The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: Prison Playbook [Wise Prison Life]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A show that takes the dark topic of prison and crime, and infuses it all with warmth and hope, Prison Playbook is the unlikely contender for your heart that will likely make you laugh, cry, wring your heart dry, and then fill it right up again.

Writer-nim weaves a story that makes primary and secondary character pop, while every actor in our ensemble cast breathes actual life into the characters, and PD-nim’s signature touch comes alive in both the palpable sense of community and the corny jokes. As a shining bonus, the bromance at the center of our story feels emotionally deep despite its often gruff surface.

Poignant and homey, despite its grim premise.

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Dropped: The Great Seducer

You know, for a hot second, I thought I might actually like this show.

Right off the bat, it kinda-sorta felt like an off-shoot of Heirs, but better done and more interesting. Similar to Heirs, Seducer’s drama world is also centered around a bunch of rich kids, with one pair of them sparking off each other, his sexy rebel cool to her prickly pouty petulance. All that spark, whether acknowledged or not, is blocked – or would that be amplified? – by their parents getting hitched to each other. Oh, plus there’s also an innocent, not-rich girl in the center of it all.

Unlike Heirs, there is no Kim Tan character, which I counted as a huge plus, since I hated Kim Tan, with a passion.

…Too bad my cautiously positive first impression didn’t last very long at all. I lasted 10 half-hour episodes of this one, dragging my feet through the last few of those 10 episodes, and have had zero desire to go back to this one.

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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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