A blog by Jacqueline Tabora

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I can't remember the last Korean drama that I watched (Song Joong Ki's "The Innocent Man" on GMA-7?). Only my K-drama fanatic friends (Hi Kea and Kristel!) are the ones giving me a heads up on the great ones to watch. Thanks to the internet though, and some K-drama-dedicated websites, I could check out and browse worthy to watch Korean series.


It was almost a couple of episodes left before the ending when I decided to watch the Korean drama Goblin. Because my Facebook's news feed gets flooded of nightly "spoilers" and random likes for Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook, I gave in and joined the bandwagon and catch a glimpse of what Goblin is all about.


This is another hit Korean drama, and I may say that watching it added to my admiration of "Made in Korea" TV dramas. Why? Check out my list below.

1. Old + New. With the Korean series that I have seen, majority incorporate culture and tradition in the modern story written for TV. The bits where old Korea, the old ways of living, the concept of Korean monarchy and belief on deities featured in Goblin may have been repetitive and just served as flashback stories, but it made me appreciate that there's a little tinge of traditional Korea in the story.


2. Korean writers' creativity in coming up with stories that are good for broadcast. Don't get me wrong, my country also have some local TV series in the fantasy or cultural genre that I can be proud of (Mulawin, Encantadia 1, Amaya) but their rarity makes one forget that such concepts and formula work on Philippine TV. I don't know how story writing works in Korea, or how they hunt for great stories to materialize for TV, but the plot, variety and execution impress me.


3. Early surprises. One may have thought that the whole series will revolve around the Goblin's search for his bride not knowing he has met her; develop a connection with the found bride and then realize that they have fallen for each other. It did happen, although it was too quick for my taste. This is not a complain, just a sentiment of a viewer who already has a plot in mind and got crazy that her plot in mind was already materialized earlier than expected, thus, she's left thinking what else in the story is there to show. LOL.


4. Sometimes, keeping it short is better. The Korean dramas are, on average, totals 16-17 episodes. it is long enough, though, so unnecessary story arcs will not be used. Sometimes extending a drama too much kills the peak of its popularity and pans away viewers. Lengthening a drama makes it boring at times and too many unimportant characters hogs the screen time.


5. Risking a happy ending. Goblin is not the first Korean drama I saw where the ending involves death. Viewers of this drama are still lucky since the finale still ended on a positive note. But one thing I noticed about Korean dramas is that they are not afraid to put a sad ending in the story. I don't know, maybe it's just me. I am so used to dramas ending happily (usually in wedding) thus I am looking for something different. I am not a masochist, but I am impressed with writers who are not scared to do the exact opposite of what viewers may be expecting as a story ending.


6. OST helps. A drama investing in a good soundtrack is like a gardener investing in great fertilizer. It is just an add-on but still helps make the plants bloom and be better. I have not heard the full songs and music used in the entire series, but the bits I heard from the scenes in Goblin are enough for me to know that the music are carefully chosen to perfectly and succinctly match every single scene, mood and emotion portrayed in major frames.


Time to browse through Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, Kim Go Eun and Yoo In Na's past TV dramas and see what else have they offered. :)

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