Gu Family Book First Impressions

I just couldn’t resist watching after all. The five-minute preview reeled me in. I ended up watching almost ten times.  I was surprised at my own reaction myself.

Expectations: Moderate

Verdict: Good

Summary: Seo Hwa’s father has been branded as a traitor so she’s been sold as a state gisaeng. As she was being stripped of everything, Wol Ryung watches from afar wanting to help her out. She was forced to become one after being threatened with her younger brother’s life. The first one who she’ll be serving is the man who betrayed and killed her father. She and her brother ran away with the help of their maid, Dam. Eventually the chase caught up with them. Seo Hwa ends up getting saved by Wol Ryung. He wants to become human after he has fallen for Seo Hwa so he asks for the Gu Family Book so he can become human. He later married Seo Hwa. As she was gathering herbs form, she is spotted by the guards. They were both eventually captured. To escape, he turned into his gumiho form which scared Seo Hwa since he never revealed who he was to her. She finds out the other truth he has hidden from her. She brings the guards to the Moonlight Garden where they slay him off. She finds out she’s pregnant. Failing to abort the baby, gives birth to him, only to send him away.

Thoughts: It’s quite original to start with the parent’s origin story rather than another childhood background. The romance was great with simple symbolic touches that bring out the bittersweet in it. We’ve gotten a good grip on how people treat magical creatures and why these creatures react the way they do.

Lee Yeon Hee is amazing! She was the heart of the past two episodes. I liked her in East of Eden even if many thought she was a bland actress. She has a very likeable presence, which I wish more people would acknowledge.

The writer still has the same strengths and weaknesses. Although I do believe think she’s just lucky, she’s paired with a wonderful director who knows how to make her story come alive with such beautiful cinematography. Since we’re going to be dealing with ridiculously evil villain, I think we should brace ourselves accordingly. I’m sure we’ll be irritated with him but as long as there won’t be any deus ex machina involved, this can still fare high by the end. But at the same time, if we’re expecting the usual level, we’re in for a sweeping love story filled with cuteness. Well I guess you can’t have it all.

Initial Rating: 8/10

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