tvN’s “Goblin” First Impressions: I Like It

I finally watched it. I previously mentioned that I was apprehensive about the runtime and I’ll say that having watched both episodes, the time did appear to fly by to a degree.

I’m not a fan of fight scenes and always wish they’d just skip through all the drama and reveal the winner so the first 30 minutes of the pilot seemed to drag on forever. I understand that it laid the foundation for the rest of the series but boy am I not a fan of swords slicing through people and blood splattering everywhere. I stopped watching the clock once it was over. I then breezed through the second episode without noticing that it was about an hour and fifteen minutes long.

While these characters are somewhat unique (due to the fantasy aspect), their personalities aren’t. Eun Tak is the typical poor, downtrodden but optimistic female character. She’s practically Cinderella, living with her awful aunt and her two spoiled kids. Despite being lonely and having moments of despair, she’s still cheerful and fun. She was destined to die before birth but the Goblin’s intercession spared her life and gave her the ability to see spirits. Given her run-ins with ghosts and the Grim Reaper, it makes sense that she’d resigned herself to a life with an immortal. It’s easy to believe in something that has been drummed into your head as your destiny. I think I kind of like her. I wouldn’t say that she has a strong personality but I like that she handles her insane life well.

Another character taking this craziness in stride is Deok Hwa, Goblin’s human helper. I felt so sad when his 6-year-old (?) ancestor was sent off with Goblin as it’s far too young for one to resign themselves to a life of servitude. And am I the only one wondering how he survived being tossed in the sea? I couldn’t even enjoy Goblin killing everyone in that shipwreck because I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Like Goblin, you’ve done enough so hurry up and save that adorable kid!

My favorite thing about him is he didn’t let on for over a decade that he knew his “uncle” was supernatural.  And I love that his treatment of the Goblin as a kid is the polar opposite of his ancestor’s. One scene that cracked me up was when he realized that his tenant was the Grim Reaper. I love how quickly he recovered which makes sense given that he’d witnessed his uncle levitate and make gold out of thin air. What can shock you after that?

I love these three together and hope he gets to live with them forever.

In this drama, Hell means never forgetting your life and Goblin’s been sentenced to that for his success as a general. Yes, you might be a hero to some but you’re still a killer of many. The only way he can end his life and find peace is to find the woman who sees the sword through him.

Eun Tak has been told all her life that she’s the goblin’s wife but she can’t see it. At first, I wondered if she was pretending not to or that it will be revealed to her at a later date. But now, I’m beginning to wonder if instead of being his wife, she’s some other entity. The stakes would be higher and the story more interesting that way. Other than being protected by Goblin and the fake old lady, Eun Tak is also protected by her name not being on the grim reaper’s list. Maybe she can argue her way into immortality or something. I haven’t a clue but it certainly would be more interesting if their decision to be together is not partly influenced by Goblin’s quest for mortality.

Having said that, I’m still scratching my head at the logic behind pairing a high school student with an obviously grown man. I’m not referring to him being close to a millennium old but that he’s obviously an ahjussi. Why? How is the story aided by making her so young? All I want now is that in like Episode 4 or so, there’s a flash forward and the real romance begins when she’s in her mid-twenties.

While I hope for more in her future, I wouldn’t mind if in this flash forward, she and Sunny have turned that dead chicken restaurant into a thriving business. Can someone tell me why she was filling vacancies at a restaurant that probably hasn’t seen a costumer since its opening day? But I like Sunny’s attitude and can’t wait till she meets the Grim Reaper. She’s rather intuitive so I wonder if it’s just her nature or she’s also not human. There’s a scene in the preview of her finding the queen’s ring so I bet a connection will be revealed sooner or later.

As for our Grim Reaper, I haven’t really got much to say about him other than that his antagonistic relationship with Goblin is fun to watch.

Random thoughts:

How amazing would it be if all it took to travel to another continent was going through a door? I was so jealous of Eun Tak when she found herself in Quebec.

What was with that graveyard? It looked like 5 tombstones at a park. It made me laugh.

Who else’s heart broke watching the gut-wrenching scene of Goblin trying to take the sword out himself? *sniff*

After that epic fight, what prompts the Grim Reaper to team up with Goblin to save a life? Unless he’s there to pick up some loan shark souls. But did they really need to blow up all the street lights just to make a dramatic entrance? Goblin had better fix them once they’re done saving Eun Tak otherwise, it’ll become the Grim Reaper’s most popular pick up spot.

All in all, I enjoyed these two episodes and hope the show stays good for its full run.

Till next week!


  • ilchul says:

    happy that you enjoyed the drama so far!! 🙂
    I’m SO LOVING it!! so far the bromance is my most enjoyable part but I’m loving the rest as well and I loved how Eun Tak tried to protect Kim Shin from the Grim Reaper by covering his eyes so he won’t make an eye contact with him not believing that he’s not the Goblin as he told her before instead of seaking his protectiong!! I really loved that act of concern for him and he was touched by it as well!!
    I have no problem with their ages actually, the only reason why I want her to age a little more is so she will gain some maturity since she’s still a little immature but even if she doesn’t really age in numbers the life she’s about to be part of from now on will make her mature for sure!! and I’m interested to know why she can’t see the sword but she can summon him and follow him through that door when the Grim Reaper himself couldn’t!! hummm…and I can see that they won’t be together only because she’s his so called fateful bride!! he’s protecting her and getting interested into her though she’s not his supposedly bride and so she’s of no use to him as he said and she’s linked to him somehow since her birth day!!
    I know it can just be me but as Gong Yoo’s fan for about a decade I still see him an Oppa that when she called him ajhushi while calling the canadian ghost an oppa I was like “he’s an ajhushi and that man is an oppa?!!” hhhhhhhhhh I know he’s in his mid 30s and it’s natural to call him ajhushi but for me Gong Yoo was and still my Oppa!! once an oppa always an oppa!! :p hihihi

  • juliesean says:

    I’m hooked on this drama!!! Can’t wait for Sunny to meet Reaper, she’s so flighty and he’s so dreary. LOL. I think Reaper could have been the emperor in his previous life and the Queen was Sunny.

    I will also prefer if Eun Tak is older although it shouldn’t make a difference since Shin is more than 900 years old, but still….

    The best thing about the drama is the bromance; the petty tiffs between Reaper and Shin. How cute is Shin when he was parading in different clothes and asked Reaper for his advice. And Shin posing with different props to look cool and getting ready to be summoned by Eun Tak. And the dark clouds in the house when Shin was brooding. And the hat jokes. ROFL.

    Hope it stays good.

  • juliesean says:

    Sunny was the Queen I mean.

  • OchaNokcha says:

    I did not want to start this drama … but having nothing to feest on … oh well I started it. And I was HOOKED. I had the same thought regarding the graveyard … but maybe nobody can see them??? 😉 I am really curious how the story is going to be handled … yes a flashforward would make sense!

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