The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: Prison Playbook [Wise Prison Life]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A show that takes the dark topic of prison and crime, and infuses it all with warmth and hope, Prison Playbook is the unlikely contender for your heart that will likely make you laugh, cry, wring your heart dry, and then fill it right up again.

Writer-nim weaves a story that makes primary and secondary character pop, while every actor in our ensemble cast breathes actual life into the characters, and PD-nim’s signature touch comes alive in both the palpable sense of community and the corny jokes. As a shining bonus, the bromance at the center of our story feels emotionally deep despite its often gruff surface.

Poignant and homey, despite its grim premise.

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Dropped: The Great Seducer

You know, for a hot second, I thought I might actually like this show.

Right off the bat, it kinda-sorta felt like an off-shoot of Heirs, but better done and more interesting. Similar to Heirs, Seducer’s drama world is also centered around a bunch of rich kids, with one pair of them sparking off each other, his sexy rebel cool to her prickly pouty petulance. All that spark, whether acknowledged or not, is blocked – or would that be amplified? – by their parents getting hitched to each other. Oh, plus there’s also an innocent, not-rich girl in the center of it all.

Unlike Heirs, there is no Kim Tan character, which I counted as a huge plus, since I hated Kim Tan, with a passion.

…Too bad my cautiously positive first impression didn’t last very long at all. I lasted 10 half-hour episodes of this one, dragging my feet through the last few of those 10 episodes, and have had zero desire to go back to this one.

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Flash Review: I Can Speak [Movie]

Unexpectedly, the chronicles of my adventures in in-flight entertainment continue, heh.

Today I watched K-movie I Can Speak on a whim, mostly because it stars Na Moon Hee, and I’ve learned from my time in dramaland, that Na Moon Hee is awesome. Her co-star in this is Lee Je Hoon, whom I didn’t have strong feelings about after feeling rather meh about what I did see of him in 2017’s Tomorrow With You, but the idea of Na Moon Hee learning English from a rather unwilling Lee Je Hoon tickled me, and I thought I’d give it a whirl. Plus, in my mind, Na Moon Hee’s awesome totally outweighed any ambivalence I had towards Lee Je Hoon.

Well, whaddya know. Two hours later, my heart is moved and my eyes are involuntarily leaking tears – good ones! – and I just had to start writing this review, right here on the plane.

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#FindMyTribe: Shine or Go Crazy Shirt – redux & relaunch!

Lately, I’ve been ALL about Jang Hyuk, you guys.

I mean, not only did he blow me clean away with his magnificent, compelling turn in Money Flower (which is an awesome show which you should totes watch, if you haven’t yet), but he even appeared in my dreams in Pil Joo form, wearing a crisp white shirt, and delivering kisses. *spazz*

At the same time, I’ve been meaning to tweak and relaunch my Shine or Go Crazy shirt (now with other merch available!), on a different platform. Previously, on teespring, there had to be a minimum number of orders before you could get your shirt, and just as challenging, was the fact that teespring operated on a campaign basis. This meant that each design was only available for a limited 21 days.

Not THIS time, my friends! This time, not only is the shirt cheaper, it’s also available any time you want it. And, you can get it on mugs, tote bags, laptop cases, phone cases and such. Woot! 😀

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Flash Review: Across The Ocean To See You [China]

You guys know how I sometimes question my judgment for continuing to watch a show that – despite all mental gymnastics to rationalize Show’s merit – is just plain bad?

Sigh. This is one of those times, y’all. I really thought there was something to hang on for, with this show. But now that I’ve seen this show (yes, in its entirety), I regretfully conclude with 20/20 hindsight, that I would’ve been far better off dropping this one right at the beginning. Darn.

I guess I’ve still got a lot to learn about picking my dramas. But at least you guys can learn from my mistake?

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Dropped: Bad Guys 2 – City Of Evil

I’m bailing early, again. Hmm.

The thing is, I’d liked Bad Guys quite a bit, and was genuinely curious to see what this spin-off would bring to the table, with its similar premise and different cast of characters. Would it be just as cool and gritty as Season 1, while being similar-but-different, and would the bad guys be as interesting, I wondered.

Just one episode in, and I just don’t think this one is for me, y’all. I mean, I barely made it through the episode. Eek.

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Flash Review: Just Between Lovers

Before I started this show, I had the impression that viewers basically fell into one of two camps with this one: they either really really love it, or really hate it. Well, guess what, you guys.. I fall kinda in-between. What can I say, maybe I’m a little bit special? Or maybe I’m weird; take your pick, heh.

Essentially, watching this one felt to me like I was eating my spinach – at a time when I was learning to like it, but wasn’t quite there yet. Like, I’d have to tell myself to eat it, coz it had good vitamins and minerals.

Kinda the same thing with this show. I often had to decide to start on an episode, because I found that this show often wasn’t easy to watch. But I also knew this one had good things going for it, and that’s why I kept going.

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Dropped: Radio Romance

In the spirit of making better use of my drama hours – and making better use of time in general – I’m calling it quits earlier on this show than I would, normally. Usually, if I can make it past the first episode or two of a show, I like to give it another couple of episodes at least, y’know, to give Show a chance to pull me into its story properly.

Lately, though, my drama hours have been much more limited than before, because I’ve been in the thick of getting ready to move (houses, not countries). And, I’ve also learned a lesson with the moving; when you have very little space to accommodate all your stuff, you quickly learn to set the bar a lot higher, and become a lot more ruthless about culling stuff. Turns out it works the exact same way with drama hours; because my drama hours are so much fewer now, I find myself setting the bar a lot higher, and becoming a lot more ruthless about dropping dramas.

Who knew, that moving house would teach me such an important lesson about managing my drama hours, and honing my Dropping Reflex? Heh.

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Review: Age Of Youth 2

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A sequel that feels similar-yet-different when compared to its elder sibling Age Of Youth.

The departure of several characters and the addition of new ones makes this season feel rather bittersweet, but the drama world feels the same, and it’s great to spend time with familiar beloved characters once again. Show continues with certain hanging threads left over from Season 1, while introducing new adventures and new people to our Belle Epoque girls. All in all, this feels like a solid continuation of Season 1.

Familiar enough to make existing fans of the show happy, but also accessible enough for viewers who haven’t seen Season 1.

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Flash Review: If We Were A Season [Drama Special]

It isn’t often that I fall in instant like with a show (it usually takes several episodes, before I feel fully engaged with a show and its characters), but this one – this one – had me at hello.

Literally, within the first few seconds of having this show on my screen, I felt like this was something that I would like. A cheerful Spring palette, an abundance of spring blossoms, easy-breezy music, and a general lightness that I found very  appealing indeed. I couldn’t help but gobble it all up, immediately.

Fair warning: this does turn up the angst partway through, but to Show’s credit, it feels meaningful and heartfelt. And importantly, it doesn’t feel like too much, in the overall scheme of things.

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