Drama Recaps
Gu Family Book: Episode 1
by | April 8, 2013 | 212 Comments

Gorgeous. A thoroughly gripping, well-told, and moving first episode.

We haven’t yet met the main characters of our present-day storyline (as in, Lee Seung-gi, Suzy, and company) but the show has such a deft hand in drawing out the backstory that I didn’t mind having to wait. The introduction of the parents’ meeting is both stirring and romantic, and sets us up for the mystery of this so-called Gu Family Book.

Ratings-wise: The numbers for Gu Family Book were pretty good at 11.2%, but it’s a tight race all around. God of the Workplace, which had a head start in premiering last week, pulled in first place with 12.3%, while fellow sageuk newbie Jang Ok-jung premiered to a 11.3%. Too early to say who’ll be the winner here.

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

A narrator situates us deep in the darkened nighttime forest, far from civilization, as we come upon a secluded pool; this inner sanctum is identified as the Moonlight Garden. For a thousand years a protector spirit has lived here, watching over the forest, and today a monk arrives in search of him. “Wol-ryung!” he calls out, a name meaning moon spirit.

But nope, GU WOL-RYUNG (played by Choi Jin-hyuk) isn’t at his Moonlight Garden tonight (“Again!” cries the monk), and is instead eager to catch a glimpse of human life in the valley below. From his vantage point at the edge of the forest, he breaks into a wide grin to watch the festivities in the distance, where an elegant gisaeng commands the attention of the fete with a drum performance.

The scene takes a darker turn at the arrival of a prisoner’s wagon housing a brother and sister pair (and their slave girl); they’re dressed in the fine clothes of nobility but spattered in blood. Children of traitors, they are also condemned for their father’s crimes.

They’ve been sold to the gisaeng house by the government and demoted to the lowest of the low-class. The sister, YOON SEO-HWA (Lee Yeon-hee) is stricken to realize she’s doomed to gisaeng-hood, a fairly hard fall from grace.

The madam of the gibang (gisaeng house), CHUN SOO-RYUN (Jung Hye-young), finishes her performance and is told of a complication. She heads to the front gate, where Seo-hwa refuses to step foot inside. She’d rather die than become a gisaeng, she vows.

Seo-hwa’s refusal insults Soo-ryun with her denigration of the gisaeng class. So Soo-ryun orders her servant to strip Seo-hwa; nothing like some good-old-fashioned shame to knock that chip off her shoulder.

The man rips the top right off Seo-hwa’s body, with such force that Wol-ryung gapes from his mountaintop viewpoint. Her skirt is torn off next and all Seo-hwa can do is shake in shame. With only her underclothes left, the men tie her to a tree, to remain bared to the world until madam Soo-ryun orders otherwise.

The others are locked in a storeroom and Seo-hwa is left all alone in the courtyard. She begs to be let free, and from afar Wol-ryung watches her sob, feeling moved to help. He’s surrounded by magical floating lights, indicating the engaging of his mystical powers, but he stops at the last moment—he reminds himself that he’s not supposed to interfere with human lives; he’d promised his monk friend.

In a flashback, we see the events leading Seo-hwa to her current fate:

Lord Yoon, her father, is ambushed with an accusation of treason. It’s a setup, but his former friend (Lee Sung-jae) has no qualms leading the charge and condemning him to death. He even smirks that after Lord Yoon’s daughter is sold off, he’ll be sure to “embrace” her.

It’s this backstabbing friend, JO GWAN-WOONG, who strikes down Lord Yoon, then leers at Seo-hwa even as she’s spattered in her father’s blood.

Jo Gwan-woong is here at the gibang tonight, celebrating his recent promotion—thanks to his good work nabbing that traitor. What, conflict of interest? Never! When madam Soo-ryun stops by to congratulate her VIP client, he informs her that he’d promised his old friend that if his daughter were turned into a gisaeng, he’d be her first, um, patron. Ew, and shudder.

He wants to know how quickly Seo-hwa can be “prepared” as a gisaeng. Unwilling to wait weeks, he insists upon five days, overriding protests that it’s not enough time. Somebody’s in a creepy ol’ hurry.

In the morning, Seo-hwa is still tied to her tree and has amassed a crowd of looky-loos, held up as an example of a disgraced woman. The villagers hurl stones at her and laugh at her shame, but Seo-hwa refuses to let this break her.

Wol-ryung has been watching all night, debating back and forth whether he should help her. She grows more and more exhausted, and he grows increasingly upset by her plight.

Even by the third day, Soo-ryun remains impassive about Seo-hwa’s health. On the other hand, the reminder of her due date—one freshly made gisaeng, in five days—has her concerned.

Seo-hwa falls unconscious telling herself not to break, and finally Wol-ryung can’t stand by. He starts after her, only to be stopped by his monk friend, who reminds him of the No Human Interference rule.

Wol-ryung flies off anyway, only to have the monk bind him with a beaded bracelet. Things come to physical force, with the monk struggling to hold him back saying that one exception leads to two, and three, and more.

In a flash, Wol-ryung’s eyes gleam red and he throws the monk’s own staff at him. Or rather, at the snake now pinned to the tree. Wol-ryung asks (a bit cheekily) whether killing that snake was also interfering with the monk’s fate. Should he have just let him fall victim to it? Ha, touché.

Having made his point, Wol-ryung turns back to save Seo-hwa… only to find her gone. All that’s left is the rope.

Seo-hwa awakens from a fever in the gibang, and the moment she hears where she is, she’s determined to leave. Soo-ryun stomps in to tell her that she’s not free to do as she pleases; it’s now her fate to sell liquor and smiles and her body.

Seo-hwa bites out, “Tie me back to the tree instead. I’d rather die there.”

But Soo-ryun has one more bargaining chip, and reveals Seo-hwa’s younger brother, tied up and about to be beaten with sticks. He shouts at his sister not to give in, and the punishment begins.

Seo-hwa watches with difficulty, but the torture is too much to bear and finally she orders a stop to it. She caves, agreeing to anything if they’ll save her brother, who screams in protest.

So she’s bathed and branded and dressed as a prize to be sold. It isn’t until the fifth day that her brother hears that noona’s going to their father’s killer, which is offensive in every way possible. He pleads with maid girl Dam to help save Seo-hwa, although his only idea is a highly dangerous one.

Seo-hwa doesn’t find out about the identity of her buyer until late that day, which sends her into a panic. Desperate, she grabs a sharp hairpin and readies to stab herself with it.

Dam interrupts, though, and hurriedly instructs her to swap clothing so Seo-hwa can escape. Dam will be punished, of course, but she says it’s better for her to be hit a few times than for Seo-hwa to endure this fate. Aw, I suspect Dam’s punishment may be a lot worse than that, which explains why they’re both sobbing. But Dam urges her mistress to live and clear her father’s name—she can’t die, no matter what.

The ruse is up quicker than anticipated because Soo-ryun discovers the switch before Jo Gwan-woong shows up. But at least Seo-hwa has already escaped into the woods with her brother.

