The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


34 Comments

Dear kfangurl: What makes a kdrama addictively re-watchable?

Healer: so cracky, for so many reasons.

shorterthanparkboyoung writes:

Dear kfangurl, what makes a kdrama addicting enough that I want to rewatch at least 10 times?
I’m kinda in the middle of a tough transition period at the moment and I found myself going back to rewatching all my favourite dramas – Healer, My Love From Another Star, Because This Is My First Life, Fight For My Way and Suspicious Partner, but with the FF button when it came to the “evil chaebol” or “bad guy” bits. But when I decided to try a drama that I hadn’t watched but was on my list, I kept dropping them half way. What is it in the above dramas, which I believe you loved as well after reading your reviews (which were amazing btw), or any general drama that makes me come back to these again and again?

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70 Comments

Review: My Country

THE SHORT VERDICT:

At its heart, My Country is a polished, beautifully-shot tale of star-crossed brotherhood, and the search for acceptance, meaning, and self.

Granted, Show has its flaws. Sometimes the logic stretches require more suspension of disbelief than I would like; sometimes the emotional tension feels like it’s stretched out for too long and gets tiring; sometimes Show feels like it’s cycling in place, just a little bit. On the upside, though, Show is filled with strong performances from its cast, knows how to take us on our characters’ emotional journeys, and is scored with a consistently evocative soundtrack that is by turn gloriously epic and plaintively poignant.

If you’re able to roll with Show’s shortcomings, it’s not hard to get sucked into this one.

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74 Comments

Review: The Crowned Clown

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A well-plotted, solid story from start to finish, The Crowned Clown is a show that has quite a bit to offer. The palace intrigue isn’t always the most compelling, but on the upside, there’s a real king, a fake king, a forbidden romance, all the complications that arise from it all, a touch of levity to lighten things from time to time, and a stirring OST to score it all.

Our main cast is excellent all-around, but it’s Yeo Jin Goo who knocks it out of the ballpark and then some, playing both king and clown. I’ve always considered Yeo Jin Goo an excellent actor, but Yeo Jin Goo has never been more amazing to my eyes, than in this show. Some minor lens adjustments are necessary, but once you’ve got that down, Show is such a good ride.

Meaty enough to chew on, yet affecting enough to deeply engage the heart.

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194 Comments

Review: Money Flower

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Now this is revenge melo done right.

Interesting characters brought to life by excellent actors; a compelling backstory; great pacing; assured handling; immersive, consuming music. All of these elements come together to make Money Flower an addictive, cracktastic journey, from start to finish. Show stays gripping through to its final stretch, and even resolves its revenge story in a satisfying manner. That’s impressive stuff all-around, which makes it easy to forgive Show its few flaws.

Also, Jang Hyuk is Prowling Panther levels of superb in this. Flail.

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122 Comments

Dropped: The K2

After the epic awesomeness of Healer, and the oodles and oodles of Ji Chang Wook melty in it, I had high hopes for his next project, especially if said next project had any kind of action slant. I mean, literally Every. Single. Time. Healer parkoured off a building, I swooned. (I guess I kinda have a thing for a hero who also happens to be an action superhero, heh.)

Sadly, even though The K2 diligently delivered on the action front (perhaps too diligently, even), this show just didn’t work out for me. I couldn’t make it to the end of this one, even if Ji Chang Wook got to kick butt quite regularly, and looked pretty sharp in his suit – or out of his suit. Ahem.

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71 Comments

Are kdramas getting worse / “dumbed down”?

So recently, a couple of comments on the blog have combined to give me pause for thought.

And instead of just answering the latest question in the comments section, I thought it was interesting enough, and thought-provoking enough, to put it all in a new post, and see what you guys think.

Well ok, that, and the fact that as I chewed on my answer to the latest comment, I realized that there were just too many facets to the answer than I felt could fit reasonably into a simple comment.

Basically, the question is, have kdramas gotten worse / more “dumbed down” in recent years?

Let’s dive in together to take a look, shall we?

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17 Comments

More – and More! – Sunshine!

Wowza.

We received even more Sunshine love, you guys.

Admin A who hosts Top of the Kpops gifted us our 3rd nomination, while our dear friend Jaime, who hosts The Drama Noona gifted us our 4th.

On the one hand, we feel the lurve. We really, really do.

On the other hand, we can’t help but wonder if you guys just enjoy seeing us squirm as we try to answer your challenging questions, heh.

Whichever it is, we’ve got our game faces on, and are braving your questions with as much composure as we can muster.

Bring. It. On. Baby!

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54 Comments

Review: Fated to Love You

THE SHORT VERDICT:

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.

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47 Comments

Dear kfangurl: What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great?

Today’s question is brought to us by Bakazen, who asks:

Dear kfangurl,

What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great? I just recently finished watching Doctor Stranger and realized 2 things: LJS is a good actor and I really didn’t like this drama. So why did I finish it? Because I was hooked by the bromance tease between LJS and PHJ.

My personal theory is they work well as substitutes for the sometimes overwhelming lack of affection we see between couples. Guys in bromances show affection, love, solidarity, joy, connection & (dare I say it) skinship! Nothing warms my heart like one of the F4s coming to a bros rescue, the F44s teasing each other or the leads in School 2013 (LJS & Woobie) saying how much they missed each other’s friendship. Besides, I rarely get that hooked into the female friendships (major exception, Noh Eun-seol & Lee Myung Ran from Protect the Boss). What do you think?

Bakazen

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72 Comments

Aurora: A Kim Woo Bin ~ IU Dream Drama

Thanks to Jaime of http://thedramanoona.wordpress.com/ for the beautiful drama poster!

Scriptwriter’s Note

This drama was created in the spirit of some of my favorite fantasy/sageuk dramas like “Faith,” “Chuno,” and “Rooftop Prince” with a dash of “Thousand Years of Love” (not my favorite but could have been brilliant), and “Queen In-hyun’s Man.” I added concepts from some of my favorite Western Time Travel movies and shows and borrowed ideas I have used in the past for my own Fan-Fiction stories.

I now present the first *Official* Dream Drama Post on this blog: Aurora

~ Lady G.

Quick Synopsis

Eun Mi is a young, hardworking museum employee who is particularly passionate about the Silla era. One day, to her shock and surprise, she mysteriously time travels back to the Silla era, landing right into the life of Hyun Ki, a rough-and-tough street fighter and mercenary. Despite their vast differences in personality, upbringing and era, the two eventually fall deeply in love.

How will they overcome the colossal obstacles – literally spanning the time-space divide – that stand in the way of their love? An epic love story of truly cosmic proportions.

~ kfangurl

Main Cast

  • Kim Woo Bin as Hyun Ki
  • IU (Lee Ji-Eun) as Han Eun Mi
  • Song Joong Ki as Kang Woo
  • Park Bo Young as Bo Ra
  • Yoo Seung Ho as Yang Gil
  • Kim Yoo Jung as Jin Sun Hee

Poster art by kfangurl

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