My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho – Review
Sooo it’s that time of the week again. I stumbled upon My Girlfriend is a Gumiho on Netflix (they’re adding TONS more Asian dramas in general and boy are there LOADS of older Korean dramas). I’ve seen this one ages ago aand it seemed really popular. Whenever I tried searching for Korean drama recommendations, this would pop up almost always.
I don’t know about you though but with the deluge of Korean dramas now available, it actually did the opposite and I didn’t watch as much as before. Can you relate? Or just me?
I was looking for something to binge-watch as the ones I am currently watching were still airing at the time (like 100 Days My Prince). And so I decided to go with this one. I wanted to watch something older because they tend to give you a different feel compared to the ones now (maybe that’s obvious).
So I went ahead with this one. Sadly though it didn’t turn out to be as good as I thought or expected it to be. Honestly, I kind of dragged myself to finish this one. It was a bit hard for me to watch. The first few episodes were fine. It didn’t really grab my whole attention where I feel like I shouldn’t miss any second of it. The moment I guess where I felt even a bit interested was when Gumiho showed Dae Woong (Lee Seung Gi) her tails.
That music (sorry, I felt like that was one of the best bit of this drama) was really enchanting. It was different. And as it was the earlier episodes, it made me feel like this drama could be something different and even quite grand. The storytelling was okay but the main problem of this drama for me was that it remained STAGNANT all the way through, except the last two episodes. There can only be a few times when you hold the suspense until it gets boring and you lose the interest of the viewers.
That’s exactly what it’s done to me.
P.S. I watched this on Netflix and they don’t allow screenshots. It’s a shame I can’t show you the bits that I liked :/
So to give you a bit of a background (some spoilers ahead!)
– we have our Gumiho (a nine tailed fox… – I’m sure you know if you’re reading this review otherwise — how did you get here?? lol) who’s desperate to become a human. Find a husband, fall in love and become a human. She was trapped in this painting for 500 years and with the help of Daewoong, has managed to get out.
She meets Dr. Dong Joo – a mysterious man that tells her she could become a human – by drinking his blood which would kill her as a gumiho. For her to become a human – she has to keep her fox bead inside a human for her to absorb the human energy.That person has to keep the bead for 100 days, and then return it to her. Thus allowing her to transform.
Suffering from the injuries he received from the accident after trying to flee the temple where Daewoong released the gumiho – he agreed. By doing so, he would be able to keep doing action scenes (his dream was to be an action star) whilst in a bad condition – with the bead healing him.
So this really sounded like a start of a great story for me. And hopefully with the right execution and flow of the plot, it would’ve been amazing. It didn’t manage to do that. What it became though was a loooong, dragging, full of action but as a whole – nothing was really happening. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho could’ve been shorter or they could have added more friction in the story. Isn’t that funny? Other dramas suffer from too much plot twist whilst this drama desperately needed one.
They’ve even added more comic relief in the face of Sung Dong and Yoon Yoo Sun. We have Sung Dong Il as Director Ban of the action school and Yoon Yoo Sun as Dae Woong’s spinster aunt. Their scenes were intentionally over the top, funny and cringe-y. Sad to say it didn’t work for me too. I think because this is an older drama – the humour was also different and though it may have been really funny back then, it wasn’t really, for me. I mean that could be one of the reasons but this drama is not that old. It’s from 2010. So yeah, it failed to deliver for me that way.
Overall, this drama felt really mediocre and the worst part was that I ended up not really caring for the characters. It had loooads of sweet moments but not enough conflict to keep you interested. It dragged its main conflict to prolong the story – so instead of that helping, it really didn’t do the drama any favour.
Having watched it though, the characters did grow on me and I find their little quirks and mannerisms are something I’d miss in this drama.
I say there’s more dramas out there to spend your time on more than this one but if you want something light or to cap your night off, this may not be that bad of a watch. Just remember to not expect something big.
Okay I want to touch down to the ones I found didn’t help My Girlfriend is a Gumiho:
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho – hmmm
Park Soo Jin and No Min Woo as the ‘antagonists’ – with a ‘ because they weren’t extremely bad to be called proper antagonists. They were pretty meh, acting wise.
