First Look: K-Drama ‘Goblin’

Hot to our screens is new Korean drama Goblin but the official English title is Guardian: The Lonely and Great God 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비. Why the long title? can’t answer that I’m afraid as I have no idea either, but international viewers will know it as Goblin.

Goblin is the latest work of famed writer Kim Eun-sook 김은숙 who is probably (now) most famous for the  smash hit Descendants of the Sun 태양의 후예.  But let’s not forget that before DoS she has had many hits including: The Heirs, Secret Garden, Lovers in Paris and A Gentleman’s Dignity to name a few. However what sets Goblin apart from the rest of her dramas is that this one is being aired on cable channel tvN and not one of the big three networks, all of KES’s dramas have aired on SBS with the exception of DoS airing on KBS and of course now Goblin. This may be quite a good move by KES to have to next drama air on a cable channel  as any follow-up  would be compared to DoS in terms of ratings. DoS did something that a kdrama hasn’t done in a long time and that was to break the 20% ratings mark. Long gone are the kdrama heydays of breaking the 30% mark let alone the 40% mark.  For a drama to be considered to have high ratings on a cable drama the 5% mark needs to be hit, this may look low but it certainly isn’t for a cable drama.

Goblin premiered it’s first episode on 2nd December and the second episode on 3rd December. I was instantly hooked within the first 15 minutes, the drama laid the backdrop as to why and how our leading man became the goblin. I found that it was just enough, not too much to over load you with information and unnecessary details but not too less to leave you having a ton of unnecessary questions.

I’ve never really like Gong Yoo though I did like his performance in the under-rated drama Big, but that doesn’t mean that I dislike him… I just don’t really have an opinion of this…. even after watching him in the hit movie  Train to Busan. I guess you could say I was indifferent to him, I wouldn’t watch a drama or not watch a drama just because he was in it. However by the end of the first episode of Goblin I have new found love for Gong Yoo, and I cannot see anyone else playing 도깨비 Dokkaebi like he has. Not to mention the bromance our goblin has with the Rim Reaper. The way I feel about Lee Dong-wook was the same way I felt about Gong Yoo, but I suppose I was always a little baised again LDW as he was the guy that got the girl instead of my bae Lee Joon-gi in the drama My Girl마이걸. LDW is perfect for the rim reaper! I’ve always somewhat found LDW‘s eye to look a little soulless and emotionless and maybe its because of those soulless eye that has made his grim reaper work so well.

So far it’s the men that are doing it for me… female lead Kim Go Eun playing Ji Eun-tak as a high school student who is being abused by her aunt and she turns out to be the Goblin’s wife. The one that can pull the sword from him so that he can finally rest in peace, but we all know that it won’t be so simple. The character Ji Eun-tak is quite bland… it’s like she is there but not there. Somewhat feels like she is there to just fill in, but it is only  the first two episodes so I’m sure her presence will increase. We’ve only had a glimpse of second leading lady Yoon In Na and I admit to having a bit of a bias liking to her, I loved her in Queen In-hyun’s Man and she was enjoyable in My Secret Hotel , both which also happen to be tvN dramas (a forming of a good partnership?). I can’t wait to see how her chemistry with LDW is tested and I feel like her character will have a deeper connection with the  story.

At this point it is definitely too early to tell but I’ve watched enough dramas to some what have an idea of where this will head and I’ll keep those thoughts to myself for now as I don’t want to potentially spoil anything or get into any heated debates ^___^’. I will probably follow this up with a end of drama review where I’ll tell you if what I thought would happen did happen.

It may just be the first two episodes but I definitely feel that writer KES has definitely given us a drama unlike what she has done before, her writing style has noticeable improved? in terms of plot and I feel that she has put in a lot more effort in the ‘attention to details’.




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2 thoughts on “First Look: K-Drama ‘Goblin’

  1. Um, yes, all the yes! I feel like I could have written this initial review myself. We’re 12 episodes in now, and I just can’t handle how gorgeously epic this show is. Gong Yoo has completely stolen my heart!

    I will say that the show got a *little* slowed down there for a bit. It felt stretched. But the last 3 episodes have re-invigorated the series for me.

    Great blog you have, and nice to meet you! Can’t wait to hear more from you!


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