Open Thread: My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Episodes 1 & 2

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! This show is promising to be such breezy fun; I hope you guys are enjoying the ride so far! Also, isn’t Shin Min Ah the most adorable gumiho, ever? 😍

Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. I repeat: no spoilers for future episodes please! We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 1

Tee hee. Show is as fun and frothy as I’d remembered, and I’m already having a good time, one episode in. I’m so pleased that there are 15 more episodes of this to go. Like I mentioned in my group watch announcement, I’ve watched this show before, but it’s been 11 years now since I’ve seen it, so this will feel quite a lot like a first watch, for me.

Shin Min Ah is as delightful as I’d remembered; she literally steals the whole show. How does she manage to look so winsome and ethereal at the same time? And, how does she then change on a dime, and manage to look so startlingly menacing, when she wants to?? That’s some skillz, and I’m suitably smitten. 😍

Lee Seung Gi’s haplessness is a perfect foil for Shin Min Ah’s sparkling effervescence. He comes across as completely harmless, even though there are times when I feel like he’s a bit of a lunkhead. Because of this, every time he suffers a bit because of doubting Mi Ho, or because he’s treated her less than nicely, I feel like he completely deserves it, ha.

One of the things I notice, is how big of a role the music plays in creating this drama world, right away. Long before the first episode is up, Mi Ho’s theme song, Fox Rain, is already swimming in my head and completely drawing me into the magic of this drama world. If you’d like to listen to it while reading these episode notes, feel free to right-click on this video of it, and select “Loop.”

I love how we’re thrown into the thick of Dae Woong’s perplexing relationship with his gumiho girlfriend, who’s so beautiful that it makes him the envy of all other guys everywhere, but who also strikes terror into him every time she calls his name, heh.

Mi Ho’s joy and excitement at the prospect of fresh beef is completely charming, though, so at this point, it’s hard to understand Dae Woong’s reluctance and general state of fear, until we realize that Mi Ho’s love of beef not only threatens his wallet, but literally his life – because if she doesn’t get beef, she’ll just have to eat him instead. Ha. Nothing quite like a threat to one’s life, to get a guy to open his wallet to buy all the beef in the world for the hungry gumiho?

I also think Show does a pretty efficient job of introducing us to Dae Woong as a character; immediately, he comes across as someone who likes to look cool, but isn’t quite so cool in real life, once the cameras stop rolling. We also see that he appears to have a crush on his noona from school, judging from the way he dumps the action school gang, to rush straight to school, because Noona says she’s there. This.. is going to be a problem later, isn’t it, once he gains a gumiho girlfriend against his will? 😆

Dae Woong’s elaborate escape from Grandpa also effectively sets the tone for the show; we are definitely going ham here. No need to get too hung up on logical details and such, this is meant to be comic-booky and OTT. I do like that little detail, that Dae Woong’s shrewd enough to fake his escape from the public restroom, which allows him to actually get away from Grandpa and Aunt – and on his way to his (unbeknownst to him) fated meeting with Mi Ho.

Ahh, is there a happier or more winsome fairy anywhere in Dramaland? Coz Shin Min Ah flying around as a magical gumiho is a strong contender indeed. 😍

I do like the backstory that we get on Mi Ho coming to earth, and trying to live among humans, only to stir up the ire of the womenfolk. Now it seems that Mi Ho never actually was into eating men’s livers, and that was just a nasty rumor that the jealous womenfolk made up, to mess with her reputation. Well that’s a fun twist on the popular folklore, that gumihos eat men’s livers.

Ooh. Does that mean that Mi Ho really is just toying with Dae Woong’s fear of being eaten by a gumiho? So.. she just really likes beef then, and isn’t actually eating it as a substitute for Dae Woong? That’s hilarious.

Right away, even when Mi Ho’s talking Dae Woong through the process of saving her, I get the feeling that she’s friendly, innocent and quite appreciative. After all, she’s pretty quick to remark that he’s cute, when she catches sight of his face. It’s just that the urgency of the moment, combined with Dae Woong’s reluctance to draw the tails like she asks, causes her to bring out her more menacing side.

After all the drama of Dae Woong letting Mi Ho out of the painting due to her somewhat dark coercion, it’s a nice contrast, to see Mi Ho deciding to save Dae Woong, by lending him her fox bead.

