The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Goblin: The Lonely and Great God #review

쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비

Writer  -  Kim Eun sook
Network -   tvN
Episodes -   16
Released -   Dec, 2016 - Jan, 2017
Genre -  Fantasy, Romance, Drama



Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is an immortal goblin and protector of souls. He lives with an amnesiac grim reaper (Lee Dong wook) who is in charge of taking deceased souls. Together, they see the dead off into the afterlife. One day Kim Shin meets a girl, Ji Eun tak (Kim Go eun), who has the ability to see ghosts. She is destined to be Kim Shin's bride and return him to ashes.


I liked it and didn't, it was good and it wasn't.

The story itself was marvelous.

The acting by all was superb, but I could have done without the unnecessary rehash at the beginning of just about every episode, and the usual drawn-out until it becomes stale romance that takes its agonizingly sweet time getting to the point.

The bromance was cool.

Lee Dong wook and Gong Yoo

I especially enjoyed every scene at the old mansion, when these two would argue telepathically, or when they were together with Yook Sung jae's Yoo Duk hwa.

Also enjoyed the sexiness of their dark-side tandem walks, but they were too few and too early on in the show to be thoroughly enjoyed.

As a matter of fact, the writer seemed to point it out by making fun of it a little more than 3/4 into the 16 episodes.

The romance was a bit awkward.

Kim Go eun and Gong Yoo

I really like her and think she's very pretty and a good actress.

In fact, she stole the show, especially as her younger self.

Very natural, cute/funny, and an interesting young woman start to finish.

Polished, mature, unafraid of the unknown, and determined.

Still, it was painfully obvious how much younger she is than Gong Yoo and that made it a little difficult to root for them, but not entirely.

It was entirely too clean, childish, and boring (asking a 900 year old Warrior to behave like a modern-day 19 yr old Korean (= immature girly-man) is asking a bit much).

The Second Romance was much more interesting.

Lee Dong wook and Yoo In na

Talk about a handsome couple!

These two were made for each other, on and off screen.

Get married, make babies, and thrill us on The Return of Superman, please!

The pacing needed work.

So much went into the first few episodes; enough to draw me in and keep me interested, but then it just lost steam and rehashed -- sometimes all of the previous episodes, taking up about 20 to 30 minutes of a single episode -- to make the thrill of the chase die out.

No surprises, either.

It was too predictable, and I knew who the Grim Reaper was after only a few episodes.

The writer kept harping on the fact that he had no name and no memories, which only leads the viewer to just one conclusion.

Crime and Punishment

It's always interesting to hear various viewpoints about death and the afterlife.

What I learned after watching Goblin is that Koreans seem to believe in a hell, but that only the severely abusive souls go there and with no chance for reincarnation.

One of the ghosts who followed Ji Eun tak around never had her back story told, leaving me to wonder why she was dead since all of her friends had their stories told before being sent to the other side.

I am still confused as to why it was Kim Shin's character was being 'punished' when he had suffered enough in his own lifetime to last the purported 3 to come -- even if he technically lived just one before dying -- and having never received his other 3 since he became immortal.

Becoming immortal after all that suffering makes sense, but not his having to wander aimlessly for 900 years in search of his Bride to remove the invisible sword so that he can finally rest in peace.

And, the real culprit behind the pain, suffering, loss, and eventual 'punishment' of those involved ended up becoming an immortal of sorts as well, which makes even less sense.

I understand it was meant as a tie-in to the other ghosts wandering earth because their deaths were murder or some unsolved crime, but his crimes weren't unsolved yet went unpunished for 900 years.

I don't get that.

It implies that God picks and chooses His hell victims (and everyone else goes to Heaven, apparently) which I don't buy at all.

The Hat

Lee Dong wook as the Grim Reaper

LOVED the hat!

A little on the cappello romano side, but still cool.

The Soundtrack

I didn't mind it and liked two in particular, but it wasn't spectacular yet did fit nicely with the theme of the story.

Bottom Line

Overall, I'd recommend this as a good-time watch but with a few reservations about things like consistency, a plot that lost its way, and too much build-up with zero reasoning or results.


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