Korean Drama Review: My Girlfriend is a Gumiho/ My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox

My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox

Image via Wikipedia

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho is available on VIKI.

SYNOPSIS:

Cha Dae-Woong (Lee Seung Gi) is a spoiled brat university student who hopes to become a famous start. The opportunistic Cha Dae Woong uses his grandfather’s money, which was supposed to go to his college tuition, to fund his rise to stardom and go to action school (stunt man school). When his grandfather learns of Dae Woong’s misappropriation of funds, Dae Woong’s grandfather and Aunt chase after him. Dae Woong escapes to the countryside and eventually ends up at a monastery.

While at the monestary, he begins to hear voices. What he doesn’t know is that voice is from a gumiho (Shin Min Ah), a nine-tailed fox, trapped in a picture with Grandma Samshin. At one point Grandma Samshin, akin mother earth in folklore, released the gumiho and was going to allow her to become human. To become a human, the gumiho had to find a husband. However, the women in the village hated her and were jealous of her human image’s extreme beauty. The women villagers spread rumors that she would eat the men in the town, thus her intended fiance abandoned her and the gumiho missed her opportunity to become human. Ever since, the gumiho has been trapped in the picture with Grandma Samshin.

The Gumiho asks Dae Woong to help set her free by drawing nine tails on her painting. After Dae Woong draws the nine tails, the Gumiho, which has now taken a human appearance escapes with Dae Woong Although, in the midst of their escape Dae Woong gets critically injured. The gumiho realizes that the only way she can save Dae Woong is by giving him her bead, a magical sphere that is her life source. The bead is transferred by almost kissing. Dae Woong is saved, but the Gumiho informs him that he must have the bead in his body for 10 days in order for him to heal. Note: Being a Gumiho allows for several special abilities, includes fighting, running fast, and tracking. Furthermore, the Gumiho tells Dae Woong that she and the bead cannot separate. Therefore, the Gumiho and Dae Woong have to stick together.

Dae Woong is really confused, but goes along with the plan, because he has just been cast in a role that requires him to do action scenes. Without the Gumiho’s bead, he would not be able to participate in the film. Thus, Dae Woong integrates Gumiho into his life. Step One is naming her Mi Ho. Step Two is moving out of his grandfather and aunt’s house and moving into an apartment over the action school with Mi Ho. Step Three is supporting Mi Ho by taking on jobs, introducing her to the human world, and buying her soda and beef. Beef is apparently her main nutrient, she doesn’t settle for chicken.

Dae Woong’s relationship with Mi Ho starts to become a burden. He becomes at odds with his family, lost his “friends”, lost his crush Eun Hae In (Park Soo Jin), and has to grow up to support his new “girlfriend.” Mi Ho begins to fall in love with Dae Woong, because of the way he treats her. Mi Ho loves him to the point that she will give up her everlasting life as a nine tailed fox to become human and wants to spend the rest of her life with Dae Woong. Still fearful of Mi Ho, Dae Woong does not return Mi Ho’s advances, Dae Woong just wants Hae In and to become a star.

However, soon, Dae Woong realizes that Mi Ho is not a burden, but has helped him become a man. Through Mi Ho, Dae Woong has discovered who his real friends are, how he should be treated by a girl who likes him, and how to take responsibility. His grandfather and aunt recognize this transformation and allow him to stay with Mi Ho, his muse. Note: His aunt also supports the relationship, because Dae Woong will be staying at the action school and his aunt has a crush on the owner of the action school. Nonetheless, when Mi Ho realizes the life of hardship that she has forced on Dae Woong she also become concerned about their relationship.

While all this love is going around, Mi Ho figure out that she has enemies. Gumiho’s seeker is Park Dong Joo (No Min Woo), a half human/ half goblin seeker of gumihos. Dong Joo almost kills Mi Ho, but can’t after he sees her. Mi Ho looks like a goblin that he once loved. The goblin that he loved also wanted to become human, but died because her human lover betrayed her.

Due to Mi Ho’s resemblence to Dong Joo’s past lover, Dong Joo hopes to avoid killing Mi Ho by giving her two options. The two options are either to return to the painting or to become human. To become human a human, Mi Ho must get a human to hold her bead for 100 days and she must drink goblin blood. What Dong Joo doesn’t tell her right away is that the person who is holding the bead has to return the bead after 100 days or else she will die. Moreover, after the bead holder releases the bead , the bead holder dies. On top of all that pain, Mi Ho will also slowly lose her tails one by one over the 100 days and her special abilities.

