Naver Writer Frankly Discusses Strengths and Weaknesses of Fantasy Dramas Legend of the Blue Sea and Goblin

It’s nice seeing a Korean drama reporter critic write down exactly what I’m thinking (article), but of course it’s merely subjective so feel free to have a different opinion. The premiere of high profile tvN drama Goblin this past weekend allows a side-by-side assessment of it alongside the other high profile fantasy drama Legend of the Blue Sea on SBS. The two dramas don’t compete on the same time slot but both come with similar packages – famous screenwriter, fantasy theme, and star-studded cast.

The critic’s take on Legend hits on the number weakness – writer Park Ji Eun‘s shallow script cribbed from her own You From Another Star but with a mermaid in lieu of alien, and the only redeeming quality the pretty visuals the charismatic leads Jeon Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho. Conversely Goblin fires on all cylinders, with writer Kim Eun Sook actually surpassing and improving on herself even above Descendants of the Sun, incredibly fluid and impressive directing, and all the characters interestingly rendered with the cast bringing each to life with chemistry.

The Naver writer has tons of deeper comments on both dramas:

  1. Legend is a visual drama, the biggest praise garnered, but not enough to invest one hour of watching time with two star leads alone.
  2. The content of Legend has been getting more criticism than praise as a redux of YFAS.
  3. Suspicion of directorial copying of Sherlock and Splash, which isn’t that bad but paired with the blandness of all the supporting characters makes it seem worse off.
  4. Legend will need a writing upgrade in the episodes to come to have more meaning than a killing time romance.
  5. Goblin wins right off the bat – interesting setting, fast storytelling, fresh connections between the characters.
  6. The drama doesn’t suffer in comparison to the DotS spotlight.
  7. Kim Eun Sook has upgraded her own writing.
  8. Pathos aplenty in the conflict of an immortal Goblin who wants to die but will need the love of his life bride to kill him.
  9. The relationships of all the characters are interesting, not just between the male and female leads.
  10. The living together of the Goblin and Grim Reaper adds additional intrigue and comedy.
  11. The visuals and directing are so picturesque to raise the atmosphere of the central romance.
  12. There is no glaring flaw in Goblin or any narrative misstep so far.
  13. Goblin shows the birth of a potential new masterpiece and hit comparable to DotS.


Naver Writer Frankly Discusses Strengths and Weaknesses of Fantasy Dramas Legend of the Blue Sea and Goblin — 143 Comments

      • @Comrade: that’s what you think! I love Dots. I will enjoy goblin too. Bu it’s too early to say that goblin is the best since we have only seen 2 eps so far. If the rest is good like the first 2, I’m still gonna love both. Hope u keep in mind that everyone have different taste and opinion. Just because it’s not to ur taste doesn’t mean it’s bad.

    • I don’t agree tbh. I don’t like both but LOTBS is better goblin. everyone with two eyes can see it. The naver article writter was bias nothing more to see here folks.

      coming from someone who didn’t enjoy both

  1. Yay! Love the commentaries on goblin. It’s true though. I refrained from watching DOTS, it was so cringe worthy and cheesy in the first place. But goblin seems like coming from some other writer,no? Though I have watched parts of lovers in Prague..and it was sensible and least from what I’ve who knows,maybe it’s wrong to rate the writer from DOTS and heirs alone?

      • You’re right. We do aknowledge KES’s great instinct – it’s as if every other drama is written by another person. The writer’s City Hall and On Air are on a different level but Lovers in Prague could have done without the almost crazy second lead (I like the actor a lot that’s why I endured the stupid story).
        The first two episodes of her dramas are always impressive. Even in Heirs, the story seemed interesting enough. And then she decided to write the rest of the series under the coconut tree drinking lots of margaritas and mojitos…

  2. I must agree with them. Goblin is really great for now. But the problem often is to maintain the story until the end. In DOTS, the korea part was not bad but less interesting. I really hope that Goblin will be able to maintain a good story all along.

    For LOTBS, I didn’t watch the episodes 3 and 4 yet, but the 1 and 2 were beautiful but without a story to tell, just a funny and graceful mermaid…

  3. Never understood the huge buzz about YFAS, apart from Jun Ji Hyun’s charisma and talent for the comedy, which certainly made it entertaining. Now it is more or less the same with LOTBS, she and Lee Min Ho make the thing watchable, but that’s all.
    On the other side, I acknowledge that Kim Eun Sook is a writer to keep an eye on. I hated Heirs but loved Secret Garden, she has good ideas sometimes πŸ™‚ And of course, the cast of Goblin is stellar, so it is not a surprise that people are loving it.

    • Agree with you., heirs is cringing worthy and get praised just ‘because’. Goblin definitely have it all from good looks, good acting and good script ^^

    • I totally agree ,Goblin is better and morever Gong Yoon is far better actor than Lee Minho who I think is only a normal actor who people support by his looks. I read a lot of bad comments about idols actings and I don’t think his were better,I only liked City Hunter and not to rewatch it several times.

    • Yes! I never understood the hype over YFAS either. I tried watching it twice because of all the hype, but I could not get past more than a few episodes. Same with LOTBS. It feels like a show used for killing time, with no deeper meaning.

  4. Goblin is too sophisticated but has awkward transition and over the top appearance (all the time) also immature with awkward acting heroine, it seems to be superficial and hard to watch while blue sea is easily enjoyable because they play it good as the character driven drama.

    blue sea is better after each episode and ep 3 of goblin is not better than ep 1, at this point, I’ll give my vote to blue sea, Goblin looked pretty but awkward and over the top, blue sea is more natural.

