The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling


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Flash Review: One More Happy Ending

You know how someone might sweep you breathlessly off your feet in the early stages of your courtship – it’s all gloriously giddy and everything seems quite perfect – until you actually start dating seriously, and then, slowly but surely, the illusion of perfection cracks to reveal his or her flaws?

Heh. SO MUCH like my experience with this show y’all. I loved this show in the beginning, but as the episodes progressed, the initial giddy shine wore off, and Show’s flaws came to the fore and made it a pretty uneven watch, overall.

BUT. Like that dating/relationship analogy, just because something’s not as perfect as it first seems, doesn’t discount the possibility of finding nuggets of substance, in the midst of the flaws, right?

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Dropped: The Secret Message

I’m beginning to think that my fangirl love isn’t a very resilient thing, heh.

I had every intention of finishing web drama The Secret Message. To begin with, I didn’t expect very much from it, and therefore, to finish watching it seemed like a reasonable goal in my head; easy, even. I mean, we’re talking short little 15-minute episodes, which the teasers all indicated would be prettily shot, featuring the very handsome TOP in a cute romance. What could possibly be hard about that, right?

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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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Dropped: My Secret Hotel

Thanks to everyone who voted when I asked if you guys would be interested in new sections for Flash Reviews and Dropped Dramas.

Even though you guys have been the sweetest readers, it still blew me away a little, at just how many of you are in favor of these short little blurb types of posts (more than 90% of the votes, y’all. Thank you!).

It’s a new lesson I’m learning, that even though wordiness is one of my hard-to-shake-off traits, that I don’t have to be wordy for you guys to be interested in what I have to say. Thanks y’all, for makin’ me feel all important and stuff. 😉

And now, here’s the first drama to grace the Dropped Dramas section: My Secret Hotel.

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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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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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Liebster Shower [Round 2!]

So a funny thing happened. Liebster season snuck up on me when I wasn’t even looking.

When the first signs popped up, hinting that Liebster season was upon us again, I hardly took notice. I was all like, Well, I had a good go at that last year, and it was a heap of fun. Surely after 9 whole Liebsters, though, no one’s going to want to ask me more questions about myself. Right?

Wrong.

When I wasn’t looking, those Liebsters seemed to multiply in a little room all by their sneaky little selves. Almost like they had a will all their own. And now, I have a serious heap of questions to answer *starts sweating bullets*

I plead hectic Real Life schedules as the reason that I delegated the job of answering the Liebster questions to Future Me (hey, after watching so many time-travel dramas, you gotta learn something, right?)

So here I am, Future Me (er, now Present Me?) to the rescue! Let’s see if you guys can stick with me all the way to the very end, eh? I promise to make this as pain-free as possible 😉

And, thanks to all you sweethearts who nominated me – I feel like I’ve been rained on by showers of lurve ❤

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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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Review: Life Is Beautiful

LIB1

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A lovely family drama that is completely refreshing and that has a wonderful harmonious, comforting tone throughout its 63 episodes.

There is no trace of melodrama in this one. People don’t hate each other; no one is plotting revenge on anyone; there is no web of birth secrets; there is no long-suffering Candy character and no chaebol prince. The beats are relatively small, and yet I never felt like they were insignificant.

As a bonus, this drama is set in gorgeous, glorious Jeju Island.

Criminally underrated, this gem is a completely enjoyable watch from start to finish.

LIB2

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