Goblin: The Lonely God review: Good actors, good storyline but a CRINGEY romance

Published on Mar 25, 2021 12:04 AM IST  |  1.9M
Official poster of the popular classic KDrama, Goblin: The Lonely God
Goblin: The Lonely God review: Good actors, good storyline but a CRINGEY romance

Ask any kDrama fan if they've watched the classic Dokkaebi, and you'll hardly meet someone who hasn't. That was the drama that made many fall in love with and realise the power of Gong Yoo, Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na - rightfully so. They're all a powerhouse. The story was pretty refreshing, unique and gave both the lead couples their own space to breathe in. Sure, Gong Yoo and Go Eun are the major couple so they have the story centred around them. But that doesn't mean Dong Wook and In Na were side-lined. 


Now, usually one would know the storyline of Goblin. But if you're new in the KDrama universe, the story is about a 900-year-old Goblin who is cursed to a life of immortality and the only one who can break the curse is his bride - by taking out the massive sword stuck in his chest (which can only be seen by the bride). In case you're wondering, yes. He'll die once the sword is removed. But that's a curse, again, for killing hundreds of people in war in his time of being a general. 


We’ve got another love arc running parallel to this - that of the now Grim Reaper, Wang Yeo (played by the handsome Lee Dong Wook) and a business woman Kim Sun aka, Sunny (played by the beauty Yoo In Na). They both have a secret past that entangles their fate. A past that is connected to Kim Shin, our beloved dokkaebi. If I had to rate the romances in the drama (which I am doing now), my ratings would be - 


1) Dokkaebi and Grim Reaper Bromance

2) Sunny and Grim Reaper’s relationship

3) Kim Shin and Eun Tak’s relationship


Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. The major flaw because of why the lead couple are my third choice. Here it goes:


The actor portraying the 900-year-old Dokkaebi is (at that time) 36-year-old absolutely gorgeous Gong Yoo. And then 25-year-old Go Eun - who is perfect to play a highschool kid and doesn't look older than a 17/18 year old. Now don't get me wrong. The story's great. The romance? All mushy-mushy. Bromance? The best ever. But there are times when it's hard to overlook the fact that the romantic scenes almost look illegal. For me, that was the biggest turn off. Maybe the writing could've changed and instead of a high-schooler, made the character of Eun Tak an average adult. Or, they could've taken another actor who didn't look as mature as Gong Yoo. 


If we compare Sunny and Wang Yeo’s romance to Kim Shin and Eun Tak’s, the former seems more natural, more real. The circumstances are fictional, yes. But it seems more realistic than any other love story. Wang Yeo, even though a Grim Reaper, is awkward, shy, clumsy and funny. Sunny is the exact opposite - she’s bold, outspoken and fearless. Their romantic moments actually make you go all mushy inside! The couple is really cute together and look good together too. On the other hand, we have our lead couple - Kim Shin and Eun Tak. As much as I tried to overlook their age (or height) difference, it was impossible. If not for the lovey-dovey backgrounds, one would think it’s a father-daughter duo. 


While we’re on the subject of this, I’d also like to include The King: Eternal Monarch. Released in 2020, Go Eun was paired up with Lee Min Ho in another Goblin-ish drama. It is similar in a way, but there’s no cringey or awkward almost-illegal-looking romance here. Go Eun plays a cop (AN ADULT) and Lee Min Ho, a King from another dimension. Now this is far more approachable than watching a teenager fall in love with a guy who’s old enough to be her father. 


While I do have my concerns regarding the lead couple’s romance and almost tried to fast forward mushy scenes, I can see why Goblin: The Lonely and The Great God is such a cult favourite. With amazing actors, to a unique refreshing story, to an ending that doesn’t disappoint, to creating a benchmark of KDrama bromances - credits should be given where they are due! And of course, if the same actors hadn’t been given a chance, we wouldn’t have known the powerhouse of a couple and actors they could’ve been!


Also Read: THROWBACK: When Park Seo Joon revealed that BTS' Taehyung is trying to be 'manly' these days


Could you overlook the age difference between Kim Shin and Eun Tak or did it try to ruin your experience like it did with mine? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author.