The acting is uniformly excellent.
    My favourite character is probably Sprite, who well, likes to have sex, but what I liked about the character is that she comes from a nice home, so she is not one of those cliched characters who is looking for love through sex. She has no father, but she has a loving mother, and she a sensible head on her shoulders, eg she refuses to have it off with someone because they haven’t got a condom. I did watch the first two or so series skins, but it;s a while ago. Still I’m guessing this is somewhat tamer, and for all it’s realism, it still has elements of cuteness (and that’s just an observation) which I don’t recall being in the british series . There is a second series too, Both are available on yt. Before the series, there was a movie inspired it seems by the format of “love actually” and I believe a second movie is in the works. I don’t believe it’s made yet. If you onlywatch asian dramas which are 100 percent pure and innocent, this isn’t for you.

    Glory Days. (j)
    7/10
    I guess you could call this a sex comedy with heart. Decent performances with the best one (albeit over the top, intentionally I would guess) from Sugimoto Aya as the villainous. The lead actor does make some exagerrated facial expressions. But I wonder if that’s to do with the manga.

    Tokujo Kabachi jj)
    Terrific; intelligent and fun, and with a likeable cast.
    9/10

    my boss, my hero (j)
    8/10
    very enjoyable, with a fine cast.

    A dream of the red chamber/a dream of red mansions.
    8/10
    In the world of lierature, Ireland has it’s “Ulysses”, Russia it’s “War and Peace”, and China it’s “A dream of Red Mansions” This 1987 tv adaption is said to be the definitive one.
    It Is I confess rather slow, and I needed To take a break from it, before coming back to it.
    I did find it hard to keep track of some of the characters. There are many deaths in the last 5 or 6 episodes, that you might find it hard not to be a little amused by it.
    But the acting is exemplary.

    The Long goodbye (j)
    10/10
    A five episode japanese tv adaption of the Raymond Chandler masterpiece.
    Tadanobu Asano plays The Marlowe character , and he’s terrific in the part. Although obviously he’s not called Philip Marlowe here.
    When I saw Altman’s movie I was not overly happy with the adaption, But I suppose on subsequent rewatches, I’ve mellowed in my view.
    But I prefer this. It even aknowledges the earlier version.

    Tsugunai (the unforgiven) (j)
    3 part japanese drama. Basically it’s about a homeless guy, who helps solve some murders. But of course there is more to it than that. Excellent acting all round.
    8/10

    chess warriors(tw)
    8/10
    Taiwanese wuxia series. I thought it was from China or Hong kong. I enjoyed it, I liked Dicky Cheung, and Amy Tan the best. Although their hail fellow well met schtick was maybe a bit forced. I mean i liked the scenes . But i guess it just didn’t seem totally natural.
    “Ho Mei Tin’ has such a sweet face, I couldn’t really be convinced by her character turning to the dark side. Although when she turned weird looklng that made it easier to accept. I thought the sequence where the four of them were first held caprtive went on a bit too long too.
    But still I was thoroughly entertained.

    Change (j)
    10/10
    A lovely drama with a top cast.

    Meteor garden-season 1.
    8/10.
    Not as good as the japanese version, but preferred it to the korean one.
    This is the first time, I found male the lead sympathetic, and was happy for them to get together. In the korean, and japanese version, i wondered why she would have anything to do with such a jerk. Of course he’s a jerk here, and sometimes he’s more of a jerk than in the japanese or korean versions.But overall he is more likeable.
    I also found one of aspect of the bullying inflicted on Shancai or shan cai quite funny. It’s when her hands/arms get stuck to the desk.
    One of my favourite scenes is when QingHe is talking 9 to the dozen to XiaoYou and she just walks off. I guess she just had enough of listening to him.
    So how does the cast compare to the cast of the japanese and korean versions.
    female lead
    taiwan
    korean
    japanese

    male lead
    japanese
    taiwan
    korean

    second male lead
    taiwan
    korean
    japanese.

