The Lonely Shining Goblin Review: A Perfectly Fantabulous Fantasy Drama

It has been more than three weeks since Goblin ended and I do not know what kept me from writing the drama review for so long. I have followed this drama most ardently even going to the extent of sitting up late at night to watch the drama within a few hours of its telecast. Goblin was a smashing hit in Korea and all over Asia. I am glad that, for once, Koreans and foreign viewers have loved and appreciated the same drama at the same time. For me, this drama is like the perfect coffee where everything is added in the right quantity just like the way I would like it. Comedy, romance, suspense, anguish, and action were so perfectly blended that I did not find this remarkable drama lacking in any department.

The Lonely Shining Goblin (2016-17)

 The Lonely Shining Goblin Review
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Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is cursed to live the immortal life of a goblin till he finds a human bride who will help him lift the curse and die. He lives with a grim reaper (Lee Dong Wook) who has no recollection of who he is and why he became a grim reaper. Both the men see off human souls into their afterlife. However, Goblin often meddles with the grim reaper’s work and they have been at loggerheads for centuries. One day, Kim Shin meets a girl named Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) who has the ability to see and talk to ghosts. All the ghosts know Eun Tak as the ‘Goblin’s Bride’ who is his only medium to salvation, however, goblin himself does not believe so. He tries to keep the girl at arm’s length but somehow he is always pulled closer to her.

Let’s weigh The Lonely Shining Goblin on our show beam balance and see what makes then show a praise-worthy, MUST-watch drama.

Good Weights

Rollicking Comedy: Goblin is high on emotion and relationship but it is not short on comic scenes. Comedy scenes in the show were performed earnestly that it had to elicit rollicking laughter. Be it the grim reaper and the goblin’s banter or Eun Tak’s innocent demands from the goblin or Deok Hwa’s unreasonable needs, everything was hilarious. In a drama mostly depicting human values, the reasonable dosage of comedy provided the much-needed edge to the show.  

BRomanceThough the romance on the show was decent it was the ‘bromance’ between goblin and the grim reaper that stole the show. I have not seen two male actors share such an easy yet fiery chemistry on-screen for a long time. Their banter and fights were hilarious. It broke my heart to see them hate each other for a brief period towards the end because I really enjoyed seeing them together.

Goblin and Grim Reaper Bromance


Perfect Cast: I have to say that the experienced cast on the show did a phenomenal job towards making the show what it is. The sincerity with which the cast performed was evident on-screen and the results are well-deserved. Even the supporting cast looked convincing in their roles. The casting of this show was one of the best I have seen in Kdramas.

Goblin Review
Supporting Cast








Exceptional Direction: Just check out this scene from episode 3.

Isn’t it exceptional? There are innumerable such magical scenes throughout the show as the director has done a commendable job with this drama. I will give full marks to the outstanding direction of the show.

Magical Music: The show’s music is simply enchanting. In fact, the OST titled ‘Round and Round’ became such a big hit with the viewers that the show makers had to officially release it even when the producers had no intentions of keeping it in the original album. Of all the songs on the show ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Round & Round’ are my most favourite songs.




Bad Weights

Viewers may find loopholes in the story but as far as I am concerned those minor little things did not bother me a bit. The overall content was so stupendous that I have no complaints whatsoever.

Aww and Wow Moments (Warning: This list is going to be a really loooooong one)

Episode 1: The cliffhanger of this episode where Eun Tak says ‘I Love You’ to goblin. I knew I was sold to this drama the moment I saw this scene. I have never seen a cuter ‘saranghaeo’ before. This scene was just a glimpse of the cuteness that actress, Go Eun’s brings to the screen.

Episode 2: This episode was full of amazing moments. I want to add the whole episode here and mention its super–duper cliff-hanger that made me restless till the next episode. Episode 2 ends with two men kidnapping and abusing Eun Tak but since she is ‘Goblin’s Bride’ she has two extremely hot men come to her rescue.

Episode 4: Goblin comes to personally see off an old man into his afterlife because Goblin feels attached to him. He praises the man for living a righteous life despite his difficult circumstances. The writer here shows that life is what to make it and that it depends on you how you shape your destiny.

Episode 5: Eun Tak asks Goblin to grant her a boyfriend but the possessive goblin feels jealous and tells her that he is her boyfriend. This awkward scene is hilarious. Gong Yoo and Go Eun’s comic timing is just spot on.

Episode 7: One of the most awkward kisses I have ever seen hahahaa.  Eun Tak kisses goblin hoping to make him ‘pretty’ but nothing happens. For the first time, in a Kdrama, I saw the guy’s eye widen in shock as the girl kisses him. And then the spectacular cliff-hanger of the episode. Goblin shoving Eun Tak hard as she pulls his sword is so beautifully shot. The whole scene with computer graphics is just mind-blowing.

Episode 9: One day, a human suddenly barges into the grim reapers tea room which is surprising as only human souls can enter that place. The grim reaper is shocked to see a human there and goblin explains that a human’s strong ‘will’ can make him open any door for himself and change his destiny. I love the way the writer gives life’s important lessons in such interesting ways.

Episode 10: Goblin finds out that Sunny is his sister and tries different ways to talk to her. Goblin’s desperate efforts at making things good between his sister and him are crazy funny.

Episode 13: The ‘last kiss’ in this episode was smouldering hot especially considering the whole scene where he is on the verge of death and that it could be his last moments with Eun Tak.


I give The Lonely Shining Goblin 4.8 out 5 rating. I have never given any drama this high marks till date (not even my most favourite dramas) but Goblin deserves such high marks as it excels in every department be its story, screenplay, cast, direction, music and every single thing that completes this drama. I personally vouch for this drama. DO NOT MISS Goblin for anything. Go and watch it now.

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