Tag Archives: 2019

Flash Review: Takane and Hana [Takane to Hana][Japan]

I do think this is a case of “your mileage may vary.”

I’ve had this show highly recommended to me (thanks Lynette!), and I’ve also seen lots of positive comments about this one, so Show is clearly quite well-loved. Which is why I went into this with pretty positive expectations.

However, I’m gonna hafta say that aside from Show’s first episode, which I loved, this one was.. just ok, for me, in the end. That said, just because I didn’t love this one, doesn’t mean you won’t (this show has lots of fans after all), so hopefully this review will help you figure out whether this one’s for you!

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Flash Review: A Thousand Goodnights [Taiwan]

Shout-out to MeriJ, who was the first person to mention this show to me, and get it on my radar. I honestly wouldn’t have known about this show otherwise; it flew under the radar for most people, I feel like.

I think most people either love this show, or find it really boring. Those are such extremes, eh? In my mind, whether you love this show, or feel bored by it, depends a lot on what you look for in a show. At the same time, I also think it has a lot to do with managing your expectations, which is something that I can definitely assist you with, now that I’ve seen the show in its entirety.

I’m thinking that with the right lens adjustments, this one might turn out to be a bit of a sleeper hit for you yet.

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Flash Review: Home Sweet Home [Drama Special]

If you’re looking for a quick drama snack that’s big on wholesome, heartwarming feels – for the Thanksgiving holidays, perhaps? – and have just 1 hour and 8 minutes to spare, this little drama special might do the trick nicely.

By the way, this is not to be confused with KBS’s 2016 drama special of the same title, or with upcoming drama Sweet Home. (I know, what is up with all the similar drama titles, right? So confusing!)

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Review: At Eighteen [A Moment At Eighteen]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Thoughtful, understated, and yet so full of accurate teenage feels, At Eighteen is the youth drama that we didn’t know we needed, but which we absolutely deserve. You don’t even need to generally be into youth dramas to enjoy this one, methinks, because this is arguably the most “grown up” youth drama I’ve seen yet.

There’s no hyperbolic cutesy here; growing pains and teenage euphoria are portrayed in such an organic way that it makes me feel like these writers remember exactly what it’s like to be a teenager growing up, and with amazing attention to detail, to boot. Show manages to create a world that feels real and raw, while still retaining enough pretty and polish to give it that drama lift. The entire cast does an excellent job, but extra kudos goes to our young actors, for making their characters come to life in such an organic-feeling manner.

As a bonus, the music in this is by turn breezy-heartfelt, tinkly-ethereal and gently poignant; all astutely applied just so, to give the watch experience that extra dimension of immersion.

Quite excellent, all-around.

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Review: The Secret Life Of My Secretary

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show doesn’t reinvent the drama wheel by any stretch of the imagination, and I’d even say that Show’s got some flaws that I find hard to look past, BUT, this drama shows a nice chunk of heart for a good stretch in the middle (it started slow for me and I’m not completely satisfied with how the ending’s handled), which is very pleasant indeed.

Kim Young Kwang’s the meltiest I’ve seen him yet, Jin Ki Joo manages to be endearing despite some questionable characterization, and Kim Jae Kyung is a complete hoot as the feisty, unabashed, world-of-her-own Veronica Park.

A solid easy-breezy marathon, for when you just want to give the ol’ brain a break.

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Dropped: Love And Destiny [China]

I think it’s time to admit that this show really isn’t working for me, you guys.

I tried with this one; I really did.

You might remember that I was in two minds about whether to keep going with this one, when I wrote my 2019 year-in-review. In all honesty, I’d been quite ready to drop it, just 6 episodes in, coz I’d wandered off and hadn’t felt the urge to go back. But then, AvenueX mentioned that even though this drama didn’t bring anything really new to the table, that it was one of her favorites of 2019 because of how real and believable the OTP chemistry and interactions were.

..which reeled me right back in, coz I did like this OTP. But now, many more episodes later, I finally realize that even though AvenueX and my own sister and maybe lots of other folks love this show, I just won’t end up loving this one. Everr.

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Review: Hotel Del Luna

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show is easy on the eyes, with high production values that bring a creatively conceptualized fantasy world to life, a fabulously rich wardrobe for female lead IU, and several handsome leading men to top it all off.

IU delivers a strong performance, and her character’s personal journey fittingly forms the backbone of this story. On the downside, I did not enjoy the OTP connection between her and Yeo Jin Goo, and I also felt the writing weaknesses quite keenly. ‘Twas still worth the while, though, for various endearing characters whom I became quite fond of.

A pleasant enough watch, if you’re able to look past Show’s shortcomings.

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Flash Review: When The Camellia Blooms

Y’know, I’d gotten to the point where I was so tired of serial killers and murders being mixed with romance (what is up with that, Dramaland?), that I was ready to give this show a hard, blind pass, just for having the audacity to mix murder with romance, again.

But, the overwhelming positive buzz around this show piqued my interest, as did the high ratings, and the glowing, persuasive comments that a number of you left me, which is how I ended up checking out this show, in spite of myself.

With 20/20 hindsight, now that I’ve emerged on the other side, do I still think Show didn’t need a serial killer murder arc? BIG YES. Did I manage to enjoy this one, despite my by-now-very-firm serial killer drama allergy? Also, yes. I guess that means Show wins, overall?

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Flash Review: VIP

This is honestly the show that I didn’t think I’d be interested in, like, at all, when it was first announced, but which ended up sucking me in literally right away, with its mix of emo angst and mystery.

Much thanks to my Twitter pals who gushed about this show’s cracky quality, because that’s honestly the only thing that piqued my interest enough to get me to check this one out. I mean, the synopsis “a couple whose lives fall apart while they work at a department store on the VIP Management Team” just didn’t sound all that interesting to me, y’know?

And so color me very surprised and very pleased, when I quickly found myself slurping this one up as a priority drama among the other dramas on my plate, sometimes even watching episodes back-to-back, which I rarely ever do anymore. What. An. Excellent. Surprise.

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Dropped: Graceful Family

If you checked out my 2019 Year In Review, you’d probably remember that I was in two minds about this rather popular show. I wanted to like it, and hoped to like it, mostly because so many other drama fans seemed to enjoy this show, but.. I never truly liked it, unfortunately.

I got 8 minutes and 43 seconds into episode 8 (yes, I checked, ha), before I realized that I really didn’t want to spend any more of my time on this drama. For the record, Show’s not terrible.. Like I said, lots of folks like this one (and you might, too). I just feel like this show wasn’t quite living up to its potential.

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