    I will watch the second season some time in the future. But I’d like to give f4 a break for a while/

    Darna-2009 (filipino)
    8/10
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1496702/
    Very enjoyable/. I had never heard of Darna before watching this series. The cast were pretty good with a lovely performance from Marian Riveria as Darna. Ding was a great mixture of obnoxius and cute.. Francesca was proably my favourite human character. Funny as hell. All the villians were good, and it seemed many if not all were bad because of bad things that happened to them. Although you could say it was their choice to go down the evil path. Darna is sexy, but also quite ruthless when it comes to dealing with her adverseries.. One of them she dispatches from behind. Although she was saving her boyfriend at the time. But she is ready to forgive too. The baddies are for the most part female, and i will pick out two favs it would be falcon lady and the alien queen.
    Mother love is a big theme in this series, whether it be a mother rejecting her child, a mother searching for her child, a mother obsessively loving another woman’s child.
    The series can have you crying and then switch to a comic scene, in which you are still crying, but beginning to laugh..
    I found Eduardo a little bit too clingy.
    Dr Morgan had one of the worst wigs i have ever seen, and I was happy when he finally got rid of it.
    fr mateo was a bit of a busybody.
    The snake legion were a bit of a disappointment really..
    The fight sequences were nothing to make you go wow.
    Ding and Narda/Darna’s relationship was very well done.
    So if you want a series which includes among other things silly comedy/tragedy/okay action scenes/vampires/snake people and aliens/,
    On the special effects. Well, we’ll skip over that.
    you might enjoy this.

    Rondo 8/10 (j)
    I suppose you could this has two distinct parts. For me the first part. which would be episodes 1-6 is the best. What I particularyly liked was the struggle for the japanese and korean to understand each other.
    The second part starts off very well and is always gripping. But for me, it got a bit too melodramatic at times.
    Then the female lead is about to do something soon into the second part. But she is prevented. Her character changes here. But she doesn’t
    stay with that characterisaion for long. What she was going to do. or it looked she was going to do, although convincing at the time, later on, doesn’t really hang together. But still second part is gripping too. sO THAT PART, gets an 8. As does the whole series.

    tas rak (th)
    thai lakorn
    8/10
    identity switching, prostitutes, a royal princess, slaves,
    jealousy rearing it’s ugly head
    vengence leads to tragedy
    assanation attempts
    hot women, and even hotter men
    ahem, did i say that.
    yep, it’s all here.

    game rai, game rak (th)
    thai lakorn
    7/10

    Really sweet drama. Well, at least until things go sour.

    The two leads are wonderful, and really make you feel they’re in love. But I guess that’s good acting, because when the opposite emotion comes into play, they are just as convincing.

    Some great support.

    On Thai lakorns in general. Well, i suppose it’s a bit early to be saying this after only three dramas.

    But themes common in these dramas seem to be jealousy, revenge which is shown to be never a good thing (also a predominant theme in some japanese movies, and dramas) people getting the wrong idea. Unlike some Korean dramas, the lead characters will have a happy ending, no matter what trials they go through.
    The acting is good and rather more restrained than you will find done by some actors in korean dramas. I say that as a fan of korean dramas.
    There is usually a comedy character or two.

    Mr Brain (j)
    10/10
    Terrific.
    not sure how to decribe this series.
    Is it a dark mystery thriller with elements of wacky comedy, or is it a wacky comedy with elements of darkness.
    It’s certainly a show that could only be produced in Japan.
    One episode in particular concerning the kidnapping and imprisonment of a a 5 year old girl for 15 years is particularly disturbing. Yet, during the episode there is a sequene where the title character locks up the female lead in the same place as the young girl. When she finally gets out, she chases after him, and the show has suddenly turned to out and out comedy.
    It’s as if two different types of shows. One with elements of bones, csi, criminal minds, silence of the lambs and the other a comedy crime show collide. Sometimes in seperate sequences.Other times, they are tangled up in each other.
    Then there is the educational bits, and the cartoons.
    But it’s brilliantly done

    zeni geba (j)
    7/10
    fascinating story, good prtformances with a standout one from Shiina Kippei.
    But let down by some awkward dialogue and silly scenes involving hands over the ears. Then there is the scene in the first episode where the main character
    is beaten with a bat or wherever it was. But for all the harm it did him, it might as well have been a feather.
    100 out of ten for the scar though