Soo-ryun orders a search party immediately, while the others are to keep the escape hushed up. In the meantime she orders Dam to “serve” Jo Gwan-woong tonight. Ugh, somehow the euphemisms sound so much worse, don’t they? And if he catches on that she’s not really Seo-hwa, then Dam is dead.

Then she asks a favor of Jo Gwan-woong, saying that she hadn’t informed the girl of her bed partner’s identity. Fearing her violent reaction, Soo-ryun suggests that they blow out all the candles so that the girl doesn’t recognize him, and he agrees.

Dam is ushered in as the decoy offering, warned that her and Seo-hwa’s lives depend on the ruse.

In his Moonlight Garden, Wol-ryung sits forlornly with the rope he took from Seo-hwa’s tree. Aw, it’s so sadly sweet that he kept the only link to her. He senses a disturbance in the forest energy, wondering at the source.

The fugitives’ dash through the forest is intercut with scenes of Dam’s rape, which makes it even more chilling and unnerving, if that’s possible. Jo even growls that her resistance makes this more “fun,” just in case we weren’t absolutely sure he was the bad guy in the rape scenario.

The gisaengs cringe to hear Dam screaming from inside the room, but at last we see a bit of humanity from madam Soo-ryun. She sighs heavily and says, “You must endure in order for Seo-hwa to live, and for all of us too.” Poor sacrificial lamb.

With the search party hot on their heels, Seo-hwa struggles to keep up with her brother, already weakened from her ordeal. Her brother picks her up each time she falls, but finally she urges him to go on without her. He refuses to leave her to die alone, but she insists that they have to separate in order to both survive. She’ll hide herself, and he’ll run.

She begs him to go—if they both die, all their misfortunes will be too unjust. So with great reluctance, Little Brother vows to find her eventually, then runs on.

But Seo-hwa has no intention of surviving, because she takes out that hairpin. With the search party in plain sight, she’d rather take her own life, and she whispers, “Dam, I’m sorry.”

She asks for forgiveness and raises the hairpin… just as a bead of light floats in front of her.

Suddenly Seo-hwa is surrounded by enchanted lights. Transfixed, she looks up, then falls unconscious. And standing there to catch her is Wol-ryung.

Seo-hwa stirs long enough to look up at his face and whispers, “Help… me…” And that’s it—if he hadn’t been completely hook-line-sinkered before, he is now.

The henchmen in the search party also see the floating lights, and their superstitious natures make their imaginations run wild. Is this an evil sign? Are they goblin lights?

They see Wol-young’s shadowy outline in the distance and cower. The leader advances slowly with sword drawn, only to get blown back by that mystical force. He lands on his back… and his sword lands between his legs, inches away from cutting off future generations.

Now Wol-ryung speaks, his voice enhanced with scary-deep basso tones as he orders them to leave this place. With his powers he gathers together twigs, leaves, and other bits of nature and sends them shooting at the invaders in a mighty whirl of wind and sound.

At the gibang, Jo Gwan-woong stomps out of his room in a fury, yelling for Soo-ryun, whom he slaps across the face. How dare she pass off a slave girl as his bed partner and try to trick him? The jig is up, or it should be, but Soo-ryun chooses to keep the escape quiet.

She states that a woman cannot be offered up until she has properly been inducted as a gisaeng. He’s welcome to come back once Seo-hwa has undergone the appropriate procedures.

He rages some more, at which point Soo-ryun’s assistant interjects. She begs him to have mercy on her mistress, because it’s Seo-hwa who ran away.

However, Soo-ryun asks him to pretend he didn’t hear that, because revealing that Seo-hwa ran away condemns her to death. Ah, so there is some sympathy mixed in there. She asks for one chance to bring her back quietly, at which point she’ll offer her up again.

Jo Gwan-woong orders his men to send out the search party anyway. Looks like it’s a worst-case scenario for all involved.

In the morning, Little Bro wakes up in the forest, safe and sound. That is, until he’s cornered by bounty hunters, who deliver him to the town square where he’s strung up for public hanging.

Dam races to the execution, presided over by—who else?—the dastardly Jo Gwan-woong. As Little Bro is unwilling to reveal his sister’s whereabouts, he hangs. His dying thoughts: “Dam, thank you. I will never forget what you’ve done, not even in death.”

Dam watches him tearily, thinking back to brighter times, and returns to the gibang feeling broken. She casts an entirely too longing look up at the ceiling beam.

Soo-ryun receives the report from her head henchman, who’s shaking in his boots and sputtering about the chase last night and how they were thwarted—by a real, live, frightful gumiho.

By now their scared imaginations have twisted the encounter and Wol-ryung has gained nine tails in the recounting. And there are enough witnesses corroborating the story to have Soo-ryun and Jo Gwan-woong confused—this can’t be true… could it?

Asked what happened to Seo-hwa, the henchman says that she must’ve fallen prey to the gumiho, who feasts on human livers.

Next door, Dam’s body is discovered hanging from the rafters.

Seo-hwa wakes up in a homey-looking cave (as homey as caves go, at least) and steps out to the Moonlight Garden, which is full of enchanted lights. Wol-ryung appears, happy to see her feeling better, and introduces himself. He assures her that he chased away all her pursuers, and that nobody can bother her here.

Enter new character: royal officer DAM PYUNG-JOON (Jo Sung-ha), who is summoned by Jo Gwan-woong. A skilled military leader, Dam Pyung-joon is tasked with catching the gumiho that runs rampant in the forest and keeps the citizens in a fearful panic.

So Dam Pyung-joon takes a contingent of soldiers into the woods, led by the henchmen. Following the trail of clues, he is driven on by Jo’s orders to track down that gumiho at all costs, and bring Seo-hwa’s corpse to him.

Wol-ryung’s monk friend sees the search party and hurries to the cave to warn him. Seeing Seo-hwa there, the monk groans in dismay to hear of the rescue. Blatant human interference!

The monk insists that Wol-ryung must send her back where she came from, asking exasperatedly, “Since when was it your business to meddle in human affairs?” Wol-ryung’s smiling reply makes him double-take: “Since I gave my heart to her.”

Which leads Wol-ryung to his next question: How can he find the legendary Gu Family Book?

The monk gapes. “No… you can’t mean…”

Wol-ryung nods. “I want to become human.”

 
COMMENTS

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this show, but the premiere has totally won me over and I’m firmly on the Gu Family Train. We’ve had so many great premises in dramaland that an interesting fantasy-sageuk twist is no longer enough to promise good things to come, so I’m relieved that this one delivers. A lot of credit has to go to the deft director (and the gorgeous camera), because the show has a beautiful, cohesive look to it that feels thoughtfully produced. Not just effects for effects’ sake, or cameos for cameos’ sake.

