'Goblin: The Lonely and Great God' recently achieved the highest ratings for a Korean drama, toppling previous record holder 'Reply 1998.' However, it seems that the makers of the Gong Yoo starrer were not above doing a bit of lifting from another very popular television drama, 'Descendants of the Sun.'
Website Korea Portal notes that last Saturday, there was a particular dialogue in a scene from the sixth episode of 'Goblin' which was uncannily similar to another dialogue from 'Descendants of the Sun.' Actor Lee Dong-wook, who plays Wang Yeo, the Grim Reaper in 'Goblin' said "I am a Grim Reaper. Grim Reapers follow orders. Sometimes who I believe is Sun-hee might be Sunny to another."
The line quoted above is very similar to the words uttered by Yoo Shi Jin in 'Descendants of the Sun.' "I am a soldier. Soldiers follow orders. Sometimes what I believe is good and right means something else to another," said actor Song Joong-ki, playing the role of the Alpha team leader.
Of course it must be mentioned that screenwriter Kim Eun-sook wrote both the dramas, so it may have been an in-joke, it may have been intended as a small meta-reference to the writer as a creator, or it may refer to the writing process itself. However, it mostly comes across as lifted material.
Surely Eun-sook being one of the highest paid and most sought after screenwriters in South Korea, was more than enough capable of writing an original line. So, this might just seem like a lazy repurposing of her own writing because she couldn't come up with a fresh line at that time which would have sounded different. After all, she has written 11 television projects as well as one film 'Fly High' in 2006.
However, the most likely reason would be the line was a bit of a wink to the audiences; reminding them of the undeniable importance of a screenwriter. In fact, it seems she was quite conscious of her desire to separate 'Goblin' from all the work she had done so far. "When I had a meeting with Kim Go Eun, I told her that this drama would be different [than the previous ones], that all of the characters would stand out," Kim Eun-sook was quoted as saying by Allkpop.
Well, she has succeeded similar dialogue and all. The show has been a hit internationally and has knocked 'Descendants of the Sun' off the top spot. The fantasy, romance-drama has been creating a lot of buzz, not just for the alleged paedophilia in the show, but for its top performances, cinematography and visual effects.
'Goblin' also has good make-up effects, as seen in episode one, where the character of the goddess of birth, played by 34-year old actor Lee El, had to look like an old lady. Overall, it is a very entertaining and exciting drama series containing moments of wonder, terror, romance and surprises which have been embraced by audiences across the world. And the viewership continues to grow.