The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: My ID is Gangnam Beauty

Not too long ago, lots of people on my Twitter feed were going gaga over Meteor Garden 2018, and so I dipped my toes in too, out of curiosity (yes, despite stating firmly that I had had my fill of the story via the J- and K-versions). I really liked the first episode, but found myself losing interest in the next few episodes, so much so that I ended up dropping out early, after just 4 episodes.

BUT! Plot twist!

I found similar tsundere-male-lead-campus-romance crack in My ID is Gangnam Beauty instead. This kinda-sorta gave me the addictive feels I once had over Boys Over Flowers many, many moons ago (ironically, I can’t bear to watch BOF now), but I liked this one better, and slurped up the first 10+ episodes back-to-back. Woah, indeed.

Yes, there are caveats, but they aren’t dissimilar to the ones you’d need to make for Meteor Garden 2018 too, so – fair play? 😉

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Review: Sungkyunkwan Scandal

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Light, frothy, fizzy fun, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is perfect for viewers who are new to sageuk and feel intimidated by period / historical settings. Dressed in Joseon robes but possessing a fresh, modern, rom-com sort of feel, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is easy to love, even for the sageuk noob.

Helped by a breezy, ear-wormy OST and a pretty great cast, SKKS manages to pack a lot of fun – and heart! – into a zippy, peppy package.

Plus, everything – and everyone – is just so darn prettyyy.

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Sunshine The Second!

Guess what, everyone! The blog got a second Sunshine nomination!

Thanks to Indigo of Between Wor(L)ds for the love! And man, you DO ask some very tough questions!

I’m so pleased with myself now, coz after the blog’s first Sunshine Award, I’d told Lady G that I’d be getting her to play in future blog award type thingies.

Seeing Indigo’s tough questions, I’m mighty impressed with Past Me’s foresight. Coz I’m gonna need all the help I can get! Ha.

You’ll know what I mean when you see Indigo’s questions!

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The Kim Hyun Joong Allegations: What’s a Reasonable Fangirl Response?

In the last day or so, k-ent has exploded with the sobering and disturbing news that Kim Hyun Joong is being investigated for alleged assault and battery on his (also alleged) girlfriend.

I wasn’t planning to post on this, since I generally don’t report on k-ent news, but the flood of netizen reactions across the blogosphere has been intensifying, and it’s hard to ignore the wave of intense emotion that has been building among fans and non-fans alike.

My purpose in writing this post today, is simply this: to hopefully add a voice of reason to the clamor of voices already out there in the netizen wilderness.

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Review: Cunning Single Lady [Sly and Single Again]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A divorced-to-reunited rom-com that has flaws aplenty but manages to get the most important thing right: its heart.

If you wanted to count ’em, you’d easily find a whole bunch of flaws and imperfections in Cunning Single Lady. But if you’re willing to look past all of that, you’ll find a good dose of cute, an endearing spot of sweet, and a heartfelt rekindling of a sincere love that never did go away.

Lee Min Jung and Joo Sang Wook turn in quality performances as our lead couple, and are the key reasons to tune in to this unassuming little show that turned out to be quite a bit more heartwarming than I expected.

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Food in Kdrama: An Obsession?

Today’s post is inspired by a conversation with blog regular INTJ.

After I posted my review of Let’s Eat, we realized that our respective experiences of the show were like night and day, to put it mildly. While I enjoyed the drama a lot, INTJ did not enjoy the show. At all.

I’ve understood for a long time that as viewers, we all respond to dramas and actors differently. A drama that one person loves to bits could be completely meh to someone else. And, an actor that inspires love in one person could inspire irritation in another. We all approach the world with our own filters, after all.

What gave me pause for thought is a follow-up email that INTJ sent me after our initial thought exchange on Let’s Eat. In it, he mentioned that he’s heard people around him say many times, “all Koreans do in their movies is eating.”

Well now. I’d never seen it that way before. This piece of information definitely made me think. And that, well, brought about a bunch of thoughts.

Given that INTJ’s mentioned several times before in other comments that he’s deeply interested in learning about the differences between cultures, I thought it apt to share my perspectives in a post.

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Blogoversary Giveaway Winner! + Happy New Year!

Annyeong! Happy New Year everyone!! ❤

I hope 2014’s been treatin’ you nice so far!

I know, I’ve been a little bit MIA in the last couple of weeks, only surfacing periodically to answer comments. I’m sorry, you guys. I plead crazy-hectic-holiday-schedule. Both my Christmas and New Year weeks were packed to the gills with gatherings, lunches, dinners (or insert alternative meal) and other get-togethers.

On the upside, it made me feel really popular (ha). On the downside, I got a lot less drama on my screen, and a lot less time to chat with you (boo).

I didn’t forget the giveaway, though! And yes, it’s time to find out the winner of one gorgeous DVD box set of Queen In-hyun’s Man!

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What Makes Drama Crack Stay Fresh / Turn Stale?

DC1So today Stephanie posted on her blog Crazy for Kdrama a post titled Second-hand Crack. In it, she describes her experience re-watching Smile Dong Hae, and finding that it just wasn’t as cracktastic the second time around.

That really resonated with me, coz as some of you may know, I’ve been marathoning Beautiful Days for review, and that review’s been taking a while to actually get written.

The reason is pretty much the same as Stephanie’s experience with Smile Dong Hae. I’d loved Beautiful Days on my first watch, and had devoured it pretty quickly. Fast forward several years, and now that I’m watching it for the second time, I still find it pretty engaging, but it’s just not as cracktastic as I had first found it.

Which begs the question: What exactly makes drama crack stay fresh / turn stale?

DC2

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Review: Big

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Big started out promising but under-delivered. It was a little uneven in the beginning, but the sight gags were funny and the burgeoning feelings between the leads kept things interesting up till episode 12. Then episodes 13-16 went progressively downhill.

BUT. There is one compelling reason to watch this show: Gong Yoo. He is amazing in so many ways. And hot. Let’s not forget hot. He’s the only reason to watch Big, but he’s reason enough.


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Review: Padam Padam

THE SHORT VERDICT:

So good. It took me a couple of episodes to really fall in love, but when I did, I was mesmerized 🙂

This show is gorgeous to look at, with some truly excellent, artistically executed cinematography. I felt like I was watching a long movie, yet each episode floated by and ended before I knew it. Very different from general kdrama fare, I found it interesting, romantic & thought provoking.

Jung Woo Sung is compelling and completely believable, and Kim Bum is so endearing. The bromance is really strong in this one, though our lead couple is fantastic as well 🙂