According to folklore, the fox bead is what provides power to a gumiho, and a gumiho can also absorb a human’s energy using the fox bead. The manner in which the fox bead is transferred resembles a deep kiss, where the gumiho sends the fox bead into people’s mouths, and retrieves it with their tongues. More information can be found here.

I do love the childlike essence that we can see in Mi Ho. She may be hundreds of years old, but there’s such a young sort of innocence about her, like in the way she seems quite delighted, when she pokes Dae Woong’s cheek, and then revives him, only to ask if he feels like he’s going to die from the pain. Even though she tells herself that Dae Woong will be useful if she saves him, there’s something quite pure about the way she tells him, “You drew my tails so I won’t let you die.”

Afterwards, the whole sequence with the wild boar is just very comic-booky and ridiculous. It’s funny how terrified Dae Woong is, while in the midst of it all, Mi Ho can’t seem to help herself, in appreciating his cuteness. And in feeling him up, when she shows him where she put the fox bead. Heh.

Through it all, I like how Mi Ho’s consistently guileless and honest with Dae Woong; he’s the one who comes up with the rationalization that she must be crazy, in order to process her wild claims in a way that he can handle. Ah, on a side note, the reason Dae Woong tells Mi Ho to put a flower in her hair if she’s crazy, is because that’s a cultural norm in Korea. A flower in someone’s hair is shorthand for crazy.

And, even though Dae Woong is intent on losing Mi Ho, I think it’s kind of him to give her the shirt off his back. ..Although, on hindsight, I wonder if the gesture is to also make himself feel better, for just leaving her on her own, instead of accompanying her back to the temple.

I do love how useful Mi Ho’s sharp senses of smell and hearing are, when it comes to her sticking close to Dae Woong, AND getting him to buy her barbecue, heh. And, how does Shin Min Ah manage to look so adorable while stuffing her face with grilled meat? 🤩

It amuses me that while Mi Ho’s mention of working hard to become human is literal, Dae Woong’s been nagged at enough length by Grandpa to become a proper human too, that he takes this to mean that they have something in common. Clearly, he hasn’t quite gotten the plot yet. 😆

It looks like our handsome stranger could be working as some sort of vet, judging from the vehicle in which he travels to return to Seoul. He smells like trouble, though, because he’s clearly on the hunt for Mi Ho, even though he doesn’t seem to know what she looks like.

Also, that little beat where Aunt encounters Song Dong Il in the elevator is weirdly cute? As in, I am not a fan of toilet humor, so I did not enjoy Aunt’s discomfort. But Song Dong Il showing up, and stepping in to deflect everyone’s suspicion away from Aunt to himself, is quite heroic. I guess not all heroes wear capes; sometimes they dress up to look like Chow Yun Fat? 😆 Coz Song Dong Il’s look in this scene is a straight-up tribute to Chow Yun Fat’s look in 1986 film A Better Tomorrow. We even get treated to the Cantonese theme song, as Song Dong Il makes his exit. Pwahaha. This is great. I’m looking forward to more of Song Dong Il’s character showing up. 🤩

Mi Ho’s dark promise to Dae Woong, to make him believe her – after which he’ll die – is the backbone of the last bit of the episode, and I love how we build up to it; Dae Woong getting increasingly nervous as he makes his way back to the action school, then realizing that he’s really bruised despite not feeling the pain, then getting creeped out when he’s left alone in the dark at the action school, and then finally coming face to face with Mi Ho, as the full moon causes her tails to come into view.

Dae Woong’s terrified, even as Mi Ho steps forward to reclaim her fox bead, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Episode 2

I do really like how this show balances the magical and ethereal, with its broader, more comical side.

When Mi Ho is surveying an unconscious Dae Woong, the way she floats above him, with the moonlight streaming into the basketball court, is so delicately otherworldly. In this moment, she really feels like a fairy. And then, right after she decides to save him again (really decent of her, I must say), all his mental gymnastics contrasted with his clumsy, unsuccessful real-life attempts to execute said gymnastics, is amusing in a bumbling sort of way.

Grandpa calling, and Dae Woong dropping his phone such that Mi Ho ends up answering Grandpa’s questions with honest yet hilariously misleading answers, is also the kind of humor that Show plays with a lot this episode. It’s funny because of how scandalized everyone is, even though the answers are given with wide-eyed, solemn truthfulness.

