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"My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho" More at IMDbPro »"Nae Yeojachinguneun Gumiho" (original title)

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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

If you love Kdrama and JDrama, you'll love this, and even if you don't

10/10
Author: tamarenne from France
8 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho is a title I avoided for over a year after it arrived for European consumption. I had long ago become a big fan of the charming "KDramas" and "JDramas" from South Korea and Japan. Often inspired or even derived from anime and manga, these dramas, though generally formulaic, are wonderfully acted, charming, funny often, and hearken back to a time when movies and TV shows were great without gratuitous violence or demeaning language.

But I avoided "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho" because the title seemed to promise a television experience about as thought provoking as Beach Blanket Bingo. Out of boredom I decided to try it out one night when I was looking for something to tide me over while waiting for a title to appear that would be more promising.

Sounds rather stupid, doesn't it? That's what I thought until I actually watched it.

I was so wrong. It only took one complete episode and I realized MGIAG was something special. The two leads, Lee Seung Gi as Cha Dae Woong, the brash but good hearted college guy whose dream is to be an action star, and Shin Min-Ah as Gu Mi Ho, the "Gumiho" or "Nine Tailed Fox" a mystical creature who takes the form of a beautiful girl, are fantastic.

These two wonderful actors inhabit these cute roles that start out as silly and adorable and slowly take on deeper meaning as the two of them begin to realize they have feelings for one another, and then tragic overtones as they realize that they most likely can never be.

I swear I have never laughed so much as I did during the early episodes, nor have I cried so much as I did during the final three or four episodes as they acknowledge their love and grow into powerful souls devoted to protecting the other at all costs.

The entire cast is wonderful, and the production values are excellent The music goes from fun and tuneful to sweet and haunting.

I cannot recommend this drama enough.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Lighthearted and Fairly Enjoyable KTV Romcom!

7/10
Author: cremea from United States
11 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS AHEAD!

"My Girlfriend is a Gumiho" is a Korean televised melodrama that aired back in 2010. I've seen a lot these types of shows over the years and this one's not bad. I won't heap the undeserved praise (my opinion) on it that the other two reviewers did, and I feel its current IMDb rating of 8.2 stars is a bit on the high side. Nevertheless, it is good enough and solidly watchable.

If you don't know what a gumiho is, you clearly haven't watched much Korean cinema. This is at least the 6th different Korean movie or show I can think of (just off the top of my head) that involves one…there are probably dozens more of these stories though. A gumiho is a mythical creature in Korean folklore…a nine tailed fox to be precise. The most similar mythical creature I can compare it to in western culture is a mermaid, and that's because they are both always female, and both legends have them being beautifully enticing creatures with or without supernatural powers that may or may not lead to your doom if you happen upon one.

Gumiho stories and mermaid stories have been overused to say the least, but both legends provide a wide ranging spectrum to craft a story however you like. I've seen some really dark gumiho-centric stories, that involve torturing men and eating their livers, bringing about the destruction of the human race, taking over the world, etc…This particular shows sits on the other end of the spectrum, and it's basically just a fluffy romantic comedy.

I don't really have any problems with this show, it's just that it's pretty forgettable…it breezes right in and breezes right away just as quickly. Shin Min-a is your lead actress (the gumiho)…I've always had a thing for her, but that pretty much goes the same for any talented and pretty Korean actress. She's solid enough here. The lead actor is played by Lee Seung-gi (according to IMDb)…I had to look him up, and I can't recall seeing him in anything else before or since. He doesn't carry nearly the star power of Min-a, but he did just fine in his role as well. He plays a struggling young action actor who's trying to break into the big time.

The story (which I will try to recall from memory) begins with Min-a trying to be married off in the Joseon era. Rumors are swirling that she might be a gumiho though, so she has no takers…everyone fears it will bring doom and destruction upon their village, and, as a man, I'd rather slowly destroy my liver the old fashioned way, instead of having it ripped out of my torso and watch it being eaten as I die a painful death. Heartbroken that nobody wants her, Min-a realizes she has no place in society and is subsequently banished into a painting/mural in temple to be stored for all eternity (this is another common Korean legend concerning how immortal and inhuman creatures, beasts, etc...can be dispatched of). I can't remember if she does this voluntarily out of sheer despair, or is captured by a gumiho hunter.

Flash forward to 2010. Min-a is getting pretty tired of "living" in this painting for the last several hundred years, so she tricks our young male lead who happens upon the temple into uttering the right phrase or doing the right thing that will release her. He does so, and from there it's mostly a straightforward "mythical" romcom (kind of along the lines of the movie: "Splash"). There are lots of cute moments that follow where he discovers who/what she really is, and where she learns about the modern world and follows him around so she can eat more of her favorite dish (i.e. cow). Her 9 tails pop out uncontrollably whenever she gets overly excited, and she's helps him out of numerous jams using her super human abilities. At one point, she even saves his life using her special life force powers.

