KDrama Review: Crash Landing On You (사랑의 불시착) –– Is It Binge-Worthy?
Crash Landing on You tells the story of two star crossed lovers, a South Korean heiress and a North Korean elite who also happens to be an army officer. One day, while paragliding, Yoon Se Ri has an accident caused by strong winds, leading her to crash land in North Korea, where she meets Ri Jung Hyuk, a North Korean army officer, who agrees to help her return to South Korea. Over time, they fall in love, despite the divide and dispute between their respective countries.
A Sneak Peek Into “Crash Landing on You”
Wealth. Fame. Smarts. Beauty. You name it, she has it.
Yoon Se-Ri is an heiress to a conglomerate and a CEO to her own fashion company, Seri’s Choice. Her success and popularity in South Korea is indisputable, however, it doesn’t come easy. Being that Se-Ri is her father’s illegitimate child, growing up, she had always been the target of jealousy and neglect from her half-brothers and step-mother. All she ever wanted, ever since she was a child, was for her step-mother to love Se-Ri like her own child, however even that small wish seemed to be too much for her step-mother to fulfill.
Despite the cards that she was handed, Se-Ri rarely ever complains. As as result from her bad childhood, Se-Ri learned to be thick-skinned and aloof whenever her half-siblings would hurl accusations and hurtful words to her. Years of standing up to her horrible family members fueled Se-Ri’s desire to be independent, and it led her to eventually leave her family at a young age and build her fashion company––Seri’s Choice––from scratch.
From the very first day of the grand-opening of Seri’s Choice, Se-Ri has been overseeing everything herself. And 10 years later, being the perfectionist that she is, Se-Ri is still in every single process of the making of her apparels, from undergarments to sportswear despite the success and wealth that she has amassed. And this time around, as her company is preparing to launch a line of extreme sports apparel for paragliding, Se-Ri decided that she herself will be the one who tests it instead of having one of her employees do it.
Upon hearing that, her assistant is immediately nervous and worried about Se-Ri’s decision and continuously tried to talk her down from committing to such acts. Se-Ri however, want to hear nothing of it as her mind was already made. Her last words to her assistant before launching herself into the air was, “this is nothing compared to the heights I’ll soon climb to.”
At first, everything goes swimmingly, with a film crew who follows her to record a video of her flight to use as an advertisement for when Se-Ri’s new line drops. Se-Ri enjoys the calm and quiet as she takes in the view from up above, however, a strong wind soon kicks up and from far away, it could be seen that a tornado was heading towards her. At first, Se-Ri laughs in wonder to see a tractor flying through the air, then she realizes that she herself is being sucked into the tornado as well.
With all her mentions of climbing to new heights, it’s pretty obvious that she didn’t mean literally being blown all the way to North Korea, but that is where she ended up in after the paragliding accident.
At first, Se-Ri was in shock and disbelief, thinking that she has landed somewhere in a park in Seoul as she continuously tried to reach someone––anyone––through her walkie-talkie. However, she soon gave up when she receives nothing but static noise as her reply. That was when she saw a man standing not far from where she hangs from the tree.
When Se-Ri saw him, her initial reaction was elation, happy that she finally saw someone who could help her out of her current situation. However, her feelings of joy soon gave way to confusion when all the man does was continuously standing staring with his gun pointed at her. Se-Ri cocked her head to the side as she tries to get a better look of the man, and had to gasp when she spots his insignia and realizes that he’s North Korean.
3 Words to Sum Up This KDrama
TEAR-JERKER, HEART-WARMING, MEMORABLE
Let me preface this review with this: Crash Landing on You was the tv show that I don’t know that I’ve been waiting for. When I first saw the trailer to CLOY and read the comments on how excited everyone was about this drama, I was indifferent to it, thinking that it will be another predictable rom-com kdrama. After bingeing it for the past week however, I can honestly say that Crash Landing on You was definitely different from most of the Korean dramas I’ve seen to date.
It was intense and yes, sometimes overly cheesy and corny, but CLOY managed to balance it all without one overpowering the other while also giving me enough substance to fangirl and scream into my pillow swooning like a crazy goose. Which to be honest, is the real important part here.
Usually when you rate something, 5 stars are the ultimate rating, meaning that something is really good. Now, how many stars do you reckon your girl is giving Crash Landing on You for their storyline? Do you have your guesses?
All the stars in the universe!
Jokes aside, this is one of the most well-written Korean drama plot I have ever had the pleasure to watch to date. It is honestly pretty up there story-telling wise, on par with the infamous Goblin and Descendants of the Sun. Actually, I think Crash Landing on You was even better than Descendants of the Sun. There I said it, please do not stone your girl to death for this. *laughs*
From the very beginning, Crash Landing on You manages to capture the attention of their viewers with little to no effort. Of course, a lot of it was thanks to the talented and amazing actors and actresses. However even putting that aside, there is just so much on the side going on other than the “love story” of the main actors that it engages the viewers, making them curious and continuously guessing, at the same time weakening us with good humor and slowly breaking down our defense so that the viewers gradually care and root for them.
Not only that, the writers of CLOY are not afraid to let things happen. For example, to separate the couple, or the hurt one of the characters to keep the tension in the plot going. Which I really appreciate, because knowing Korean drama writers after watching so many dramas, there is just something about making things too intense that they seem to despise, which made a lot of Korean dramas out there very predictable. Therefore I’m really happy that the writers of CLOY are not afraid to go the extra mile to keep the viewers engaged.
On top of that, there are so many little snippets that Crash Landing of You taught their viewers throughout the 16 episodes. Not only the importance of doing what you believe is right even though it’s hard, but also the importance of friendship and being able to enjoy and laugh at the little things in life. There have been so many instances that Crash Landing on You have brought tears to my eyes just from watching Se-Ri, Ri Jeong Hyuk and the 4 musketeers being silly together just because of how like a family they seem.