I can’t say I blame ’em, though. What else was Grandpa supposed to think, when Mi Ho tells him that Dae Woong’s above her, and all Grandpa hears, are Dae Woong’s labored grunts in the background, as he tries to get out of his unfortunate position. Ha. Poor ol’ traumatized Grandpa. 😆

I like that already, it’s clear Mi Ho knows how to manage Dae Woong quite well. The way Mi Ho innocently pretends to be disappointed that Dae Woong’s willing to be eaten, because she’d been prepared to spare him if he’d asked, is exactly the sort of persuasion to which Dae Woong responds – which we see, in the way he immediately changes tack and gets on his knees to beg her for his life. Ha.

I love the way Mi Ho blithely declares, between big bites of chicken, “You’re mine.” Hee. She just looks so pleased about this. And I take a fair bit of satisfaction from how Dae Woong’s creeped out by how vigorously Mi Ho tears the chicken bones apart; I guess it’s a foretaste of how she could probably tear him limb from limb, if he were to cross her?

Mi Ho’s really nice to Dae Woong, even though she’s disappointed that he finds her scary. In fact, I feel like there are hints that she’s genuinely hurt, that he finds her scary. Yet, she still treats Dae Woong with care and affection. The way she kills the mosquitos and tells a sleeping Dae Woong that she killed them so that he can have a comfortable sleep, is so sweetly matter-of-fact. I can’t help but love her. ❤️

We get more scenes between Aunt and Song Dong Il this episode, and I am loving this little secondary arc. He keeps finding her in embarrassing situations and stepping up to save her; this time, he basically knocks a piece of ice out of her, that had lodged itself in her throat and was threatening to choke her. Aw, poor mortified Aunt.

It’s quite hilarious how they later each misunderstand that the other is unavailable. She feels humiliated for entertaining hopes of getting to know him better, when she spies him being all chummy with a young girl (Dae Woong’s friend Sun Nyeo) who is actually his daughter, and he’s crestfallen to hear her reflex-answer a salesperson that she is indeed shopping for her husband. Oh, these two. They are going to be so entertaining together, I’m sure.

Poor Dae Woong – literally, ha – when Grandpa cuts off his credit cards, and he’s desperate for meat money so as to appease Mi Ho.

It’s disillusioning and disappointing for Dae Woong to realize that all the “friends” he’d thought he had in school, aren’t friends after all when he’s in need. In contrast, it’s Mi Ho who’s fiercely loyal to Dae Woong, sniffing out his friends’ lies (literally, ha), and I love how she legit gets mad when she overhears one of the “friends” talking about Dae Woong disparagingly, so she later teaches him a lesson, when he dares to try hitting on her. I mean, Mi Ho is utterly charming, but I can’t deny that I love her badass side too. 🤩

Also, how pure is the joy on her face, when she hears Dae Woong telling his friend Byeong Soo that her name is Mi Ho, because “only people have names.” Aww.. our Mi Ho really does want to be a human, doesn’t she?

Ok, so I’m a little thrown by the fact that the gumiho hunter finally finds Mi Ho after luring Dae Woong to the school office, and then the moment he sets eyes on Mi Ho, has flashbacks to someone else who’d looked just like her. What’s this about?

Also, from the way the flashback is played, it appears that Gumiho Hunter had loved Mi Ho’s doppelgänger. It looks like he’d eliminated her doppelgänger too, and it appears that that’s left an emotional wound that still feels fresh today. I wonder how the doppelgänger is connected to Mi Ho? Do gumihos have families in this drama world? Because, if so, maybe this was Mi Ho’s mother..? But.. would that maybe make Gumiho Hunter Mi Ho’s.. father..? 🤯🤭

Mi Ho’s obsession with that soda is almost as cute as her obsession with beef, but her delighted reaction to the bubbly foam in beer is even more adorable. I mean, Dae Woong’s obviously gunning to get Mi Ho tipsy enough so that he’ll be able to extract some useful information from her that might make it possible for him to get rid of her, so that’s not cool, but even then, this scene feels so carefree.

I think a lot of that has to do with how much childlike wonder there is about Mi Ho, as she explores the effervescent joys of beer. Also, just how cute is she, when she’s delighted by the “Hoy hoy” sign of friendship that Dae Woong introduces to her?

