I hate repetitive plots, ie the wash rinse and repeat that keeps reusing the same cliches over and over again, but My Roommate Is a Gumiho is different. It has all the cliches but it’s doing a great job making each plot line their own. I’ve watched 10 eps by the time I finalized this, so you might expect hints of spoilers~
In this article I’ll mention some of my favorite things:
Shin Woo Yeo is a handsome and smart professor. He is also a 999-year-old nine-tailed fox. To become a human, he collects human energy in a bead. Soon, he is set to become a human. Meanwhile, Lee Dam is a university student. One day, her drunk friend falls asleep on top of an expensive car. She apologizes to Shin Woo Yeo, who is the car owner. While Lee Dam struggles to take her friend away, Shin Woo Yeo gives her a hand. An accident happens that changes their fate. Shin Woo Yeo’s bead falls out of his mouth, and Lee Dam unintentionally swallows it. The bead can exist inside of a human for no more than 1 year and, afterwards, the bead will break inside of that person. This will cause Lee Dam to die, and Shin Woo Yeo will lose his chance to become a human. Shin Woo Yeo explains to Lee Dam their predicament and suggests that they should live together until they figure out a solution. Lee Dam, who has never had a boyfriend in her life, now lives with Shin Woo Yeo. (Source: AsianWiki)
Lee Dam (Lee Hye Ri)
In the drama she’s 22 while in the webtoon she’s 24, I wonder if there’s any reason to that or if they just wanted to match the zodiac signs xD
I’ve made a lot of lists and articles about “XingBack Approved FLs” and though I started this with prejudice against Hye Ri‘s acting, she immediately joined all of my lists including favorite actresses❣
For one thing she’s so FRESH! Right from the start she was straight forward, honest and rational. As soon as she hears Woo Yeo saying he’s a nine tailed fox she says “wow that dude is crazy” xD I mean come on, in a non drama world who’d ever believe someone saying they’re a mythical creature? Her reaction to the “confirmation” of the info was the moment I fell in love! Hye Ri’s comedic sense is GOLD! I did notice those comedic elements in the webtoon and they got so lucky with Hye Ri, I really can’t imagine anyone better.
I don’t want to gush too much about her here because I’ll be adding her to the 3rd installment of the “Strong Female Characters” but I really love how she calls people out and can actually form a coherent mindset! (yes I’m looking at you Imitation FL, THINK on your own!!!)
Shin Woo Yeo (Jang Ki Yong)
In the drama he’s 999 while in the webtoon he’s 900. It’s just something I noticed as I skimmed through the webtoon, also the reason Lee Dam gets sick while eating chicken is because he’s one of the rare “male” gumiho that was also born in the year of rooster xD
Outside the webtoon, the 1st thing I noticed about him is that he can actually SMILE! How many years have we suffered through the “rude jerk ML” and the “enemies to lovers”! Don’t get me wrong I like any cliche done right, but some of those dudes would scowl at the FL and act all superior, but Woo Yeo meeting Lee Dam for the 1st time with no strings attached was just a normal polite “human” who smiles and says “you made a mistake it’s ok” and not “you’ve defined me and now you shall be bind to a slave contract” most mythical and non mythical MLs do.
I do admit he’s expressionless expression needs work as an actor, but as a character it makes sense. He doesn’t feel emotions but he notices and mimics them, ie he knows normal humans SMILE. (I can list several MLs right now, dudes just try to smile before “love” changes you)
Yang Hye Sun (Kang Han Na)
This is a really refreshing look on Kang Han Na, usually she’s the cold confident heartless 2nd lead but the elegant yet clumsy and clueless former gumiho is really fun, maybe it’s because a webtoon writer made her not a kdrama one ;D
I also reeaaallly love her style~ Those shoes in the ep she thought Do Jae Jin wanted her to take them off is SO my style❣ Oooh yeah, that “near kiss” misunderstanding was another highlight of this drama xD
Do Jae Jin (Kim Do Wan)
In the webtoon I kept confusing him with Gye Sun Woo xD They look so alike, though I can feel the kind naiveness of him in both vrs. He’s one of Lee Dam‘s best friends, and I’m always on board with FLs having friends let alone a guy that just really loves her as a friend and brother❣ I really loved the scene Lee Dam got angry at him or the scene of his 2nd drunkenness xD
As a romantic interest to Yang Hye Sun, he’s the opposite of her with his simpleness but he also matches her cluelessness. He doesn’t judge her and she feels comfortable around him.
Gye Sun Woo (Bae In Hyuk)
This dude, this dude is such a typical 1ML in romcoms, namely the teen style. He’s such a Oh Nam Joo; he’s popular, every girl loves him and every guy wants to be him, he’s rich, stuck up and a jerk plus he made a bet on the FL, (10 Things I Hate About You flashbacks anyone?)
