The Actor Chemistry in Gu Family Book is Crossing Shipping Wires

I’ve discovered Gu Family Book is great for bedtime time watching while catching up on emails and maybe with the news in the background. It’s still choppy and written with the finesse of a troll threading a needle, but without any reason to delve any deeper it works as an inoffensive way to pass the time. I also watch because I can’t bear to say goodbye to Lee Seung Gi and Suzy for the next 9 weeks knowing they are on TV. MBC is doing a much better job overall in promoting the drama – great official stills, much better synopsis and spoilers, a general cohesiveness in the background of the production that I wish could extend to the drama itself. One thing that has become really hard to ignore is the cross-shipping musical chairs that is going on in the romantic love lines in this drama. Character and chemistry-wise, I am shipping Kang Chi with Chung Jo, the girl he grew up with and they clearly both adore each other, as well as Yeo Wool with Gon, the prickly wry bodyguard who has a crush on the clueless cross-dressing warrior girl. I don’t think Seung Gi and Suzy have any chemistry, but Seung Gi and Lee Yoo Bi have tons while Suzy and Sung Joon are making me wish they were in another drama altogether. What in the world of crazy is happening here? I was all set for Suzy and Seung Gi to at least have chemistry even if the acting doesn’t rise up to the challenge, and now it’s totally making my head spin. I’ll picture update GFB from time to time as I collect up the official stills for my album, but narratively its going to be a hard sell to switch the audience connection to the ordained OTP now. At this point I’d be good with the drama having the two leads not end up together, though of course anything can happen since it’s yet early. Enjoy the pretty pictures!


The Actor Chemistry in Gu Family Book is Crossing Shipping Wires — 52 Comments

  1. Lee Yoo Bi really surprised me since she seemed scared of her own shadow at times, but she’s doing really well. Seung Gi/Yoo Bi’s doomed romance and Seung gi/Sung Joon childish bickering are both pretty amazing chemistry wise and very enjoyable to watch. I just can’t get into Gon/YW. She’s just way too indifferent to him.

  2. Looking at the stills, I actually checked out the preview for next week eps, and I wonder why they can’t be the otp instead. well I don’t watch the drama anymore so i can’t say how Yoo Bi character turns out to be, but damn, i saw a still with her giving him a peck on the cheek last week, now him kissing her forehead while she’s in a cage? To me they look more interesting than LSG/Suzy pairing. It’s weird because both Yoo Bi and Suzy are so young compared to LSG, but i guess chemistry is a wonder thing you can’t foresee. LSG/Suzy pairing gives me that modern vibe, it’d work if they were in a modern rom-com, with their typical interaction/bickering. While LSG/Yoo Bi is more like those romances in sageuk.

  3. I just watch ep 3 yesterday, I have to bare with Suzy’s modern acting and stiff performance to know the plot and the story. I can’t help but wish Lee Yoo Bi playing Suzy’s character instead and someone else other actress playing her character as Chung Jo. There is plenty who can play a yangban daughter.

    Looking at her acting it is very great and convincing I believe she can pull any role at any times.!

    Make me wonder, why such an important role in a fusion saeguk was given to a green actress like Suzy. A role and character that can be pull out into a massive and coherant great performance and turn a drama into a new level..*sigh*

  4. For me, it is not enough that she is pretty. She’s got a big, potentially juicy part, and while the script isn’t doing her any favors, there are other actors in this show doing way more with less. In someone else’s hands, this could really be good. I wonder how many shows we will have to suffer through until she either grows up and gets a little better or is replaced by other cute and talentless idols.

    by skelly

    • LOL, thanks mrssal! And I still feel that way.
      I think that part of the reason that viewers feel the chemistry between LSG and YooBi and not LSG and Suzy is that Yoo Bi is doing a much better job acting. Suzy is unfortunately surrounded by some really good actors, which is highlighting her lack of talent and experience. As for the “chemistry” between her and Don, I would say that is all because of Sung Joon, who is earning even more of my respect by getting a LOT of mileage out of a very small part.

      • I have to agree too – it’s unfortunate, but I think Suzy is being out-acted by the rest of the cast, that’s why some are moving towards YB and KC pairing. I just don’t think Suzy has the ability to connect emotionally with the other cast members and audience. In addition, I think the romantic progress between KC and YW is just too slow to develop for my taste. Whereas in JOJ, we got romantic scenes from episode 1. So I think the storyline is another issue why the pairings seem off right now.

  5. maybe it’s just me, but i think they haven’t interacted enough to even show chemistry. plus right now Kang Chi thinks YW is a guy, and they haven’t had enough scenes yet.. I like Gon and YW together, and with KC in the pic they would make an interesting love triangle! Gon and KC’s bickering reminds me of Inuyasha and Kouga lol! I found Chung Jo’s acting a bit dull, the only reason they seem to have chemistry is b/c of the way KC looks at her with his puppy eyes. I think she shines b/c of LSG honestly. Plus I haven’t even considered how both women would react to KC’s true form as half-human. I think YW might be more ok with it, but Chungjo might react that way Seo Hwa did to Wol Ryung.

