The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Dear kfangurl: What are some romance dramas featuring regular guys?

Today’s post is inspired by Jesse!

In the course of one of our chats scattered across the blog, where I was trying to think of dramas to recommend to Jesse, I’d suggested Romance Is A Bonus Book. He’d ultimately sounded quite happy with this suggestion and said that he would probably check it out soon, but, he’d also said this, about the first time he’d considered watching the show:

“I remember at the time that I came across the show in a search awhile back, I saw the word “success” (as in Cha Eun-ho is a successful author) and completely lost interest. I didn’t want to see successful characters! I wanted to see losers and average Joes, because that’s who I could relate to at the time. I wanted to see love interacting with unremarkable people so I could nod and say, “See, Jess – it happens. Just you wait…”

..And that made me realize that Dramaland’s been so focused on creating everygirls and everywomen to give the female viewers (traditionally a majority) someone to identify with, that it’s forgotten that our growing number of male viewers would also appreciate an everyman to identify with. So I set about coming up with a list of dramas featuring regular guys – instead of the usual chaebol prince, or requisite geeenius – as romantic leading men.

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Dear kfangurl: What makes a kdrama addictively re-watchable?

Healer: so cracky, for so many reasons.

shorterthanparkboyoung writes:

Dear kfangurl, what makes a kdrama addicting enough that I want to rewatch at least 10 times?
I’m kinda in the middle of a tough transition period at the moment and I found myself going back to rewatching all my favourite dramas – Healer, My Love From Another Star, Because This Is My First Life, Fight For My Way and Suspicious Partner, but with the FF button when it came to the “evil chaebol” or “bad guy” bits. But when I decided to try a drama that I hadn’t watched but was on my list, I kept dropping them half way. What is it in the above dramas, which I believe you loved as well after reading your reviews (which were amazing btw), or any general drama that makes me come back to these again and again?

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Flash Review: VIP

This is honestly the show that I didn’t think I’d be interested in, like, at all, when it was first announced, but which ended up sucking me in literally right away, with its mix of emo angst and mystery.

Much thanks to my Twitter pals who gushed about this show’s cracky quality, because that’s honestly the only thing that piqued my interest enough to get me to check this one out. I mean, the synopsis “a couple whose lives fall apart while they work at a department store on the VIP Management Team” just didn’t sound all that interesting to me, y’know?

And so color me very surprised and very pleased, when I quickly found myself slurping this one up as a priority drama among the other dramas on my plate, sometimes even watching episodes back-to-back, which I rarely ever do anymore. What. An. Excellent. Surprise.

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Flash Review: Father Is Strange

You know a show’s gotta be Quite Something, if it’s luring me out of the writing-hiatus-cum-drama-rut I’ve found myself ensconced in for the last couple of months.

I literally just finished watching the last episode of Father Is Strange today, and liked it enough to start poking around to craft a review right away. Considering that 1, Father Is Strange is a 52-episode family drama, and 2, I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired on both the writing and drama fronts, this is a Big Testament to how likable I’ve found this show and its characters.

Even if you’re not usually into family dramas, I really do think you might like this one.

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Review: Feelings [Neukkim]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

One of the original trendies that helped to start it all, Feelings is as much of a nostalgic treat for seasoned viewers, as it is a novel peek into Hallyu’s beginnings for newer viewers.

An easy breezy story with a timeless appeal, Feelings follows a group of young people as they navigate the journey to adulthood, wrestling with classic questions of evolving identity and purpose. Of course, youthful impulsiveness, angst & good ol’ hormones intensify and amplify their emotions to a distracting degree. Because honestly, at that age, isn’t it really all about feeeelings?

The show’s 20-year vintage shows; the drama’s production values, writing and acting all veer on the side of earnest and a little clumsy. But the retro awesome, from early 90s hair and fashion, to the novelty of seeing established stars in their early years, makes up for it all.

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Pocketful of Sunshine!

Good mornin’, Sunshine!

You might’ve seen the Sunshine Award making its rounds in the k-blogosphere lately. Well, today it’s my turn to join the sunshiny fun!

But first of all, let’s get some context. (You guys know how much I love my context!)

I did a bit of poking around, and found that the Sunshine Award is given to bloggers who “positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”

D’aw~ That’s so nice, isn’t it?

Thanks to Snow of The Drama Corner for nominating me as a positive inspiration!

Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?

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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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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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