    14 Sai No Haha 9j)
    9/10
    another winner from Japan. Excellent acting all round. Shida Mirai is wonderful in the lead role, but is backed up by an equally wonderful cast. My favourite being Takahata Atsuko as the doctor. I’m still wondering what the story of Yanagisawa Mayu was though.

    attention please.(j)
    8/10
    Very enjoyable comedy , which at least in the earlier episoodes is so light and frothy, you think it might float away.
    I found the lead character delightful, although she is big headed, loud, not in the least bit quite. You might say that she is not at all your steretypical japanese person. Others might want to shoot her. But as the show goes on, she does grow, although never quite losing those traits. Of course it wouldn’t work if it wasn’t for the wonderful lead performance by Aya Ueto

    Dr. Koto Shinryoujo: Season 1(j)
    8/10
    I suppose heartwartming would be the best way to describe this drama. The cast are wonderful. Actually I would say the lead actor
    is probably the weakest. He isn’t bad. I just don’t think he is in the league as the others.
    Wonderful scenery.
    Yes, parts of it are contrived, but usually the contriviance doesn’t lead to the expected outcome.
    I cried, I laughed, sometimes at the same time.
    I liked some of the small details, such as the dirt on the seat of a child’s pants after he had fallen down somewhere, or when the doctor gets a cold, and the wetness on his face.
    Note.

    Hana Yori Dango (j)
    season 1
    9/10

    I liked this version better than the korean one.
    Although I think I prefer the female lead in the K version.
    The version has a more sympathetic male lead, who is also a better actor. I’m not saying he’s great, but he’s certainly more animated. In the K version, I could never understand what she saw in him. In this one I can.
    This version is more wacky, but it also has it’s violent moments.
    My favourite character is probably the owner of the sweet shop, especially her stories about john lennon, and a certain person who goes around in a red suit at christmas.
    Funnily enough, in this version, the male lead’s hair is referred to as weird. Actually I saw nothing wrong with it. In the korean version, (unless I’m mistaken) no mention is made of the hair. Although inho, it is weird.

    Note. The next winner of Miss World will be decided on a play of stone, paper, scissors.

    Hana yori dango season 2.
    9/10
    What can i add to what I said about season 1.
    Well, I’ve recognised the male lead is a good actor.
    The charactor is more enderaring than his counterpart in the korean version. I guess one thing that made me root for him, instead Rui, which I did in the korean version, was his mangling of certain japanese/english phrases/words.
    I also liked that in the fight with Rui in particular, he didn’t always come out on top.
    Wheras I think he did in the K version.
    I thought the best performance was by Nishihara Aki as Yuki. who sheer coincidence was also the best looking. Okay, She’s gorgeous. [Smile]

    Dr X.(j)
    9/10
    Japanese drama with some touches of comedy about a brilliant female freelances surgeon who as the introductry narration explains hates authority, groups, and constraints. She is not a very smpathetic charactor. But as someone asks earlier on, if you had to have surgery performed on you, would you prefer someone who knew what they were doing, or someone with the right things to say. The series gives what I assume is a true insight into the political infighting, and fight for power that goes on in large city hospitals. It also exposes the incompetence of some doctors, and such things as gratuties, and patients with the pull being given priority over others. To me though the real heroine of the series is not
    Ryoko Yonekura
    as the lead charactor, but Yuki Uchida as another female doctor.

    Soredemo, Ikite Yuku (j)
    100/10
    Brilliant. A masterpiece. There is not one false moment throughout. Many scenes pack an emotional wallop. Although the overall tone is heavy, there are also some light moments. The performances are excellent. If I had tp pick a standout, it would be Shinobu Otake,

    mpd-psycho 9j)
    8/10
    a six parter directed by
    Takashi Miike.
    If you are a fan of boys over flowers, you will love this.