    • In my k-drama watching experience, for some reason, i’ve come to believe chemistry was either there from the get-go or it wasn’t. I always waited patiently for those that didn’t have the passionate chemistry other OTPs had, but ultimately it always resided in a sort of friendship/mutual love/respect but lacking the passion. The relationship would develop but it would lack the same yearning some other OTPs possess.
      King of Drama’s OTP was really lovable but lacked the passion, although their slow and mutual attraction towards each other was cute, it was nothing to fall in love with (the story made up for it because it was pretty interesting).
      I think Seung Gi and Suzy will continue to be cute and adorable but that’s where it stops for me.

      • I was worried about the chemistry thing, and kept thinking it was going to be one of those OTPs which you describe. However, I saw it in episode 6, the chemistry that is. SPOILER ALERT! there is this moment in the scene were Kang-chi is laying on top of Yeo-wol, after the evil ninja guard pass them, and they both relax a little and KC gets this _ close to YW and goes “Wow you are really pretty, so pretty you could pass for a girl” and YW is having the WFT do I do, nervous look. That moment you could feel it, and I hope it wasn’t a fluke cause taht was some great chemistry. I actually paused the video there for a moment and went WFT you still think she is a boy don’t throw those vibes!!! and asked no one if this was supposed to be a gender/bender too…

    • Good point. LSG looks at her like he adores her. When he looks at Suzy like that I think we’ll magically see chemistry that Suzy can’t pull off alone.

    • Yw can be Kagome and CJ can be Kikio. I like when the couple equal footing and not on a pendastal. I agree CJ might react like how his mother did. I was hoping this drama would be lighter feel to it. It is dark and it is only on 6. But if there are 24 episodes we have plenty of time with good writers

  6. Lol it sure is hard having chemistry with a blank wall. Hopefully Suzy will improve massively soon, at least on the bright side it’s not crappy enough that I completely blank out like i did with Yawang and yunho. Seunggi’s actually doing great now and I’m feeling the emotions Jaeha had.

    • funny, taecyein, iu, kim soo hyun, lee je hoon, gong yoo, lee min jung and baek sung hyun had great chemistry with the ‘blank wall’. you may dislike her acting but dont be stupid that acting and chemistry are deeply connected.

      • It’s not stupid, acting and chemistry ARE connected. You can’t have chemistry unless you have actors who are capable of portraying deep physical and emotional attraction.
        Unless, of course, your definition of “chemistry” is two people staring at one another eye-to-eye (and I’m not sure, because your list of examples for actors who have “chemistry” with Suzy includes both guys and girls, so I am really not sure of a) what your definition is or b) what kind of shows you have been watching…?). Some people have such a shallow definition of chemistry that all two people have to do is smile at one another and they proclaim the couple of the century.

    • I think triamp was just trying to say that it’s hard to read the emotions from someone who is inexperienced with acting; we’re often times left in the blank as to how the characters feel if their reaction is lacking(or not what we hoped/imagined).
      I don’t think acting experience and chemistry is deeply connected, since suzy had plenty of chemistry with kim soo hyun in dream high, but not seung gi in GFB. Whereas seung gi had plently of chemistry with min ah in MGIG, but not really with suzy.
      I think it has to do with the story and their depictions of their characters as well, not just acting chops. Chemistry is quite complex to explain.

  7. Chung Jo and Kang Chi’s storyline is pretty much the same as his parents. I’m a bit sad they won’t end up together, but knowing how the parents ended, I don’t think I want it to go that way. I think the writers are going to write Chung Jo off just like Kang Chi’s mother if she ever finds out about Kang Chi being a gumiho and that’s when Kang Chi will move on to Yeo Wool. However, considering the cliffhanger of episode 6, I wonder how Yeo Wool will deal with it.

  8. I agree he has more chemistry with Chung Jo than YW. Can’t they change OTP? I mean it rarely happens but its been done in shows like Queen of Reversals (I think).

    I think Suzy is so bland here and she is missing the charm she had in Dream High.

    • yes they did change QOR and Park Shi Hoo’s other show a How to meet a perfect neighbor, also was changed to make him the lead.

  9. Totally disagree here, because I find the chemistry between Suzy and Lee Seung Gi pretty palpable. It’s their constant bickering and the childhood flashbacks that are making it more intense I think. I and seriously liking this show, and very romeo-juliet in terms of the romantic feel. I am also liking both Gon and Chung Jo and their chemistry respectively with the main leads, but I’m all for the OTP in this one for sure. Just my opinion though…

    • me 2..i also find both suzy and lee seung gi had chemistry,their scenes are very cute and enjoyable and i believe it will grow bigger once LSG realize that she is a girl.

    • I agree.

      For me, Seung Gi only comes alive when he’s with Suzy (and Sung Joon) – the rest of the time, his acting is really OTT.

