The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: Search: WWW

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A dark horse of a show that took a tiny bit of getting used to, but eventually surprised me by sneaking under my skin to grab my heart in a big way.

Search: WWW truly is a rarity in Dramaland. First of all, it’s women-centric and puts the spotlight on the relationships among our main female characters, which in itself is a big plus. But even more surprising than that, is that while each of our 3 main ladies has her own loveline with a perfectly matched love interest, those romance arcs never take centerstage in our narrative, even at their most melty. Instead, the romances are positioned as just one aspect of our women’s very full lives. Seriously, how refreshing and cool is that?

Thoughtfully written, solidly directed, and brimming with consummate performances by the cast, this is one drama that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

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Review: One Spring Night

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A romance that manages to feel real and raw, yet sweet and aspirational, at the same time.

Even though our characters are flawed and sometimes even a little unlikable, Show manages to also make them brave enough, and sweet enough, and considerate enough, that our lead couple feels thoroughly worth rooting for, both separately and together. While our story doesn’t ever achieve cracky levels of engagement, Show more than makes up for this, with its deft exploration of characters and relationships, while putting some very healthy relationship dynamics on display.

Despite feeling a touch slow in terms of its plot development, Show manages to feel thoughtfully satisfying all the way to the end.

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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: School 2017

I’m admitting defeat, you guys. I know that lots of folks found this show enjoyable and even kinda cracky, but 11.14 episodes into this one (yes, I actually calculated that, just for funsies), I’m throwing in the towel. I guess I just.. don’t get it?

Even though Show served up a range of ingredients that ought to have appealed to me – student struggles, teacher struggles, friendships, crushes, a heroine with a backbone, and even a star-crossed bromance plus a hottie whose visuals are right up my alley – I just couldn’t get into this one.

Try as I might, I just couldn’t seem to care about any of it.

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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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Review: Sassy Go Go [Cheer Up]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Sassy wasted no time in stealing my heart, to be honest.

Yes, it’s not very inventive, in that its plot isn’t anything very new, and feels vaguely like a mashup of Angry MomWho Are You – School 2015, and Shut Up Flower Boy Band, with a bit of Dream High, and even mild shades of School 2013, thrown in for good measure. But I genuinely enjoyed all of those shows, and any resemblance, in this case, is not a bad thing. I loved that Show is breezy, and showcases endearing characters and their heart-tugging relationships, and I was effectively smitten for much of Show’s run.

It’s unfortunate that Show loses its footing somewhat, in the last quarter. That made me sad. After everything is said and done, though, I still felt wistful in saying goodbye to these characters, and that definitely counts for something.

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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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Review: Heart To Heart

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An understated, quiet little drama that started as a slow burn for me, but eventually got under my skin.

The writing’s a little patchy in spots, but the immersive, indie-flavored atmosphere, together with well-delivered characters, more than make up for weaknesses in the writing. Leads Choi Kang Hee and Chun Jung Myung both turn in excellent performances, and second leads Lee Jae Yoon and Ahn So Hee are nothing to sniff at either.

A warm and ultimately enjoyable watch.

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Review: The Technicians [Movie]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Quite smartly written, but not quite so smartly paced, The Technicians might feel underwhelming for those looking for a zippy, jaunty caper movie.

Despite its relatively slow set-up and its consequently somewhat sluggish feel, though, Show boasts a cohesive narrative with heart, and it doesn’t even ever get too melodramatic while going about it either.

Add on a cast of likable main characters and a good dose of pretty (Woob! On my screen! Eee!!), and The Technicians is still a solidly entertaining watch.

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Flash Review: Secret Love – Have You Ever Had Coffee With An Angel?

Given my Healer-induced new-found appreciation of Ji Chang Wook, it’s not hard to understand why I decided to pick up this little drama short.

At just over an hour, it’s a quick, low-commitment way to get a dose of Ji Chang Wook on my screen, while I continue to work off the Healer feels by gathering myself together to write it a proper review. (It’ll come! I promise! It’s just, too many feeelz!)

Considering how I’ve been underwhelmed by other drama shorts that I’ve checked out in the past (Her Lovely Heels, for instance. Or Love Cells.), color me pleasantly surprised, that this little drama short, in spite of its brief running time, is actually quite a nice dose of feel-good fun. 🙂

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