    No! I’m kidding.
    How to describe this.
    Gruesome, funny (although not very often, but I did laugh out loud at least once) bizarre, disturbing, wacked out.
    available on utube

    Black and White (tw)
    10/10

    if you can leave your mind at home, and not expect too much in the way of logic, you are in for an excellent blend of mystery, action, and soap opera.
    The fights for the most part are not what you would call eye catching. That is except for the last one, where 3 good guys take one bad guy. Many of the characters are not who they seem. Bad people do good things. People you thought were good, aren’t.
    Anyway I thought it was terrific, and enjoyed the interplay between the two lead characters.

    Mother.(j)
    10/10
    If you want to watch a 11 ep drana that will certainly get the tear ducts going ,and with some brilliant performances,, I recommend this one.
    Although the title is mother, it might been more appropiate to call it Mothers. Though the main story concerns a woman who takes on the role of “mother” for an abused child. It also tells of other kinds of mothers too. Perhaps some of it could be seen as a little bit contrived; overall I believe it deals with it’s themes in an honest way.
    You can find links for it on dramacrazy

    mop girl (j)
    forgot to grade it.
    funny japanese comedy crime drama.Each episode is a standalone.
    The lead actress does all these over the top expressions. There are some very funny recurring comedy bits.
    very enjoyablle

    Ganbatte Ikimasshoi /give it all (j)
    8/10
    http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Ganbatte_Ikimasshoi
    a lovely drama about team spirit, and friendship.
    Suzuki Anne is wonderful in the lead role.
    you can watch it through mysoju

    The queens classroom (j)
    8/10
    This is a beautifully written intelligent series which will make you think.
    It’s only 11 episodes, and you can watch them without breaks on yt at
    youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6104A9472EAE65B1&feature=plcp
    if you want to read a fuller review by me with spoilers.
    See last review at
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0481042/reviews

    The queens classroom-sequel special.
    Rather more melodramatic and softhearted than the seres.
    I’m still giving it an 8/10 though

    sarp phusa(th)
    My first thai lakorn to finish.
    it’s cheesy, compelling, heartbreaking.
    It’s definetly one to watch if you like a good cry.
    it has ghosts, mediation, possession, a story set in the past, and the present, and some comedy as well.
    8/10
    it’s on youtube in parts.

    7 days in life (honk kong)
    8/10
    It concerns a hotel in quarrantine, jewel thieves, kidnappers, cops. Many of the characters pretend to be something other than what they are. The production values seem rather cheap compared to korean and japanese dramas. The last episode is probably what would be described as rather cheesy. But it’s a very enjoyable series.

    Itazura na Kiss(j)
    8/10
    I enjoyed this comedy. The character of kotoko is one, i wouldn’t be surprised if some people found her annoying. But I loved her energy. episode 8 is probably the best and is very funny.

    a moment in peking(ch)
    8/10
    powerful drama with some fine acting. Vicki or Vicky zhaao is excellent in the lead role.

    Like

  12. i just posted a load of reviews. I hope they show up, or if they don’t. it’s because you found them inapropiate, and not because of some technical glitch 🙂

    Like

    • ok, i see them now.

      Like

    • Thanks for sharing, martin! Of the shows you mentioned, I’ve only seen Hana Yori Dango (both seasons), and I too enjoyed the J-versions more than Korea’s remake. I also watched Itazura na Kiss, but didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the Hana Yori Dango series. You’re right that I found Kotoko a little exasperating at times, but overall, it was a cute show. 🙂

      Like

  13. Thank’s KF. I’ve watched the first two episodes of A Gentleman’s Dignity. I recently watched my first turkish drama series. I thought I would give some thoughts on it. That is not on the drama itself, but what i’ve learned from watching the drama.
    Quote. “According to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) head Mehmet Buyukeksi, Turkey is the second-highest exporter of TV series after the United States, selling to over 75 different countries, with a business volume estimated to exceed $350 million.

