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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 6

2016/12/17 | Permalink

So in what context would a person ever say "Welcome to Quebec"? That's the kind of thing a person might say at the airport, greeting someone who just got into the country. But at a restaurant? And why English rather than French? Although really, I should probably just be grateful that the production team managed to find a foreign actor who could say a simple line without screwing it up somehow.

That brief scene was admittedly fairly irrelevant. And so it is with a lot of "Goblin". The only direction this drama has to go is with Eun-tak eventually killing the Goblin because of all the weird lore surrounding his character. What happens between now and then is just filler. Even the Grim Reaper's own romantic subplot is just strange for the sake of strange. The unusual degree of patience Sunny shows with him can only be explained by her not having many opportunities to meet men, what with being stuck inside her empty restaurant all day.

Considering how the drama frequently sets itself up as a situation comedy, that's what makes those occasional dips into serious scenes ever so awkward. Even when it gets so far as a character crying there is inevitably that postscript moment where someone does something weird and silly to try and undercut the gravity of the previous scene. That's what passes for profundity in the relationship between the Goblin and Eun-tak.

Overall the romance fares much better than it probably should because "Goblin" really does look consistently magical and dreamlike. This is also how I rationalize the generally baffling continuity and worldbuilding. Look at all the details behind something as simple as the lottery request. Why does a ghost need winning lottery numbers? Why does the Goblin have the power to grant such a wish? How does the ghost know the Goblin has this power? And most importantly why did Eun-tak only try one convenience store instead of shopping around?

These plot points move along so quickly and seamlessly it's easy to forget about them even immediately after they've happened. "Goblin" always moves along in this odd haze, such that even when a plan is specifically formulated and predictably broken, there's no real surprise. Indeed, the cliffhanger is shocking principally because it's a very sudden burst of decisive action. Which again, probably won't work. It's just so rare for any character in this drama to do anything substantial.

Review by William Schwartz

"Goblin" is directed by Lee Eung-bok, written by Kim Eun-sook and features Gong Yoo, Lee Dong-wook, Kim Go-eun, Yoo In-na, Yook Sung-jae, Lee El,..


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