Tag Archives: Smile You

Dear kfangurl: Why do so many kdramas start strong but go downhill?

Linda writes:

After years of reading your reviews I decided to take the plunge and write for 2 reasons:

1. To tell you how much I enjoy your reviews and admire your work ethic. I’m a recently retired critical care nurse (an old white lady) and over the years have found so much joy in korean dramas and films. When I am contemplating what to watch next I turn to you. I’ve seen more dramas than I care to admit and I’ve read many varied reviews but you are the gold standard. On the rare occasion that I disagree with one of your reviews I am so shocked and sometimes delighted. I only wish I could become a Patron.

2. A question….Why so often in k dramas does the story/writing go downhill later in the drama. I’m noticing an increasing pattern with this. I’ve seen videos of table reads and it makes wonder…If they are indeed reading the entire script in that sitting do they not notice they are reading what I can only describe as foolishness? The most recent example of this was Bossam. I really loved this drama. I felt it was well written and reminded me of a good old-fashioned k drama but I feel like it eventually went off the rails. This may not be the best example but I’m sure you know what I’m trying to express. I wouldn’t send this as an Ask fangirl question at the risk of sounding whiny and stupid. Is there a logical explanation. Since I know little about the making of dramas I thought you may have insight.

Again, please know you bring fun and joy to this old lady and be proud of yourself.

If you ever need a place to stay in California, I have plenty of room and no weirdos!!

P.S. Loved your participation in the podcast!

Continue reading

Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about the shows that you didn’t review? [Part 2]

Since you guys seemed to really like my last Dear kfangurl post, where I talked about shows that I haven’t reviewed on the site, I thought I’d do a Part 2! Surprise..? 😃

I picked 50 more (!!) shows to touch on in this post, with a quick “status update.” Mostly, these are dramas that people tend to ask me about, and also, shows that I’d like to give shout-outs to, but which I’m unlikely to write reviews for.

There are still more shows that I’ve either sampled or watched to completion, which I am not including in this list, but maybe (just maybe?) another post, another time? 😅

Continue reading

Flash Review: Life On Mars

Once upon a time, I used to categorize Jung Kyung Ho in my head as Dramaland’s go-to beta male, especially after seeing him in 2009’s Smile, You, where he was the sweetest beta male love interest to Lee Min Jung’s feisty broke chaebol. (Twas a sweet and cute story, pity about the whopping 16-episode extension, which then resulted in lots ‘n lots of pointless and frustrating filler. Boo.)

Back then, I liked Jung Kyung Ho well enough, but mostly in a casual, almost cursory sort of way. Compare that to today, when I would quite literally check out a show purely because Jung Kyung Ho is in it, y’know, because he is just so wonderful and brilliant and so good at what he does. *hearts in eyes* What an amazing evolution, eh?

So did I check out this show purely because Jung Kyung Ho is in it? Why, yes I did. Did I know what I was in for? No, can’t say I knew much at all, going in. Did I eventually understand everything about this show, and its somewhat fantastical premise? I’m gonna hafta say, No, I do not.

But did I enjoy it all the way through anyway? Oh yessiree. I sure did. <3

Continue reading

Review: Falling For Innocence

THE SHORT VERDICT:

While never terribly strong on the logic front, nor on managing its corporate machinations, Falling For Innocence manages to be a warm, engaging and uplifting watch.

Despite being quite fantastical in its premise as well as its execution, the narrative stays grounded via the emotional resonance and heft imparted by its committed cast.

Amid the many solid performances delivered by the cast, Jung Kyung Ho stands out as THE shining star of this drama world. His fabulous, faceted performance resonates with so much heart that it actually helps to overcome Show’s flawed logic. That’s skillz.

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

Review: Cunning Single Lady [Sly and Single Again]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A divorced-to-reunited rom-com that has flaws aplenty but manages to get the most important thing right: its heart.

If you wanted to count ’em, you’d easily find a whole bunch of flaws and imperfections in Cunning Single Lady. But if you’re willing to look past all of that, you’ll find a good dose of cute, an endearing spot of sweet, and a heartfelt rekindling of a sincere love that never did go away.

Lee Min Jung and Joo Sang Wook turn in quality performances as our lead couple, and are the key reasons to tune in to this unassuming little show that turned out to be quite a bit more heartwarming than I expected.

Continue reading

Review: Big

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Big started out promising but under-delivered. It was a little uneven in the beginning, but the sight gags were funny and the burgeoning feelings between the leads kept things interesting up till episode 12. Then episodes 13-16 went progressively downhill.

BUT. There is one compelling reason to watch this show: Gong Yoo. He is amazing in so many ways. And hot. Let’s not forget hot. He’s the only reason to watch Big, but he’s reason enough.