My Roommate Is A Gumiho review: A supernatural romance between fox and human

Shin Woo Yeo (Jang Ki Yong, left) is a nine-tailed fox whose Red Fox Marble is accidentally swallowed by university student Lee Dam (Hyeri) in My Roommate Is A Gumiho
Shin Woo Yeo (Jang Ki Yong, left) is a nine-tailed fox whose Red Fox Marble is accidentally swallowed by university student Lee Dam (Hyeri) in My Roommate Is A Gumiho

This review covers the first two episodes of My Roommate Is A Gumiho; new episodes drop every Wednesday and Thursday.

If you were a big fan of Guardian: The Great And Lonely God aka Goblin in 2017 starring the chocolatey smooth-voiced Gong Yoo and the wholesome Kim Go Eun, you'd definitely love the latest supernatural K-drama series to hit the small screens, My Roommate Is A Gumiho, currently available on streaming platform iQiyi.

Starring the impressively handsome Jang Ki Yong (who could possibly rival Gong Yoo in looks) as a nine-century old nine-tailed fox spirit and the sprightly Hyeri as Lee Dam, this romance series isn't as big-budgeted as Goblin, but draws many parallels with it.

Both revolve around ancient beings who have lived for many years, and suddenly encounter a very irreverent and loud-mouthed woman who they fall in love with after she dramatically overhauls their lives and causes them much angst and chagrin.

Shin Woo Yeo (Jang Ki Yong), an ancient fox spirit, or gumiho, who is approaching 999 years of age, yearns to become human. Apparently, the grass is always greener on the other side with such dramas.

Nine-tailed foxes are well known in Asian mythology for possessing great amounts of power, having lived for so long, and are also notorious for being home wreckers – so it may come as a surprise that this particular fox desires to become human.

Woo Yeo uses his iridescent red Fox Marble to siphon off strength from the women he sleeps with over the many long years that he has lived in order to reach a great age, which is ironic since he grows a tail after every 100 years of 'virtuous living'.

In order to become completely human, Woo Yeo must turn his Fox Marble blue from the energies that he has siphoned before his 999th year as a spirit. Of course, a huge wrench is thrown into his plans when Lee Dam (Hyeri), a 22-year-old university student somehow manages to force his marble out of his body and swallows it by mistake.

There is a rather nervous chemistry between our two leads, a halting and hesitant one. Jang Ki Yong is not exactly on par with many of the usual A-list actors to grace Netflix's K-drama originals, so it remains to be seen how he will grow into his role as the icy cold, aloof and long-lived nine-tailed fox; unlike Gong Yoo in Goblin, who played the long suffering and tortured dokkaebi perfectly.

Lee Dam is forced to move in with Woo Yeo, as she realises that if she comes into contact with men who were born in the year of the Tiger, she gets a gut-wrenching stomachache, which only the gumiho can cure with his tender touch (meowwrrr).

In my opinion, Hyeri is perfect for this role as the oblivious and very tomboy-ish damsel-in-distress female lead, who's still headstrong enough to fend for herself. The singer-turned-actress' bright-eyed and innocent charms were very apparent alongside Park Bo Gum in her other dramas, Reply 1988 (2016) and last year in Record Of Youth.

Supernatural K-dramas have been very popular in the last several years, and there are hopes that we'll all be treated to another great supernatural romance drama!

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