Monday, 29 July 2013

Gu Family Book (2013)

Gu Family Book
Title: Gu Family Book (2013)
Network: MBC
Cast: Lee SeungGi, Suzy, Lee YeonHee, Choi JinHyuk, Lee YooBi, Yoo YeonSeok, Bang SungJoon,  & Lee SungJae

When I neither loved nor loathed a drama, it takes some time before I get around to blogging about it.  It's like I don't really have anything to say because I didn't feel anything strongly towards the drama. That pretty much sums up my watching experience with Gu Family Book, and that's not exactly a positive thing. It's a drama ripe with so much potential but I feel like it didn't really get anywhere.

Gu Family Book tells the story of Lee KangChi (Lee SeungGi), a half-human, half-werewolf boy who grew up not nothing his beginnings. He's raised by a human father and he pretty much had a normal childhood. But as he reaches his 20th birthday, some secrets come out in the open and he slowly, but frighteningly, learns about himself.

It has a pretty good start, what with the story of SeoHwa (Lee YeonHee) and WolRyung (Choi JinHyuk) taking center stage. It's the heart and soul of this drama. For a simple two episodes, it tells a story of a heart-wrenching love that ruins the life of two people. And that simple two episodes tells a more compelling arc than the remaining 22 did.

That's what's extremely sad about Gu Family Book. It starts out with an engaging plot but it doesn't really take it anywhere deeper. There are so many character arcs that are left hanging. We don't really get much resolution for anything. In most parts, they just let burning emotions of many characters pan out and fizzle. I'm afraid the series focused on way too many characters' plight, that it didn't have enough episodes to resolve all the individual conflicts. KangChi's story is complicated as it is, maybe they should have just left it at that.

One of the character arc that left me hanging is ChungJo's (Lee YooBi). She's pretty much the present day SeoHwa, but she has no happy ending nor fulfilling finale for her vengeful life. I want so much more for her, but she ended up becoming a self-sacrificing third party. I seriously rooted for her more than I did YeoWool (Suzy). Speaking of YeoWool, I expected to have a more complex understanding of his character, but I didn't really see her past her love for KangChi. Her love and dedication for KangChi sums up the total of her arc, and in a drama filled with engaging storylines, hers failed in contrast.

Another character that I looked out for is Gon, played by Bang SungJoon. He's the reason I started watching in the first place. What can I say, he's a talent wasted on a stoic secondary character. It's weird how his character is present from the very beginning and revealed to be one of the four pillars, but nothing really important happened to him. Maybe it's just the biased fangirl in me talking. 

It's not Lee Seung-Gi's fault. I like him as an actor, and as KangChi, he carried out his role extremely well. He's amazing at the candid parts, and he's just engaging in the emotional scenes. He brings out a whole lot of depth to his character. It's really the story itself that's a bit disappointing. I think it started in such a frantic and passionate speed that it couldn't sustain it for 24 episodes.

The most shameful bit is that they titled it Gu Family Book, but it didn't really play any significant role in the story of our main lead. Yes, it may have played a part in the story of his parents, but it did no sort of impact in his trajectory. Instead of seeing him brave the transformation from being a half-gumiho to being human, we ended up seeing him spend thousands of years waiting for the reincarnation of the love of his life. I seriously don't get it.

Basically, I think the ending pretty much defeated the purpose of the existence of the Gu Family Book. It could have been a really good drama, but it suddenly went nowhere. If anything, at least it gave us the love story of SeoHwa and WolRyung.


  1. I've been wanting for you to review this... After your review, I don't think I'm going to give this a shot.
    I've read a lot of great stuff about this one... But I trust you more. ;P
    Thanks for the review! <3
    ~ Hira

    1. Hi Hira! I'm feeling incredibly guilty now :O but there are really great moments and the first two eps are amazing in itself.

      Thank YOU for reading :)

    2. Hehe! OK then I'll add this to my list and if it captures my attention then I'll watch otherwise I'll drop it. No need to feel guilty. ;)


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