Tag Archives: Nirvana In Fire

Flash Review: The Rise Of Phoenixes [China]

They say that sometimes, the journey is more important than the destination. I’d say that this is true, of this show.

The Rise of Phoenixes is (apparently) quite well-known for its less than ideal ending. That’s why I was reluctant to start this one, too. I mean, who in their right minds would watch a 70-episode show, knowing that it’s unlikely to end well, right?

But bittt assured me that I would fall in love with Chen Kun after watching this show, and that made me quite curious. I’m always ready to be a swooned-out fangirl, eh? Ha. So I dipped my toes into episode 1, became intrigued quite quickly, and then I got properly sucked in. By the time I hit narrative rough spots, I was attached enough to Show’s positives, to keep on going.

In this review, I’m going to attempt to lay it all out for you, so that you can decide whether this one would be worthwhile for you, too.

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Dear kfangurl: What’s an anti-hero and why do we like them?

Hmm.. This is a great question.

Snow Flower writes:

Dear Kfangurl,

I like reading your witty and thoughtful musings on dramas and their fans. I would like to read your take on one of the most popular drama tropes, the anti-hero (or heroine). I admit that I am fascinated with conflicted characters because I think that inside each of them is hidden the possibility for redemption. And redemption and character growth are the bread and butter of good storytelling. So if and when you are able, please share your insights about what makes a good anti-hero and why do the drama fans like them.

Sincerely,

Snow Flower

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Dear kfangurl: What are some dramas the man in my life might be willing to watch?

This post is thanks to MeriJ, who suggested the topic “K-Roms Your BF/Husband Might Be Willing To Watch With You.” I’ve also come across many drama fans who do sincerely wish that their significant others would share in their passion and watch dramas with them.

And since many of us are spending a lot more time at home these days because of the pandemic, and also because we recently had a great time helping Amethystwaves shortlist dramas to watch with her mom, I thought it’d be a good time to attempt to answer the question:

Dear kfangurl,

What are some dramas that the man in my life might be willing to watch with me?

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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: The Story Of Minglan [China]

This was a show that I just couldn’t not check out, come to think of it.

First of all, this is by Daylight Entertainment, the same good folks who gave us Nirvana In Fire and Nirvana In Fire 2, both of which are excellent shows that I loved.

Second of all, lots of you guys loved this. And your love was so effusive that I felt like I would like this one too (this, when I hadn’t yet seen a single episode, heh. See how persuasive y’all are?)

Now that I’ve emerged on the other side (73 whole episodes!), I have to say that while I don’t think I loved it as intensely as many of you did, I did like this one quite well indeed.

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Flash Review: Nirvana In Fire 2: The Wind Blows In Chang Lin [China]

Y’know, it’s tough being a sequel.

Everyone wants you to be everything. You need to be as good as the original; faithful to the original; not too different from the original; not too similar to it either. You need to be the same, yet different; faithful, yet fresh. That’s a tall order.

It’s even more challenging when the original is Nirvana In Fire, which is a drama that ruined me for all other dramas for a good long while, when I first finished watching it. It was so brilliantly written, so wonderfully acted, so beautifully produced (if you haven’t yet watched it, drop everything and watch it!), that when I heard that there was going to be a follow-up series, all I could think was, How does one follow an act like that? Talk about the tallest of tall orders.

So the million-dollar question is, does Nirvana In Fire 2 manage to fulfill all the criteria of a good sequel? I’m gonna say, Yes. It did an admirable job.

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Dropped: The Advisors Alliance [China]

I conclude that this is one of those times when a generally well-respected, well-liked show just isn’t working out for me the way I want it to.

I’d only heard positive things about The Advisors Alliance, and those who took the trouble to recommend it to me, all said that it was a good show that was worth the watch. For a while, I kinda rather enjoyed it too.

But 19 episodes into Show’s 42, I think it’s time to admit that this one just.. isn’t for me.

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Review: Money Flower

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Now this is revenge melo done right.

Interesting characters brought to life by excellent actors; a compelling backstory; great pacing; assured handling; immersive, consuming music. All of these elements come together to make Money Flower an addictive, cracktastic journey, from start to finish. Show stays gripping through to its final stretch, and even resolves its revenge story in a satisfying manner. That’s impressive stuff all-around, which makes it easy to forgive Show its few flaws.

Also, Jang Hyuk is Prowling Panther levels of superb in this. Flail.

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Flash Review: The First Half Of My Life [China]

This is one of those times when I feel like maybe not a lot of you guys would be immediately drawn to this show, but I feel it’s so good that I want to tell you all about it anyway.

The funny thing is, I wasn’t immediately drawn to this one either. My regular hairdresser hails from China, and he was the one who told me about this show. He said that it was really hot stuff in China when it aired, and that he’d marathoned the entire thing in less than a week when he went home to visit his parents, it was so good. He said it was very well-acted, and everything was portrayed in a very realistic manner.

It didn’t sound like my usual cup of tea, but after I got home, I downloaded it anyway, thinking my mom would be interested. She wasn’t. But I decided to give it a go all the same, just to see – and whaddya know, I love it. And I really, really hope that by writing this review, that it will entice at least some of you guys to give this one a chance, coz I kinda just want everyone to love it too. ❤️

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Review: The King Loves

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A show that doesn’t always manage to maintain the fine balance between the story of its characters and the political backdrop against which said story takes place, but which – in spite of its flaws – manages to kinda get under your skin anyway.

Im Si Wan is excellent as our titular king, while Hong Jong Hyun and Yoona are literally the best I’ve ever seen them. Importantly, the three of them share a solid three-way chemistry, and are enjoyable to watch.

The watch itself proves to be rather uneven, and the ending left me sort of wanting, but, I’d say this one was worthwhile, all the same.

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