Rating:
Average user rating 3.3
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Gu Family Book: Episode 1

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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"I just want to be a human!!" Lamest character motivation ever. It NEVER ends well when some mythical creature wants to be a human and actually manages to become one. Little mermaid, anyone? But worse thing is I don't understand WHY they all want to be like us. Why it would be so awesome to be rid of all your powers and be at the mercy of other humans who clearly are not one happy family. Especially here Gumiho has seen with his own eyes how horrible and cruel people are and yet he wants to be one? Does not compute. Why not just live with the girl as a gumiho, because that is clearly his main motivation to become a human at all. He's in luuuuv - which I don't buy at all, btw. But then again, Koreans tend to have these implausible love stories anyway so I'll let that pass.

Otherwise I liked the first episode. I have an inkling that the back story will be a lot more interesting than the main story here... I was even sad for the lil bro, too bad he had to go. And head gisaeng, she totally rocks! Probably THE most interesting character so far - they should make a drama about her!

On the final note... Why do people in dramas/movies constantly hang themselves? It's a very painful way to go and usually one struggles for a long time before actually dying. I'd go for the blade if I wanted to die in medieval surroundings.

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Exactly. It doesn't help that every one of them who wants to become human looks so freaking gorgeous. Why the hell would you trade jumping from tree to tree and whatnot? Clearly, he CAN interact with humans and he CAN break his promise. It's better to just break a promise and meddle with humans and stay as a gumiho instead of becoming a human. I don't get this at all. He clearly harbors the same consciousness and morales that most humans have, so I don't know what could benefit him from being a human rather than being a gumiho.

I might be missing the Korean folk tale here, but what motivated Miho to become a human? The "humans-only zones and things" is just her ignorance of the world playing against her. She could've perfectly fit in the human world without having to become human, and even if she did become a human, her ignorance of how things work (like the camcorder instead of the camcorder poster) she still needs to learn anyway. I reaaally don't freaking get it. As far as I can tell, they're not really cursed or jailed inside a magic lamp or something.

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Because being human even with its up and down is better than being alone for thousands of years in your cool moonlight garden with only an old monk to hang out with.

And girl is scared of him when she sees that he is a gumiho. He's a "monster" after all.

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But you don't HAVE to be alone. Of course this depends on the limits given to the mythical creatures but world is full of myths where supernatural beings have romanced humans and even lived with human spouses for a period of times. So unless you create some very excellent reason WHY it's not possible, I'm not gonna take the wish to become a human seriously. The worst part of the said deal is that you will always be the monster no matter what. You can become a human, but because you weren't born one, humans will never really include you in their midst IF they know your origin. So it really makes no sense for the girl here to fear him when he's gumiho and not to fear him when he's not because how would she really know the difference?

But basically, this is just my rant because I find this not only silly but almost suicidal tendency of mythical creatures. And it saddens me. :(

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I always found the want to be human stories more about how humans suck at accepting people different from them... basically he's a great and cute guy, he just happens to be a little extra furry and have some super powers. He's much more human than the evil bad guy raping and killing.

From what I've seen the guy just seemed bored of living forever and was enchanted by this woman so he wants to be normal and live with her. I also think it's the whole romantic notion of giving up immortally for love that people have a thing for.

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Any rational being would find a way or a book for the human to become immortal, not the immortal to become a human. I know I would. LOL. I'm with Arawn, I don't really understand it as well. Giving up your life for love, that I understand. Giving up your immortality because your love is a mortal? Hmmmmm....can't the mortal just become an immortal too?

Obviously the gumiho isn't immortal, no? He can be killed, most likely, by some secret weapon or something.

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Also, there's one other thing this drama needs to explain... IF the gumiho daddy manages to become a human, how is his son still "half gumiho"? Is the gumiho power somehow in the genes that even if you turn yourself into a human, your children will inherit all the supernatural stuff you used to be? Or does he beget the son gumiho before becoming a human?

Of course there's possibility that daddy doesn't become a human at all, but if so, drama has some serious explaining to do as I've seen the preview of ep. 2...

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I don't think he actually becomes human, since as you say, babyHo is still half gumiho...hahahaha

But I think the light hearted declaration of wanting to be come human for a loved one... I guess the most fundamental thing is that notion of being able to grow old together...

But it sure doesn't make sense when he becomes a helpless human being who cannot protect her, or eg heal her when she falls deathly ill etc...

I am loving this new drama, having watched it from curiosity and boredom, and my only tiny issue is with the english OST chosen ... WHY was it in english? lol so weird in a saguek, even a fusion one...

