- https://getinformed.carrd.co/ This is an incredible carrd with information and resources about many of the issues the world is going through right now!
- I find Twitter an extremely useful tool in finding information about these injustices and ways to help. As well as Change.org for petitions!
Goblin became an instant hit and recorded an 18.68% nationwide audience, making it the fifth highest rated drama in Korean cable tv history! It’s written by popular drama writer Kim Eun Sook (other dramas of hers are Secret Garden, Gentleman’s Dignity and Descendants of the Sun). It aired on tvN, taking the Friday and Saturday slot from December 2016 – January 2017. The drama took home several awards, including the Daesang for Kim Eun Sook and Best Actor for Gong Yoo at the Baeksang Arts Awards.
I’m not going to lie, I went into this drama with low expectations despite it being so well loved. I don’t know why, but sometimes I’m wary of certain aspects of Kim Eun Sook’s plots… However, I really enjoyed these two episodes. Did they have to be 1hr and 30mins? No, but I’m just going to have to get used to longer episodes.
900 years, General Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is unbeatable in battle and adored by the people. However, the young King (Kim Min Jae) soon becomes jealous of the adoration he receives even from his Queen (Kim So Hyun) and has Kim Shin’s family killed before him. With no other choice, Kim Shin takes the honourable death and gets his fellow soldier to stab him with his own sword. Due to the bloodshed of the sword, Kim Shin reawakens as a Dokkaebi – Goblin. At first he believes his immortality could be a gift, but soon realises it’s nothing but a curse. In spite of this he becomes a somewhat soft hearted god and ends up saving a pregnant woman (Park Hee Von) after a hit and run, causing her spirit and the unborn child’s to evade a Grim Reaper (Lee Dong Wook).
On the child’s 9th birthday Eun Tak (young – Han Seo Jin) is forced to live with her aunt, but before this meets the Grim Reaper face to face. However, she is saved by the Birth Grandmother (Lee El) and successfully evades him for another 10years. In a bout of desperation Eun Tak (present – Kim Go Eun) prays to any god listening and accidentally summons Kim Shin to her side. They’re both confused, but this turn of events becomes commonplace and the two start to get to know each other (mostly through bickering) and that’s when Eun Tak tells him the ghosts she sees call her the Goblin’s Bride – the woman destined to pull the sword from Kim Shin’s chest and give him the peace and death he yearns for.
That’s a lot of plot, and we find out all the above and more in the first two episodes. So much happen in these first 3 (ish) hours! In the first episode we went back and forth between different timelines quite a bit, and while I did think some scenes weren’t necessarily needed, I always enjoy a good Sageuk so those were fun. We had a lot of build-up and setting the stage for the present day and I wish they could have done it in a way that didn’t need so much voiceover as it did become a little tedious. Another thing is that I am a little worried that because we’ve had so much plot already it gives Kim Eun Sook more space to go to some ridiculous and convoluted places. This is a really funny drama, so I’m hoping that can save it if it does in fact go off the rails!
While we do have so much plot, it was definitely the characters that made it the most enjoyable. Kim Shin is this great General, but through the years he’s become softer and an idiot. At first we see him, even in the present, as a mysterious and kind employer. However, through his squabbling relationship with Grim Reaper and the bickering with Eun Tak, we soon realise that everyone is a little ridiculous and dumb 😂
As soon as I met Eun Tak I fell in love. The young actress was amazing and the brightness of her character doesn’t truly disappear in the present despite her family life. There is a definite aspect of Cinderella to Eun Tak, and I’ve seen some criticisms of this, but she’s still feisty and for the most part we’ve seen her fend for herself. Another criticism I have seen is that Eun Tak is a high school senior, while Kim Shin is over 900 years old in the body of a mid 30’s man and she does cling to him (metaphorically)… and yeah I see that that’s weird and such imagery isn’t great. And I think this is a conversation we need to have as a society that while we may see relationship’s in fiction, it’s not always something to aspire for in real life. Maybe, because I use fiction as an escape I understand that, and I’m at an age where I can see the flaws and… it’s a kdrama… Am I wrong?
Anyway, I love Eun Tak and her perseverance and bickering nature was fun to watch, as well as the growing dynamic between her and Kim Shin.
The main side characters I really liked were of course Grim Reaper (although there are many, so that could get confusing real quick when talking about this drama haha). He’s got a very stuffy, awkward, “stay away from me” vibe, but he’s also so petty when it comes to Kim Shin. Their constant rivalry and pettiness is hilarious, but I’m interested to see the layer beneath, because it seems like despite all that there is some form of friendship there. And then we have Duk Hwa. The young actor (Jung Ji Hoon) for the former and his previous ancestors was so good! While I’m not super sold on his character in the present – he’s basically a rich, spoilt brat – Sungjae is comedic and I’m assuming his character will do more in the future.
I’m also really interested in the Birth Grandmother’s role and how she plays into it all. We’ve only really seen glimpses of her in the present day, but she’s so intriguing and I want more! And then we have Sunny (Yoo InNa) who is strange, but also so chill. Again, we haven’t really had many scenes with her, but I’m pretty aware that she becomes more prominent and I’m excited!
Overall, this drama has an amazing cast ♥
Talking about the drama in general, the scenes are pretty and while the effects aren’t great, they’re good enough to not take you out of the “fantasy”. The soundtrack is okay so far. There are some songs sung in English and it does give me war flashbacks from Healer- Edit: I went to listen to those songs and for some reason Crush’s song sounds beautiful (and isn’t just in English), so I think it’s the context that startled me a bit and that I find odd, but for some reason the one by Heize (ft. Han Soo Ji) was pretty both in and out of the drama… maybe I got used to that fact that we may have English pop up?
Suffice to say, I had a lot of fun watching these first two episodes and I’m actually really excited to see where this goes. I know I should lower my expectations, but that would be smart and out of character 😂
- Director: Lee Eung Bok
- Writer: Kim Eun Sook
- Network: tvN
- Release Date: 2nd December 2016 – 21st January 2017
- Episodes: 16
Are you like me and have been scared off by the hype? Would you consider watching it now? Or have you seen it? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥
I love the cast, but the story didn’t resonate with me, so I eventually dropped it.
The cast is great! But that doesn’t bode well! What about the story didn’t resonate?
For the story, I’m not sure. I really like the concept, but I guess the execution didn’t draw me in. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the main girl being in high school. I would’ve preferred her to be in at least college since Goblin was like 30(?) at the time. But this drama exposed me to Kim Go-eun, and she’s such a great actress.
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I do understand that, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason that the main girl couldn’t have been aged up. I’m glad it wasn’t a total waste! Kim Go Eun is great ♥
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