Tag Archives: 18 Again

Dear kfangurl: What makes a drama cracky?

LaurenSophie writes:

Hello,

I’m a longtime lurker and have never posted, but I love your “Dear kfangurl” column and think I finally have a question you haven’t already covered.

My question is: what makes a kdrama “cracky?”

Not just good or fun to watch or a classic, but really, truly so addictive that you either binge watch it in just a day or two if it’s an older drama or feel like you’re suffering from withdrawal if you have to wait for new episodes to air?

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Dear kfangurl: What are some good starter dramas to introduce to my friends?

T writes:

I have a number of friends I want to introduce the joy of kdramas to.

Recommendations are always tricky, so I’m looking for shows that would be easy for them to get into and ‘catch the vision’.

What are some kdramas that are easy for anyone to enjoy?

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Review: Our Beloved Summer

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A slice-of-life second-chance sort of romance that manages to pack a good amount of emotional heft, despite its rather unassuming trappings.

I don’t love all of Show’s decisions, but by and large, I found this story and its characters to be thoughtfully written, and excellently delivered, such that everything comes across as raw, honest, relatable and so, so heartfelt.

The standouts are undoubtedly Choi Woo Sik and Kim Da Mi, who both inhabit their characters with so much detail and nuance, that I can’t actually picture other actors playing these characters.

Add on a very lovely, very immersive OST, and this was pretty much drama catnip, for me.

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about your favorite & least favorite second leads?

So, full disclosure, this wasn’t submitted as an actual Dear kfangurl question. Rather, on my post on scene stealers, J3ffc left a comment which included this following paragraph:

“For CLOY, I would have pegged scenes stolen by second leads Seo Ji-hye and Kim Jung-hyun, but then it occurred to me that that might be a category unto itself – second leads that outshine the main leads. A discussion with the good and bad examples of second leads – ones we love and then ones that we hate – would be fun.”

..And I thought, why not?

So here I am, with a list of my favorite and least favorite second leads. I hope you guys enjoy. ❤️

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All About Love Stories: By Uyen!

Surprise, everyone!! We have yet another guest post series to enjoy, this month!

Unlike our previous guest post series, this one was kind of an accident, almost. I have Ele to thank for this one, because it was her innocent question about something, that made me casually talk about the off-the-top-of-my-head, hypothetical possibility of a guest post series on love, in the month of February, in honor of Valentine’s Day.

So many folks on Patreon responded enthusiastically to this idea, that I felt that it would be remiss of me, not to actually make it happen, come February.

And so, here we are. This month, we will enjoy a total of nine guest posts from patrons on Patreon, on the topic of love stories. The brief is pretty flexible, in that, each writer is free to go deep, or go wide, on anything around the topic of love stories in Dramaland. I feel like we have a lot to look forward to, this month! 🥰

Today’s inaugural post is brought to you by Uyen, whom you might remember from her year-end awards post. I find Uyen’s enthusiasm for dramas really quite infectious, and I’m so glad that she’s taken the time to share some of her drama thoughts with us today!

Uyen also writes about dramas on her own blog, which you might like to visit here!

I hope you guys enjoy!

~ KFG ❤️

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Dropped: Melancholia

Full disclosure that I checked this one out purely for the love of Lee Do Hyun, you guys.

After he up and stole my heart in 18 Again, I just can’t seem to help myself, when it comes to wanting to see more of him on my screen. 😅 You guys know I typically don’t do horror or monsters, but I legit watched Sweet Home because he was in it.

..Which means I kinda had to at least give this show a try, since he’s this story’s male lead, right?

Unfortunately, this is one time where my love for Lee Do Hyun is just not going to see me through a show. I’m officially calling it quits on this one, after 7 episodes.

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Dear kfangurl: What are some shows featuring relatable female leads?

MC writes:

What shows have female leads that are relatable? Lately I get tired of watching candy girls with sad life stories yet are so cheery (I mean who would be so cheery if they had such a hard life!?).

I would love to watch shows with relatable female leads who have their good and bad days and grow through the bad days! I’m asking about female leads coz you did something similar for male leads.

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Flash Review: You’re Pretty, Oh Man Bok [Drama Special]

I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but I really do enjoy a good family drama. The best ones give me such cozy, heartwarming feels; it’s like getting wrapped in a fuzzy, floofy blanket, as you sink into the feels.

(My all-time favorites are Life Is Beautiful and Ojakgyo Brothers, in case you’re wondering. Father Is Strange and Five Enough are very solid too.)

I just don’t watch them much anymore, because they tend to be upwards of 50 episodes, and that’s a lot of drama hours that I could be using elsewhere. 😅

..Which makes this little drama special quite perfect, in my opinion. I get all the family drama feels, but in a compact little 1 hour and 11 minutes. Win and win, I say.

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Dear kfangurl: Are there dramas with sympathetic second female leads?

Sharbani writes:

Hi KFangurl

My observations have been (and this may be a generalisation based on the 80 or so K-dramas I have watched) that most male second leads are presented in a way that engenders sympathy. So, by the time the series have ended we are actually rooting for them to find love!! I know that there are exceptions but they are a rare breed in drama land.

In contrast, most female second leads are presented in a more negative light – possibly a throwover to the ‘vamps’ of earlier times!

I know going into the reasons for such portrayals needs a lot of study of human society and the status of women and have probably been the subject of a lot of research! But my question is simple – Are there any dramas that present the second female leads in a positive light?

Hope you are well and staying safe! Your blogs continue to be my first port of call before I pick a new drama to watch so thank you!

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Review: Youth Of May

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Set against the Gwangju Uprising of May 1980, our story is primed not to be an easy one, from the outset. However, Show does a fantastic job of bringing its story to life via our characters, their experiences, and their relationships.

I felt invested almost immediately, particularly in our OTP lead characters and their burgeoning connection, thanks to the thoughtful, tight writing, and also, the wonderful performances by Lee Do Hyun and Go Min Si, who are likable, sympathetic and so naturally easy to root for, both separately and together.

Although the OTP was my personal highlight, I also wanted to mention that our entire cast is strong, to the extent that the arcs of some more minor characters managed to be surprisingly affecting, even.

A rollercoaster of emotions that’s not easy by any means, but that’s completely worthwhile.

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