    • I disagree as well. LOTBS is a very pretty drama, but it is shallow and without much substance. If you took away all JJH’s fish-out-of-water antics, what you’re left with can be condensed into a two episode drama. The plot’s meandering. OTOH the pilot episode of Goblin had more story and plot twists than the entire episodes of LOTBS so far. My fear is will Goblin continue to keep up its momentum until the end of the drama?

      I wonder if LOTBS will continue to climb in ratings. I personally don’t see the chemistry between JJH and LMH though I’m sure a lot of people will disagree. I feel the drama is trying too hard to sell the modern day romance. And my personal peeve with the writer of YFAS is that the second lead female is always a bitch and is underutilized. The writer sidelined Yoo In Na after making her play the deceptive best friend and is doing the same thing with Shin Hye Sun’s character in this drama. I’m hoping for some more originality in the writing.

  5. I love LOTBS ep 6 VERY MUCH. I actually think LOTBS has a more meaningful narratives than the writer’s prior hit YfAS. I love those JJH scenes with hospital patients and surviving family of the malpractice victim. In YfAS, it’s just thriller + romance combined. Although the directing of YfAS was pretty good IMO, the plot is nothing more than entertaining and that’s all. But I feel more related to LOTBS’ plot and interesting while some viewers whined about no chemistry between JJH and LMH in addition to less impressive performance on JJH’s part, I love JJH in LOTBS more than in her buzzed drama YfAS and I still think she has better chemistry with LMH than with KSH. I love how the narratives of the Joeson era and how it was filmed so far. It all reminds me of how I fell in love with Kdrama bcos of Faith and LMH brings back all his charm in historical setting. This is me, perhaps against the majority of readers of this blog.

    Way for me to watch Goblin yet. In general, the main cast are a lackluster selling point for me to watch this drama. They are not my cup of tea on screen and the teasers don’t help either. But I enjoyed quite a few KES’ dramas in the past including My 2016 fave DotS. So I’ll just get on a streaming site and watch Goblin. I don’t really have to love the OTP to pieces in order to have fun watching experience as long as the screenplay and the directing are good.

    • Actually i don’t like goblin cast either but i enjoyed it a lot very amusing and fun i did not like LOTBS i just don’t like the mermaid thing

    • Agree that LOTBS was definitely better. I liked watching the mermaid grow in a few months that took the alien almost 400 years to grow and understand humans on a human level. Goblin is just another zombie show, entertaining for those who liked it and junk for the rest of us.

  6. We get it koala Lotbs is not your cup of tea but please enough with the comparisons and your criticism is now getting Tiring.
    I enjoy your blog and it is your opinion and all but sometimes you don’t know when to stop, sorry if i sound rude but i love watching dramas when it is not pit against each other.

  7. I still think ppl like a drama mostly b/c their fave is in the cast. To this point, I just prefer LOBTS to Goblin even I haven’t watched Goblin yet. LOL..Goblin’s main leads are a lackluster selling point to me as a viewer. But I’ll watch it for KES’ sake. Cheesy or not, I don’t care since quite a few of her dramas are very entertaining and I enjoyed the watching experience.

    • Then what’s the whole point of your comment?? You don’t even watch it so what are you basing your opinion on?? Lackluster leads, Gong Yoo is lackluster compared to Lee Min Ho, I take it?? Ahem, Ahem!

      • Chill! That’s just my opinion. We don’t have to both like apple right. It’s my personal freedom and taste to prefer orange to apple. LOL..So your charming prince GY is a turn off to me on screen. Why can’t I comment? This thread also mentioned LMH’s drama. Your overreact!

    • I’m your opposite then. My biggest reason not to watch LOTBS is because the main leads are not appealing for me. Especially LMH.and after reading the comments and review i don’t regret it thou.

    • Is it Gong Too or Lee dong wook that are lacklustre or Yu na and Go eun, I don’t quite get you. Pls if u don’t know them don’t call them lacklustre pls

    • You GY’s fangirls may calm down. Don’t be so worked up b/c somebody like me isn’t head over heels for your fave. LOL…Not everyone is about YG. OK. Specifically he looks so much like my uncle. Hahahahaha

    • BTW, what’s the point to compare these two dramas anyway. It’s like comparing apple to orange. LOL..Also who’s the heck this Navar guy? Is he a godfather of drama critic or what? Academy award judge? LOL…I just don’t give dang sh*t to his analysis whatever that’s obviously personal opinions. So drama fans just enjoy your faves’ dramas and respect other fans’ preference. I don’t have to like the same actor, the same drama, the same writer, at all time.

  8. i have watched both goblin and legend of the blue sea but i prefer legend of the blue sea because it makes me laugh.maybe i am not in a mood of a serious drama right now plus lmh’s visual is stunning.By the way,we dont have to compare the two.They are twoi different dramas and each has its own charm.

  9. I am on Team LOTBS.
    The light tone of the drama plus the charisma of the two leads especially LMH really make me enjoy the drama.
    On the contrary, Goblin feel like trying to be all grandiose. I watch it simply because of the rave reviews but as always with KES writings, there’s just something off which idk what exactly. And KGE, she really put me off with her cringing chirpiness.
    Overall it’s LOTBS that is my cup of tea.

