The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: Chicago Typewriter

One thing that I’ve learned from watching dramas, is that love has everything to do with timing. Well, guess what, you guys. I’m learning that this principle about timing applies to drama love too, ie, whether or not I end up loving a drama has a lot to do with timing too.

Sometimes, the timing has to do with my mood. Like, maybe I’ve got a rom-com on my screen, but I might be in the mood for a melo instead, and so the rom-com doesn’t work for me. Other times, the timing has to do with whether I’m late to the party. Which, by the way, can go either way. With Memories Of The Alhambra, being late to the party meant that I could adjust my expectations based on the fragments of information I’d gathered from other viewers, and I ended up enjoying the show more than the average viewer. With Chicago Typewriter, however, being late to the party meant that it ended up more hyped up in my mind, from the large amounts of love I’ve seen poured out for this show by other viewers before me, than Show was able to live up to. I guess I’d gotten to the point where my expectations were just too high?

As much as I hate to admit it, I didn’t manage to love Chicago Typewriter as much as many of you did. On the upside, I did like it quite well overall. Let’s dive in to see how that all worked out, shall we?

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Flash Review: The Throne [Sado] [Movie]

I feel like one of the most important things to know about this movie, is that you don’t need to view this through a high-brow movie critic sort of lens. And, you don’t need to be well-versed nor even that interested in Korean history to watch this, either.

I mean, yes, you totally can examine it from a literary perspective and analyze it for all its artistic &/or historical worth, and this movie would be able to withstand the intent scrutiny. It even feels like an art film.

My point is, though, there’s a lot in this movie that’s surprisingly universal and thought-provoking; enough to intrigue and satisfy viewers who are not so inclined to – or just not in the mood for – high-brow art movies. Like me. 😉

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Review: Sungkyunkwan Scandal

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Light, frothy, fizzy fun, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is perfect for viewers who are new to sageuk and feel intimidated by period / historical settings. Dressed in Joseon robes but possessing a fresh, modern, rom-com sort of feel, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is easy to love, even for the sageuk noob.

Helped by a breezy, ear-wormy OST and a pretty great cast, SKKS manages to pack a lot of fun – and heart! – into a zippy, peppy package.

Plus, everything – and everyone – is just so darn prettyyy.

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Flash Review: Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love

Funny story, you guys.

When I first decided to dip my toes in Jang Ok Jung, I happened to tweet about the terrible Mandarin that the Qing characters spoke in episode 1, and was quickly greeted by a flurry of concern from my dramaland friends. Consistently, pretty much every single one of them advised me – strongly – to drop the show while I could, assuring me that it was for the better, since I’d only get frustrated with the show in its later episodes.

I gladly complied, and congratulated myself on having dodged a dud drama. I quickly poured myself into some other drama, and promptly forgot all about Jang Ok Jung.

That is, until many months later, when I was doing some spring-cleaning on the hard disk where I’d saved this drama, and decided to randomly click through an early-ish episode (I think it was episode 5), just to be extra sure that I wanted to delete the drama from my collection.

Well. Imagine my complete and utter surprise, when I happened on a scene that actually piqued my interest. I soon found myself devouring the drama with the help of my Fast Forward button, and I was hooked.

Hook, line and sinker hooked, I tell ya.

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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: Secret Love Affair

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A drama that is a lot more measured and contemplative than its title – or its poster – might suggest.

To my knowledge, a good number of viewers hesitate over this show for one or several of these reasons: it’s about adultery; it probably condones adultery; it’s probably salacious, titillating audiences with an affair between a much older woman and a much younger man.

Secret Love Affair is not at all the cheap watch that some might assume it to be. Thoughtfully written, expertly directed & executed and excellently acted, Secret Love Affair is an absorbing, immersive watch that is at once the story of a man, the journey of a woman, and an uncompromising study of human nature and what it means to really live.

Substantial, poetic and thought-provoking, and well worth your time.

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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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Pure Pretty: Yoo Ah In

…And it’s time for another Pure Pretty post, you guys.

Looking back on my recent posts, I noticed a distinct pattern. It appears that every 3 reviews, I feel the need to fangirl for a bit, whether it’s a k-love post or a Pure Pretty post (or several Pure Pretty posts, heh). It’s entirely unplanned and unintentional, I promise. I’m beginning to think, though, that this is just how my brain is wired.

I can focus on relatively more serious stuff like reviews for only so long before my fangirl side rears her determined head and demands (*pounds fist on table for emphasis*) some quality fangirling time.

And so I bring you Yoo Ah In, boy-man chameleon extraordinaire. Come gaze with me, y’all.

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Best Kickass Imaginary Dream Dramas, Ever!

Do you have a Dream Drama?

Y’know, like in your head, you have the Perfect scenario, the Perfect male lead, the Perfect female lead, the Perfect second leads, and the Most Perfect story arcs, Ever? The kind of idea that makes you go, “OMGGGG I WOULD WATCH THAT DRAMA!!!!”???

Where if you could have it your way, this drama would be filmed and produced, stat, and immediately given a time slot on a Korean network, so that the entire dramaverse would be able to inhale the awesome, in unison?

Well, I and the ladies on this blog certainly have a few of those, and not only am I gonna share those awesome scenarios with you today, we wanna hear about your Perfect Dream Drama too!

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Review: School 2013

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An earnest, honest high school drama that isn’t just about high school.

Pulsing with teen angst on the one hand, yet also dealing with more universal issues on the other, School 2013 is about growing up, and about friendship, hope, love and loyalty. Things that all matter, whether you’re a teenager or an adult.

A wonderful, engaging watch that manages to overflow with heart, in the midst of the angst.

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