    Each series roughly consists of 40 episodes that last about 130 minutes, which translates into 5,200 hours of domestic TV content broadcast yearly.

    With an average budget of TL600,000 ($200,000) per episode – mostly spent on production design, costumes, technical equipment and cast – the production value can be high, and is often to the detriment of labour and craft, according to many of the professionals working in the business”

    The one I saw was 54 episodes long, and each episode was around the two hour mark

    Simarility with korean dramas.
    The two main characters are a rich girl, and a working class cop
    flashback scenes
    scenes where you think somebody is dead, but they are not
    Emotional scenes. Actually the emotional scenes are even more emotional than in korean dramas.
    Culture. You get to learn about turkish culture. Sayings such as “I would sacrifice myself for you” I find that a bit over the top.
    “May your work be easy”
    The girl from the past. Only in this case. she’s not a bitch.
    High production values as stated above.

    Differences.
    Lots of hugging. If this drama is to be believed, hugging is a national pasttime in Turkey.
    Not everyone has perfect skin. At times the lead actress looked like she had a big zit /pimple
    on her forehead. But later I couldn’t see it all after a while.
    The two leads get together a lot together. After that there lots of romantic scenes including bed scenes, but no nudity.
    The fun aspect you see in korean dramas wasn’t really there.

    Other things.
    The acting is very good.

    The problem there are not many you will find online with english subs. If there were I think you would find as many eng language blogs as there on korean dramas.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Check out Pinocchio starring Park Shin Hye and Lee Jongsuk. It is an interesting show. Thanks:)

    Like

    • Hi there nicole, thanks for the recommendation. I’ve actually watched and very much enjoyed Pinocchio. I just haven’t gotten around to writing it a review. But I’d rate it a solid A, it was a very enjoyable show! 🙂

      Like

  15. Hi!
    Would love to read your review on Coffee Prince! 🙂

    Like

    • Oh my, I love Coffee Prince – and I’ve been owing the world at large a Coffee Prince review for quite a while! 😝 I hope to get to it sooner than later, but I must warn you that my backlog list is rather long. It will come though!

      Like

  16. Where is the review for Legend of the Blue Sea? Please post one. Thanks a lot.

    Like

  17. Falling for Soon Jung.
    10/10
    Wow, a marvellous drama with a wonderful performance in the lead role by Jung Kyung-ho. The rest of the cast are for the most part excellent, and even those who aren’t don’t let the side down. The story doesn;t break any new ground. It’s probably all be seen before.But it’s excuted so perfectly,that it reminds you of why you fell in love with Korean dramas in the first place.
    It seems my favourite characters in Kdramas are often those who are or look a little bit quirky. This time it’s the female cop Ok Hyun played by Jo Eun. Defintely one of my favourite dramas.

    Like

  18. Fangirl. Just a comment on part of your review.
    “We don’t get a full and satisfying turnaround or change of heart from Joon Hee, save for one lone tear. ”
    When that happened, i thought to myself “Well, at least he has a bit of humanity left in him. To me that was enough.

    “And we don’t get a satisfying finish to Gold Partners, who successfully get away by dumping all the blame on Joon Hee.”
    Sometimes the guilty get away.

    “We also don’t get a proper explanation for how Min Ho survives his very dire health threats and comes out healthy and smiling like a daisy – while still managing to avoid that suspended prison sentence that was granted mostly on the grounds of his failing health.”

    Well, he was being being treated, and obviously the treatment worked.

    You point up some other stuff that bothered. I must say that I never even noticed those.
    What did bother me, but i forgot about it afterwards was the wrist grabbing done by the second male lead. I felt it wasn’t in the female lead’s character, to allow that. It seemed out of
    place for her character.
    Then there was the slap she got. She got no apology from the uncle. Okay, you might say, that was the kind of character he was. But he obviously respected and trusted her, so her percieved betrayal of him probably made him lash out more vicously that he would have had at another employee. Still, when he found out that he had wronged her, I think it would have been in keeping with their previous relationship for him to at least inquire how she was, if not offer a direct apology.

