The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Review: Answer Me, 1994 [Reply 1994]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Despite its flaws and indulgent streaks, Answer Me 1994 is a lovely little show that’s peopled by likable, bubbly characters that not only feel real, but also feel like they’re real friends with one another.

The characters and their relationships are the shining jewels crowning this show, and together, they shine so brightly that it’s not hard to overlook the occasional uneven writing, the consistently bloated episodes and the dreaded Who’s The Hubs game that Show inherited from its predecessor Answer Me 1997.

Far from perfect, but still So Lovable.

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56 Comments

Year In Review: 2014

If there’s one thing that everyone seems to be able to agree on, it’s that time is flying. Like, seriously. Where has 2014 gone?

I can hardly believe that 2015 is almost here, promising/threatening gifts of dramas chock-full of vampires, multiple personalities, and other psychological disorders goodies.

Before 2014 makes her exit, though, I wanted to come out and give credit where it’s due. Coz as much as so many of my friends in dramaland have been talking about a meh drama year, I feel like I had a pretty good drama year, actually.

I know. How did that happen, right?

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22 Comments

Review: High School King

THE SHORT VERDICT:

High School King is definitely a drama that is better in concept than in execution.

While the idea of a high schooler going successfully undercover as a sharp-suited corporate warrior is intriguing, the hijinks unfortunately come off as more try-hard than amusing. Characters are treated in broad strokes for the most part, and we get a lot more campy and theatrical than layered and nuanced.

There are definitely some moments of heart, but you’d need to be patient to find them in the midst of the comedic intent, which sometimes feels like it’s on steroids.

On the upside, Seo In Guk looks great in a sharp suit.

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46 Comments

Dear kfangurl: What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great?

Today’s question is brought to us by Bakazen, who asks:

Dear kfangurl,

What is it about bromances that make a kdrama great? I just recently finished watching Doctor Stranger and realized 2 things: LJS is a good actor and I really didn’t like this drama. So why did I finish it? Because I was hooked by the bromance tease between LJS and PHJ.

My personal theory is they work well as substitutes for the sometimes overwhelming lack of affection we see between couples. Guys in bromances show affection, love, solidarity, joy, connection & (dare I say it) skinship! Nothing warms my heart like one of the F4s coming to a bros rescue, the F44s teasing each other or the leads in School 2013 (LJS & Woobie) saying how much they missed each other’s friendship. Besides, I rarely get that hooked into the female friendships (major exception, Noh Eun-seol & Lee Myung Ran from Protect the Boss). What do you think?

Bakazen

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119 Comments

Discovering: Park Seo Joon

Everyone was right.

So many of you predicted that once I started watching Witch’s Romance, that I would start swooning over Park Seo Joon just like everyone else. Heh. Y’all are so right.

To be honest, before I started watching the show, when I saw all the photo spreads and stills of Park Seo Joon that came out along with Witch’s Romance, I had my doubts. In the stills, he looked rather.. well, ordinary to me. Nothing about those photos made me sit up and take serious notice, really.

Ha. Watch me eat my words now. Coz I’ve been lapping up Witch’s Romance, while happily nursing a brand new fangirl crush on Park Seo Joon (melt~).

Better late than never, right?

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85 Comments

A Soft Spot For: Lee Jong Suk

With all the reviews and Pure Pretty that’s been flooding the blog lately, I realize it’s been a while (gasp! More than 3 months!) since my last k-love confession post (Mmmm.. Kim Soo Hyun!).

And since I did promise that this year I’d be introducing y’all to more of my, uh.. smaller? lesser? medium-sized? milder? (argh. I can’t decide which word works best. You guys know what I mean, right?) k-loves, I thought it fitting that I introduce you guys to Lee Jong Suk, whom I’ve got a big soft spot for.

My affection for Lee Jong Suk is slightly more dongsaeng-esque than all of my other featured k-loves so far, but I do sincerely think he’s pretty special, and special deserves a little bit of the loving spotlight, dontcha think?

Come appreciate this boy-man with me, y’all.

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59 Comments

Review: Master’s Sun

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Not one of the best outings by the Hong sisters, but not one of the worst either, Master’s Sun delivers what it promises: rom-com hijinks of the somewhat ghostly variety.

Driven mostly by sparky OTP chemistry and a lovely OST, which together made up for lapses in the storytelling, this drama is more mood than substance. And it’s a slow burn too, at that.

Essentially, a pretty fun, easy, unchallenging watch if you don’t think about it too hard. And I’ve just found a way to level that up in a serious fashion, which I’ll tell you more about in the review.

And no, the ghosts aren’t that scary. 

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What Makes Drama Crack Stay Fresh / Turn Stale?

DC1So today Stephanie posted on her blog Crazy for Kdrama a post titled Second-hand Crack. In it, she describes her experience re-watching Smile Dong Hae, and finding that it just wasn’t as cracktastic the second time around.

That really resonated with me, coz as some of you may know, I’ve been marathoning Beautiful Days for review, and that review’s been taking a while to actually get written.

The reason is pretty much the same as Stephanie’s experience with Smile Dong Hae. I’d loved Beautiful Days on my first watch, and had devoured it pretty quickly. Fast forward several years, and now that I’m watching it for the second time, I still find it pretty engaging, but it’s just not as cracktastic as I had first found it.

Which begs the question: What exactly makes drama crack stay fresh / turn stale?

DC2

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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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59 Comments

Review: Answer Me, 1997

AM1aTHE SHORT VERDICT:

A sincere, heartfelt drama populated with characters who feel familiar, complex and real.

Even if you didn’t grow up in the 90s, and even if you have no prior knowledge of the popular idols of that era, you’re likely to still find a lot to enjoy in this drama.

A small drama with a lot of heart.

AM2

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