The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: Angry Mom

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Well-written and executed with an assured hand, Angry Mom is a dark horse in dramaland that manages to be engaging, thought-provoking and consistent, in spite of its varying tones and sometimes difficult subject matter.

Kim Hee Sun does an outstanding job as our titular Angry Mom, and the rest of the ensemble cast is pretty excellent as well. Almost everyone manages to deliver heartfelt, layered characters who feel like real people, and together, they amplify their drama world by making it feel all the more real, by extension.

Hard to watch at times, but so worth the journey.

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Dear kfangurl: What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great?

Today’s question is brought to us by Bakazen, who asks:

Dear kfangurl,

What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great? I just recently finished watching Doctor Stranger and realized 2 things: LJS is a good actor and I really didn’t like this drama. So why did I finish it? Because I was hooked by the bromance tease between LJS and PHJ.

My personal theory is they work well as substitutes for the sometimes overwhelming lack of affection we see between couples. Guys in bromances show affection, love, solidarity, joy, connection & (dare I say it) skinship! Nothing warms my heart like one of the F4s coming to a bros rescue, the F44s teasing each other or the leads in School 2013 (LJS & Woobie) saying how much they missed each other’s friendship. Besides, I rarely get that hooked into the female friendships (major exception, Noh Eun-seol & Lee Myung Ran from Protect the Boss). What do you think?

Bakazen

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Liebster Shower [Round 2!]

So a funny thing happened. Liebster season snuck up on me when I wasn’t even looking.

When the first signs popped up, hinting that Liebster season was upon us again, I hardly took notice. I was all like, Well, I had a good go at that last year, and it was a heap of fun. Surely after 9 whole Liebsters, though, no one’s going to want to ask me more questions about myself. Right?

Wrong.

When I wasn’t looking, those Liebsters seemed to multiply in a little room all by their sneaky little selves. Almost like they had a will all their own. And now, I have a serious heap of questions to answer *starts sweating bullets*

I plead hectic Real Life schedules as the reason that I delegated the job of answering the Liebster questions to Future Me (hey, after watching so many time-travel dramas, you gotta learn something, right?)

So here I am, Future Me (er, now Present Me?) to the rescue! Let’s see if you guys can stick with me all the way to the very end, eh? I promise to make this as pain-free as possible 😉

And, thanks to all you sweethearts who nominated me – I feel like I’ve been rained on by showers of lurve ❤

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A Liebster Award. Kinda. [Liebster the Ninth!]

So this morning I woke up to a comment on the blog, from fellow blogger Indigo that read, “Hi! I nominated you for Liebster Award” and I hafta confess, my first thought was, “Uh. This is spam, right?”

Coz up till today, I’d never even heard of the Liebster Award, but had made acquaintance with enough spam to make me immediately suspicious. I mean, sure, I follow Indigo’s (very nice) blog Between Wor(L)ds & she’s definitely legit. But I thought spiders had impersonated her by hijacking her identity or something, and posted something spammy on my blog. For serious, yo.

I’m usually a pretty trusting person. Unless it has to do with suspicious spammy spiders on the world wide web. (Ooh, did’ja see what I did there? That’s technically triple – ok, fine, double – alliteration, twice in a row!)

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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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Review: Life Is Beautiful

LIB1

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A lovely family drama that is completely refreshing and that has a wonderful harmonious, comforting tone throughout its 63 episodes.

There is no trace of melodrama in this one. People don’t hate each other; no one is plotting revenge on anyone; there is no web of birth secrets; there is no long-suffering Candy character and no chaebol prince. The beats are relatively small, and yet I never felt like they were insignificant.

As a bonus, this drama is set in gorgeous, glorious Jeju Island.

Criminally underrated, this gem is a completely enjoyable watch from start to finish.

LIB2

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Kfangirl’s 2012 Drama Awards + Origin Story of This Blog

Kfangirl 2012 Drama Awards I

Celebrate with me! This is a double first for me: my first Year-In-Review, AND, my first guest post too! 😀

This guest post is especially close to my heart because how it came about is actually the origin story of this blog.

THE ORIGIN STORY

Up to about 2 months ago, I had been a persistent lurker in the kdrama-verse. For most of my six kdrama-watching years, I visited lots of blogs regularly and kept up with the k-entertainment news and lapped up other people’s views and reviews, but I almost never commented on anything. Once in a long while, I would leave a comment somewhere, but mostly only if I had something that I was just burning to say.

I’m an introvert at heart, though most people who know me in real life wouldn’t guess it, and this was my inner introvert acting out.

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Review: Queen In-hyun’s Man

THE SHORT VERDICT:

So. Good.

Despite my high expectations from all the rave comments online, I was still blown away. And that’s quite a feat, no matter which way you look at it.

The cinematography is gorgeous, the color palette is beautiful, and the writing is tight. The actors do a fantastic job bringing the characters to life. So fantastic, in fact, that Ji Hyun Woo fell for Yoo In Na for real. Which makes watching this drama extra awwww-inspiring coz you know all the lovey-dovey googly eyes he makes at her are for real 😉

It’s lovely, and worth a re-watch, even.

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