I still remember my co-workers in the office having daily discussions on each episode of Goblin. I, being the not-so-vocal girl when it comes to my interest in Korean dramas, just shrugged them all off. At times, I have this automatic retraction from anything that is hyped. I have usually been the type who would dig through an entire album and find the songs that never appeared on Billboard Hot 100. Goblin was shown. My Facebook feed turned into a hot mess of co-workers and friends reacting to the drama. Even Goblin ads would pop out on some websites I frequently check all because the TV show was THAT huge.

Finally, I gave up. I got curious. I searched for Goblin’s summary; that’s how I usually start.

The story

Goblin poster

Through my short research during my free time, I learned that Goblin centers on a certain man named “Kim Shin” who used to be an unbeatable general during his time. Which time period am I talking about? Pre-modern Korean era! I have a soft spot for history so my attention was grabbed. Kim Shin was turned into a “goblin” or “Dokkaebi” (this part sounds like a fairytale) and given an immortal life. The fairy tale premise ends on this part though because having an immortal life is not so much of a blessing as it seems. The Korean drama actually circles around this plot to make a point and I am curious as to what messages the drama could let afloat through its 16 episodes. It’s written by Kim Eun-seok after all!

Gong Yoo the Goblin

Gong Yoo in Goblin kdrama
Photo Credit: Goblin Facebook page

I heard Gong Yoo’s name for the first time when the Korean movie Train to Busan was the talk in town. The zombie movie became a huge hit in the Philippines. I have heard of positive remarks regarding his acting and what better way to see him for the first time than through a Korean drama that surely challenged his acting chops. His character being a Goblin surely has a heavy backstory and I am curious about how Gong Yoo had portrayed this intriguing character.

The oddly-matched characters

Lee Dong-wook, Gong Yoo, and Yook Sung-jae in Goblin
Photo Credit: Goblin Facebook page

An immortal Goblin. An amnesiac Grim-reaper. A high school girl who claims to be the Goblin’s bride. What an odd combination of characters! This is certainly a breath of fresh air after all the tropes and similarities I’ve seen in different Korean dramas. As a viewer of TV shows, there are times when I question myself on whether I am only wasting my time. Many viewers do not just watch TV dramas and films for the sake of laughing their personal stress away on weekends. To some, watching Korean dramas open for them a door to an entirely new world where culture, language, and preferences are different from where one lives. Other times, it’s the story line that captivates us to stay put and focus on the screen. Imagining how these characters would interact with each other surely is a big question mark I would like to find the answer to.

The trailer

There’s no better way to whet one’s curiosity than by seeing a sneak peak so I checked Goblin’s trailer. Within its short time, it was able to show a promising story, a touch of humor, an intriguing past, accurate camera angles, and a sword that surely got me asking about its significance in the drama. I personally love symbolism so this was like being given a cone of ice cream on a hot summer afternoon. This trailer literally urged me to go on and check out the first episode and find out for myself how it broke records in cable drama ratings.

Picturesque scenes

I read some reviews saying that Goblin is loaded with beautifully-shot scenes. If that’s the case then I’m in! I tried to dig up some screenshots of the Korean drama and indeed, the artistry in it is strong. The only issue I had was that I was already exposing myself to potential spoilers. Haha! And so, I stopped but only got myself more curious. Being into creative hobbies such as calligraphy, I could say that seeing art in TV shows and films is one of the many factors that could convince me to spend my valuable time to sit down and watch a Korean drama.

Conclusion

Goblin cast
Photo Credit: Goblin Facebook page

Goblin gave me more than enough reasons to check it out. Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun playing as lovers give a rather awkward impression but I’m curious as to how they would make it work out especially with the type of characters they took to play. There is also the addition of Lee Dong-wook and Yook Sung-jae. I only know the latter as a Kpop idol but I heard compliments for his acting. Most of all, the background story of Goblin is a definite reason to give this drama a chance. Goblin is now on my list and I do not regret checking it out just when the talks in the office have already died down. It won’t be so bad being alone as this drama mesmerizes me up to its finale. Game!

(AOIARO is a writer who is yet to find the perfect cafe for her imaginative needs. She keeps herself hushed about watching Korean dramas but writes her thoughts about them anyway. Follow her on Kdramapal for random, honest, and sometimes hilarious posts about your favorite Kdramas. Shoot her a shoutout at aoiaro@kdramapal.com, message us on our Facebook page, or comment on this post below.)

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