    Like

    • Glad you enjoyed this one, martin! I liked it very well too, mostly because of Jung Kyung Ho’s fantastic performance. I probably had a more critical lens on while watching this one, while you probably were more forgiving of Show’s gaps, which is probably why I had more bones to pick with it than you did. 😝

      In the end, though, I’m glad you loved this one as much as you did, coz Jung Kyung Ho is wonderful, and someone loving and appreciating his work is also a plus in my book! Coz for all my bone-picking, this show did engage me quite nicely, and in the end, that’s one of the most important things in drama-watching, I think. 🙂

      Like

  19. Hi. The only gaps I noticed (if a gap is that what is) and this only came back to me last night, was what the characters say in their voiceovers and the actual outcome of the drama. The scene where the two leads are in the park, ie that place with all the lovely flowers. She says things(and I wish I could remember her exact words) that I remember as giving the impression that he was going to die, or at least that things were not going to end happily for them. But later in another episode, he has a voiceover led me to the same conclusion. I had forgotten about that when writing my review. It wouldn’t have changed my opinion of the drama, though. But yes, I fully agree with you on Jung Kyung Ho though. I have a list of actors i like on mydramalist and have added him to it.

    The full list being
    1.Shin Da Eun
    2.Oh Yoon Ah
    3.Jung Jin Young
    4.Kim Yoo Jung
    5.Kim Sun Ah
    6.Son Hyun Joo
    7.Zhao Vicki (Chinese)
    8.Zhang Ziyi (Chinese)
    9.Seo Yi Sook
    10.Kim Mi Kyung
    11.Jung Ae Ri
    12.Kim Ji Young
    13.Ueno Juri(Japanese)
    14.Jun Ik Ryung
    15.Chen Ella(Taiwan)
    16.Jung Kyung Ho

    Thanks also for pointing out that the female lead was the north korean agent in Iris. I’m sure that she was my favourite character in the drama, or at least one of them. I think I say that I was delighted when she actually smiled.
    Ok, back to what felt like a discrepancy between the voice over. I wouldn;t be surprised if this drama was initially supposed to have a sadder ending, but audiences dictated how it would go.

    If I’m not mistaken, it happened with scent of a woman.
    Finally I think Heartless city will be next on my agenda, per your mentioning of it in your review of this drama, and the different between relationship between the two male leads.

    Like

    • Ah yes, I do think you could be right, about audience sentiment influencing the final outcome of the show.. It happens fairly regularly in the context of the Korean live-shoot system, and since this show was a live-shoot drama, I wouldn’t be surprised if they tweaked the ending to appease audiences who wanted a happy ending.

      Heartless City is definitely worth checking out, even though it has its shortcomings. I personally feel Jung Kyung Ho is magnificent in it, and singlehandedly makes the drama worth the watch 😉