The 2 leads quickly begin to fall in love, but all is not perfect though…others characters find out about, or begin to suspect something is a little off with, Min-a, as she and Seung-gi try to keep her true identity secret. There's also a modern day gumiho hunter (who apparently does not understand how shirt buttons work) that's hot on her trail. Eventually, Min-a decides she wants to become human and be with her new love and live her life as a "normal" person. She's given a magical elixir by the gumiho hunter that may just fulfill her wishes…it's not without risks though, as she or her new love or both may perish if she takes it…Down the hatch it goes though and let's see what happens.

From there, it's a matter of what will happen to the two leads as they wait to see if they'll survive her transformation into becoming a human. And, of course, whether he, she, or both survive is dependent upon how strong their love is for one another.

Bottom Line: I don't think this show belongs in the 8-10 star range the current IMDb reviews and ratings suggest (again, just my opinion). I have seen a lot of Korean melodramatic TV shows over the years, so I feel I do have a pretty good prospective on this genre as a whole. That being said (written), this show is quite enjoyable overall, and, I have no problem recommending it. I also think it's a good recent "starter" show if you're not yet familiar with KTV dramas…it's not nearly as overly "taxing" as many other KTV melodramas can often be…It's a light and short comedic romance series that's pretty effective at what it's trying to accomplish…and, what's not to like about that?

Somewhere between 6.5 to 7.5 out of 10 stars!... I think a 7 is just about right, so that's what I'm giving it!

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

gumiho...is a joy

Author: jkchancey from United States
2 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i'm fairly new to Korean drama/ comedy. so far this is in the top 3 that i have seen. i found it to be delightful,charming and funny . made me feel good every time. i also enjoyed the shows " playful kiss " and " boys over flowers ". i wish more shows emphasized such honesty of emotion. i often feel the sense that i am gaining something positive after viewing these shows. they seem to run the gamut of emotions. " my girlfriend is a gumiho " does not disappoint . i think if you have love in your heart. you will enjoy this show. the portrayals of character were very convincing for me. if you like to smile a lot , watch" my girlfriend is a gumiho "

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

All the cute and lovely supernatural creatures come to Korea only !

9/10
Author: Rifat Sharna from Bangladesh
25 July 2015

"My girlfriend is a Gumiho" is a popular South Korean romantic-comedy- mythological drama series that involved the story of a gumiho or a nine tailed fox whose desire is to live human life and an ambitious actor guy who incidentally met her. And it's a worth-watching melodrama series. Initially my sassy girl-crush Jun Ji Hyun turned down the role of heroine gumiho- that's great because it's destined to be Shin-Min-Ah's show I think. She was very cute, natural, and lovely as a gumiho, also a real fashionista- most of the times her simple dress-up suited her perfectly. The chemistry between her and the talented hero Lee Sung- Gi ( as Cha-Tae-Woong) was adorable too bringing both emotional and funny scenes. Yes, many times the drama was so funny that I laughed a lot and felt that it's one of the best drama series I had watched so far. A lot of passers-by and random characters focused by camera also added more natural flavor. The soundtracks specially the theme song were awesome and natural acting of other side characters- half human Dong-Ju ( thumbs up for No Min Woo! ) , Woong's aunt and grandfather , director and villain-like Hye-In brought fun and suspense. So although in the ending episodes it became a bit cliché and a little more story development and care for side characters would be much better, overall it's a lovely-enjoyable drama.

However, 500+ years old gumiho obviously reminded me of 400+ years old alien Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun) from my previously watched outstanding series "My Love from the Star". Gumiho heroine looked too naive where alien hero looked cool and wise but undoubtedly the both were so adorable at so many times. So why all these cute and lovely supernatural creatures from fictions come to Korea only can be a topic of good thoughts! :p :)

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Cutest Couple Ever with a Star-Crossed Destiny

8/10
Author: fprefect-685-281084 from United States
14 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho has a split personality; a light & fun initial half and an emotionally packed second half to the series.

Successful formula for this series that I grew to love: Super Cute Couple + spunky Gumiho leading lady + romantic gestures from the leading man that will be tough to top

Super Cute Couple: Dae-woong and Mi-ho are the cutest - Finger guns blazing for how adorable they are!

Spunky Gumiho leading lady: Mi-ho's forthright honestly about her feelings for Dae-woong and becoming a human were charming (though the honestly waned in the latter episodes to "protect" Dae-woong).

Romantic gestures from the leading man: The evolution Dae-woong from spoiled boy to sacrificing-all-for-his-Gumiho man slayed me.

What didn't work about this series? The adult romance was ridiculous, the other secondary characters were one dimensional and the second leads didn't stand a chance thwarting the leading couple. Dong-joo, the half- human/ghost was too pretty and wooden be an impact. Hye-in was a successful obstacle initially but she just couldn't compete with star- crossed destiny and faded away.

