The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: How Long Will I Love U [Chinese Movie]

My inflight adventures continue, my friends, and today I met a movie that I wanted to tell you guys about, coz it’s cute, and there’s enough heart in here to bring on a nice case of the feels.

On a personal tangent, I’m kinda extra chuffed, because I basically decided on this movie today, because I recognized our leads’ names in the description. If you’ve been around here for a bit, you’d probably know that I only really started watching Chinese shows (mostly dramas) a couple of years ago, mostly as an addition to my main diet of Korean dramas. Which means that I often approach a Chinese show without having seen at least one of the leads before. And today, I recognized both leads’ names and where I’d last enjoyed their work (I saw Lei Jiayin in The First Half Of My Life and Tong Liya in Nirvana In Fire 2). Woot! Achievement unlocked! 😀

Ok, but seriously, this movie is a sweet lil one, which I hope you guys will like.

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Dropped: Hwarang

Ordinarily, I’d be the first to agree with the age-old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – or, as the case may be, “Don’t judge a drama by its promos.”

After all, sometimes, the watch experience of a show really doesn’t jive with its promo material. Some shows have uninteresting promo material but turn out to be excellent watches (I mean, just think about the old-fashioned, ugly poster that belongs to the fantastic Healer), while other shows have amazing promos but turn out to be duds in the watching (Joseon Gunman comes to mind, among many others).

In this instance, though, I really should’ve paid (much more) heed to this show’s low-rent bad wigs and cheesy posters. On hindsight, I think they were trying to warn me that this show wouldn’t be worth spending hours of my life on, and – silly, foolish me – I didn’t listen. Which is how I ended up wasting 13 hours of my life trying to make the best of this show, before I realized that Show’s best really, really wasn’t doing it for me.

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Review: Healer

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Healer is that special snowflake of a drama that manages to combine action, romance, and some nice spots of comedy, all in one tight little show. And it’s a mighty successful combination too, I might add.

Sure, the backstory runs a little bit melo and may not appeal to everyone, but the blend of adrenaline-pumping thrills, a truly sparky, heartfelt OTP, a deeply melty – yet flawed and believable – hero, and a courageous, strong heroine, makes for an exhilaratingly heady combination of feels that just sends my heart in multiple directions all at once.

Add on Show’s highly polished camera work and its very effective, very immersive OST, and it’s a combination that’s pretty darn hard to beat.

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Flash Review: Heartless City [Cruel City]

You know how they say fine wine takes time?

Well, it actually took me a pretty long time to appreciate Heartless City. Truth be told, I was slow on the uptake with this one. While many of my dramaland friends fell in instant love with this show (and others felt an instant disconnect), I fell somewhere in that vague no man’s land of not hating it, but not quite loving it either.

Show later fixed that by creeping up on me and laying firm hold on my heart in the later episodes, so much so that the moment I reached the end, I actually went right back to the beginning for a partial re-watch. Kinda crazy, but completely true.

So maybe my appreciation is sorta like fine wine? 😛

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Dropped: High-end Crush

I swear, I’m not being trigger-happy in dropping web drama High-end Crush. In fact, I have only the best intentions.

See, I need to preserve what’s left of my affection for Jung Il Woo.

When the show you’re watching only seems to make you like less and less, someone that you thought you liked quite well, isn’t it the wiser, better and nobler thing to do, to get out quick? Coz, when you’re faced with the choice between one little web drama, and your feelings of goodwill towards Jung Il Woo, there’s just no contest, right?

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Dropped: Hidden Identity

Despite Hidden Identity pretty much flying under the drama radar, I was curious to check it out for a couple of reasons.

One, this was tvN’s first foray into the crime thriller genre, after establishing itself as a steady producer of quirky rom-coms. I wondered how they would do, especially compared to OCN, where crime thrillers are a mainstay.

Two, Show promised gritty, badass Kim Bum. Given my soft spot for Kim Bum and my weakness for badass leading men, I couldn’t say no to that.

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Flash Review: High Society

Let’s put it this way. High Society is pretty much The Drama Who Cried Wolf. Except instead of Wolf, Show was crying stuff like, “I’m interesting! And dramatic! My leads have sparky chemistry! And! I bring hawt kisses!”

Insistently and repeatedly, Show sang its siren song. BUT. Consistently and repeatedly, episode after episode, despite managing to coast by on the faint promise of things to come, ultimately, Show failed to deliver.

Can someone point me to the Time Refund counter in dramaland, please? Coz I’d really like to have my 16 hours back.

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Dropped: Ho Goo’s Love

…And another one on my drama plate bites the dust.

I’m not in a dropping mood or anything, I swears. I promise that there are dramas that I’ve finished and liked, even. I just haven’t finished writing the reviews (they’ll come, honest!).

I really wanted to like Ho Goo’s love, and even stuck with it for 10 whole episodes, hoping that it would hook me properly at some point. 10 episodes into Show’s total of 16, though, I realized that this show simply wasn’t working for me.

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Dropped: Hyde, Jekyll, Me

I couldn’t do it, you guys. I couldn’t finish Hyde, Jekyll, Me, despite my good intentions.

Let the record show that I really wanted to like this drama. And when I slowly started to realize that this wasn’t such a great drama, that I’d originally planned to stick it out to the end, if only for Hyun Bin’s sake.

I mean, this was Binnie’s drama comeback after what felt like an eternity, and I do certainly have Binnie Appreciating Eyes, so surely I could’ve sucked it up for him?

Um, turns out I couldn’t, after all. 😛

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Review: Heart To Heart

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An understated, quiet little drama that started as a slow burn for me, but eventually got under my skin.

The writing’s a little patchy in spots, but the immersive, indie-flavored atmosphere, together with well-delivered characters, more than make up for weaknesses in the writing. Leads Choi Kang Hee and Chun Jung Myung both turn in excellent performances, and second leads Lee Jae Yoon and Ahn So Hee are nothing to sniff at either.

A warm and ultimately enjoyable watch.

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