Tag Archives: Choi Ji Woo

Dear kfangurl: Why do so many kdramas start strong but go downhill?

Linda writes:

After years of reading your reviews I decided to take the plunge and write for 2 reasons:

1. To tell you how much I enjoy your reviews and admire your work ethic. I’m a recently retired critical care nurse (an old white lady) and over the years have found so much joy in korean dramas and films. When I am contemplating what to watch next I turn to you. I’ve seen more dramas than I care to admit and I’ve read many varied reviews but you are the gold standard. On the rare occasion that I disagree with one of your reviews I am so shocked and sometimes delighted. I only wish I could become a Patron.

2. A question….Why so often in k dramas does the story/writing go downhill later in the drama. I’m noticing an increasing pattern with this. I’ve seen videos of table reads and it makes wonder…If they are indeed reading the entire script in that sitting do they not notice they are reading what I can only describe as foolishness? The most recent example of this was Bossam. I really loved this drama. I felt it was well written and reminded me of a good old-fashioned k drama but I feel like it eventually went off the rails. This may not be the best example but I’m sure you know what I’m trying to express. I wouldn’t send this as an Ask fangirl question at the risk of sounding whiny and stupid. Is there a logical explanation. Since I know little about the making of dramas I thought you may have insight.

Again, please know you bring fun and joy to this old lady and be proud of yourself.

If you ever need a place to stay in California, I have plenty of room and no weirdos!!

P.S. Loved your participation in the podcast!

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Review: Crash Landing On You

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Show really is everything that many of us have come to love in kdrama. It’s gorgeous to look at, our actors are pretty darn capable all-around, our characters are mostly endearing, there’s amped-up, epic romance to be had between an OTP that shares solid, sparky chemistry, and, well, Hyun Bin is appealing in this, to a rather staggering degree. Flail. As a bonus, Show possesses a cheeky sense of humor around drama tropes, even as it revels in them. In addition, the glimpse into North Korean life feels fresh and novel as well, and is a major highlight.

On the downside, there’s a bit of drag in the mid-to-late episodes, which is compounded by rather heavy-handed narrative angst, and Show’s long episodes. That can feel a bit or a lot hard-going, depending on your appetite for angst.

Overall, though, Show does a great job bringing the feels, and is well worth the watch.

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Flash Review: Seven First Kisses

The moment Lotte Duty Free announced this little web series for the festive season, I knew I’d be tuning in, no matter what. I mean, to have Lee Jun Ki, Park Hae Jin, Ji Chang Wook, Kai, Taecyeon, Lee Jong Suk and Lee Min Ho in the leading men line-up? Even the most big-budget blockbuster movie production would have trouble pulling that off.

So tune in I did; which wasn’t hard to do, really, with each episode topping out at a very compact 7-8 minutes. And y’know what, for what it is (an unabashed, extended CF for Lotte Duty Free, in case you were wondering), this show’s a fun little ride.

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Review: Twenty Again

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An understated, quiet creature compared to its other prime-time cousins, Twenty Again manages to prove its worth while bucking quite a few drama trends.

Despite having a central romance, Twenty Again’s main focus is consistently about one woman’s journey of discovery – discovery of truth, discovery of self, re-discovery of her self-worth – and everything else, including the romance, fits around that in a satisfyingly organic, uplifting way. Wonderful performances by our leads bring that journey to life, and make it completely worthwhile.

Far from flashy, but winsome and inspiring in all the best ways.

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A Renewed Fondness For: Lee Seo Jin

Oppaaa~!

I must tell you guys, there was a time when I was rather smitten with Lee Seo Jin. And even though over time, other k-loves have since taken up residence in my fangirl heart, I’ve continued to have a soft spot for Oppa despite going for a good long stretch without seeing him on my screen.

I’m just so pleased that he’s now popping up so much in variety land, and making quite the splash while he’s at it too.

It’s definitely time to show Oppa some love. 😉

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A Tale of Three Brothers: A Lee Min Ho ~ Rainie Yang Dream Drama

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Poster Art by kfangurl

Scriptwriter’s Note

This story bubbled like Korean stew in my brain after seeing the recent press on 2 handsome Lee Min Ho lookalikes. Kfangurl knows I like inventing ‘brother stories,’ so I couldn’t resist.

Second, I really like Fusions. Like the Japanese dramas “Boku to star no 99 nichi,” a cute drama starring Kim Tae Hee (she did an amazing job speaking Japanese), and the crime classic “Rondo,” starring Choi Ji Woo, who also spoke both languages. I also adored the sugary sweet “Love Actually” with Lee Da Hae (she was dubbed, but sounded fine after the first episode when they changed the voice!) and my favorite Taiwanese actor, Joe Cheng. Their chemistry was off-the-charts smoking. I’m sure there are more good ones out there. I was set on creating a Fusion for my second Dream Drama, and chose the pretty and popular Taiwanese actress/singer Rainie Yang. The more the story developed, the more I felt she and Lee Min Ho would look awesome together. Interestingly, one of Rainie’s most popular co-stars is Mike He, and he’s often compared to Lee Min Ho.

Third, I love creating rich backstories, and after writing this one, I really want to see Jang Dong Gun and Jeon Ji Hyun work together. And lastly, I love using “Meta” in my stories. And this is chock full of it!

I hope you enjoy the second Dream Drama for The Fangirl Verdict!

~ Lady G.

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Quick Synopsis

A dramatic, bittersweet forbidden love between a lowly fisherman and a precious rich princess gives birth to 3 beautiful sons. When tragedy befalls their little family, the boys are parted from their parents, and the youngest is separated from his brothers.

How will he find his way back to his brothers? Will the boys ever know the truth? Can love in the present heal the hurts of the past? Follow the now-grown boys on their sometimes amusing, often heart-tugging, ultimately heartwarming, life-changing journey of growth and maturity, forgiveness and love.

~ kfangurl

Main Cast

  • Lee Min Ho as Youn Joon Min
  • Jung Il Chae (Real-life Math Teacher/LMH-Lookalike) as Youn Joon Tae
  • Ye Xiao Kai (Real-life Media Reporter/Other LMH-Lookalike) as Youn Joon Kang / Yun Jun Qiang
  • Rainie Yang as Zhao Mu Lan
  • Kim Ji Won as So Mi Ra
  • Wang Ji Hye as Shin Jie Young
  • Jang Dong Gun as Youn Dasan
  • Jeon Ji Hyun as Choi Li Na

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Review: Beautiful Days

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Old-school, classic kdrama of the romantic, melodramatic variety, circa 2001.

Although not quite as wildly popular as Winter Sonata or Autumn In My Heart, Beautiful Days is actually a pretty good watch when you’re in the mood for retro melo.

Yes, it’s angsty, but it’s not depressingly so.

Plus, our male lead is a very smoldery Lee Byung Hun oozing oodles of machismo. If you like your kdrama heroes of the manly man variety, you might want to check this out.

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