The drama follows the love story between Mi Ho and Dae Woong. Mi Ho loves Dae Woong. Mi Ho wants to become human. Dong Joo tells Mi Ho how to become human starting the 100 day countdown. Dae Woong and Mi Ho are in love with each other and cannot wait until the 100 days are over. Dong Joo tells Mi Ho the truth about becoming human. Mi Ho distances herself from Dae Woong. Dae Woong finds out and wants to save Mi Ho…

REVIEW:

1/2

I thoroughly enjoyed this drama. The storyline, characters, and actors were highlights.  It just got to the point that I could not follow the gumiho folklore story line. I know it has a lot to do with the fact that I am not intimately connected to Korean culture or the Korean language, but it still seemed to be too convoluted to follow. I started to question: why they both can’t live, how does the ex-girlfriend goblin dying of human betrayal relate to gumihos, random goblins surfacing from trees, what is the need for goblin blood and what are its effects as opposed to a gumiho not having the bead, what was the purpose of Grandma showing up, how far can Mi Ho be away from the bead, and solar eclipse resurrections (at that point I was like WTF). The logical side of my mind could not take it, I began asking too many questions.

These are the problems that arise when people start writing  about folklore, science fiction, and anything magical; writers have to make the storylines tighter. It is the genius of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Star Wars, Star Trek, and the failure of Avatar (still a good movie, just annoying). Furthermore, as much as I like these the two leads, I didn’t fall in love with them. This was a problem I also had in the beginning of Protect the Boss, but the background stories quickly resolved it. This drama was like akin to thinking something is  a chocolate souffle, but in reality its just a a chocolate cake. The cake was very good, but there was not a rich gooey middle.

Top 5 Reason to Watch:

Where is the Beef?: Mi Ho loved beef so much, her ringtone was “I like Korean beef.” The fact that Mi Ho had to have so much beef was a constant source of comedy. At one point Mi Ho says, “If you buy me a cow, I won’t eat you.” Mi Ho really knows what she wants. As Mi Ho moves past depending on Dae Woong, she attempts to buy her own meal by saving coupons and starts to eat vegtables. It was super cute.

Romance Between Director and Dae Woong’s Aunt: Anytime a man pretends not to smell your fart in the elevator, that is love. Another hilarious moment came when the Aunt said that she liked the smell of his muscle relaxer patches. Therefore, before their first date, the director put a whole bunch of patches all over his body, so that she could enjoy the aroma. Finally, the director pushed Chow Yun Fat to number two for her.

The Power of the Bead: Mi Ho uses the bead as an excuse to stay close to Dae Woong. Dae Woong states that the bead hurts whenever Mi Ho is close to Dong Joo. Dong Joo uses the bead to take Mi Ho away from Dae Woong. The bead prevents Mi Ho and Dae Woong from getting closer after they declare their love for each other.

Naive Mi Ho: Since Mi Ho has not been out in 500 years, her learning about the world is a source of comedic relief. Some highlights are when Mi Ho is amazed by fizzy soda, Mi Ho buys a poster with a picture of a camcorder instead of the actual camcorder for Dae Woong, and when Mi Ho becomes a bouncer/ best friend to chicken ahjumma. In addition, Mi Ho has a great calendar of things to do after she becomes human. On day 1, Mi Ho wishes to mate with Dae Woong. On day 100, Mi Ho wishes to marry Dae Woong. After year 1, she wishes to have a baby with Dae Woong. Mi Ho’s goal is to have 8 babies with Dae Woong!

Director’s Search for Action: The Director will go to any length to find his dream action star. After seeing Mi Ho one night, he follows her into the woods and his dream is realized. The Director witnesses Mi Ho do moves that can only be attempted by the cast of Cirque Du Soleil. There are several episodes where he sees her and tries to catch her and the storyline turns into a cat and mouse game. The segment ends when he discovers that Mi Ho is his action star, and later the storyline fizzles out when Mi Ho gives up her starring role for because she is blackmailed by Hae In.

More Highlights

  • Drumstick stuffed animal
  • Chicken ahjumma, great side character
  • Lee Seung Gi is cute, his mannerisms and facial expression are like Rupert Grint
  • Shin Min Ah is adorable, how can he not keep that nine-tailed fox around.
  • Director open’s his trench coat to block the sun, but seriously why is he only wearing a wife beater under there?
  • My favorite Grandfather; not to harsh, but not too nice either.

Ugh…Sigh

  • Hae In’s role could have just been eliminated. Hae In keeps running around doing things that mess up the plot and don’t make sense. Additionally, the faces that she makes are ugh.
  • What is up with that music anytime Dong Joo is on screen. Turn it off. 
  • More on Dong Joo, very creepy the way that Dong Joo is holding on and trying to trap someone that looks like your past love. At no time, did Mi Ho show any feelings for Dong Joo and yet still Dong Joo continues all the way to a fake a marriage.
  • The dialogue is lackluster in every scene where Mi Ho and Dae Wong are expressing their love for each other. This scene is cute and similar to all the other scenes. To me it’s not really romantic, because they don’t really saying anything and aren’t able to express themselves through words. Maybe, I am asking for too much? 
3 1/2 stars because it was good enough for me to watch again, but if you pay to much attention to things that don’t make since this can turn frustrating.

4 comments

  1. Pingback: Korean Drama Review: Protect the Boss « Public Investigation
  2. Pingback: My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox (2010) «
  3. Pingback: Korean Drama Review: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop « Public Investigation
  4. Pingback: Korean Drama Review: Secret Garden « Public Investigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s