The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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kfangurl’s 2012 Drama Awards [Repost]

So this might be the mother of all throwback posts on this blog. (Wait, this might be the only throwback post on the blog, actually!) Basically, this post had first appeared on Stephanie’s blog Crazy for Kdrama, when she’d invited me to guest on her 2012-in-review series. I’d been super excited, and Stephanie’s invitation basically was the catalyst that inspired me to even start this blog (you can find the blog’s origin story here).

Long story short, Crazy for Kdrama suffered from a takedown a while ago, thanks to DMCA bots, which sucked. 😦 But, Steph’s since dusted herself off and has started over at Kchat Jjigae.

This post, though, was lost with the original blog. That’s been niggling me for a while, since this post has a special place in this blog’s history. That, and the more OCD parts of my brain felt uncomfortable that the link to my 2012 year-in-review on the Full List page basically led to nowhere. Happily, those same OCD parts of my brain had thought to save my original draft somewhere, so it wasn’t all that hard to reproduce the post here.

So now, for old times’ sake, and for the sake of having my 2012-in-review post available somewhere, I present to you one of the earliest blog posts I ever wrote, in its pure, original state. I’ve simply added links to reviews where available. Hope you guys enjoy the walk down memory lane with me! 🙂

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Review: You From Another Star [My Love From Another Star]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A drama that’s got a light, frothy and often comedic outer shell, but harbors an inner core that’s poignant, stirring and heart-in-your-throat moving.

To be sure, if one put on a hard logical lens, this show’s flaws may be too glaring for one to overlook. But for those who can turn that logical lens to a blurry soft-focus, and amp up the emotional lens to a setting high enough to engage with the characters on a more visceral level, that touching inner core is the satisfying, gratifying reward.

Separately, Jeon Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun are both truly excellent in their roles. Even better? Together, they are pure magic.

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An Appreciative Eye On: Kim Soo Hyun

Most of you are familiar with my 3 big k-loves. And although I’m currently spazzing over and lovin’ on Kim Woo Bin more — uunghh I wuv my Woobie ❤ — I love ’em each in their own special way.

If you’ve known me for a while, &/or taken a look at my fangirl motto on the side-bar to your right, you’d probably also know that having big k-loves — or major Woobie love, heh — doesn’t mean that I don’t have room to admire and.. appreciate (ahem) other talented k-men in dramaland.

In fact, I’ve got quite a few of those medium k-loves, at least a few of whom I plan on introducing to you guys this year.

First up: Kim Soo Hyun!

I’ve liked Kim Soo Hyun since his Dream High days in 2011, and have had my eye on him and his work ever since. Every time he’s got a new drama or movie out, I perk up and take notice. And now that I’m watching You From Another Star, my Kim Soo Hyun radar has switched itself into Mmmm.. mode all over again. Which, really, is the catalyst for this post.

Come squee with me, y’all!

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Review: King of Dramas [The Lord of the Drama]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A tongue-in-cheek, satirical unveiling of what really happens behind the scenes of our beloved kdramas.

Populated by a large ensemble cast of likable characters, King of Dramas paints a dramatic yet believable picture that is in line with all the BTS drama news that we get off the grapevine.

PPL wars? Check. Scripts delivered to the set in a piecemeal fashion? Check. Madly rushing the final tape to the editing room minutes before the episode is due to broadcast? Check. Such a fascinating peek into the world that doles out to us the dramas on which we subsist.

The show starts out meaty and strong, and even manages to be insanely hysterical at points, buoyed by strong performances and often-cheeky writing. A huge pity, that the ending was more whimper than bang.

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A Liebster Award. Kinda. [Liebster the Ninth!]

So this morning I woke up to a comment on the blog, from fellow blogger Indigo that read, “Hi! I nominated you for Liebster Award” and I hafta confess, my first thought was, “Uh. This is spam, right?”

Coz up till today, I’d never even heard of the Liebster Award, but had made acquaintance with enough spam to make me immediately suspicious. I mean, sure, I follow Indigo’s (very nice) blog Between Wor(L)ds & she’s definitely legit. But I thought spiders had impersonated her by hijacking her identity or something, and posted something spammy on my blog. For serious, yo.

I’m usually a pretty trusting person. Unless it has to do with suspicious spammy spiders on the world wide web. (Ooh, did’ja see what I did there? That’s technically triple – ok, fine, double – alliteration, twice in a row!)

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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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Review: The Moon that Embraces the Sun

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Moon/Sun is basically a romance dressed as a simplified saguek with supernatural elements, so it’s fairly light on the political intrigue.

Kim Soo Hyun is absolutely fantastic in this, and everyone else is pretty excellent too, except for Han Ga In, who seems miscast. Kim Soo Hyun more than makes up for it, though.

Cliffhangers are mostly of the romantic kind instead of the political kind, and there’s some pretty strong sexual tension that goes on for a good stretch of the drama. I lapped up back-to-back episodes of this. Even my mother zoomed her way through the first 8 episodes in just 2 days

The ending could have been handled better, but overall, I really enjoyed this one 🙂

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Review: The King 2 Hearts

THE SHORT VERDICT:

I really, really liked this.

Don’t be put off by the political nature of the premise. I’m not into political stories myself, but I found this easy to like.

It’s got a robust story, lots of great acting, a fast pace, a compelling conflict, strong character growth, chemistry between the leads and a strong romance.

This lent itself to back-to-back episodes, and I finished it very quickly. And I plan to revisit it for more.

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