Thanks so much javabeans for recapping this one, I am looking forward to a subbed ep 2 tmr hehehe

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Hahaha! "He’s in luuuuv – which I don’t buy at all, btw."

That was one of the eyebrow-raising scene for me? How could you be in love with the girl just like that? Dude, you don't know her. She'll betray you. :)

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There is a very good Romanian story that has a mythical creature that wants to be human but has a well deserved change of heart. Now that's a story I want to see adapted as a drama! You can look it up, it's Luceafarul by Mihai Eminescu. Okay, I almost finished writing this, but realised it's a better idea to just give you a link with a good enough translation of the story. It's difficult to portray the exact meaning when translating, and even more so when it's a POEM! So I found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99Nojw-Fgmw it ain't perfect but it will do! :D

About the he's in luuuv part... I think the writers sacrificed a lot of what could've been a even better love story by trying to speed up the parents' story so they introduce LSG's character. Even if it was an actor I wanted on my screen this instant, it's still a bit difficult to forgive overlook this. But the thing is, with so many boring dramas coming out lately, I'm more than pleased with this drama.

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Not sure if Korean mythology is similar, but in Chinese folklore being human is the first step that's required to eventually become a saint/budhha (and reach Nirvana).

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wow. Now I'm kinda hoping that the backstory IS the story. well done.

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I had never hated a character so quickly in a drama as Jo Gwan-woong. And I had never liked a character so quickly as Wol-ryung.
One of the worst dramas I have ever seen is "Paradise Ranch", so when I googled Lee Yeon Hee (because I didnt remember) I was surprised because here, as javabeans said, she is very good. I love the story of Mom and Dad. Its going to be tragic but just by watching this episode it deserves easily 3 more.
I wasnt disapointed by the posters, but the preview really calmed my enthusiasm. Im hoping that the main story is as engaging as the set up. For now, Im totally on board too with these drama.

I have to admit, i cried when Dam died.

Thank you for the recap!

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Wol-ryung is one charming, simple, hot-as-hell forest spirit, ain't he? I love how Seo hwa is all "heeelp meeee" and he's running around in a tizzy, up a tree, pulling leaves off branches, all but biting his fingernails. It's adorable.

Lee Yeon Hee was super amazing! I didn't realize her history, either. She was one of the strongest parts of the episode.

I also worry that they've blown their load, budget and story-wise, on the first few eps. I'm more than ready for some fun and cute Seung-gi, but here's hoping they can keep up the dramatic momentum.

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i love it already.. and i can't wait for the next one... and of course, really looking forward to seung-gi's appearance. only one thing i'm a little not comfortable. the use of english background music. the music is good, don't get me wrong it just felt a little strange, watching a scene from different era, with dialogues really 'old" then suddenly i could hear english words from the music background. ..or maybe it's just me... but i'm already in love with the father and mother love story... huhuhu

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Hi Michelle, I so agree with everything :D Being that my favorite dramas include AATM and MGIAG, I'm soo LOVING this!! SHIP, SHIPPING SHIPPER, SHIPPIEST...agh. Also don't know about the music. could have done something more, make u cry romantic and less churchy. I'm so excieted for LSG and SJ, but in the meantime I'm loving the OppaHo with those puppy eyes. Getting ready for some hearbreak. Also like the head mamasan. she's an interesting character.

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Yeah, I hate ballads period, in all dramas, but in sageuks it's worse. I actually liked the english song, a little, but I feel hypocritical saying I like it just because I can understand it. And even if it was pretty, it was still out of place. It might be okay if that was the only song, but there were at least three angsty montages with cheesy ballads over them. Plus all the ballads sound the same.

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I did like the first episode, LYH was performing really good and the parents story is romantic yet heartbreaking... Although I like them very much but I'm watching this drama becoz I Love LEE SEUNG GI, and I cant wait to see the beginning of Choi Kang Chi's Story! then I can say if I like this drama or not...

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First episode..thumbs up! It was a good start and like everyone here, I would also want to see mommy and daddy's lovestory more..However, if that happens, it would mean, we will see Kang Chi much later..lolz.. Anyways, I won't forget that scene where Seo Hwa's brother was hanged publicly.. That broke my heart and when Dam was raped by that villainy man was horrendous.. Great sound effects and cinematography.. ^^ I can only hope that they can keep up with an awesome story until the very end..^^ GFB fighting!

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First episode..thumbs up! It was a good start and like everyone here, I would also want to see mommy and daddy’s lovestory more..However, if that happens, it would mean, we will see Kang Chi much later..lolz.. Anyways, I won’t forget that scene where Seo Hwa’s brother was hanged publicly.. That broke my heart and when Dam was raped by that villainy man was horrendous.. Great sound effects and cinematography.. ^^ I can only hope that they can keep up with an awesome story until the very end..^^ GFB fighting!

