I’m pleasantly surprised; Episode 1 and 2 of Goblin were really enjoyable for me. I have to admit, it took me a couple of days to choke down Episode 1. Although I found the backstory interesting and appreciated that this drama is not afraid to be whimsical, some of the cinematic scenes paired with elaborate plot felt a bit pretentious. However, my sentiments did shift as the first episode evened out somewhere around the middle. The second half of the episode brought on my profound curiosity for the future story and character development.
Sceptic Turned Fan
So why have you been so sceptical up to this point Zhaoul? Aren’t you normally a glass full type of person? Well yes, I am. I do usually see the silver lining in life and when it comes to dramas, but I think my fear with Goblin is that, in truth, I really want it to succeed. However, I don’t want it to just succeed because of big names or big production, but because of the story merit and talent. I’ve had faith in this cast from the time it was announced, but the stability of the story was in question in my mind. I do feel somewhat at ease now, having seen the first few episodes and now having a better understanding of what the drama is. Sure, it’ll have lots of opportunities to derail, so nothing is certain yet, but there is a big glimmer of hope *insert tinkle bell expression here*.
I think the character dynamics are already super captivating. Some might think “Well a 19 year old girl and what a 900… (don’t even know) year old man”. Well… it’s fantasy and I really think this relationship is truly special and will probably have us crying our eyes out later on. Gong Yoo is really at the top of his game. His years of experience are almost palpable. His long resume of movies also contributes to the motion picture feel of the drama (along with “ca ching” “ca ching” spent on this drama).
His character has maturity and deep sorrow. He has completely integrated himself into modern society, but his past, and Green flamed sword of curse are forever present in his mind.
Kim Go Eun
Kim Go Eun brightens the screen and is like a bright ray of hope. Her Cinderella-esque story line makes her character very rootable. Her ability to see the dead and other supernatural beings, reminds me of Natsume from one of my favorite anime/mangas Natsume Yuujinchou. Natsume, like Ji Eun Tak has to deal with being different and judged for his ability. She certainly has a hard knock life, but her aura is still so very bright.
Lee Dong Wook
So if this is what the Grim Reaper looks like, I’ll gladly sip some “forget your past” tea with him, Haha. I love that Lee Dong Wook’s portrayal of the Grim Reaper is somewhere in between Melancholic, awkwardly cute, hilarious and adorable. I mean, he’s not melancholic really, but isn’t the whole idea of ushering people into the after life somewhat depressing? To him, it’s a job he takes very seriously. On one hand, he just wants to perform his duties and do them well. Things outside of the structure and routine do not sit well with him. On the other hand, he’s very human-like in terms of general behaviour and has quite the competitive streak. I think he’ll become more and more endearing as time passes (and he’s already so much fun).. but we’ll get the solemn reminder that he is in fact the angel of death.
Yoo In Na
Although what we saw of Yoo In Na was limited, it’s pretty clear to me she’ll bring a good dose of fun to this drama. I really think she’s a marvellous actress. Watching her and Lee Dong Wook interact in future episodes will be interesting and will probably bring some needed reprieve as the drama intensifies.
Bromance, Real or Fanfiction?
I really didn’t want to jump on the Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook bromance bandwagon prior to show airing because it did feel like forced fan-service to me (although I’m sure their bonding was and is authentic). I do feel good about this rooming situation and I do think the two talented actors are gelling extremely well on screen. The scene where Lee Dong Wook was trying to follow Gong Yoo through the door as Gong Yoo was teleporting, was absolutely hilarious. Casting really scored big time throwing these two in a drama together where both characters will be vital to the story.
Oh Canada! Quebec, Je me Souviens.
Three things I like; the possibility of teleportation become a reality (it could happen in our lifetime, right?), Canadian maple leafs changing colour in the fall and Quebec City! The scenes in Quebec really made me feel so joyous. Quebec is so dear to my heart. Every little detail made me happy as I recognized and had been to the landmarks shown. My excitement over the drama will let me forgive the fact that in reality, it would have been more likely that the male ghost by the tree would have spoken in French and not English.
I hope you’ll forgive me for being brutally honest in some parts of this review. I feel good about the start of the drama and I think I can really get into it. We’ll have to see, but I feel way more optimistic than I did a week ago.
Episode 1 & 2 Quick Rating: