The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Scholar Who Walks The Night

When I first heard the set-up for Scholar Who Walks the Night, I was really excited. I mean, a supernatural drama world featuring Joseon-era vampires with glorious bone structure, and a girl who goes undercover as a boy to earn a living and support her family? It sounded like the perfect mashup combining the best of Arang and Sungkyunkwan Scandal, both of which are dramas I really love.

Plus, Scholar stills promised that I would get to see Lee Jun Ki wearing guyliner and a deeper red lip, sorta like how he did so spectacularly in his breakout role in The King and The Clown.

Basically, I couldn’t not watch this one. And I couldn’t wait to feast my eyes on the Pretty too.

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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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Review: The Three Musketeers

THE SHORT VERDICT:

More often brisk and breezy than not, more often engaging and fun than not, and more often interesting and entertaining than not, The Three Musketeers is more than your average fusion sageuk.

This drama is a pretty bold attempt to adapt an age-old tale across mediums (novel to drama) and across cultures (French to Korean), while doing its best to retain the optimum crack ingredients that would appeal to a kdrama-loving audience.

Possibly due to its ambition, pacing across the show can be a little uneven, and logic gets sacrificed on more occasions than one might expect. Put on some generous Logic Blinders, though, and there are likely to be enough goodies in this one to make it worth your while.

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More – and More! – Sunshine!

Wowza.

We received even more Sunshine love, you guys.

Admin A who hosts Top of the Kpops gifted us our 3rd nomination, while our dear friend Jaime, who hosts The Drama Noona gifted us our 4th.

On the one hand, we feel the lurve. We really, really do.

On the other hand, we can’t help but wonder if you guys just enjoy seeing us squirm as we try to answer your challenging questions, heh.

Whichever it is, we’ve got our game faces on, and are braving your questions with as much composure as we can muster.

Bring. It. On. Baby!

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Sunshine The Second!

 

Guess what, everyone! The blog got a second Sunshine nomination!

Thanks to Indigo of Between Wor(L)ds for the love! And man, you DO ask some very tough questions!

I’m so pleased with myself now, coz after the blog’s first Sunshine Award, I’d told Lady G that I’d be getting her to play in future blog award type thingies.

Seeing Indigo’s tough questions, I’m mighty impressed with Past Me’s foresight. Coz I’m gonna need all the help I can get! Ha.

You’ll know what I mean when you see Indigo’s questions!

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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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103 Comments

Review: Gaksital [Bridal Mask]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A show that’s really good right away, and – gasp! – actually stays that way throughout its 28 episodes. That’s a rare, rare feat in dramaland, as we know all too well.

Gaksital is a show that manages to take a political context and ground it in the personal experience and emotion of our characters, and then by extension, help us to care about that political context in a way more visceral that I expected.

I found Gaksital intense, gripping, and gut-wrenching in some of the best ways. And I don’t even usually like shows with political contexts.

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Review: Vampire Prosecutor 2

VP2.1

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Less slick and less stylish than the first season, this second season is grittier, darker and way bloodier.

While I missed the finesse of Season 1, Season 2 did give us more meat in terms of character development and team & relationship dynamics.

The episode-to-episode crimes generally also showed more complexity compared to those in Season 1.

Most importantly, Season 2 gave us more time with our favorite vampire prosecutor – and who can argue with that?

VP2.2

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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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Review: Vampire Prosecutor

VP1

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A slick, stylish crime procedural with a vampire twist.

Plot-wise, it feels a little piece-meal in the earlier episodes, but it really grows into its own by the final stretch. It’s engaging, witty, and well-written, with some excellent attention to detail and a glossy, polished finish to boot.

I’m not a fan of crime procedurals nor of vampire-related content as a general rule, but I really liked this.

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