I am nervous about Mi Ho’s reveal, that she’s afraid of bodies of water. Dae Woong’s being quite the dumbass right now, so I wouldn’t put it past him to try to use that against her. And Mi Ho’s so innocent and full of hopeful wonder, that I hate the thought of him destroying that, by using her weakness against her.

Pfft. Dae Woong’s attempt to steal Grandpa’s precious carp in order to have money to feed Mi Ho more meat, is so lame and undignified. He is such a handful of a grandson, even though he’s no longer a toddler. Poor gramps. Not only does he get the shock of his life when Dae Woong runs into a Truck Of Doom, he loses his poor fish in the accident too.

And then, when Grandpa relents and asks Dae Woong to bring his girlfriend home because Dae Woong says that he’ll die without her (lol, that’s true though), Dae Woong informs him that he has no plans to have a future with her, and just wants to live with her for a while and then send her off. I would so aggravated in Grandpa’s place, honestly! 😅 I actually can’t blame Grandpa for slapping Dae Woong; everything sounds so wrong, coming out of his mouth. 😆

Given Dae Woong’s crush on Hye Jin, I can understand that he’s in a hurry to clarify that Mi Ho’s not his girlfriend. But he sure has a talent for putting his foot in his mouth; his urgent declaration that Mi Ho is absolutely not his girlfriend sure comes across as clumsy and almost offensive, because of how horrified he looks at the thought. I can’t wait for the tables to be turned, so that Dae Woong will be the one smitten with Mi Ho, and have to eat those words completely. 😈

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Sean
8 hours ago

After thinking about whether to watch Gumiho or not during the last five years, despite the fact the leads are actors that I enjoy very much, and show is by the Hong Sisters, here I am, finally, at two episodes down.

I was only so so re the first episode, despite some of its ethereal qualities and good performances by the cast. However, the second episode really drew me in. I had a good chuckle here and there. As for Aunt and Song Dong Il – fabulous stuff.

I suppose one thing that show highlights to me is the roles that both leads have undertaken since Gumiho and what they have on the horizon. Shin Min Ah, is in the main, transitioning to more “heavier” roles (and excelling at in my view), while LSG has turned in some very good performances in a range of different dramas.

Anyway, here is to more “cow” 😂

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[…] guileless and quirky. “I want to eat cow,” is one that manukajoe pointed out in our first Open Thread; this episode, it’s all about mating, as Mi Ho equates the concept of […]

Ana
Ana
11 days ago

I’m so happy with this group watch! I’ve been on a kdram slump for so so so long and watching MGIAG for the nth time (why not?) is super refreshing. This is like my fav kdrama ever!Although I’ve seen it for so many, it never fails to amuse me. This is also the first time I fangirl literally with Shin Min Ah. She’s so adorable and cute, can’t help to root for her in the beginning. I love her child-like wonder, her innocence, and pure intention of being a human. On the first two episode, I feel like Dae Wong is kinda harsh towards her, sometimes I don’t feel like he deserve Miho. I feel once again, the familiar trope of which I fell in love with kdramas. The story line wherein the boy meets girl, at first they were incompatible or rude with each other, and then the boy will see how cute or pretty the girl is, seeing her in a different light he never did before, then he will fall in love, struggles will came along, they will conquer, and so on and so forth. Wah! I can’t wait to see Dae Wong falling in love with Miho! He’ll sure go crazy smitten by her, i mean who doesn’t right? Plus the gumiho hunter… What a bad hair day. Well, I think Miho is like the reincarnation of the same gumiho he had before, i don’t know? I just think that is, and he’s about to bring trouble plus the noona! I can already see how nosy and a bit mean she looks toward Miho, insinuating whether she is a friend-friend or a girlfriend!ugh I hate her already! I don’t want my Miho to get hurt 💕looking forward to the next episode! 👏👏👏

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[…] will look much like my group watch episode notes, except without screenshots. You can go here and here, for examples of episode notes. […]

beez
12 days ago

@BE – I once worked with a Candace (Candy) Cane.

