The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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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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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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Flash Review: Seven First Kisses

The moment Lotte Duty Free announced this little web series for the festive season, I knew I’d be tuning in, no matter what. I mean, to have Lee Jun Ki, Park Hae Jin, Ji Chang Wook, Kai, Taecyeon, Lee Jong Suk and Lee Min Ho in the leading men line-up? Even the most big-budget blockbuster movie production would have trouble pulling that off.

So tune in I did; which wasn’t hard to do, really, with each episode topping out at a very compact 7-8 minutes. And y’know what, for what it is (an unabashed, extended CF for Lotte Duty Free, in case you were wondering), this show’s a fun little ride.

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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: Page Turner

I’m beginning to wonder if this is a Thing with piano-themed dramas; like, are they just consistently good? Coz I loved Secret Love Affair, and I really really liked this, and honestly, the only thing they have in common is classical piano. And this, when I’m not even a fan of classical music.

I started on this one when I was in a bit of a drama rut, where nothing that I watched seemed to grab me, and I wondered (all over again, as I always do, when I find myself in a drama rut), if I’d simply watched too many dramas and therefore had become too hardened and jaded to invest my heart in a drama. (Gasp! The horror!)

Well, whaddya know, I liked this one, and right away too. Very quickly into my watch, I was all, OMG I LIKE IT, AND I WANT MORE. RIGHT NOW, IF POSSIBLE. Clearly, it wasn’t my heart that was the problem, but Dramaland in general! Phew.

The great thing is, this stayed grabby-good through to the end. The only downside? It’s only 3 episodes. Sniffle.

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Review: Oh Hae Young Again [Another Oh Hae Young]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

More than – and therefore possibly mis-marketed as – a typical rom-com, this show possesses a sensitive, thoughtful core that tends to lean melancholic. Empathetic writing, tender directing, and some outstandingly dig-deep acting come together to bring out the beauty inherent in the melancholy, and it’s quite remarkable to behold.

A deft comic hand to manage the broad comedic elements, a solid supporting cast, and a gorgeous OST round out this show’s appeal.

Not perfect, to be sure, but so worth the watch.

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Year In Review: 2015

I can hardly believe that 2015 is coming to a close and 2016’s almost upon us. I know I said this last year too, but seriously guys, time is flying.

Even more so when you count the year in drama milestones, or so it seems, since there are more dramas in dramaland than ever before, vying for our limited drama hours. Everything feels like it’s flying by in a blur, and even though I’m dedicated to my dramas, it’s just not humanly possible to stay on top of everything – and that’s before taking Real Life responsibilities into account! XD

Still, I’m pleased to report that I managed to watch at least as much drama as I did last year, if not a little bit more. I’m sorta behind on the reviewing front, but I promise to catch up on that, pinky swear!

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Pure Pretty: Choi Si Won

If you read my recent review of She Was Pretty, and particularly if you’ve known me for a while, you’d probably have guessed that this Pure Pretty spotlight on Si Won was soon in the coming.

I mean, not only did he deliver the role with an impressive amount of nuance that felt raw and heartfelt, he made it all look so effortless. From the hammy & funny, to the glimpses of sorrow & poignance, he made it all feel natural, like it was a genuine extension of himself. He was the character, all the way through. And I was, quite literally, blown away.

On top of all of that acting awesome, he looked fantastic. Just, how could I not give him a piece of my heart? ❤

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#FindMyTribe Refreshed! Plus, Healer Shirt!

Thanks to everyone who supported #FindMyTribe in its first incarnation, you guys are the best! Thanks for your encouragement and enthusiasm, it’s what keeps me going with this little project. Well, it’s little now, but hopefully it’ll grow into something a little bigger & more robust with time.

Since all the tee cycles last closed, it’s been so quiet in the #FindMyTribe corner of this site that you could practically hear (virtual) crickets. But, I haven’t forgotten about #FindMyTribe, nor the reason that I think it’s a cool idea. [If you’re new to this site, essentially, it’s to give us drama fans a subtler way to wear our drama love, as well as a way to find one another as we wear our shirts proudly into the world! You can check out my original post here.]

While #FindMyTribe was in hibernation, I thought over the entire process and I’m happy to say that I’ve found a more permanent platform on which to offer #FindMyTribe tees. Woot! 😀

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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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