The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Producer

I’m very pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed Producer:

  • Despite not being so keen on its initial mockumentary style;
  • Despite its notoriously long episodes that run for at least 80 minutes each; and
  • Despite not being all that interested in Show’s premise to begin with.

I suppose I could call that a triple-whammy happy bonus?

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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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Dear kfangurl: My ship has sunk. How does a fangirl cope?

Shipwrecked. Oh dear.

Today’s question is brought to us by Jo (the very same Jo who helped to spark off the Dear kfangurl series, no less!), who asks:

Dear kfangurl,

My ship has sunk (will not name which though I think it’s fairly obvious which one it is since all of k-drama news mentions it at least daily). I was able to get out of it in time – not abandoning ship per se (yes, pun very much intended), but rather, RL took over and I had little time to squee on the forums.

It was my very first ship and I would daresay, my very last. When I was at the height of shipping I was swept up in the highs and lows of it, analyzing outfits and accessories, stalking social media, hanging on to every word said in interviews, the works. I fiercely believed in the possibility of them. Even wrote a fanfic (yes, that bad). But thank goodness work picked up and other real life duties kicked in that, by the time one of them was confirmed to be dating, I had about 2-3 days to accept it.

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Year In Review: 2014

If there’s one thing that everyone seems to be able to agree on, it’s that time is flying. Like, seriously. Where has 2014 gone?

I can hardly believe that 2015 is almost here, promising/threatening gifts of dramas chock-full of vampires, multiple personalities, and other psychological disorders goodies.

Before 2014 makes her exit, though, I wanted to come out and give credit where it’s due. Coz as much as so many of my friends in dramaland have been talking about a meh drama year, I feel like I had a pretty good drama year, actually.

I know. How did that happen, right?

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Review: It’s Okay It’s Love

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A quirky confection that is as sweet as it is strange, It’s Okay serves up an oddball-flavored 3-in-1 love package exploring romance, friendship and family, with a big dose of dysfunction and dramaland psychiatry on the side.

Show is not always big on the logic nor on the medical accuracy, but its characters and relationships are consistently delivered with heart and nuance, helping us to buy into and believe in its world, no matter how surreal things sometimes get. Excellent performances by our leads as well as many of the secondary characters, together with some very sparky OTP chemistry, help to sweeten the deal.

At its heart, It’s Okay’s charm is that it’s an imperfect show peopled by imperfect characters, to appeal to an imperfect audience.

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Dear kfangurl: Is shipping kdrama co-stars normal?

You know, one of the things that I really enjoy about this blog, is how you guys inspire new types of posts, often when I least expect it. With your suggestions, this blog has taken on more breadth than I ever intended, and I think that’s cool.

First, it was the Dream Dramas post inspired by Lady G, and then it was the Pure Pretty series inspired by asotss.

Today, I’m kicking off yet another type of post on the blog, and it’s the Dear kfangurl.. post? Series? I don’t really know yet whether this will turn into an actual series, since that really depends on whether people have questions that they’d like to ask.

Basically, it’s sorta like an agony aunt sort of thing, except it’s more specific to dramas and fangirling (it’s my screen-name, isn’t it? It makes me seem like a fangirling expert, eh?). I do have a nephew, so I’m technically an aunt, but I prefer to think of this as an agony unni column instead of an agony aunt one, heh.

I may not have all the answers that you’re looking for, but I can promise a listening ear and sharing of my thoughts and experiences, much like how a friend might listen and chat with you over tea.

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Review: Master’s Sun

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Not one of the best outings by the Hong sisters, but not one of the worst either, Master’s Sun delivers what it promises: rom-com hijinks of the somewhat ghostly variety.

Driven mostly by sparky OTP chemistry and a lovely OST, which together made up for lapses in the storytelling, this drama is more mood than substance. And it’s a slow burn too, at that.

Essentially, a pretty fun, easy, unchallenging watch if you don’t think about it too hard. And I’ve just found a way to level that up in a serious fashion, which I’ll tell you more about in the review.

And no, the ghosts aren’t that scary. 

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Review: That Far Gone [Master’s Sun Fanfic]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Classy, funny and sexy, That Far Gone is a smartly-written, tenderly-conceived labor of love.

A writer who clearly knows her subject and her audience, mywebfoot paints a convincing, believable fantasy world in which drama fans can indulge their imaginations and even their shipper hearts as they see the unfolding of a ‘real-life’ romance between So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin come to life in the pages of this fanfic.

A tantalizingly addictive ride not only for So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin shippers, but for anyone who took notice of their chemistry in Master’s Sun.

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256 Comments

Best Kickass Imaginary Dream Dramas, Ever!

Do you have a Dream Drama?

Y’know, like in your head, you have the Perfect scenario, the Perfect male lead, the Perfect female lead, the Perfect second leads, and the Most Perfect story arcs, Ever? The kind of idea that makes you go, “OMGGGG I WOULD WATCH THAT DRAMA!!!!”???

Where if you could have it your way, this drama would be filmed and produced, stat, and immediately given a time slot on a Korean network, so that the entire dramaverse would be able to inhale the awesome, in unison?

Well, I and the ladies on this blog certainly have a few of those, and not only am I gonna share those awesome scenarios with you today, we wanna hear about your Perfect Dream Drama too!

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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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