The first episode of My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho airs on ABS-CBN2 later at 4:45pm! I have to admit, this was one of my favorite Korean Dramas last year and I’m so excited to see how it will be adapted for Philippine audiences. Written by the talented and much celebrated Hong Sisters (of My Girl, My Sassy Girl, You’re Beautiful fame) — this drama combines fantasy, romance, and comedy in one action-packed drama.
My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho stars Shin Min Ah as Gumiho, a nine-tailed fox. In Korean mythology, a gumiho often takes the form of an irresistibly attractive woman who can easily captivate any man. She is gifted with unbelievable strength, speed, hearing, and sense of smell. However, gumihos have always been believed to bring misfortune and to eat people’s livers – this is why this gumiho has been magically trapped in a painting.
But one day, Lee Seung-Gi who plays Chae Dae-Woong discovers the painting in a temple protected by monks. Dae-Woong is a happy-go-lucky rich kid who dreams of becoming an action star. He hears Gumiho’s terrifying voice from nowhere and cannot believe how a real gumiho is actually talking to him. She scares him into drawing her 9 tails on the painting to release her from imprisonment. A scared Dae-Woong runs away when the Gumiho is finally released and he ends up in an accident that costs him his life – well almost. The thankful Gumiho, gives him her bead, which basically contains most of her powers, to resurrect him. This starts a crazy relationship that takes both of hem in one hell of a rollercoaster ride.
Minus Secret Garden, My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho is absolutely my favorite out of all the Korean Dramas last year. When it first aired in Korea, I initially resisted all the mania surrounding it primarily because I wasn’t a big fan of Lee Seung-Gi despite having enjoyed Brilliant Legacy. But just one episode was enough to get me hooked.
I love how My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho is basically an extreme treatise on the powerplay in any relationship. At first, I thought that it was Gumiho who had the upper hand in the relationship – with her super powers and all. She asks for everything, meat mostly, from Dae-Woong just like a demanding girlfriend and he complied out of fear. But as the drama’s storyline developed, I saw that it was actually Dae-Woong who had greater control. He could trick the Gumiho because of her childhood innocence and even use her given powers to achieve his dreams of becoming an action star. In a sense, they were both using each other in this drama.
But as all Korean drama fans know, such closeness could only lead to love (or friendship). So when they finally get to the crossroads in their growing relationship, they must choose whether they wanted to die for the other person or live without the other person (Ok that’s a major spoiler!!! Ha ha ha!).
Shin Min-Ah is brilliant as always. Her acting is like a breath of fresh air and I love how she makes the all-powerful Gumiho vulnerable. Throughout the drama, I empathized more for her rather than Dae-Woong since I felt that he was really using her in ways that she could never understand. She’s not exactly the most beautiful Korean in my list (I love you, Song Hye-Kyo!) but her features have this beautiful eccentricity that makes her fit the Gumiho role perfectly.
On the other hand, Lee Seung-Gi is a spoiled rich kid yet again. His role here is better and meatier than the one in Brilliant Legacy. He lends some charm and spunk to his character but he still needs to grow as an actor. I think sometimes, he can make his characters a bit irritating rather than charming. Still, his chemistry with Shin Min-Ah was one that grew on me with each episode. And he balances the powerlessness of Dae-woong with his craftiness quite adeptly. This was also the first time that I really felt for his character. Point: it was Lee Seung-Gi’s acting that made this fan boy tear up. Just wait until he sings the Mi-Ho song (Hoi! Hoi!).
If you’re looking for something refreshing in your afternoon viewing, don’t miss watching My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho. This has the perfect mix of romance and comedy with just the right amount of fantasy. It’s very easy to lose sight of the drama when there’s so much fantasy elements. The magical mythical stuff only serves as a plot device to create conflict for the leads akin to a rich guy-poor girl thing, so we get a human guy-mythical creature pair. But all the magical stuff aside, this one will surely make you laugh, gush, and cry.
The cast is well chosen (I admit, even Lee Seung-Gi), writing is crisp and funny, directing and cinematography is lush and captivating — I simply cannot stop piling superlatives on this drama. It’s so good it’s in my list of top 10 Korean Dramas of all time. Although sometimes I wish Kim Sun-Ah and Hyun Bin reteamed for this – but then it would be My Girlfriend Is A Nine-Tailed Pig instead of a My Girlfriend Is A Nine-Tailed Fox. Ha ha ha! Now, that would finally topple My Name Is Kim Sam-Soon from No. 1 in my heart.
Thanks to jhenzyprod for the video.