The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: Her Private Life

THE SHORT VERDICT:

This is a show that pretty much lives and dies by the combined charm of and chemistry between its OTP. Park Min Young is lovely and manages to come across as both relatable and aspirational, while Kim Jae Wook shines in his first romantic leading man role, which just happens to be that of the Perfect Boyfriend with the power to melt you into a puddle on a regular basis. The interactions between our OTP are a big highlight, from the very organic skinship – ranging from sexy sizzle to absentmindedly agreeable – to the wonderfully healthy conversations that they regularly share; a precious rarity in Dramaland.

Everything else is pretty much set-dressing for the main romance, but Show does a very solid job of making that set dressing generally pleasant and appealing, with a nice handful of likable secondary characters, a very pretty collection of OST tracks, and a keen spotlight on the fangirl experience.

Yes, Show does have its flaws, but that usually poofs away quite nicely, whenever the OTP shows up onscreen. It’s like magic fairy dust.

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Review: Put Your Head On My Shoulder [China]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Coming from the writer of A Love So Beautiful, Put Your Head On My Shoulder is a cheerful campus romance that at once feels similar-but-different, when compared with its elder sibling ALSB.

Easygoing and cheerful, Show never gets overly angsty, preferring to serve up cuteness, kittens and rainbows via the burgeoning feelings and blossoming romance between an unlikely pair lovebirds. He’s a handsome science genius and she’s a bubbly warm accounting major with advertising dreams, which, yes, sounds totally tropey, but Show’s treatment of the pairing brings enough freshness to the table, to make this story feel far from tired.

Show does have its fair share of flaws, but overall, manages to be a shiny, happy, easy little watch.

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Review: Touch Your Heart [Reach Of Sincerity]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Light, frothy, and easy on the drama palate, Touch Your Heart is a fun little watch that ought to add a nice amount of cute to your viewing schedule.

Yoo In Na is the star of this show, with her personal charm making our protagonist earnest, adorable and very likable, pretty much regardless of the situation. Lee Dong Wook’s straitlaced lawyer is a great foil for Yoo In Na’s sparkly enthusiasm, and together, they lit up my screen as they bickered, talked and stumbled their way to True Love. Our drama world is filled with secondary characters who are mostly fun, and even the less fun ones grow on you by the end. A breezy, groovy OST that’s nicely employed to amp up the feels, is what ties this little ragtag package together.

Sometimes the plot goes off on a case-related tangent, but Show always brings it back to what’s important – the heartfelt, and the cute.

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Review: Romance Is A Bonus Book

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A noona romance that isn’t actually all about the romance, and yet, it works, and so well too.

While I don’t think that this would sit as well with a younger audience, I do feel like this would resonate well with a slightly older audience, particularly if said audience is female. Show takes the premise of a divorcee’s struggle to re-enter the workforce, and makes it come alive with poignance and heart, while managing to slip a charming noona romance in there, to sweeten the whole experience. A capable cast and a lovely OST round out this drama’s strengths, and I also wanted to say, Lee Na Young is extra incandescent to my eyes, as our female protagonist.

Not a show that would work for everyone, but if it works for you, it works so well. ❤

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Review: The Crowned Clown

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A well-plotted, solid story from start to finish, The Crowned Clown is a show that has quite a bit to offer. The palace intrigue isn’t always the most compelling, but on the upside, there’s a real king, a fake king, a forbidden romance, all the complications that arise from it all, a touch of levity to lighten things from time to time, and a stirring OST to score it all.

Our main cast is excellent all-around, but it’s Yeo Jin Goo who knocks it out of the ballpark and then some, playing both king and clown. I’ve always considered Yeo Jin Goo an excellent actor, but Yeo Jin Goo has never been more amazing to my eyes, than in this show. Some minor lens adjustments are necessary, but once you’ve got that down, Show is such a good ride.

Meaty enough to chew on, yet affecting enough to deeply engage the heart.

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Review: SKY Castle

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An excellent ensemble cast made up of skilled industry sunbaes; faceted, detailed deliveries that feel convincing and engaging; a tightly written narrative that delivers some surprising twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat; thoughtful directing and execution; an expertly applied OST that can be hauntingly ethereal one minute and then pulsing with tension the next; SKY Castle has it all, and it all comes together in one polished, dysfunctional package.

This drama is a very solid, compelling social satire that manages to make its characters come alive, even as it makes its social commentary. On the downside, Show suffers from an ending that feels like a tacked-on epilogue written by a different team altogether. Happily, that’s easily fixed by thinking of the last episode as just that, because Show manages to tell a story in its first 19 episodes that feels reasonably complete even before it presents its finale.

Worth the hype – and the monster ratings.

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Review: Coffee Prince

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Fun, breezy, and so heartfelt, that it’s still considered a classic in Dramaland today.

There are lot of things to love about this show: a drama world that feels real and lived-in; leads with crackling, warm chemistry whether they’re bickering, stealing wistful glances at each other, or getting up-close-and-personal touchy-feely; an excellent ensemble cast that all feel like they belong in their characters’ skins; a well-executed OST. On the downside, some folks find the humor a little gross, so fair warning, I guess? I personally don’t enjoy gross humor, but I didn’t find the humor in this much of a deterrent, to be honest.

The ending can feel a little underwhelming in spots, but overall, this one is well worth a long-term spot in your drama-loving heart.

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Review: Beauty Inside

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Beauty Inside basically takes Dramaland’s recent-ish penchant for rom-coms with a distinct fantasy twist, deftly mashes it with a well-rounded, well-executed collection of classic rom-com tropes, casts two very capable and very attractive actors as our leads, and then scores it all with a very enjoyable OST sprinkled with everything from cheery-breezy tracks, to wistful-plaintive ballads, to big love anthems.

When Show is cute, it’s very cute, and when it’s angsty, happily, the angst doesn’t actually last very long. Seo Hyun Jin and Lee Min Ki are very good separately and together, and they bring enough goodies to the table that I feel content not to be too nitpicky about Show’s flaws. Just know that Show doesn’t try to be something deeper, and also, sometimes logic is a bit of a.. stretch. But hey, fantasy romance after all, right?

A good pick for when you’re in the mood to switch off the ol’ brain and sink into a good ol’ kdrama rom-com.

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Review: The Third Charm

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Not the sweet rom-com Show was marketed to be. Instead, this one is a thoughtful and sensitive portrayal of personal journey; the ups and downs of life, the struggle to follow your heart, the mistakes you make and their consequences, as well as the growth that you gain, from those mistakes.

Some minor plotlines didn’t work as well for me, but by and large, I really appreciated the way Show fleshed out its characters. Seo Kang Joon and Esom are excellent as our leads, and made their characters feel like real, living, breathing people.

As a bonus, the music is really quite lovely in this, and makes the watch that much more immersive.

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Review: Fox Bride Star [Where Stars Land]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

The characters and their journeys are the stars of this warm workplace drama with an emotional, humanistic sort of touch. We get to know and care about key characters and their personal journeys, even as Show serves up human interest side stories relevant to the management of a world-class airport. Even though large chunks of the cinematography feel quite pedestrian, there are very prettily shot, beautiful poignant scenes sprinkled through the drama as well. The music is also quite lovely and atmospheric, and effectively lifts the watch experience.

Unfortunately, Show’s narrative gets muddied by too much emphasis on shady gangster dealings, which overshadow our key characters in regrettable ways, particularly towards the end of our story. Show also has a habit of introducing story threads and then dropping them, sometimes without even a hint of resolution. This was a downer.

Still, I found this to be a warm and enjoyable watch overall.

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