The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Memories Of The Alhambra

So, funny story, you guys.

I was late to the party, and started my watch of this show when everyone else was well into Show’s middle stretch. I struggled enough with Hyun Bin’s character in this show’s first two episodes, that I was legit on the brink of dropping this show. And then, Show ended, and there was such a heated furore among viewers for Show’s reportedly terrible-horrible-couldn’t-be-worse-let’s-boycott-this-writer-forever ending, that I was so sure that I had dodged a bullet.

But then, I saw a couple of tweets by viewers who actually felt satisfied with Show’s ending. Well, now. That sure got my attention. If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you might know that I’ve been known to, on at least several occasions in the past, buck general audience trends by feeling completely differently about certain shows versus the majority of viewers. It was like that when I started the blog in 2012 (my first ever post was for Operation Proposal, which I really liked – and which most people hated), and it was like that recently too, when I’d been very solidly satisfied with the ending of The Third Charm – which most people also hated.

So this curious cat (with a reasonable amount of FOMO) decided to do an experiment. Instead of dropping the show, I adjusted my viewing lens using all the fragments of information I had, and jumped in for a marathon. The big question I wanted to put to the test was: With the right expectations and the right lens adjustment, would this show – could this show – actually turn out to be, well, good?

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Flash Review: W-Two Worlds

I’m thinking that we all have that one friend; you know, that one person that we know, who’s so unpredictable on a regular basis, that after a while, they become almost predictable in their unpredictability?

I mean, in the beginning, it’s all very surprising, and you find yourself rather stunned at said friend’s antics, and you sorta look forward to the kind of stuff said friend will get up to, coz it’s always something so unexpected and fresh. As time goes by, though, you can’t help but start to expect the unexpected from said friend, and it just becomes that much harder to feel surprised anymore. Said friend is still pretty much the same; just, you’ve gotten used to it, is all.

W is that friend, for me.

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Are kdramas getting worse / “dumbed down”?

So recently, a couple of comments on the blog have combined to give me pause for thought.

And instead of just answering the latest question in the comments section, I thought it was interesting enough, and thought-provoking enough, to put it all in a new post, and see what you guys think.

Well ok, that, and the fact that as I chewed on my answer to the latest comment, I realized that there were just too many facets to the answer than I felt could fit reasonably into a simple comment.

Basically, the question is, have kdramas gotten worse / more “dumbed down” in recent years?

Let’s dive in together to take a look, shall we?

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Review: The Three Musketeers

THE SHORT VERDICT:

More often brisk and breezy than not, more often engaging and fun than not, and more often interesting and entertaining than not, The Three Musketeers is more than your average fusion sageuk.

This drama is a pretty bold attempt to adapt an age-old tale across mediums (novel to drama) and across cultures (French to Korean), while doing its best to retain the optimum crack ingredients that would appeal to a kdrama-loving audience.

Possibly due to its ambition, pacing across the show can be a little uneven, and logic gets sacrificed on more occasions than one might expect. Put on some generous Logic Blinders, though, and there are likely to be enough goodies in this one to make it worth your while.

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Review: You From Another Star [My Love From Another Star]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A drama that’s got a light, frothy and often comedic outer shell, but harbors an inner core that’s poignant, stirring and heart-in-your-throat moving.

To be sure, if one put on a hard logical lens, this show’s flaws may be too glaring for one to overlook. But for those who can turn that logical lens to a blurry soft-focus, and amp up the emotional lens to a setting high enough to engage with the characters on a more visceral level, that touching inner core is the satisfying, gratifying reward.

Separately, Jeon Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun are both truly excellent in their roles. Even better? Together, they are pure magic.

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Year In Review: 2013

In in all, I’d hafta say that 2013 has been a big k-year for me. My biggest k-year ever, since I got on the k-train in 2007. After all, this is the year that I:

– experienced what it’s like to take care of a blog;

– discovered the awesome allure of Kim Woo Bin;

– went to my first fanmeet, ever;

– organized my first squee-fest (fun!)

and

– faced my first existential crisis as a blogger. (I survived. It’s all good.)

The downside of all that, though? I watched the least amount of drama, ever, since I got on the drama train.

Tsk. The irony, right?

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Trading Thoughts: Nine

I’m excited, y’all!! I hereby bring you the first joint post this blog has ever hosted! Woot!

Most of you know by now that I’ve fallen into the habit (trap? heh.) of taking a show apart for its review, and examining each little gear and piston, and writing up a storm in the process. Although I never specifically set out to write epic reviews, it’s become a bit of a trend on this blog now, and I’m grateful to those of you who actually enjoy coming on these epic journeys with me. Thanks y’all. It means a lot, really. ❤

In the midst of all you wonderful peeps who put in the time to read my reviews and share your thoughts with me, I discovered a particular sort of connection with the lovely Betsy Hp who hosts Creating Volumes. If you’ve been following the comments threads in some of my reviews, you might have noticed that Betsy Hp and I sometimes exchange (very) large chunks of thoughts. It’s like her thoughts inspire me to more thoughts, which then inspire her to more thoughts. It’s often a cycle that evolves and grows and gives birth to new and completely unexpected thoughts and ideas, which, Too Cool.

I then said (only) half in jest to Betsy Hp, that we should try joint-posting, just to see what these thought babies might look like, given the room to grow. And so – ta-dah! – here we are! *blows noisemaker*

Join us as we dive – with our thinking caps firmly on! – into the twisty world of Nine!

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Review: Nine [Nine: Nine Time Travels]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A time travel tale that is engaging, absorbing and tightly written.

It took me a couple of episodes to get completely sucked in, but when I did get sucked in, boy did I get sucked in good. Serving up twists and turns that literally keep you on the edge of your seat (and perhaps your sense of sanity too), Nine is thought-provoking, intense and really rather addictive. The dramatic tension flags in a few spots, but overall, I’d say this is a solid, worthy watch.

If you like your dramas to keep you on your toes and keep you thinking, and keep you guessing too, this would definitely be up your alley.

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