BUT, he’s a 2nd lead and that’s like a major win xD This jerk will never get the girl, awesome right? Well I do feel bad for him. Mainly it’s the dimples UWU, but he’s actually a decent human. As soon as he figured out Lee Dam didn’t want to be touched by him, he always grabbed either her hoodie or bag strap and he tells her “I know you don’t like that” so he doesn’t do it! Many MLs can’t relate, they don’t know what personal space means. So basically him not getting the girl is a good wake up call that’d make him change his ways and learn from his mistakes and that’s how jerk leads need to develop, not getting the girl and only showing basic manners when they’re alone while he continues to scowl at people. (Am I showing too much pent up anger on typical romcom cliches?)
I also really like Jeon Seok sunbae. He was always there for Lee Dam as a friend, he spoke up when the others were degrading her, he caught her when she fell and he was just a really decent sunbae, I really wish his love line with Choi Soo Kyung sets off soon.
For one thing they look SO GOOD together, I mean if he smiles like that in the drama he’d shoot to the top5 favorite male leads xD
I love the comedic directing, and I really love the added graphics that make scenes more adorably funny. Their fox cgi tbh, well it’s cute but kinda funny, like it’s too cartoonish that I can’t take it seriously but still it’s cute so I’m ok with it, and it gave us so many iconic scenes xD
At times Lee Dam sounds worried about their differences, but in a normal way, most dramas can’t find a balance and make the FL pity herself too much while putting the ML on a high high pedestal.
Something I always stress about is style and fashion for female leads, Korea is known for their love of fashion so it never made sense when their fls wear baggy clothes, ugly prints or worse heavy layers! They never wear skinny jeans, shorts or revealing shirts, unless they finally have the “makeover”.
Here, Lee Dam actually has her sloppy days and I love her for that, sometimes they show her wear horrible dirty hoodies and they are a full mood, but right from the 1st ep when she had an outing with her friends her glow up was immediate and usually on normal days she has a nice style, it’s nothing fancy but it gives life to her as a person. Now they had to go and say her mom sends her extra clothes from her photoshoots, and I don’t know if they’re trying to justify why a “poor” jobless college girl has pretty clothes, but whatever rows their boat as long as my girl looks beautiful~
The ML too has a subtle autumn vibed style, and both tbh wear the same tones usually, grays, browns and their different gradiations. In one ep when they switched places becasue Lee Dam was sick, it was as if the clothes were made for Shin Woo Yeo xD
✵✵Reasons This Feels Different✵✵
For one thing, this is not a PAST CONNECTION, ie fateful encounter!!!! So they fell in love because they spent time together! How amazing is that? I can’t remember the last time 2 leads in a romance drama didn’t “know” each other in one form or another, and fell in love just becasue of that fact. Now, it’s not a major spoiler cuz it was clear they were teasing with the idea, but for me personally if I hadn’t started this, that info would’ve made me start it right away~ Like, even THE Ryan Gold knew Duk Mi from childhood though atleast they to fell in love as a process not just that fact.
When she 1st goes to his house, she takes a taser and spray peppers becasue who suddenly trusts a stranger right? And whenever someone tries too hard to forcefully flirt with her she turns them down with confidence. She also acts like such a generation Z, she makes fun of him for having an old taste even when he thinks he’s being “modern”, he’s so cute flustered and she’s refreshingly honest and outgoing~
The comedy here is gold! I didn’t expect to laugh so much honestly it’s so ridiculously well balanced I LOVE it! Hyeri is carrying most of that on her own with her colorful expressions and she’d prefect! As I skimmed through the webtoon I realized how the comedies are similar, but tbh drawing weird funny expressions is easier than acting them, but really kudos to Hyeri’s dedication.
This is not extraordinary or revolutionary, but it is the best in it’s genre, as a comedy, as a romance and as a fantasy it really combined everything and added it’s own flavor of anti cliches and honestly this is my favorite drama of the year by far! Now I am unhappy with eps7,8 and part of 9 but the rest of ep 9 made up for it! and as always my Dam was true to herself❣ And as I wrote above, when Woo Yeo starts smiling like that photoshoot gif (and in ep9 he was the UWUest of the UWU) then it’s over for all of us ;D
I do think their “we can’t be together” is overbaord, especially after ep10’s “twist” that turned out I was right about Gye Sun Woo having 1ML vibes, and it’s kinda sad but it’s also what I’ve always wanted beside the “no childhood connection”. Even the FL has her own “Destiny” but LOVE is stronger than FATE.
So, don’t overthink this and just start it. If like me you’re tried of cliches and same old stories with different faces (sometimes the exact same faces over and over again), and you’re looking for an easy carefree watch then you’ll LOVE this~
I made the gifs though the original video credits goes to the original owners, and most pics I got from MDL, the webtoon or I made it.