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Thanks for the recap JB.

I really liked the 1st episode. Look forward to the next!

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The first episode was heartbreaking yet engaging. And I think I'm in love with Choi Jin Hyuk. ㅋㅋㅋ

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There is no thinking about that...it's love baby!

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when the monk came with the staff and the bracelet thingy, it reminded me of inuyasha and the perverted monk. like how kagome can control inuyasha just by asking him to sit. looool

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Gorgeous camera,people,acting and music! Urgh, I now have to bear with the thought of waiting 7 whole days for the enxt two episodes(though one day is enough to make me rave for episode 2).

Gu Family Book, I applaud you. You may just make it into my 'Immortal KDrama' list along with Shut Up and TMETS.

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This was soooooo good that now I am terrified that when the next generation takes the story over that it won't live up to the beginning. I've never seen a set up section of a drama that was this good. Fingers crossed that it won't be all downhill from here.

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My feeling exactly! I was so blown away that I'm afraid if they'll be able to top up the first episode... Fingers crossed!

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Same here, I'm afraid I might part with this show after the parents' story is done. Sadly I'm not interested in the 2 young leads but I hope it'll be good for their fans.

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Is the narrator in the beginning Kim Seung Woo? Sounded like him...

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I love Choi Jin-hyuk because his voice is so seductive! Why is not he the main guy for whole series?

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Okay, I'm smitten! Loved this episode to pieces! It has such a good story and they way it was presented and showed kept me on the edge of my seat even if we kinda knew it from character descriptions. It's like the great fairy-tales I used to read when I was a kid, so mesmerising! And it kinda matches with your imagination of a fairytale world. The cinematography of this was just gorgeous and I can say I'd rather have the parent's story playing the whole series at this point, Choi Jin Hyuk way sexier that Lee Seung-Gi and his voice... MY MY... I guess no mater how good the story gets with LSG's character I'll still want to have more CJH on my screan! *goes to see what movies/dramas he's done*

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ep 1, straight off the bat you can see the production team put in alot of effort into everything so *clap, clap*. The acting from the newbies, i.e. little bro & slave girl plus the baddie (is he a veteran actor? I dont know) seemed abit green to me. The actor of the baddie character was almost like containing himself, trying not to overact.
english music at the start of the bathing scene, i thought somebody decided to play a belated april fools trick but i think the song is here to stay, hmmm...
as much as the backstory is interesting, I just wanted to do like what most of the characters were doing this episode & scream: LEE SEUNG GI GET ON MY SCREEN NOWWWWW!!!

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Hot Gumiho Baby-Daddy!!!! I had second lead syndrome in I Need Romance because of him!

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Wow. Sounds heavy and compelling. Thanks for the recap! :)

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Speaking of God of the Workplace, I'm disappointed its not subbed yet.

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Finished watching 1st episode,and I would say I'm satisfied!! Very strong opening and engaging throughout the pilot ep. Even me who never like saeguk feel like I want to see the next episode,so far it keeps me wanting more. But then,we need to see how it turns out for the rest of the episodes,I hope it can keep the awesomeness until the final episode.I really really hope this one can bring me back the addiction of K-drama.

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I enjoyed this first episode. I also have a difficult time with the whole "love at first sight" between Wol-ryung and Seo-hwa. It would be wonderful if the writers would spend more time developing their relationship. That being said, I'm looking forward to episode two.

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Episode 1 was amazing - beautifully shot and the unfolding drama was gripping and I am on the Gu Family train alright!!

and thanks for introducing me to the Wul Ryong (Choi Jin Hyuk) who is sooo beautiful..... (hopefully is not just the camera angle and the moonlight!!)

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Wow, that was so intense. The rape really got to me. So tragic and yet so beautiful, the entire episode was. Hehe, my mom's Yiddish grammar coming out. I'm hoping for a lot of parental inclusion in the plotline right now. I love them! I love this new gumiho lore, too. And the head gisaeng. She's trying to run her ship tight to keep them all afloat. Poor thing.

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Yeah, at first it was like "damn, didn't you could play a bitch, normally-sweet actress!" And then you could see the cracks. It kills me because you could see she felt an affinity for Seo Hwa- I wonder if she endured a similar fall from grace. Plus that jerk's everyone's enemy.

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So true. There is some kinda affinity there that makes me what to know her story!

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Omg that was lee sung jae! I did not recognise him at all. This is such a shock after only seeing him as such a soft spoken man on rascal sons. Guess i underestimated him. Loved the first ep. Looks like the parents will have a tragic story ;((. Although the future father felt pretty bland to me. I liked our heroine as her pride and strength was awesome.

