Tag Archives: Reply 1988

Review: My Roommate Is A Gumiho

THE SHORT VERDICT:

The great thing about My Roommate is a Gumiho, is how fresh it manages to feel, despite it appearing, at first glance, to be like just about any other romcom dotting Dramaland. Yes, there are tropes, but most of the time, they’re there to be turned on their heads. In particular, I love our female lead, who’s anything but a Candy. She might appear rather goofy on the surface, but she’s gracious and classy, and has such a good head on her shoulders, that it’s hard not to love her.

I feel that Hye Ri and Jang Ki Yong are well-cast and well-directed in this; I enjoyed them both very much, and I feel that their chemistry works really well. As a bonus, Kang Han Na is wonderful in this, as a ditzy ex-gumiho. This is literally my favorite role of Kang Han Na’s, to date.

I found the ending a touch underwhelming, especially when compared to how solidly the rest of the show stacks up, but overall, it’s still a very enjoyable drama that I’d recommend!

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Dear kfangurl: Are there dramas with sympathetic second female leads?

Sharbani writes:

Hi KFangurl

My observations have been (and this may be a generalisation based on the 80 or so K-dramas I have watched) that most male second leads are presented in a way that engenders sympathy. So, by the time the series have ended we are actually rooting for them to find love!! I know that there are exceptions but they are a rare breed in drama land.

In contrast, most female second leads are presented in a more negative light – possibly a throwover to the ‘vamps’ of earlier times! I know going into the reasons for such portrayals needs a lot of study of human society and the status of women and have probably been the subject of a lot of research! But my question is simple – Are there any dramas that present the second female leads in a positive light?

Hope you are well and staying safe! Your blogs continue to be my first port of call before I pick a new drama to watch so thank you!

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Dear kfangurl: What are some dramas where we can learn about Korean culture &/or history?

enapeters writes:

Hi, kfangurl, thanks for your amazing and detailed drama reviews. I’m currently watching Mr. Sunshine, and although I’m not loving the OTP, I have enjoyed learning about the time period in Korean history when the show is set. I’ve learned so much about Korean, Japanese, and U.S. relations at the time, and it’s fascinating! Similarly, when I watched Crash Landing on You, I loved seeing the different perspective of North Korea so much that I started getting really emotional thinking about the separation between North and South Korea. I was wondering, what dramas have you seen or recommend where you felt like you were getting a new or better understanding of history or culture?

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about single season vs. multi-season dramas?

Entropyenator writes:

Hi KFangurl,

Absolutely LOVE your blog and best of luck in your journey to keep writing!

Two questions for you I hope you can help with, though they are sort of related:

1) Why is it so rare for kdramas to get more than 1 season?

2) What qualifies a kdrama to get a second season?

To explain a bit, I just finished Vincenzo (so amazing, SJK, JYB and the rest of the cast were brilliant, even if the logic got…stretched in some bits) but SJK’s interview right after the finale seems to indicate it won’t get a second season despite very very good ratings.

This seems to be the norm for kdramas–save very rare exceptions like Hospital Playlist and Age of Youth/Hello My Twenties. So what gives? Is it a different industry/culture thing? I do admit that I am based in the US, where, as long as a show doesn’t completely flop, getting at least 2-3 seasons is incredibly common.

Looking forward to your answer!

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Dear kfangurl: What are some dramas where everything’s more realistic and not so pretty?

Lehar writes:

Dear kfangirl ,

I was watching kdrama clips and have been wondering. They all look so pretty, even one with jobs in which there is exposure to excessive sunlight and dust look so…. clean. Its all good adding to kdrama fantasy but are there any dramas whose leads look more like normal us…with common jobs and maybe cheaper clothes?

Maybe all I am talking about is more realistic dramas out there. I liked Another Oh Hae Young in that aspect and felt I was more into the story and scenes rather than their appearances.

Thank you for your time!

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about slice-of-life dramas and why we like them?

