The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Dropped: Hwarang

Ordinarily, I’d be the first to agree with the age-old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – or, as the case may be, “Don’t judge a drama by its promos.”

After all, sometimes, the watch experience of a show really doesn’t jive with its promo material. Some shows have uninteresting promo material but turn out to be excellent watches (I mean, just think about the old-fashioned, ugly poster that belongs to the fantastic Healer), while other shows have amazing promos but turn out to be duds in the watching (Joseon Gunman comes to mind, among many others).

In this instance, though, I really should’ve paid (much more) heed to this show’s low-rent bad wigs and cheesy posters. On hindsight, I think they were trying to warn me that this show wouldn’t be worth spending hours of my life on, and – silly, foolish me – I didn’t listen. Which is how I ended up wasting 13 hours of my life trying to make the best of this show, before I realized that Show’s best really, really wasn’t doing it for me.

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Flash Review: A Werewolf Boy [Movie]

I think I may have trust issues with the English that comes out of Korea.

I mean, seriously, it’s right there in the title, but all this time that I knew this movie existed, I somehow had it in my head that this was a movie about a wolf boy, and not a werewolf boy. For the record, I can now confirm that this movie is, indeed, about a werewolf boy, and, happily for me, it is far from being a scary movie (unlike most movies about werewolves).

Also for the record, Song Joong Ki is absolutely wonderful and amazing in this (although, when is he ever not, right?).

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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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Flash Review: The Final Match [Last Match]

I put The Final Match on my watch list mainly because it’s one of the classic grandaddies of Hallyu.

Not only did it take audiences – fangirls, in particular – by storm when it aired in 1994, its presence can still be felt in dramaland nowadays, when, every so often, it gets referenced in dramas. Case in point: Answer Me, 1994, which not only played the famous rousing riff from The Final Match’s OST, but also mentioned characters from the drama by name.

I knew I had to watch this show, if only to acquaint myself with the drama that created the waves that it did, way back in the day.

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Dropped: Ho Goo’s Love

…And another one on my drama plate bites the dust.

I’m not in a dropping mood or anything, I swears. I promise that there are dramas that I’ve finished and liked, even. I just haven’t finished writing the reviews (they’ll come, honest!).

I really wanted to like Ho Goo’s love, and even stuck with it for 10 whole episodes, hoping that it would hook me properly at some point. 10 episodes into Show’s total of 16, though, I realized that this show simply wasn’t working for me.

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33 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.

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12 Comments

Review: Feelings [Neukkim]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

One of the original trendies that helped to start it all, Feelings is as much of a nostalgic treat for seasoned viewers, as it is a novel peek into Hallyu’s beginnings for newer viewers.

An easy breezy story with a timeless appeal, Feelings follows a group of young people as they navigate the journey to adulthood, wrestling with classic questions of evolving identity and purpose. Of course, youthful impulsiveness, angst & good ol’ hormones intensify and amplify their emotions to a distracting degree. Because honestly, at that age, isn’t it really all about feeeelings?

The show’s 20-year vintage shows; the drama’s production values, writing and acting all veer on the side of earnest and a little clumsy. But the retro awesome, from early 90s hair and fashion, to the novelty of seeing established stars in their early years, makes up for it all.

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Review: I Need Romance 3

THE SHORT VERDICT:

I Need Romance 3 is like the milder, sweeter, slightly ditzy younger cousin of the older, more worldly-wise I Need Romance dramas.

While INR3 may look like its cousins on the surface – glossy & modern, complete with real kisses & sexytimes – at its heart, it holds dear many classic dramaland rom-com values about Romance and True Love. Oh, and the ditziness? It’s coz logic isn’t this drama’s strength, and there’s a fair chunk of stuff in INR3 that doesn’t actually make sense.

If you loved I Need Romance &/or I Need Romance 2012, you’d probably be disappointed in this one. Conversely, if you didn’t like the first two installments, then this one just might sit better than you’d think.

Oh, and there’s Sung Joon. Mmmm.

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117 Comments

Year In Review: 2013

In in all, I’d hafta say that 2013 has been a big k-year for me. My biggest k-year ever, since I got on the k-train in 2007. After all, this is the year that I:

– experienced what it’s like to take care of a blog;

– discovered the awesome allure of Kim Woo Bin;

– went to my first fanmeet, ever;

– organized my first squee-fest (fun!)

and

– faced my first existential crisis as a blogger. (I survived. It’s all good.)

The downside of all that, though? I watched the least amount of drama, ever, since I got on the drama train.

Tsk. The irony, right?

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