  10. I think it’s unfair to compare the two dramas when they are both not yet finished. We cannot judge a drama by just 2-6 episodes. Some drama have strong start but weak ending others have slow start but great ending. Pls wait for it to finish before comparing.

    • Yes, but if a drama already has a weak start, how will it keep its audience? I often give dramas 4 episodes to hook me ..but sadly, I couldn’t even finish episode 2 of LOTBS. I just felt.. nothing. And to think I was very much looking forward to it for the cast, the story and the writer. So for me, I say Goblin is better than LOBS, for now, as it has me saying “noooo don’t stop” at the ens of a 90 minute episode.

      • Weak start? Compared to what? That’s your personal opinion, not objective at all. Even goblin has 7 – 8% ratings at get go that’s considered high on cable TV, it’s very illogical to deduce that it would definitely achieve over 20% on the main three channels. You don’t ever have any statistics to have this parallel rating comparison. Audience for Cable TV is very different from general public who have access to the three main channel. It’s a very bizarre logic to compare the ratings of these two dramas. Just not very scientific and of course not convincing, talking about numbers!

  11. I feel easy to comment since both dramas featured none of my bias or faves unlike the case when MLSHR was pitted against MDBC.
    Regardless what the naver said or what Koreans prefer, I like LOTBS a lot more.
    Despite the lackluster first few episodes, it is really kicking off with this week’s episode. The plot is easy, simple, a bit quirky and I enjoy it so much. Also, I find the casts acting are better here.
    Goblin just not there for me. As someone pointed out here, the drama is trying to be so grand that it feels lack of sincerity. And I don’t like the acting of the female lead. But that’s just my preference, plus I was never sold by any of KES writings other than Lovers in Paris. I am watching it now only for LDW.

  12. One drama can be judged mainly by one thing – is it worthy to be rewatched again and again?

    Which of th two dramas is the one you will repeat soon?

  13. maybe writer Park Ji Eun should try to create saeguk fantasy without the moden setting in it.. the only compliment i hear from viewer about LOTBS is more on saeguk setting than the modern one.

  14. I am watching both and here’s my two cents:

    1. I think Goblin got off to a better first week than Legend because the characters were given more backstory so viewers could relate more. Even though I like how they’re not giving it all away in Legend, the backstory seems a bit slow so maybe viewers are disappointed. The mythology seems to be richer in Goblin (maybe the cinematography contributed a lot). They’re going for a different tone too than in Legend which is not a bad thing because I appreciate Legend’s (rom)com a lot. Goblin’s funny too but is much subtler and mostly between the characters unlike in Legend where the comedy mostly stems from the situation the characters find themselves in and their (often hilarious) reactions.

    2. I like PD Jin Hyuk more but Goblin’s PD is getting major points for me especially the use of widescreen during the historical period.

    3. I love both cast members. I think they’re all doing a great job with their characters.

    4. The writers have different styles. I’m still wary of KES because even though she surprised me with the first two episodes (granted my expectations were very low in the first place) she’s not known for her tight plot and character development. I always associate her with strong heroines during the first half that turns into weeping messes until the end. [BTW, props to KGE for her portrayal of Eun-tak. Love. Her.] On the other hand, Park Ji-eun has been consistent from start to finish so I have trust that she knows what she’s doing and I’ve never been disappointed with any of her previous dramas. I’d mostly apply the word shallow to KES (those cheesy moments!) but she really surpassed my expectations for Goblin.

    • yeah I had high hopes from Jin Hyuk as a PD, but I think LOTBS took a while to warm up.

      I like KGE as an actress but Eun Tak is uncomfortable to watch with the goblin because she looks like such a kid next to him. I’ve seen KGE be VERY different in other roles so it’s not like she doesn’t know how to play this character another way, it’s clearly being done to fit this role.

  15. It really sucks when u compare dramas that have not completed yet. I just don’t get it no matter how I look at it .have come to realise korean viewers has a way of killing excitement when u r watching a drama it quite disturbing actual .

  16. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one not caring for Legend, it’s ok, but not interesting enough, maybe because I have seen quite a few mermaid movies here in the US that keyed me off. As for Goblin so far so good, it has my interest so far, hope it continues:)

  17. Bad criticism. Lotbs is a fantasy drama but it only this. It is a complete different kind of story than Goblin. Lotbs can watch the whole family but goblin not. I don’t know what this writer says but I don’t think that Goblin is so unique and there were scenes I bored in this drama. Let us have our opinion and don’t try to lead our mind with such opinions.

  18. when people criticize goblin they say it’s only 2nd episode on the other hand when lotbs had 2 episode and they expected evrything from it, from story to character development. goblin is 1 and half hour show so ofcourse they have more things to put it on one damn episode. For me its lotbs

  19. Seriously, koalas can post whatever she wants. So if she loves one drama and dislike another, it’s her opinion which she wants to share on her blog. If you don’t agree with her, then don’t visit her blog. You have no right to tell her what to post and what not to post. I may not agree with everything she posts but I keep an open mind. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. This blog is her blog, not yours.

    I enjoy Goblin more than Legend. Hopefully, it doesn’t disappoint as dramas can get derailed halfway through the narrative. So far the cast and directing is fantastic. And the extension of the 2 episodes is great as we have a better back story so that we become more invested in the characters.

    • Anyone here who doesn’t agree with Koala this time told her what to share? You don’t have to go so far to tell those who prefer the other drama than your Goblin to get lost. LOL You’re so dramatic. We only voice our different opinions than the other side of perspectives in this thread. Calm down. We’re not in dramabean of a fanclub for your fave only.