Yin writes:

First of all, I am an avid fan of your blog and am so grateful for your detailed, thoughtful reviews of various Korean dramas. You probably don’t remember me, but I loved The Third Charm and posted once on your blog using the handle “erstwing” about how much your review of the show resonated with me.

I have a question about genre that I was wondering if you might address/discuss on your blog one day. What do you make of the label “slice-of-life?” What are some “slice-of-life” Korean dramas and what makes them so? Based on the shows you have reviewed, I feel like you enjoyed this category of dramas, and thought you might have some wisdom to share. If you do enjoy “slice-of-life” dramas, what are some reasons? The label is used a lot in Kdrama discourse, but unlike other more established genres like the melodrama and the rom com, “slice-of-life” seems to be much hazier as a concept. I even did some research into American analogues and/or antecedents, but haven’t been able to find anything meaningful. Full disclosure: I am a college professor and my current research project investigates the slice-of-life genre in Korean dramas. I’m teaching in the US but I am actually from Singapore, so your blog is literally close to home for me. 🙂

Thanks again for all your insights and for the time you’ve generously given to cultivating this Kdrama fan community. 🙂

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Dear kfangurl: What are some dramas that would make my day better?

Make! My! Day! ❤️

Confession: this Dear kfangurl post wasn’t actually triggered by a Dear kfangurl question. It just made sense to group it with the other Dear kfangurl posts, coz that’s where the other lists on the blog live, heh.

BUT! This post was triggered by a conversation with my friend Jan on Twitter.

Basically, yesterday, Jan had remarked that she was looking for a Kim Ji Suk fix, and I’d suggested 20th Century Boy and Girl, in which he is the sweet, perfect boyfriend. Less than 24 hours later, Jan’s super happy with the drama suggestion, and her tweets are filled with happy spazz, and she’s also said that this was the rom-com she’d been looking for.

..Which got me thinking. With all the darker &/or heavier shows that Dramaland’s been serving up of late (like World of the Married, Graceful Friends, Flower of Evil and It’s Okay To Not Be Okay), as solid as these shows are, maybe some  – or many? – of you guys might be looking for something lighter to make these dark pandemic days a little brighter.

That’s why I’m here to help. 😀

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Flash Review: Lingerie Girls’ Generation [Girls’ Generation 1979]

YOU GUYS. Remember how much I loved Answer Me 1988? (Hint: a lot, with cherries & rainbows on top)

Well, it’s like Answer Me 1988’s slightly older, rougher-around-the-edges cousin came to visit, and proved to be almost as engaging and endearing – just in a much more compact package. At just 8 episodes, I found myself rationing out this show’s episodes like they were the last few morsels in a box of very, very special truffles that someone had brought from an exotic, faraway place; the kind that I can’t simply go out to the store to get more of, once it’s all gone. And now, this is all gone.

Sniffle. I wish this one was 16 full episodes, y’all. At least.

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Year In Review: 2016

If there’s one conclusion I’m drawing this year, it’s that dramaland is literally exploding with new dramas on a regular basis, and it’s just not humanly possible to watch every drama that’s out there.

My drama instinct has always been to try to balance the urge to follow drama buzz (the niggling question of, “Omo! Am I missing out on something?”), and the desire to follow my heart (the “I don’t care that nobody cares about this show, I just feel like checking it out”). These days, with more drama offerings floating around the dramaverse than ever before, I think it’s even more important that I remember to stay true to my drama instincts. From here on out, no more hanging on pointlessly to a show that just isn’t quite working for me. It’s just not efficient spendage of drama hours – or time in general.

Next year, I will be more efficient with my use of drama time – and time in general. Ahem. *pinky swears* *resolves*

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Newly Taken With: Park Bo Gum

It’s official, you guys. I am officially very much taken with Park Bo Gum.

Which, if I’m being honest, is a sentence I never thought I’d write.

I mean, I’d always found him pleasant enough, and on the extreme end of pretty, with his perfect skin and beautiful features, but to be officially, undeniably, strongly, hearts-in-my-eyes smitten with him?

Now that’s something I never saw coming.

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