The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: The Best Hit

Y’know, I will always think fondly of the year 2012.

It was a pretty great drama year, serving up a good number of shows that I truly enjoyed, like Arang and the Magistrate, The King 2 Hearts, Gaksital, and Padam Padam, among many others. On top of that, 2012 was also the year I decided to try my hand at the whole drama blogging thing – and hey, look at where we are now, eh?

But. There is one thing that I kinda hold against 2012.. coz 2012 is the year that time travel took over the dramaverse. Suddenly, it felt like time travel was everywhere. Queen In-hyun’s Man, Rooftop Prince, Faith, Dr. Jin, and even Operation Proposal all got in on the time travel action in 2012, with varying degrees of success. Let me just say that there’s nothing inherently wrong with using time travel as a concept, but honestly, it now kinda feels like time travel has become the Trend That Will Not Die.

For the record, I’m not hating on The Best Hit. In fact, I even rather enjoyed this show. It’s just that the whole time travel thing here feels particularly gratuitous – almost pointless, even. I personally feel that this show didn’t need the time travel conceit, to tell the slice-of-life, found-family story it wanted to tell. In fact, Show might’ve been better off just picking one time period and staying there. A pretty novel concept these days, I know. 😉

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Dropped: Uncontrollably Fond

So it looks like I ought to have my “Woob Fangirl” license revoked, you guys. Coz try as I might (and I really, really, really tried), I just could not get into Uncontrollably Fond. I trudged through 14 episodes of this one, trying – and consistently failing – to see the light with this show. At this point, I feel it’s time to admit defeat: I just don’t have it in me to sit through another 6 episodes of this one. Not even for Woob (gasp!).

I acknowledge that this show has its fans, who legit love this show. To which I can only say, I’m sorry, I just don’t get it.

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Flash Review: EXO Next Door

Remember when so many of you asked me what other short-format web drama might offer a fun, cracky watch similar to Noble, My Love?

Well, if you:

(a) are an EXO fan; or

(b) are into kpop in general; or

(c) are a tween/teen; or

(d) are some or all of the above,

…then EXO Next Door could be just what you’re looking for (although, if you are some or all of the above, you’d already know this by now, wouldn’t you? XD ). If you’re none of the above (like me), then, well, this could still be sorta cute. With some effort.

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Flash Review: Surplus Princess

So after just 2 episodes, I had shelved this show indefinitely, coz I’d found it really hard to get into. I pretty much planned to drop it, really.

And then School 2015 happened, where Nam Joo Hyuk charmed me all melty in spite of his limited acting range, and I decided to come back to this, to have a lookie at how he did in this show versus School 2015. Well, ok, I also came back to gaze at him, heh. Still, a fangirl reason is a reason too, right? 😉

All in all, I hafta say that I’m happy I gave this show a second chance, in spite of its seriously WTH ending.

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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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Sunshine The Second!

 

Guess what, everyone! The blog got a second Sunshine nomination!

Thanks to Indigo of Between Wor(L)ds for the love! And man, you DO ask some very tough questions!

I’m so pleased with myself now, coz after the blog’s first Sunshine Award, I’d told Lady G that I’d be getting her to play in future blog award type thingies.

Seeing Indigo’s tough questions, I’m mighty impressed with Past Me’s foresight. Coz I’m gonna need all the help I can get! Ha.

You’ll know what I mean when you see Indigo’s questions!

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Review: One Warm Word

THE SHORT VERDICT:

This is that rare breed of melodrama that doesn’t lay on the angst for the sake of angst, or pain for the sake of pain, but instead approaches its chosen premise with thoughtful sensitivity.

Populated with characters and relationships that are drawn and delivered with care and complexity, One Warm Word manages to ask many thought-provoking questions and raise several important themes, all while remaining a genuinely rich and engaging watch. There are some stretches which are angstier – and therefore harder to get through – but viewers who press through those times will be rewarded with a thought-provoking, ultimately warm watch.

Also, the show is a LOT prettier than the admittedly odd artistic sentiment expressed in its posters and OST covers. And I’m not even talking about the show’s very handsome men (yet).

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Review: Her Lovely Heels

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Her Lovely Heels is a short little mini-drama that boasts more atmosphere than actual story, more pretty than plot.

At just 12 short minutes per episode, the 10-episode mini-drama is literally only as long as a movie, yet tries to pack in as much as a regular drama in terms of OTP milestones, drama tropes and PPL. All of this, combined with its solid production values, pleasant OST and its earnest-but-stiff cast, makes watching Her Lovely Heels feel akin to watching a long infomercial. Show doesn’t have much meat on its bones, but it’s pretty, and it gets to its destination (while managing to hawk its products).

So why did I check this out at all? Why, for the Hong Jong Hyun Pretty, of course. I mean, just lookie at the Handsome:

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Food in Kdrama: An Obsession?

Today’s post is inspired by a conversation with blog regular INTJ.

After I posted my review of Let’s Eat, we realized that our respective experiences of the show were like night and day, to put it mildly. While I enjoyed the drama a lot, INTJ did not enjoy the show. At all.

I’ve understood for a long time that as viewers, we all respond to dramas and actors differently. A drama that one person loves to bits could be completely meh to someone else. And, an actor that inspires love in one person could inspire irritation in another. We all approach the world with our own filters, after all.

What gave me pause for thought is a follow-up email that INTJ sent me after our initial thought exchange on Let’s Eat. In it, he mentioned that he’s heard people around him say many times, “all Koreans do in their movies is eating.”

Well now. I’d never seen it that way before. This piece of information definitely made me think. And that, well, brought about a bunch of thoughts.

Given that INTJ’s mentioned several times before in other comments that he’s deeply interested in learning about the differences between cultures, I thought it apt to share my perspectives in a post.

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Review: Hot Young Bloods [Hot Blooded Youth]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A heartwarming coming-of-age movie disguised – and therefore heavily misidentified – as a campy comedy.

If you were to approach this movie expecting a dose of pure funny all the way through, I’m guessing you would walk away rather disappointed. It’s true that the (often coarse) comedy reigns supreme for a good stretch of the movie, taking up maybe 50% of total screentime (this is not an exacting number, it’s just my feel-o-meter talking). Eventually, though, the funny gives way to deeper, bigger, meatier things. There’s a good bit of melodramatic angst involved, but it’s played well, and it all serves a larger, more thoughtful message than what one might expect, given the initial camp: What does it mean to grow up? And what does it mean to stand up for what you believe in?

Excellent performances from both the youth and adult actors make this an engaging, ultimately satisfying watch, with a bit of thought-provoking on the side.

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