The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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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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kfangurl’s 2012 Drama Awards [Repost]

So this might be the mother of all throwback posts on this blog. (Wait, this might be the only throwback post on the blog, actually!) Basically, this post had first appeared on Stephanie’s blog Crazy for Kdrama, when she’d invited me to guest on her 2012-in-review series. I’d been super excited, and Stephanie’s invitation basically was the catalyst that inspired me to even start this blog (you can find the blog’s origin story here).

Long story short, Crazy for Kdrama suffered from a takedown a while ago, thanks to DMCA bots, which sucked. 😦 But, Steph’s since dusted herself off and has started over at Kchat Jjigae.

This post, though, was lost with the original blog. That’s been niggling me for a while, since this post has a special place in this blog’s history. That, and the more OCD parts of my brain felt uncomfortable that the link to my 2012 year-in-review on the Full List page basically led to nowhere. Happily, those same OCD parts of my brain had thought to save my original draft somewhere, so it wasn’t all that hard to reproduce the post here.

So now, for old times’ sake, and for the sake of having my 2012-in-review post available somewhere, I present to you one of the earliest blog posts I ever wrote, in its pure, original state. I’ve simply added links to reviews where available. Hope you guys enjoy the walk down memory lane with 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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Dropped: I Miss You

To be honest, I didn’t expect to write about I Miss You. After all, the drama’s been over for a while, and it’s been literally months since I dropped it.

But my dear friend Michele requested this post, and since I basically bailed on her when we’d agreed to watch this drama together, I feel like I owe it to her, y’know?

Now, I like to think of myself as a pretty decent friend. And I honestly *pinky swear!* thought that since we’d be watching this together, that my commitment to her, combined with her encouragement, would be enough to keep me on this boat through to the very end.

Uh. That so didn’t happen.

After 14 episodes, I just could not bring myself to watch another hour of this drama, and I bailed, leaving poor Michele to soldier on without me (I’m still sorry, Michele! And, I still won’t watch this show! 😛 ).

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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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Review: Flower Boy Next Door

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A pretty low-key, small story set in a cute, quirky manhwa-esque world.

Within the smallness of the story, the writers manage to tease out some nice characterization, character growth and relationship development. It’s too bad this wasn’t quite sustained throughout the show’s 16 episodes.

Still a fairly enjoyable way to spend 16 hours, especially if you’re in the mood for contemplative with a side serving of zany.

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Kfangirl’s 2012 Drama Awards + Origin Story of This Blog

Kfangirl 2012 Drama Awards I

Celebrate with me! This is a double first for me: my first Year-In-Review, AND, my first guest post too! 😀

This guest post is especially close to my heart because how it came about is actually the origin story of this blog.

THE ORIGIN STORY

Up to about 2 months ago, I had been a persistent lurker in the kdrama-verse. For most of my six kdrama-watching years, I visited lots of blogs regularly and kept up with the k-entertainment news and lapped up other people’s views and reviews, but I almost never commented on anything. Once in a long while, I would leave a comment somewhere, but mostly only if I had something that I was just burning to say.

I’m an introvert at heart, though most people who know me in real life wouldn’t guess it, and this was my inner introvert acting out.

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Review: Operation Proposal

THE SHORT VERDICT:

I admit I was a little apprehensive as I started this drama. So many people had dissed it online, condemning it as boring and makjang that I wondered whether I should even attempt it. In the end, I decided that I was curious enough to try it and see for myself.

Even though romance is a main theme, it’s character development that takes centerstage, and it is Baek Ho’s development and growth that we follow, as we watch him time travel.

Populated by an earnest and well-selected cast, this drama is by turns sweet, funny, heartwarming, sad, moving and thought-provoking.

True, there are a few plot holes, but if you overlook them, there’s a lot of good left for the appreciative eye.

Many people say this turned makjang, but it really isn’t makjang. This is a fantasy drama with several melodramatic elements. And those melodramatic elements work within the fantasy world in which this drama is based.