Park Soo Jin No Min WooDr. Dong Joo was reallyyyy stoic and that villainy smirk didn’t do it. He was pretty much the same throughout the drama and I needed more from him. As handsome as he is – I just felt so bored whenever his scenes came on (lol what’s the connection?) He really wasn’t that effective as our second male lead and antagonist. I didn’t feel anything for him nor did I sympathise with how he felt. Not entirely his fault as this was also due to the directing, editing, and just the overall plot. I see him and I know his story – he does things he do and I accept them, but i do not feel or really care enough to be affected by them.
Mini Spoiler: I saw more dimension in his acting with that brief imagination from Daewoong than I did in all of those 16 episodes and that is… bad. He was really funny in those and I was actually a bit surprised that he could pull those off. So that leads me to think it’s not entirely his acting chops that were the problem.
Park Soo Jin as Hye In – DaeWoong’s longtime crush and near girlfriend. As far as this story goes, it was definitely ridden with cliches and we get that the 2nd girl tends to act that way especially when confronted with the loss of affection from the main lead. BUT. I really couldn’t help it when more than half of the episodes in to the story, I literally just see her with that same annoyed expression on her face. It was really annoying and lacked dimension, again, from one f the actors/characters. I needed to see progress especially with the characters and it was frustrating not to see that.
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho – My Personal Thoughts
So yes, as much as I hoped that this would get better, it didn’t. For me it lacked depth, plot (forget logic, don’t expect logic because duh, you’ll get why just from the title of the drama itself – My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. Gumiho? a Fox? doesn’t make sense soooo) conflict and just about everything else that makes a drama exciting. I nearly didn’t finish this and almost dropped it but I was really interested as to how this would end.
There were some scenes here and there that made me believe and think this could turnaround and end up being really good. So I went with it and finished it. I also didn’t want to read spoilers because I want to see it for myself and make my mind up as to what I think about it.
Fave scene: One of my fave scenes is from episode 4. It was when DaeWoong ran away and left Mi Ho on the cruise, knowing her weakness is the waters. She looked really sad and vulnerable and I really felt for her then. It’s moments like this that I found was missing in the later episodes. Scenes that would make me feel with and for the characters.
It’s also noticeable that as we progressed on to the later episodes, the lesser the osts were used. I think this just goes on to show the lack of scenes needed to really grab a viewer.
As much as I’m kinda dissecting this drama and just telling you the points I didn’t like – I want to take the time to say that Shin Min Ah really did a great job in this. And how young she looked! This was I think my second drama with her – the first one was Tomorrow With You. I loved that drama. It’s a time travel drama and I’m actually happy I watched My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and got to see her improvement.
I can say she’s come a long way. Tomorrow With You was nicely put together with everything else being connected and making sense. her acting has also matured and she was really good in there. That’s one drama I recommend. It might be slow paced at first but I was really enthralled and into the whole story.
She’s done a great job here as a gumiho filled with such innocence, pureness and naivety about the human world. She was really stunning and it was emphasised more because of how simple her character was dressed. Shin Min Ah was really convincing and although there were times when I got annoyed by too much of her naivety – she’s done a good job with portraying that.
And Lee Seung Gi‘s performance was good. I know he’s one actor who’s got tons of fans too. I watched his most recent one Hwayugi, but ended up dropping it. He was great in that he really was able to portray the emotions his character was feeling. I don’t know though but I just couldn’t feel them. The only reason I could think of was how everything was put together. The buildup wasn’t intense enough or it long has passed its due that when they dropped those scenes – they no longer held impact.
Overall, if you’re looking for a light watch, or if you’re a fan of both the leads – then watch it. Like me who was looking for something older to watch – have a go at it. BUT in general though, there are definitely better series out there that I’d rather spend my time on watching. The 100 days in this felt incredibly long compared to the 100 days in 100 Days My Prince that I felt like fast forwarding and wishing they’d get to the last 10 days already.
That too was apparent as they had to do two time skips just to jump ahead and get nearer to the 100 day mark.
There were definitely a lot of cute and sweet moments there and Shin Min Ah totally nailed it with her innocent and adorable portrayal.
It lacked tension that by the end I didn’t really care if they end up together or not. I found myself wishing something more tragic was on the bet just to turn on the water works or make me care just that bit more. That honestly was the worst part. I wished she went and left for Japan with Dong Joo. I wished Dong Joo didn’t tell DaeWoong the truth that MiHo could die if he took the bead back.
Yeah – I just wished to see something more intense because I strongly felt there was potential for this to be more. Sadly, it played safe and went towards the path ridden with cliches intead.