Then there was the married couple – Peter and Wendy – that others claimed were so whacky that they list their address as “second star to the left and straight on ’til morning.” shrug

Georgia Peach
12 days ago

Oh my, does this drama hit all the right tones for me! I started my KDrama watching in 2012 and this drama has everything in it I watch KDrama for. The broad humor (yes, even the toilet humor which is done so much better than American toilet humor which is gross)to the fantasy extraordinaire ! Our fresh faced leads and walks on that have gone on to become staples in our drama watch…to say nothing about the younger versions of our classic character actors! Do I have to mention No MinWoo all by himself…yes, I do! What about that trench coat flip that has gone on to become another staple! Yes, the editing, the camera angles, the hair styles (but give me more of a one eyed NMW)all date this drama,but I’m all in for this fun romp with a liver/cow eating gumiho.

Jina
Jina
13 days ago

I did not expect to enjoy this show as much as I did!! I’ve experienced the Hong Sisters twice – once in Hotel del Luna which I did not love and the second in Korean Odyssey which I thoroughly enjoyed. So I wasn’t sure which one I was going to get but these first two episodes were sweet and got the ball rolling fast, which I quite enjoyed. I always prefer watching the main OTP spend a lot of time together on screen. I do feel like Shin Min-A plays very similar roles each time I’ve seen her but this one seems to suite her best.
I did find the secondary romance between his Aunt and Song Il-Dong very cute! It brought a spark of humor to an already fun show and made the side characters interesting and not just secondary characters to fill up time.
I’m a sucker for well established fantasy and this played right into my bias. I’m already excited to watch the next episodes!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
14 days ago

Awesome post as always Fangurl. This is on my must-watch classic list. It is so full of cuteness overload and that is such a good thing. I cannot get over how young Seung Gi and Min Ah are. It has really stood the test of time as even though the drama is 11 years old it still feels fresh and entertaining.   

This drama will definitely put you in a good mood. How can you not smile just looking at these two cuties? So darn stinking cute. I love how the interactions play out and you start to see the beginnings of their relationship. It is so nice how they play Fox Rain here and there in the background. I am walking around humming it to myself. Poor Grandpa 🤗 is trying very hard but I can see where he is really frustrated.

I remembered how funny Cha Min Sook and Ban Doo Hong were but I am glad that I do not remember exactly what happened to them and that is a good thing because I will have an opportunity to experience it all over again.

I always felt that Lee Seung Gi is able to capture a sense of intimacy with his female leads. He is really multi-talented. To me his ability is similar to Park Min-Young. They somehow make the relationships seem so real.

It is easy to watch 2 episodes per week. Even though there is not the incredible tension of the Money Flower cliffhangers (whew – those were unbearable) I still want to come back for the good feels. I am glad this is one of the picks. Thanks!

Monitagirl
Monitagirl
14 days ago

Hello everyone.

This feels like such a lighthearted and cute watch. I have just finished ‘Move to Heaven’ and I am currently re-watching ‘Flower of Evil’ and this seems like a breath of fresh air after the dense subject matter of my two previous watches.
I loved Lee Seung Gi in ‘A Korean Oddysey’ and yet he looks so young, fresh faced and quite frankly wet behind the ears in this. I have only seen Shin Min Ah in ‘Oh My Venus’ but agree with others in that I think she is quite well placed for this part as she certainly comes across as cute and beguiling. I like that she obviously knows she’s attractive but is in no way conceited about it or using it to her unfair advantage (at least not yet). She seems somewhat innocent and playful for one of her apparent age. I feel like that could have played out very differently in her personality especially given that she had been locked up for such a long time. She could easily have been extremely bitter about such a situation and become spiteful or malicious as a result. This turns out not to be the case though which only makes her more endearing.
I also felt the same way when the scene played out with No Min Woo’s character killing the Gumiho of the past. My initial instinct was in thinking that that could have been Mi Ho’s mother with this hunter being her dad, although he is very unaware of the fact himself. But then who is he then if he too can live such a long lifespan?
I am looking forward to the next two episodes. :o)

Natalia
Natalia
15 days ago

Good morning to all!

