“Swallow the Sun” (Series Review)

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In my imagination, the paperwork for an official License to Fangirl includes this question: which of the actor’s lesser-known and/or lesser-appreciated works have you seen? I have an answer for that question now. I’d never heard of Swallow the Sun, a 25-episode drama from 2009, but it stars Ji Sung. Naturally I had to watch it. I hope someday to be able … Read more

“Shut Up Flower Boy Band” (Netflix: “Shut Up & Let’s Go”) Series Review

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“Shut Up Flower Boy Band” contains a sweet but slight romance. The real action here is in the well-written friendships. “Flower boys” show up in the titles of three TvN shows made between 2011 and 2013, but each story takes the vague idea in a different direction. “Shut Up Flower Boy Band” makes the good-looking … Read more

“It’s Okay, That’s Love” (Series Review)

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“It’s Okay, That’s Love” is a gutsy and outstanding story despite its bland title. Never judge a K-drama by its promotional ads. The poster image of Gong Hyo-Jin and Jo In-Sung in a bathtub is supposed to look cute. In fact, it looks chilly and uncomfortable. Of course they’re wrapped around each other—that porcelain’s cold. The script for … Read more

“Coffee Prince” (Series Review)

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Why is Coffee Prince responsible for drawing in so many new K-drama fans? It’s not like this 17-episode series from 2007 is flawless. Nor is it typical. Its character-driven plot and naturalistic style set it apart from most K-dramas. But it has so much quiet charm that it’s a touchstone for overseas fans of Korean television. … Read more

“Boys over Flowers” (Series Review)

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“Boys over Flowers” is usually over-the-top, occasionally awful, but impossible to stop watching. Even several years after it aired, “Boys over Flowers” is still one of the most well-known K-dramas overseas. It wasn’t the highest-rated show of 2009 or the best. But the Japanese manga Hana yori Dango and its many adaptations (in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea) were a … Read more