The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Five Children [Five Enough]

When you think about it, family dramas are pretty expensive in drama hour terms, aren’t they? I mean, they cost the equivalent of at least 3 whole prime-time mini-series’ worth of drama hours, after all.

Which is why, even though I really enjoy a good family drama every once in a while – not the makjang-fests where screaming, scheming, kimchi slaps, birth secrets and trucks of doom are regular everyday features, but the kind of family drama that’s warm, comforting, hopeful and tends to make you feel all toasty-warm inside – I don’t often actually commit to one.

This is one of those rare times where I did commit myself to one, and I’m super pleased to report that Five Children is solidly worth the drama hour spendage.

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Flash Review: Fall In Love With Me [TW Drama]

So something pretty surprising happened lately. I – who previously hardly ever (like, seriously, ever) checked out Taiwanese dramas – have been on a Taiwanese drama kick.

I’m not even talking about being mildly-to-moderately interested, and simply adding Taiwanese dramas as one more option to my drama plate. I’m talking about full-on back-to-back episode binge-watching, to the exclusion of everything else. Including kdramas. Gasp! What in the world..? Right?!? 😛

And this, when the dramas themselves weren’t even all that good. Like this one.

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Review: Falling For Innocence

THE SHORT VERDICT:

While never terribly strong on the logic front, nor on managing its corporate machinations, Falling For Innocence manages to be a warm, engaging and uplifting watch.

Despite being quite fantastical in its premise as well as its execution, the narrative stays grounded via the emotional resonance and heft imparted by its committed cast.

Amid the many solid performances delivered by the cast, Jung Kyung Ho stands out as THE shining star of this drama world. His fabulous, faceted performance resonates with so much heart that it actually helps to overcome Show’s flawed logic. That’s skillz.

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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: 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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Review: Flower Boy Next Door

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A pretty low-key, small story set in a cute, quirky manhwa-esque world.

Within the smallness of the story, the writers manage to tease out some nice characterization, character growth and relationship development. It’s too bad this wasn’t quite sustained throughout the show’s 16 episodes.

Still a fairly enjoyable way to spend 16 hours, especially if you’re in the mood for contemplative with a side serving of zany.

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Review: Fermentation Family

THE SHORT VERDICT:

This drama’s got a slower, more languid pace than most other dramas.

Populated by well-drawn, faceted characters, each with their own backstory and needs, this drama is a heartwarming, thoughtful watch.

As a bonus, there is a generous amount of gorgeous food porn. Be prepared to crave kimchi 😉