I had watched the 1st episode of My girlfriend is a gumiho some time ago, and although it seemed cute I didn’t find it interesting enough to go on. I did watch the 2nd episode though, just to take part in the group watch!
As everyone else, I like the leads a lot. The FL is adorable (she’s adorable in every show I have seen her, although I didn’t really like any of them) and the ML is very cute. I’ve seen him in a couple of other shows too and although not a favourite of mine I must say he never disappoints- not even in this show in which he looks to be in his very early twenties.
The problem is, besides the leads, I don’t find much to like, at least not to a point that I will keep watching the show – although I will stick around for the next to episodes, just in case I get a revelation. To be honest, I think the show is dated – and its production values seem rather low, but I guess that’s because an old show. That’s not a problem in itself (for instance, Coffee Prince was an old show too with the same problems, but I loved it) but the thing is, I find the rest of the cast very uninteresting and at times annoying, the worst being that boy band gumiho hunter. I guess the first decade of the century was a really bad time for men haircuts in Korea! (and possibly the second too, now that I think of Secret Garden or My love from the Stars!).
So, mixed feelings for me. Will go on a little bit because I trust you all so much when choosing shows (I’m 100% happy with Nirvana on Fire so far), but I am afraid this will not be my kind of show.

Ele Nash
15 days ago

Aw, kfangurl, what an adorable, feel-good show this is! I was already on its side having seen Lee Seung-gi in A Korean Odyssey and Shin Min-ah in Arang (and the delightful Volcano High of course with Jang Hyuk!) and love them both. And then came the unexpected joy of Sung Dong-il 😍 Totally stoked! They are all wonderful, as is the aunt. I always love characters who exude uncoolness 😊

My favourite bit of these two shows was when Dae-woong is asking Min-ah to please not hurt his only true friend, just as the guy she’d knocked out with a basketball is being wheeled into an ambulance behind him 😂 She makes a wonderful little noise and I am all heart eyes 😍 So wonderfully played.

I think this show will be a good light contrast to the intensity of Nirvana In Fire. xx

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
14 days ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Ele – I too love characters who exude uncoolness. I have a soft spot for them in my heart. I am laughing out loud at the Aunt. Her expressions are perfect. The ice scene was a riot.

BE
BE
15 days ago

Not much to say really. Show starts silly as those pink feather duster tails on Ms. Gumiho. Grandpa reminds me of Paul McCartney’s “very clean” grandfather in Hard Day’s Night.
And I must say to folks who do not understand why ML wants to ditch this delectable rug bug, number one, not bug but feature: she has a reputation for eating human liver. And, number 2, at the very least seems to be able to quite quickly, especially since gramps has pulled the plug on Dae Wung’s profligate lifestyle, eat the young fellow out of house and home on threat of death. Reminds me of an old Bob Dylan line, “they’ve got some hungry women there, who’ll really make a mess out of you.”
It strikes me that of all the fantastic characters in K Drama, the gumiho is the single most interesting among them, and I would not mind seeing a tragic sageuk that takes myth seriously among a bunch of mountain bandit folk, the political historical reality there but way in the background to a haunted woodland romance, not so much perhaps in a series as a movie. Magical vixen like (male) werewolves contain so much loaded, archetypal emotion to them. Far more, imo, than goblins or ghosts or, certainly, the modern zombie and seem so much more ripe for emerging from settings particular to place, as I quite imagine the original folk tales must reveal.
Show is a frappe so far, a Korean version of a chocolate cream soda.
Holy Cow! That young woman has the munchies.

Last edited 15 days ago by BE
j3ffc
15 days ago
Reply to  BE

Yes! on Grandpa looking like Paul’s VCG in HDN. Good call.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
14 days ago
Reply to  BE

Bob Dylan reference – 🤣😂😅

Jina
Jina
13 days ago
Reply to  BE

If you haven’t seen it then a good gumiho sanguk with everything you mentioned is Gu Family Book! (That also stars Lee Seung-Gi – which is actually something I couldn’t help giggling about throughout my watch as he is the gumiho in that show).
I definitely ended up enjoying it but it’s 24 episodes so it’s a slow burn in terms of building relationships and movement but once it gets going and everything is set into place it’s great!

BE
BE
13 days ago
Reply to  Jina

Thanks

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
15 days ago

This is the perfect summer drama!

manukajoe
manukajoe
15 days ago

Hi all! I’m already 6 episodes in (watched previously) so I won’t say much here. A couple of things.

