First Impression: My Roommate is a Gumiho

Drama Profile

Title: My Roommate Is A Gumiho (English title) / Frightening Cohabitation (literal title)
Main Cast: Jang Ki-yong, Hyeri, Kang Han-na, Bae In-hyuk, Kim Do-wan
Writer: Baek Sun-woo, Choi Bo-rim (A Poem A Day)
PD: Nam Sung-woo (Kill It, Kkondae Intern, 100 Days My Prince, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo)
Timeslot: Wednesday and Thursday / 22:30H
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Genre: Fantasy, Romantic Comedy

Plot Synopsis:

A nine-tailed fox (gumiho), who wants to become a human, is forced to live with the bubbly college student who accidentally swallowed his bead.

Major Trope: Fated Connection, Contract Relationship, Cohabitation

Grumpy’s First Impression

Put in Hyeri as a wacky female lead plus Jang Ki-yong serving visuals – what more can you ask for, right? I know My Roommate is a Gumiho is a fantasy rom-com, but I didn’t expect it to be this cool! I like everything about it so far, especially the dynamics of the lead characters. It’s a rare sight to find a mythical being in K-dramaland who’s not aggressive and alpha type. We’ve seen gumiho-centric dramas before, and this one is a refreshing story mainly because of Jang Ki-yong’s soft boy personality.

A 999-year-old gumiho meets a 99-liner college girl

The premise is pretty straightforward, and it’s even revealed in the first 20 minutes of the pilot episode without fanfare. We met Shin Woo-yeo (Jang Ki-yong) as a gumiho from the Joseon era who dreamed of becoming a human. He has been collecting human energy in his fox bead for centuries. Though Woo-yeo’s main reason for wanting to become human isn’t very clear for now, we saw how he became detached from the world as he lived through different generations.

On the other hand, our heroine is a cheerful history major who drinks as if there’s no tomorrow. She’s Lee Dam (Hyeri) – an average college student who’s very relatable. I like her friendly nature and her positive attitude. On a typical drinking night with her brokenhearted friend Do Jae-jin (Kim Do-wan), she meets and accidentally swallows the fox bead of Woo-yeo – and her life turns 180 degrees.

As I said, everything is pretty chill and straightforward from then on – Woo-yeo offers Dam to live with him because of the complications brought by ingesting the fox bead. They have contractual agreements at first – Dam needs to stay away from men born in the Year of the Tiger, no alcohol, and no chicken. Apparently, chicken is fatal to nine-tailed foxes because of the old-school belief of offering chickens to mythical beings! LOL.

In exchange, Woo-yeo gave Dam tuition money, which is more than enough to last her until next semester. And then, as Dam realizes how ridiculous the terms are, she also drafted her own contract asking Woo-yeo weekly updates on how to remove the fox bead, no cold stares, and no smoking!

Right off the bat, the chemistry between Woo-yeo and Dam is undeniable. Hyeri has mastered the art of comedic timing, too, so her character complements Woo-yeo’s indifference with humans. Woo-yeo, though, is an interesting gumiho. He’s thoughtful, kind, and good-natured – a complete opposite of the alpha mythical beings that we’re accustomed to. You already know we have a thing for beta male leads, and Woo-yeo is very much welcome to join the roster!

Grumpy Alley

🦊 Grumpy tidbit: This is not Jang Ki-yong and Hyeri’s first drama together! They previously starred in the JTBC drama Schoolgirls Detective. Watch a clip here:

🦊 This is lowkey giving me Chicago Typewriter feels 💌

🦊 Kang Han-na as the dumb gumiho-turned-human Yang Hye-sun is my 2021 spirit animal! She takes everything literally – and I love her for it! 😂

🦊 This sunbae is giving us a strong SLS vibe but I’m loyal to gumihonim!

GIF Credits: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

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