Hi everybody, and welcome to a new Something Different Sunday, on which I talk about… well something different from books.
Today I want to talk about a kdrama I recently watched on Netflix, called Crash Landing On You. I fell in love with kdramas a few years ago, and though I haven’t watched a lot lately, I needed some quality distraction given our current situation and decided to start Crash Landing On You. Just one episode in and I was HOOKED. I love this drama so much that I think it may be my second all-time favorite (sorry, nothing is beating Romance is a Bonus Book just yet). So if you’re new to kdramas, or just wondering whether or not you want to give this drama a try, I’m happy to tell you my thoughts on it!
What it’s about:
Crash Landing On You is the story of a South Korean heiress called Yun Se-ri (played by Son Ye-jin), who ends up in North Korea after a paragliding accident. She is found by captain Ri Jeong Hyeok (played by Hyun Bin) who decides to hide her and try to get her safely back to South Korea.
Why I loved it so much:
If you read what the story is about, I think it’s pretty obvious from the get-go that this drama will feature an emotional star-crossed lovers romance between Se-ri and Jeong Hyeok. And I LOVED the romance between these two. It manages to be both predictably tropey and yet so funny and heartwarming and endearing. These are two people who seem like they would not match, one a wealthy heiress and one a noble captain, but their chemistry was undeniable from the beginning and the slow burn was believable. Of course, given their situation, there is a lot of angst and emotional turmoil, but this is balanced with some light and cute moments as well. I was so invested in their story that I was basically sobbing through all their scenes in the final episodes.
Maybe even more so than the romance, I loved how this show handled friendships. Most importantly, this was present with Jeong Hyeok’s squad. They are hands-down my favorite part of the drama. They brought the humor and were often the comedic relief, but I think they brought the emotions as well. They are loyal to Jeong Hyeok, but they all also develop a brotherly relationship with Se-ri and I have often been even more emotional in their scenes with her than in the scenes between Se-ri and Jeong Hyeok’s. It’s the best kind of found family.
Also, an unexpected friendship I grew to love throughout the drama, is that between Se-ri and the North Korean village ahjumma’s, as well as the ahjumma’s amongst each other. At first, they just seemed a little petty and gossipy and Se-ri is understandably distant, but once they start to mingle we see the ahjumma’s are not only funny, but also unexpectedly loyal. And their joint crush on Jeong Hyeok was pretty hilarious.
I mean, it’s no news that kdramas often bring the pretty, not just in the actors, but the cinematography. The cinematography for Crash Landing On You was especially beautiful. The difference in color schemes between North Korea, South Korea and Switzerland comes to mind. But also just certain scenes were so BEAUTIFULLY DONE. I’m thinking for example of a scene where Se-ri is lost at a North Korean market and Jeong Hyeok comes to find her by holding up a candle in the dark *swoon*
I really enjoyed the humor in this series. As mentioned, most of the humor was provided by the squad and the ahjummas’s. I laughed with them so often and thought they were the perfect balance to all the angst and doomed romance stuff. Another source of humor that I thought was pretty delicate was the playing on the differences between North and South Korea. This is a tough thing to accomplish and though I of course can’t speak for the representation, I did read that they did a lot of research and used defected advisors to portray North Korean culture as accurately as possible (read more on that here). Of course, they did take some creative liberties, but overall, it felt like it was handled in a good way: there was humor in the differences, but I do think North Korea was depicted in a way that felt somehow relatable, real and respectful to the people and families living there.
The secondary couple
I have to admit, at first I did not like the secondary couple in this AT ALL. We have Seo Dan, Jeon Hyeok’s fiance of 10 years, who at first seems arrogant and cold but afterwards we learn that yes, she is arrogant and cold, but also insecure and emotional. And there’s Seung Joon, who is hiding in North Korea after having stolen money from Se-ri’s family’s company and being a wanted man. Though he came off as heartless, whiny and self-absorbed in the beginning, we slowly learn there’s much more to him and his motivations than meets the eye.
I HATED both of these characters separately and thought they could never get me invested in a romance between these two at all. And yet. And yet the show managed to get these two together in a way that felt real and well-paced and believable. I was rooting for both of them perhaps even more so than Se-ri and Jeong Hyeok by the end. They are pretty much half of the reasons why I sobbed throughout the final episodes. If there’s one thing I do not like about the drama, it’s how their storyline has wrapped up.
And so much more
Of course, there is so much more to the drama, but I feel like you have to experience it all. There’s Se-ri’s cut-throat family, Se-ri’s troubled relationship with her mother, Jeong Hyeok’s past coming to play, the town ‘rat’ whose job is to listen in on everybody and the thriller aspect with the corrupt Major hell-bent on finding Se-ri and destroying Jeong Hyeok. All aspects that seem like a lot at first but come together nicely to create a drama that pretty much hits all the spots.
If you like kdramas, if you like doomed romances and lots of angst or if you like friendships and found families, I highly recommend Crash Landing On You!
Watch the trailer
Have you watched Crash Landing On You already? If so, please let me know what was your favorite part of the drama!
If you have not yet watched it, do you think you’d like it?