  1. Song Dong-il? Seriously I think he is the weak link in this show, I just do not get the appeal of his acting. And he looks so unhealthy. I caught a glimpse of him in Dear My Friends and he looked way younger and healthier.
  2. In my version Mi Ho is always asking to eat “cow”. Maybe this is specific to the version I have. I find this really funny and cute. I don’t know if this joke is there in the Korean?
BE
BE
15 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

This was the same year he stole one scene after another in Chuno where as much as the two shows are incomparable, it is one thing to be playing off Yoon Yoo Sun, a virgin auntie Ms. Lonelihearts, quite another trading chops in scene after scene with Jang Hyuk, enacting the greatest tragic hero in K Drama history, or Lee Jong Hyuk as an utterly humorless and menacing, sociopathic assassin. First two episodes I get show is supposed to be a farce, its charm and appeal, and he appears to be playing his role with appropriate to story hyperbole.
Perhaps Manukajoe would appreciate him, however, in Reply 1988.

j3ffc
15 days ago
Reply to  BE

I have a soft heart for great character actors with range, which is why I like Song Dong Il so much (and borrowed Roger Ebert’s phrase originally used for M. Emmet Walsh: “no movie with him in it is completely bad”). And Manukajoe, BE and KFG have an excellent point: he absolutely anchors Reply ’88 (haven’t seen the other Replys yet so cannot comment on those), which given the sprawling and outstanding cast is saying a lot.

Last edited 15 days ago by j3ffc
phl1rxd
phl1rxd
14 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Omo Fangurl – the Chow Yun Fat tribute!! 🤣 😅 😂 Yes! Both Song Dong Il and Yun Yoo Sun are hilarious. I love how both of them interact. Poor Aunt getting it from her Dad about not being married! When she started acting oddly he mentions that she must be in love again. 😁 I wonder if Song Dong Il enjoyed this role. He seems to be having fun (as am I).

LongJumpingRiver
LongJumpingRiver
14 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I’m glad I’ve seen Song Dong Il in other dramas. If this were the first one I’d seen him in, I probably would have found him guilty of poor, over-the-top acting. But I’ve recently seen him in Live, which is a much more serious role, so I can appreciate that his acting is a choice.

I’m not usually one to enjoy the silly antics, but I’m really enjoying this show and can’t wait for the next 13 episodes!

j3ffc
15 days ago

I have to start out by thanking our fearless editor for choosing Gumiho as her choice for this half of the program. It’s my first re-watch of a K-drama anywhere and also brings a level of winsome fun that I really need in my life right now. And to start out, yet another fantastic recap by our host. General thoughts:

  1. First time around, it took me a while to get used to the vibe of this show and, in particular, the broad comedy and outright mugging of many of the actors. It’s one of the things that could date the show, since it is so far from the noted “micro expressions” Jang Hyuk in “Money Flower” or the sophisticated humor of “Melo is My Nature”. But once I just bought into it (just as I bought into the exact same vibe in “The Thin Man”!!), I just soaked it all in. And this time, I needed no such induction period.
  2. Same thing with the music, but with a twist. The first time I heard “Fox Rain” (including the instrumental parts that permeate the story but are easy to miss the first time around) I thought, “well, that is an old-fashioned song (doo-be-doo-be-doo-RA-FA)”. But it snuck into my head and I eventually realized my mistake: it’s not old-fashioned, it’s classic. (Q: am I right that this is a beloved song in S Korea?) And now I listen to it 3-4 times a week (even before I knew we’d be group-watching this).
  3. Said it before and I’ll say it again: No show with Song Dong-il is completely bad. (And this one is far from even partially bad, IMHO). But I don’t love his theme song quite as much. 😳
  4. Love the little pieces of physical comedy that are almost afterthoughts, like when Mi Ho was fumbling around with the soda and straw in the background while Dae-woong was chatting with his friend (and I already kinda love the secondary couple in this).
  5. So, are “Action Schools” a big thing in S Korea? ‘Cause I just watched another drama with one (“Secret Garden”).
  6. I, too, am totally confused by the Mi Ho doppelgänger from Way Back, even though Weird Vet explicitly said it had to be a different person/mystical being than Mi Ho.
  7. Maybe it’s just me, but Gu Mi-ho sounds like a perfectly reasonably Korean name to me.

That’s all for now! See you all again soon.

j3ffc
15 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Fair enough! Although I do actually know someone named William Shakespeare.

BE
BE
12 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

There was a kid in my secondary school classes named Zachary Zuball. I suppose to this day his phone number is easy to find.

Kay
Kay
15 days ago

I bring only pure love of the magical, wonderful, and perfect My Girlfriend is a Gumiho to share! 😍😍😍 hehe.

We have a great opening 2 episodes with Shin Min Ah as Mi Ho as a pure delight and ray of sunshine. Lee Seung Gi as Dae Woong is a perfect balance to her. You can see the early playful chemistry between them right away.