  20. The biggest weakness I’ve always noticed with Kim Eun Sook’s dramas is the poor development of the female lead. She writes better male lead characters but her female lead characters are lacklusters.

    • Hemmm… I’m not sure about this since the only Kim Eun Sook’s dramas I’ve ever watched are Secret Garden and DoTS, but I think Gil Ra Im in Secret Garden is very interesting. Kang Mo Yeon is also not that bad.

      I currently watch Goblin too and I must say so far Eun-tak is nothing near lackluster.

      • KES wasn’t really the one that write KMY since she was only editing the original writer… and adding her cheese…
        Just saying

      • Gil Ra Im started out strong, ended up weak as most female kdrama character do. KMY was probably best-developed character in DoTS because SHK worked with KES (and KES didn’t write KMY for the most part)

      • Kang Mo Yeon was indeed Kim Eun Sook’s best female character (and my favourite one) thanks in part to Song Hye Kyo who brought her own contribution to the character.
        Gil Ra Im was also a good and realistic character (she was supposed to be only apparently strong – but actually week and depressed because of the many humiliations she encountered).
        IMO, KES is never inflexible and always leaves room for the actors’ own contribution, which unfortunately becomes a problem sometimes (if she meets the wrong actor who does not understand the character or is not able to portray it; and Kim Go Eun is just that kind of actor, or at least she seems like that to me, in the first two episodes – her acting is forced, unnatural and inconsistent).

  21. i watching both of them..enjoy watching it.. goblin and mermaid.. both of them is fantasy drama with funny and sad and romantic story.. both drama has good cast of actor and actress.. full of popular and talented cast..with interesting story line.. both of them i m lovin it..

  22. I agree with the critic. That’s what I feel about LoBTS too. When I was watching YFAS, I was intrigued with every characters right after they were introduced. But with LoBTS, there are so many characters that I don’t know what their purposes are in this drama… and I end up feeling frustrated instead of feeling curious. Plus, it seems like the only interesting thing the show can offer about Shim Chung being a mermaid is her fish out of water antics. I don’t know, I think they should play out this aspect more to make the mermaid more interesting. I love how cute Yoon-jae is right now as he starts falling in love, but It’s not enough to keep me going till the end of the show.

  23. im watching both of them. eventhough im more in weightlifting fairy rather than those two. I cant say anything yet between goblin and lotbs, because goblin only had 2 episodes. So, yea i gotta wait untill i can think which one i like better. but instead of comparing the two, i just hope those two dramas are getting better and better each week so i can watch happily wohooooo

  24. The first episode of Goblin had me hooked but I can’t say the same with Legend of the Blue Sea. I agree with Ms Koala when I find the period setting a lot more interesting than the modern setting. Jun Ji-hyun is an actress I like and this kind of character is nothing to her, she can act it with her eyes closed. I definitely prefer her mermaid in the period setting too, much more mysterious much more intriguing. There’s just not enough narrative in the story or plot to get me to like it. Lee Min Ho is just Lee Min Ho tbh… its like the same character in all his dramas (I prefer him in the movies he has done).

    Goblin…. may be too soon to say but so far I like what I’ve seen and I like it alot. I love the interaction between the Goblin & the Grim reaper, I’m not yet sold on the Goblin & his bride but that is expected as the story is kind of written that way, that their relationship is developing.
    We’ve only seen a few glimpses of Yoo In-na so not much to say there but I quite like what I’ve seen so far of her.
    Yook Sung-jae’s character is like an extra not necessary but a good addition to the narrative and plot binding. He gives his character that extra bit of twinkle.

  25. I’m someone who cringe at DOTS to the max and def change my opinion of Song Joong Ki from thr amazing Nice Guy.
    But kim eun sook is really capable of writing good script too.
    She def differentiates her drama btw the typical cringey (SG, Heirs, DOTS) and more mature theme (On Air, City Hall). I hope she will balances Goblin.. loving gongyoo and Lee dong Wook acting so far

    • I love dots and heirs. Funny and entertaining. Cheesy pick up lines? Oh yeah I love it. Love KES drama. She really good with her lines and dialogues. I like goblin for now… But it still early to say it’s the best yet!!! So it’s okay if it’s not ur cup of tea. I’m sure a lot of people loved it too, otherwise it wound not be this popular.

  26. My biggest criticism of LOTBS is the writing, the writer got lazy and is repeating her own tropes used before. End result is visually stunning first few episode that lacked originality and freshness. I don’t have much to criticize about Lee Min Ho or Jeon Ji Hyun, any other actors and this drama may not have secured those numbers it has.
    As for Goblin, the writer did hear the criticism and improved. Although I don’t know if it will sustain the momentum developed, I hope it does. It also has taken a lot of inspiration from Mythology in general, a rich world filled with whimsical Gods, divine beings, grim reapers and who knows what else is there. It also has a dilemma at the center, a bride that you love will free you from your agony and a grim reaper who is desperate to locate a missing person that slipped away cheating death. Its a bonus that the leads are mostly strong with a few glitches. My criticism is mostly towards Kim Go Eun, her school girl aeygo is annoying and her face doesn’t emote as often as it should and sometime fills blank. Jeon Ji Hyun obviously is the veteran and better one if we compare the heroines of both show. So, its a bit early but this could go either way.

