Guardian: The Lonely and Great God or Goblin (2016-2017)
Directed By: Lee Eung-bok, Kwon Hyuk-chan, & Yoon Jong-ho
I finally had the chance to watch the most anticipated winter drama of 2016-2017, Guardian: The Great and Lonely God or also known as Goblin. Fans of this show weren’t lying that it is one of the best of this year. The bromance was real.
Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) was punished by the gods with immortality because he killed many innocent lives with his sword. The only person that can end the curse is his love, the Goblin’s Bride. Only the bride can see the sword that is stuck in the Goblin’s body and she must pull it out.
All About The Bromance
Although the show is centered on the relationship between Kim Shin and Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-eun), I think the “real romance” lies in the friendship between Kim Shin and the Grim Reaper (Lee Dong-wook). In the beginning, the Grim Reaper despises Kim Shin because he gets in the way of his work. A few people that were supposed to die had a chance to cheat death. One of those people is the Goblin’s Bride, Ji Eun-tuk. Eventually, they join forces in protecting Ji Eun-tuk from danger.
There are many quirky and fun scenes between Kim Shin and the Grim Reaper. My favorite moment was the tunnel scene when they were about to save Ji Eun-tuk from a kidnapping (and they redid that scene). To be honest, there should be a spinoff with just the two of them.
Death & Reincarnation
The biggest themes in Goblin are death and reincarnation. In every episode, we see an individual who is in the Grim Reaper’s tea room preparing to move on to the afterlife or hell. As a viewer, I started reflecting on my own life and appreciating the time I have because our time on Earth is truly short. In fact, this show emphasizes the value of one’s life. Ji Eun-tuk had a tough life and contemplates whether living is really worth it at times. It isn’t until she meets Kim Shin that she sees how beautiful life can be even though it is sometimes too difficult to live because being around people you love makes life worthwhile. Furthermore, the Grim Reaper also learned about his harsh past life and the reason as to why he became a grim reaper in the first place. He didn’t appreciate the life that was given to him and committed suicide.
Also, Goblin takes on the belief of reincarnation. The best example for the concept of reincarnation is the Grim Reaper and the chicken restaurant owner, Sunny (Yoo In-ha). The two had an ill-fated relationship in this lifetime as well as their past lives. I felt bad for them because they can never get the happy ending they deserve. (I also wish that these two actors, Lee Dong-wook and Yoo In-ha, star in another drama together. I think they have great chemistry.)
It’s All About Characters!
The main plotline for Goblin is pretty simple: the Goblin’s bride must pull out the sword so that the Goblin can move on to the afterlife. The only conflict with that is one of the ghosts is out to get revenge on the Goblin. Yet overall, the storyline is pretty simple to follow. I like that the main focus is developing the four main characters and their relationships between each other though. I think the core of this show is character relationships and how these characters must resolve the conflicts they have with each other.
I heard great things about Goblin from other bloggers and I do agree that this is one of the best dramas of this year. If you haven’t already, go check it out on Dramafever.