Sometimes, it does pay to step out of one’s drama comfort zone, after all.
When this show first came out, I’d had no intention of checking it out, because, 1, I’m not into zombies, 2, I’m not much into crime, and the word detective in the title implies there’s crime in this, and 3, I’ve never been a huge Choi Jin Hyuk fan.
HOWEVER. Enough of you spoke of this show enthusiastically – saying that it’s so much wholesome fun – that I just had to give it a look.
Show took a while to settle, for me, and Show’s chosen ending also isn’t my favorite choice that writer-nim’s made, but by and large, Show had me firmly by the heart during the course of my watch.
Shin Hye Sun is simply outstanding in this, putting in a tour de force performance that makes this show watch the watch, all on its own, and Kim Jung Hyun is fantastic as well, making his character Cheoljong someone that I really wanted to root for, both as a king and as a person. The chemistry that our leads share is of the deliciously cracky variety, and I found watching their burgeoning connection a true delight. Aside from this, there are also a nice handful of supporting characters that I found myself growing very fond of, as well.
Not perfect by any means, and Show does require some hefty lens adjustments, but still so worth it, in my opinion.
Do you enjoy rollercoasters? Coz if you do, The Last Empress might just be the show for you.
At its best, and right out of the gate, Show is a fun romp rife with makjang plot points, logic stretches and murderous intent (it’s all about the lens, which I’ll talk about very shortly). I personally think the extension didn’t do Show any favors, coz Show spins its wheels a fair bit in its later stretch, which is a serious pity. On the upside, Show wraps up in a reasonably solid manner, and I’m emerging on the other side without regretting my watch.
Y’know, I will always think fondly of the year 2012.
It was a pretty great drama year, serving up a good number of shows that I truly enjoyed, like Arang and the Magistrate, The King 2 Hearts, Gaksital, and Padam Padam, among many others. On top of that, 2012 was also the year I decided to try my hand at the whole drama blogging thing – and hey, look at where we are now, eh?
But. There is one thing that I kinda hold against 2012.. coz 2012 is the year that time travel took over the dramaverse. Suddenly, it felt like time travel was everywhere.Queen In-hyun’s Man, Rooftop Prince, Faith, Dr. Jin, and even Operation Proposal all got in on the time travel action in 2012, with varying degrees of success. Let me just say that there’s nothing inherently wrong with using time travel as a concept, but honestly, it now kinda feels like time travel has become the Trend That Will Not Die.
For the record, I’m not hating on The Best Hit. In fact, I even rather enjoyed this show. It’s just that the whole time travel thing here feels particularly gratuitous – almost pointless, even. I personally feel that this show didn’t need the time travel conceit, to tell the slice-of-life, found-family story it wanted to tell. In fact, Show might’ve been better off just picking one time period and staying there. A pretty novel concept these days, I know. 😉
I’ve gone a darker route for my third Dream Drama installment. That was bound to happen. My ideas are not all lollipops and rainbows. I need to make sure my eyes don’t roll too far back in my head with how much I see of that in Asian drama (though I desire happy endings!).
I love a good sci-fi story, even better when it combines mystery, conspiracy intrigue, action, and this being Kdrama – Romance! This idea stemmed from a composite of popular stories/shows/movies that sloshed around my imagination, and a Fan-Fic for the “Lost” fandom that I started but never finished.
There is a generation of young people whose lives have been irrevocably changed by mysterious Project Afterglow. Isolated, with fractured memories and broken families, these young people possess superhuman powers that they desperately hide, in order to blend into society.
Can they ever find resolution for all that they’ve lost? Will the perpetrators behind Project Afterglow ever be brought to justice? How will these scattered survivors find one another, and will they be able to break through their defenses to trust others again? Follow them on their epic journeys of healing, love and redemption, as they set out to reclaim all that they’ve lost – and find themselves in the process.
kfangurl: Can you believe the blog’s actually been around for 2 whole years now? It used to be such teeny tiny lil baby, and now look how well it’s growing up, heh. I’ve heard of the Terrible Twos where toddlers are concerned.. I wonder if we’re now entering the Terrible Twos, for the blog. Like, will we get more tantrumy & stampy!
Lady G: That could happen! But I believe The Fangirl Verdict is maturing. And, I consider her a girl. She’s lively, and extremely curious about her wonderful Kdrama surroundings. She loves to gush over handsome K-drama men. She’s creative and enjoys writing her own dream dramas, and she’s wise. She genuinely wants to help fans answer their Kdrama problems with her own feature – Dear Kfangurl.
kfangurl: Y’know, I’ve never thought about that. But you’re right, blog baby’s a girl. How could she NOT be a girl, she spazzes so much over k-boys.
Lady G: She’s such a little yoja!
kfangurl: Well, I think so, but I am also completely biased!
Lady G: And that’s a #1 rule at The Fangirl Verdict, we can be totally biased… WITHOUT stepping on anyone else’s biases.
A drama that’s fantastically cracky in its first half, but unfortunately meanders into Sad Angstville in its later episodes and never quite recovers fully from its detour.
Fated To Love You is extremely easy to fall for in its early episodes. Fabulously committed and nuanced deliveries by Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra not only bring the funny, but also land the emotional beats extremely well. Their lovely, very believable chemistry as our OTP is also a big draw. All of this, combined with a story that clocks a brisk pace, and finds time to serve up a variety of cheeky meta, makes Early Show one deliciously addictive package that charmingly sweeps us off our feet as it engages us in its confident, off-beat dance.
Unfortunately, the brisk pace slows to a crawl in the show’s last stretch, and it feels like our story gets weary from doing time on a Going Nowhere treadmill. On the upside, The Cute eventually comes back; Show’s just not quite as cracky at its end as compared to its glorious beginnings.
Depending on your love &/or patience levels, your mileage with this show as a whole is likely to vary.
So a funny thing happened. Liebster season snuck up on me when I wasn’t even looking.
When the first signs popped up, hinting that Liebster season was upon us again, I hardly took notice. I was all like, Well, I had a good go at that last year, and it was a heap of fun. Surely after 9 whole Liebsters, though, no one’s going to want to ask me more questions about myself. Right?
When I wasn’t looking, those Liebsters seemed to multiply in a little room all by their sneaky little selves. Almost like they had a will all their own. And now, I have a serious heap of questions to answer *starts sweating bullets*
I plead hectic Real Life schedules as the reason that I delegated the job of answering the Liebster questions to Future Me (hey, after watching so many time-travel dramas, you gotta learn something, right?)
So here I am, Future Me (er, now Present Me?) to the rescue! Let’s see if you guys can stick with me all the way to the very end, eh? I promise to make this as pain-free as possible 😉
And, thanks to all you sweethearts who nominated me – I feel like I’ve been rained on by showers of lurve ❤
A teen melodrama dressed up to pass off as a posh teen rom-com.
At first glance, this show might look like it wants to do too much, what with its over-bloated, gigantic cast. In actual fact, though, the show doesn’t really want to do anything except provide a platform for its OTP to go through the requisite angsty steps (angsty coz this is ultimately more melo than rom-com) to get to their happy-ever-after, which was a given from the very beginning (ok, the happy ending’s sorta more rom-com).
On the plus side, Kim Woo Bin is the resident scene-stealer (and he steals those scenes, so well), while several other secondary characters are likable and amusing. Just don’t expect a properly fleshed out story or robust character & relationship development arcs.
Pleasant enough but far from cracky, Heirs is a show that never fired up my emotions one way or the other. I neither hated it nor loved it. And indifference, I realize, is really not a very inspiring place to be.