    • yeah in terms of fantasy writing, Goblin has a richer story than LOTBS. But when it comes to romance, I feel like Goblin put itself at a huge disadvantage by making Kim Go Eun’s character a high school girl with so much aegyo/a childish manner, it looks really uncomfortable to see Gong Yoo taking an interest in a girl who looks half his age (even if she’s only 11 years younger).

      • LOL…Tbh, I can’t ever get over his adjussi vibe…To me, he’s just not a right person to romanticize by a schooler. It’s hard to ship them.

      • @drama2016 If you can’t be objective and get past the highly superficial opinion of age equals freshness equals talent then I suggest stick to the dramas you prefer. Gong Yoo may not be Hallayu God but has the acting talent that has earned him both mass appeal and respect. He doesn’t need teenage squealing fan girls to validate that for him. And why comment on him over and over again when you clearly can’t see pass you perfect bias.

      • @Gem. It’s not healthy for you to be so judgmental merely for petty entertainment discussion. LOL…Calm yourself down! Don’t get all your blood boiling b/c someone doesn’t like your what you are obsessed with. GY just looks totally like my uncle. XD XD XD..I can’t romanticize him. I’m not saying he isn’t a good actor. Well, does everyone has to like apple even the fruit may keep you away from doctor? LOL..I never forcefully asked other drama fans to like Song Joong Ki. Equally you should respect other fans’ preference. It’s off putting to expect everyone has to fall head over heels for your faves.

  27. I just don’t like Kim Go Eun…PERIOD!!! If Goblin has another female lead,like Seo Hyun Jin or Jung So Min…that will be more interesting!

  28. I generally agree with what this writer says.
    However I wouldn’t say Kim Eun Sook upgraded her writing. She’s always been very good as a writer, only that some people chose to despise her based on certain romance dramas (“oh, how cheesy”). FYI, romance is cheesy for any outsider except for the persons involved; viewers will always find wel-written romance dramas cheesy unless they identify with the characters. Kim Eun Sook’s characters are very well developed and unique, that’s why one either hates them or likes them. Which is also why for most of us, her dramas are either a hit or a miss.
    In Goblin, there hasn’t been almost any romance yet (though I would say cheesy lines are there – Tinkerbell lines). The first 2 episodes showed a perfect introduction of the fantasy theme, characters and atmosphere. The actual plot has not yet started. If the writer will focus more on the fantasy elements and on the bromance, this drama will be considered her best one (just because she avoided to focus on romance).

      • Well, the writer can’t do everything. A great part depends on how the actor portrays the character.

  29. The very thing that annoyed me is always the ratings arguement as if koreans taste dictate the quality of the drama. Ok, there is no ratings arguement here.
    As for me, I like LOTBS though I have not totally feel emotionally attached to this drama as Moon Lovers back then. I am not even his fan but LMH is the selling factor and anyone who say that he depends on his look and acting wise no better than idol are totally talking nonsense. He may not be a brilliant actor but he is good. LOTBS happened to need longer time to warm up to its viewers and now it has found its footing, I am sure it will be a lot more fun and I kinda like the idea of dropping subtle clues in each episode.
    Goblin is ok but not great. Apart from the mind-blowing cinematography, I don’t feel much that hit the notes. I am surprisingly bored mid-way watching.
    My current drama cracks is Weightlifting Fairy KBJ. Maybe I am one of the few that love the underdogs and my taste totally not in line with the Koreans.

    • Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Ju is freaking adorable, I can hardly believe Lee Sung Kyung is the same girl who played glamorous Baek In Ha in Cheese in the Trap. She’s so freaking cute <333

      • Drama2016- I like u. Lol i feel the same about everyone should respect other people opinion and stuff. Except I haven’t watch LOTBS yet. No comment on that one….Yeah fan shouldn’t get all sensitive just cos we don’t like or feel the same about their fav drama…. Everyone have their own taste and preference… I love heirs and dots. People complained it’s cringe and too cheesy it’s ok. I like it. it’s my taste. I always followall KES works. So i will cheer on goblin as well. So everyone should cheer up and enjoy ur favorite drama.

  30. Goblin’s cinematography is definitely top notch but I am in the opinion that they overdid the whole melancholy theme, that they ended up bringing down the mood and making me feeling so depressed and yawning occasionally. Let’s not get me started talking about Kim Go Eun because she is plain annoying. For an acclaimed movie actress that so many raved about, I say that she is the weakest link here and it surprised that her interpretation of a sunny school girl is that lame. As for LOTBS, I did not like it from the get go but down to episode 6, I am finally hooked. LOTBS may not feel fresh at all but there is something earnest about the drama, which I did not feel in Goblin or may be the acting of JJH and LMH did the wonder.
    So I don’t necessarily agree with the naver critics. I still find KES writings cheesy (the grand entrance of the two male leads ala Batman and Robin complete with the fog). So, my take is LOTBS over Goblin but it’s funny how I find the true gold in the simple underdog drama that is Weighligfting Fairy.

    • Weightlifting drama is what most ifans likely like though… Young and fun drama lol
      Underdog is Oh my geumbi. The little kills it

    • Kim Go EUn the weakest link ? why? say what you like about her cuteness act, but she bring alot of depth. The weakest link? definitely Lee Dong Wook.

      • Just because she is a movie actress and everyone hailed her as if she is an acting goddess. Please. I have no problem with the rest of the casts but I cringed everytime she appeared on-screen. So based on MY opinion and taste, she is weak in her translation as sunny high schooler.