      JMO. 🙂

      • Thanks for the laugh. Seung Gi shines in every scene perhaps you only notice it when he is with her because she sucks so badly, even the extra characters such as the maids, and man servants outshine her with their acting.
        I am not bashing her just stating the facts, She is the only weak link in the whole drama.

      • Hahaha, laughable indeed, seems like from a delusional fan but whatever. Laugh again.

      • Er, I’m not saying I think she’s an excellent actress – just that I think Seung Gi is better in his scenes with her. (Please note my wording of ‘For me’ and ‘JMO’, which stands for ‘Just My Opinion’.)

        Just as you are entitled to your opinion, so am I entitled to mine.

  10. I only watch this show for LSG. The show itself is pointless and the plot doesn’t make any sense. I think the show is moving too fast and the acting doesn’t help at all. When I watch a period drama I tend to either like the storyline or the acting but in this series the acting and storyline are both not appealing…the only thing that keeps me continue the show is LSG himself!

  11. I second that. If I would be still watching Gu I would totally ship Kang Chi with Chung Jo. I mean seriously…. they were already having chemistry in the 3rd episode. 😀 While Suzy is limping behind them – with her weird sageuk slang.

    Plus the age difference isn’t as weird – only 3 years between Lee Yoo Bi and Lee Seung Gi. Another reason to ship them.

  12. I only agree with the saying that’s uzy isn’t much of a good actor ! But koala I respect your love for seung gi ! What I don’t understand is why you hate this drama while you’ve recapped much much worst(ie zinkai girl … Come on ! ) and didn’t recap or talk abt much much better !
    Guess it downs to me now why I get advised to dramabeans ! Lol ALL THE TIME !

    • lmao, this is Koala’s site: she controls the horizontal, she controls the vertical (does anyone even get Outer Limits references anymore?). I think it’s a great thing that she is covering different shows from Dramabeans – (thank you, Koala, for all you do; I am really bad about saying thank you because I am too busy criticizing everything but hats off to you, muchly)and I think we have to respect the time and effort of all our blogresses. I save my invective for the actors and the shows and the fans – NEVER will I criticize the people who make this very forum possible.

    • I love ockoala’s input and articles. A must visit every time I am online. I really appreciate the effort it takes to keep everyone informed. This site also provides a good platform to exchange views. The thing I admire about her articles is the objectivity and also her critical writings without being hurtful to anyone. I am waiting for the drama to reach at least 12 episodes before joining in the fun. Will be watching solely for LSG else would have passed. 20 episodes or more only reserved for people I admire.

  13. I agree but I think it’s mostly the acting that is causing the chemistry issues. Lee Yoo Bi is doing a great job (I think I am one of the few who thought she would and actually saw potential in her), while Suzy is just as bad, neh, worse than I thought she’d be. It’s like watching a wooden cut out prance around a stage. She’s just plain awful. The greatest actor in the world wouldn’t be able to conjure up chemistry with that.

  14. Although I really wanted to love this drama, I had to drop it after episode 4 for a whole lot of reasons, one of them being my inability to root for a main couple just because the show wants me to. KC and CJ`s love story is so beautiful, and LSG and LYB`s chemistry is so palpable, you just know the writer will mess up her character for the sake of the planned OTP 🙁

  15. ^I totally agree MissJ, just how the writer messed up Seo-Hwa. The writer needs to be axed. This drama had so much potential, but in the end turned out to be a disappointment for me.

    • Yes, the potential was totally there. And indeed episode 1/first half of episode 2 were amazing… until everything went downhill! 🙁 Seeing how epically the writer destroyed Seo-Hwa, Chung Jo will probably follow her footsteps to b*tchville 🙁

  16. I did not watch episodes 1 and 2 but from episodes 3 onwards and I am totally addicted to the drama now. There is something to look forward to every Monday ( and Tuesdays ) now. Hurrah for Gu Family Book !

  17. I think tht kang chi and dam yeo wool should end up together . They met each other when they were small and dam yeo wool is not scared of who kang chi really is, so that tells people that she doesn’t care. Cause she like him even if he’s a monster or not.

  18. I am not Korean but I love Korean dramas. I wonder why Ha Ji Won wasn’t put in the part where this Suzy is playing …. Suzy seems like she couldn’t even lift a sword properly and the Katas she does are so limp and without energy she surely couldn’t hurt anyone with a sword. Does anyone know why she got that part or better yet, how? Everyone has their favorites but so far she doesn’t do this part justice… and even though I don’t like the brother or sister I don’t think Suzy’s character comes even close to their acting. That’s just me though.

    • yes her acting is below par, her character is one to root for, buy she is not pulling it off for me at all. I think it is a dis service to LSG most of all she is too young to play his love interest as far as I am concerned as well as her acting is so horrible.The side parts such as servants etc… are far more convincing than her. Its such a shame. I can overlook the flows of the show because the acting has been so good, with the exception of her. she is not bad ass, when needed, always cold and flat. LSG is so awesome, so I watch for him but she does put a huge damper on my love for the show.

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