Instead, I feel like we’re getting a complete idea and a complete world, which reminds me a bit of Arang and the Magistrate. (Why wasn’t that drama more loved? Sadness.) There’s a nicely rich mythology here, but I appreciate that the central conflict is a universal one: I just wanna be human. It’s a feeling introduced by our dreamy mountain spirit, but it’s one that extends to the second generation since our hero will also feel that pull. Sure he’s halfway there already, but I can see how his half-gumiho(-ish) traits would complicate his life enough that he’d be after the full transformation.

Speaking of mythology, the familiar gumiho lore is twisted just enough to allow this show to do its own thing in playing with the conventions, which I like. The people of this world already know what a gumiho is, so some of the horror-story attributes are established beliefs. Hence the liver-eating, nine-tail-having descriptors. But there’s enough looseness here for the show to create its own rules about gumiho-dom, and how our eventual hero will handle being half-man, half-mystical being.

I do feel our bad guy is in that class of Extreme Villainy that feels a bit flat, and I’m pretty sure you don’t go from backstabbing your BFF, killing him, planning to rape his daughter, and killing his son to redemption arc. Ain’t gonna happen. I’m totally fine hating him and thinking up creatively painful ways for him to meet his demise, so I’m not crying into my tea about it. It’s just nice when villains have more than one shade of black in their hearts.

On the other hand, there seems to be subtle layers in the secondary characters like Soo-hyun—she starts off as this stone-cold bitch who has no problems with shaming and abusing people, but I like the glimpses of inner conflict we see. And gumiho-hunting Dam Pyung-joon ought to be a great secondary character too.

I admit to feeling a wee bit impatient for the story to get going, mostly because I felt like the first episode contained a lot of stuff we already knew from character descriptions. But sitting through a base level of setup is necessary, and given that, I’d say at least this setup was presented in a dramatically gripping, visually beautiful way. Plus, with characters who have such a lovely romantic storyline (and actors as engaging as Choi Jin-hyuk and Lee Yeon-hee—who is so, so much better than she’s ever been), it’s certainly no trial to see a bit more of them. Can’t wait to see where things go from here.

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212 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. HayKay

    Sounds awesome!

     (1)


    • 1.1 HayKay

      Oh wow! I’m first! lol

       (0)


      • 1.1.1 pabo ceo reom

        I’m so hooked! Normally it takes a few episodes to get me going but I just delved right into this one.

        I love the Arang and the Magistrate reference because I adored that drama despite it flying under the radar. If the fusion world and plot in Gu is as complete and engaging as in Arang, then sign me up permanently.

        So excited!

         (0)


        • 1.1.1.1 secretlyaddicted

          I too, am completely hook-line-sinkered.

           (0)


        • 1.1.1.2 LK

          OMG… Arang was such a good drama!!!

          I’m totally loving Gu Family Book as well (so far), the first episode was really solid and amazing. I’m loving the two current characters right now and I find myself wishing they were the main characters…. I hope Seung-gi and Suzy are as good as Jin-hyuk and Yeon-hee, and don’t disappoint. I have a feeling that the mood of the drama will change once Seung-gi and Suzy are introduced… Let’s hope the drama will still be awesome/

           (0)


    • 1.2 Ivoire

      Thank you for the recap, JB!

       (0)


    • 1.3 YFYKID

      Welcome to LSG China Baidu Bar to get more information including photos, news and stuff about Gu Family Book^_^

       (0)


  2. JoAnne

    I’m interested, but there were certainly moments of unintended giggles. The snake, for example. But the Moonlight Garden is stunning, as is…ahem…OppaHo. Good Lord he looks and sounds delicious. BabyMama I don’t know, but right now to me she looks like a mini Shin Se-Kyung.

    How are you feeling about the OST?

     (0)


    • 2.1 Onichick

      Mustnt forget the obvious but no one notices perch of spying, and the camera zoom of villany just incase we forget how EVVIIILLLLL Jo is. (Because the murdering and rape didnt tell us)

       (0)


      • 2.1.1 lemondoodle

        Eh, hot daddy is a magical being. It’s not that strange that nobody could see him.

         (1)


    • 2.2 ilikemangos

      Agree. a bit of the parts were a bit cheesy but that didn’t turn me off from the show completely. There were definitely those beautiful moments.. like the tiny shiny blue things! and the forest. So purty!
      I was just going to comment about the OST. A bit overwrought and out of place at times, but there are some that are played subtly and at the right moments that does know how to bring out the emotions.

       (0)


    • 2.3 MariD

      I like some of the songs. I found the 2 English songs ( or was i one song at different places?) rather odd the first time I watch it, then the second time I actually listen to the lyrics. They kinda match the mood of the what was happening..

       (0)


      • 2.3.1 ilikemangos

        I only heard one song(?), But it felt weird to me too the first time hearing it. But im sure it’ll grow on me later much like the gladiator music in TWTWB/Gaksital.

        I think you’re talking about this one:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ft-NJLGiF0

         (0)


        • 2.3.1.1 crazyajummafan

          Hi mangoes! Good to know you’re lurking here again! Remember me from the TK2H’s days?

           (0)


          • 2.3.1.1.1 ilikemangos

            I remember everyone from the K2H days.
            haha. spending months raving about a show and pouring in hours of discussion isn’t easily forgettable!
            Hi crazyajummafan. Glad to see you’re tuning in, for Lee seung gi, I presume? haha.

             (0)


        • 2.3.1.2 MariD

          I could I swore there’s was 2 songs.. Thnk you for link, I sort of like this song..

           (0)


        • 2.3.1.3 alua

          I think there was one English song, but they played it in two different parts (and once interrupted it with a moment of stillness in the middle).

          I kind of liked it.

           (0)


        • 2.3.1.4 JoAnne

          on the off chance it actually is the one I was thinking of (sung in English) I’m not even listening to the link this early – but I will later, since you went to the effort! I haaaaaaaate that song. It’s an Almost Paradise song for me.

          I love the little blue things and the Moon Light Garden very much. The Perch of Invisibility made me laugh, as did the camera zoom, the completely terrible snake CGI, the idea of a Joseon-era handwoman calling someone ‘chick’ (oh, you subbers, I love the work you do for us but sometimes I giggle, I do.), the utterly ridiculously easy-to-get-out-of-but-she-doesn’t-even- try tying to the Tree of Shame, and a couple other things. Oh, and the Tempest of Weeds in the forest. Pluses: lovely costumes. OPPA HO. Thoughts of upcoming sexy times with Oppa Ho in the pretty Moon Light Garden.

          At this moment in time the drama puts me in mind of nothing so much as Faith – REALLY great idea, kinda shoddy production values. That being said – I loved Faith to bits and I fully expect to love this, too.

           (0)


          • 2.3.1.4.1 Pillowhead

            Hey JoAnn! Im so in love with this I just want to puke all over myself. It’s like Arang and MGIAG had my god baby.

             (0)


          • 2.3.1.4.2 Aigoo

            I agree with you….I’m totally not into the song…it sounded misplaced when I heard it the first time and I didn’t like it any better the second time! Maybe third time’s the charm??