  31. I think it will be more interesting to see if either drama manages to maintain a cohesive, enjoyable story throughout their run. So many dramas this year just can’t bring it home imo. DOTS started strong and whimpered to an end. CITT….don’t get me started. Doctors Crush wasted its 20 episode run on a brilliant doc not comprehending a simple legal concept. Beautiful Mind ended strong but those first episodes were a mess. Moon Lovers….sooooo addictive but hot mess is the definition of the last 3 or so episodes. Come Back, Mister is so solid but spun its wheels for 3 episodes in the middle.

    I think the MLFAS writer getting dinged for being repetitive might be a fair critique though she did branch out to mixed reviews in The Producers. Does having big stars and all that pressure make you not be adventurous…???

    I’m more interested to see what KES does with Goblin because I like edgy paranormal books/shows. I’m a fan of Kresley Cole and Jacquelyn Frank. So basically this is about the viewers mood and if in for a lighter madcap drama go mermaid or on the darker side (so far) go goblin.

    • Agree with you.
      It’s been so long since we are up into heated discussions since SHR vs MDBC.
      It’s too early to compare these two dramas. Apart from the fantasy element, these two dramas are totally different in term of the tone. LOTBS is more of a rom-com and light-hearted whereas Goblin is setting for something darker and melo. Acting wise, I think LOTBS better (including the con brothers LOL), Goblin totally superior in term of production value. I don’t see much difference in their pacing though.
      My pick at the moment is LOTBS. I am so in the mood for rom-com and something light and Goblin is too dark for me for now, plus the female lead is off-putting.

  32. Right now i prefer goblin then lotbs…after watching ep 1 of lotbs i didn’t have the urge to watch ep 2…but in goblin i hope everyday was friday….love KGE so much in goblin
    Love WFKBJ also….falling deeply for NJH

  33. LOTBS is fun but Goblin has totally taken my mind over….funny b/c i thought it’d be the other way around at first……KES knows how to write addicting things man.

  34. Hands down Goblin is better written than LOBTS,though its just two epi so far i m sold compare to LOTBS i love LMH but i hate reading korean and international people comments that its JJh who is saving the show,she great all praises to her, only comment i read about LMH is that he is handsome. why all credit to jjh why writer giving her more, only last epi lmh was focus rest in all its jjh, that it make me hate her. seriously lmh is wasting by putting effort and all credit goes to jjh. I say LOBTS is written poorly compare to Goblin and i am liking more Goblin but because of lmh is watching LOBTS only.

  35. Honestly I’m not impressed with both Dramas but that Goblin is getting this overrated praise is absolutely not correct or fair if you watch it youself you can see it..

    The Romance is so off in Goblin. the actor is basically romancing a minor and the chemistry is not to par with LOTBS. So in a sense I have hard time even seeing the comparison here.

    LOTBS definitely do have it’s holes and could have been alot better but in all fairness it is better quality then Goblin and in that there is no doubt

      • I like Golbin better but KGE’s character is minor. Even they repeatedly said that in the show.
        19 in Korea is practically 17 internationally.

      • How is she a minor? Even if we don’t follow the Korean idea of adding an extra year, she is 18 so fully legal (16 is the legal age in the UK for example).

        In any case, it’s a Goblin that’s over 1,000 years old – so maybe they needed to cast Kim Yong-rim as the love interest.

        Though given she is 76 she might be a tad too young for him – robbing the cradle and all that.

    • I am not talking about Korean age but the timeline of the drama, total of 18 years has passed so I am guessing Kim Go Eun is 18 to be exact in the drama so not a minor, can we stop with the complains now. I wasn’t happy with it either but if you saw the first episodes you’d likely no this. Can we stop with the age gap now. He is a goblin for christ sake.

      • I thought we are open to discuss, are we not? I have watched Goblin and that’s why I brought up the logic of why making her a high schooler? Sure, i know he is a goblin but as much as i try to be cirumspect about it, it does feel weird the idea of him romancing a high schooler even though trying to legitimize the notion by making her 18. It’s not cool to ask people to stop discussing and voicing their opinion just because we could not agree with you and on par with your preference.

      • I’m a bit put-off by the main OTP as well. Not because of the age-gab (i’ve watched several vampire series and it never bothered me), but because KGE comes across as a kid/innocent. I would disliked this pairing, even if she was supposed to be 30 (if the character remained the same). I hope she’ll have a more mature vibe as the show progresses. For now I’m looking forward to the 2nd leads.

  36. Interesting comparisons but you do need to watch the whole drama for comparisons to have some weight.

    But if we are going by first impressions, I am for Goblin. Gong Yoo is super! But by the looks of it now, a happy ever after seems unlikely… πŸ™

    Is there a similar tale in Korean folklore?

  37. Okay, if a “critic” is throwing the word masterpiece around in regards to a Kim Eun-sook drama, I don’t think we need to take them too seriously. Both of em suck tbh.

  38. the writer is merely comparing the two dramas on the choice of its fantasy theme and is only saying that the conflict posed by the story of Goblin is more fresh and interesting given the conflict of the Goblin’s search for his bride to end his immortality may also be the reason he finds to continue living, compared to the story of a character living in a different world which has been done in many other dramas and movies. The writer says that from the point of view of a literary fantasy work if the writer of Legends wants to pass off her work as a fantasy literary work it has to be more than a romcom relying on two stars to fill out the story. No doubt, the mere presence of two stars is enough for their avid fans irrespective of whether the drama is fantasy or melodrama or any type of genre, and they cannot objectively accept any unfavourable critique of their favourite actor/actress’ drama.

