Tag Archives: Review

Review: Lie After Lie

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A makjang-laced story that leans rather old-school in its storytelling sensibility and melodramatic flair, Lie After Lie works out to be a pretty good time.

When Show is at its best, it’s cracky and delicious, and I felt like I could slurp up all that heightened dramatic tension with a spoon. This is just the kind of underdog story to get my blood pumping, and I was very quickly sucked into rooting for our protagonist Eun Soo. When Show isn’t at its best, however, there are logic lapses, weak plot progression and a resulting loss in dramatic tension. Boo. I was sad when Show wasn’t great, because when it was good, it was really quite excellent.

Show is admittedly stronger in its first three-quarters and weaker in its final stretch, but overall, I’d still call this a solid watch.

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Review: The Uncanny Counter

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Gritty, bloody and full of action like many an OCN drama, yet character-driven and full of heart, like you might expect from jTBC, with a fantasy bent like you might expect of tvN, The Uncanny Counter is the superhero-flavored, heartfelt, X-Men-esque demon-hunting story that I didn’t know I needed in my life.

For the most part, Show does a great job of meshing all these different personality traits into an organic whole – except for a late-stage change in writers, which admittedly causes a bit of a wobble, but which Show does recover well from.

Our cast does an all-around great job of bringing this story to life, while making their characters and their relationships pop, and Show works out to be highly engaging, and sometimes, even rather cracky. Definitely recommend.

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Review: Start-Up

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Designed to be light, easy and feel-good, Show tends to lean more simplistic than I would like, particularly in the areas of business and technology and how that all works. The characters took a while to grow on me, but I did eventually grow fond of almost all of them. At the same time, there are definitely some stand-outs that endeared themselves to me early, like Kim Hae Sook as Gran.

Ultimately, Show manages to be uplifting and aspirational (if you can overcome the over-simplification of everything), and ends up being a reasonably pleasant coming-of-age – or rather, coming-into-your-own – kinda story.

PS: Most viewers have strong feelings about this story’s love triangle, but I didn’t.

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Review: More Than Friends

THE SHORT VERDICT:

With its slow-burn approach to storytelling and its muted, understated sort of vibe, this show is definitely not for everyone.

When Show is at its best, it’s thought-provoking and introspective as it explores people and relationships. When Show is not as its best, it can feel frustrating, and its characters, unlikable and unsympathetic. And because Show is mostly a slow burn, Show is at its best mostly in its later episodes, rather than its earlier ones. Our main characters did grow on me by the end of my watch, but I have to admit that it was our secondary characters that actually grabbed me more, and earlier too.

A little tedious at times, but not without its bright spots.

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Review: 18 Again

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Don’t let this show’s silly, farcical trappings fool you; this one has so much heart that it simply never runs out of feels. Fatherly love, familial love, romantic love and even platonic love; they all get their day in the sun in this drama world, and the result is a deeply heartwarming watch that I never wanted to end. This show made my heart so, so full, and I happily drowned in all of the feels.

Our cast is very strong, but I do sincerely think that this would’ve been a different show without Lee Do Hyun. He delivers such a heartfelt performance, with such a distinct sense of gravitas, that I am completely blown away. The heart-eyes that I’ve grown for Lee Do Hyun are completely involuntary, and likely permanent. 😍

Unreservedly recommend.

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Review: Someday Or One Day [Taiwan]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Smartly written, deftly executed, and wonderfully acted, Someday Or One Day is a gem of a show that feels like it’s head and shoulders above its peers. Intricate and clever, yet full of emotional heft, Show is a rare creature that does an excellent and consistent job of engaging both the mind and the heart.

Our main cast is strong and unfailingly delivers well-rounded, faceted performances, but the stand-out for me is male lead Greg Hsu, who crept under my skin and stole my heart when I wasn’t looking.

Altogether fantastic, and well worth the watch.

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Guest Post: The School Nurse Files [An Alternative Lens]

I’m so pleased to announce this guest post today, you guys!

As promised, friend of the blog Dame Holly (also known around the interwebs as Lee Tennant), who has a seriously impressive affinity with metaphors, is back to share her thoughts and insights on the very quirky, very different The School Nurse Files. I LOVED reading her thoughts on this show; I now literally feel like I have brand new eyes with which to appreciate Show’s unique appeal. I hope you guys enjoy her post as much as I do!

You can find Dame Holly at her blog Invisible Pink Dragon, or at her Dramabeans fanwall.

PS: You might also like her previous guest post, where she shares insights on 2018’s Greasy Melo. You can check it out here.

~kfangurl

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Review: Do You Like Brahms?

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A restrained, loving study of music, characters, and their relationships, Do You Like Brahms? boasts characters that are carefully and tenderly drawn, relationships that feel patiently and organically grown, and a narrative filled with music-related touches that demonstrate an understanding of and empathy for musicians.

Our cast is very solid all-around, with each actor bringing their character to life in a way that feels real and believable. I loved extra, our sweet, bashful, very well-matched OTP, played by Kim Min Jae and Park Eun Bin. Not only is their romance handled thoughtfully, their individual journeys as musicians and as people, are teased out carefully too.

A very enjoyable ride, particularly if you identify as an introvert &/or a musician.

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Review: Record Of Youth

THE SHORT VERDICT:

The story feels kinda meandering, and Show’s tone vibes Scripted Hollywood Rom-com rather than earthy slice-of-life drama, which is a decidedly rather odd combination. Overall, everything in this show comes together in a way that feels a touch uneven, but if you love Park Bo Gum, Show is a solid way to get a nice dose of Bogummy, because this is basically all a showcase for him and him alone. Everything and everyone else just happens to be there as varying levels of set dressing.

With the right lens, Show is a pleasant enough watch, even though it never grabs me in the way that I want it to.

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Review: Flower Of Evil

THE SHORT VERDICT:

If you don’t mind a heavy emotional emphasis in your mystery thrillers, this show might work for you. Show serves up a good amount of tension around its main hook, that Moon Chae Won’s character discovering that her perfect husband may not be as perfect as she’d thought. At the same time, though, emotions often take precedence over things like protocol, due process, and well.. good ol’ logic. Show makes up for it with a healthy serving of twists and turns which work to keep you on the edge of your seat – but these will only really work, if you’re not wearing an overly analytical lens.

Lee Jun Ki and Moon Chae Won put in excellent performances, and together, they share a chemistry that is engaging and compelling. I’d even go so far as to say that their chemistry as a couple is what holds the show together even when logic falls apart, because I am rooting for them that much.

I thought Show’s ending leaned a touch underwhelming, but I’d say this is still a solid ride.

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