            I LOVED faith so if this show is anything like it, I’m sure I’m going to adore it to pieces! It’s already off to a good start!

             (0)


      • 2.3.2 rss2012

        y mean this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aWAnmzsAZ0 it was I think in 2010

         (0)


        • 2.3.2.1 daniela

          it’s the same song, just the lyrics were remade for the drama, I think.

           (0)


    • 2.4 Ivoire

      Hello JoAnne, who is OppaHo? (I am just being curious)…

       (0)


      • 2.4.1 Waiting

        Ivoire, I think JoAnne means the gumiho father (Choi Jin-hyuk).

        How is he only 28 years old??? So wrong IMHO. lol

         (0)


        • 2.4.1.1 lemondoodle

          Anyone know if he has been to the army yet? People always leave for the army the minute I fall in love with them (Ji Hyun woo ;_;)

           (1)


      • 2.4.2 JoAnne

        Yes. At this moment, since his relationship is only with Seung Gi’s mother, he is OppaHo – she is Baby Mama, and future Seung Gi is BabyHo. But he can also be AppaHo, once Seung Gi comes along!

         (0)


        • 2.4.2.1 Waiting

          So, at some point we will use the name PuppyHo? :D

          If they can calm that ponytail down a bit so it looks less like the 80s pouf in front and back (Dad’s hair is great!), I would be more a fan of BabyHo/PuppyHo.

           (0)


          • 2.4.2.1.1 JoAnne

            Yep! We had Puppy Chona (later corrected to Puppy Jeonha) for K2H, and we will have PuppyHo for this.

             (0)


    • 2.5 jubilantia

      I love the instrumental pieces.

      Unfortunately, I can’t help but climb the walls at the ridiculous ballads. I liked the melody of the song in english, but I feel like there are better ways to illicit emotion than ham-handed love ballads that all sound the same.

      The songs are always the worst parts of an otherwise good drama, for me. I remember being ecstatic that they held that shit off for a good 8 eps in Arang, but even that one succumbed eventually. I don’t. Get it.

      Whatever, it’s not enough to turn me off this show!

       (0)


      • 2.5.1 Peridot

        I agree with you. I am not a fan of power ballads in period pieces. I loved the musical score of Arang, for the most part, but became similarly disappointed at times. I do not want the music in a drama to be jarring and sound really out of place. I am looking for more subtlety.

         (0)


      • 2.5.2 pogo

        I loved Arang enough that I could handwave the musical cues (and I liked the songs, this wasn’t obnoxious BOF levels) but here, it’s really jarring because it’s in English, I have to work hard to tune it out. :/

         (0)


        • 2.5.2.1 ys

          The Korean song was ok; the one in English is unbearable, made worse because the singer is trying so very hard to hide her accent. Also the show seems to jack up the volume WAY UP for the ballads. I had to hit the mute button until subs appeared.

           (0)


    • 2.6 KDaddict

      A song in English as an OST for a sageuk! Out of place and jarring! I find it distracting rather than adding to the mood as it ought to.

       (0)


    • 2.7 alua

      I guess I wasn’t paying attention but I totally didn’t realise there was going to be a parent backstory (or even the half-human/half-gumiho bit!). That did make the pacing feel off a little (particularly when it got to the preview and I saw the baby — that fast?!).

      The show looks gorgeous and the all the gumiho parts were my favourite (they better keep making the most of those superpowers for the drama!).

      Other parts felt a little unconvincing to me, though, e.g. that the brother and Dam were able to go around freely and hatch that plan of escape, and for the brother and Seo Hwa being able to escape at all. I mean, after seeing her resistance, I would have thought the people of the gisaeng house would watch her like a hawk and never leave them alone.

       (0)


    • 2.8 pogo

      omg crying irl@ OppaHo

      I knew there was a reason I wanted to be in on these recaps from Day 1, you guys are the best. And I do agree, Lee Yeon-hee does look a lot like Shin Se-kyung here, and a bit like a less babyfaced Uee. Also, she’s emoting! Which is really nice to see, for once I can actually get invested in watching her.

      As for the OST, I think it fits for the most part except for the ballad, which is only jarring because it’s in English and I have to tune it out.

      Though I am not super happy about the use-rape-as-an-illustration-of-evil thing, I know this drama was going for the wrenching but this was still too much, especially since it’s a supporting character and will probably be brushed under the carpet in two episodes’ time.

       (0)


  3. rss2012

    thank you for those who wants to watch the drama live go to the website http://kpop24hrs.com/mbc-hd-new/ is live stream for MBC

     (0)


  4. Sue

    I was thrilled to see this show subbed already. More thrilled after I watched it. I’m addicted! Such a strong beginning. I hope everyone gives this show a chance.

     (0)


    • 4.1 crazyajummafan

      Where did you watch it subbed? May I know?

       (0)


      • 4.1.1 MariD

        Viki… It’s been sub for a couple of hours now… Love love love you subbers!!!!

         (0)


        • 4.1.1.1 crazyajummafan

          Thanks. Just completed watching it on Viki.

          Did anyone wonder why Seo Hwa didn’t just slip off the ropes that were tied to her? They weren’t tied too tightly and she’s so slim she could have just slipped her arms thru them and shimmy off the rest!

          But great acting, and I love the maid!

           (0)


          • 4.1.1.1.1 MariD

            Lol. I never notice things like this. I guess they tried to make it seem like the ropes really were in tight because her arms were shaft & bleeding. So I just went along with that.

             (0)


          • 4.1.1.1.2 HaibaraChristie

            I don’t know if this is really true, but I was thinking that since it is a “Tree of Shame,” even if it’s easy to get out, you don’t, for fear that you’ll basically get killed the moment you try to run away–and how could she leave her brother behind (and the maid)? Plus, I think that Seo Hwa was trying to make a point to the gisaeng lady by staying there.

             (0)


      • 4.1.2 JAG

        viki(dot)com has the 1st episode fully subbed. Just click on new Videos near the top of the page and should be on the list if you scroll down. Or you can just search the dramas name in the upper right side.

         (0)


      • 4.1.3 afan

        You can watch on Viki if you’re in America
        viki.com/channels/10936-ancient-medical-book/videos
        or here guzzylady.com/2013/04/gu-family-book-ep-1-eng-sub-youtube-link.html

         (0)


      • 4.1.4 ilikemangos

        Viki was amazingly fast on this one.
        Thanks to all who subbed!

         (0)


      • 4.1.5 seunggcharm

        hey crazyajummafan!hehe.. what’s up?^^ you can also watch it now at dramacrazy(dot)net..they have it subbed already, too..^^ Can’t wait for kang chi!^^

         (0)


      • 4.1.6 seunggicharm

        hey crazyajummafan!hehe.. what’s up?^^ you can also watch it now at dramacrazy(dot)net..they have it subbed already, too..^^ Can’t wait for kang chi!^^

         (0)


        • 4.1.6.1 crazyajummafan

          Hi Seunggicharm! Good to see u here too. Hope the Hearties will meet here again! I’ve some really good friends from the group. We still meet occasionally and whatsapp.

