The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


31 Comments

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?

Continue reading


18 Comments

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.

Continue reading


107 Comments

Flash Review: A Love So Beautiful [China]

Remember when I fell hearts-in-eyes in love with Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, for how simple and endearing it was? So many of us remarked, then, that we wanted more of such simple and endearing shows like it, to love.

Well. Guess what, you guys? I think I’ve found a pretty strong contender for your affections, in this sweet lil drama.

And, I honestly think it doesn’t even matter if you don’t usually watch Chinese dramas. I feel pretty confident that kdrama fans will find it pretty easy to love this one too. Coz, first of all, there are familiar elements in it, that will make this one feel extra accessible to the average kdrama fan; to me, this show kinda-sorta feels like Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Answer Me 1988 and Playful Kiss all got together and had a cute baby.

Second – and most importantly – of all, aren’t simplicity and warm fuzzies universal, after all? 😉

Continue reading


20 Comments

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. ❤

Continue reading


103 Comments

Review: Answer Me, 1988 [Reply 1988]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Answer Me 1988 feels like a larger, bigger-hearted story than its predecessors, thanks to expanding its focus to its community of characters, rather than simply fixating on the leading lady’s husband and the lovelines that feed into it. The adult characters get as much narrative care and attention as their kids, and that helps to make this drama world feel altogether pretty balanced and whole. The entire cast is endearing and committed, and – despite a touch of green in spots with the delivery – exponentially add to Show’s generous earthy winsomeness.

It’s true that the handling of the ending is flawed, but overall, I still found this show to be charming, slice-of-life retro at its best.

Continue reading


43 Comments

Review: Angry Mom

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Well-written and executed with an assured hand, Angry Mom is a dark horse in dramaland that manages to be engaging, thought-provoking and consistent, in spite of its varying tones and sometimes difficult subject matter.

Kim Hee Sun does an outstanding job as our titular Angry Mom, and the rest of the ensemble cast is pretty excellent as well. Almost everyone manages to deliver heartfelt, layered characters who feel like real people, and together, they amplify their drama world by making it feel all the more real, by extension.

Hard to watch at times, but so worth the journey.

Continue reading


37 Comments

Review: Answer Me, 1994 [Reply 1994]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Despite its flaws and indulgent streaks, Answer Me 1994 is a lovely little show that’s peopled by likable, bubbly characters that not only feel real, but also feel like they’re real friends with one another.

The characters and their relationships are the shining jewels crowning this show, and together, they shine so brightly that it’s not hard to overlook the occasional uneven writing, the consistently bloated episodes and the dreaded Who’s The Hubs game that Show inherited from its predecessor Answer Me 1997.

Far from perfect, but still So Lovable.

Continue reading


120 Comments

Review: All About Eve

THE SHORT VERDICT:

One of the early hits that helped to launch the Hallyu wave, All About Eve is the kind of drama that’s so old that it actually feels new.

A fairly light, ultimately warm melo that doesn’t have too many of the classic kdrama tropes coz, well, they hadn’t been established yet, at the time. There isn’t a jerky male lead, nor a damsel-in-distress female lead; in fact, for a good long stretch, I couldn’t even figure out the dynamics of the love square. That sure kept me on my toes. So refreshing, and mildly cracky in the best way too.

Plus, I totally see the Jang Dong Gun appeal now. Finally. Thank you.

Continue reading


61 Comments

Review: Answer Me, 1997

AM1aTHE SHORT VERDICT:

A sincere, heartfelt drama populated with characters who feel familiar, complex and real.

Even if you didn’t grow up in the 90s, and even if you have no prior knowledge of the popular idols of that era, you’re likely to still find a lot to enjoy in this drama.

A small drama with a lot of heart.

AM2

Continue reading


42 Comments

Review: A Gentleman’s Dignity

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A light-as-air rom-com that rides more on atmosphere than plot. The ensemble cast has a collectively impressive resume, but don’t expect too much or you are likely to be disappointed.

This drama is likely to disintegrate under too much scrutiny, but if you’re in the mood to space out a little with something that doesn’t require much thinking, this might be your cup of tea.

I started out bemused, but ended up enjoying this more than I expected to.