First Impression: Fairy and the Woodcutter

Fairy is both whimsical, magical….and a whole lot of irreverence. Which imo, is a good enough mixture to get me hook on to the debut.

Main cast:

  • Moon Chae-won (from Criminal Minds) as Fairy Sun Ok-nam. She lost her fairy clothes (wings) during the Goryeo period, and married a woodcutter. Later her husband goes missing (dead?) and she waits a total of 699 years (her “human” form is also represented by an old granny — played by Ko Do-shim) for his reincarnation. Problem is, she can’t really identify her reincarnated husband…
  • Yoon Hyun-min (from Tunnel) as Professor Jung Yi-hyun. Ok-nam’s quite insistent her reincarnated husband is him — as evident by his (ahem) peeing pattern (?!) Unfortunately, Yi-hyun happens to be rather prickly…and OCD-ish about cleanliness. He views Granny Ok-nam’s barista ways as unhygienic, but nevertheless, falls in love with her…coffee.
  • Seo Ji-hoon (from Prison Playbook) as Teaching Asst Kim Geum. He works and lives under Yi-hyun, and is the only nice guy around who can take his professor friend’s prickly (and picky) manners. He falls in love with Ok-nam (the young lady form) and Ok-nam is not sure if he is her woodcutter husband (cos in her mind, Woodcutter was just as nice as Geum).


Ok-nam lost her fairy clothes while bathing in the Fairy Lotus Pool a long, long time ago, and she ended up marrying Woodcutter — whom she later had 2 children, a daughter (who, with her half-faery blood, is a shapeshifter — she changes between a tigress and a cat, depending on her mood), and a son (who in later years…became an egg???)

Woodcutter goes missing (and presumed dead) one fine day…and poor Ok-nam waited for him (or his reincarnated form) for a total of 699 years.

In comes (in Ok-nam’s mind) the likeliest candidate: Prof Jung — he is an insomniac…while he explains away his insomnia as poor sleep and bad (unremembered) dreams to his colleague/friend/psychotherapist, Prof Lee Ham-sook, we know he suffers from really bad nightmares. Nightmares where he is pressured by 3 witches, and another of when he was a little boy, locked up by his mum (?). Ironically, for someone who claims to be an insomniac, he has the habit of dropping asleep in the oddest places…

Prof Jung’s insomnia is “cured” during a side trip into a mountain cafe with his friend/TA, Geum. They stopped by this weird cafe (which looks more like a tea hut), and is served coffee with the most romantic names (like The Peacock’s Breakfast, The Morning Dew, Ink) by an ancient granny. Prof Jung hated the way the coffee was brewed (and served), but he fell in love with the taste at first sip…and managed to get his first sound sleep with sweet dreams (about fairies?!) that night.

He and Geum continue to meet Granny Ok-nam in the oddest places…including both of them stumbling into the Fairy Lotus Pool, and witnessing Ok-nam’s change from an old hag to a maiden. Geum was smitten…so when Ok-nam, upon suspecting Prof Jung as her reincarnated husband, moved to Seoul to track him down, Geum volunteered his room to Granny Ok-nam. Though she only stayed a night.


I love the total badass-ness of the fairies in Fairy. While Ok-nam the maiden is all demure, blah blah…Granny Ok-nam has this elegant steeliness about her. Maybe it’s cos we see an old lady nonchalantly making do with sleeping in the park (with pigeons as a blanket) instead of an energetic young lady.

But the funniest and most kickass fairy (or fairies) have to be Jo Bong-dae, the Home Guardian, and a fairy who operates the lousiest cafe on Yi-hyun’s campus…and Ok-nam’s tigress-cat daughter, Jeom Soon. Bong-dae is this totally snarky, foul mouth fairy, clad in shocking pink hair and leather (who also loves eye rolls and has a real good resting bitch face). And while the whole campus knows about her coffee (which tastes like shit) standard, they still buy from her (and she sets strict rules about going eco — she doesn’t serve her coffee in takeaway cups).

As for Jeom Soon, while her mama is all Demure personified (regardless of the age she appears in), Jeom Soon has a rather interesting taste in her preference for romance. She is an online writer (?) of trashy romantic novels set in the Chosun era, where the 2 protagonists are usually men. (heh) And when she gets high on her writing (and her lewd imagination goes on overdrive), her kitty (tigress) tail comes out…along with whiskers, claws and a load of furry body hair on her arms.

So while Yi-hyun with the two big mysteries surrounding him (on whether he is THE Woodcutter and his repressed past), may already be attractive enough to continue watching Fairy, I really do think the portrayal of the “modern” fairies in Fairy is far a more interesting hook.

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