           (0)


  5. anonymousmouse

    Wow. I love how quickly this is up. Haven’t read it yet because, well, the language barrier and all that. But I’m definitely looking forward to this.

     (0)


  6. Onichick

    All in favor to get Choi Jin Hyuk half naked and wet with a phone book to read say Aye!

    I feel like this show is going to be a lot of fun minus the raping and murdering.

    (AND FOR ONCE IT WOULD KILL DRAMA LAND TO HAVE A SERVANT/YOUNGLORD ROMANCE NOT TO GO SOUTH)

     (0)


    • 6.1 Sue

      Aye! Oh yeah!

       (0)


    • 6.2 ilikemangos

      I would like GU Family book for introducing this beautiful man to me for the first time.
      I bet seo hwa will fall for him by the end of episode two. this man!
      I’m really diggin’ the parent’s backstory, and i’m glad they gave us this! Really beautiful people about to make a beautiful baby.

       (1)


      • 6.2.1 foodluver88

        You should watch I Need Romance (the first one) for more scenes with this beautiful man :D

         (9)


      • 6.2.2 Reiko

        I know, right?! He reminds me so much of Kim Woo Bin.

         (0)


    • 6.3 Shukmeister

      I’m guessing that those two are going to be the souls of the next generation, based on the longing looks and the rope confession.

       (0)


      • 6.3.1 Ivoire

        Hi Shukie, what do you mean by “the souls of the next generation? (of 1/2 gumihos, 1/2 humans?). Also, what is/where is the rope confession you are referring to? (ep. 1 or 2?) Just trying to understand what you mean :-)…

         (0)


        • 6.3.1.1 Carmensitta

          I’m quite sure she means what Oppa Ho said about her not being chased and/or tied to a tree.

           (0)


  7. lemondoodle

    Great first episode. LYH seriously surprised me with how good she was. Also loved her maid and brother. Such a nice surprise. I’m sad to see her go so soon. Choi Jin-hyuk is really great. I’m glad he’s not gone for too long.

    Looking forward to seeing how to story progresses from here. They did a great job in selling the parent’s story, but I’m really interested in what Kangchi is going to do next and what his journey is going to be. They wouldn’t be as cruel to Seunggi as they were to his parents would they…. ??? Better prepare myself.

     (1)


    • 7.1 crazyajummafan

      I watched it raw late last nite and was sold! The brother’s hanging and the look on the maid’s face, left me in tears!

      So far, I think the acting is good. Lee Yeon Hee has really nailed her character. Her expressions are good enough for me to understand her anguish, see her conflict and pride. The others have also done such a good job that I can read their emotions even though I don’t understand Korean! And the plot moves along fast and is interesting enough for me to understand what what is happening.

       (0)


    • 7.2 Carole McDonnell

      This episode made me gush a bit. I like head Gisaeng Chun and Wol Ryung best so far. A passionate loving powerful man who is a bit otherworldly. Yeah, i could fall for that.

      Looooooooooved little brother and maid as well. And there was the gentlest little hint of a pure little semi-romance love in blossom between bro and maid. Sooooo sweet. Just sad that they died. Would’ve so loved maid and gumiho to fall in love instead of (as usual) aristocratic girl but this is par for the course. When Seo Hwa was shamed by being stripped, I guess we were supposed to feel upset because a noble shouldn’t be treated that way but generally i don’t care how the heck nobles are treated and I generally am not going to feel sorry just because she is being treated like all the other poor pretty women are treated. Her aristocratic pride kinda left me cold but again, that’s par for the course. Nevertheless, while i have a thing against us having to like Seo Hwa simply because she is a noble lady in distress, I’ll play along. I’m trusting I’ll see something of a personality later. So far, she’s painted with broad strokes: aristocratic victim.

      When Wol Ryung was discussing becoming a human, I wasn’t sure if she could hear the conversation or not. Maybe as a noble she doesn’t intrude on conversations she overhears. But her extreme silence was bothering me. I’m sure she’ll develop more in the next episode.

      I bought his falling in love at first sight. With men, pity can often lead to love. And although love at first sight does exist, she seemed just like a little victim falling in love with her rescuer.

       (0)


  8. MariD

    This was amazing.. Heartbreaking & so pretty. I never seen anything with Lee Yoon-Hee in it, but I had read countless articles of people critiquing her. I found her acting good. I completely felt everything she was going thru. I have a feeling tomorrow’s episode is going to make me cry…

     (0)


  9. Kitzeekat

    Thanks JB :-) off to read!

     (0)


  10. 10 crazedlu

    OH MY GOSH THIS SHOW IS BEAUTIFUL. i scanned the first ep real quick this morning and my heart was all fluttery in a good way. good setup, great performances, and well shot. i’m still on the fence, but we’ll see.

     (0)


  11. 11 Rashell

    This first episode rocked my socks off too. So much that I’m actually almost wishing for a full drama about mommy and daddy Gumiho. I’ve never seen Lee Yoen Hee in anything before, bit from reading previous comments I didn’t expect much. But she was wonderful. And I’ve already loved Choi Jin Hyuk in other roles, so I wasn’t surprised that he was great too.

    The directing and camera work were beautiful to watch, and the story was told in a dramatic and entertaining way. We didn’t get introduced to the main characters but I have faith they will be as compelling as these characters from the past.

     (0)


    • 11.1 ilikemangos

      I too want a longer mommy daddy story. right off the bat a very compelling romance.
      I’m surprised considering this is our director’s first hand at saeguk.(?)
      I hope he keeps up the good work — it’s the first time he’s parted from his duo team with kim eun sook.
      Cinematography was beautiful.

       (1)


      • 11.1.1 Rashell

        I know!! I just want Seo Hwa and Wol Ryang to live happily in their mountain and raise adorable half-gumihos that grow up to be Sueng Gi. I’d totally watch.

        I’m trying to prepare for tears during the next ep. :(

         (1)


      • 11.1.2 sugarpunch

        Haha frankly, I love this couple and I don’t mind seeing a longer story between the two of them. Maybe…. 16 eps worth? haha but then again, with 16 eps of a mommy-daddy story, we won’t be seeing lee seunggi and suzy.

         (0)


        • 11.1.2.1 Summer

          i think it was mentioned by Seung Gi at the press conference that it is 24episodes..

           (0)


      • 11.1.3 hannah

        I also want more time with the parents. It feels like there is a lot more that can be explored with these two than will be allowed for this series.