**SPOILER** When without hesitation Dae-woong ingests the fox bead with the full understanding he must die to return the bead to Mi-ho, is a huge moment and forever seals my love for this character. Initially Dae-woong was so unworthy and selfish, hard to believe he evolved so far.

The final episode had me transitioning from one crying jag to the next, Dae-woong ingesting the fox bead without hesitation and willing to die for Mi-ho, their airport reunion, the last day together, when Mi-ho disappears, Dae-woong getting hit by the truck, Mi-ho calling Dae-woong – would one phone call be it?, Mi-ho finally reappearing and their reunion, the tears just flowed. **SPOILER**

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I Like This Drama

9/10
Author: lia00027 from Indonesia
7 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Come on people who don't like this drama is a weirdo. Yeah Lee Seung gi's acting is OK because he is acting like that in most of all his drama but I like his playful cheerful role here. Same goes with Shi min ah I like her acting, she's not so pretty but she's charming and she was acting very good, I like the way she's acting shameless, cheerful, and interesting at the same time. It is a good drama with a happy ending of course, don't expect not since it will ruin all the plot. The newcomer Na min woo is OK here compare to "Midas" and "Full house 2 (which i find that drama is annoying and boring and predictable)". I laugh a lot while watching this drama, this is an entertainment that I need after feeling stressful at work especially the embarrassing scenes between the aunt and the director, each time the director appeared the background music is leslie cheung's. Good plot and a very entertaining drama.

The soundtrack sang by lee seung gi is really nice but singing is definitely not for shi min ah.

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3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Another great premise wasted

7/10
Author: vampiroconti from Firenze, Italy
2 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE GOOD

- An interesting premise

- The first half is consistently funny

- The smile of the lead actress lights up the screen

THE BAD

I think this is best described as a product for kids: light in tone, little story development, and with plot holes so immediately evident it is impossible to brush them aside and remain engaged in the product.

There are some conventions in K-dramas that you know you must accept: people sleep fully clothed, doors are never locked, a few hospital scenes, one or both characters are orphans, mobile phones are used extensively except when most needed, and so on. I accept all of those. But here are a few other major problems of this show, assuming you are older than twelve.

A premise of UNLIMITED potential (supernatural immortal being awakes in a modern world totally unfamiliar to her, guy has to manage both her power and her ignorance) is criminally underutilized. Unnumbered gags were set aside in the name of conventional K-drama staples.

The lead actress is excellent in her role, conveying cuteness, innocence, and making you wish you could be there to help her out and protect her: you simply struggle to imagine someone else doing a better job. But what of the show beside her performance? It would lose a lot of its appeal, right?

The gumiho being is not realistically portrayed. She is full-innocent bordering on dumb. For comparison take the Japanese animated series "Spice and Wolf", which has a very similar premise: an immortal wolf-goddess somehow joins a guy and gets to live in the world of men. She is ignorant of most things yet, since she has countless years of experience and is a superior being, she is able to figure out things in her own way; also, her moods continuously straddle between cocky confident and scared ignorant. It seems likely that would be her reaction and behavior, no?

In a show that lasts 16 episodes/hours, there is basically only one story told, that of the main couple. The usual sidekick couple story arc (in this case the aunt and the director) is pure comedy fodder and does not present any drama: we are never in any doubt that they will be happy together in the end.

The story of the doctor/teacher/phantom and his past could have been developed into something more consistent, but instead is limited to one single flashback repeated over and over: I felt that there was a great story in his past to be told to explain his feelings and decisions, but because it isn't properly told I never really connected with him.

Episodes 10 and 15 are particularly infuriating, both because they seem edited by a madman with no regard for chronology and consequentiality, and because they exaggerate in their use of tired plot devices.

Because the show is generally light, the cliffhangers at the end of most episodes are not very strong, totally absent, or botched. For example they managed to ruin the first kiss: you have waited eleven episodes for it, and when it finally arrives the episode ends mid-scene.

Up until the twelfth episode the male lead shows no signs of sexual attraction towards either his original girlfriend or his new roommate (and in the latter case it can't be attributed to her being a gumiho, since he himself clearly states that he's not afraid of her). This is a complaint that I have with most of the K-dramas I have watched. I understand the decision to refrain from going into the sexual aspect of relationships, but I can't be asked to believe that young people have no physical impulses. Find a plot excuse to forbid/prevent them from having a sexual relationship (as they do in episode 12), or simply imply it off screen.

Considering that you're never in doubt that the main couple will live happily ever after, there was too much drama at the expense of good comedy. In the same way, once the old lady shows up at the beginning of the last episode, a happy ending is implied, and that robbed me of any hand-wringing uncertainty.

The talents of the male lead are poorly used: in the first few episodes he shows a nice comedic range of expressions and body language, but as the story progresses the script only requires him to look worried.

In my humble opinion of western person, at least one scene depicting Miho's feral nature was needed to make her believable as potentially scary (something like her face gory with blood), but maybe for Korean/Asian people knowing she is a gumiho is enough.

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