Hi there, chingus! Welcome to This Month’s Binge!
For the month of February, we’ll be reviewing how good the South Korean drama Crash Landing On You is! The drama just ended yesterday and received massive applause from all over the world—and I also can’t stop fangirling (and crying) over this drama. So, I’m gonna pour everything out in KStreetManila’s This Month’s Binge!
Tell Me About It!
The story of Crash Landing On You is in a way has its simple, deep, and comedic parts. It starts with a South Korean heiress named Yoon Se-ri (portrayed by Son Ye-jin) who accidentally lands at the North Korean border after being whipped by a very mysterious tornado while paragliding. Yoon Se-ri is a businesswoman down South, and just wanted to test her new product for paragliding. With no idea that she had landed in North Korea, she meets (her destiny, oops) Ri Jeong Hyeok-ssi (played by Hyun Bin), a dashing and handsome North Korean soldier. The relationship of the two did not start well because of polar opposite attitudes. Se-ri is fierce, talkative, and outgoing while, Jeong Hyeok is stern, quiet, and introverted. Of course, later on, the ice between the two melts and that’s how the drama start. From the very first episode, it already got me asking if the two will end up together? What are the challenges ahead of them? Is this drama going to be as realistic as it can be? Questions like these kept me going and ended up loving this drama more than I expected.
The characters are just perfect. Whoever this drama’s casting director is, they did one hell of a great job! From the lead couple to its supporting actors and up to the cameo roles for some episodes—the characters gave the drama justice for everything. Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin gave us remarkable chemistry. There are scenes that even if they do not utter a single word, their eyes talking to each other are just enough.
What I didn’t expect to set sail so quickly and interestingly is Seo Dan and Gu Seung-jun’s ship! Their characters are well-portrayed by Seo Ji-Hye and Kim Jung-hyun respectively. It’s the first time I’ve seen the two together and I wasn’t really expecting anything grand from them. But they surprised me. I love how their characters really took their time getting to know each other and most of all—getting to know themselves also. They have the connection all along and it is truly unforgettable for me.
The closest comrades of Ri Jeong Hyeok are one of the factors that made this drama so satisfying to watch. They are not just there to add comedy to the story but also breadth to the connection of the characters from the first to the last episode. Also, the ahjumma’s in Ri Jeong Hyeok’s village are one of a kind as well. I thought they are going to be an annoying part of the drama, being so nosy and all but again it added flavor to the relationship of the characters all throughout.
And the families. The families of both the lead couple and even the second lead couple are something that should not be left behind. But I’ll leave this one for a later discussion.
Down the drama’s road
Crash Landing On You is damn gooooood. Period. It really took its time, unraveling the stories behind each character. It matured very well.
In the first parts of the drama, the characters’ back stories were laid out one by one. The writers did not forget to include light and funny moments to balance out the heavy scenes. I thought that was okay. I mean, I really enjoyed seeing Ri Jeong Hyeok’s troop bond with Se-ri, and also the ahjumma’s love for Se-ri. Of course, Jeong Hyeok and Se-ri’s punchlines for each other that I sometimes think are kinda corny already but I still roll in my bed because of kilig out of it!
But then everything changed in the middle part of the drama (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT) when Yoon Se-ri comes back to South Korea and then Jeong Hyeok follows to protect her and the troops then follow Jeong Hyeok. Don’t get me wrong. I was really delighted when they all reunited in South Korea. Really. But the thought of goodbyes taunted my watching experience already (Haha!) Somehow, I have put my feet in Se-ri’s shoes. It was hard to watch and think of how the story might end, nonetheless I still enjoyed every episode (except one, watch to find out).
As the show neared its end, it didn’t lose its cool. It sustained its effort to balance everything out and still gave its audience a wonderful watching experience. Although of course its attempt has its own disadvantages too.
Also, for me, this drama would not be successful enough if it left out its social relevance. This is the first drama I’ve watched which tackled how things are between North and South Korea. Maybe, what I just didn’t like is the idea that North Korean are quite uninformed of the new trends, and new technology out here in the capitalist society. Somehow it poked fun out of it, but well… It’s really happening in real life. In an article from the South China Morning Post, the drama was also said to have depicted North Korea accurately from accents to how the houses and villages were designed. Imagine, how much research the production designers had gone through—and it’s all worth it!
It’s more than the cross-border love
Ultimately, it’s initial plot of having a North Korean-South Korean love story made me and I guess a lot of other viewers interested if not just hooked. I know it is not just the cross-border love that made me stay until the end. It’s about the whole chemistry, connection, and thought of the drama.
Crash Landing On You taught us different kinds of love—from bad one turning into the good kinds of love. One instance is the love the families of Se-ri and Jeong Hyeok gave. For Se-ri, from the very start, they were all corrupted. Their greed overshadowed their humane side. What I loved the most about Se-ri’s family is her stepmother who gradually became a mother and a best friend to her, even after all those years. For Jeong Hyeok’s family, it’s all about family over reputation & honor in the society. His father, being in a high position, has the power to pull all the strings for Jeong Hyeok. To be honest, I was really scared that the father would do everything to get rid of Jeong Hyeok, since his return to North Korea would mean death for the father. Instead, the father did everything for his son to have a normal and happy life.
Secondly, Seo Dan and Gu Seung-jun’s perception of love. It wasn’t exactly clear to me what Seo Dan felt for Ri Jeong Hyeok. Sometimes it feels like it was love out of her desire to be seen as a respectable woman. But sometimes, it’s a childish kind of love. Nonetheless, I am happy that she found her true love—even if she admitted it too late. With Gu Seung-jun, well, his change of heart is a major upgrade for the whole drama. These things actually taught the audience that there will always be a chance for someone to change, and to redeem themselves.
Last but not the least, the love from the friends that the lead couple made along the way. Of course, we can’t leave out the troops and also the ahjummas in the village. They were there from the very start until the very end—showing us how to be compassionate, giving, and understanding. The friendship they all manifested was something to remember.
I know it might be too early to say but Crash Landing On You is totally the K-Drama of the year—perhaps even the K-Drama of the decade.
Everything in Crash Landing On You, is well-thought-out. It’s a drama that will make you cry, laugh, and even annoyed. It’s remarkably fresh. Somehow, the drama’s push and pull in each episode became both an advantage and disadvantage. Personally, the push and pull made me wanna leave the drama but also made me cling onto it. Weird, but it’s true. More than that, each character taught me very important lessons in life, whether it’s about family, career, love, or one’s self. Additional to everything is the drama’s production design that’s just fantastic! Plus, the whole OST is for keeps as well! I can’t stop listening to the songs since I watched the drama. You have to listen to it too!
Crash Landing On You is not just a drama, but also a statement for peace. Although some may argue that it did its fair share of romanticizing North Korea, I say, it’s the drama’s attempt to instill humanity in the region’s image. After all, it portrayed the North Korean’s characters as very loving and selfless characters.
I’m giving Crash Landing On You Five out Five Yes-es!
Watch all of its episodes on Netflix!
Let’s meet again next time for This Month’s Binge!