         (0)


      • 11.1.4 pogo

        Count me in as another one for team Mom and Dad, they look like they’d make a compelling full-length drama on their own, plus the chemistry is there

        (and Lee Yeon-hee is GOOD!! Colour me surprised, now I wonder if this drama can work that same magic on Suzy. As it stands, 20 episodes of parental pain and ocnflict is something they could well get out of their story, I will be sad to see the end of it)

         (0)


  12. 12 tessieroo

    Awesome that you posted a Nuts track – love them. A bit turned off by all the violence/torture but then what’s a good sageuk without those things.
    Where does everyone keep getting the idea that Daddy Gumiho lives and comes back later? Was it in a synopsis somewhere?

     (0)


    • 12.1 lemondoodle

      I believe so. He has amnesia (of course!), has to work for the bad guys and Kangchi has to fight him later on. Daddy will die in the end protecting his son or something I’m sure.

       (0)


      • 12.1.1 tessieroo

        Where did you read that at? Thanks so much for the reply!

         (0)


      • 12.1.2 tarisoe

        I thought he’s going to die on episode 2. Yay! We’ll see more of him.

         (0)


  13. 13 kdramalova12

    Just finished watching the first episode! I absolutely loved it! The cinematography is beautiful. But i’m a little iffy on the OST. I like it, but it feels weird. lol

     (0)


  14. 14 JenJen

    It was such a beautiful episode! I was left wanting a bit more plot but I’ll take sweeping/gripping set-up happily :D

     (0)


  15. 15 Kiara

    I’m so here for Choi Jin Hyuk. Why the hell did it take this long for him to be in a sageuk?. I hope he ‘ll stick around for a few more episodes.

     (1)


  16. 16 Ace

    I watched it raw with lots of fast-forwarding as I really can’t watch LYH. And what do you know, I got most of the story right even with all the ff I did. I’ll wait for Seung-gi and Suzy to appear before watching. Props for the fast subs though (but sad that Lee Soon-shin’s latest episodes haven’t been subbed yet).

    I did watch Jang Ok-jung to and even if the director here is slightly a little better, the acting there was a lot better though (or maybe I like KTH more than LYH).

    With all the new dramas, unexpectedly I liked All About My Romance’ first episode the best.

     (0)


    • 16.1 ilikemangos

      Really? I watched both first episodes of Jang Ok-Jung and i thought LYH really killed it. I felt her emotions of pain, sadness, etc. Then again i had low expectations for her considering the critique about her meh acting.

       (0)


      • 16.1.1 Kiara

        I didn’t expect much from her and I’m so glad she did well in this episode. She has been getting a lot of negative publicity lately so this is very good for her.

         (0)


    • 16.2 anneakemi

      LYH was a lot better here than her other dramas (thought she was okay in Ghost, but was overshadowed by So Ji Sub and Daniel Choi). I loved CJH – I’ve seen him in other stuff, but he really stood out in this role! The cast in episode one really went beyond my expectation and wasn’t planning to fall in love with them. I hope I don’t have the same issue with what happened with Moon Embracing the Sun for me – where the beginning storyline was much better than the latter half of the drama.

      Haven’t watched JOJ, but Queen of the Office doesn’t seem as good as the original…. but as of now, still think Nine Times Travel is still my favorite Monday/Tuesday drama so far.

       (0)


      • 16.2.1 Ace

        Nine’s awesome…can’t wait for ep.10 tonight! I’m trying jtbc’s At The End of The World in a little while and maybe Cruel Palace too. If both are good then cable wins from now on and I’ll be setting my expectations lower for dramas from the big 3.

         (0)


        • 16.2.1.1 Newbie

          I couldn’t care less for Gu Family Book right now (will wait a couple of eps to check it out), but NINE is sooooooo awesome. It is amazing, well paced, well written and well cast. If they can keep this level up, it’ll will easlily become my favorite Kdrama so far.

          Seriously folks, watch Nine before the spoilers are all over the net. Can’t wait for the next episode!

           (0)


      • 16.2.2 daniela

        I hope I don’t have the same issue with what happened with Moon Embracing the Sun for me – where the beginning storyline was much better than the latter half of the drama. I was thinking the same ! let’s pray that the introduction is not the best part of this drama.

         (0)


      • 16.2.3 pogo

        I hope I don’t have the same issue with what happened with Moon Embracing the Sun

        Fingers crossed that that does not happen, the adulthood episodes of that were such a letdown

         (0)


  17. 17 RibyBooWho

    thanks for the recap.. first eps looks promising cant wait till next eps :)

     (0)


  18. 18 Audrey

    Lee Sung Jae in a villian role, that news for me.
    I might tune in to see him cause he seems to always play the good guy, heroic type of characters…(Rascal sons, Poseidon). & Jung Hye Young never disappoints with any character that she plays…looking forward to more of her story.
    I also want to tune in for Lee Yeon Hee.
    I didn’t like her at all in East of Eden, but in Ghost she was okay. People are always saying her acting is wooden, so it must be a miracle that she at least makes an effort to “emote properly” as stated in another blog I read.
    I also want to see Lee Seung Gi too, been a fan after King2hearts. Not sure how I feel about his hair in here, looks like a mess. I don’t really care for Suzy, . But then again the only drama that I watched her in was Big, so maybe I need to watch her in Dream High to become a fan.
    Speaking of supernatural dramas, I miss Arang & the Magistrate…that drama indeed needs more love.

     (0)


    • 18.1 pogo

      I’m another Arang fan who thinks that show needs more love, it was seriously underrated.

      And I have to say it, Lee Yeon-hee is better here than Han Ga-in was in Moon/Sun. I can at least get properly invested in her character, though the one who really fascinates me is Soo-ryun, her whole life is basically a round of poker and I definitely think she’ll be an ally to Seo-hwa when the time comes (help her hide Kang-chi perhaps?)

      And I’m really hoping the parents don’t die, they can go through awful things but let them have a happy reunion at the end please :(

       (0)


  19. 19 imho

    Aw yeah…first ep already owns my heart. Thanks Jb.

     (0)


  20. 20 Meghan

    So I guess I’m the only one who was bored watching this first ep. I don’t really care about the backstory, we already know Seunggi’s a half human, half gumiho.

    Just give me Seunggi now. Lol.

     (0)


  21. 21 Star

    i was a bit worried too about how this drama would turn out. so far so good!

    can’t wait to see seung gi & suzy & sung joon :)

     (0)


  22. 22 Peridot

    While I think that there were some problems with pacing, this was a strong opening episode. I am invested in the story of the parents, even though I know that it is just one small aspect of the larger story. Let us hope that the leads present us with a compelling story of their own, as their performances and conflicts are supposed to carry the show!

     (0)


  23. 23 ilikemangos

    It’s still too early to fall in love (writer of Baker King/Man Of Honor), still trying to be be cautious here.

    But i would really like to live in the moonlight garden.

     (0)


    • 23.1 liz

      but the same writer from Hotelier -which is one of my fav dramas!

       (0)


    • 23.2 owl

      It does seems like an enchanting place, ilikemangos.

      Poor Dam – life sucks, then you die. Men can be such pigs.

      I am giving it a couple more episodes to see if I am totally drawn in. Of course, the 2 main leads haven’t even appeared yet.

