Goblin‘s two-part finale glued fans to the screen for three hours on January 21. The Gong Yoo starrer dominated the ratings race with an average score of 19.6 based on TNmS, even hitting a peak of 22.1 percent. It is now the highest rated tvN drama, edging out former top grosser Reply 1988, which averaged 18.4 percent on its last episode.
Throughout Goblin’s run, comparisons with The Legend of the Blue Sea have plagued the drama because both have similar themes of fantasy and romance. Since Goblin was aired on cable TV that requires a paid subscription, there were less viewers compared to The Legend of the Blue Sea, which is shown on SBS, a free TV channel. The Lee Min Ho starrer has yet to air its finale on January 25.
After filming the epic drama, stars Gong Yoo (Kim Shin/Goblin), Lee Dong Wook (Wang Yeo/Grim Reaper), Kim Go Eun (Ji Eun Tak), Yoo In Na (Sunny) and Yook Sung Jae (Yoo Duk Hwa) shared their farewell messages to their fans. Soompi shared the cast’s heartfelt gratitude with images of the stars and their handwritten messages.
“Everyone has a moment in which a god stays by their side. It’s been nice staying by your side. I love you… I’ve said that before. I’m glad that it’s over! Or am I, I’m not so sure,” Gong Yoo wrote quoting some of his famous lines as the Goblin, and finishing it with, “From Gong-blin.”
Now that Goblin is over, here are the five reasons why it is one of–if not the best–Korean drama aired in 2016 and 2017.
Beautiful Cinematography & OST
Goblin’s scenes were breathtaking, framed perfectly so that it ultimately captured the emotions of the given moment. From epic shots of his time as the warrior Kim Shin, to his melancholia in the graveyard in Quebec and the buckwheat field in Korea, to the funny spring onion walk with the Grim Reaper, cinematographers Park Sung-yong and Kang Yoon-soon should be credited for this cinematic masterpiece.
Going hand-in-hand with cinematography is the brilliant music that went with it. Each marvelously captured scene was accompanied with the right music created especially for the drama. Some notable tracks, which played during pivotal moments in the drama, are “And I’m Here” by Kim Kyung Hee, “I Miss You” by Soyou, “Who Are You” by Sam Kim, and “Round and Round” by Heize & Han Soo-ji. The songs are a mix of Korean and English, making it relatable to its audience all over the world.
Gong Yoo-Lee Dong Wook Bromance
It almost seems to be a given formula for K-dramas to always have two male leads chasing after a single female lead. This always enlists the second lead syndrome phenomenon, where fans get confused about who to root for in a drama.
This is not the case for Goblin, as two veteran leads are featured without eliciting competition between them. Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook’s chemistry as Goblin and Grim Reaper actually pulled in viewers, who were initially reluctant to it due to the big age gap between the Goblin and his bride. In addition, the Grim Reaper received his own arc and love interest, which gave skeptic fans their dose of their much-needed onscreen romance.
As was previously reported in the Inquisitr, the Goblin K-drama swept Korea’s fashion industry with the leads’ trendsetting outfits. Gong Yoo’s designer long coats have caused a stir in the fashion racks, as viewers feasted their eyes on his exceptional fashion sense. One such item was a long hooded navy blue check coat from Lanvin Paris’ 2016 Fall-Winter collection, which became a hard-to-find item in Korea, despite its hefty $3,310 price tag.
No doubt, the cast’s brilliant acting contributed greatly to the drama’s success. Regardless of whether the scene was humorous or dramatic, Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook delivered with a flourish. Yoo In Na’s subtle expressions spoke volumes of her fondness for the Grim Reaper. Kim Go Eun’s performance on the rooftop as the Goblin dissolved into embers was commendable as well as Gong’s heartbreaking farewell with Eun-tak in the Grim Reaper’s iconic tearoom.
Smorgasbord of Emotions
Goblin had fans hooked from the start with its delightful smorgasbord of emotions. The comic relief provided by Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, Yook Sung Jae and Joo Woo Jin (Secretary turned President Kim) provided a balance to the heavy theme of death, divinity and the afterlife.
In the end, the drama ultimately told a story about making decisions and standing by it. Eun tak, despite all the misfortunes in her life, decides to focus on the positive aspects of it. The Grim Reaper, knowing he has committed a great sin in the past, struggles to uncover what he did and atones for it. Sunny takes a stand by choosing to keep even her painful memories, despite having no one to share them with. And the Goblin, who despite waiting for eternal rest for more than 900 years, chooses love and endures limbo until Eun Tak summoned him again.
The drama may have ended, but hopefully the lessons live on, especially that of kindness to anyone we meet. It may be that it is a Goblin searching for his bride, or the Grim Reaper searching for a missing soul.
Special episodes will air on tvN on February 3 and 4, which will feature interviews, behind-the-scenes and bloopers from the Goblin K-drama.
[Featured Image by tvN]