This post contains spoilers.
I have this proclivity to go for dramas (I think most of us have) that star my favorite actors. That and the fantasy premise led me to start historical Gu Family Book, a genre (sageuk) that is not my preference when it comes to kdramas. That is the reason I have seen only one sageuk till date and that’s Sungkyunkwan Scandal. One can say I like fusion sageuks. It’s no secret anymore that Lee Seung Gi is my favorite actor and I have liked him in all his shows (and I’ve liked the dramas as well: The King 2 Hearts, My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho and Shining Inheritance, in the same order) and so it was plain obvious for me to enter the world of Gu Family Book, despite my reservations for Suzy as she is likable but not impressive.
To start with, what made me sit through all ten episodes was the thing that the drama was enjoyable. It had cute players and I liked their sincere turn for a historical drama. I’m no expert when it comes to the nuances required for a sageuk, so my critical eye was ignorant in that regard. I was willing to ignore all the unsatisfying features of the show. Firstly, the inconsistency in direction and writing. The drama was good sporadically and there were many portions that glaringly pointed out the poor script and direction. Also, as much as there was adorableness, the drama balanced it with equal number of tragedies right from the start, which was disheartening because if you are going for a lighter fair, go all the way with it, in spite of trying to display some depth or seriousness by outright killing or torture scenes. Not to mention the unconvincing betrayal by Seo-hwa in the second episode against Wol-ryong. That was pure brainlessness. There was some unintentional hilarity as well: the English song being played (I mean seriously, I know you are a fusion but was it necessary to go that far), the child counterparts fall on each other, complete with a romantic ballad in the background (come on, they are just kids), the hundred percent evil villain, who looked like a caricature and shallow, Sung Joon‘s attire and hair, under confident attitude for the leading lady, who is supposed to be an expert warrior. And yes, last but not the least, the fantasy element is used conveniently wherever required. No rules, nothing. Still, I was willing to ignore all these shortcomings because I felt that Gu Family BooK had so much heart and compassion.
And yesterday, there was a post on a blog I visit regularly about the ending of this drama. I usually stay away from ending spoilers. But maybe I wasn’t that invested or dedicated in continuing Gu Family Book and the words like whimper made me to finally read the spoiler, though with one eye closed. And…it said that Yeo-wool dies and there is the reincarnation. Also, Kang-chi meets her after some 400 years in proper suit-boot, and she is in police now. She doesn’t remember anything and he says that he will fall in love with her first. The end. WHAT WAS THAT!!!??? I mean, I don’t dislike open endings but at least they should be narratively satisfying and comprehensive. Also, the journey that we go through to reach it should be worthy of getting such endings. What was the point of everything when you had to kill the girl, didn’t turn the guy into human and no sign of Gu Family Book anywhere. And I decided then and there that I’m not gonna watch this crap anymore when there is not even a happy ending. I hoped that I’ll get some adventurous story about the hero’s quest towards becoming human, but this is what was in store.
Well, I don’t regret giving it a try for 10 episodes as I’m much more glad that my 14 precious hours are saved now 🙂 By the way, I loved the finale recap at Dramabeans, which was so, so hilarious and made me laugh out loud 😀 I’m surprised that the same writer has written Dalja’s Spring, which is such a gem and I’m watching it parallely right now and the two shows are as different as night and day in terms of quality.