I also have a love for Director Ban and the Aunt. They are silly but very fun.

I’m glad you mentioned the music too as that is a strong point of the drama. I like that this drama pretty much constantly throws one song at you after another. It creates such a rich atmosphere. And every song is gold, so I love getting to hear them over and over.

I’m already in gumiho heaven and looking forward to watching Dae Woong and Mi Ho’s hilariously charming relationship blossom ❤

Trent
15 days ago

Alrighty! Group watch #2, lesgo!!

Okay, so you know how I know this show is fantasy? No, not because the magical fox came down out of a picture to walk among the mortals, or because she has nine cool-looking tails that show up in moonlight (tangent: that was one of my minor but real disappointments with the recent Tale of the Nine-tailed–we never got a single dang tail, much less the promised nine! Ahem.)

No, the number one reason I know this show is fantasy is because freakin’ Shin Min-ah in a super-cute white sun dress comes boppin’ into this feckless college boy’s life, all bubbly and just wanting to hang around with him…and he is desperate to get rid of her? C’MON! She’s ADORABLE! Her dimples alone could launch a thousand ships!! Yes, yes, pre-existing crush on noona, whatever; all worried the scary gumiho is going to eat his liver… dude, at that age, if she was like, let’s hang out and cohabitate for a few weeks, and then maybe I’ll eat your liver, I would have been like WHERE DO I SIGN?! (I don’t recall being accused of having great judgment in my early-mid twenties, so).

Whoof. Anyway. Now that I’ve got that off my chest. I really needed to get my goofy comic book lens seated fairly firmly for this, because there is a lot of silliness in tone and feel. I think it’s fine if you’re prepared or able to get acclimated, which I think I am now…took a bit, but it’s okay.

This is actually my first Lee Seung-gi drama (first Shin Min-ah, for that matter), but I’ve seen him around enough, mostly just in recent appearances, that it’s a bit of a…not shock, but surprise to see how young he looks in this. And part of that is just how much he comes off as an ordinary every-man kind of college student. Which is good, I think it’s what the role kind of calls for.

Also, Song Dong-il, the legend, doing a very obvious parody/tribute of another legend (Chow Yun-fat)…I’m already dying, and I can tell this is just going to be over-the-top shenanigans all the way through, isn’t it? Whew.

Alright. Dae-woong, my man, y’all better hurry up and get an attitude adjustment and start treating that nice adorable gumiho right, y’hear?

Trent
15 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Seriously, that was what I kept thinking while I was watching…”like, is this kid for real? He keeps trying to think up schemes to ditch this sooooper cute, very amiable young woman?”

I watched way too many Hong Kong action flicks back in the 90’s, so I was seriously in stitches with the matchstick between the lips and the flinging the trench coat dramatically back…

manukajoe
manukajoe
15 days ago
Reply to  Trent

Yeon did show his tail in Tale of the Nine-Tailed, but it was pretty brief.

Trent
14 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Okay, fair, I do sort of recall, but it was so quick I can’t remember where in the show it was…

(My impression of the show was that they really leaned into Yeon’s position as a “mountain god” and free-lance enforcer for the big bosses, more than the gumiho mythology, which was kind of just a stepping stone. Which was fine, overall!)

Geo
Geo
15 days ago
Reply to  Trent

I’m with you on Shin Min-ah, not only is she completely adorable and guileless as KFG says, I think she looks like what a fox would like if it were human, she’s sleek and her profile is definitely foxy. Check her out in Arang and The Magistrate (I liked the first half or so especially) and Oh My Venus though I think she fits this role to perfection compared to those shows.

I discovered Song Dong-il in Chuno, really liked him in that, and find him very funny here. His acting is deliberately hammy and OTT but he does it with such panache, like he finds it funny too, he’s in on the inside joke. The toothpick, sunglasses and trenchcoat are hilarious and iconic. The show is played for laughs and the acting is overall broad but that’s intentional.

This is a fun show, light and breezy. I watched this recently while the last Group Watch was on but I’m still enjoying it the 2nd time around.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
14 days ago
Reply to  Trent

Ah Trent – you really made me laugh real loud right now reading your comment.😆😆

Trent
14 days ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

My work here is done…

Yr. obdt. srvnt., &tc.

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