      Like

  20. Heartless City.
    10/10
    SPOILERS

    I think I could say there were quiet a lot of flaws in this drama. But I still thought it was excellent. If you look at some of the events coldly, you might think “oh, come on”
    For instance, Would a relative newcomer to the poilice force really be put under cover.
    Why didJung Shi-Hyun-Ho tell Han Soo-Min that he killed her sister.
    I have an explanation for this. He was hoping that she would hate him so much, that she wouild leave him alone.
    Why didn’t Jung Shi-Hyun-Ho at least try to get somebody to help Kim Hyun-Soo’s girlfriend. Ok, I know the scene shows how much he cares for him. But he could have made a phone call or spoke to somebody.
    Why was Jung Shi-Hyun called The Doctor’s son?
    When it was revealed that Safari was also an undercovdr cop. That was a real “oh, come on” moment.
    But the story is so gripping all those flaws didn’t make me downgrade the drama
    On the performances. I watched this drama for Jung Kyoung-Ho, and he doesn;t disappoint. Most scenes he dominates. But I have to say, when he appears with
    Choi Moo-Sung. then he’s kicked into second place. This actor walks away with the movie.
    Initially I thought the idea of Nam Gyu-Ri having such a major role in the drama was a mistake. I just didn’t think, she had the acting chops. But as the drama went on, I began to appreciate her performance more and more.
    The drama in some ways reminded me of a gritty korean movie, particularly in the use of actors like Choi Moo-Sung and Kim Min-sang.
    Weak performances? Well maybe Yoon Hyun-Min.
    Weird critique. I found it hard to see Lee Jae-Yoon as a leading man. I think it was his haircurt. In a flashback scene, we see him with a different haircut. That looked more normal.
    Is there a gay subtext to this. Both Lee Jin-Sook and Busan Gang President Jo both indicate that Jung Shi-Hyun and Kim Hyun-Soo love each other.
    I’m also not quiet sure if Lee Jin-Sook didn’t have the hots for Nam Gyu-Ri, or maybe I’m forgetting that’s the sort of relationshp
    women and men can have in Korean dramas without them wanting to sleep with each other

    Like

    • Ah, I’m glad you enjoyed Heartless City, martin!! I absolutely agree that there were quite a lot of flaws, especially if one were to look for them. But somehow, this show still managed to get under my skin and linger with me after the final credits, and that’s pretty impressive any way I look at it.

      As for why Shi Hyun was called Doctor’s Son, if memory serves, I think it was because his mother was a prostitute, and it was rumored that his father was a doctor. Also, you’re right that in Korea, men and women can have very close friendships without being considered gay, so it’s possible that the gay subtext was unintentional. Or perhaps the writer and director purposely created it as a vague, gray area to add to the mystery, I’m not sure. 🙂

      Like

  21. Thank you.

    Like

  22. Could you rate me too flower if you have seen it

    Like

  23. The woman who still wants to marry.
    8/10
    When Kim Bum appeared (no I didn’t know who it was) in this drama, I had a bit of an inward groan.I had been enjoying the drama, and happy it was going to be about adults . Okay, obviously 24 is an adult, but you know what I mean. As the drama went on, I warmed to him more. He had a nice easy charm about him, and it will be be interesting to see how his career acting wise develops. I didn’t any real chemistry between him and Park Jin Hee. Oddly enough, I did see a more potent combination between her and Kim Yong-Hee.
    The most interesting couple for me was Lee Pil-Mo and Park Ji-Young . I thought they had amazing chemistry together, and their acting seemed to go up a notch when appearing together.
    Choi Chul Ho gives a nice comedy performance.
    The first episode was excellent. although the rest weren’t up to the same standard, it was still an enjoyable show.

    Like

  24. Signal
    10/10
    SPOILERS

    Excellent drama. Although for me it could have been cut by an episode or two. I just felt it dragged a little bit around episode 15. but it picked around the time of what I will term The WAKE UP sequence. as for the acting, There are 3 performances which I considered excellent. But It wasn’t the the three leads. it was two of the leads. Kim Hye Soo and Jo Jin Woong. Although I would give him the nod over her. The the third excellent performance is a cameo. but an important role. It’s Son Hyun Joo who excudes menace. as for the the third lead Lee Je Hoon. Hmm. I’m not sure. He just seems to have the same expression on his face for most of the drama, kind of like sad and dazed. Also why did he not play the younger version of himself, as Kim Hye Soo did. Did the makers feel he hadn’t got the range.
    I also appreciate the drama doesn’t forsake the humour element. Although by an large it’s a serious drama, there are some very funny sequences. There are some moments i really enjoyed eg the finding of the picture sequence, the cooking sequence. But my favourite was a sequence where Kim Hye Soo gives a handkerchief to a victim of a Casanova type. But she has a present (can’t remember what) for the guy she loves. I think it falls out of her pocket, and the look on her face as she checks to see that nobody has seen it is priceless.

    Like

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