The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


14 Comments

Flash Review: Your House Helper

One of the struggles that I keep mentioning to my friend Timescout, is finding the just-so, perfect balance between just watching what I want to watch, and liking what I like, and paying attention to positive buzz on – and therefore trying out – dramas that I wouldn’t normally have on my radar. Sometimes, that curiosity serves me well, and I end up finding gems that I would’ve otherwise missed (OMG I freaking loved Money Flower, and My Mister, and neither of those were really on my radar to begin with). Other times, though, I’ve lived to regret my curiosity, when the show in question just doesn’t grab me the way it’s grabbed other people.

So here’s the thing. Originally, I was going to give Your House Helper a pass, since the premise didn’t appeal to me that much. But then I saw a fair number of comments floating around, saying that this one is surprisingly good, so I felt almost compelled to give it a chance. Long story short, I had to work to get into this one, and while it had its moments in the middle stretch, by the time I got to the end, I have to confess, I felt a tad underwhelmed. Not underwhelmed enough to give this show a terrible review, but underwhelmed enough to feel like I could’ve maybe spent those drama hours better elsewhere.

I don’t know if I’ll ever find that elusive balance between having the gumption to fly solo, and wanting to follow positive buzz so as not to miss any of the good stuff, but I’m certainly gonna keep trying. In the meantime, let’s dive a little bit into my experience with this show, shall we?

Disclaimer: Like I said, lots of folks liked this one, so your experience might vary from mine.

Continue reading


9 Comments

Flash Review: My Friend Is Still Alive [Drama Special]

Wow. This was unexpected.

After liking Lee Ki Kwang’s performance quite well in Twenty Years Old (quick review here), I’d put this drama special on my watch list, but kept putting off actually checking it out, thanks to all the other stuff on my drama plate consistently jostling for my limited drama hours.

On my return flight home a few nights ago, it just so happened that the sound on my in-flight entertainment system wasn’t working. Boo. So I did what any other drama-focused fangirl would do in the same situation. I whipped out my trusty laptop and watched the only drama-related thing that happened to be saved on it. Ha. Of course, that happened to be My Friend Is Still Alive.

I had no idea what to expect since I went in fairly blind. The thing is, this drama short managed to amuse me, aggravate me, move me and make me cry, all in one little hour. I actually felt glad, that I hadn’t been able to use my in-flight entertainment system. Pretty impressive, right?

Continue reading


27 Comments

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.

Continue reading


180 Comments

Review: Heirs

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A teen melodrama dressed up to pass off as a posh teen rom-com.

At first glance, this show might look like it wants to do too much, what with its over-bloated, gigantic cast. In actual fact, though, the show doesn’t really want to do anything except provide a platform for its OTP to go through the requisite angsty steps (angsty coz this is ultimately more melo than rom-com) to get to their happy-ever-after, which was a given from the very beginning (ok, the happy ending’s sorta more rom-com).

On the plus side, Kim Woo Bin is the resident scene-stealer (and he steals those scenes, so well), while several other secondary characters are likable and amusing. Just don’t expect a properly fleshed out story or robust character & relationship development arcs.

Pleasant enough but far from cracky, Heirs is a show that never fired up my emotions one way or the other. I neither hated it nor loved it. And indifference, I realize, is really not a very inspiring place to be.

Continue reading