       (0)


    • 23.3 seunggcharm

      Agree with you dear.. It was a good start still for the drama..^^ And yeah, awesome moonlight garden!

       (0)


    • 23.4 seunggicharm

      @ilikemangos– Agree with you dear.. It was a good start still for the drama..^^ And yeah, awesome moonlight garden!

       (0)


    • 23.5 pogo

      I was thinking in Moon/Sun terms when it comes to promising backstory and meh later episodes, but ita

      And I’d love to hang out with those….eagles?

       (0)


  24. 24 Micola

    Very nice. That’s why we can’t judge a show by its posters and trailers.

     (0)


    • 24.1 Kiara

      I think you misunderstood. People were judging the posters not the show.

       (0)


    • 24.2 franz

      Another psychopath. They were talking about the posters, not the show.

       (0)


      • 24.2.1 topper

        Your choice of word is totally unnecessary.

         (0)


        • 24.2.1.1 franz

          Well it’s good to read the blog post thoroughly and completely first before trying to sound smart and being butthurt about the post.

           (0)


          • 24.2.1.1.1 crazyajummafan

            I agree with topper. Your choice of word id totally unnecessary and your tone too!

             (0)


          • 24.2.1.1.2 franz

            @crazyajumma

            How many times have we said that the blog post was about the poster yet these rabid fans refuse to accept that and still insist that jaavabeans/gf were tfying to coax people into not watching the drama? Doesn’t that sound stupid to you? My tone is unnecessary yet Micola’s sarcastic, smartass tone is perfectly fine? It’s as if she said, “Ha! Told you so! Can’t judge a show based on a poster!” even if DB’s point was about the posters and the posters alone. Not only that, but DB has been making fun of dramas regardless of whether they like the dramas or not, so you rabid fans just have to deal with it. It’s a humour post, so move on and get over it. Rabid fans have been silent or were on the humour train when other dramas are being made fun of, but when it’s Gu Family Book you guys just went bananas. Talk about double standards.

             (0)


          • 24.2.1.1.3 topper

            What has the use of the word “psychopath” got to do with comprehension of the post. And “butthurt” applies more to you I guess.

             (0)


          • 24.2.1.1.4 crazyajummafan

            @ franz

            I think you need to take your own advice! Please read carefully what I wrote. I was NOT commenting about your comment, but your language and tone! Even if others make a mistake, there’s no need to use terms like ‘psychopath’ and ‘buttheads’. It does not paint a good picture of you. Moreover, I’ve read your other comments in other blogs too, and I find your language vulgar. There are more polite ways to express your opinion. Pls remember that this is a public site.

            In addition, I have NOT gone rabid over JB’s previous post about the poster. Do not jump to conclusions. Before you accuse and brand someone, pls get your facts right. If you have not read my previous comments, do not judge.

             (0)


  25. 25 Lavender

    Lee Yeon Hee pretty much owns this ep, and gumiho dad is such a cutie/ hotie :)

    Here’s the official MV of GFB
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bsWw7XTVo3k

     (0)


  26. 26 Arhazivory

    Very good opening episode and AppaHo is really sexy. :$

    I agree that the villain is really villainy. Makes me miss the nicely layered villains like Gang Rim from Jeon Woo Chi.

    I really didn’t find myself longing or getting impatient for the future scenes because I was invested in this story. Here’s hoping the show continues to be good.

     (0)


  27. 27 karen

    does anyone else think there are too many dramas starting or about to start to keep up with? it’s like all at once, and i don’t know which ones to watch!!

     (0)


    • 27.1 topper

      The End of the World is fantastic. War of the Flowers if you are a traditional saeguk lover. And I just added Gu Family Book to the list that I’m following.

       (0)


    • 27.2 Addylovesbwood

      I KNO!!! WE HAVE GU FAMILY BOOK, JANG OK JUNG, Wonderful Mama, MANDATE OF HEAVEN, BIRTH SECRETS, GOD OF THE WORKPLACE, ALL ABOUT MY ROMACE AND WHEN A MAN LOVES… ALL APRIL DRAMAS…. 8 DRAMAS!!! DAYUMMMMM

       (0)


      • 27.2.1 amel

        whoaa.. so many dramas.. Can I make a wish if dramabeans team can recap all of them? Mmmhh.. well.. half of them? I want to know your comment about God of the Workplace.

         (0)


  28. 28 Russe12

    This sounds really good! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it. ^^

     (0)


  29. 29 Kitzeekat

    Oh Wow Ep. 1 was compelling. I liked the brother and the maid, I feel bad for her. I’m looking forward on Kang Chi’s journey. What a great start :-)

     (0)


  30. 30 anna

    Such a pretty episode! For some reason my eyes always wander to the background every time I watch something, be it anime or drama. I find cinematography just as important as everything else.

    The preview for episode 2 has me curious. The looks she gave him though was pure disgust. Probably a cop out. The ratings may be higher once Lee Seung-gi appears.

     (0)


  31. 31 Abbie

    This was so great. I’m gonna have to watch the episode. I loved every minute of this. The set up is great, but I’m impatient for things to get going, too. How many episodes will we have with the parents? Hopefully, not too many, because I want Lee Seung-gi on my screen, like, yesterday! Just kidding. But I do hope it goes quickly.

    Thanks for the recap, JB!

     (0)


  32. 32 Noelle

    Good opening. Very depressing though. Poor Dam. Thats one hell of a sacrifice. I would of stabbed him in the neck with a hairpin while he was busy being one of the worlds biggest POS.

    Gonna stick with this one.

     (0)


  33. 33 tadaima

    damn the villain sure knows his role well. He did all the most inhumane acts. Betrayal,Murder and Rape.
    Keep it up show..I’m liking it so far.

     (0)


  34. 34 magnus

    Am I the only one who wants a longer mommy daddy arc? Their love story is so gripping. I was going into this drama eager about our puppy Seung Gi, but after this episode I just want more of the parents. Spin off maybe? A girl can dream.
    FINALLY have dramas to watch. The winter dry spell seems to have ended!

     (0)


    • 34.1 jango

      same, i’m not even interested in the lsg/suzy story, the parents seem more interesting :o and the visuals are better

       (1)


    • 34.2 lemondoodle

      Honestly, I like the parents but we all know how it begins and ends so I’m more excited to get to the part we don’t already know. This type of story is exciting though since they get together and avoid all the BS in 2 episodes that other couples have to deal with for 20 episodes to tell a story.

       (0)


      • 34.2.1 pogo

        Well, in terms of what we know, the OTP (the non-parental ones) are going to end up together at the finish anyway, this is not a melo where we have to guess about that stuff. And Mom and Dad’s ultimate fate is actually more unknown in terms of drama tropes at this point (does she die? He go evil? Do they get to be together?)

         (0)


    • 34.3 anastassia

      ME too.!

       (0)


    • 34.4 like

      I was like that, i dont even care about Seunggi – Suzy part now because this was soooooooooo good! And i feel the kids part is gonna be super cheesy, and not so dramatic!