Crash Landing on You really is a gem. It’s different, engaging and unforgettable all at the same time. It will make you cry one minute, and cackling the next. It is to no surprise as well the amount of love and support that this drama received from their viewers due to their amazing actors and actresses, and of course, writers, directors and producers who make this all possible.
YOON SE-RI AND RI JEONG HYUK
These two’s chemistry is seriously through the roof. I mean, looking at how many people who wish these two date in real life, both Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin knows what they’re doing acting wise on how to make us swoon and pull at our heartstrings.
While Son Ye Jin’s character was an everyday chaebol (read: rich person) that you see in Korean dramas all the time, and she played it well––obviously. That aside however, I want to talk about Hyun Bin’s character, Ri Jeong Hyuk, a little. I mean, for those of you who have watched Korean dramas for sometime knows that we’ve seen it all. The playboy, the goofball, the nerd, the rich, the bully, you name it, there have been some kind of Korean dramas out there with those kind of tropes.
With Ri Jeong Hyuk however, it’s so refreshing to see his innocence and naiveté in a way that doesn’t come off as stupid––if you get what I mean. As a character and as a captain of special forces soldiers, we all know he is capable of taking care of himself. However, despite his abilities, Jeong-Hyuk was humble. He didn’t let power get into his head like most, and will admit to fault and incompetence.
Hyun Bin’s character is the kind of person who is quiet and yet observant without being over-bearing. Out of all of Jeong-Hyuk’s good traits, it was his simplicity and candor that got to me in the end.
JEONG HYUK’S FIANCEE SEO-DAN
Like a lot of people, my first impression of Seo-Dan was that she’s a bitch. And she really doesn’t do a lot to negate that opinion. She continuously acts as if she had something stuck up her butt the entire time, and repeatedly tried to sabotage Ri Jeong Hyuk and Se-Ri’s budding romance.
Look fam, I know Seo-Dan and Ri Jeong Hyuk had an arranged marriage coming up and she’s his fiancée and all. But like, there’s no love between the two of you. Not to mention by the time Seo-Dan entered the scene, my ship for RiRi couple was already sailing full steam to happily ever after and I was ready to chop down whoever come between these two, no matter how pretty.
I look at Seo-Dan as someone who’s one dimensional, existing in the drama just to add some sour zest into CLOY and that’s okay. So you understand my surprise when she finally met a con-artist Gu Seung-joon who stole millions of dollars from Se-Ri’s brother and went to hide in North Korea to run away from the police, and fell in love with him. And from there on, Seo-Dan changed and bloomed before our eyes as she started to feel and show more of her emotions on screen.
It was truly as if she was a corpse before, and her feelings for Gu Seung Joon turned her into a warm and hug-able cat. She could still scratch your eyes out if you over-step the line, but like, she’s at least approachable now.
THE 4 MUSKETEERS
These 4 soldiers who is part of Ri Jeong Hyuk’s team added some much needed comedy into the otherwise serious plot-line.
There is Pyo Chi-soo who constantly bicker with Se-Ri on just about anything. His insistence of how annoyed he was by Se-Ri yet at the same time showing care for her is just like the relationship of brothers and sisters.
And then there is Kim Joo-muk, who lives and breathe Korean drama. He is absolutely hilarious as he would constantly talk about kdramas from 10 years ago with with Se-Ri as it was hard to watch up-to-date Korean dramas in North Korea. Not only that, he would also constantly ask for spoilers and discussing fan-theories with Se-Ri. Truly, he is all the Korean drama fans personified.
Geum Eun-dong, the youngest of the four. He is one of the most innocent as well and because of how much younger he was compared to the other guys, they would constantly prank him and trick him with false infos just to make fun of him.
Lastly, Park Kwang-beom. Known for his good-looks, Kwang-beom is mostly a quiet guy who likes to observe more than to be in the spotlight. He is also known as the one who looks the most South Korean out of the 4 of them, even though Pyo Chi-Soo wanted to believe otherwise.
I don’t have much to say regarding her family. I mean of course, where she comes from is a little bit different seeing that she’s not the biological child of her step-mother which causes a lot of hardship for her growing up.
But all in all, I think her family is just like a lot of other families out there. They fight, they bicker, they compete. Sure, some of them are eviler than most, ready to throw her under the bus at any moment, but I suppose that’s just how things are when are lot of money and power is at stake.
Sure, there are a lot of things that’s unfair about Se-Ri’s predicament and how they treat her, but at the end of the day, Se-Ri is a grown woman with her own capabilities. If she has yet to disown her family, we should assume that deep down inside, she still has love for her family members and would still like them to be a part of her successes despite everything that has happened.
Man, it’s just extremely satisfying when you found a tv show that turned out to be such a gem. I started Crash Landing on You with little to no expectations at all because of how awful Memories of the Alhambra was. Prior to that, I have never heard of Hyun Bin’s name before, and having that Korean drama to be my first impression of him truly leaves a bad taste and make me doubt him going forward.
However, I am so glad I gave Crash Landing on You a chance and was able to see Hyun Bin being in his element while unleashing all his deadly charismatic acting skills on the viewers. If you are like me and have had the misfortune to experience watching Hyun Bin for the first time in Memories of the Alhambra, do give CLOY a chance. The man truly can act, it was just a matter of choosing the right script and co-actors to work with.
And for those of you who haven’t seen Crash Landing on You yet, definitely give it a go. This show has gone into my all time favorites when it comes to Korean dramas. Oh, if you are planning on watching this show though, keep in mind that it’s highly addicting. So I’d advise to start on the weekend, where you can be a panda, stay up late and binge it for 16 hours straight. *laughs*
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