The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Life On Mars

Once upon a time, I used to categorize Jung Kyung Ho in my head as Dramaland’s go-to beta male, especially after seeing him in 2009’s Smile, You, where he was the sweetest beta male love interest to Lee Min Jung’s feisty broke chaebol. (Twas a sweet and cute story, pity about the whopping 16-episode extension, which then resulted in lots ‘n lots of pointless and frustrating filler. Boo.)

Back then, I liked Jung Kyung Ho well enough, but mostly in a casual, almost cursory sort of way. Compare that to today, when I would quite literally check out a show purely because Jung Kyung Ho is in it, y’know, because he is just so wonderful and brilliant and so good at what he does. *hearts in eyes* What an amazing evolution, eh?

So did I check out this show purely because Jung Kyung Ho is in it? Why, yes I did. Did I know what I was in for? No, can’t say I knew much at all, going in. Did I eventually understand everything about this show, and its somewhat fantastical premise? I’m gonna hafta say, No, I do not.

But did I enjoy it all the way through anyway? Oh yessiree. I sure did. ❤

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45 Comments

Review: Prison Playbook [Wise Prison Life]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A show that takes the dark topic of prison and crime, and infuses it all with warmth and hope, Prison Playbook is the unlikely contender for your heart that will likely make you laugh, cry, wring your heart dry, and then fill it right up again.

Writer-nim weaves a story that makes primary and secondary character pop, while every actor in our ensemble cast breathes actual life into the characters, and PD-nim’s signature touch comes alive in both the palpable sense of community and the corny jokes. As a shining bonus, the bromance at the center of our story feels emotionally deep despite its often gruff surface.

Poignant and homey, despite its grim premise.

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132 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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34 Comments

Flash Review: Lingerie Girls’ Generation [Girls’ Generation 1979]

YOU GUYS. Remember how much I loved Answer Me 1988? (Hint: a lot, with cherries & rainbows on top)

Well, it’s like Answer Me 1988’s slightly older, rougher-around-the-edges cousin came to visit, and proved to be almost as engaging and endearing – just in a much more compact package. At just 8 episodes, I found myself rationing out this show’s episodes like they were the last few morsels in a box of very, very special truffles that someone had brought from an exotic, faraway place; the kind that I can’t simply go out to the store to get more of, once it’s all gone. And now, this is all gone.

Sniffle. I wish this one was 16 full episodes, y’all. At least.

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80 Comments

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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187 Comments

Newly Taken With: Park Bo Gum

It’s official, you guys. I am officially very much taken with Park Bo Gum.

Which, if I’m being honest, is a sentence I never thought I’d write.

I mean, I’d always found him pleasant enough, and on the extreme end of pretty, with his perfect skin and beautiful features, but to be officially, undeniably, strongly, hearts-in-my-eyes smitten with him?

Now that’s something I never saw coming.

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108 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.

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68 Comments

Year In Review: 2015

I can hardly believe that 2015 is coming to a close and 2016’s almost upon us. I know I said this last year too, but seriously guys, time is flying.

Even more so when you count the year in drama milestones, or so it seems, since there are more dramas in dramaland than ever before, vying for our limited drama hours. Everything feels like it’s flying by in a blur, and even though I’m dedicated to my dramas, it’s just not humanly possible to stay on top of everything – and that’s before taking Real Life responsibilities into account! XD

Still, I’m pleased to report that I managed to watch at least as much drama as I did last year, if not a little bit more. I’m sorta behind on the reviewing front, but I promise to catch up on that, pinky swear!

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