    • Wait a minute. I simply don’t buy any grandiose analysis or theories about a drama. IT IS JUST ENTERTAINMENT, not rocky science. You don’t have to elevate a random drama critic’s opinions to make your personal preference superior to others’. C’mon! Let’s just admit we like what we like about the cast and perhaps the plot, repetitive or refreshing, it’s all personal taste of our own cup of tea as viewers. You talk as if there’re scientific standards or equations to determine quality of drama. Hmmmm comical!

      • BTW, I’m not an avid fan of either LMH or JJH. But yes, I prefer watching them to the other OTP.

      • There may not be scientific standards or equations to determine quality of drama,but you can definitely critisize a drama (even on objective grounds). To dismiss a critics view, because it’s JUST ENTERTAINMENT is kind of patronizing of you.

        Anyway, I always enjoy reading analysis/theories of drama’s, because then you do not take the drama at face value, but dig deeper; sure some mindless entertainment is okay, once in a while, but I prefer to watch and think).

        I haven’t watched LOBST yet, but I’m kinda curious enough to check it out now. I like Goblin so far, but I’m not invested yet.

    • Both shows have a search for a love that will impact one’s life; one to die the other to live. I choose life. The writer is entitled to his/her opinion regardless of how wrong it is or isn’t. It is the viewer’s choice to like or dislike a show. The Goblin’s reason for living is because of the curse not because of his search, he simply could not die, his search for his bride was for his death. His semi-immortality was a CURSE.
      The mermaid and the human were able to pursue their love on several occasions and actually enjoyed their relationships at various times until finally they were together uninhibitedly.
      It is of course up to each of us for our preference, I’m sure changing another’s mind about their preferences in a kdrama is most often an act in futility. We like what we like. Which is why I find bloggers so entertaining in their effort to convey profoundness they only communicate their bias, just like me.

  39. It will be much more fair if the writer compare LOTBS and Goblin after they finish airing. For now we won’t get the full story and acting. I’m not watching LOTBS but i get a glimpse of the scene and i can say that the cinematography in goblin is better. Maybe it has better PD or bigger budget, idk. It feels like a movie with many beautiful scene and places. For the rest, let’s wait until both dramas end in few months then everybody can compare it fairly.

  40. 100% agree with everything the writr said!! I’m enjoying Goblin immnsely, it’s what I hoped for and more and I hope it remain as greeat as it is right now or even better!! ^__^

  41. I we can agree to disagree some will like more Lotbs vs Goblin, is come down on personal opinions. For example Games of Throne one of my #1 favorite, that super successful season after season, but not everyone watch it why because is not a story for everyone. The same with Goblin so far has become #1 korean drama and obsession. Why it just hit me on the right places, like the story, the characters, the cinematography, music score is okay that it does not affect other the same way it does to me. But in regard on the above article I do agree with the critic on what said.

  42. @candycane like i said previously it is her blog and opinion and as a reader of her site I called her out on sometime i don’t like,my opinion will not stop her from writing whatever she wants or change her thoughts so chill guys.
    I am still of the opinion that it unfair to compare the two dramas especially this early,i guess i just have to sit back and see what happens at the end.

    • Fair enough Margret. Maybe this is a way for a blogger to get the attention… how often do you see over 80+ comments without mentioning LMH, Legend, &/ now Goblin? It is a hot topic! Please expect to see more ratings & comparisons article every week ?

  43. Hmm…If you forced me to pick, I would choose LOTBS but I am not in love with either show. I agree that Goblin has fresher content and amazing cinematography. I also agree that LOTBS suffers from being too similar to YFAS (which is the superior Park Ji Eun show). However, I really disagree with the idea that Goblin has no glaring flaws so far. The big, glaring flaw as has been mentioned by others is the character\writing of Kim Go Eun’s heroine. I cringe at her over the top aegyo every time she is on the screen. I also hate the fact that she has no character drive or purpose at this point beyond being the Goblin’s wife. And that she ended up the damsel in distress at the end of the last episode. I would take Jeon Ji Hyun’s fully adult spunkiness (even if repetitive) over this kind of weak and too young (don’t even get me started on the age difference!) heroine any day.

    • Kim Go Eun has no character drive. Are we watching the same show? If anything I think JJH character is the one with no character drive rather than being LMH “stalker”

      • People keep saying they hate Kim go eun’s bubbly character and her aegyo. I badly need (sense) a time jump and she’ll grow into a nice mature lady before they meet again and make good on the romance. Look at how awesome she was in CITT. When that time comes, I wonder what would all these whiny people would nitpick on then.

      • @Lily
        She is indeed OTT with her aegyo. Forget about us who you considered as bias in our comments since we are pro LOTBS but even Javabeans (of Dramabeans) commented on her chirpy persona.

    Goblin is great too and I am glad is on a different time but both have their own charm so I don’t know why they would compare it
    Why do people focus on negativity and guess what it totally irks me when I read negativity if someone doesn’t like it why hate on it? don’t mess it up for those who love it.. if you don’t like it don’t watch it!
    My honest opinion

  45. In my opinion, it is way better than DOTS in terms of plot-wise and directing. Of course, we will have to wait til the end to see but it seems really promising with so much potential.

    • DOTS is still better to me storytelling wise, We will see which is better after goblin finish airing though. DOTS in the long run is not 100 persen cheesy. It has several good scene and alot of deep meaning dialog.

