Finally, the universe has heard my prayers by creating 'Goblin' and pairing together my two favorite K-Drama hotties - Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook! Although a rather simplistic title, 'Goblin' packs a real punch with a refreshing, original storyline and lots of action to match!
His extensions were NOT on point though...
Episode 1 was pretty long but with reason. So much developed within this one episode but it didn't stay stuck at a slow pace or leave viewers bored for a moment. Kim Shin (Gong Yoo), who has two last names for a name, is a warrior turned deity by the gods due to his thirst for revenge. He is granted the gift of immortality but his punishment is to see everyone he loves die. The usual burden of being immortal, but the drama isn't falling into the spiraling abyss of cliches just yet.
The fact that Kim Shin is given a unique set of powers, such as telekinesis or bursting into flames, helps the show develop some interesting scenes and use of cinematography. But Kim Shin isn't the only character with a unique gift; Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) can see spirits ever since Kim Shin saved her mother's life. Now the two have run into the Grim Reaper (Lee Dong Wook) and their pasts are beginning to unfold as they start growing closer. An odd bunch to say the least, but definitely a great dynamic.
The show is quite reliant on cinematography in order to showcase more action in certain scenes such as when Kim Shin sinks a ship or even when he is resurrected.
However, I do enjoy the rather simple additions of it throughout the drama such as when Ji Eun Tak grabs Kim Shin's arm and it suddenly ignites into blue flames. I am just hoping we get to see more spooky ghosts or even battles between other spirits since Ji Eun Tak can see them all. It could easily become similar to the hit Japanese anime 'Blue Exorcist,' but I wouldn't mind that one bit.
There is one thing vaguely bugging me though. I hate to ask this again - but is it just me or do these K-Dramas just love borrowing or ripping off the same, if not similar, soundtracks? I sensed a bit of 'The K2' influence every now and again with the slight holy chanting and humming for the more intense battle scenes.
Despite that, 'Goblin' easily utilizes the magical, supernatural concept much better than 'The Legend of The Blue Sea.' It isn't overdone, and their magical backgrounds suit each character's style nicely.
When it comes to character dynamics, there is a lot of love for some and hate for others. While we loved her awkward and endearing personality in 'Cheese In The Trap,' Kim Go Eun seems to have carried that same style, just a tad, over to 'Goblin' as well. Despite her character keeping to herself this time around, Ji Eun Tak also has a very witty way of talking and seems to come off as hardworking yet ditzy every so often. Maybe this is just Kim Go Eun's natural characteristics?
What makes me laugh is Ji Eun Tak's willingness to be the Goblin's Bride and easily admitting her love for Gong Yoo. There are only three plausible reasons: Gong Yoo is just simply that hot, she is in desperate need of a boyfriend, or that her aunt is just too big of a b!tch to even deal with. I'd say it is the last. Although I find it cool and would love to be in the same position as Ji Eun Tak, doesn't anyone else find it odd that they are pairing a girl who just turned 19 with a 1,000 year old man? No? OK. (Why do stories like doing that so much? Re: 'Twilight,' 'You Who Came From the Stars'?)
Anyway, I can't stand Yoo Duk Hwa at all. The whole disrespectful, talkative, and troublesome kid act is not cute or funny. Aside from that, I'm sure he will play some sort of comic relief and stir up some humorous trouble while living with the Grim Reaper, but for now I see no purpose in his character.
Speaking of that hottie (yes, the Grim Reaper), the director also kept in mind what character would fit certain profiles quite nicely as I feel Lee Dong Wook was the absolute perfect choice for the Grim Reaper. Lee Dong Wook's cold stare and hardened expressions fit hand and hand with the usual image of how the Grim Reaper should be. If Lee Dong Wook really is part of the afterlife, I ain't looking back! #ByeStudentLoans
When it comes to romance, I can see the 'Goblin' is already going to set our hearts on fire. Some viewers may think 'Goblin' was littered with corny aspects here and there, but I hardly found any. That slow motion scene between Ji Eun Tak and Kim Shin's first meeting was just marvelous and completely awe-inspiring. I need to walk around in the rain more often! There were also a few simple moments that appeared more romantic as well, such as when they first meet on the rocks over the shoreline and Kim Shin hands her buckwheat flowers for her "depressing birthday."
My new wallpaper!
Another key aspect is that 'Goblin' also utilizes the element of transitioning back and forth between not only different time periods but also places as well, such as when Ji Eun Tak and Kim Shin arrived in Canada towards the end. I am wondering if we will encounter more flashbacks into the past for more in-depth details as to why Kim Shin was branded a traitor.
Overall, the plot developed excellently. The beginning had me feeling a bit iffy, but in its entirety, episode 1 evolved into something different and cool. I already have expectations for episode 2 and can't wait to see what will unfold in next weekend's episodes as well!
While I do prefer the more magical, current day time period, I know it is necessary to rehash and jump back and forth in order to reveal more crucial points of the entire plot. For now, we will wait and see what exactly is in store for our handsome Goblin, Grim Reaper, and the cute but confused Goblin Bride.