The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: The Last Empress [An Empress’s Dignity]

Do you enjoy rollercoasters? Coz if you do, The Last Empress might just be the show for you.

At its best, and right out of the gate, Show is a fun romp rife with makjang plot points, logic stretches and murderous intent (it’s all about the lens, which I’ll talk about very shortly). I personally think the extension didn’t do Show any favors, coz Show spins its wheels a fair bit in its later stretch, which is a serious pity. On the upside, Show wraps up in a reasonably solid manner, and I’m emerging on the other side without regretting my watch.

That’s not bad, all things considered.

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39 Comments

Flash Review: Terius Behind Me [My Secret Terius]

I almost missed out on this one, you guys, and I’m so glad I didn’t.

I first attempted this drama when it was airing last year, but the timing just wasn’t right for me. I was in the midst of trying to get myself out of a bit of a drama rut at the time, and unlike my usual more patient self, I was much quicker to decide whether I was feeling a drama or not. Unfortunately, as some of you would likely know, the other bum thing about a drama rut, is that you often just don’t feel a drama, even if said drama is very decent. Same thing for me, with this show. I gave this show a try while it was airing, and didn’t even make it through episode 1. Oopsie.

Happily, the story doesn’t end there. Fast-forward several months, when I was properly out of my drama rut, and I found myself liking this show quite a fair bit, on my second attempt. Everyone was right; this one is a cute lil gem. ❤

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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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38 Comments

Review: Thirty But Seventeen [Still 17]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Thirty But Seventeen is a pretty special snowflake of a drama, whichever way I look at it.

I mean, it manages to be sweet, fluffy and cute, yet extremely heartfelt, while dishing out occasional deep nuggets of wisdom, and dealing with our main characters’ trauma-related anxiety in a pretty meaningful manner, to boot. Plus, no one in this drama world is an actual villain either. On top of that, the drama doesn’t even get boring, despite the absence of a villain. Say, what?

No, this show isn’t perfect, but then again, no show ever is, and this one did so many things right, that I feel like I can’t quibble too much, in the overall scheme of things. Totes recommend.

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Dropped: The Great Seducer

You know, for a hot second, I thought I might actually like this show.

Right off the bat, it kinda-sorta felt like an off-shoot of Heirs, but better done and more interesting. Similar to Heirs, Seducer’s drama world is also centered around a bunch of rich kids, with one pair of them sparking off each other, his sexy rebel cool to her prickly pouty petulance. All that spark, whether acknowledged or not, is blocked – or would that be amplified? – by their parents getting hitched to each other. Oh, plus there’s also an innocent, not-rich girl in the center of it all.

Unlike Heirs, there is no Kim Tan character, which I counted as a huge plus, since I hated Kim Tan, with a passion.

…Too bad my cautiously positive first impression didn’t last very long at all. I lasted 10 half-hour episodes of this one, dragging my feet through the last few of those 10 episodes, and have had zero desire to go back to this one.

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Dropped: The Advisors Alliance [China]

I conclude that this is one of those times when a generally well-respected, well-liked show just isn’t working out for me the way I want it to.

I’d only heard positive things about The Advisors Alliance, and those who took the trouble to recommend it to me, all said that it was a good show that was worth the watch. For a while, I kinda rather enjoyed it too.

But 19 episodes into Show’s 42, I think it’s time to admit that this one just.. isn’t for me.

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101 Comments

Flash Review: The First Half Of My Life [China]

This is one of those times when I feel like maybe not a lot of you guys would be immediately drawn to this show, but I feel it’s so good that I want to tell you all about it anyway.

The funny thing is, I wasn’t immediately drawn to this one either. My regular hairdresser hails from China, and he was the one who told me about this show. He said that it was really hot stuff in China when it aired, and that he’d marathoned the entire thing in less than a week when he went home to visit his parents, it was so good. He said it was very well-acted, and everything was portrayed in a very realistic manner.

It didn’t sound like my usual cup of tea, but after I got home, I downloaded it anyway, thinking my mom would be interested. She wasn’t. But I decided to give it a go all the same, just to see – and whaddya know, I love it. And I really, really hope that by writing this review, that it will entice at least some of you guys to give this one a chance, coz I kinda just want everyone to love it too. ❤

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Dropped: Temperature Of Love

I am calling it quits on this one, you guys.

26.5 episodes into this show’s 40, I have hit a Serious Brick Wall. I just can’t with this show, anymore. Now I kinda wish I had been less patient with this show. Like, if I’d been quicker to judge this one as boring and underwhelming as so many other viewers did before me, maybe I wouldn’t have ended up wasting so much time on this one, y’know?

Oh well. I suppose this is one of those times when you guys can maybe learn from my mistakes.. because then it wouldn’t have all been for nothing?

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Flash Review: The Best Hit

Y’know, I will always think fondly of the year 2012.

It was a pretty great drama year, serving up a good number of shows that I truly enjoyed, like Arang and the Magistrate, The King 2 Hearts, Gaksital, and Padam Padam, among many others. On top of that, 2012 was also the year I decided to try my hand at the whole drama blogging thing – and hey, look at where we are now, eh?

But. There is one thing that I kinda hold against 2012.. coz 2012 is the year that time travel took over the dramaverse. Suddenly, it felt like time travel was everywhere. Queen In-hyun’s Man, Rooftop Prince, Faith, Dr. Jin, and even Operation Proposal all got in on the time travel action in 2012, with varying degrees of success. Let me just say that there’s nothing inherently wrong with using time travel as a concept, but honestly, it now kinda feels like time travel has become the Trend That Will Not Die.

For the record, I’m not hating on The Best Hit. In fact, I even rather enjoyed this show. It’s just that the whole time travel thing here feels particularly gratuitous – almost pointless, even. I personally feel that this show didn’t need the time travel conceit, to tell the slice-of-life, found-family story it wanted to tell. In fact, Show might’ve been better off just picking one time period and staying there. A pretty novel concept these days, I know. 😉

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Review: The King Loves

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A show that doesn’t always manage to maintain the fine balance between the story of its characters and the political backdrop against which said story takes place, but which – in spite of its flaws – manages to kinda get under your skin anyway.

Im Si Wan is excellent as our titular king, while Hong Jong Hyun and Yoona are literally the best I’ve ever seen them. Importantly, the three of them share a solid three-way chemistry, and are enjoyable to watch.

The watch itself proves to be rather uneven, and the ending left me sort of wanting, but, I’d say this one was worthwhile, all the same.

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