    • Only 2 episodes u can’t say it’s better than Dots. Yeah I’m dots fan. But I will cheering for goblin too cos I like KES the writer I will follow all her works.

    • IMO, you can’t say it’s better than DOTS plot-wise yet, since Goblin’s first two episodes were just the introductory ones.
      Since both dramas have the same PD, I wouldn’t say the directing is better in Goblin; the difference is that one is a fantasy and one is a romance (the style is originally supposed to be different).

  46. 2 episodes in & Goblin just hits the right spots for me… story, rich characters & the cinematography is just gorgeous. I really didn’t think I would like this writers drama again especially after the drama that shall not be named happened, but am surprised at how well she’s written her character in goblin. That episode 2 ending just took my breath away & add with the chilling ost *Bravo Bravo*
    I hope this continues going well *Fingers crossed* don’t mess up writer nim
    Haven’t watched LOTBS yet so can’t say anything about it.
    Peace all ✌️

  47. I think it is really just a matter of preference (as many already said). I, personally, like Goblin very much. I never had the urge to re-watch episodes right away as I did with its first 2 episodes.

    Just for the record, I love JJH very much and wish LOTBS continued success. I am watching it, but I am not as into it as I was with MLFAS.

    I hope that Goblin will not succumb to the CitT and W phenomenon — strong start, but disappointing after the first half.

  48. Woah heated discussion
    My thoughts:
    Goblin has a solid 1st 2 episodes
    But LOTBS started off with a lesser bang, but the episodes get better each time. Plus the OTP is making it work.
    I mean the drama makes me laugh out loud, not many do nowadays.
    Better to compare when both are over.

    What’s there to fight? We just watch both and be in drama heaven guys!

  49. Let’s all calm down, Goblin has only just started. It still has plenty of opportunities to disappoint us. You know- that time between episode 6 and episode 12, that makes you grab your hair in despair, gnash your teeth in disappointment and wonder if all they had was a premise and not an actual story but decided to run with it anyway? The thin holey middles.
    I’m only watching for my beauties; Gong Yoo, Dong Wook and In Na, every thing else is entertaining window dressing.

  50. Okay, people are giving Goblin too much credit after 2 episodes while downplaying LoBS (which seems to be improving). Goblin can go off the rails quickly and IMO there is some weakness there, especially the female lead’s character.

    People bring up DoTS, but DoTS was very strong for about 12 episodes, and kinda went nowhere in the last four episodes. It’s way too soon to proclaim Goblin a masterpiece. This is how people get disappointed in the end lol

  51. LOTBS – writer is aiming for progressive storytelling.
    GOBLIN – writer introduces the plot right away making the first few episodes interesting, and caps it off with dramatic scenes and over the top cliff hangers (side eyeing DOTS). that batman comment up there is so spot on!

    LOTBS – love both main leads
    GOBLIN – the 2nd leads will most probably have more chemistry than the main leads. love GY but i feel like KGE is too young for him.

    LOTBS – gorgeous cinematography esp the water scenes
    GOBLIN – gorgeous too but too dark and over dramatic

    both have good ratings.

    i’m watching both, but they are totally two different dramas so…

  52. The first two episode might be Goblin over DOTS, but overall, I still think DOTS is overall better drama, the build up to the story is smoother and KES get help with Kim Won Suk with make it more relatable and not 100 % cheesy like some people claim. It has alot of human lesson too.. So far the build up story of Goblin abit uneven, I still tolerate uneven storytelling in episode 1 because it’s fantasy drama. But yes I agree Kim Eun Sok has evolved. Might be after working with Kim Won SUk?

    • I love dots and heirs. I will cheer on goblin too. I like KES. I love her cheesy line. So I pay no attention to those who think it’s cringe or too cheesy, everyone have theirs opinion and taste after all.

  53. I’m watching both dramas and so far I’m enjoying both of them, although I’m more emotionally invested with Goblin. The narrative is more concise and a lot of the characters are interesting and quite mysterious, they all have a story to tell. LotBS is visually stunning and a breezy watch but I feel a bit disconnected with the characters, as the plot only centre around the romance and not much else, the Joseon mystery does add up another layer to the plot. Thanks to the drama gods, I’ve been enjoying quite a few kdramas these season, Weightlifing Fairy is another must watch, really cute lovely drama!

  54. Differences between LOTBS and Goblin:
    1. LOTBS: No introduction whatsoever in the first two, even four episodes;
    Goblin: Perfect introduction to the story and the characters;
    2. LOTBS: A very good cast (and they are actually starting to have chemistry);
    Goblin: A mediocre cast (no chemistry yet);
    3. LOTBS: No plot by episode 6 (I wonder what will happen in episode 7);
    Goblin: 2 introductory episodes (I expect to find the plot in the third episode);
    4. Both LOTBS and Goblin are well-directed;

    • well the directing in LOTBS is underwhelming if you take away all the pretty and effect. Production value Goblin is a definite winner..

  55. I found Goblin boring. If two actors can command as much as a cast of 4 there must be something to the drama (LOTBS). Honestly, I found LOBST more entertaining and with a higher probability of reality than Goblin. I think Goblin was more akin to escapism than being grounded. It was too other dimensional for me. I’m sure it fans liked it almost as much as the LOBST fans like their drama.
    Anyway, professional writers have no more insight about what is a good movie than anyone else watching a show; it is all subjective.
    In addition, although both were fantasies there is no real way to compare them other than statistically.
    To me its like choosing a sports team, you like who you like and you like what you like. I appreciate all the fans for both dramas.

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