       (0)


    • 34.5 Cinnamon

      I was thinking the exact same thing! Didn’t expect much from LYH but I would definitely like it if they stretched their arc by a few more eps. Not really looking forward to Seung Gi/Suzy part, i can just imagine it being really lame and not as intense as the parents back story. And SG grew up way to cute rather than hot like his daddy (IMO). I saw the preview for the next ep… Won’t say much but I feel angry for what a saw!

       (0)


    • 34.6 pogo

      I know, Mom/Dad could definitely have enough material to fill their own Arang-esque drama, though the shoehorning in of the mention of the Gu Family book at the end was a little abrupt.

       (0)


  35. 35 saranga

    poor, poor dam is all i can keep thinking about.

    i went into this not really knowing anything about the storyline, except that it had something to do with gumihos and seung-gi and suzy. so i waited the entire episode for a seung-gi/suzy appearance, and wondering how lee yeon-hee and choi jin-hyuk tied into the story.

    choi jin-hyuk was so charismatic! easily his most winning performance yet. lee yeon-hee was pretty good too, but i didn’t think much of her wide-eyed constipated doe stare while she was tied to that tree.

    i too want a drama about the parents’ love story, but make it a happy one. like someone said above, preferably with many miniature lee seung-gis and suzys running about.

     (0)


    • 35.1 pogo

      I know, poor Dam :(

       (0)


      • 35.1.1 asianromance

        I wanted Dam to survive, become someone with a lot of influence and power, and become a fairy godmother to Kang Chi. Episode 1 was great, but I wish Dam’s fate didn’t end up that way after saving her mistress. =*(

         (0)


  36. 36 topper

    Would have liked the maid girl Dam to survive, the actress in her role is really good, too wasteful to be in only one episode.

    Lee Yeon Hee hit it out of the park for this, emoting well the shame and anguish.

    The gumiho hunter is gonna be the main heroine’s father, another heartache down the road.

    I bet revenge is gonna come in the way for Kang Chi’s human turning quest, and this choice between them will be the core of this drama. Can’t wait.

     (0)


  37. 37 Jushi

    Haven’t seen the pilot episode yet but what caught my eye were the stills of Lee Da Wit. I learned his name just now. Was about to ask if he’s the one who played the young Park Hae Il in War of the Arrows (which turned out that he was) and then discovered that he’s the singing soldier in The Front Line as well.

    Wow. Just based on the stills I believe he delivered once again.

     (0)


  38. 38 respechuae

    Wait is it just me or does Lee Yeon Hee look so much like Shin Se Kyung in sangeuk attire. I swear I kept mixing them up.

    I am digging the parents love story a lot. I hope the kids can keep up.

     (0)


    • 38.1 karen

      same here!! i thought it was her and then i was like wait…

       (0)


    • 38.2 JoAnne

      Nope, I thought she looked very much like Shin Se Kyung.

       (0)


  39. 39 lily

    there romance is so fairy tale -like!

     (0)


  40. 40 Cmlee7

    Thanks for the recap, JB! You rock (as always)

     (0)


  41. 41 Enz

    I haven’t watched the drama but just looking at the screencaps remind me of the return of iljimae. It has that look about it, not to mention the costumes too. Looking forward to watching, esp reading the glowing report!

     (0)


  42. 42 dobabado

    SO BEAUTIFUL. I fell in love at first sight. It is probably dangerous to be so invested at episode one but sigh…there’s no going back. ♥

     (1)


  43. 43 nonski

    thanks so much for the great recaps!

     (0)


  44. 44 Osi

    How I wish there’s a twist that Dam is actually alive and she will be Head Gisaeng’s right hand. Then she will be a popular gisaeng who later helps kang Chi takes his revenge on Gwan Woong. Dam-aaah. :(

     (0)


    • 44.1 topper

      Your “Dam-aaah” reminds me of Tree with Deep Roots, LOL.

       (0)


  45. 45 anvesha

    the scene of the last pic was my favorite!!

    Probably the first time, I like the parents’ story so much! Very beautiful… I almost feel like Choi Jin Hyuk/LYH should be there longer so we can see more of their love story..

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  46. 46 viave44

    this show has totally won me over too!! Gu Familly Book Hwaiting :>!!<

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  47. 47 Jenny

    Now I would loooove a whole drama just based on the parents love story.
    Lee Yeon Hee really impressed me, I think finally she showed us what she can do.
    And Choi Jin Hyuk, what can I say I’d move up with you to the mountains any time (right now even…)
    and they had great chemistry together, sigh I bet I’m going to cry buckets because of the starcrossed lovers.

     (0)


  48. 48 Valleydale

    I don’t know if my heart can stand all the heartbreak to come in this drama. I’m already totally in love with Choi Jin Hyuk’s character (my God is he beautiful!). His looks of love are soooo heartbreakingly tender, and watching him die—well, I don’t think I can do that. I’ll read the recaps with interest, though.

     (4)


  49. 49 jubilantia

    Pshew, that didn’t pull no punches, did it? I feel wrung out. I guess their won’t be any sweet uncles or old maidservants to find him when he’s grown up. *cries* I was not expecting such intensity (oh god, poor Dam-aaaaah), but it was SO GOOD. Maybe there is something to that inverse poster-to-drama quality ratio theory… all aboard!

    My utter hatred for Rat Bastard is completely sealed, though. I mean, obviously he has to survive, but uuuuuuuugh.

    I don’t hold much truck with Seo Hwa’s trying to murder herself at every turn, but it made sense for what she’s been through, and she is bad. ass.

    Also, Daddy Gumiho could give the Voice a run for his money- where did you come from, pretty? I am already weeping for your inevitable execution for love.

    I have to admit that although it was well done, I couldn’t help wanting those nine tales to show up. I understand bringing your own spin to the story, but isn’t “nine tails” what gumiho means? Maybe they put all their CGI money in the hawk and snake… whatever, minor details, can’t wait for tomorrow!

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    • 49.1 hannah

      I was immediately captivated by this show, but the one draw back for me was Seo Hwa’s trying to commit suicide. The first time, I thought she was going to try and kill the bad guy for revenge. It bothered me that, instead, her choice was to give up rather than try and do something for her family. The second time, I knew she was attempting suicide instead of defending herself. I guess with a girl that was willing to wait it out on the Shame Tree and then sacrifice herself for her brother, suicide didn’t seem like the path she would try and take.

       (1)


      • 49.1.1 jubilantia

        Yeah, that was jarring for me, too. Like, at least three times she’s all “I’ma stab myself!”

        It would have made way more sense for her to hide the hairpin, and then stab him when he’s vulnerable. But I can understand how she’d still be traumatized and maybe not thinking straight after seeing him murder her dad, and then three days of starvation.

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  50. 50 franz

    Everything is great, but still not convinced just because of the writer (of Kim Tak Gu and Maid of Honor).

     (0)


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