Kim Shin was once an unbeatable general in Goryeo's military who died a tragic death. He now possesses immortality but is tired of living while everyone else around him dies. For 900 years, Kim Shin has searched for his bride, a mortal who can pull out the sword and end his life. One day, he encounters Ji Eun Tak, a positive, upbeat high school student who can see the dead and has gone through tragic events, yet still stays strong. She claims to be the Goblin's bride who can end his immortal life, but what appears to be an easy task, only gets complicated, as the two fall in love. (Source: AJ at MyDramaList) Edit Translation
- Native Title: 도깨비
- Also Known As: 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비 , Dokkaebi , Sseulsseulhago Chalranhashin-Dokkaebi , The Lonely, Shining Goblin , Guardian: The Lonely and Great God , Goblin: The Story of an Eternal, Great God Who Falls in Love , Goblin: The Lonely and Great God
- Screenwriter: Kim Eun Sook
- Director: Lee Eung Bok
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy, Melodrama
Cast & Credits
This is the first time I've watched any of the main actors except Yoo In Na. I have now officially developed a Gong Yoo crush and understand why drama fans are enamored of him. Gong Yoo as Kim Shin/ Goblin was mesmerizing. I could listen to his voice for days. Every scene he was in was a treat. Every emotion that his character had was palpable, and his smiles could light up the sky.
And Kim Go Eun as Ji Eun Tak was super cute. She had a lot of detractors and the writer got a lot of flak for making her so young. But the character and her age were perfect for this story and how it unfolded.
Lee Dong Wook as the Grim Reaper had the perfect deadpan (heh) delivery. And he may be the best male "crier" I've seen yet.
The story will make you laugh and make you cry. Not only is the love story epic, but so is the bromance between Goblin and Reaper. I've found that I'm quite fond of this fantasy genre and this has been done so well. I have hardly any criticisms of this show at all because even the flaws faded into nothing noticeable for me. It's sweet, funny, romantic, sad, tragic, beautiful...
The music was perfect and perfectly lovely. I don't always pay much attention to the music, but this show utilized it so well and chose the perfect songs. So many people loved even the intro song that they made a special recording of it to make it a full length song (Round and Round, but may also be found under Never Far Away). Beautiful by Crush was the best song in my opinion, and I believe that it was the theme song for our main couple. And Stay With Me by Chanyeol and Punch was another favorite.
Rewatch value is high - if not everything, then there are many, many favorite scenes that I'll go back to and relive the feels. :)
What makes Goblin good is it's featuring. It stars longing looks, teary-eyed longing looks, bromance, ignoring that he is 800 years old, trying to pretend you are not watching this because of the bromance and good looking leads and KES's obligatory three good episodes towards the end that makes you think this is so good. It also stars a very good performance by Lee Dong Wook. I'd like to say the rest of the cast were just as good, but I'd be lying. Gong Yoo is someone, I watch because he is in good movies (The Crucible/Silenced, etc) but not because he gives an actual good performance. He's like a Brad Pitt type in that regard. I was quite surprised by LDW as I find him heavily attractive and have for a long time but I've admitted he's a terrible actor. Suddenly he is Matthew McConaughaying me. The female lead is literally a copy paste of all rom-coms. Especially from this writer.
The intro of this drama is unique and creates what has the potential to be a very good plot, but ultimately this is a meandering slow stream of a journey that I heavily recommend you skip some episodes. Yes, skip from ep 5 to 13 and you'll miss very little. The juicy parts of the plot are thrown aside for a slew of teary-eyed longing looks and cliché romantic scenes that at ep 4, I started to wonder when they were actually going to focus on the juicy premise.
Character wise, the bromance sells this stale plot as personally, the romance between the male and female lead just looks awkward. I should be gushing at romantic scenes but they look as uncomfortable as I do and when Gong Yoo pats her head, he at times feels like her father. The drama has a lot of potential but the writer didn't seem to know what to do with it and I feel like a traitor who deserves to be hanged for saying this, but as a huge lover of bromance, dare I say it, I actually got bored of the bromance. I started tuning in to cast longing looks at Lee Dong Wook. My obsession made me run out into the street and jump in front of a car, but I heavily recommend you don't do that as the Grim Reaper never appeared and now I'm writing this in the afterlife.
The writer here also inserts her I suckered you into thinking this was good by having her obligatory three good episodes that make me think, Oh this has potential. It's always towards the end too. Melancholic episodes with good editing that make me wonder where was this for the previous ten episodes? I feel the drama is a seven at best as in, I would be very generous to give it a 7. It has its good melancholic and humorous scenes but it ultimately never quite gets its pacing right and never seems to know what to focus on making this really not as good as it could be.
PS. I also urge you to cast aside any logical questions you might have especially towards the end. They will not be answered.