The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms [China]

So recently, a funny thing happened. I found myself marathoning Chinese fantasy drama Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. This, when (a) I’ve lately found myself floating in and out of a moderate drama rut, with most shows just not captivating me as much as I wanted them to; (b) I’ve previously had serious difficulty appreciating any kind of C-fantasy, and lasted all of 10 minutes, the last time I attempted to watch one; and (c) after 10 years of consistent drama-watching, I rarely ever really marathon dramas anymore. I usually ingest just 1 episode of a show each day (maybe a max of 2, if there’s a particularly exciting cliffhanger), and easily move on to other shows and other things.

Not this time, my friends. At my peak, I was watching 5 – five! – episodes of this show in a day. I watched the episodes back-to-back, and even stayed up past my usual bedtime, risking next-day panda eyes and accompanying fuzzy brain, to watch “just one more episode.” Not only that, I also watched this show almost exclusively, through all of its 58 episodes. Woah, right?

This is completely and utterly Nelly‘s fault, I say. She was the one who got me to watch this in the first place (thank you, Nelly. I ❤ you).

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Flash Review: Age Of Youth

You know how the after-effect of watching a particularly lovely drama can (ironically) put you in a bit of drama rut, purely because everything else just pales in comparison?

That’s what happened to me after I watched Nirvana In Fire (so awesome that it ruined me for a fair while, for other dramas), and more recently, that’s also pretty much how I felt after the wonderful hearts-in-eyes experience of Weightlifting Fairy. Despite the slew of new dramas that came out after that drama cycle, I felt like nothing much was grabbing my heart. Which is when I decided I ought to check out this drama. After all, everyone had been recommending this to me, including people who know my taste in dramas well, and they all promised that I would love this.

Thanks to all of you who suggested this one to me; I did end up loving this. It’s true that sometimes – or oftentimes – friends know you best. ❤

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Dropped: Thumping Spike 2

Considering how little I knew about Thumping Spike (essentially, only that it exists, and that Song Jae Rim is in it), I was, to say the least, surprised to find myself actually watching Season 2 of this show.

I guess chancing on someone’s positive comment on this, plus the fact that I’m an incorrigibly curious cat, plus the fact that I dig Lee Won Geun’s eye-smiles, meant that I really had no choice but to check this out.

For the first few episodes, I even thought I might really like it, too.

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Flash Review: Your Name [Japanese Movie]

When I read about the passionate response this movie was getting from its audiences and how it was basically breaking the Japanese box office, so much so that it spooked its writer-director Makoto Shinkai and caused him to come out and say he wasn’t satisfied with his movie and he hoped no more people would go see it because it wasn’t worth the furore it was creating, I knew I had to watch it, if only to see what the fuss was about.

Now that I have seen it, I just have to say: this is So, So Good, you guys. ❤

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Dropped: The K2

After the epic awesomeness of Healer, and the oodles and oodles of Ji Chang Wook melty in it, I had high hopes for his next project, especially if said next project had any kind of action slant. I mean, literally Every. Single. Time. Healer parkoured off a building, I swooned. (I guess I kinda have a thing for a hero who also happens to be an action superhero, heh.)

Sadly, even though The K2 diligently delivered on the action front (perhaps too diligently, even), this show just didn’t work out for me. I couldn’t make it to the end of this one, even if Ji Chang Wook got to kick butt quite regularly, and looked pretty sharp in his suit – or out of his suit. Ahem.

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Review: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Cheerful, sweet and engaging, this show is easy to love.

The conflicts and character journeys all feel relatable and real, with poignant coming-of-age struggles taking centerstage. The friendship-to-romance is treated with sensitivity and good humor, and the search for meaning and identity underscores everything with a lovely heartfelt poignance. The excellent cast makes everything pop, and Nam Joo Hyuk is more melty – and more excellent – than I’ve seen him, ever.

Totally and absolutely marathon-worthy.

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Flash Review: Seven First Kisses

The moment Lotte Duty Free announced this little web series for the festive season, I knew I’d be tuning in, no matter what. I mean, to have Lee Jun Ki, Park Hae Jin, Ji Chang Wook, Kai, Taecyeon, Lee Jong Suk and Lee Min Ho in the leading men line-up? Even the most big-budget blockbuster movie production would have trouble pulling that off.

So tune in I did; which wasn’t hard to do, really, with each episode topping out at a very compact 7-8 minutes. And y’know what, for what it is (an unabashed, extended CF for Lotte Duty Free, in case you were wondering), this show’s a fun little ride.

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Flash Review: Love For A Thousand More

Tis the season in dramaland, it seems, for the spotlight to be on immortals and their human love interests. I mean, just look at Goblin and his bride, his roomie Reaper and his Sunny, and the Mermaid and her human con-man. I guess it doesn’t surprise me that much, that the trend has reached web dramas as well.

What does surprise me, though, is how this little web drama – with its limited budget and screen-time, and its greener cast – manages to be more engaging and thought-provoking than its bigger, buzzier, full-length drama cousins. That’s some serious skillz, and I’m duly impressed.

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Year In Review: 2016

If there’s one conclusion I’m drawing this year, it’s that dramaland is literally exploding with new dramas on a regular basis, and it’s just not humanly possible to watch every drama that’s out there.

My drama instinct has always been to try to balance the urge to follow drama buzz (the niggling question of, “Omo! Am I missing out on something?”), and the desire to follow my heart (the “I don’t care that nobody cares about this show, I just feel like checking it out”). These days, with more drama offerings floating around the dramaverse than ever before, I think it’s even more important that I remember to stay true to my drama instincts. From here on out, no more hanging on pointlessly to a show that just isn’t quite working for me. It’s just not efficient spendage of drama hours – or time in general.

Next year, I will be more efficient with my use of drama time – and time in general. Ahem. *pinky swears* *resolves*

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Flash Review: Five Children [Five Enough]

When you think about it, family dramas are pretty expensive in drama hour terms, aren’t they? I mean, they cost the equivalent of at least 3 whole prime-time mini-series’ worth of drama hours, after all.

Which is why, even though I really enjoy a good family drama every once in a while – not the makjang-fests where screaming, scheming, kimchi slaps, birth secrets and trucks of doom are regular everyday features, but the kind of family drama that’s warm, comforting, hopeful and tends to make you feel all toasty-warm inside – I don’t often actually commit to one.

This is one of those rare times where I did commit myself to one, and I’m super pleased to report that Five Children is solidly worth the drama hour spendage.

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