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I Watched My First K-Drama, Am I A Convert?

Read Time: 2 minutes

Will  Goblin help me get sucked in the black hole of K-Drama? 

 

 

In the confines of our living room, I hear my mother weeping uncontrollably. I don’t even bother checking up on her; I already know she’s having one of her Netflix marathons. There are few things that make my tenacious mother truly sad: loved ones getting sick, injustice and the occasional K-Drama. Don’t even bother speaking to her; in this realm, nobody else exists except her and the slim flat-screen TV.

 

I disregarded it for a long time. Who has time to spend hours poring over a show—and one about love at that? I could barely get through a film without thinking of deadlines and other pressing responsibilities. Just like friends with their K-Pop groups, I knew beginning would make me susceptible to this unhealthy obsession, this guilty pleasure that felt all too familiar. But here I was, considering the possibility of entering uncharted territory for the sake of a story. (Ah, the things I do for my art.)

 

I was debating between two options, the lighthearted Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo and the more complex Goblin. Following a Twitter survey, I gave in and began my ascent; after all, I did enjoy Gong Yoo’s Train to Busan.

 

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God

 

Widely popular yet controversial, the 2016 release centers around General Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) who is cursed to become a Dokkaebi or Goblin and live an immortal life—unless he finds a human bride to end his suffering. After 900 years, he meets Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-Eun), a naïve schoolgirl with a Cinderella complex destined to be his bride. (He saves her mother from dying in a hit-and-run incident years before.) The god and mortal form a romantic relationship, which obviously gives him the will to live. (Do you see how this can be problematic for the common folk?)

 

Reliving the *feels*

Watching Goblin is the closest thing I have to a romantic relationship at the moment, and I’m completely fine with it. I shamelessly shrieked with glee during sickeningly sappy moments. I didn’t know this was actually possible given my reservations for this type of show. I was seriously mistaken, and I admit to being wrong. I needed this lighthearted love story—sans the real-life commitment and repercussions. I won’t get this extra rush of endorphins elsewhere.

 

 

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After the last episode, it left me with a hollow feeling—of abandon and longing—that familiar pang you get when something good gets away. Is this what every K-Drama obsessed person goes through? It’s close to the five unmistakable stages of grief; you never think you’ll get over it until you try again, as with love, and get sucked in again. The cycle then repeats itself.

 

I just finished my second Korean Drama, Crash Landing On You, the South Korean-North Korean love story everybody’s talking about lately, also the only show to overtake Goblin’s ratings. I’m on a roll, it seems. Parasite‘s Bong Joon-Ho presents the case for watching more foreign language media. The Golden Globe winner shares, “Once you overcome the 1-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” He couldn’t have said it better.

 

Give it a chance; I’m glad I did.

 

 

Stream Goblin on Netflix.

 

 

Art Alexandra Lara

About The Author

Visual Storyteller. Explored the entertainment industry in my early 20s, eventually found my voice by telling people’s stories. Finding joy in writing about empathy, beauty and literature. Always a photographer.

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