The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: A Piece Of Your Mind

THE SHORT VERDICT:

More lens adjustments are needed for this show than the average kdrama, but with the right lens, Show is a warm and sweet watch experience that manages to feel satisfying, in spite of its flaws, and in spite of Show having had 4 episodes sliced off from its run, in the middle of its run.

If you’re able to dial down your need for logic, and to some extent, cohesiveness, Show presents a thoughtful thematic exploration of love and loss, solitude and solidarity, and the confusing, bemusing journey of dealing with all of those things.

Jung Hae In and Chae Soo Bin are lovely in this, particularly together. This was worth the extra lens management, in my opinion.

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26 Comments

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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Flash Review: A Sharply Graceful Girl [Japan]

When you need a bit of a drama lift and somewhere to escape to, but don’t have the mental bandwidth to commit to a full-length drama, it’s short little dramas like this one, that tend to hit the spot best. At just 4 short half-hour episodes, A Sharply Graceful Girl provides just enough continuity to give you a sense of commitment, without feeling overwhelming, because of its bite-sized servings.

Also, Show is constructed mostly to be a pretty and informative travelogue of Kyoto, Japan, with a bit of a romance sown in, for good measure. Given the current global situation where almost everyone’s under lockdown and country borders are closed and you basically can’t travel anywhere, this show just might provide a bit of relief for any pent-up wanderlust.

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89 Comments

Dropped: Angel’s Last Mission: Love

I’ve come to the conclusion that this is one of those shows that either really works for you, or really doesn’t. Some of my drama friends seem to really like this one, which is kinda why I thought I might, too.

For the record, I kinda-sorta liked this one okay after the first episode, but afterwards, there just wasn’t any spark for me with this show (kinda like how a second lead in a drama somehow never seems to manage to spark with a lead character, ha), and since dramas have consistently taught us not to try to force love, after 16 episodes of trying – and failing – to get sucked into this one, I’m calling it quits, you guys.

On the upside, at least I’m taking my drama lessons to heart? 😉

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83 Comments

Dropped: Ashes Of Love [China]

After 41 episodes out of Show’s 60, I’m finally calling it quits on Ashes Of Love.

Admittedly, part of my brain is a little reluctant to drop this one, because, “Loads of other folks loved this one! What if you’re quitting before it gets good again?” and “You’re already two-thirds of the way through! What a waste, of the 41 episodes you did watch!”

Try as I might, though, I just can’t muster up the interest to continue with episode 42, so it’s gonna hafta be the end of the road with this one, for me.

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82 Comments

Review: Are You Human Too?

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show is tightly paced, pretty well-written, and manages solid cliffhangers and some good plot twists, through its run. Just be prepared for a fantastical set-up (robots, after all), with melo lashings in somewhat substantial measure. With the right lens, though, this show is highly enjoyable. I found myself looking forward to new episodes of this one, more than I did with most other shows on my drama plate at the time.

Seo Kang Joon is absolutely fantastic in this, demonstrating acting chops that I never knew he had. Show is worth the watch just to see him in action.

A ride more rollicking than I first expected or imagined.

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45 Comments

Flash Review: A Poem A Day [You Who Forgot Poetry]

If you’re on the market for a show that’s small, simple and sweet, this drama just might be the one for you.

As those of you who’ve been around the blog for a while would likely know, I am always on the look-out for suitable drama nightcap material. Yes, I like my dramas exciting too, but suitable drama nightcaps are just as important to me; I need a show that’s not too complicated nor intense, so that it won’t keep me up, but still engaging and interesting enough, that I’ll still enjoy the watch.

I first tried this show as regular drama fare, and to be honest, it didn’t grab me much, in its first episode. But once I tried it out as a drama nightcap, it fit the bill quite perfectly. Not only did it strike just the right balance between interesting and easygoing, it even has a sort of (found-) family drama feel to it, thanks to our story being more character- and relationship-focused than patient-focused. Not bad at all, I say.

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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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27 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.

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177 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? 😉

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