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Worth the wait! Epic!

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Okay, I must be watching a different show, because this was just...silly when it wasn't supposed to be. I started laughing when the girl just stood there when the scrawny dood ripped off her clothes. Because, you know, that's what we all would do, and she was like ooh I'll glare you into submission because I'm so friggin defiant I won't do something sensible like run away as soon as I got out of the paddy wagon. Yeah, I know, not supposed to laugh there. I turned into one of THOSE people. sheesh. I made it to the Dad getting sliced scene and I couldn't watch anymore of it because I laughed at that too. I think I'll wait until the back story is over and try again? I was already leery because of the promos of Seung gi's late 90's teenage girl messy bun. Sigh.

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Oh my! This show really touched me viscerally. (Uhm...gotta ponder tht word viscerally. Not sure if I'm using it well.) But just to say...it really makes me connect with folklore and old fairytales. I generally am indifferent if princess falls for prince or working glass girl falls for chaebol prince. Must be getting jaded. But a forest spirit and a human girl??? NICE!!!!!!!!!!!! And such a hottie gumiho....loooooooooove it.

Will see how the mythology of this world works. Love it that Gumiho's have a library of books filled with gumiho lore.

So true about the secondary characters!I like them a lot. They're just doing their duty, fulfilling the destiny fate has dealt them. But also glad love is making folks want to challenge their destinies.

Noble lustful baddie seems to have secrets other than merely being a traitor. Why this desire to defile his former friend's daughter? Seems a bit over-the-top and makes me wonder why he hated his friend so much to betray him. The browser was being annoying so am not sure if i missed his reasons.

Thanks so much for the recap. .

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Well... too bad I have to say bye-bye to the show now since the parents' side of the story is over.

Not fond of the 2 leads and their process of bickering turns into love. Typical theme for dramas and one that is overused in my opinion.

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Then go. No one's gonna miss you anway.

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Be nice. No need to be mean just because she doesn't share our opinion

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I was mildly annoyed by the staunchly noble suffering of Seo Wha ("welcome to the lower classes, your ladyship"), but I forgave her after reading some of the shallow taunts farther up this comment list. She isn't a MODERN woman, after all, and certainly not a modern female action hero. She's just a Joseon era gentlewoman with no skills, no life experience, and nothing to protect her from the horrors of her fate save her own pride and dignity.

I can understand where some of the irritation comes from. My wife refuses to watch one of my favorite movies, 'Last of the Mohicans,' because the younger sister committed suicide instead of, I dunno, going after Magua with a tomahawk. She doesn't get it that for that particular character, traumatized by all she'd seen and bereft of any survival skills, dying of her own will was the only weapon she could wield to defy Magua. Likewise, suffering and dying with pride was the only weapon Seo Wha could wield against HER enemies.

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I can't remember much of last of the Mohicans except that it ended my Daniel day Lewis love. But boy, Madeleine Stowe has an almost perfect face for me.

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Our Madeleine was breathtakingly beautiful and had a steely glare that could transfix a grizzly. As the older sister SHE would have had the personality to hide a pin in her bed and drive it into the villain's ear. If Suzy can channel a little of her when she shows up on screen, she'll do well.

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Didn't they change the ending in the movie? I think that was part of my discontent.

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. . . Overall, though, an awesome first episode. LSG really can pick the shows, can't he? Fabulous production, decent script so far, plenty of story to go.

. . . And I do agree with Arawn on one thing: Lady Chun should have her own Saguek. She's interesting, dynamic, and plays a seriously mean set of drums.

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Glad you're recapping this! I am excited! :)

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damn mbc, u shld have given kang chi role to jw, instead of pairing him with choi kang hee hee hee

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Hey you just posted the same comment using another name in the ep. 2 thread, agenda much.

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Loved the first episode! Esp Choi Jin Hyuk ....I wanna see more of him . Since he is immortal, there is a chance??? even after Lee Seung Gi appears?

Anyway, the one thing I don't like is the English song...it's weird...doesn't gel well with the drama.

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Ohhh, I'm back to watching dramas! Since I'm done with school (and have a two-week vacation before it starts again), I have time to watch this. I really like the first episode. Didn't even realize time passing by, I just know that it's already over. The narration at the beginning and end is an awesome way to start this drama. Can't wait for more. Thanks for the recap. Guess we'll be in for a ride. ^^

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follow this guy. He's cute. wooo_hyunieeloveyyy

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guys I think you should follow him wooo_hyunieeloveyyy

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OHHMYYGAWDDDDD wooo_hyunieeloveyyy he's so cute

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