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Korean Paranormal Fantasy TV Series Review: Goblin (2016) 19 Episodes


Kim Shin (Gong Yoo), a decorated military general from the Goryeo Dynasty, is framed as a traitor and killed by the young king. Years after his death, he is cursed by the almighty to stay immortal forever and endure the pain of seeing his loved ones die as punishment for the kills he committed in the wars to protect his country. He becomes an immortal goblin, helping people with his powers and being a kind man in spite of his grieving past. The only way to put an end to his immortality is the Goblin's bride, whose aid in pulling out the sword will end his painful immortality.

Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-eun) is a bubbly high school student who remains cheerful and hopeful despite her tragic life. She summons the goblin by chance and their fates begin to entwine. The Goblin's nephew Yoo Deok-Hwa (Yook Sung-jae) leases the Goblin's house to a Grim Reaper (Lee Dong-wook) and the two end up living under the same roof. Sunny (Yoo In-na) is a charismatic young lady who runs a chicken shop where Ji Eun-Tak works as a part timer.

As the lives of Kim Shin, Grim Reaper, Ji Eun-Tak and Sunny interweave, a deeper story unfolds, as they are not just strangers who met by chance but people with deep-rooted relations.


Guys, gals, if this one doesn't convert you into a fervently passionate fan of k-drama, I don't know what will! As urban fantasy genre goes, this is it. It's Buffy's goofiness and sass with Ilona Andrews' depth of worldbuilding and snappy dialogues.

It's funny, it's sad, poignant and so freaking beautiful... Of course, I cried in the end, and I just know this drama and its heroes will stay with me for a long time.

All four characters have a fantastic chemistry. Kim Shin, the immortal general is what Christopher Lambert wished he could have been as Highlander! There is no doom and gloom here, he is goofy, snarky, awkward with trying to catch up with all the technological advances, but underneath it all is this incredible weariness and sadness. He is tired of caring for people and watching them die while he carries on. The possibility of this cute little cheeky girl as his bride who can end his immortality is met with huge cinicism and disbelief. He's been there, got the t-shirt and had enough of hope.

The beauty of his curse is that the more he meets Eun-Tak, the more he gets to know her, the more he wants to live. She brings back all the forgotten feelings: seeing joy in small things, feeling warmth of someone's touch through hugs, experiencing wonder of new places and people. She is hungry for life, she has been barely surviving for years, and this opportunity she grabs with both hands.

Grim Reaper who is forced to share a house with Goblin is just as amazing character. He starts the series as an unmoving bureaucrat, who loves his paperwork and strictly adheres to the rules, but the more he interacts with Goblin and the people in his orbit, the more his character unravels. You see, fate brought them all together to resolve things which were left unfinished many centuries ago, and no matter how much they want to fight against it, it will prevail.

Be ready to laugh and cry, folks. I was definitely gulping back tears in some episodes,and the ending left me wrung out, empty and at the same time very satisfied. It's available on Viki app, so give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments.

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