The cohabitation romcom and the Gumiho fantasy romance are two very talked-about Ok-drama tropes. They mix within the new sequence K-drama My Roommate Is a Gumiho. It is the primary Korean present produced by streaming big iQiyi. It made the present with Studio Dragon.
It’s not a very novel combine, as we’ve seen it performed earlier than in My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho. However, the twist right here is that the Gumiho or nine-tailed fox is a person. Gumiho is a legendary creature present in Korean folklore which normally takes on feminine type.
The person in query is Shin Woo-yeo (Jang Ki-yong) is a 999-year-old Gumiho. He has lived by means of the ages by absorbing ladies’ power by seducing them and amassing it in a bead. But Woo-yeo, who within the current age is a dashing professor, longs to turn into an actual human.
Enter college pupil Lee Dam (Lee Hye-ri, or just as Hyeri). She is attempting to escort her drunk pal house. One night when he runs proper into a flowery sports activities automotive belonging to none apart from Woo-yeo.
He lets them off. However, as Dam tries to pull her pal away, she journeys and by chance hits Woo-yeo within the abdomen. She made him cough up a particular bead, which she inadvertently swallows.
Dam wakes up in Woo-yeo’s swanky house. It is the place he explains that he’s a Gumiho and that he must retrieve his bead from her. He proposes that she keeps there whereas he figures out the way to do it. She laughs off his assertion, just for Woo-yeo to show into an impressive white nine-tailed fox.
A part of the rationale Dam wants to stick with Woo-yeo is that the bead will feed on her power. Particularly, if touched by males born within the 12 months of the Tiger. The tiger being the mortal enemy of the fox. As luck would have it, Gye Solar-woo (Bae In-hyuk) has taken a flowery to Dam. He is a good-looking new pupil born within the 12 months of the Tiger.
What Woo-yeo doesn’t inform Dam initially is that if he fails to take away the bead from her inside a yr, she is going to die.
Opposites appeal to and this adage is rarely more true than when two seemingly incompatible personalities are thrust into an enclosed house for a protracted period of time.
Sticking a woman and a boy who don’t get alongside beneath the identical roof and ready for the sparks to fly has been a very efficient system on Korean TV, leading to basic exhibits reminiscent of Full Home and It’s Okay, That’s Love .
Gumihos , which used to characteristic prominently in Korean horror movies, have been typically depicted as femme fatale characters who seduce males to devour their livers, from which they draw their power. In fashionable Korean display screen leisure, gumihos sometimes characteristic in comedy and romance.
Although Woo-yeo could also be a male and extra benign model of a gumiho , the present nonetheless finds room for a basic model of the character within the form of style lover Yang Hye-sun (Kang Han-na), who used to terrorise the traditional Korean Joseon Kingdom in her search of male livers to eat however has just lately turn into human and finally ends up serving to Woo-yeo by enrolling in Dam’s college and keeping track of her.
Talking of livers, the Korean title of the present, Liver-Spilling Co-Habitation, works as a intelligent pun, since “liver-spilling” is a Korean idiom for “horrifying”.
As a romantic comedy My Roommate Is a Gumiho doesn’t actually try to interrupt any new floor. Nevertheless, the comedy is broad, the feminine lead gorges on consolation meals all through, and the gender roles stay fairly regressive.
It’s true that Dam is a callow school pupil and that Woo-yeo has been wizened by means of a millennium of expertise, however the stark distinction between her childishness and his maturity wears skinny fairly shortly.
What’s extra, Hye-sun, regardless of her 700 years on this world, is repeatedly, and disappointingly, depicted as a vapid airhead.
Past that, the present works as an easy-going confection tailored for a youthful viewers, significantly followers of Lee, often called a member of Ok-pop group Lady’s Day and for exhibits like Reply 1988 , and Jang, one of many trade’s go-to youthful male leads.
Jang principally will get the better position because the stoic eye-candy gumiho who possesses an array of superpowers, together with shape-shifting, teleporting, levitation and tremendous energy. Lee has to flex extra with a wider vary of admittedly exaggerated feelings in a spirited efficiency that doesn’t all the time work.
Over its first two weeks, My Roommate Is a Gumiho has already ticked a number of basic Ok-drama romcom packing containers, with lingering hugs, lengthy stares and umbrella scenes already that includes prominently.
However for the reason that present has but to seize us with a powerful narrative hook, the Ok-drama trappings that give us scenes reminiscent of one the place treacly Ok-pop songs play as Woo-yeo sits wistfully ready for Dam by a huge show of flowers in a stylish café really feel a bit hole to date.
My Roommate Is a Gumiho is streaming on iQiyi.
This text was first printed in South China Morning Post.
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